Withdrawal From Cymbalta Sucks; but you can do it

Here’s the context: Me, sufferer of bad anxiety since a young age, switching my medication from Cymbalta to a better (for me) anti-anxiety medication. I’d been on Cymbalta from 2015 – 2018, 60-90mg dose. You can find which antidepressant is best for your body by completing a liver enzyme test. 

I sat down in my psychiatrist’s room feeling like I was going to just yell at her to fix me NOW instead of having a regular appointment. It had been the worst week, medically, of my life so far. In fact, the only time I count as worse is the 24 hours I once spent exploding after getting food poisoning from bad fish. Sure, withdrawal and a raging return of my anxiety is horrendous, but at least I’m not having repeatitive flashbacks of the taste of that bad fish coming back up, right? Continue reading “Withdrawal From Cymbalta Sucks; but you can do it”


A Film Review

I recently had the pleasure of seeing the movie Life of Pi at the cinema in the 3D. Before I went in, however, I had a feeling that the viewing wasn’t going to be as pleasurable as it was. Judging from the trailer and poster, I thought the film looked boring and pointless, frankly. I went in with a smile though, as we were there for my boyfriend’s birthday choice of film. And I should have trusted him, because like always, he picked a great movie.

Life of Pi was beautiful.

Continue reading “A Film Review”

Desert Island Top 5 Tracks

I just finished reading Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, (possibly the most quotable book of all time) it’s pretty much assumed that the reader will do their own list after finishing. So yeah, I’m lacking originality, but some things you just gotta do.
Side note: I always thought this book was called “High Fatality”; I assumed it was a crappy ’80s story about a serial killer. I saw the movie before I read the book, and after my boyfriend put the film on I honestly kept wondering when they were all going to die.

My Top 5 Desert Island Tracks: Continue reading “Desert Island Top 5 Tracks”

Book Review: Where I’ve Been Hiding Lately

In case you’d noticed that I haven’t been on wordpress much of late, this is the book you can blame for my absence, World Without End. With it’s 7 parts, 92 chapters and over 1200 pages spanning 20 years, it’s taken a week to get through – but it’s been a pleasure. Here’s my ‘review’, of sorts.

This is the sequel to Pillars of the Earth, which I read a couple of years ago. Both are set in English town Kingsbridge, and centre around the building of a great cathedral, and how this impacts the lives of those involved, and subsequently in book 2, what the town and priory is like two centuries later. Both are packed with relationships (of all kinds) family, history, conflicts, drama and passion.

Why should I read these books (Pillars of the Earth and World Without End)? 

  • The characters are complex and very human. Those who are great are so great you love them, and share in their joys, triumphs and falls. Those characters that you hate, you wish painful deaths upon. Follet has the ability to connect the reader entirely to the characters; you’re not simply listening to somebody else’s story – you’re involved in it.
  • The point of view jumps from character to character, and far from being annoying, this gives the stories a rounded, omniscient feel while still written in first person.
  • There is enough sex, power struggles, murder, deceit, war, problems, drama and love affairs to keep you entertained – and none of it is forced or purposefully included to keep you turning, it’s all woven into the story for a reason and again, keeps the plot and characters very human and relatable, in a modern world to past centuries way.
  • The stories are long, but once you’ve started you won’t be able to stop – the size is not off-putting once you begin – it’s reassuring that it’s not going to end soon!
  • The length does not mean it’s a ‘hard’ book – you’ll find yourself remembering every character, no matter how small a role they play, and you’ll remember all the events without much worry.
  • The length also betrays the speed at which the story often moves – the pace is mostly quick.

Any faults?

  • I’m certain that anybody who reads this will groan in acknowledgement of this one; some characters are so hateful, and get everything they want so often, that you’ll be yelling at the book something like, “somebody kill this bastard already!”
  • The length of the sequel “World Without End” is about 300 words too long, though I am unsure which part of the story could be removed to shorten it. You’ll keep reading, though.
  • The length means they’re quite big, bulky books, so if you’re looking for something to read on public transport make sure you buy the kindle version (if you have one) otherwise save it for holidays. I hear you ask, “Why not just leave it at home instead of reading it on the train?” And I laugh knowingly, you won’t be able to put it down that long.
  • If you’re not a fan of the church / Christianity to an extent that it would ruin a story for you, steer clear – most of the main characters in these are tied to the church in some way, in fact the building of a cathedral and then the running of it are at the centre of both novels, and there more monks and nuns than I can remember.

Who would these be suited to?

