My world is a dark place

As I’m feeling the sun burn on my skin and see the children smile,
The joys of adults chatting and nobody seems vile
The contrast between my mind and the world 
Is bigger than before
Colors are less bright
The smell of food doesn’t excite me
I’m tired, anxious and stressed
I can’t remember the last time, I felt at my best

The headache errupts from my eyes
My eyes who have been the fountain

Not of joy or youth
But the origins of these everlasting and recurring tears
I don’t dare to feel remotely better
It doesn’t feel like me anymore
The life I live is one of sorrow
Knowing that there will be a even more sad tomorrow
These are demon days, it’s cold inside
I’m fighting these battles to survive
A kingdom of doom and gloom
This war which I fight everyday
I feel like I’m lost and I’m losing ground
I don’t want it anymore, no more
Why do I feel so lonely and poor

I keep promising I will be okay
Reassuring friends for their conscience
But will I be?
All the light in the world 
Just seems to add to the contrast

Making the world more bright
And taking away my chance of light

Marc

Volg:

Bugger All’s 10 Bloody Brilliant Blogs to follow!

Well this is me in a stadium. A city called Berlin, quite a famous city I’ve been told. Also Hertha Berlin can play ball. I dunno, I’m not into football at all. I’m really funny.
Hello lads and lassies, despite feeling like the way I do, I think it’s important to enjoy the little things in life as much as possible. One of the things I truly enjoy is reading blogs and making people smile. I thought that I should share some of the most inspirational blogs on the internet, because you all deserve that kind of awesomeness in your life!

These blogs are basically my inspiration on very different aspects of blogging to be honest. Each blog has its unique personality, own style of writing and different perception of life. Yet, they have all inspired me to a certain degree, inspired me write about certain topics. I’m really grateful for that and I will give you a little insight into the wonderful world of my favourite blogs at the moment!

Petals of Perfection

Sophie from Petals of Perfection is one my best friends. Seriously she’s such a wonderful person, but if you want to know more about that I suggest you read this post! Sophie is a beauty blogger and you might think; Well Marc, is there something you have to tell us? No, I’m not in to beauty products, but I do think Sophie has a an excellent way of describing and writing about it. But she doesn’t write only about beauty, she also has different posts on other products and her personal experiences. I think when writing about personal experiences you get a look into the soul of people, see the honesty of people and that’s what she did so well. Two of my favourite posts are about the time she donated blood and when she talks about her struggles with her mental heath. Definitely go give it a read!

Taking a break/ Life Update

Twitter
Instagram

Sara’s Chapters

Let me introduce you to one of the brightest and genuinely kind blogger on this planet: Sara. She writes about the things she thinks about or think is important. And may I add, she does that on a brilliant way. She’s 18 and has already written a book, which I’ve been very fortunate to read already. The positivity in her always come to the surface and she wants to motivate and inspire people with her posts and she does. I consider her a personal friend and the way she writes, really is proof of a great writer to be. She has a special way with words and the most beautiful fruit of that is definitely her poem she published on her blog a while back.

Also what I really have to tell you about is a blogpost she wrote about how to deal with mental illnesses as a non-sufferer. It’s a very honest and good read. I’m very proud of her.

Talking Mental Illness as a non-sufferer
What’s beauty?

Twitter
Instagram

Erin Charlotte

Erin is a blogger I’ve followed for quite some while now and I haven’t spoken to her, but her blog is just perfect.  Although I don’t know her, I’ve been told she’s amazing by Rachel and she genuinely seems like a fantastic person. The way she writes and has her way with words, is just so pleasing and admirable. She uses a lot of different words and to me that’s the sign of a brilliant writer. Unlike me, she doesn’t choose the same words over and over again. By doing that she keeps the reader interested and prolongs the excitement of her posts.
But perhaps the sole reason I would like to talk to her, is the talent she has for poetry. When I read the blogpost about a poem, I just shed a tear. It was and still is so beautiful and I’ve read it a few times since my first read. I’m very glad I’ve come across this blog.

