Besties at Ballie Ballerson

So I decided to treat my darling best friend to Ballie Ballerson for her 24th birthday. For those not in the know, Ballie Ballerson is London’s premier adult ball pit + bar and is located in hipster central aka Shoreditch,. It has 3 rooms (pink pit, main room and gold pit) with the gold pit solely for the use of VIP guests. Despite being a relatively new addition to London nightlife, the ticket only bar has quickly turned into a guaranteed sell out night out. So location, location, location is important, however I attribute Ballie Ballerson’s success to their understanding of their target market and their Instagram appeal. Consisting of theatrical cocktails, amazing music and cool backdrops, Ballie Ballerson is the perfect hangout for professional and amateur influencers/ us regular smegular folks trying to live our best lives. I feel like it’s the perfect combination of nostalgia, carefree vibes and “turn up”. The DJ plays the best in commercial Hip-Hop, old school “Slow Jamz” and R&B.; perfect feel god music. Life and adulting is hard enough so any opportunity to escape the harsh realities of life and frolick in balls while drinking fancy cocktails is needed.

Pink Room

This room gives me Baby Spice meets Elle Woods from ‘Legally Blonde’ vibes. The pinnacle of “Instagrammable” this was my favourite room for a multitude of reasons. Situated next to the front door, this room had a large window looking out to the main road and sassy slogans on the wall. I felt like I was inside a Selfridge window display, trying to recreate a girls band music video. We has chose the earliest slot so for a long time, it was just me and my best friend (which was perfect) jumping into balls, while listening to old school R&B Also the “ball guard”/ customer support person was amazing, she knew was incredibly friendly, knew all my angles/ when to take the picture. Poor girl had to help me out when I got stuck and look for a lost phone on silent #AbsoluteTrooper.

Main Room

The main room aka the disco room is the largest room in the establishment . Consisting of mirrored walls, clear/white balls and colour changing mood lighting, this was the party room – cue twerking and mirror pictures from every angle. Unfortunately the biggest room means the room filled with the most people. Too may people, alcohol and dancing, combined with only one ventilation source meant I felt the heat. Luckily I picked the earliest time, so I actually had the space to jump and to dive into the pit. As it got later and it got busier, mine and Sharifah’s focus shifted from ball play to dancing and vibing – it essentially turned into a rave.

Final Comments

So I will there definitely visit Ballie Ballerson again at some point because twerking up a storm in a ballpit is one my favourite things of life. It doesn’t beat the aesthetic of wukkin it up in synthetic foam or being sprayed with dollars but it’s close. £25 for 2 hours of fun is slightly steep but as a seasoned marketer I understand brand premium and the fact that I’m definitely paying for the ambience. I will probably go as apart of a celebration so I get to experience the VIP ball pit The dope music and overpriced cocktails are tasty but the best thing about the experience is frolicking in the balls. When I go again I will definitely pick the earliest slot because when it get’s busy it get busy and you definitely need space.

Grey – The Play

Grey is described as a “colourful, candid show exploring depression and black women’s mental health”. The brainchild of the incredibly talented Koko Brown, this masterpiece of a play is a coalesce of BSL (British Sign Language), spoken word and vocal looping.

Koko’s plays a nameless character simply known as Women. Women is an individual suffering with a chemical imbalance that resulted has resulted in depression. Ugly and crude, her depression feels endless and enduring and is an interesting contrast to the romanticised perceptions of depression as beautiful and artistic. Having exhausted all other solutions Women makes the brave decision to try the anti-depressant route in the form of Citalopram. Accompanying KoKo on her journey to wellness and stability is Sapphire Joy ‘s character. We never discover who Sapphire Joy’s character is, however for me Sapphire Joy’s character fluctuates between a personification of emotion and the conflicting internalised voice of the illness.

