OOTD | PLAID IN THE COUNTRY

“Buy less, choose well, and do it yourself!”

~ Vivienne Westwood

I love that quote.  I feel like it is an excellent piece of advice as well as the sentence that describes my fashion sense.  I really don’t buy clothes that often – especially new ones.  I LOVE to thrift, I love to find various pieces and mix them together to create outfits.  I try to choose my pieces well.  Wether its new or previously enjoyed I always like to ask myself three simple questions;

1. When/Where will I wear it?

     Ok, this is 2 in one but you get the jist.  When do I see myself wearing the piece and Where can I wear it? When- often?occasionally? semi-annually? Where – at home? out? out where? formal? non formal? What are my wearing options? If I can’t see myself wearing something often and presumably out of the house then I can’t see myself adding it to my collection. 

2. What do I have already that this will go with?

     Does this piece go with ANYTHING I have or is it just it’s own entity? If I don’t have AT LEAST one outfit combination I can get out of it then it’s not worth it (dresses and one pieces aside). The more items I feel a piece can be worn with the more valuable it is in my collection.  

3. Do I NEED it?

    Or does it just look like the 3 other sweaters or 8 pairs of tights I ALREADY HAVE? If it looks too much like something I already own I may not really need it.

That being said I still buy things I don’t need, that don’t match, and that I don’t wear outside the house but I always ask myself anyways and sometimes 3 no’s just equal a yes.  

Lastly, do it yourself.  Want to customize that boring sweatshirt or cut an old t-shirt into new awesomeness? Do it yourself! Don’t know what you are doing? Thats ok! Learning can be half the fun.  Watch some tutorials on Youtube, practice on a few demo’s until you are satisfied and DIY your little heart out! 

This little fall number just came together.  An inexpensive outfit with pieces thrifted, vintage and new.  

To see the corresponding video of this outfit CLiCK HeRe !!! 

iCarla | NOVEMBER 2015

ALL CLOTHING and ACCESSORIES were purchased by ME for ME.

ALL PHOTOS were taken by MYSELF.

ALL CONTENT created by ME, MYSELF, and I.

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OOTD | TAKE ME BACK TO THE 70’S

iCarla | OOTD | TAKE ME BACK TO THE 70’s
Led Zeppelin t-shirt from the Thrift Store, originally a men’s XXL I cut and styled it to my size and liking.
Denim, Clogs & Leopard Print.
Big blue ring is from the Thrift Store.
ROCKET DOG “Giddy Up” Clog.

Another THRIFT STORE SCORE!

Leopard Print “Swing Coat” by TOPSHOP from THE BAY.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Sunglasses are Original Vintage RAY BANS.  They are over 20 years old and were my Dads.
Urban Behaviour Jeans | Vintage Wide Leg | Style name: “DREW”.

Found at the Thrift Store.

Shag haircut – CHECK.
“Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems”

~Led Zeppelin

Going to California

THANK YOU for stopping by! Feel free to say hi :))

ALL CLOTHING and ACCESSORIES were purchased by ME for ME.

ALL PHOTOS were taken by MYSELF.

ALL CONTENT created by ME, MYSELF, and I.

i, Carla

i, Carla live with mental illness.

At this current date and time I am working through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I get nervous easily, am prone to panic attacks at any given moment in time, I don’t like to go out a lot, sometimes I don’t get dressed for days… the list goes on and on.

i, Carla am not my metal illness.

Sometimes I struggle to realize this but it is true.  Mental illness is a part of me but it is not who I am.  I have goals and dreams and though it is a struggle I am trying to work towards them.

i, Carla will succeed.

I want to be successful and happy in my own mind, body and life.  I don’t want to worry what other people think because those are other people.  I am me, not them.

i, Carla understand.

I understand the struggles and limitations mental illness can present in one’s life.  The frustration that daily tasks can present.  The outright loathing of one’s self for not being able to do what “everyone else” does.  I understand because I know what it’s like.

i, Carla will try.

I will genuinely TRY to keep up with blog posts, therapy days and whatever happens in between. I will try to post “Therapy Vlogs” on my Youtube Channel on a regular basis.  I will not let myself be my own worst enemy.

i, Carla am in transition.

Currently in therapy and working on myself I am in the “transition” phase.  As I am transitioning and transforming so are things around me.  I am currently working on splitting my Youtube channel in 2 aka having 2 channels.  This is so (theoretically) one can be for vlogs and daily life posts (iCarla) and the other for fashion and beauty (iDREAMinVINTAGE).  I am currently working on changing and tweaking things online and offline.  I don’t know what I am doing or where I will end up but I will try.

