Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….


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THE BOTTLE

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I’ve just been let down.

Again.

For the second time in 24 hours.

Rejected, discarded like a broken Easter Egg.

Today is the official end of Lent, therefore I am allowed to drink alcohol again.

But I daren’t.  I’m frightened that if I crack open a bottle of wine, I won’t be able to stop.  Because right now, I just want to get smashed and tamp down the pain.

R suggested both meets and cancelled both meets.  And I get it.  She wants to want to be there for me, but not enough to look in the mirror.

Because she sees in me what I see in H.  A less than happy vision of the future if she doesn’t get her shit together.

Karma is a bitch, huh?  But at least I know where mine is coming from.

Somehow I have to change what I’m transmitting so that I can attract people who will help me evolve.  Not because they feel they have a duty to. But because they like being around me enough to embrace what I bring to a relationship but also accept that I have a flawed side.

That in itself will bring out the best in me.

And I don’t think I can find that in a book, in a course or even in a church.

I need to go within.

Which is what I’ll now be doing this evening.

Wish me luck.

Because I don’t want to end up livin’ in the bottle.

BIG CAT EASTER

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I LOVE this video!

Big Cat Rescue do amazing work saving abused animals from bad situations, and here ensure that they get to celebrate Easter along with everyone else.

Just goes to show, no matter how big the cat, the inner kitten is never far away…

Here’s to that playful kitty inside each and every one of us.

Happy Easter everyone! x

Ear Worm No. 2 MUMFORD & SONS – Winter Winds

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It’s the last official Winter’s night here in Blighty as the clocks will be going forward one hour soon and tomorrow will be the first day of Spring 2013 :-).

Ironically and simultaneously this has been and still is the coldest March on record since 1962, so I thought I’d share this with you as Winter winds are still, as we speak, littering London with lonely hearts….

So much for Spring swapping snow for leaves, you lied Mumfords, you lied!


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KNIT PICKING

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Whoever thinks that knitting is the domain of slightly batty old ladies is seriously way off base.  Anyone who is skilled at this must have minds like razor blades…..

I’m starting to wonder whether I’m out of my depth with this lovely cable sweater pattern, as it appears that you need a degree in Applied Mathematics just to get beyond the ribbing.

I spent over an hour last night un-knitting about four rows as, unbeknownst to me, I’d been reading the pattern charts wrong.

These things are not read top to bottom, from left to right.  No, you have to read them from bottom to top, from right to left unless it’s an even numbered row, then it’s left to right.

And blank means knit and dot means purl.  Unless you’re on the wrong side, there is an ‘r’ in the month and your moon is in Uranus and then you do the exact opposite.

WTF?

This project is, however, probably the best Easter present I could have given myself as when I’m beavering away at it, mouthing the mad instructions, squinting at the multiple charts and graphs and swearing like a navvy, I’m not thinking about anything else,  i.e. my deepest, darkest fears.

Which is just as well, as for the first time in a long time, I’ll be on my own for Easter Sunday.

I did however decide to have a posh dinner with an old friend, H, in Oxford the other night by way of compensation.

I’d like to say that it was fun, but it wasn’t.

When H is on form, there’s no one like her. We met on a hiking holiday in Scotland a few years ago, and she had me in complete stitches every single day.  H has a wry, caustic, coruscating humour, little patience and no buffer, so like her or loathe her, there is no way of ignoring her, especially once she’s had a few. She is also a hugely talented, creative individual and a real inspiration.

On the minus side, she is hugely depressive, extremely self sabotaging and another one of those people who expects everyone to heal, rescue, understand, help, FEED HER in every which way possible.

She is also of late, very negative, nothing is her fault and she can fall out with her friends at the drop of a hat.

Know anyone like that Sista, hmmm?  Recognise any of those less than charming traits?

H spent the entire dinner documenting her woes, moaning about people who’ve let her down, telling me how horrible everything in her life is right now, and generally vomiting up all her shit onto the table for my perusal.