Bittersweet – A poem

Twitter
Instagram

Rachel Rambling on

On to the most friendliest, enthusiastic and supportive blogger Rachel from Rachel Rambling on! Her blog is variety of lovely and interesting things. She writes about mental health, music, food, vegan lifestyle, body positivity and feminism. Everything she writes is so well written and has a personal touch. If you read her blogposts you have the feeling she wrote them for everyone to understand, but also to educate people. It’s a nice mix of academical knowledge and chatty-ness. (definitely not a word, I know.)
I really admire her poetry as it’s metaphorical, deep yet understandable, playful with words, emotional and educational. I suggest you just look at it all and soak it in. She’s always very kind and she will always try to see the positive things about other’s blogposts!

Dream Big
Poetry to me at sixteen

Twitter
Instagram

Thrifty Vintage Fashion

I recently started blogging about my mental health more. Being more open about how I feel with suffering from Anxiety and Depression. When writing about these things, one person in particular and that’s Nicole from Thrifty Vintage Fashion. She writes about other things as well, but I found the mental health post so inspiring, genuine and honest. I’m so grateful for finding Nicole’s blog and it’s really adding to the movement to break the stigma around mental health. People like Nicole really make a difference and the way she writes about it is so awesome. Thank you Nicole for sharing these beautifully written, but serious blogposts with us.
She’s seriously kind and supportive, so give her some love!

9 Lies my OCD tells me

Twitter
Instagram

Mojichlo

When I started blogging there were two female bloggers I really thought wow,  very awesome and unique person who were very nice to me on twitter. When I saw their blogs I was filled with joy and excitement, because of their content. One of them was Chloe from Mojichlo. Can we just take a minute for the awesome blog name, it’s catchy and will never leave your mind. Seriously it won’t. Just like her personality her blog is very unique, authentic and awesome. It’s got its own voice, style, incredibly funny at times and I rate that very much. It’s a creative and lifestyle blog, boy there is nothing lied about that! She has her own company which is bloody brilliant, I wrote something about it too. Check it out here.
Whatever you do today, tomorrow or every other day of your life, this blog will change your life for the better.

The Rules of Rush Hour Driving
Graduating.. 1 year on

Twitter
Instagram
Thatlamecompany

Wanderness

The other brilliant blogger is Vanessa from Wanderness. She’s my mate, my pal. And intelligent AF. It’s the truth fam, she is really bright and perhaps the best travelblogger I’ve come across. She really puts effort in the blogposts, the photo’s and the words. She has a nice mix of information, entertainment and motivation in these posts. You could practically envision being at the places she has been or want to go there. She’s probably the sole reason why I want to start travels again and well, she did a bloody good job.
Also if you are into history and politics, do follow her on twitter too. She is the best person to have a conversation/discussion with and she uncommonly kind too.

Discovering Maastricht
No Bullshit tips for surviving long haul flights

Twitter
Instagram

Wide-eyed Wanderer

On to another awesome travelblogger; Ella from the Wide-Eyed Wanderer. Her blog is so unique both in travels and in other topics. What I like about her blog is that’s she honest about travel. It’s not all sunshine, but there are also a few less exciting or fun things about it sometimes. The honesty she portrays on her blog is admirable and makes the blog blossom. Her photo essays are something I can’t get enough of, they are just bloody brilliant.  I haven’t followed this blog for a long time, but I will definitely do that because she’s honestly the most interesting person! Give her some some love peeps! Also go follow her on her social media!

Photo Essay Eilat, Israel
5 great travel movies to satisfy your wanderlust

Twitter
Instagram

Northern Blood

Of course I have some lads I follow too and find inspiring! Joe from Northern Blood is probably the first male lifestyle blog I followed and I’m so glad when I did. Especially his posts about music and films/series are really good and are so inspiring. His posts haven given me an idea what it’s to be a male blogger and how we are different from female bloggers. But also how bloggers are bloggers and we can do the same things. I suggest that every blogger follows this blog and I you will not be disappointed, 100% guaranteed! Also instagram goals fam!

12 questions stranger things needs to answer
10 reasons yorkshire is bae

Twitter
Instagram

Rich Biscuit

If there is a man out there that has learnt me a lot about dealing with mental health and being honest with my feelings; it’s Rich from Rich Biscuit. He’s one the most caring, loving and awesome male figures of twitter and his blog is really well written. He writes about mental health and his stories are inspiring, motivational. But they also are brutally honest and encourages other mental health sufferers to be honest to themselves as well. Thank you for sharing Rich, you are really an awesome dude!