I want to help and I want to heal.  I want to help other people realize they are not alone in their struggle.  I also want to heal myself.  I feel that in sharing some of my struggle I am not only healing myself but hopefully also helping someone out there to find healing in themselves.

What am I doing? … I have NO IDEA

Here’s the thing… I do LOVE fashion, makeup, and hair related anything but I am also suffering from Complex PTSD.  This is something I have been trying to sort out how to write about, how to approach writing about it and I came to the conclusion that I’d just dive right into it.

I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I am prone to sleepless nights, panic attacks, and worrying about everything. All. The. Time.  My PSTD is complex because there is not just ONE trauma that affects me but many traumas all on top of each other.

For YEARS I was misdiagnosed as Mild Bi-Polar which never really made a lot of sense to me but at the time, being desperate for an answer,  I just went with it.  I have tried so many antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications – at one point I was taking something in the morning, something in the evening, and I had Ativan “just in case”.  I hated them all, none of them (EXCEPT the Ativan which I  do still use on occasion), helped me at at all.  I was a zombie.  I had no personality.  Nothing mattered.  For me it just wasn’t working and wasn’t worth sacrificing what little part of me I enjoy.  Over the course of 3 years I was on and off more meds then I can remember and one day I just decided enough was enough.  I wanted to regain SOME control over myself.

I ended up just completely stopping taking my medication which I KNOW is not a good idea. I am fully aware that one is supposed to “ween off” of antidepressants and such but in my defence I was to a point where I was forgetting to take my AM pill or my PM pill on a regular basis, I’d miss a day or two routinely so just stopping just kind of happened.  Luckily I didn’t have any issues with going off of medication and I am happy to be off- NOT that medication is bad, it does work for some people just not for me (and I do not recommend my method of just stopping meds).

After going off meds and alerting my doc to my decision, I decided to pursue therapy (again). I had tried therapy before but I never really found anybody I felt comfortable talking to nor did I find it ever helped.  I’d leave my appointments feeling worse then when I went in.  That didn’t seem right.

I began doing some research and I came across a treatment called eye movement and desensitization and reprocessing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movement_desensitization_and_reprocessing) or EMDR for short.  I did not know much about this treatment but I knew I wanted it.  My search for this treatment led me to the therapist I see now and have been seeing for a few years now.  She is amazing.  I feel comfortable, safe, and not judged when I talk to her (which is how you SHOULD feel in a therapeutic environment).

At the time I first started this round of therapy I still thought I was Bi-Polar.  Not only did I question this diagnosis but eventually so did my therapist.  Over time and through a lot of discussions and activities such as mood charting and other things I won’t get into at the moment (because this blog is long enough ALREADY…), I was re diagnosed as PTSD.  That made a lot more sense.  I didn’t have many of the symptoms of Bi-Polar when it came down to it but I did have EVERY SYMPTOM of someone suffering from PTSD.  Not only was this a huge answer to the big blank I’ve been drawing for years but it also explained why medication did not benefit me.  In taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication I was only treating the symptoms of my illness, not the root of the problem.  As irony would have it, the EMDR therapy I so desperately want(ed) is exactly what (I feel) I need.

Currently I am in therapy and I am pursueing/getting EMDR treatment.  I have officially just started reprocessing and feel the need to share/vent about therapy or life in general…. What is my point? What am I doing? I have no idea really but I felt the need to write about it.  I can’t sleep and this is some what productive.  Also, I have been trying to vlog my therapy days and I thought a blog would be a nice piece to add to the puzzle.  I recently had someone comment and thank me because it helps them feel better and it was such an amazing feeling I have been inspired to start trying to write about this.  If I can not only help myself but potentially help other people then its worth more then I thought it could be.

Also please note this is my personal opinion/experience, I am not a professional.

**********************************************************************

At this current time (MARCH 2016) I have deleted most of my “Therapy Vlogs” from YouTube as I have decided that for now I would prefer to keep some things off camera (this post was written a few months ago).  I have, however, started this blog in hopes that I can potentially talk about therapy and mental health related topics.  It is something I want to talk about.  I still vlog on occasion but I am trying to focus on making happy vlogs I will want to watch years from now and am not embarrassed to share with friends.  It is all a work in progress.  Let’s see what happens and where I go.

FATE

It was June 2014.  Quite possibly Fathers Day.  It was a Sunday.  Very hot outside, a beautiful summer day.