I had the pleasure of watching stripped down, skeletal version of this play in April at Camden People’s Theatre and fell in love with its profoundly honest portrayal of the complexities of mental health within the BAME community. As a black women afflicted with mental illness, I resonated with it’s exploration into the internal struggle between suffering with a disease difficult to distinguish from the individual as person and the digestion of the external stigma surrounding the sickness

How am I to supposed to live this life, in a body that trying to kill me

I implore anyone who watched the play in it’s stripped down infancy to experience its reincarnation. The sound engineering, lighting and set design add another dimension to the already incredibly nuanced play. Koko’s vocal looping and the overall soundscape creates an immersive experience with Koko somehow managing to deliver a vocal performance powerful enough to summon goose bumps – without detracting or distracting from the play’s narrative. You recognise her vocal prowess without it being a fixation; the overlapping layers of her vocals along with the echoes and the play score exemplify the complexities of mental heath.

The set (a backdrop of differing shades of grey), hanging fragmented/ shards and a window frame with a black pane foretell the tone of the play. The grey backdrop relays the varying depths of depression and how immune to other emotions you feel with the shards representing the broken nature of the Woman. The window frame and black pane representing an inability to escape reinforcing the feeling of being trapped in the sadness. Doubling up as a sound visualisation screen, the blackened window frame is used to create distance between the Women and the “entity”. The synchronisation of the soundscape, Koko’s vocals and the visualisations dancing in intensity on the blackened page, were emphatic.

How am I to supposed to live this life, in a body that trying to kill me

My favourite use of the set design was ‘The Clubhouse’ scene. I love the juxtaposition of searching for the colour (dormant emotions) through the grey and dull backdrop of depression. Koko’s use of ‘The Clubhouse’ as a framing device to explore Women’s emotions was genius, as the creation of myths and the discovery of emotions occur in the formative years. The paradox of through regression back to infancy, emotional maturity and an internal comprehension of feelings, can be achieved. The Clubhouse is a parody of children TV programmes, with the topic of today’s episode- sadness and depression. Sadness is manifested into a blue sock puppet

My favourite incorporation of BSL is the confrontation between Woman and the entity I believe personifies emotion. In this incredibly powerful scene, Sapphire and Koko are both completely non verbal and thrive on their ability to translate emotion through movement, facial expressions and body language. It’s the second visit to ‘The Clubhouse’ of emotions however in this occurrence the Women character is on Citalopram. It encapsulated the struggle between stigma and implications of medication, craving stability while trying to remain true the core aspects of the women’s emotions. I feel the suffocation and frustration from both characters. Annoyed at Women’s use of Citalopram, the scene ends with the entity escaping to the window, leaving Women to digest the realities and side effects of Citalopram by herself.

Koko Brown’s ode to black women reduces e to tears every time I hear it. A homage to the victims of misogynoir, Koko challenges 2 harmful and invalidating stereotypes of black women. The archetype of the strong black independent female and the angry black female have been used to justification the invalidation of black women’s feelings and propensity to feel pain. From both a societal and medical perspective, black women are frequently told their feelings are obsolete, unimportant and unwarranted. Institutional racism means my tears carry less weight, than their white counterparts. We aren’t meant to feel weak or the sensation of pain – just absorb it and persevere. Saturated with suffering, trying to access our mental health services is difficult. Koko breaks down the “independent strong black “narrative addressing the meaning of each word. Captivating throughout, my heart always slows down in her expansion and definition of black.
Black adj – the very darkest colour owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light; the opposite of white.
I epitomise the complete absorption and absence of light – I feel consumed with the darkness . I have accepted my status as a strong yet broken individual. Just because I’m broken, it doesn’t mean I’m not strong. I’m not just a black women I am a human being who experience conflicting emotions and hold multiple dialects at the same time. My life is a series of regrets and things I wish I could change but being black and female, is not one of them.

If this play ever gets recommissioned I implore everyone to go see it. Unfortunately I discovered KoKo Brown after the first play in the trilogy #White had ran it’s course but I’m excited to see final play in the trilogy. Her her next body of work #Black focuses on womanhood and I think will be similarly life changing because woman hood is under attack.

My Birthday’s Back Again

It’s the anniversary of both my blog and my birth day. The first article I ever wrote (maybe not published) was ‘Birthday Blues’ and it was written out of necessity. Birthday blues aka the recurring feeling of sadness and despair that occurs as my birthday comes round. Each year I become overwhelmed with the tears and emotions that comes with fluctuate between planning nothing and celebrating. I anticipate and panic about the inevitable sadness and numb to happiness I’m meant to feel. My therapist refers to this self fulfilling prophesy. Reluctant to agree I protest that its based on learned behaviour due to past experiences. But it’s true, I spend so much time dreading the day and numerating on past trauma, that I remove the possibility of me ever enjoying the day. Part of me wants to ignore my birthday all together craving evaporation, while in moments of respite I dream of being happy… Each year I regret not doing anything.