Why I will never give up

Twitter

I hope you all go have a look at these awesome people, they all deserve it! Thank you for reading as always and have a fantastic day!

Marc

Enjoyed reading this? Read these too:

A war in my brain

Life with Anxiety and Depression
There’s only Night (poem)

Volg:

Accepting feeling worse

Having an epiphany. I used to love using that word. Does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Well before I always thought epiphanies were good yknow, positive things. But on this morning I’ve had a epiphany that’s nothing short of a negative thing. Well maybe not negative, but it’s really sad and I thought I just write it down. Sorry if you are here for anything other than my mental health struggles.
So yeah mates, I’ve had a bit of an epiphany this morning. I didn’t like it one bit to be honest. Today is a sad one, as one my former classmates’ funeral is today. So it’s only natural to feel sad, but I sensed there’s more. And it’s really upsetting me.

For the last 10 days or so I’ve been really feeling dark. And I don’t mean my tan is on point. I feel like the world I see is one grey world. I feel blind, deaf and mute to the world of happiness. I’ve been thinking a lot about how the world would look without me. What impact have I brought onto this world? Will my friends miss me? Will you miss me? Isn’t it better for everyone, if I just part this world? I’m not suicidal, I think. But these thoughts imagining death aren’t good, I realise that.

I’ve started taking antidepressants a little over two weeks now and I did feel worse indeed. They told me the effects would get worse, but also would fade after 1 or 2 weeks. I’ve been rather patient, but now the two weeks are over, I’m really starting to freak out about it. What if these thoughts are just me and not the extra effect of the medicine? I’m scared as hell.

It took me a good two hours before I found the motivation to continue this post. I feel really weird. I think some things are very clear to me right now and that’s that I’m doing worse.

This weekend there’s a musicfestival in my hometown. It’s 4 days and it’s usually one of the highlights of my year. It’s free, everyone is there and there are usually some decent artists. Well obviously not the best of the best, but still some headliners. Anyway I can’t possibly go because of the way I feel now. – I’m full on sobbing whilst writing this – I know this isn’t wise and I can’t motivate myself in any way. I knew this for a few weeks, but now the time has come I feel so incredibly sad I can’t go. Everyone of my friends and family is there. I already felt left out and as if I were living in another world. But now it really hit me, I feel as lonely as ever.

Music and football are perhaps my biggest passions and I love going to gigs and football matches. I still go to homegames of my footballclub, but it is very difficult. Instead of enjoying myself and letting myself go for 90 minutes, I’m found having panic attacks and sudden arrivals of tears whilst watching football. I don’t fully enjoy it anymore. And to be honest it feels like a broken heart.

I’ve spoken to a few people who suffer from a mental illness and they felt like they wanted to go back before this all happened. They wanted to feel the happiness they once felt and long for that memory to be true again. To be honest I can’t remember the happy times, I don’t know how to be happy anymore. I only feel misery and my memories are infected by the state I feel now.

I strongly believe that I’m never going to be the Marc again I was before this all happened. That doesn’t mean that is a negative thing. I think I’m going to be a stronger version of myself for having overcome and to manage my mental illnesses. But to begin to recovery – I don’t know if this is the right word – you have to accept the situation. Acceptance is key.

I’ve severe depression and severe anxiety. That is something which is tested and I accept that. I think I did pretty well with that. If I had a bad day – It’s not that a good day is free of depression or anxiety, mind you – I thought okay this is fucked. I will keep buggering on, but tomorrow will be better. This was rational thinking until last week.

While feeling worse, I didn’t want to believe I was actually getting worse. I was refusing to believe that these thoughts about the world, are signs of things getting worse. Not wanting to live the life I do. Well they are worse. Basically, I was not accepting the situation and the state of mind I’m in.

Coming back to the epiphany, this was what I realised this morning. I’m worse. The anxiety and depression have taken over more of my mind than I thought and had anticipated to be honest. I have the medication, but I have still no idea if they work. I’m lost, stuck and crying a lot. This is the reality and this quote does resemble my thoughts perfectly at the moment:

Depression is living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die

I don’t really know what the next step is going to be, but I know that a darker cloud has come over my life. A darker cloud than I had let to believe myself.Here’s my being brutally honest: I’m really far from okay.