Actually let’s back the bus up to August 2008.

In the summer of 2008 I worked 2 jobs.  I was a housekeeper at a local hotel by day and a dietary aide at a long term care facility by night.  I worked 12 hour days almost every day, 7 days a week.  Now as luck would have it by the end of August I cracked and quit the lower-paying day job. Without a day job I felt like I had a lot of time on my hands but having worked so much I didn’t know what to do with myself.

One day my younger sisters suggested we go to the beach.  Funny to admit now but I didn’t even know how to get to the beach anymore and my sisters who at the time were not even old enough to drive had to direct me.  We get to the beach, we set up our towels and what not and off they went to play in the water “STAY WHERE I CAN SEE YOU!!!” and I proceeded to get my tan on.  Not long after we arrived a trio of handsome young men came and set up shop not too far away from me.  I noticed them almost immediately, they were all very handsome, blonde, and all looked like they could be related in some way.  One in particular caught my eye.  He was wearing what I remember to be as red swimming shorts.  I had this feeling he was going to come over to me.  I don’t usually get this feeling so I was somewhat shocked when he did indeed come over to me.  I tried to play it cool.  I felt like a bumbling fool.  Every time I looked at him his beautiful eyes made me melt.  Blonde. A beautiful blonde; and he’s talking to ME!!! Be cool.

Somehow I managed to give him my cell number or Facebook info or both. I didn’t know how to tell Mr. Beautiful that I have a boyfriend, I’m not usually the kind of girl who chats it up with someone else when I’ve already got a someone but this was different.  Something inside was telling me not to let this one pass me by.  We both recall that after the number/info exchange he and his sidekicks played a strategic game of frisbee very close to my line of view.  Well played Mr. Beautiful.

We didn’t stay long at the beach that day as I had my night job still that I had to get to.  Later that day or that week I did tell Mr. Beautiful that I have a boyfriend and we did chat a little bit but thats as far as it went.  I went to the beach ONE more time that August and I did see him, Mr. Beautiful in the red swimming shorts.  He did not see me but I saw him.  Little did I know we would meet again in almost that exact location but it wouldn’t be for another 7 years.

7 YEARS LATER…(Approximately)

It’s Hot.

I’m trying to figure out why I shouldn’t go meet this guy at the beach.  I’m afraid to leave the house but you know sometimes thats just embarrassing to try to explain to people.  I’m afraid I’ll have a panic attack – what else is new? He seems to want to see me and I’d like to see him seeing as we have been talking every night for months now.  He seems like a good guy.  What’s the problem?

I couldn’t find a problem logical enough for me to stay home.  I honestly felt compelled to go, like if I’d miss something if I didn’t.

I don’t remember much of my drive there, its a blur of nerves, heat, sun, and finding my way by memory.  I do remember I arrived at our designated meeting spot before he did.  This allowed me lots of extra time to be nervous and get even more sweaty then I already was.

He arrived just a few minutes after me.  He pulled up and parked beside me.  We both drive red cars.  Interesting.  I looked over to wave like the goofball that I am and time stopped for a second in my head.  Even though now he was a little older and looked a little different with a full beard and beautiful LONG blonde hair, it was him.  He looked like a rockstar with his classic aviators on.  He smiled, my heart skipped a beat.  “DON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID” I say to myself, I beg my brain not to go all panic on me and ruin what could be a glorious day.

As we gathered our beach things I chattered about who knows what trying to seem calm, cool, and collected.  I noticed he noticed my awesomeness- thank you Venus.com “Marilyn enhancer” bikini top.  I tried not to be super self conscience about my newly short hair- it seemed like a good idea a week ago but now that I’m seeing his golden locks I’m jealous and desire to match.

We walked and talked and slugged our stuff down to the beach.  I love the beach, I do.  I used to go as a kid all the time.  I forgot about the beach over the years.  I honestly had not been back since the summer we met.  It felt good to be by the water, on the sand.  It was a good day to go to the beach.  There wasn’t a ton of people yet there were enough around to make people watching interesting.  I forgot my SPF 50 but I managed to have a bottle of SPF 8 tanning lotion… Needless to say we BURNED.  We were out there for hours just lying on the sand talking.  The time flew by, not once did I feel the need to leave, not once did I feel panicked or puke-y nor did I even think about it.  I could feel my skin burning but I didn’t want to leave.  There was something about him.  Something I could not let go, I wanted it, whatever it was.

