Phoenix Fights

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

OPTIMISTIC MIX TRACK 15 – Dog (Shit) Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine



Let’s get one thing straight here before we go any further.

I do NOT feel optimistic today.  Quite the contrary.  I feel like an old, desiccated, pallid piece of dog shit, but time is running out, as is money, and these cats ain’t gonna feed themselves, and this roof ain’t gonna stay over my head unless I pay ‘the man’ so I must get back on this ole Gratitude horse, and hope it moves me forward out of the fetid, stinking hell hole I find myself in at this moment in time.

Today I am (or should be/trying to be) thankful for the following things that occurred in June 2014:

  • My one day of work (albeit unpaid) as a TV audience member with a new friend Bonnie
  • My day out at a (free) museum with Goatee Man
  • My lovely afternoon tea with my traveller friend from NZ
  • My evening touching base with two girls I met on holiday years ago
  • Someone I hugely admire favouriting my tweet to them on Twitter
  • My now pending long weekend by the sea with my sister (hurray!)
  • My cats, especially as my friends cat is about to be put down and he is heartbroken
  • Aunty C and her not losing patience or giving up on my shit after all these years
  • You lot, and your support, comments and hugely talented writing.  Love you all x
  • These remarkable images I’ve just found, courtesy of Toby Allen on cargo, whose depiction of BPD you can see at the head of this blog, which is deceptively pretty, but that’s only because the little fucker has sheathed it’s claws, hidden it’s teeth and then posed for it’s ‘selfie’. The bastard.

There!  I’m trying, hey?

So fuck off sweaty, heady, humid dog days and bring on the horses!

Namaste x




So, surprise, surprise, my old mucker FEAR has snuck back in to the crevice created by my tears and made a rather predictable appearance late last night.

Just as I was about to tidy up, turn off the TV and go to bed I realised that I had concertinaed up my body and was frantically biting down hard on my knuckle, every muscle of my body tense with dread and anticipation.

And, coward that I am, I quickly bottled on my resolution, and downed the tab of Sertraline I should have taken that day, waited for it to take effect, then got into bed, curling myself into a tight foetal position.

Then came the dream.

I’m in a hot country with my friend Jon and we happen upon some kind of attraction/activity, and when we get up closer I see that it’s some kind of zip wire contraption running between two little pod like rooms with a walkway that you have to walk over to get from one to the other, a bit like a motorway service station flyover. Below is a steep fall onto crags and rocks, but there is a sign saying that whoever crosses it wins $1M.  I distinctly remember that part as I was trying to figure out what that is in sterling.  There is a duffle bag filled with notes.  No one touches it.

I turn to look at Jon, but he’s a way back staring at me blankly.

It it true?  What are the legalities of it?  Will they really pay out if someone takes up the challenge?

Then I notice that the wire sags flabbily in the middle and that there is no security harness, just two handles to hang onto as you cross, as you dangle over the rocks below.

Everyone just stares at it. 

I’m thinking of how this prize will solve all of my problems.  I’d be able to pay off my mortgage, move to the coast and start again.


I look around again for Jon, but he’s talking to the others, not paying me any attention.

Then I think ‘Fuck it’ and go to pull the handles to my end via a pulley  and park my stuff next to the duffle bag.  As I do this there is some kind of commotion in the opposite pod as a stocky dark haired man dressed in white arabic robes gets up and peers across at me through the glass of the pod.

Trip trap, trip trap

I don’t like him.

His eyes

He’s creeping me out.

I know I’m not going to do it.

Then I wake up as one of the cats starts chewing my hair, keening for his breakfast.

God I feel shit today.  And piss weak to boot.

Why do bad days always follow good?

Who am I kidding?  Every day is the same, it’s like frigging Groundhog Day with a sarf London twist, and I’m going to go seriously doolally if I don’t get out of here.  Apart from the odd couple of days here and there, I haven’t this friggin’ cell for over a year now, and it’s really getting to me.  My friend has a place by the coast, and even though it’s usually unoccupied, for whatever reason he’s really weird about any of us using it, and I’m too proud to hint or ask him about it anymore.

I need the sea air in my hair, the sun on my body, and a different set of walls to stare at, and my credit card is bouncing around in my bag excitedly.

‘You don’t have the money!’

‘What about your mortgage?’

