A few weeks back I posted this on Facebook as I wanted to share an update about what has been going on in the background in my life: https://www.facebook.com/HypnoGem/posts/10154545707550989
As you can imagine I’m very happy that this chapter is over and I can now get on with providing more of the support side of the care my mum needs.
However, after a recent meltdown in which I totally lost my s**t in the office (I really only get super angry a couple of times a decade!) I realised I needed to put some focus else where too.
The people that know me well will tell you I’m a strong character. The word we’d use these days is resilient. Without going into too much detail I grew up with mainly just my mum. My sister has severe brain damage and epilepsy and was taken into social services care when I was around 7 years old. My brother was given up for adoption and we didn’t meet until I was around 15 years old. When my parents divorced my mum and I went to live in a refuge for a year or so. Actually we went twice because after the first time they decided to give it another try. Bad idea!
My dad was big on his boozing and even though I saw him at the weekends I was always second place to the pub. He did his best to connect with me and I certainly had my times being drunk with him as I was growing up.
My mum was pretty insecure and depressed. She would easily become very entrenched in a relationship with a new boyfriend and this caused quite a few problems because she would get really quite crazy when things didn’t work out with them.
Back in 2005 I set up my first business and I kind of made a commitment to not focus on building my life (e.g finding a partner and home) but instead to put all I had into my business whilst I was young enough to have the energy and poor enough to not have to worry about what I could lose.
Three years ago I bought my home and office on the same day. It had been a long process to reach that point and incredibly stressful. I moved in and faced the reality of converting a hair dressers to an office which was both expensive and exhausting. Then a few months into it and my dad was rushed into hospital. By this point he was obese, diabetic, had a hole in his liver and COPD. He passed away 20 weeks after I had moved and I then had the additional tasks of funeral planning, probate and executing his will.
Meanwhile my mum was acting weird. Well, weirder than normal! I won’t go into all the symptoms of FTD here as you can read about it in an earlier blog post but amongst the staff changes, finishing my dad’s affairs and re-establishing the business (which had taken a bit of hit whilst my focus had been elsewhere) I discovered that my mum was not very well.
More recently I became my mum’s power of attorney because her finances had become messy to say the least. And of course there is my sister – who my mum had been deputy (like a power of attorney) for. In the same breath I have taken over as deputy for my sister and am chief sorter outer of her life for her too.
Throw in an HR crisis at work and a cat with a broken leg and here we are in to the tail end of 2017.
I’ve made a lot of sacrifices in order to grow my business and help others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not begrudging those decisions. But there’s been a few clues along the way that I perhaps need to think about what I want and who I am. I’ve had opportunities (amazing ones at times) to do this in small bursts. I took myself on a honeymoon with myself to Mauritius after I had sorted out my Dad’s estate and it was awesome. But it does seem that I get these opportunities to recover, only for life to whack me sideways in a bigger way shortly afterwards!
Over the years I’ve suffered with acne. I was really happy when I got into my 30’s and it started to ease off – in part because I spent a lot of money on some good quality products to help shift it. However I’ve been left with a different condition since it has gone called Melasma. Most people would never know because I’ve got really good at colour correcting with my makeup and applying just enough that you can’t see it but not so much that I look like I have a face caked with makeup. However, I have become more aware of the effects of stress on my melasma (a form of hyper pigmentation) and now I am in a ‘quiet’ point in life where all of the above problems are resolved somewhat, I’ve decided it’s time to do more for myself. Something selfish, shallow and utterly self centred.
I’ve always been a creative type. I used to sing, paint and when I’ve had time have created some unusual decorations in my home. I’m visual and I like stuff to look pretty and pristine – part of the reason why the melasma pi**es me off so much!
SO..a few weeks back I decided to record a youtube video series about my melasma (www.youtube.com/gemmabailey) and my efforts to get rid of it. I posted it in a few melasma support groups and now have 21 subscribers! Whoop whoop!
It’s taken me on a journey of finding out more about beauty products that could help me and exploring all this makeup has got my creative juices flowing. I was even asked in a melasma support group to post a video of how I do my makeup to cover the melasma – so I did. Off of the back of this I posted a few picture of my makeup all laid out on Instagram (gemstone03) and tagged the companies whose make up I’d used. The next thing is, I have likes from some of these companies and some big cosmetics companies began to follow me.
I’ve had to weigh up in my mind the idea that I also work in mental wellbeing – and if someone is in the right mindset, they should be happy with who they are and how they look. But the truth for me, is that if the clothes you wear, the tattoos you have or the makeup you do make you feel better and more confident, then I’m cool with that. Ultimately I think we should each do whatever builds us up and makes us feel good (providing no one is harmed) and having an outlet to be artistic with my face is a way for me.
Is it a shallow, superficial and possibly even a fake aspect to my personality? Yes it is. Is it making me feel better? Yes it is. Is it art? I believe so, and just like an artist might enjoy new brushes, so do I!
If you see a video or Instagram post of me appearing to advocate makeup or cosmetics, you now know why. It’s my new hobby and it’s my little artistic escape where I get to make the messy things look better.
So with that in mind, I’m off to get my teeth whitened and a face full of botox. Then when you think “She’s so happy – I never see her frown!” you know why. It’s because I can’t move my face!!! 😂
SNAPCHAT – Gemstone03
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