Eventually due to our burning skin and probable dehydration we had to end our beach day.  He helped me put my stuff in my car and gave me a sweaty hug before I got in, HEART SKIPS BEAT.  He promises to text me later and even though I tell myself not to get to hung up on something I don’t know is anything I’m elated.  He got in his car and waited for me to start my car and get going before he did.  He followed me to the first stop sign where I went left and he went straight.

I do remember driving home from the beach.  I felt different then the girl who drove to the beach.   felt lucky in a way, lucky that I made the unusual decision to leave the house.  I didn’t know what would happen.  I didn’t know if he was into me, my awesomeness in my bikini top or what he was even looking for.  I didn’t know if he would text me later like he said or if I would even see him again.  But something, something just felt right.  For a worrier I was oddly not worried about this.  I was curious as to where it would go.  Somehow I felt like I had met my match.  I just had the best day with Mr. Beautiful, THE BEST DAY in a sea of sad days.  He was different.

Ever since that day last June we have been INSEPARABLE.  He did indeed text me later and we continue to text, talk, and see each other everyday.  He is different and he makes me see things differently.  He is beautiful inside and out and he makes me feel beautiful inside and out.  He never judges me and he isn’t bothered AT ALL by my panic situation.  We are on the same page of the same chapter of the same book and it is amazing.  I never thought I could have this.  I have what I’ve always wanted and it blows my mind.

He waited years for me and I hope to spend years making it up to him.   Had I not been on that beach on that day all those years ago we may have never met.  Had I not gone against my own personal rules and given him my info we may have never kept in touch.  Had he not been persistent we may have never met again at the beach.  Life really does work in mysterious ways and love is real.

Trying to be productive with Anxiety on my back

I wrote a list of to-do’s out last night for today.  This list consisted of 3 things:

  • remove nail polish
  • do kitty litters
  • shower

It took me all day but I have managed to complete said list.  I am even blogging and I managed to make noodles for dinner.  Yay me.

I am not a lazy person.  I do not like lazy people.  It is not laziness that prevents me from doing things.  It’s anxiety.

Everything I do has a hint of “it’s not going to work” or “you suck” to it.  I try to think the opposite as I do know deep down that I don’t suck and maybe if I work really hard something will work.  I still get sucked down by the thoughts and feelings of so many failed projects.  So many quit jobs.  Unfinished College programs.

I want to work, perhaps go back to school, find what makes me happy.  A career is very important to me and so far a career seems like a wish that is just no attainable.  I pick the wrong courses, I end up hating my major or the whole program all together (hello Dental Administration – why did I take you?!?).  My previous post-secondary knowledge is starting to become out of date (hello Art & Design – I love you but your are getting old.  Nobody uses the dinosaur programs or techniques I was taught).  I have nothing but industrial kitchen experience under my belt as that is what I did for 7 years before that became too depressing.  My second nervous breakdown caused me to quit that job so needless to say I am not in a big hurry to find another kitchen to work in.  Then, of course, there is that pesky little problem of living in the middle of nowhere.  I used to like it.  I enjoy the quiet and the privacy.  Lately I find it as depressing as anything else.  There is nothing around, nothing to strive for, nowhere to go, and no room to grow, at least creatively.  It downright sucks.

Then I think, maybe it’s me.  Maybe I AM the one with the big problem.  Perhaps I cannot be pleased.  Perhaps I am just the village idiot that should be happy I have what I have.  But I am not happy.  I want more.  The village idiot would not want more right?!

I miss traveling.  I love to film and edit footage.  I love to type.  I feel the need to advocate for mental health.  There MUST be something out there I can do and do well.  Something that won’t cause me to have a nervous breakdown.  Something that won’t cause me to lose myself and become miserable.  Is this the point where I decide to try to be my own boss? Is this when I throw caution to the wind and live the life I want now? Will I regret it later when it all blows up in my face? (Oh hello negativity, you again).

I don’t know.  I don’t know what I will do.  I do know that I am so sick of anxiety and negative thoughts standing in my way.  Do I continue to listen to those thoughts or do I encore them and go forward?  I don’t know.  We shall find out.

If I do continue to listen to the negative thoughts I do know I will also have to live with the regret of never knowing if my dreams could come true.  I don’t know if that is wise seeing as that seems like it would plague me and depress me for the rest of my life.

 

 

 

Tattoo Therapy

Tattoo #7. Partial sleeve watercolour Roses.  February 25, 2016.

St.  Catharines, Ontario, CANADA.