The worst part of this was that it was like looking at a great, big, frightening, distorted mirror image of myself.

‘Is this me?’  I inwardly asked myself as she droned on and on and on, without asking me a single thing about myself, unless it was something she needed to know for her own benefit ‘Is that why I can’t keep my friends?  Is that why no one calls?’

I listened as sympathetically as I could, trying not to let the green black sludge suck me back down into my own, only recently vacated tar pit, and changed the subject every chance I could, but there was no good/positive/fun news to be had from her.

I think that in three hours we must have laughed once and that was when we were saying goodbye, she, because of the joke she cracked, me from relieved hysteria that I had managed to survive the evening largely intact.

I was desperate to get back to my knitting though, to hide amongst the knits, the purls and thick white cables, and try shoo away the thick black clouds circling around my head.  I think that was when I rushed through it and fucked it up instead of reading the pattern properly.  Dammit.

H is also on her own tomorrow and something inside me was thinking that I should cook a roast and invite her over.  Cheer her up instead of compulsively, maniacally nit picking at her in my head.  Be a fucking Christian for once.

But I couldn’t.  My home is my sanctuary and to be locked in here with her for hour after hour, as she gets more and more pissed and maudlin, not knowing when she might leave, would (a) tip me over the edge, (b) quite possibly end the friendship if I try and evict her, and I’m not willing to lose her ‘cos I like her far too much to risk that.

This is the tragedy; Aunty C always bangs on at me to make ‘healthier friends’ but I’m a magnet to my own as they are to me, and sadly, I’ve grown to realise that I can’t rescue them.  I can offer advice if I’m a good place myself, but if they don’t take it or at least try and help themselves, then I’m powerless.

I don’t respond well to guilt.  I was made to feel guilty by my family right throughout my childhood for everything and anything, and it left me very defensive and extremely angry, and I have finally learned that you can only give what you can give.  If you don’t have the emotional readies (or real ones actually) in the bank then you can’t withdraw them and give them to someone in need.  It’s impossible. Especially as some fucker has blown the door off my safe and completely cleaned me out.

I need to heal myself before I can properly help anyone else, and even then, it may not be my place to do so.

In the meantime, all I can do is love her, be a friend and see her when I can.  I will continue to gently rebuff her hinted demands, help manage her expectations and hopefully  even make her smile and bring back the H that used to have me in tears of laughter.

As for me, I’ll enjoy the peace and serenity of my home, continue to wrestle with this bastard jumper and see what tomorrow brings.

The snow has arrived.  I gaze out of my window and smile.

Suddenly, I don’t quite feel so lonely anymore.


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CAT SOLDIERS

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It’s dark.

Night?

The curtains are closed, so I can’t see if my friend the moon is out.

Oily, sludgy, slick, metallic tang on my tongue.

My eyes are sticky, my head hurts and I can’t breathe through my nose.  Did I take any meds?  I honestly can’t remember.

I must have gotten up and done something, because the TV isn’t on anymore.

I gingerly raise an arm and feel for water.  There is none.  Shit.

Something shifts at the bottom of the bed.

The cats?  Absurdly, given that I might have been here for 24 hours, I stiffen. I don’t want to disturb them.

I raise my head carefully and I can just make them out, one each stationed sphinx like at each bottom corner, serene but alert, eyes trained on the door.

It’s then that I know that I’ve had ‘an episode’.

Anyone that says that cats are emotionless, without feeling and can’t love, have almost certainly never owned one or have owned one and not treated it well.

Because when I am genuinely poorly,  an unspoken ‘don’t bother mum’ amnesty falls into place.  No scratching the bed, no sitting on my head, no bouncing off my chest, pouncing on my feet or mad grooming sessions.  No loud purring or yowling for food.  My boys quietly, carefully come to wherever I’m passed out, twisted up in a ball, or cowering under the covers, arrange themselves around me, ignore their own needs and keep watch.

I reach for the curtain and manage to grab a corner.

My joints hurt.

No moon.

Good.

