Phoenix Fights

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



mirror teacher


I’m trying really hard to see the positives in people, but, of late, all I seem to encounter are the negatives…

So I have a very close friend, one of the closest, who is also unemployed, but that is where the similarity ends.

She has only been out of the work place for six months, she and her partner are very well off, her partner will support her come what may, she also has both of her parents who would always house/support her if things went drastically wrong, and, after flirting with the idea of escaping the rat race, she wants to be back in the corporate world full time ASAP.

She also doesn’t have any mental health issues hindering her progress whatsoever.

Beth (not her real name) and I have grown closer during this period and have been mutually supportive to date, and I routinely check and edit her job application letters before she sends them off the the relevant company, but what she has been sending me most recently is so half assed effort wise that I feel that she’s getting lazy and needs to learn from what I send her, and not just send me the skeleton of her communication and expect me down load the job ad, check her CV and add all of the flesh for her.


So the other night, when I was feeling pretty sick and muzzy anyway, on receiving another aforementioned Mr Bonejangles, I sent him back to put a bit of weight on with a helpful note.

‘Sorry sweetie, feeling a bit shit post migraine, but can you add/amend/clarify a few things, then I can give it a final health check and amend before you send it out?’

In reply I got a rather snotty ‘I am going to rework it and send it in the morning, get better soon.  Regards Bethany’.


So I dropped her a line the next morning, again offering to give it a final check/edit, and this time she gratefully accepted.

That little outburst did stick in my mind though.  Hey ho, part of the BDP territory to hold grudges close to our hearts, so I tried to put it out of my mind and got on with my day.

Then yesterday, she got in touch because she wanted to offload about a part time job that was kind of offered to her, and then retracted because she’d be working for a new acquaintance who did not want to compromise their friendship.  In fairness, this friend probably knew that Beth wouldn’t stop looking for high status jobs and would leave as soon as something more suitable/lucrative came along.

But the more she talked about it the more I realised that it might be perfect for me.  And call me tactless but I asked her what this woman was like and if she’d be happy to put me forward instead?

At first she asked for me CV to forward onto said lady. Then she kind of prevaricated and said that she felt ‘weird’ going back to her and it became apparent to me that she wasn’t keen on putting me forward, even though I’m in dire financial straights and could, worst case scenario, lose my property.

And I did what I always do in these scenarios.

I pushed and pushed and pushed.

Because it wasn’t about the job anymore.  It was about (probably) my closest friend not wanting me to have something that she couldn’t have, and didn’t really want, which rightly or wrongly, this old cow found rather shocking and hurtful.

In the end, she wouldn’t send on my CV, but mentioned to her friend that she knew someone who was looking for work and if she was interested, to get in touch with me herself.

I both recognised and appreciated the concession, but was still wounded.


Because if I could have passed on a job to her, even if it was one I wanted and couldn’t have, I would have done it.

In the shake of a lambs tail.

Because that’s what friends do.

‘But that is YOU Sista!  And Beth is Beth!  You have to accept people as they are, not what you want them to be!’ booms the disembodied voice of Aunty C in my ear.

And she’s right.  I must stop judging and challenging what’s left of my friends to live up to my somewhat exacting standards and focus on my own dung instead.


But I feel my heart harden and shrivel whenever I am let down in this way.

Then, just as i thought we were done, 30 minutes later Beth text me to say that this lady was interested and passed on her email address to me.

And I was relieved.  Because it did cross my mind that she didn’t even speak to her in the first place.

So whilst my heart didn’t exactly go up three sizes that day it did cease to contract and a little fresh blood plumped it back up to normal size.

Which isn’t saying that much.

But I’m trying dear God, I’m trying….

Judge ye not and all that shit…

Namaste xx




Interesting occurrence came to my attention around about this time last week.

When using my credit card in my local supermarket, the lady on the till said ‘That runs out soon love, hope there’s a new one in the post!’

I joined in her laughter but inwardly thought ‘Hmm…aren’t we meant to get them a month in advance?’

So I made a steely effort to stem my screaming paranoia and called Barclaycard.

‘Oh I’m very sorry madam, said some heavily accented lady in Mumbai whom I had to tell my name three times before it registered, ‘did you request a new one?’