ARTIST : Shaun Whalen

 

Tattoos.  One of the few things that make me happy these days.  This is my 7th addition (I think.  I counted twice).  I bought it for myself as a late birthday present.  I turned 32 this year (*shudders*) and a new tattoo was all I wanted.  The photos were taken about an hour after it was completed.  Since then it has peeled once and itched like crazy.

My tattoo aftercare is quite simple.  I keep it clean, I don’t touch it, I avoid the sun, and I apply Lubriderm twice a day (during the healing process).  The healing process may seem as though it is a week or two but really it takes your skin a SIX WEEKS to heal.  This is because it takes your skin 6 weeks to complete it’s life cycle.

SKIN LIFE CYCLE?

Yes.  Your skin has a life cycle.  I learned this way back when in Cosmetology but I found this knowledge useful especially when caring for new tattoos and piercings (that I love so much).  A skin cycle is the amount of time it takes for the new cells deep in your skin to be born and make their way towards the outer layer of skin where they ultimately shed or slough off. This takes about 6 weeks.

So my rule of thumb for tattoos in particular is to treat it as if it is new for 6 weeks.  I may apply Lubriderm more or less then twice a day along the road to recovery, it all depends on how itchy it gets those first few weeks.  I avoid sun, baths (as in laying in the bathtub immersed in water- I shower instead), touching my new tattoo needlessly, NEVER PICK or SCRATCH it (no matter how tempted you may be).  In the end it will be worth the wait and your tattoo will thank you by being the beautiful work of art you wanted it to be.

Also, (try to) NEVER forget to apply sunscreen (after healing) to your tattoos.  It helps protect them from fading and also helps your skin from getting cancer.  Two birds with one stone 😉 .

This tattoo in particular is not finished.  I have more roses to add in a few months to the bottom.  Stay tuned in the meantime for more of my tattoos, piercings, stories, experience, and anything else related to (my) Body Mods.  I would like to blog each one so I have some kind of record of when I got them, where I got them, yada yada yada.

 

 

WHEN DEPRESSION ATTACKS

I have no real inspiration.  I just want to sleep.  I feel like a failure.  I am so sad I could cry for days. Everything hurts.  My thoughts won’t stop.

Depression is upon me. Oh who am I kidding?  Depression SURROUNDS me.  Writing this blog may very well be the most productive thing I have done all day.

I had a really shitty therapy appointment yesterday.  It has made me not want to even continue with it.  I am sick of therapy.  I am sick of being depressed.  I am sick of the anxiety obstacles.  Most of all I am sick of not living my life.  How fucking depressing it is to not live your life.  I had goals, I had dreams, stupid depression and anxiety always gets in the way.

I am sick of not moving forward but I don’t know how to move forward.  I feel so stuck in a rut I can’t even begin to imagine clawing my way close to out.  I am to the point where I am willing to completely immerse myself in the few things I still love and seeing what happens.  That means I actually have to try and not worry about the possibility of not succeeding.  Easy to type, not so easy to execute.

Fuck you depression! Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!

Anxiety & Me

i, Carla have an anxiety problem.

i, Carla loves to type.

i, Carla + anxiety + typing = iCarla Blogs.

I kind of don’t know what else to do with myself at this point.

I have been suffering with anxiety and anxiety related problems for over 15 years now.  I still remember my first attack as if it was yesterday.  It was horrifying.  At 16 years old I really believed I was dying – predominantly of a heart attack.  I had no idea what this tremendously bad feeling was nor where it came from.  I felt both physically and mentally sick.  I didn’t know wether I was going to throw up or pass out and my thoughts were a tunnel of doom and gloom.  Sweating, shaking, crying, all for no apparent reason.  It got to a point where I started fearing these attacks and would try to do anything to prevent or stop them.

Little did I know just how much these mysterious attacks would effect my life.  I did not even know what they were.  Back then not a lot of people seemed to know about anxiety problems, it took me years before I even heard the term “anxiety attack”.  And now my sense of fear and prevention have led me to a life I don’t want to live.

Currently I am extremely introverted.  I used to work and have had a variety of jobs but since late 2013 I have been unemployed.  I get extremely depressed to the point where I don’t leave the house for DAYS.  I am extremely anxious in social situations.  I don’t like strangers (I am 32 years old for crying out loud).  I am in therapy (and starting to hate it).  I have passed up and avoided more opportunities and situations then I care to remember and overall I feel like a gigantic loser.

I don’t know what to do anymore.  I have decided to start typing and see what happens.  Maybe somewhere, somehow, my words can help someone out there.