Both the day of my birthday and my celebration leave my thoughts skewed and vulnerable. As the perpetual D.U.F.F, I find the celebration hard because I struggle being the centre of attention despite craving comradery and affection. Burdened with the chronic sense of unappreciation and disappointment, a day where my loved ones gravitate towards me is a bittersweet. It feels alien so I’m unable to cope with it, my neurons haven’t created pathways and there’s no level of “Cope Ahead” that could prepare me for the ambush of sentience. My anxiety regarding people true intentions and thoughts toward me are my main points of focus. Most days are just as problematic but subjected to the same level of bullshit on “day” is emotionally destructive. The reminder of the day of my birth when suffering from suicidal ideation and para-suicidal tendencies meanss I flirt regularly with my mortality. The irony of craving death on the day I was born exemplifies the contradiction that is my life.

snippet from the boat

I have an inert belief that because it’s my birthday everything is magically or conveniently meant to be perfect is stupid and juvenile. The world isn’t obligated to turn into Camelot because this day several years ago I was born. I attribute the naiveté and overall regression on my mental health. One of my biggest issues with life is that I either catastrophise or idealise , that makes me believe in the deliverance of fairy-tale endings. I need help swallowing the overall injustice of life. On a macro level, I’m owed nothing is this life and this extends to me birthday. I’m only entitled to disappointment and distress on micro level – and the ability work through these everyday disappointments is something I need to work n.

Me, Alimat & Shrifah

What did I learn in the 23rd year of my life. I didn’t learn anything new in my life at least from an academic perspective or anything momentous or life changing. What I did learn was DBT skills to help me accept emotion and change certain behaviour and the way I react to certain behaviour. Through the experience of necessary pain and essentially trial and error, I have developed an understanding into what my body, mind and soul can withstand. This applies professionally (career wise) and interpersonally (relationship wise). I graduated from university at 23 and experience the enduring heartbreak that is constant job rejection. Trying to secure my first graduate job extracted a lot from me emotionally , completely ruining my self esteem and my perception of self worth. In my role a PA/ Studio Assistant, I learnt that I need separation between my working and personal life – the establishment of clear and succinct boundaries for me is paramount. In my first marketing role, I learnt that hotile working environments amething I’m not constructed to withstand – an environment which confict with morial compass and socio-political . I’m incredibly senstitive so dalingg with antagonistic people without the afety net of medication is something I failed out.

I got increasingly familiar with failing in my 23rd year of life – to quote myself 5 months ago “failure became my best friend”. Before DBT (Dialectal Behaviour Therapy) the fact that I was unsuccessful in achieving everything I wanted to do or in my desired timescale would have broken me. Pre DBT me would categorise this “L” laden year as ‘ Year of Failure”. Thankfully I’m almost a year into DBT, no longer splitting of thinking into dialectics, that’s I can recognise this year, as my “Year of Persevering”. Throughout this year I had to admit defeat and radically accept that the situation is “above me now”. I can now appreciate the fact that I tried and endured as much as I physically could have. I had so many set backs and obstacle but I continued or problem solved. In order to fail, I had to try so alternatively this year could have interpreted as my “Year of Trying”, cliché as it seems I need to turn my interpretation of this intro somewhat positive. 2016 was my year of regret so although I had so many let downs and disappointments, I have no new regrets.

As I blow away the embers of chapter 23, I naturally think about the next chapter and what I aim to achieve throughout the upcoming year. Goal wise I would like to gain my masters in Corporate Brand Management, attaining mostly As. Technically I won’t graduate till August when I’m 25, however it would be just be my dissertation left to do and I’d be almost there. I would like to be writing and producing content more frequently and would like to have maintained/ kept the friends I’ve made over the past couple years. Ideally I would have been in my first adult relationship but the relationship is not an aspiration. You can’t aspire for something you have less than 50% control of because a relationship and interpersonal effectiveness requires 2 people. “Men move mad” and although I comprehensively know I can move madder, in chapter 24 I’m trying not to.

