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When Everything Isn’t Awesome

I’m struggling a bit today.

I like to think of myself as a positive person, and I go to great lengths presenting myself to the outside world as such.

HAI I’M LOTTE I’M UPBEAT AND FUN AND EVERYTHING IS AWESOME, YO!

I might talk about times when I’ve not been so unwaveringly ‘up’ – I’m open about my history of depression – but my focus is always how I’ve escaped from despair, how I find joy in the face of adversity.

Brand Lotte is all about positivity.

Relentless optimism

Yet sometimes, life gets shitty.  Deadly diseases run amok, fanatics are busy beheading over there and winning elections over here, dear friends find themselves in heartbreaking situations, and I stand by, feeling impotent.

Optimism isn’t going to solve anything.  Everything isn’t awesome.

So instead, I feel sad, and then I feel bad about feeling sad, because at some point along the line I told myself being unhappy is unpalatable, that I mustn’t let anyone spy me feeling low, because if I want to be loved (which I do, more than anything) I have to do everything in my power to be HAPPY. ALL. THE. TIME.  Or, at very least, stay silent and unseen.

This is why I got so good at hiding my depression.
This is why I rarely reach out to friends when I’m feeling low.
And this is why, today, I’ve been feeling so fucking weird: I’ve trained myself out of acknowledging any (non-depression related) sadness in myself, even when it’s a legitimate response to stuff that’s happening close to me.

I’m a huge proponent of being yourself, yet I realise now I’ve been airbrushing an important part of me.

Truth time:
Sometimes, I feel shit.
I don’t need to hide this from anyone.
Sadness is an acceptable emotion.
Everything is perfectly fine.

Happy IRL Anniversary

Today is a very special day Chez Lane, as it marks the ninth anniversary of me and my husband meeting for the very first time.

Oh what a day that was!  We met at Angel tube station at 9pm: I was two hours late and David had terrible hair.  We went to the Nags Head and drank seven pints each, me cider, him Guinness.   Every time he went to the toilet (which was a lot, what with all the drinking), I texted my friend Nia outlining my concern about the follicular situation – his hair really was VERY dodge: sparse, over-long wisps glued together into lame-ass peaks, like a balding Gareth Gates.  Luckily David was great company, and the cider soon hazed up my view of his hairline, so when he finally leant over the table to snog me I heartily reciprocated.

Immediately afterwards I ran straight to the loo, more →

Happy Happy Joy Joy: how Ren & Stimpy (and my daughter) pushed the universe in my favour

After her customary enthusiastic yell of ‘FOODTIME’, the first thing my daughter said to me on Wednesday morning was ‘HAPPY JOY!’.

We’d gone to a rather lovely wedding the previous weekend, which had included an audience participatory rendition of Ren & Stimpy’s ‘Happy Happy Joy Joy’ Song as part of the proceedings. Clearly, that moment had burned itself into Maya’s little synapses, as here she was re-enacting it several days later: standing in her cot, in her little sleeping bag, waving her arms in the air (she’d also remembered the dance moves!), repeating the words in her gorgeous sing-song toddler voice.  Watching her, my heart swelled; I felt a surge of (you guessed it!) pure happiness and joy.

Sadly the feeling wasn’t to last more →

What I did in the Summer Holidays, by Lotte Lane aged 34 and a half

I took a self-imposed break from blogging in August, but now I’M BACK!

TA-DA!!!

Of course, I couldn’t tear myself completely away from the interwebs, so took part in Susannah Conway’s brilliant ‘August Break’, where you’re challenged to take a photo every day in response to a specific prompt.

The resulting pics I shared on Instagram illustrate what I’ve been up to all summer, so sharing them here to bring y’all up to speed with the exciting goings on in Lotteland…

1 August – Lunch
My oldest friend brought round yummy sugary treats for us to share, all the way from Wales.  She is one of the most generous people I know: emotionally and practically (she never comes to visit empty handed!).  I’m a very lucky Lotte.

Lunch more →

Dealing With Shit

There’s some horrible stuff going on in the world right now.  An idle twiddle on Facebook ends up depressing me.  The newspaper, the radio, my friends: they all tell me tales of horror and woe.  Gaza. Cancer. Death. Divorce. Lives falling apart, bodies caving in.

It’s so easy to scroll through it all, and get overwhelmed by misery, hopelessness, despair.
To take doomful notes (I’m part of a race of base, violent beings) and paint mindscapes of black bleak unspeakable things.

I’m a sensitive flower.  When bad news comes I feel have but two choices: more →

Why I drink too much

I’m currently on a self-imposed booze ban, to help get my latest bout of depression to fuck the fuck off.

I won’t lie to you, this is difficult for me.

I love a drink, I do.

Not in an ‘I’m alcohol dependent’ kinda way (I’m not – though I may have been once upon a time).

No.  I love a drink in a ‘mmm booze is delicious’ kinda way, and  – I’ll admit it – in a ‘it makes life fun’ kinda way.

Yes, I said it. Alcohol is fun.

more →

What the hell am I doing?

Things are ramping up workwise in Lotteland, which is great for stuff like paying for my new roof, but less so for my sanity.

I’ll level with you: right now I feel overwhelmed, under pressure and out of control, and worse off it’s all of my own making.

This whole ‘do what you love’ self-employment thing – especially when juggled with a toddler and other life requirements (y’know, paying bills, doing chores, getting a few hours sleep) – well, it’s HARD.  more →