Thank you for reading, as always

Marc

Enjoyed reading this? Read these too:

A war in my brain

Life with Anxiety and Depression
There’s only Night (poem)

Volg:

#TalkMH, a very welcome and important twitterchat

Today is a day where I felt reasonably well at the start and now my anxieties have taken over my brain. It’s starting to become a third Gulfwar in my head and mates, it’s really horrible. My thoughts all over the place and I don’t know what to do. I decided to write a blogpost about a positive thing that my mental illnesses have brought. Yes, you read that right. I want to talk about a very brilliant and important initiative: The #TalkMH twitterchat.

Brace yourselves people, get some popcorn, make a nice cup of tea and enjoy this ride. This is going to be a inspirational post about an inspirational chat and inspirational persons. (Well at least that is what I trying to haha)

First and foremost I want to start with thanking Hannah, the creator of this chat. We followed each other on twitter and I had heard a lot of good things about her and her work ( Rachel thank you so much!), but we never actually spoke. But still I felt, Hannah was a very friendly, kind and inspiring person. Sometimes you just get that vibe of person, d’ya know what I mean?
She did a brilliant job setting this up and there are so many people who need or want this chat, now it’s finally hear and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

So people, I was ready! Proper ready. 8.30 PM, sweating like a young otter in August, but I was so ready. I was so excited, too excited because I hadn’t thought of the time difference with the UK and so I was one full hour to early. I laughed out loud at myself and my mother told me to wipe that smirk of my face. Party pooper.

My experiences with twitterchats are positive. Everyone is very supportive and tries to help each other or make conversation. It’s one of the many great things about blogging and twitter in my opinion. The TalkMH chat wasn’t different and I will tell you why I think it was/is maybe the best chat I have to this day.

Mental health is something that isn’t perceived as easy to talk about as let’s say politics. Mental health has this cloud surround it, this taboo, this stigma. It’s not something society thinks we should talk about openly. That’s a load of rubbish if you ask me. But the pressure of society does take a part in telling about your mental health.

The chat is very open for everyone. A lot of people interacted and you could see that people grew into the chat and started to share more. But it’s not forced upon anyone and I think that is something that really deserves a compliment. I saw people who were completely open about, people who want to talk about in the future, but weren’t there yet & people who read the tweets, because they didn’t feel comfortable yet. It was all good and I can’t express my gratitude enough to all the people involved.

I definitely followed some new people through the chat and people also followed me. Everyone was so lovely and I totally recommend this chat to everyone who suffers from mental health issues or illnesses, but also to non-sufferers to look at these tweets. It can really create more understanding and that’s what it is all about.

I got the feeling that I wasn’t alone, there are more ‘like’ me and I can always talk to my twitter/blogging friends. I’ve already read some of your blogs and it helped me through the night. To be honest my mind really travels a lot to death and seeing the world without me in it, because I think the world would be better off. But this chat has made me realised, that I’m not too bad actually and that there are people who want to talk with me, no matter how I feel. I’m so grateful right now.

The questions were really good and the answers were so genuine, honest and helpful. Especially the question about the moment you realised there was something wrong, really hit me. Partly because I went back to my moment, but also to see how other people struggled in the past. I sat with tears in my eyes reading the stories, but also in a good way. I feel like this is so good and omg Hannah, you absolute legend. You are the best for creating this. I take my hat off for you and give you a big hug.

The thing I was really pleased about is the interaction with everyone, no matter who you are. Small or big following on twitter, big blogger or not. Everyone was involved and kind enough to give each other answers. I’m quite emotional as I’m writing this actually, but I’m really really really glad! Also I was so thrilled to see men participating in the chat, because there is this stigma about men and mental health. It’s not ‘tough’ to talk about mental health and feelings are for women. Bloody bollocks, but a lot of people still think this way and there are men who are afraid to talk about MH  because of it. So I’m so happy to see men participating in the chat!

The #TalkMH chat is every Thursday 8.30 PM (UK Time). It’s so good and helpful, I’m definitely doing this again every time.