‘Um, no, given that you always automatically renew them as part of your service to loyal customers such as myself?’

‘Of course madam, and we like to give most excellent customer service!’

Do you bollocks…‘ I think crankily, easing myself and my phone onto the floor in anticipation of a second round of the very same security questions i answered but 20 minutes prior.  Or maybe I said it out loud as her tone was a mite less perky, and she interrogated me so thoroughly and mercilessly I think I broke down and gave her all my pin numbers.

But eventually she piped up with ‘I can see your old card is due to expire on 31st so i shall chase this up for you immediately!  Is there anything else I can do for you right now?’

‘Go boil you head in a pan of hot fat?’ I suggested sweetly. OK no I didn’t just in case she went out on her lunch break and emptied out all of my bank accounts.

But i was sorely tempted because she, on behalf of Barclaycard, was being judge and jury and finding me guilty of being, erm, jobless and trying to get away with not renewing my card without having the respect and manners to address it with me first.

And it’s hard enough when you’re judging and condemning yourself all day long without others pitching in for no valid reason.

The irony is that I probably don’t need a credit card anymore really.  But that’s not the point, and I don’t appreciate being treated like i’m a potential criminal when people like me are the least of their worries.


  • People who figured out a long time ago that if you don’t pay your account in full every month, you’ll end up rowing up shit creek without a paddle.
  • People who never lend borrow money off anyone unless they absolutely have to.
  • People who never spend that which they cannot one day afford to pay back.
  • People who haven’t earned a penny in interest for Barclaycard in over 15 years.
  • People who know better than to lean on credit cards when times are tough.
  • People who only ever used it for the Nectar points in the first place.

See?  Sometimes being pessimistic, paranoid, nervous and untrusting sometimes has an upside. 🙂

Re the first point, I did once end up in said pool of excrement sans oars, and no matter how large a sum I paid every month my balance refused to reduce, and it was only when my (then) lovely fiancee helped me to pay it off that I vowed never to be tricked into that situation again.

But if you have no job or money you’re treated as little more than a floater, and it’s so dehumanising.

However, the people they should be worrying about are usually employed, BUT have huge debts, extended overdrafts AND are also in the credit card poo pool scenario, but the greedy banks see them as cash cows and keep extending their credit and reaping the benefits.

Then comes that fateful day when their oh so valuable customer, through no fault of their own, gets laid off, and it’s only then they realise that this poor unfortunate is up to their neck in shitty water and didn’t take out employment insurance (which lets face it, is crap anyway) because they thought they were indispensable, and that’s when they sic the kraken onto him/her whilst simultaneously trying to grab onto the nearest lifejacket themselves.

Anyway, I do need more money coming in ASAP, so, today I wrote to a temp agency, in an effort to find some kind of temporary role that would tide me over and fit in with my fun, ad hoc stuff.

The manager called me.

‘Well, we don’t really do temporary roles’ says she, ‘but we have the odd one and today you’re in luck.  It’s part time, you can do 3-4 days a week, as long as you complete the hours, it’s up to you.’

Whoop, whoop!  Howsabout that for a stroke of luck?

‘That sounds great!’ I breathe ‘so I can do whatever days I choose the week beforehand?’

‘Oh no!’ she replies, ‘you have to choose now then stick to those days until the end of time.  Plus it only pays £2.50 per hour.’

Great.  Knew it was too good to be true.

‘We do have some permanent roles that pay £5.50 per hour though, and if you push your nose against the grindstone hard enough, kiss enough ass, roll under the bus every now and then and allow every creative thought you ever had and ever will have to be torn from your grey matter on a daily basis, you can retire at 70!’



I made my excuses, terminated the call and weighed it all up in my tired, traumatised little noggin.  The choice is apparently grim, pressurised/boring/both, 9-8pm hell, or an interesting role sitting outside tube stations with an upended cap and sign saying ‘Two starving cats to support’.

And no matter how scared I am of impending doom on the dole, I cannot, will not allow myself to be fenced in that way again.

So whilst I may be a pathetic little shit swirling around in a riptide, at least I’m free to swirl and not being shat on by a bigger shit.

Am I making sense here?!

Oh shit, I give up, will try again tomorrow.

