Phoenix Fights

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


14 Comments

Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North…

GOT-game-of-thrones-29426322-1600-1200.jpg

Shit is going down.

I wish I could say that I’ve had a normal life, but that would be a lie.

I seem to have a number of lives within this one, always culminating in a big disaster, a cutting off and a move, usually geographical but not always.

In this instance, it is inevitable.  Pending.

As I have to be out of my flat soon, regardless as to whether I buy the multi flawed house I’ve made an offer on.

In a part of the country where there are major problems.

In a tiny village.

On a main-ish road (sorry cats).

With, like I say, some major issues to address.

So instead of facilitating a non 9-5 lifestyle, I would spend the rest of my days doting on this bitch only to keep her from collapsing in a heap.

I could have gotten something modern, brand new even, in a cul de sac with no major outgoings whatsoever.  But that would be too boring.  And too easy.

But I do love the house.  It called to me.  But all depends on whether the sellers will take my reduced offer.

download.jpeg

This has been like playing poker with the Devil and being down to your last chip, as if this all falls through, I’m out of money, energy and time, so in a way it has to work.

Of course I’m afraid. When haven’t I been?!

However, this is a whole new level.

That said I have to have faith that, for once, the trickster is on my side.  In the Tarot, the Devil represents being restricted, held back, usually by a cell of one’s own making, so it’s down to me to finish the game and walk away triumphant.

Plus all the stars are aligned in my horoscope and screaming ‘For God’s sake, get off your ass and take a frigging chance!’, so as with my previous mini incarnations, the universe is making my decision for me and spitting me out and onto the next level.

And I’m relieved.  Because to live a half life in fear and uncertainty for so many years sucks the life out of a body.

London was never really my home.  It’s like a big plush waiting room, perfectly comfortable and accommodating, but no place to settle.

And that manipulative North wind whips up a storm every night, and will continue until I finally leave this place and move on, hopefully to a place I can call home.

Winter, it appears, is coming.

Whether I want it to or not.

Wish me luck.

Namaste x

 


19 Comments

AS SAFE AS HOUSES

2012-05-12_16-15-58_852

It’s ironic that after all of these years of hiding away at every given opportunity in this little burrow, I’m now being forced to leave it for good.  But it’s hardly surprising and I’m being ejected at my own hand really.

To my eternal shame, I do get benefits from the government, but they do not cover my mortgage, which I totally understand.  Why should they buy part of my property for me?  But it’s some other humungous charges that are to be my downfall.  On top of my repeatedly sticking my head back in the sand, pretending that my payout/savings would last forever.

Then came the day when I realised that not only did I have but a couple of grand left, but a massive bill would be winging its way to me in a matter of days, and I felt all the blood drain from my face and head to my bowels where it sloshed and churned miserably, and still does to this day.

Being penniless and on the street has always been my worst nightmare.  It was my mother’s before me too, and I seem to have inherited that from her.  Along with bad eyesight and goofy teeth.

Thanks for that, mum.

So why have I brought my own horror story to life?

Well for a start, in the past when one door closed (job wise) something else tended to creak open so I’d always, if not land on my feet, manage to stagger to them with a couple of grazed knees and a mild case of concussion.  Nothing amazing or career enhancing you understand, but I’d put my feelers out and something would come up on my radar and save my financial bacon.

Not this time.  In all fairness, as most of you know, I did deliberately eschew the corporate world for the last 2 years, and of course my EUPD (BPD) diagnosis did nothing to stabilise my condition or confidence, but I have applied for other jobs. One or two of similar seniority, some mid range, but mostly pretty lowly ones, that paid a fraction of what I used to earn.  Jobs i could do blindfolded, with one arm tied behind my back.  

Did I even get a callback?  

Not one single one.

I’ve done odd days of ad hoc work.  I’ve tried to sell my baking.  And above all, I’ve been constantly on the alert for a sign from God whom I thought, given that I’m watching and listening so intently, might give me a clue as to what my purpose should be on this earth and perhaps open a door for me. Even the tiniest crack in some some shitty, splintered, graffiti festooned door somewhere would do.

Hunt_Light_of_the_World

Is that too much to ask?

But if he’s sent me any messages, my network must be playing up as I’m still no further on when it comes to figuring out what my next steps are with regard to this predicament and indeed the rest of my life.