  • Readers who love breadth, complexities and large time periods
  • Those interested in the 1100’s and 1300’s – centuries the books are set in. Those interested in these medieval-esque dramas: knights, earls, kingdoms, monks, ladies, peasants, etc
  • Anybody with a love for a fast moving story over a slower, undercurrent main goal(s)
  • Readers who don’t want their novels to end too soon
  • Women who like to read strong female characters
  • Readers who like detail in the prose, without it being overwhelming
Book number 1

By the way, if for some reason you can’t begin with Pillars of the Earth, don’t sweat it! World Without End is set two centuries after the first, and the only ties to the first are the setting, and a few descendants of the original characters – both stories can stand alone, though it is nice to read them both in order.

Did anybody else either enjoy or dislike these novels? Let me know why!

The only person you should compare yourself to, is who you were yesterday

I read that title quote somewhere, but apparently it was too much for my brain to remember where I read it or who said it. Sorry about that. Let’s just say in the context of this post I got really smart and wrote it myself. It’s normally one of those lines that I read and think ‘give me a break’ and roll my eyes at, but lately it seems to be a necessary mantra.

Today I was on youtube (as per usual) and I happened to click on a Jenna Marbles video where she talked about how we need to stop comparing ourselves to other people. (Here’s the link) It was one of those times where you really needed to hear something but you weren’t expecting it from the place you did, and you also didn’t know that you needed to hear it until you heard it. That make sense? Lately I’ve been wondering whether or not my writing is good enough to ever be published, and couple that with the great books I’ve been reading and the awesome television shows I’ve been watching I began to think that there was no point in even trying. How could someone like me ever do anything worthwhile? How could this brain ever create something as pure magic as Philip K. Dick’s work, or the tangled beauty of Game of Thrones?


No beard? No joining our club. Our club for awesome.

In fact, I’m still convinced that I will never succeed in creating anything of their standard but it doesn’t mean that I should just stop what I want to do and resign myself to a life of never trying at anything. In the video, Jenna says that once you accept that you’re never going to be the prettiest, or the smartest, then all the pressure lifts from your shoulders. I’m attempting to let go of pressure and expectation.

I always wanted to release a book of short stories, but everyone always said “you can’t do that, it’s so hard, don’t bother, you won’t be good enough, don’t you know only really famous authors can release that shit?” Well, eff that. I’m going to make a book of short stories, get that thing published and it’ll be awesome.

If I ever want to get a move on I can’t be held back by comparing my story to another person’s and second guessing myself, I’ll never get anything done and life just doesn’t work that way. Though it’s at least for now keeping me from getting pregnant – “aww that person has the cutest baby in the world! I wonder if I’ll have a cute baby? What if I don’t have a cute baby… what if my baby is like Oscar the Grouch or something, oh my God I should wait..” So that’s a bonus.

Comparison is a tricky thing because on the one hand we shouldn’t compare our looks to airbrushed models, or our intelligence to professionals, or our lives to rich celebrities, but you also don’t want to go the other way and use comparison as an excuse to just do everything terribly only to say “Well it’s MY best and I’m not comparing it to Hawking so tough titties!” especially if the thing you did terribly was somebodies wedding cake or a kid’s braces.

A little comparison can be used as inspiration; look at the greats that you admire and tell yourself that you’re going to try as hard as you can to achieve something you can admire just as much one day. Instead of worrying or whining about not being as good, sit down and get to work on getting good. Earn your talent. Practise. Learn. Don’t be held back by your insecurities or fears – sit down and educate yourself on how to get better at something and try to enjoy it while you’re doing it.

And if you find that your absolute best after all that hard work isn’t anything so good as those greats you admired, well at least you know now what your real potential actually is and you can work from there. In the words of Dylan Moran, “Don’t do it! Stay away from your potential. You’ll mess it up, it’s potential, leave it. Anyway, it’s like your bank balance – you always have a lot less than you think.” 

“Wait, that’s not an inspiring, uplifting quote to end on Jess what are you doing?!”

Oh, sorry.
No wait! Never fear I have one last thing to say; I tried to think of something really beautiful and inspirational but it turns out I’m way too cynical to even half believe the bullshite that came out of my brain, so after back-spacing those phony-sounding sentences I just want to say – how do you know your potential is limited unless you try to unlock it all? Work as hard as you can, and if you’re not the greatest? Deal with it. Accept it. Enjoy what talent, hobby, job or interest you have and let go of the idea of having to be number 1 or else nothing at all.

What would you do otherwise? Never try? I’d rather fail knowing I did the best I could and knowing that I enjoyed doing it, than wake up one day and realised I’ve failed at my entire life.