Enjoy the music…

Namaste x


EAR WORM No. 21 – The Ting Tings – THAT’S NOT MY NAME

This song is stuck in my ear ‘oles for a variety of reasons, the primary instigator being that it is currently being used by Coke in their personalised bottles ad campaign.

Quick synopsis:

Disgruntled dog searches in vain for a bottle of coke with his name on, passing lots of lucky folk drinking their bespoke black stuff, culminating with him going up on the roof of a building which has a hoarding with, yes, a huge bottle with his name on it, and he does a triumphant doggy dance with the other mutts there.



The next reason is that the song is about being invisible, which I am and always have been, only nowadays it’s from choice, but i relate to the singers underlying frustration a lot, especially when remembering how it was when I was younger.

The third?  Anonymity.  Not only is Sista Sertraline not my name, but I’m a bit of a fan of alias/pseudonym in real life too, especially when it comes (well, came) to dating, suspect spammers and hiding from potential ‘friends’.  In fact even my Facebook pages paints a picture that just isn’t true, but that’s what I’ve done my entire life, and who in my position would be frank about what is really going on for them on social media?

Plus if I don’t know who I am, how can anyone else really?

The fourth link is that I was once told I looked like the lead singer, and whilst that was overly flattering given that I’m probably double her age, she does look like she could be my daughter, and when the song first came out, I’d find myself watching this video with a fascination bordering on the obsessional as it was kind of a glimpse into a world where I might have reproduced and she was the child that never was, which was both compelling and bitter sweet.

Final factor is that it’s a great song, so enjoy!

Jeez, I really should get out more….

Namaste x




A few days ago, I was told, albeit in a jocular manner, that I must like loathing myself because I do it so much.

My immediate reaction was anger and irritation, but I’m HSP, and as I knew it came from a good person who was only trying to make me smile, I didn’t respond in a too negative way.

But it played on my mind all day, not because it was a stupid thing to say, but because I can’t really explain why we depressives/BPD types do the things we do to ourselves time and time again, so the reality is that I am more angry at myself than anyone else.

And there I go again, beating myself up, only proving her point.


Can I stress that this is in no way a dig at my friend or a ‘pity me’ article?  I more than anyone want to understand why this keeps on happening and rectify it, but I do know that self destructive behaviour is a classic BDP trait.

So I tried to think a bit more about why I lapse back into self defeating behaviours when i know so much more than the average Joe about mental health and the techniques, habits and care taking that can prevent them taking hold.

‘Reinventing Your Life’ by Jeffrey E Young calls these behaviours ‘life traps’ or ‘schemas’ and I bought it about a month ago as I will (hopefully) be having 2 years of schema therapy come Autumn.

Have I read it yet?

No.  That would be far, far too enabling and rational, innit?  Well I got as far as the second chapter entitled ‘Which Lifetraps Do You Have?’ and stopped because didn’t want to ‘spoil’ my new book by writing on it.

Jaysus, I sound like an 8 year old schoolgirl not wanting to crease her new exercise book…lame excuse really…

But what I do understand is that schemas are cultivated during childhood and are down to flawed parenting, repeat and repeat throughout our lives, are comfortable and familiar and when challenged, will fight for survival.

And maybe that’s why we keep on repeating and repeating our self hating shit.

It’s easy.  We know the routine.  We know what to expect when we do it.  We know what the outcome will be.  We know that there are no surprises lurking around the corner.   And we know that no matter how hard we fight, these fuckers tend to win and overcome our good intentions around 90-99.9% of the time.

So we trudge on down that same old path, stubbing our toes on the same old rocks, scratching our faces on the same thorny undergrowth, besieged by the savage mosquito like words of our traitorous subconscious that sting and sting again, and press on staggering and bleeding, rather than take the road lest travelled.


Because whilst that other route might look bright, lush and inviting after you get past the scary bit, and is probably safer that the lonely old wilderness that we choose time and time again, we ‘know’ from experience that whatever can go wrong, does go wrong, so we don’t trust that it leads to a pretty little copse full of colourful butterflies, fragrant flowers and chattering birds, as we ‘know’ that just around that corner that fricking scarecrow/bat thing from ‘Jeepers Creepers’ is lying in wait for us, just dying to swoop down and claw our peepers out, so fuck that for a game of soldiers.

Why everyone else however, manages to trot down it and come out the other end totally unscathed is a mystery.