I want spiritual and financial growth, emotional maturity and stability. I want to feel content in my life and work towards achieve long term goals. As I try to work towards achieving a good quality of life, a firm grip and application of emotional regulation skills and healthier coping mechanism would be amazing. I would like to be less consumed in my depression, working through my self esteem issues and belief that I’m defective. However I’m increasingly aware that this is the last year before I turn 25 and officially closer to 30 than 20, anxieties regarding what I’m yet to achieve will be more pronounced. As I write this, an immediate of panic and dread just set in – I’m yet to have a serious adult relationship, make strides career wise or complete other adulting things (e.g. savings, car & house). I want to mean something to someone and reach my so called potential.

PAUSE

You’ve just turned 24, 11 months are left. This year I need to take time, sekkle down and breathe. Breathe into the disappointment of not being where I want to be in life and understand that everyone has their own pace

Disappearing Acts, Weight Gain & Insta Sets

Weight Gain & Disappearing Acts
For a while I was kidding myself, I believed it was just holiday weight from all the Christmas calories consumed. But its now almost 6 months after the festive season and I’ve come to the conclusion, that I’ve just gotten bigger. I keep trying to shed this extra weight with dance classes, 7 mile walking sessions and tasteless sad, all to no avail. Dieting while depressed isn’t plausible, sugar is no substitute for serotonin but it’s a shitty, addictive and comforting habit. I’ve had my feelings repeatedly fucked with this year and wine has been my best friend. Wine has been there to ease all my platonic, professional and romantic woes. Unfortunately all this wine and cheesecake has made me extra chunky and now I find myself avoiding mirrors and social situations – I don’t particularly like to be around people when I feel this pudgy. I’ve temporarily disabled by other Instagram, partly because my employees found it and I’m thinking about going through a re-brand. But mostly because me and my fupa are not friends and I’m too fragile to withstand criticism of social media and I’m too fragile to feel vulnerable. I feel like I’m drowning in my insecurities; pictures feel like permanent reminders of my defects. I don’t even like doing group pictures, I hide at the back or play the more comfortable photographer.

Insta Lingerie
This beautiful set from ‘With Love Lily’ was the last thing I posted on my now defunct Instagram page, Consisting of a triangle bralet, suspender belt, thong and a embordered trim robe, this 4-piece lingerie set was a random Christmas indulgence. I would describe ‘With Love Lily’ as an Instagram boutique with a clientele acquired from a social media and the effective use of seeding/ gifting campaign. Unlike some social media brands, their independent success has made the transition from Instagram boutique to a more reputable clothing company with their entry into ASOS. With Love Lilly specialised in delicate, floral embroidered based lingerie pieces, nothing especially amazing but always prettyI purchased this set from ASOS, because I had 20% discount and free next day delivery. . Unfortunately the ‘With Love Lily’ instagram page consists of conventionally skinny individuals and traditional Western ideals of beauty. I would feel more upset if the product didn’t solely suit skinny people, like as you can see my fupa is hanging out from all sides.

So now I don’t know when I’m going to be back posting. my body still doesn’t bang and my mental hasn’t improved. However my creative juices as cliché as they sound are flowing. I’m feeling very in touch with my emotions, thinking in beautifully constructed conceits, tangents and imagery. I have had my heart broken again recently and my birthday is next week – which always sends me into a spell. I’m trying to get back into writing, creating content and collages and quite frankly being happier.

FINAL CONCLUSION: This set is big boob friendly (the company even does special alterations for customers with breast augmentations). Unfortunately fat girl friendly it is not.

Case File No. 10

His just another guy who told me goodbye
With no malicious intentions to make me cry
Just another guy to add to the list of niggas who made me cry
And bawl to the stage where I was ready to it end it all
Echoes of the familiar proclamation that I’m such a nice girl
“You’re so sweet, you’ll find someone.. you deserve the world”
But just not with them, Oh God no definitely not with them
There’s someone out there for you – just not me “M”
The only part that truly had me vexed, is when you said
That you wanted to go for dinner with my mum
Because I was dumb enough to believe, that you actually wanted me
Deluded enough to believe that marriage with me
Is something you wanted to achieve, rather than just limbs inside
Hope it was worth it now the pussy has dried and I’m still craving suicide
You’re just another nigger who made me feel like this
Despondent, inconsolable and fallen into remiss

DISCLAIMER – drunk on LIDL brand wine



Resignation

When I first met him
I looked in the mirror and didn’t understand what he could see
In me, that would make him want this tragedy
Now I look in the mirror and I see exactly what he sees in me
A catastrophe, I know exactly why his leaving me
In complete agreement because if I was him, I’d leave too
Who the fuck would want this issue
Nothing but best wishes to him and his new boo

– Maria

U . N . D . E . R . D . O . G

To my lost one

I would have changed everything about myself to please you
Rather than have the self respect or the resolve to leave you
Last week, I would have made every concession,
But now I have to vie for your affection
Now I have to compete for your attention
There is no competition, I can’t do this competition
There’s no need for the attrition. I know my position:
Last place or first replacement. Nothing but dedication and submission
from you’re ever grateful plan B, gone out of my life
Well versed in the art of failure and defeat, there’s no need for me to try
Just let me cry and simmer in this strife, because truthfully
I couldn’t survive the ultimate rejection, the overwhelming dejection
I know I’ll lose, because if I was you I wouldn’t be the one I’d choose
You’ll be happier with her, she’s far less complicated
Probably more educated, confident and far less emotionally difficult
You won’t have to deal with things that aren’t your fault
No longer left to heal my emotional and physical scars – just another reason

With Regards
Maria

*DISCLAIMER* drunken spoke word letter to the latest person who broke my heart. This s what I wish I could send I him but I know my therapist would disapprove. I’m happy I never gave him the link to this. Bare with me kids, the next days are a lot

Dating While Depressed – Part 1

Dating while depressed is just an extremely difficult process and a hard decision to make. The very nature of dating and opening up your heart to someone requires vulnerability and a certain fragility. Allowing myself to be that vulnerable and open while already in a compromised headspace is draining. Furthermore current dating protocols mean everyone is most likely dating multiple people simultaneously. This conflicts with my severe insecurities, I hate feeling like I’m competing when I feel like a perpetual loser. Before every date I have to convince myself that I’m worth it, the guys not going to leave when he sees me.

Are you here to set me up, get me hyped, turn around just to leave my life

One of the my main struggles with dating depressed is that when I’m in melancholia’s stranglehold, I feel depleted of all energy and happiness. I can’t breathe, life becomes saturated of colour things move slow. Even when going through stages of passive stability, I struggle trying to navigate the complexities of modern dating, the feelings of inadequacy and despondency when rejected, As a person who is afflicted with emotionally intensive personality disorder (alternative name for EUPD), all these feelings are exacerbated when depressed. When I’m depressed, I’m barely functioning, consequently having to exert the little energy I do have, into emotionally and physically preparing myself for a date, is almost impossible. My underlying low self esteem and embedded with anxiety means I hate getting dressed up even when stable. Add depression and all I want to do is be at home… alone… in bed.

Unfortunately this makes it hard for me to date someone because I don’t want to transform them into a crutch or safety blanket. The worst thing I do as indiviaul is invest my happiness in someone else. The increased oxytocin and adrenaline produce post sex increases your serotonin levels. Being a “Rob Kardashian” is not my prerogative – a new relationship or exciting sex is not a band aid to a mental health condition. The inevitable chemical reaction combined with my self esteem and abandonment issues, leads to an unsustainable situation where I operate in a manner devoid of emotional maturity. I place the dude before myself creating a sense of comfortability and overwhelming sense of subservience, that establishes bad habits and promotes their transition into trash.

 Are you here to rescue me… Are you here to pillow talk, Or are you here to bounce and pull out shit gets hard

But then what’s the alternative, stay single and lonely for the rest of my life. I go back and forth with the concept of being alone frequently. I don’t mind being alone but loneliness isn’t something I’m meant for. I think isolating myself and removing myself from feeling romantic love is a destructive form of self indulgence. It would be easier to just wither away into a regretful spinster. It would be safer but love isn’t safe and I can’t operate my life in safe mode. I’ve looked into the windows of my soul and it told me I’m a sentient creature who deserves to feel loved. A relationship wont change

Are you here to make shit right, Are you hear to loan me your chest when I cry at night

I wanted to include a set of rules and regulations for dating while depressed but unfortunately I’m still living through it. Hence why this is only part one, I can’t wait for you to read part 2 but the way my depression, and dating life is set up means it could be a while. Originally I was going to make it one long article but I’m learning not to split and deal in absolutes. In a personal manner (non professional capacity) I’m allowing myself to not be perfect – this blog and it all its errors and mistake is a platform for me to practice being imperfect and flawed.

Summer Seventeen (Repeated)

I let this guy first ruin my life in 2017, it’s now 2019 and I’m still having sleepless nights over him. Is this what happens when someone with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) meets someone with Emotional Detachment Disorder (EDD) and everything implodes. I have too many feelings, they’re all are too intense and his apathetic towards all of them. The problem wasn’t me, my intensity manifested into passion and lust and I became addicted to the feeling of him wanting me – it was comforting. I literally sacrificed my sanity for a comforting summer 17, just to drown in tears for the following 7/8 months. At one point, the possibility of missing carnival to spend it with him was on the table. But once the initial elation settled, all this guy ever did was disappoint and drop me at his own discretion and then blame it on his depression.

“You Gave Me Panic Attacks & Called It Love”

Our “relationship” transformed into a cycle of attraction and rejection – always on his term. The saddest thing is that I’ve since dated several other people, it’s been more than a year after we finally stopped talking and his still the most significant romantic situation of my adult life. It was a situation doomed from its commencement because logistically and logically it wouldn’t have worked – he was an age inappropriate post hospitalisation rebound. I was vulnerable, incredibly insecure and felt lost. I was navigating the complexities of rebuilding a life I didn’t recognise and I enjoyed the flattery.

Up until last year, I still needed his validation. This is what I wore the last night I spent crying over him. It was a Friday night – he was meant to be staying the weekend. I had gotten all dressed up in Ann Summer’s flagship Cecila body and actually connected the suspender straps and hold ups. But he never came, he never even picked up his phone. I drank my weight in Echo Falls, posted “thirst trap” videos to incite sometime of reaction from him and cried myself to sleep. I will always love Akim, simply for giving me the strength to cut this dude out of my life. He drummed in how unhealthy and self depreciating this cycle was

It could all be so simple but you’d rather make it hard. Loving you is like a battle… and we both end up with scars

I’m annoyed at myself because in the beginning I didn’t want him. He isn’t particularly attractive, ambitious nor is he fantastically rich.. but he was nice. I’ve spent many hours trying to diagnose what went wrong. I let him chase me, wear me down and catch me, then play with me. For awhile I wondered if the only reason I wanted him, was because he didn’t want me. I still ponder this I have a problem with catch and release, I. It would’ve been humane if he just let me go or I just swam away but he let me flail and flap about. Did I just want him because he didn’t want me or because I have issues dealing with loss. The parallels between Phi & Chi is scary – I had no business dating either one of them. Chi was fresh off a 6 year relationship that ended in a failed engagement and had a similar aurora of emotional unavailability and inconsistency.

Is this just a silly game, that forces you to act this way. Forces you to scream my name… then pretend that you can’t stay


I chose Lauryn Hill Ex factor as my sole musical muse because this situation and that song, epitomise to me a toxic relationship. I indulged in a plethora of target behaviours to cope. He admittedly was not worth it – I’m permanently damaged over a guy, who didn’t deserve me (his words not mine.) Verbatim he told me he wasn’t “man enough” for me, that he was scared he couldn’t make me happy and that I’m better off without him. Despite this, I was the one who did all the crying. His the fucked up person, but his managed to settle down with a nice skinny girl and I’m just here. That sentence is full of a malice I no longer feel. Our somewhat relationship has turned in a weird co-dependent relationship where although I have closure, I’m emotionally connected. I’m stuck trying to fix his romantic issues with his girlfriend because I know it will make him happy. This is emotionally draining but therapeutic because at least it reassures me of the fact that it wasn’t me. I dodged a budget because anything romantic that would’ve blossomed would have been toxic and mutually detrimental.

Loving You Is Like A Battle & We Both End Up With Scars