‘Get a job first!’

‘Don’t do it Sista!’

But I’m in a dangerous mood, fed up of relying on the kindness of others and tired of being afraid.

What is it with me and tightropes?

Oh bollocks to it, what’s the worst that can happen?  You’re a long time dead…


sad turkey

I watched the final part of ‘My Last Summer’ the other night.

As expected, it was heartbreakingly sad and no doubt the entire audience watching around the UK were in floods of tears.

Not me.

I could feel the raw emotion though, bubbling around inside me like an uninterrupted volcano, and afterwards, I kept doing those big shaky inhalations that you do after you’ve bawled your eyes out.  Except I hadn’t.

I cannot seem to feel or express.  It’s the same as my orgasms.  The body seems to go through the motions if I force it, but it’s not even worth disturbing it, so miserable and pointless is the outcome.

I’m like a big frozen turkey that someone has forgotten to take out of the freezer, and shows no signs of being aware, much less bothered that it’s Christmas day.

Gobble, gobble, toil and trouble, my innards churn but my heart’s made of rubble…

But my throat has a lump that won’t go away, and my heart aches for those poor, brave people who have suffered so much, especially the two who continue to suffer.

I haven’t had chance to see Dr B about lowering my meds yet; that said, I’ve already started without her, but nothing seems to be happening.

Then this morning as I was vacantly TV channel flicking, trying to find the news for the day (yeah, right…), I come across ‘Terms of Endearment’.  It was about 30 minutes in, but to my surprise, I grabbed myself a tea and settled myself back onto the sofa to watch it.

‘What are you doing?!’ nags my Good Parent/Higher Self/Some Nosy Interfering Bastard With Nothing Better To Do, ‘what about trying to cut down your TV consumption and spending your time more fruitfully?  Turn it off, apply for jobs and do some bloody yoga!’

But I’m curious and stay put.

Of course I’ve seen this movie numerous times over the years and know when the worst bits are coming.

And here they come.

The bit where Emma’s told that her treatment hasn’t worked and that she’s going to die.

Slight contraction in the throat, hand raises to mouth.

The bit where Aurora kicks off and screams at the nurses to give Emma her painkiller shot.

I sigh, do a tea burp and shift onto my other bum cheek.

The scene where Emma says goodbye to her boys, and the youngest is sobbing his heart out.


WTF have these drugs done to me?  It’s official.  I must be dead.  Or a Vulcan or something.  Saying I’m a frozen turkey is an insult to fowls everywhere.  Even Bernard Matthews would consider me a heartless old bird.

I sigh, gather my shit and prepare to go and do something productive.  Like comfort eat, do the cats tray or clean the toilet.

Then I pause and decide to stay for the death scene.  What the hell, I might as well finish what I started.

And then, after Emma dies and you see Aurora fidgeting frantically, both contained and agonised, then cracks wide open and howls her grief….so do I.

Let it go, let it go, I’m really gonna cry…

It starts with a solo tear trickling down one eye and then I convulse and break into a proper sobbing fit, complete with snuffing, gasping, a streaming nose and that horrible ache in the throat that always accompanies such an outburst.

It wasn’t a big one and subsided soon after that scene ended.  But it’s a start.

And so the thaw begins.

I maybe even be ready for Christmas.

Thanks for that Shirl.  You deserve an Oscar.  And then some. x






I’ve made a decision.

I’m going to come off my medication.

Well I’m going to try anyway, and will have to do it gradually but the intention is to be meds free ASAP and see how I get on from there.

I know it’s a risk and I know that I may have to do a swift about turn and get back on it if the whole thing backfires and I turn into a panic stricken, aggressive, super anxious, destructive, paranoid wreck, but I’m pretty sure that the reason I’m so stunted and not moving on any time soon with anything is because I’m so stoned on Sertraline.


Aunty C has been telling me this for years, and some of my friends think it’s a good thing because I’m all ‘Zen’ now (Hah!  If only they knew), but I think the final straw for me was the other night when after watching one of the saddest, most tearjerking programme that has been on TV for a long time, I was unable to shed a tear.

Even though I could feel myself practically boiling with emotion.  That can’t be right, can it?

Also last year I was told by a yoga teacher that all my chakras were blocked, and I’d never be able to get them active until I’m free of personality altering medication, and I’m starting to believe that she was right.