So how to defeat these damned schema things?  Dunno yet.  And whilst I’m sure that actually reading the book in full and doing the exercises (instead of using it as a coaster) might help, I’ll only really know by doing the therapy with other BDP sufferers, which I’m actually looking forward to.

Because being on your own makes it even easier to lapse, because no one is there to chivvy you along when you mope, yank the duvet off your reluctant carcass of a morning and shove you towards the bathroom, drag you to the cinema, or circle jobs in the local paper in order to get you out into society again.  Cats are all very well, but they can’t do that shit. And if they could I doubt they’d bother. They have too much on what with the eating, fighting, jumping on my belly, chewing my hair covering it with fishy spittle, and trashing my furniture, so having sessions with and support from people who not only get it, but live it will probably be revelation.


I do get it though.  Some people must find out shit very frustrating, and even Aunty C chides me for ‘moping’ sometimes, but she’s my therapist/mum so she’s allowed.

What would be absolutely unbearable however would be to live with someone who didn’t understand, and was in my face, saying stupid shit and nagging me half to death.  After all familiarity breeds contempt doncha know, and the thought of a malign being sharing my home when I’m at my worst is enough to make me booby trap all my doors with razor wire, so I am actually thankful that I live alone.

Well me and the cats.

AND the good parent, the bad parent, the child and all the gibbering mind monkeys.

Better the devils you know eh? 🙂

Hey ho, roll on September…

Namaste x








Um…hello again.

I’m sat here at my keyboard on a baking hot Sunday in just a sarong, post ice cream overdose, not having been out all day, and I haven’t a clue what I’m going to say to you, so I’m just gonna wing it I suppose…

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, but I have very valid reasons for not having been here.  Or do I?

I’ll try and break it down.

Things have all been very up and down, a real mixture of busy days (one of which I might actually be paid for), social days, dark dark days, and days of pure lethargy and self loathing and I totally lapsed back into all of my bad habits especially watching back to back TV hence I am now hooked on this year’s ‘Big Brother’.

I also got very down about this blog and the fact that I kept aiming high and promising big only to immediately default and get caught up in my usual self defeating, self destructive behaviour, so after my last post I skipped a day.

And then another.

And another.

And then a week.

And pretty soon, my blog, my precious lifeline went the way of yoga, creativity, dancing and all of those good things that made me feel that life was worth living, and joined them on the ‘Tomorrow/Monday’ pile.

As in ‘I’ll skip yoga and chill out today, and start afresh, and will be on my mat at 7.45am sharp tomorrow.

‘I’ll apply for a job, any job, one a day, but it’s Sunday so tomorrow, Monday will be the perfect time to start’.

‘I’ll sort out my baking business and get a business card sorted, but today’s already spoiled now so I’ll finished this box set and start as I mean to go on next week‘.

‘I hate myself when I have a muffin top, so need to get back on a healthy eating regime, but I started today with a sausage sandwich for breakfast, so I might as well gorge on all the fattening stuff left in my fridge today (because it’s too much effort to shove it in the freezer – right?) and start everything tomorrow.  All diets start on a Monday, right?

Pathetic hey?

How could this have happened?  Sure I had a couple of busy, all consuming days, but that doesn’t mean I should ‘reward’ myself by flopping out and neglecting my mind, body and most of all my spirit.

I think I was also sick of my own whining, negativity and endless excuses.

But hey I’m here now, and have re-broken my duck (non Brits see link below) in the very act of completing this post.

I know, it’s not big and not that clever.


But from little ducklings, mighty hens do grow, and normal service will resume as soon as possible.

Thanks for your messages, they meant a lot.

Namaste x’s_duck





It’s official.

The days after lots of social interaction are always the worst.

When I don’t see anyone for a long period of time, I can almost kid myself that living in this little high rise burrow is a normal way of life, but then arriving home after being with the ‘normals’ I start to realise how lonely and isolated I really am.

That’s not to say that my weekend by the sea was idyllic. Nothing is ever perfect.

  • There was the concern that my flat may be burgled whilst I was away.


  • The worrying about my cat feeder not working and coming back to two kitty skeletons instead of two sulky toms and clumps of fur everywhere.
  • Then there was the rabbit.


