Phoenix Fights

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




It’s clear to me that I can’t really drink alcohol anymore.

It’s just not worth the repercussions.

Anyway this is all Stephen Sutton’s fault.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided that it would be a good idea to cut out a photo of him and stick it to my fridge, so that if I was stressing, grizzling, crying, feeling sorry for myself, worried about something, inwardly dying etc. I could look at it, take inspiration and ask myself ‘What would Stephen do?

Great idea, huh?  I was quite chuffed with myself for coming up with that.  Who wouldn’t snap out of their shit and pull their finger out at the sight of Stephen beaming kindly at them through his specs?

Trouble was, as day turned into night, it started to make me feel a bit paranoid.

I used to have a friend who was big into a form of yoga and meditation that is run by a big ass, almost corporate organisation in the US, and for a while, I dabbled with it too.  Andy, delighted, dragged me along to a group satsang with him one evening, and whilst some of the devotees looked a bit out of it and zombie like, I loved the sense of community, the chanting and the meetings, and the mail out correspondence course that landed on my mat every month did seem to be spookily relevant to my life at any given time.

Then one day, Andy gave me a framed photograph of his guru as a gift.  And whilst it looked very nice at the makeshift alter in my bedroom, I was uncomfortably aware of her eyes following me around the room a la Mona Lisa, and her expression had changed from being lovely and ‘Ohm’ to being rather ‘Hmmm…’.

As in ‘Hmmm, you don’t fool me dear, not for one second…’


And she freaked me out so much that I had to take it down and put it away in a drawer, where it probably is still to this day (ridiculously I didn’t dare chuck it out), and I gradually moved away from that particular cult, I mean, sojourn in my life.

And now, 20 years later, I appear to be getting ‘Hmms’ from my Hero, SS.

And it made me really twitchy and restless.

So much so that I really started to want a drink.

Not just a small beer.

Not just a modest glass of wine.

I’d remembered that I had a nearly full bottle of sloe gin left over from Christmas.


I know.  I know, I know, I know

But just for once, I just wanted to get shit faced.  I didn’t want to meditate, I didn’t want to pray, I didn’t want to actively forgive and I didn’t want to think about anything.

I just wanted that warm, buzzy, muzzy, fuzzy feeling, to watch the sharp edges of the world magically blur and to stagger off to bed and disappear into dreamless unconsciousness.

It only took two glasses.  I was always a bit of a lightweight, but nowadays I’m beyond pathetic.

My vision swam, the edges blurred, and when I finally retired, I crashed spark out and didn’t wake up till morning.

And I felt awful.


Not hungover or headachy.

Just as if all the bad stuff in the world had seeped into my being, leaving me, in turn, indifferent, angry, resentful, sad, lonely, hopeless, hated and hateful.

Today was the hottest day in the UK this year, and I’ve spent it indoors, swaddled up in fleecy gym wear and swigging hot mugs of tea, staring mindlessly at my computer screen.

And I still feel cold.

And now the sun has set and I feel so alone.

Even my friend/foe the moon is nowhere to be seen.

And that bottle of gin in the cupboard is keening and calling to me.

I really want some.  I just want this fucking day to end.

It’s not fair!  I barely drink anything compared with my friends!

But I know it’s to do with it clashing with my meds.

I go out to the kitchen, and there he is, smiling at me, eyes a twinkle.

‘You needn’t start giving me evils either’ I mutter to myself, ‘I bet you caned it big style of a Saturday night!’

Yes, but he was a teenager, Sista!

The smile seems to widen, and I remember what he’s doing there.

It’s hard when someone less than half your age makes you feel twice the degenerate.

I put the gin back in the cupboard, put the kettle on and wonder grimly how long it will take me to get to sleep tonight without any booze.

God I could do with some spliff.

Just as well they don’t sell that at my Sainsburys.

Well it’s goodnight from me, and it’s goodnight from him.

Namast-frigging-ste. x


24 thoughts on “WHAT WOULD STEPHEN DO (WWSD)?

  1. …this is remarkable, powerful, funny,sad,truthful,enlightening,REAL and I thank you for sending it out into the universe(or blogosphere) for me to find!

  2. Why are you putting your own feelings about yourself onto these photos ? Is it because you need to channel yourself through something ? Seems a bloody shame to hang that ’round Stephen’s neck, eh ?! Are you going to spoil every pleasant memory you have, or pleasant influence ? Looks rather like. Today I would rather like to shake you till your teeth rattle. Possibly because I often wish I could do it to myself …

    • I always need to channel myself through images, I rarely blog without them, I’m a visual person.

      I know some people might see this as disrespectful to Stephen Sutton, but wherever he is, he knows it’s not, I know it’s not, so that’s all that counts to me. I write whatever I feel, this is my sanctuary and I don’t self edit or temper blogs to suit others. Anyway he doesn’t need his neck anymore.

      I see it as my having a near normal relationship with my gods, gurus, icons and heroes. Sometimes I love ’em, sometimes they irritate the shit out of me, make me feel guilty, make me feel like they are laughing at me, know something I don’t etc. etc and I interact with them on that basis. They probably get sick of people kissing their ring all the time anyway.

      I’m glad you can’t shake me right now as I’d probably sink my teeth into your arm, I’m so fucking pissed off. Unless you were carrying some kind of hooch that is… 😉

      • I’m lucky never to have been grabbed by booze. I suppose I must be lucky in a number of ways … It’s just that I’d like to be able to enumerate more than one.

  3. Sighh … Sorry. I was being intolerant: it’s my greatest failure (of many). Apologies. Keep on giving voice to this kind of thing: I believe it’s vital.

  4. Glass half empty: “I was always a bit of a lightweight, but nowadays I’m beyond pathetic.”

    Glass half full: “Sista’s a cheap date.”

  5. Don’t know what Stephen would do, but what I’d do if I were sitting on your fridge (although I’d prefer a chair, I’m old) is pour the bloody gin down the sink, then you could go ballistic and kick me and bite me smash my teeth in, and when you were done (provided I could still speak) I could tell you what I know about booze. Which is quite a lot, given I lived with an alcoholic.
    It’s depressing. All by itself without any help from your meds, although they enhance it. You get the high, and from the height, it drops you into the pits. There are physiological reasons for this, but who cares? The result is enough to deal with, without the science. The real bastard, though, is that it’s so seductive: another slug and you’ll feel better.
    You don’t want to hear this. But the trouble is, I care. You’re too good to waste.

    • Whoh Nelly! I’m not that desperate that I’d beat anyone up for half a bottle of sloe gin! I totally gave booze up for Lent without too much strain, remember? I do recognise that last night could have been a big skid down the slippery slope though and I thank you for your love and concern. x

      Anyway, I would never hurt you my sista, and at worst, you’d have only got a warning nip a la my cats when I won’t wake up to feed ’em! 😉

      The gin’s still there. As is Stephen. As am I. As is a cupboard full of wine actually. I’m just hacked off because I used to be able to enjoy alcohol in moderation. Wine with dinner in a fine restaurant in particular will be sorely missed. Not that I get to fine dine much nowadays…but until (if ever) I’m off sertraline, I guess it’s boring old tea total for me…

      Big sigh….now where’s the frigging kettle… xx

  6. I feel the same way a lot about alcohol. One of these days, I will do a post about what happened when I was nineteen. Keep at it and let Stephen be a nice inspiration instead of the creepy guru. She’s freaking me out too!!!!! x

  7. A nutritionalist told us recently that a glass of wine is like drinking a glass of fat. That amazed me, as I’d previously been told it was good for the heart. Just thought it helps look at it from a different perspective. 😦

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