Phoenix Fights

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




Two full days back on the mat, and I’m headachy, creaky and knackered.  I love yoga but 2 x 3 and a half hours a day of it can be a bit gruelling, especially after a two hour journey each way to the venue.

Here in jolly old London town it is grey, cold and pissing it down which does nothing to improve my mood, plus I’m craving sugar after the huge macrobiotic lunches, which are lovely but they make me fart enough to create my own hole in the ozone layer, plus I could fertilise a small farm with the amount of dung I’m producing.

Macrobiotic folk, when will it stop?  I’m getting a bit frightened now. When do you get any time to do anything else?!  If this continues, I’ll have to see if Huggies go up to a size 10.

Plus it’s now wine o’clock and I can’t have a tipple!

In lieu of alcohol to cheer me up, I rather rebelliously decide to defrost some Apple Almond Torte (recipe on here somewhere, folks) for dinner, and just as I put the kettle on, my mobile pings.

My tired old shoulders tense with irritation.  I know who it is and I will not look.

I will NOT look.


I look.

It’s from my friend C.

It says ‘How r u?’

I feel a twinge of deep irritation, then take a big yoga breath, turn the phone off, pick up my warm cake and tea and take them into the sitting room to unwind.

My landline starts up.  I have a big old school, heavy Bakelite phone that has a very loud ‘Doctors Surgery’ style ring which scares the shit out of my cats, so Dex, who was on my lap a second ago, has bolted, leaving in his wake, several deep red scratch marks on my right thigh.

After I have mopped my tea up off the sofa, and put the cake in the bin, I find myself torn between anger and guilt.

I could act like a grown up and tell her why I’m avoiding her, but I think she already knows plus another, the mean, hurt side of me thinks ‘Screw you!’

Whilst this may be me generalising, I think us depressives tend to be very proud and not very good at asking for help, so when we do pluck up the courage to express our need and it is ignored or brushed off, it is very wounding and tends to make us think ‘I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.’.

The other day, I felt unbearably lonely but not strong enough to do anything about it.  We tend to be our own worst enemy, but sometimes all it takes is for someone to turn up and say ‘Right, we’re going for a walk.  Here’s your coat, put on your boots, I’ve got the keys, move it!’

Of course I don’t expect people to be able to read my mind from a distance, but my closest friends who know and love me should be able to take a hint.

C and I were chatting on messenger the other day, and she asked how I was.  Whilst I appreciate genuine concern, for the most part, if you want a real answer and not just ‘Fine, thanks!’, I personally don’t always have the words, and definitely don’t have the inclination to potentially tap in the equivalent of two A4 paper sides worth of answer via text message.

So I replied with ‘A bit low, are you free any night this week?’

So whilst I haven’t actually said….

‘I’m really fucking lonely actually and need some bonafide, human, face to face contact, so please come round and drag me out somewhere.  Failing that, stay in with me and keep me company because I’m not only talking to my cats now, I’m about to start answering the voices in my head!’

….I think I pretty much made myself clear.


Then presently ‘I could be free but I might have to take my dog to the vets for his annual check up.  I’ll let you know.’

In other words, ‘No, I don’t think I can be bothered to shlep over and see you on a school night.’

This stung as I would never have asked unless I really needed to.

Thanks C.

Anyway since that night, every day, sometimes twice a day, I’m getting text messages that say, yes you’ve guessed it….

‘How r u?’

…which make me feel quite headachy with suppressed rage.  She knows how I am, she can’t be arsed to do anything about it, so she keeps firing off lazy ass three word (if you can call ‘r’ or ‘u’ a word) text messages to appease her guilt and convince herself that she’s looking out for me.

Because I don’t want to fall out with her, but I also don’t like being false, (and I also think ‘Fuck. Off.‘), I didn’t initially reply, but eventually I sent the following retort:

‘Same old.’

OK it’s not very helpful/kind, but it’s two letters longer than the message she sent me, plus it communicates very nicely the unspoken message which is ‘You let me down when I needed you and I’m pissed off, so bog off until I’m not, OK?  And in the meantime, stick your texts up your arse.’

But she’s stubborn is old C, and kept sending the same message till I was on the verge of picking up the phone, calling her and screaming at the top of my voice into the earpiece.

After the fifth or sixth time she sent it I replied ‘Shit.’ and hoped she’d take the hint.

But no. Then she did the unforgivable.  She replied with ‘Why, what’s up?’

Before you think I’m a complete and utter bitch (and I am sometimes of course), I totally appreciate when someone is genuinely concerned about me, but (a) she already knew (b) I had asked her for help and (c) she asked ‘Why’.

For the most part, as C well knows, I have no idea why I feel the way I do; sometimes there are additional factors that have affected or exacerbated my mood, but at the heart of it, there isn’t a reason.  It’s just there.  Some days I attempt to describe it:

Like a cold hand on my shoulder.  

A heavy stone sitting on my diaphragm.

A dirty, infected needle in my heart.

A vice gripping my skull and getting tighter everyday.

A pile of ashes in my mouth.

I then lost patience and replied in a rather curt fashion, and now I’m getting more and more texts and calls and am very close to telling her where to go.

Because she should know better.

I could be wrong, she may not have a clue what’s wrong, but I don’t think so.

To save me from myself, and to save her from getting an earful, I think I’m going to send her this quote from Stephen Fry:

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”

This comes from highly intelligent, hugely, wealthy, successful, witty man with hundreds of friends and famous admirers who, on face value, has everything to be happy about and nothing to be miserable about.

But Depression isn’t fussy or discerning who it points it’s boney finger at, proclaiming ‘I own you’.  It is a truly equal opportunities condition and can affect anyone from any background, any sex, any colour, any creed at any time.

Whilst I’m mid rant here, there was also some government health bod spouting off utterly nonsensical twaddle on BBC News this morning, saying that people who live alone are most likely to get depressed, go loopy and die alone.

What complete and utter shite, and totally insulting and patronising to anyone who suffers from and has to live with real mental health issues.

I live alone now, but I haven’t always, and I have been this way as long as I remember. The only difference was, when living with others, I had the added strain of hiding my condition from family/boyfriends/flatmates and pretending everything was alright, so if anything, living alone is probably the one thing thats stopped me ending up in hospital.

My flat is my sanctuary and I can always be alone when i need to be, so I genuinely feel for people who have this condition and live with family/friends/strangers, and sometimes never get a minute to themselves.  That would truly push me over the edge.

This entire article smacks of political spin, no doubt aiming to try and make more people live together and fill their spare bedrooms, because they have no clue how to solve the housing crisis in London.  Well, they can fuck off, quite frankly.

No room at the inn here Politicians, so either open your palatial mansions to the homeless, donate your annual bonus to a homeless charity, or shut the fuck up.  Haven’t you got better things to do like getting your wife to take your speeding points/screwing your secretary/expose yourself in a park/buying yourself a duck island/cheating on your expenses?  Keep your bullshit theories to yourselves, Fuckers.

OK.  I feel better now.

Ironic isn’t it, that I can do 14 hours of yoga in two days, but it’s sounding off on here that has really cleared my head?!  i may even get round to forgiving C tomorrow. If she’s lucky….

You guys should charge, you really should….;-) .

Night, night x


2 thoughts on “DON’T ASK ME WHY

  1. bakelite? you must be a collector. 😉 and: ugh. that why question. as i’ve begun to share my recent writing w/ folks that know me i’m struck by how many people think they are depressed too but really have no idea. they’re sad, or moody, or low, and because they think they can identify all the more reason i should just shake it off. i avoid talking about it. too messy.

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