I am going to be a good, responsible Sista, go see Dr B, get some advice and do it under supervision, but I am going to do it, as I’m never going to be able to touch base with my true self whilst it’s being watered down like this.

Wait a minute, though?  If I’m not on sertraline anymore, how can I be Sista Sertraline?  This one pseudonym/identity has been the only surety in my life for the last 18 months or so, and it’s quite scary to think that I might have to give it up.

Who the fuck am I anyway?!


I guess we’re about to find out.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid…




The last few days haven’t been great for me.

I’ve bailed on social stuff again, when I should be at least trying to socialise and enjoy these hot days and balmy night, having whined on about how much I hate being isolated during the summer months every single year.

I’ve passed stuff I was invited to, not shown up when people were relying on me, and inexplicably, cancelled on stuff where I asked to be invited, only to let them down last minute.  I’m pretty sure I’m one of the few people who’d walk out on something she’d gatecrashed only five minutes earlier.

I’ve avoided yoga as if it were a pap smear with a hot poker instead to something which soothes and nourishes me on every level.

I also used binge eating to comfort and distract myself from the tide of self loathing and recrimination that nails me to the wall every morning, undoing all of the healthy stuff I’ve been doing of late and I’ve watched hour after hour of TV to block out my mind monkeys which are gibbering wildly as we speak.

Bad Sista.

One of my fellow bloggers asked today what his readers had to be grateful for, and I’m sorry to say that I struggled to reply with anything.

Until I watched ‘My Last Summer’ on 4od.

This is the story of five random people who have one thing in common. They’re all terminally ill, and they get together periodically at a manor house in Gloucestershire to talk about their condition, share their life stories and support one another.  This is also the story of their partners, families and carers whose lives have been turned upside down as they fight to support their loved ones, keep on top of all the mundane things in life that need doing whilst trying to make sense of what they are going through and face the inevitable loss that lies ahead of them.

it is, all at once, funny, dark, distressing, heart warming, heart rending and hugely moving.

Three episodes in, having watched all of them suffer and deteriorate, and one of them, a DJ by the name of Junior Mac, die in the most horrendous way, 3 hours after marrying his devastated bride, and I’m in shreds.

I can’t cry though.  That said, the amount of medication in my system might be able to tamp down my reactions, it cannot contain the vortex of pain, grief and sheer fury that’s lodged like a hot brick in my solar plexus, and I can’t stop thinking about them.

Sweet Jesus Christ, what is the point of all this?  It’s so fucking cruel and twisted, I’m starting to feel like we mean nothing to the God/s whom made us, that we’re merely like the occupants of a bug farm, bee hive, or some celestial game of chess or Big Brother where He/She/It can randomly throw in a fireball, pit us against one another or release the kraken, then watch dispassionately, just to see what happens.


I can only marvel at their courage, honesty and generosity in telling their story and sharing such devastating experiences.

When one of the other guys, Ben, said that on hearing his diagnosis, he just went home and stayed in, waiting to die, I felt thoroughly ashamed for pretty much doing the same myself for the last 2 years or so.

Except I don’t have a terminal illness.

ARRGHH.  There is so much I want to say that I don’t even have the words for.

But I’m going to end with something positive.

The gratitude that there is evidently such love in the world, some of which might come my way, if only I would let some of it in.

And the knowledge that I at least have a life to fuck up.

Off to bed now.  Big day tomorrow.

Gotta sort my shit out.


RIP Junior, and bless your heart, I hope that your pain and terror is behind you now and that you are rocking’ out the heavens with some rare old skool mixes.

Please gird yourself and watch this series (last episode airs next week) as it will give you a whole new perspective on life, and honour Junior, Ben, Lou, Andy and Jayne for putting themselves out there so courageously.

Namaste x



The last entry! I made it! Whoop, whoop!

What the hell will I blog about now?! Probably all my woes, fears and mind monkeys again, you lucky, lucky lot…

Re this last challenge, I don’t think I could listen to a song sung by a divine choir of angels trained by Marvin, Whitney AND Gil himself all day without getting sick of it, but ‘I Think I’ll Call It Morning’ comes very, very close.

Gil Scott-Heron the self proclaimed ‘bluesologist’ tended to be known for his poetry and more political tracks around racial inequality, all of which I love, but this song is, to me, is Gil at his happiest, and it almost always lifts my spirits.

Ah to be happy and talented enough to write something like this, what a gift that would be….

A beautiful man, beautiful lyrics and a fitting end to this challenge.

A song of hope.

Thanks for listening x

I’m gonna take myself a piece of sunshine
And paint it all over my sky
Be no rain..
Be no rain..

I’m gonna take the song from every bird
And make em sing it just for me
Bird’s got something to teach us all
About being free, yeah
Be no rain..
Be no rain..

And I think I’ll call it morning
From now on
Why should I survive on sadness?
And tell myself I got to be alone
Why should I subscribe to this world’s madness?
Knowing that I’ve got to live on
Yeah I think I’ll call it morning
From now on

I’m gonna take myself a piece of sunshine
And paint it all over my sky
Be no rain…
Be no rain…

I’m gonna take the song from every bird
And make them sing it just for me
Cause why should I hang my head
Why should I let tears fall from my eyes?
When I’ve seen everything there is to see
And I know there is no sense in crying
I know there ain’t no sense in crying
Yeah I think I’ll call it morning
From now on
I’ll call it morning from now on, yeah

Cause there ain’t gonna be no rain
Be no rain
Be no rain
From now on…



Hmm. I don’t currently have a ‘best friend’ so am going to plump for a song that I have (literally) hit the floor for with many a bestie over the decades.

Don’t groan or roll your eyes with derision! I’ll wager that you’ve all done this dance, no matter how hard you’ve tried to block it from you memory.


It’s the one where you sit on the floor wedged up behind your mates/bloke/girl you fancy/boss at the annual Christmas party/best man at a wedding, then made a show of yourself by pretending to row, whilst some geezer (probably that Robin Thicke) grinds his willy against your coccyx.

I know it’s cringy and embarrassing, but I love this track and have absolutely no shame in admitting that I am an out and proud old skool soul/funk ‘rower’ and probably will be as long as I’m able to drag my ass up again without (a) showing my drawers, (b) dislocating my hip, or (c) throwing up on the person in front of me.

Altogether now!  I defy you not to get your groove on!

I said, oops up-side your head, I said oops upside your head… 🙂

P.S. As this dance never made it out of the UK (no wonder) here is a very typical video of it being done at a party.  Rules are:

1. Everyone has to be drunk and/or join in.  Preferably both.

2. At least one person has to be out of synch or better still, get the moves totally wrong.

3. At least one person has to make an absolute show of themselves, like the old dear on the back who is very nearly losing her boob tube 🙂





I didn’t have to think about this one for very long at all….

I seriously cannot stand ‘Blurred Lines’, to the extent that I cannot bear to feature the video on my blog, so this slightly lame parody will have to do.

OK, Where to start?

The sexist/rapey/female objectification themes, are to my mind, the least offensive thing about it.

It’s the sheer fucking #SMUGNESS of Robin Thicke’s face throughout that makes me want to put my boot through the TV screen.

It’s not even that good a song.  I doubt it would have sold in the volumes it did without the video and subsequent controversy and press coverage.

In fairness, I actually used to like his music, and own his first album which features a couple of really great tracks, but I kind of got an inkling that he was a bit of a #tosser after seeing him perform (well mime to) ‘Everything I Can’t Have’ on breakfast TV one morning.  There he was dancing around, then suddenly he hissed to the backing band ‘C’mon boys, get into it!’.   It was then that I noticed that they all ignored him and continued with set, stony expressions on their faces.  Hmm.  He must be a right #dickhead to evoke that kind of response from musicians, given they would presumably want to avoid pissing him off and/or not working for ITV again.

Then ‘Blurred Lines’ and that video came out, pretty much confirming my suspicions.

I wasn’t shocked by it. I’m a grown ass woman and have seen a bit of tit before.  I just thought it was #pathetic.

Q. What kind of man has to pay women to trot naked around him and his (fully clothed) buds in order to feel good about himself?

A. The same kind that needs to write about the (alleged) size of his dick on a wall, while smirking and nodding at it.


What. A. #Twat.

As for you Pharrell, what were you thinking?  Lucky for you that you came up with ‘Happy’ and redeemed yourself, otherwise you’d be on my shit list and at the mercy of my poisoned pen too.

Going back to Biggus Dickus, the third and final nail in his coffin was his notorious appearance at the Grammys, dressed as #Beetlejuice, grinning lasciviously as Miley Cyrus ground her tiny, spotty boys bum against #thebeast, whilst brandishing a big foamy finger and sticking her massive tongue in and out like a salamander on speed.

Urgh.  #creepyunclerobin.

Not that his sleaziness was restricted to performance, you understand.  What followed then was a series of rather public indiscretions, one showing him groping a fan’s bottom in the reflection of the mirror behind them whilst being photographed, which resulted in his long suffering wife, Paula, finally kicking him to the kerb.

So what does he do?

Apologize?  Offer to go to counselling or see a shrink?  Speak publicly about his appalling behaviour and his plans to remedy it in the hope of getting his marriage back on track?

No.  He wrote a song called ‘Get Her Back’, featuring such lines as ‘All I wanna do is give you that thing’ (#obsessedwithhiswinky), ‘Keep her satisfied’ and ‘It’s so hard.’

It’s all I want, I want, I want, I want.  My dick, my dick, my dick, my dick.  I swear he’s like a dog in a man’s body.

No ‘I’m a two timing prick’, ‘I’m heading for a full blown midlife crisis’, or ‘I molested a minor’ lines featured in there at all.

Paula, if you take this jerk back, I don’t think anyone of our sex will ever forgive you!

No room for blurred lines here, you need to channel big Dolly P and go for a D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

I know you want it.

Maybe even as much as I do. 😉


P.S. As for his hashtag abuse, don’t even get me started…





I had to think very hard about this one…

As some of you may know, being HSP, along with a lot of other shit, I have a very low embarrassment tolerance and as a result of this, I’ve had a lot of songs sang at me, rather than to me.

Allow me to explain the difference.

When I was teenager, one of my biggest hates was seeing ‘old people’ (ha!) trying to be cool when, to my mind, they were NOT, so Saturday night TV in the 70’s was particularly painful viewing as people with prime time shows like Bruce Forsythe, Lulu and Cilla Black did just that every pigging week.

This came via a variety of mediums, such as by singing their own groovy theme tune (urgh), their own versions of chart hits (unforgivable) or, worse still, duetting live with said chart topper (NOOOO!), all accompanied by unnecessary ‘yeah’, ‘whoos’ and ‘baby’s and, of course, obligatory dad dancing.


The memory still makes my scalp prickle. 😦

And at these times, I would try and disguise my acute discomfort, leave the room and lock myself in my room before anyone noticed, but my evil fucking sister would immediately tune into my agony, turn up the volume to max then chase me up the stairs, pass me, then block my bedroom door, singing along to the cringefest into whatever microphone-esque object was at hand, gyrating madly, as I fell to my knees, curling into a ball, fingers in my ears, howling ‘NO! Mum! Dad! TELL HER!’

She particularly liked doing this to the theme to a programme about the Guinness Book of Records which was utterly heinous, and I had to train myself to be out or locked way safe about five minutes before that programme started, such was my aversion to this innocent, happy ditty.

So much for ‘at‘.  I will spare you any video clips.

To‘ wasn’t much better. Being such a fucked up individual, unused to love, I have been unable to appreciate a lot of heartfelt, romantic gestures such as being serenaded without resorting self defeating tactics such as mockery, sniggering and jeering, so whilst I’m sure it happened more than once, my brain has, for once, saved me and locked such memories in that rusty old filing cabinet marked ‘Not to be opened under any circumstances whatsoever’.

But I see one dog eared old file that has slid out of the bottom file and onto the floor.


On the plus side the song is ‘Moving‘ by the incomparable Kate Bush, which I love (along with the rest of ‘The Kick Inside’) but the memory of my second boyfriend singing it to me at intimate moments whilst gazing into my eyes (with emphasis on the line ‘Give me life, please don’t let me go’) still makes my bum hole clench with embarrassment.

In all fairness I don’t remember mocking him.

Much. 😉

But I do remember freezing, rictus grin on face and waiting agonisingly for it to be over.

Jaysus, and I wonder why I’m a spinster…

Sorry Steve, I hope your at home now with someone who appreciates your romantic soul so much more than I did…