And I constantly mull and ponder and question myself.  Have I been making this all up? Is there a God?  Does he/she/it have a plan for me?  Or is it all random and I have no more of a destiny than that little grey mouth pounding it silly head against the hot bulb of my reading lamp?  My cat is watching it very intently so I don’t fancy it’s chances once it gets bored of doing that either….

147571456_8099d57b93_z

So I’m meant to live, eat, shit, fuck, sleep, die and decompose and it’s no more complicated than that?

Or I am burning up some horrible karma from a previous life where I’ve been a total biatch, and that’s why I’m getting the silent treatment?

Maybe God is just thinking ‘Lazy, cocky little mare, who does she think she is?  Who said I have a plan for her anyway?  Slog away aimlessly little insect until I decide to acknowledge and give you something useful to do.  If you’re lucky.’

Boy I’ve done a number on myself, make no mistake about it.  Because if, no let’s be honest, WHEN I leave here, I’ll be unable to do the 2 year Schema Therapy trial as I’ll be living in outside London so not entitled to it.

The only thing that would rectify this situation would be if I got a full time job here and was able to fully support myself.  And let’s face it, that ain’t looking too hopeful.

But maybe this is meant to be.  Maybe I’m meant to move.  And if I’m able to buy a little place outright with what I get from this place, that would be a load of my mind.  I could get a tiny house with a little garden for my mogs somewhere in the sticks.

What if I can’t get a job in Newfoundtown?  Well I can’t get one here, so what’s the difference?!  And whilst I might be super broke, the bailiffs might take my TV (ARRGHH!), and my leccy and gas might get cut off, I’d still own the place and no one will be able to repossess it.

As for the Schema, I’m due to get a proper written diagnosis so maybe that will help me get some alternative therapy in the new borough/city/county.

Oh God, the thoughts just keep whirling around in my head.  And after the shit that’s come from living in it to date, I still want to shrink back into my brick shell and not do anything bar trembling under my duvet.

Aunty C (my counsellor) is being wonderful and supportive and optimistic. But I know she’s afraid for me too.

As for my family, I’ve pretty much told them that I’ve run out of money and have to sell, and that message was met with complete silence before my sister changed the subject and wanted to catch up on some gossip about a mutual friend.

No offers of support or help.  I think she’s worried I’ll ask for money or ask to stay with her but I’d rather slice my tongue out than do that, as the last time I did that, many years ago, she presented me with an invoice the day I left.  The bill was calculated as if I were lodger renting a room, there was a charge for the food I imbibed per day, a share of the energy bill, TV licence, council tax etc., and came complete with a date that it must be paid by.

I walked away in shock.  I hadn’t even started my new job and felt about as loved as a dose of herpes.

Then a week later she demanded a contribution toward a very expensive gift for a family member when I didn’t have a penny to my name, and when I told her I didn’t have it, she threatened to stop me seeing her kids if i didn’t comply.

I forgave her many years ago. But some things you never forget.

What I would have appreciated was a call asking if I was OK, maybe some advice and a bit of sisterly support, but she can stick it now.

One thing’s for sure, I won’t be moving anywhere near her as many have advised.  Anyway I don’t have to worry about being lonely in the new town, because that’s always with me, wherever I go.

So I just need to get on with it so that I can walk out of here with my head held high and not tweezed out, wriggling all the way like a winkle on the end of a pin.

That’s a good point!  I could live at the seaside!

OK so this might be a good thing, but I’m going to do a three pronged approach.

1.  Get this place valued, start looking for somewhere and figure out how much money I need to facilitate the entire operation.

2.  Doctor/dumb down my CV with a view to getting secretarial/admin work.  A EPA/Miss Moneypenny kind of role ideally.

3.  Write to my lenders and explain the situation, ask them what they can do for me, and if nothing else assure them that I’ll be paying them off in full so they have nothing to fear and don’t need to repossess.

Lord I’m scared.  But I’m going to bite the bullet and get on with it.

I have Clara and my friends, and I also remember that I always feel stronger when i look after my body and diet. In fact the Lent period was the healthiest I’d ever been so I guess i should get back on that too.

I think this is a quite good plan.  Unless stuff goes wrong.  And there’s so much that can go wrong. Especially with my karma.

Fuck, STOP THAT SISTA!

This fucking FEAR rules my ass big time.

I just want to find a place I can call home.  As I’ve never felt that I belong anywhere.