Follow Hannah on her links!
Blog: Little Thoughts Blog
Twitter: Hannah
Instagram: Hannah

Also follow my buddy Rachel!
Blog: Rachel Rambling On
Twitter: Rachel
Instagram: Rachel

I really hoped you enjoyed reading this post and it’s so important. I will talk about this a lot and I won’t stop. Here are some posts I’ve written about mental health:

A war in my brain
Life with Anxiety and Depression
There’s only Night (poem)

Marc

Volg:

Choosing your government: Dutch vs British Politics

One of the joys of travels or going abroad for a longer period is that you learn new things. Things such as important as  food (no brainer obviously), language, history, culture, people and also politics. As I’ve visited quite a few countries and being interested in the things listed above, I started to make comparisons with my own country. There’s one particular thing that really keeps me interested and that is the difference between ‘my’ Dutch political system and that of the UK. So I’m going to do a little comparison here.

So why the the Netherlands and the UK? Those are the countries I’m most interested in and importantly, I know a lot about those countries. Also, the fact that these countries are practically neighbours only divided by the pond, makes it very interesting to me. Especially because they have a different electoral system and work on another level than the other.

I wanted to focus on two things: The elections and electoral system & The political system; how many parties are there? How does it work? Left/right conservative/progressive? Well you will find that out in a bit. But also let me state that I’m no expert, well my degree says so, but still I’m not the biggest expert you’ll find on this planet. So if my assumptions are wrong, please tell me in the comments below. I know quite some things, but not everything.

The Netherlands
Political System


So first that little cute country of drugs eh? Well we are much more than that, I can assure you. We also have cheese, al lot. And let’s be honest: how awesome is cheese?
But to not to be cheesy anymore (I’m stopping now), we also got this thing called politics and for me it’s clear as anything. But I realise the majority of my readers is from outside the Netherlands. So let me ‘educate’ you in the world of Dutch politics.

We are a constitutional monarchy, which simply means we have a monarch as of our state. It’s the king at the moment and his function within the state his is quite ceremonial. His only power is to agree or disagree to new laws, but in real life he never discards a law design as it leaves the two chambers.

Right the chambers are quite similar to the British system. We have the so called ‘Eerste Kamer’ and “Tweede Kamer’. You can compare them to the House of Lords and House of Commons in a way. Hold your horses with anger, I say you CAN compare them in some ways, I don’t say it is the same.
The ‘Tweede Kamer’ (second chamber) is chosen by the people (I will get back on that later) and the ‘Eerste Kamer’ (first chamber) is chosen by the elected members of the provincial parliaments. (I will also come back to that later). The ‘Eerste Kamer’ has got 75 members and the ‘Tweede Kamer’ has got 150 members, which leads to total of 225 which is called parliament.

Well this may seem something very familiar to this point, but here comes the different thing. At this moment we’ve got 14 parties in the Tweede Kamer. We are so fragmented in opinion that we have all these parties. A lot of them have merged together as well. This leaves you with enough choice to vote for the party that suits you the best and don’t have to make radical choices because you don’t agree with one point. One the other hand, it’s also very hard to make certain decisions. For example there’s always a coalition government. In fact this time we have a coalition of two parties and that is considered a big risk. It’s normal for Dutch standards to have a coalition of three parties or more.

The ideology of the parties can be best rated as going from Right to Left, I think. If you want to know which has my preference let me know and we can chat about that. But the parties all have different ideas and sometimes they are more categorised in the progressive-conservative spectrum. Here’s a list of the parties that are chosen into the ‘Tweede Kamer’ and with their number of seats:

  1. VVD (Party for freedom and democracy) Liberal and rightwing (40 seats)
  2. PVDA (Labour Party) Left (36)
  3. SP (Socialist Party) Left (15)
  4. CDA (Christian Party) Centre-right, it’s a fusion between two protestant parties and one catholic party. (13)
  5. D’66 (Democratic party) Centre-right, founded for more democratic chosen government bodies. (12)
  6. PVV (Party for freedom) Far right on immigration and Islam, socio-economic centre left. Geert Wilders is their founder and leader. (12)
  7. Christenunie( Christian Union) Centre, all protestant party (5)
  8. Groenlinks (Greenleft) Left, progressive. Comparison with the Green Party (4)
  9. SGP (Reformed party) Strong conservative protestants (3)
  10. Partij van de Dieren (Party for the Animals) Left (2)
  11. Voor Nederland ( For the Netherlands) spin off from PVV (2)
  12. DENK (THINK) spin off from PVDA (2)
  13. 50PLUS, mainly focussing on the older people, (1)
  14. Vrijzinnige partij (free thinking party) spin off from 50PLUS
Elections