No, I don’t have a long eared lop, a Dutch Dwarf or a cheeky Chinchilla.

Sally brought the bunny.

Lots of it too.

I know I’m being a bitch because there’s nothing wrong with being chatty and having lots to say, and it was great catching up with her, and super kind of her taking a miserable old cow like me away for the weekend, but it got to the stage that there was no silence in my days at all and I got sick of hearing my own voice, let alone hers.

Even when we were watching TV she would pipe up, just as something pertinent was happening and I had to strain to catch what was being said so’s not to lose the plot, without looking like I was ignoring her.

How do people manage this?  I assume I used to have this skill, or (more likely) perhaps I told the offending friend/boyfriend/flatmate to shut the fuck up and watch the programme already.

Even when, at her suggestion, we went and laid on loungers on the beach ‘to read’, I’d never get beyond one paragraph without her piping up with something or other and totally breaking my concentration again.

Doesn’t everyone appreciate a comfortable silence every now and then?!

Even before my ‘crash’, when I was out working amongst the normal, the whole point of seeing a movie or reading a book was to lose myself in someone else’s story and forget where/who I was.

If you watch a comedy you want to hear every punchline or witty aside;  If you’re reading a novel you want to get engrossed by the end of the first chapter; If you’re watching a thrilling drama, you want to be able to work out who the killer is, not listen to someone else’s annoying, speculating yap, yes?

I have to admit that I tend to show very short shrift indeed to anyone inadvertently breaking into my private world in these circumstances.  In my 20’s I once hurled someone’s copy of The Sun across the Tube carriage because he kept wafting it in my face and brushing my arm with it when I was trying to read.  I did fire two warning shots by (a) giving him a dirty look, then (b) saying a very icy ‘Excuse me’ which he chose to ignore, so it was his own fault really that I had to resort to (c)…


I am, of course, a lot more chilled and tolerant nowadays (hurray for medication), but I live alone apart from two mainly silent animals and so am used to a lot of quiet in my day, and endless superfluous chatter can be, if anything, even more intolerable to me nowadays.

But, apart from cracking once and raising a hand to silence Sal after the umpteenth interruption to my current fave programme (which earned me about 20 mins of, albeit, stony silence – bliss!), I think I coped very well.

Because we also cooked for one another.

Went out to lunch.

Sunned ourselves by the sea.

Went for long walks on the beach.

Went shopping.

And yes, for the most part, I very much enjoyed having someone to have some girl time with.

And ironically, when i got home, I immediately missed the chatter and felt the solitude hit hard and brought with it all the troubles and pending decisions, which, surprise surprise, did not leave the building when I did.

My lack of funds.

My need to find a job.

My medication situation.

My fear of all of the above and so much more.

And it became apparent that there are worse things to live with than a bit too much rabbit.

And these problems are only enhanced by the sound of silence.

Ooops where did that bit of tumbleweed flitting across the carpet come from?

Missing your company Sal, even though you do prattle on a bit….

Namaste x

PS Any non Brits wondering where the term ‘rabbit’ comes from, please find the below cockney ditty by the one and only Chas & Dave!



PITY PARTY TRACK 18 – SILENCE – DELIRIUM feat. Sarah Maclachlan

Don’t have much to say as the lyrics say it all.  Except I hear ‘whirlwind’ not white wave?

Very telling, hey? 😉

Enjoy x

‘Give me release, witness me
I am outside, give me peace

Heaven holds a sense of wonder, and I wanted to believe
That I’d get caught up when the rage in me subsides

Passion chokes the flower, till she cries no more
Possessing all the beauty, hungry still for more

Heaven holds a sense of wonder, and I wanted to believe
That I’d get caught up when the rage in me subsides

In this white wave I am sinking, in this silence
In this white wave, in this silence, I believe

I have seen you in this white wave you are silent
You are breathing, in this white wave I am free

I can’t help this longing comfort me
I can’t hold it all in, if you won’t let me

Heaven holds a sense of wonder, and I wanted to believe
That I’d get caught up when the rage in me subsides

In this white wave I am sinking, in this silence
In this white wave, In this silence, I believe

I have seen you in this white wave you are silent
You are breathing, in this white wave I am free’

Read more: Delerium – Silence Lyrics | MetroLyrics