And it occurs to me that if I can conquer this SHIT and feel a sense of belonging within myself then I could feel at home anywhere like those little molluscs, adrift in a vast, all encompassing ocean, but perfectly happy in their self sufficient shells.

That’s quite a way off though.  

And even they have to look out for the pricks….

Please pray for me.

Namaste xx

 

 

 


11 Comments >

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.

Nada.

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

Shirley-MacLaine-with-her-Academy-Award-for-Best-Actress-in-1983-for-her-role-as-Aurora-Greenway-in-Terms-of-Endearment-1983

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/come-out-come-out-whoever-you-are/

 


15 Comments

STRANGE DAYS INDEED…

24388138_30c988220b

This time last week I felt like I’ve been put though a mangle, after two, very different, but equally demanding, challenging, potentially exposing days liaising with strangers.

The first was being interviewed by two very bright, eager, shiny faced young medical students/researchers at my local mental health facility in preparation for my (pending) therapy this Autumn.

This took over three and a half hours in a windowless, airless room, not counting two visits to the lavvy and one five minute tea break.

The lack of breaks wasn’t down to them.  It was down to me.  Much like yanking a large, well established sticking plaster of an unwaxed, hirsute front bottom, I wanted it over and done with as quickly and painlessly as possible.

God, it was bloody.

Not because they were unkind, cold or clinical.

It was because they weren’t.

They were intent on making me comfortable with the process, and tried so hard to say the right things (urrgghhh!) that it just made it worse.  And the more they sensed my discomfort, the harder they tried.

Bless their hearts, but it was excruciating.

1140995

They were so frigging wholesome, so untarnished, so eager to please, so evidently loved that every time I told them something that they could never, ever relate to, their faces would pucker with confusion, compassion and pity, before hurriedly dipping their heads into their respective notebooks to frantically scribble down their observations, and I just wanted to die from mortification and embarrassment.

We were like chalk and cheese, oil and water [insert favourite cliche] etc.  The times that they tried to be jolly and smiley, I couldn’t force it or pretend to be, and when I occasionally spat out a wry but hopefully witty comment, it either went over their heads or they were too nervous to laugh in case they misread my intent, so instead of bonding, all I could feel was the vast chasm expanding between us.

I felt old, corrupt, soiled and a complete and total failure. These girls were young enough to be my kids and I was the helpless one?

I honestly cannot describe the shame.

And as I left that soulless hospital ward and emerged out into the bright sunlight that I finally realised what I had committed to.

2-3 YEARS of this?!  How will I bear it?

That said, I was grateful for my exhaustion as I had a very early start the next day and wanted to get a good night’s rest.

4725252577_202c9b033e_o

But whilst I did manage to get to bed early and nod off, nothing could prepare me for getting up at sparrow’s fart, aka before dawn.

On the plus side, I didn’t have to give much of a shit about what I looked like.  What a joy that was!  Up, shower, dressed and out of the door.

Good job I wasn’t being hired for my looks.  Or my personality really.

rent-a-crowd-london

As, in complete contrast from the day before, I was essentially just a warm body to the people who employed me that day.  An anonymous drone.  Part of a rentacrowd.  I was totally insignificant to them and they neither wanted nor needed to know fuck all about me.

But it wasn’t dehumanising or horrible.

It was a massive relief.

Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t rude or unkind. Well there were one or two dickheads there, puffed up with a sense of self importance that was neither warranted or deserved, but I didn’t feel I had to kiss their arse or suck up to them, which is more than I could say for my previous employers.  Oh one woman was a bit short with me, because I’m pretty sure she wanted to impress certain parties, but to my astonishment I was able to let it wash over me.

It didn’t burn me.  I wasn’t incensed.  I didn’t hit her back with a barbed lash of my infamous tongue.  I gazed at her blankly and meekly walked away.  Result!

Plus I met some cool, funny people to chat with.  Transient, commitment phobe pretenders just like me, but so full of banter, gossip and anecdotes about the business that I could get away with giving very little away about myself, thus maintaining my anonymity and emotional distance.

I also learned that my usual tactic of finding a kindred spirit and sticking to them doesn’t wash with this lot.  One minute I’d be having a big old bonding session with one woman, the next I’d come back from the loo and she’d be in a different room chatting to someone else.  This kind of work will be a good opportunity for me to learn to do the same.

I have to keep reminding myself, I don’t HAVE to FIT IN.  I can flit too.

It was perfect.  Almost like it was tailor made for me.

And my indifference to the VIP’s, and their desire to distance themselves from us made me an ideal candidate to work alongside them.

‘Oh, so and so’s here!  I hope I get to see her!  Do you think such and such is here too?’ piped up one keen little soul, wide eyed with excitement.

Dunno.

Whilst I’m sure they’re both nice enough, I really couldn’t give a shit, so I wasn’t one of the crowd that was hovering around trying to get a glimpse of them.

Because these VIPs and the fawning, kow towing wannabes looking after them are to my mind, no different to the rest of us.

We’re all just warm bodies for hire.

They just don’t know it yet.

It was a long old day, but I was prepared for that and took stuff to keep me occupied.  We were well fed, well rested but it was gruelling, given that I had not worked properly for months, plus, after being grilled by the Looney Police for nearly four hours the day before, it didn’t take me long to get overwhelmed with all the small talk and forced interaction, and I frequently longed for my sofa, mogs and a bit of solitude.

Then at last, we were allowed to leave and I had to queue up with all the others to get signed off.   The blustery guy in charge (who was quite sweet really), relieved that all had gone without incident, in a fit of bonhomie added an extra hours pay to my form, countersigned it and handed me the pink carbon copy.

And there it was.

The first wage I have earned in nearly two years.

A fraction of what I used to earn of course, and once the social see it hit my account I may well lose my benefits which is kind of terrifying.

But for that moment, I was proud of myself for bitch slapping the FEAR into submission and getting through these two most vital of days.

‘Thank you’, I said smiling, ‘it was fun!’

‘FUN!’ he echoed, clearly amused that such a menial role could be entertaining to me.

But he had no idea.  How could he?

For after all those years I had to pretend to be someone I was not, barely ‘masking my contempt for the assholes in charge’, working with people I did not respect, and supporting policies that I did not agree with, to be able to embrace my inner Lester Burnham and do ‘a job with the least amount of responsibility’ was just bliss.

And the irony that I had to do less acting in this scenario than my previous roles did not escape me.

As I staggered gratefully to my car to hit the road, it occurred to me that, at the end of the day, we are at our core, all actors anyway.

I am no more Sista Sertraline than I am this vehicle.

I merely occupy it for this particular journey, and one day the engine will die, the wheels will stop turning and I will step out of it and move on.

In the meantime I wonder what the road might have in store for me tomorrow.  Living one’s life authentically and not walking the wheel sure is keeping me on my toes.

Nobody told me there’d be days like these.

Most peculiar mama.

 


12 Comments

BALLS

And just when I thought everything was going so well.

I’m two weeks from a pretty successful Lenten ‘best behaviour’ period, and all of a sudden, it feels like I’m about to roll down a hill to nowhere.

It’s like a juggling act really, isn’t it, trying to get all your daily chores done, sticking to your resolutions/good intentions and keeping it all going?

Then something distracts you and you drop a ball.  Be it getting to bed early, eschewing alcohol, or bad carbs ball, one day you forget to do something then immediate sense of guilt/failure unsteadies you, but you manage to flick it back in the mix whilst not losing anything else.  Then another wobble, another mini guilt trip and just as you manage to get everything under control again, Life comes along, rudely jogs your elbow, then of course one escapes, and then another, and the whole fucking lot comes tumbling down around your ears.

Image

That potential work opportunity I was telling you about?

It all seemed so promising at the time.  But now?

Now I smell a rat.

images

Actually I love rats so let me change that.

It’s starting to smell a little fishy.

22494

Nope, that’s not working either…

OK, so what I’m trying to say is that something seems a wee bit suspect about them.

The first time I visited the company, it was all very exciting and promising, but the second time, their attitude and whole proposition seems a little slapdash/complacent/indifferent, PLUS they wanted their substantial fee paying cash in hand which immediately got my antenna twitching, and as the meeting commenced, something told me that I was not going to get much out of them.

Okay.  So, I acknowledge that I’m paranoid.

And I know in some ways, this could be me deriding myself, by thinking that they wouldn’t (or is that couldn’t) value or prioritise me, and that my old friend FEAR is once again lurking around the corridors of my psyche trying to gain entrance.

But my intuition is 99.9% spot on and rarely lets me down. Even Aunty C acknowledges this.

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/its-this-one-thing-thats-got-me-trippin/

That said, I know that I’m very prone to letting one bad thing attach itself to another and then they breed like cancer cells, so I’m trying very hard to put it on the back burner, get me balls back up (watching shite TV and skipping walking/yoga specifically) and weigh it all up rationally once my panic abates.

This also might be self sabotage as I’m dreading interacting with the ‘normal’ again.  I say ‘normal’.  I met this woman on the way in and she talked at me for about 45 mins without drawing breath, neither noticing or acknowledging the horrified look and sickly smile no doubt pasted to my chops.  I was bordering on obtaining a restraining order in case she ever recognised me again.

Boring

It makes me wonder how I coped when I was working too.  If I remember rightly I was exhausted by the very act of getting into the office, no wonder I found everything and everyone else such a challenge, so kudos to all you people that have a job and manage to stay on an even keel.

And how do people who work, and have a family and kids to deal with?!  Double kudos you people, I can only stand back (at a safe distance with my bag on the seat next to me, no offence, nothing personal) and admire you all for this.

Anyway, it’s a sunny day and I have no excuse not to walk.

Then I can do a bit of mat work when I get back.

Plus I’m physically fitter than I have been for a long time, so why screw that up by eating badly?

And I’ve taken the plug of my TV.

OK, I haven’t but I have turned it off, OK?!

Onwards and upwards, both me and my cojones.

Here we go again.

Hup!

 

 


8 Comments

FEAR SMACK DOWN 1 – SPINNING AROUND

Image

2014 has been a wee bit tough for me so far.  Deaths, illnesses, resigning myself to applying for benefits, baking stall disasters etc., but last night I did my first Fear Smack Down of the year.  🙂

I’d pretty much spent 4 days and nights on my own, and one of my friends, whom I thought was supportive of my illness not only appears to be blanking me *, but has kind of ‘jumped in my grave’ so to speak, and snatched an opportunity away from me that I alerted her to, mug that I am.   And given she is one of my new supposedly ‘positive’ acquisitions, it feels like such a betrayal and makes me fall back into thinking that I can’t trust anyone whatsoever.

So me being me, of course, I found a polite way of saying ‘stuff it up your arse’, backed off and let her keep it.

Then last night, I was meant to be going to a Meet Up group with another new friend who, after asking if she could go with me, cancelled on me at the very last minute.

Instant karma anyone? 😉

I know, I can hardly talk, but it did drag me even further down mood wise.

And as the turbulent storm outside (and the even bigger one in my head) raged, yes, you guessed it, the urge to bail and stay glued to the sofa for the night was almost irresistible.

I did my usual procrastinations to kill time; hoovered the flat, played Scrabble online, sniped a bit on eBay, bleached my teaspoons etc. and all along the voices told me don’t go out, stay in, no one will talk to you let alone dance with you, what are you going to say when they ask you what you do, you’re too late now, look at the state of you, you’re too old for this, stay in and watch TV with us, you don’t need anyone else, you’ll only get hurt….

Then a very familiar voice cut through all of the others and said kindly but insistently ‘Don’t let the child sit in and fester!  Encourage her to go along, and remind her, she can always come home if she doesn’t like it.’

And for once, out of the hundreds of times I failed to listen to Aunty C’s sage words, I slid off the sofa, rushed to the bathroom, hurriedly daubed on some make up, pulled on a top and jeans and scuttled out into the night, muttering to myself ‘It’ll be fine, it’s loud and anonymous; take the car and if it’s awful you can always leg it home quickly.’

And do you know what?

It wasn’t fine.

It was brilliant!

As soon as I got in I spotted someone I’d met before and before I knew it, we got chatting to two other girls and I had friends, for the evening at least.

The bands were loud, too loud for us to chat too much, so I kept my anonymity, hid my nuttiness, and any nervous OTT antics were probably just perceived as me trying to be heard over the din.  The dancing was hilarious, everyone was clowning about and it was so much fun, and I span till I was dizzy, and all I could feel was joy and gratitude to God for this few hours of respite.

I also got a few appreciative looks from the opposite sex, but I avoided their eyes, ducked my head and steered clear.  Run men of Knightsbridge run, you have no idea what you’re dealing with….

Image

I even had a couple of cheeky ciders, both of which I am regretting this morning, but in all all?

I was glad I went.

So take that Fear!  OK you might be well up on points, and have hundreds to my one so far this year, but I warn you, this time, I’m committed to kicking your arse by the medium of dance.

So, I’m spinning around, move out of my way bitch!

Namaste x

* I could be wrong 😉