Well elections are mostly the same in western countries. I say mostly and I don’t want to suggest that’s the same. But the proces more or less the same.
However we vote nationally. If you cast a vote, this vote is counted a vote for that party. The percentage that a party receives from the whole vote in the Netherlands is also the percentage that you get in the Tweede Kamer.

General Election results 2012

People eligible to vote: 12.689.810

Actual Voters: 9.462.223 (74,57%)
Voters staying home: 3.227.587 (25,43%)
Votes declared right: 9.424.235 (99,60%)
Votes declared false: 20.984 (0,22%)
Blanco votes: 17.004 (0,18%)
Votes needed for one seat: 62.829

This is the principle we vote for every election. The other elections are the local elections, the provincial elections and the elections for the Water Board (they are responsible for the watermanagement in every region in the Netherlands)

United Kingdom

The main thing I want to focus in the United Kingdom are two things: The way the House of Commons is elected and the so called two party system, which isn’t really a two party system. Mind you this is my analysis and the way I view things. So yeah, ‘ere it goes then!

The two party system as it’s called doesn’t really exist anymore in my opinion. It’s true that Labour and Conservatives are the two major parties, who call the shots. But others have grown in influence and numbers over the years: Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Green Party, Sinn Fein, Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru. – could we take a moment of respect for me, I can pronounce Plaid Cymru the right way – I know they are not all big in seats, but you can feel their influence grow. I could be very wrong too, but that’s my perception anyway.

I think a system where to parties are dominant and are quite the opposite of each other has both positive and negative consequences. Yes, it’s welcomed to have a new insight every 5, 10 or even 15 years. But I also think it feels like the one or the other for the voters. You could argue, that people could vote for the less big parties, but let’s be honest. People want the party they voted for, to actually achieve something and it’s normal for people to choose one of the big parties. They make a bigger chance of running the government.

I think we could better associate the ideology of British politics as conservative progressive, than left or right. Well the way I see left or right, because sometimes I read about these ideas and I think; Nah, this isn’t rightwing? Or the other way around. So yeah, let’s class it my way. *Thumbs up*

ALSO CAN WE PLEASE TALK A MOMENT ABOUT SHADOW CABINETS?! Okay, this is something I never understood. Shadow cabinets, mate. It made me raging like Begbie (WHO THE FUCK ARE YOUU) in Trainspotting – also one of my favourite films, do you know they are making a sequel? OMG – , I couldn’t put my finger on it. I shook heaven and earth, but yours truly has figured it out. I think haha.
I mean everyone has an opposition, why does it have to be a cabinet? But I suppose it’s quite efficient. You appoint a cabinet who has to be critical of the normal cabinet AND propose alternative programs and solutions. It’s not that bad of an idea really. Still the term shadow cabinet freaks me out fam.

The electoral system is different from the Dutch one. We call it a system of districts. Your man or woman represents a certain district and you choose that man or woman. The one with the most votes gets that seat. Together with all the other districts they form all the MP’s. So getting the most votes doesn’t always mean being the biggest party. Very interesting stuff indeed.

Conclusion

So in my opinion there are too many parties in the Dutch political system. There are too many to choose from. But I also think that there should be at least 4 or 5 big parties. Then you have enough choice and all the parties can make a difference when being elected. I’m not sure how I feel about coalitions though. It causes so much drama and you can’t possibly satisfy everyone. I haven’t made my mind up yet.

I think there is a lot to be said for the electoral system of the UK. I like the touch of voting for a MP from your district. It’s that personal thing voters can connect with and that person should be more approachable to fight for the district. But I also think that this system leads to some feeling of unfairness. You could easily get 5 million votes, but still not get a single seat in the House of Commons. That’s not entirely fair in my opinion.

I hope you liked what I wrote. I have NO IDEA if it was any good or interesting. I just wrote some stuff down I thought that was interesting. Let me know what you think of it!


Marc

Volg: