Accidental Adventure

How I Got Over My Damn Self and Became My Own Best Friend

Throughout my teens and into adulthood I’ve experienced periods of time where I’ve felt super lost, alone and quite terrified. With this has come responsibilities and problems which I’ve not always dealt with (in complete honesty I have dodged the shit out of them, not even deciding to deal with them later, simply hoping they would fuck right off) which has led to an invisible weight settling itself on my chest, getting a tiny bit heavier each day

Along with this came self sabotage, self harm, extreme emotions and a general dislike for myself as a person. Now the important part is this became my normal way of life. I’d rationalise it by telling myself I’m just going through a rough patch, things will get better. But guess what?! Nothing will ever get better until you admit there is a problem.

And mentally that is hard as fuck because you know, you just know the amount of time and real work this will take to start improving your life and you just simply aren’t mentally strong enough to deal with that right now. You might fight against this for a while longer and come up with a million reasons why you can’t begin the journey of self healing because we all know the saying is true….you can lead a bad ass to water but you can’t make them strip off and jump in….oh wait. You catch my drift though, you can’t help someone who doesn’t admit there is actually something wrong and who protects with as much ferocity as a lioness defending her really fucked up cubs Fear, Negativity and Paranoia.

When those closest to me, who I respect, love and fucking cherish I have tried to help me, I’ve pushed them as far as possible, going full blown defence mode. How misguided I must be to defend these behaviours but when you’re in that place you tell yourself “This is me, this is who I am, deal with it!”. But it’s not me. All of this has come about because in all honestly I don’t know who I am and have been letting my temper tantrum prone, completely insane inner child have the driving seat for too long.

Getting over myself is never going to be quick fix. I know this will take a lot of patience, kindness and time and after all that it will need to be continuously worked on. Something my Dad said to me once really struck a chord and has stayed with me.

“Happiness is not an end goal.”

He’s right, it’s a continuous, permanent flow of time and energy we need to give ourselves to ensure we are in the right place for what we need and want out of our life.

When you become more in tune with your own needs, you become more open to recognising things that could help you heal, be more motivated, relaxed, whatever it is you are trying to do for yourself. Currently on my journey I have been listening and talking to my friends and family, reading a shit tonne of books ‘n’ blogs, listening to self-love/belief podcasts, watching vlogs and documentaries of people who have struggled with their selves but have got over it to improve their lives and several things have really jumped out at me.

One of the hardest parts when trying to understand and love yourself more can be catching and checking yourself when negative thoughts or behaviours start to creep in. Below are some of the mantras I start speaking or thinking whenever I start feeling myself slip:

  • “We are all at different stages of our journey so comparing ourselves to others is futile” – Anon“You have nothing to be sorry for” – All my family and friends every time I lash out and say something I didn’t mean“A negative mind will NEVER give you a positive life.” – Anon

“A negative mind will NEVER give you a positive life.” – Anon

  • “You are enough” – The Universe

  • “My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice” – Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts

  • “You are the centre of your world, where we all orbit around you. You can either be a beautiful nebula or a black hole*” – Paraphrased from Fergus King
  • “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else? Can I get an amen up in here?!” – The Qween Ru Paul

  • “One. Day. At. A. Fucking. Time.” – Danger King

I’m still in the early stages of this new chapter in my life and discovering who I am, what I want to do, where I want to go and basically falling in love with myself. I am finding a big pull back to my younger days of working with crystals, tarot reading and connecting more deeply with my own power and intuition.

We can create so much background noise to distract us from the issues we need to deal with. This weekend I am taking myself away from my everything – my family, my friends, my life to try and get the out of control train that was my life back on the tracks of stability at a much more mellow and pleasant speed, starving the fire further of self doubt, pity and rage and replacing it with love, compassion and control.

We owe it to our own happiness to take the time we need to truly love, understand and care for the person we are, working out the kinks and allowing for hiccups as we go.

*disclaimer – I love space, planets, nebulas, spaceships and aliens, I think they are really f*king cool! However, I have no clue if planets can even orbit nebulas but I’m guessing you don’t either because space is freaking HUUUUGGGGEEEEE so somewhere maybe there is a Danger nebula, we just simply do not know.

That time Facebook stole my name.

Names are important.  They can help build our character, shape our identity and provide us with a way to always start a conversation with a stranger.  Names can also change over time and won’t necessarily relate to the name provided to you at birth.

Likelihood is you won’t just have one name.  Nicknames, pet names, joke names I have dished out a fair few to my nearest and dearest at one point in time… Fergatron, Tom Tom, E, Smell, Grumpy Gus, Do Ron Ron, Huffy Puff…the list does go on and will grow and probably become more annoying to my friends but part of them surely experiences a tiny jolt of pleasure from the homage.

Think about how it feels when your significant other calls you by that name, the one that naturally appeared one day and, when first spoken, filled you with deep and comforting warmth which spread around your body.  The one that can be used in times of stress to calm, to top the already finest day with a bright red cherry of love and which now encompasses so much of your togetherness that thinking about it too hard could lead to ugly happy tears.

Now think about your own name.  For some this will be an extremely straightforward question but for others?  Well for others it can take a bit more time to arrive to an honest answer.  I’ve always been uncomfortable with my full name…“Danielle”.  To date the only people to ever use this name are stubborn family members, my parents if I was in trouble (“DANN-EEE-YELL!!”), doctors, dentists, teachers who hated me, strangers and my close friends who know how much I hate it (I’m looking at you Cunty)! 

For most of my life I have been known as Dani but for the past 8 years a new name has followed me around.  Danger Mouth was my chosen name when I started playing Roller Derby and has become cemented into my history by the most wonderful group of fearless women, supportive men and life changing experiences.  An overwhelming sense of belonging and acknowledgement I hadn’t realised I yearned for until I was immersed in this new world.  My newly found confidence and budding self-belief enabled me to start living a life that was mine, which I built and this saturated my new name with so much strength, joy, understandings and acceptance that it holds the power to conjure these feelings when I’m perhaps not feeling worthy as I should.

So when Facebook sent me a notification that someone had reported me for posing as someone I was not on the social networking platform I was little hurt but confident I could clear up the confusion. How wrong was I?  Facebook sent a pleasant email with lots of examples of proofs you can send, reassuring you that this can be things like library cards, official letters, bank statements, utility bills and does not need to be official government documentation, but does need to be the name you use in everyday life.  I stupidly provided my passport the first time round, assuming there would be scope for a justification of why I was Danger King and that I needed the name as no one knows who this Danielle person is. WRONG! They changed my name to reflect my passport in 3 mins, despite my protests that this was not an authentic name.  I was honestly 100% gutted.

Visiting Facebook or any of the many apps I use connected to the network (Netflix, Gmail, Instagram, YouTube) I didn’t recognise the handle.  I feel like I’ve regressed a bit in the months since this has happened, getting pangs of disappointment anytime someone tagged ‘Danielle’ into a post or a photo because this isn’t me.  There is power in a name and I don’t accept this one.

I’m the tip of the iceberg really, I’m not trying to hide my identity from anyone but some people are.  There are those who need to use fake names or pseudonyms to protect themselves and their families from abuse, those who have a name that will not fit with their gender, irrespective of how they choose to identify themselves or perhaps a burlesque performer, fabulous drag queen, a teacher who doesn’t want the kids they teach to harass them or just someone who really f**king hates their name! 

There is a movement which has been created in retaliation to Facebooks detrimental ‘Authentic Name’ policy, organising protests, collecting user stories (#MyNameIs) and have penned an open letter to Facebook asking them to review their policy which is damaging vulnerable people.

It’s an ordeal to get a response from Facebook, let alone procedures for consistency.  It’s like they have been briefed to antagonise and victimise Facebook Users as much as possible before simply ignoring any further attempts to supply proofs, suspending your account with no hope of revival. Hence I’m 3 profiles deep, one under my Government approved name, one suspended and one currently open for now.  I have officially changed my name by deed poll and am in the process of changing my government IDs to reflect this.  The one good thing about this ordeal, it has forced me to realise how much I have grown in the past decade and how significant Danger is to me.  Gone are the days of longing to introduce myself as Danger but getting shy and reverting to Dani or apologising for the weird name I just muttered at you.  Humans I hold dear to me know the score believe in who I am and support me with this stubborn, crazy decision. 

For the record, I don’t except people to suddenly start calling me Danger, but if you want to I won’t mind one little bit.


New Year, New Adventures.

Well to be frank, I’m hoping for some more of the old adventures too and to write about them more often, rather than hoarding them like a little, greedy (and unorganised) squirrel!  Last year was one of the best with deciding to start Kayaking then Canoeing, which opened up a whole bunch of weekend adventures, trying skiing for the first time ever, visiting Manchester, Oban, Cardiff, Blair Atholl and Glenshee, Warner Bros Harry Potter Tour in London and enjoying one of the warmest and action packed Summer’s ever!

2015 is already off to a roaring start and we have so many plans already in place.  Bring on the living, hold the tears and let the good times roll.