The cats head whip around, then as if on cue, Charlie starts purring and Dex jumps down and stretches, priming himself for a good old bed scratching session.

My boys are hungry.

The very least I can do is get my skanky arse out of bed and feed ‘em.

Who says I’m not loved?

I am blessed.


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THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY 2

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I can’t sleep.

I’m tired, but agitated.

And the fucking moon is staring at me.

I’m going to sit at the table where I can’t see it in this dark, unlit room.  And more to the point, it can’t see me.

I shouldn’t have gone out tonight.

Did something awful happen?

No.

In actual fact, the mood en route to my engagement was very convivial.  People seemed to be very jolly, a lot of them tipsy or downright drunk, and there was a general party atmosphere.  People were laughing and smiling on the tube.

Imagine!

If I didn’t know it was March, I mused to myself at the time, I would swear it was Christmas.

And then I remembered.

Easter long weekend.

It’s not like I’d forgotten.  I’ve been giving up stuff for Lent, I was aware that people have plans, I just didn’t make plans for myself.

Even this morning, when my friend M expressed concerned that I’d be alone for the bank holiday, I brushed it off, genuinely unconcerned.

‘Don’t worry about me,’ I said airily ‘when you’re not working, every day is just another day  Weekends are irrelevant.’

You see, the worst part of celebratory times was having to listen to other peoples plans in the office and either have to endure their pitying looks or, to your eternal shame, make something up to keep them from feeling sorry for you.  So, I reasoned to myself earlier this week, this weekend should be a breeze.

Aunty C was a bit perturbed too.  ‘Do something nice for yourself,’ she pleaded ‘honour yourself and the day.’

Doing what?  My only break opportunity was spending it with family and they were all off to the frozen North, and what with the snow and traffic problems, I didn’t bother to invite myself along.

Nor did they invite me.

That stung.

Not because they don’t love me.  Because they know me too well.

They know that I’ll usually find a way of getting out of going to see them.  That I’ll be late and probably mess up their arrangements.  That I’ll want my own room, need some privacy, and be unwilling to sleep on the floor or on a camp bed.  That I’m picky about where and what I eat and will nurse a glass of water whilst they eat junk food.  That I’d rather eat fish and chips in a cafe than outside from the paper.  And that I’ll find spending three nights and four days in a two up two down with six adults, two teenagers and one kid overwhelming to the point of being absolutely unbearable.

So I get it.  I’m not the perfect house guest.

I just wanted to be invited.

So I could say no?!!!

God, help me understand, what the fuck is wrong with me?

So whilst I don’t have to explain away my solo weekend to anyone, it still smarts to be alone regardless.

How could I have convinced myself that it wouldn’t?

People are delighted that they have the next four days off because they have responsibilities, work hard and have a life, so enjoy them because they have something to compare this freedom with.

They also have things to do, people to see, promises to keep, holidays to take, traffic to sit in, dinners to cook, chocolate to give, kids to kiss, partners to fuck, lives to live in the next four days.

Light and shade.  Good and bad.  Yin and Yang.

I’m just sort of….the same.  All the time.  No stress, no delight.  Just bleugh.

It’s down to me to change things.

IT’S DOWN TO ME.

It’s suddenly gotten lighter in here.  I turn my head and there it is, beaming cheesily, stupidly, relentlessly through the glass.

‘What the fuck are you looking at?’ I snarl at it.

I neither need nor want any witnesses to my pain, not even planetary ones.

The moon glows back apologetically but shows no sign of desisting.

It’s not yet Easter Sunday, but quite frankly, something’s got to give on the sacrifice front.  But not the alcohol.

The TV.

The only thing that can help on a night like this is drawn curtains, hot milk and back to back ‘Six Feet Under’ until I nod off from complete exhaustion as I fear that my Long Good Friday is only just beginning.

Funny how death can comfort and lull a girl to sleep.

And funnier still that no matter how alone I am, there always seems to be a witness.  And it may not be the moon.

Now that is spooky.