Phoenix Fights

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


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COME OUT, COME OUT, WHOEVER YOU ARE….

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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.

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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?!

Well.

I guess we’re about to find out.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid…

 

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/these-are-the-days-of-the-endless-summer-3-mylastsummer/

25 DAYS OF SONGS CHALLENGE: DAY 9 – A SONG THAT MAKES ME HOPEFUL

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Pretty much anything by The Sounds of Blackness picks me up, in one way or another, but when I’m at my lowest, ‘The Pressure Pt. 2’ soothes my soul and makes me believe that a way forward is maybe just about possible…

And when I’m more upbeat and on the verge of daring to take a risk, ‘Optimistic’ nails it. To the core.

Enjoy!

And never say die. x

 

DEATHWISH 2001

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It was a bit of a sad day yesterday.

I’d been experiencing the inevitable guilt fest people like me go through when someone young, vital, and full of love dies.
God alone knows why he takes the ones that want to stay, and keeps those of us that would be thrilled to be beamed up Star Trek style to the great beyond down here.

Yesterday young Stephen Sutton finally died at the heartbreaking age of 19, after a four year battle with cancer, who, before thumbing a lift to the afterlife, raised a staggering £3.2m (and rising as we speak) for the Teenage Cancer Trust by working his way through a 46 item bucket list and being sponsored along the way, after having been told that his cancer had spread and that he didn’t have long to live.

Whilst most people (i.e. me) would have, on diagnosis, sighed pitifully, settled back under the duvet (assuming I ever emerged from it in the first place) and intermittently slept and stared wistfully into space whilst everyone (I don’t know ‘Who?’ OK? Just go with this willya?!) ran around doing shit for me.

I might have stretched myself a little by planning an Ealing Comedy style will/inheritance challenge scenario to torment my family after my demise, pitting them against one another whilst alive by way of pre match training. 🙂

But that would be it.

Not this kid. He was a fucking whirlwind and did not waste one second of his life.  He grabbed it by the throat and made it work for him and for those in his position, and had a blast doing it.  Did being in pain, sick, nauseous or weak get in his way?

Not for one single moment.

He even completed his exams and got A*s aplenty in the process.

And whilst he’s been doing this?

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I’ve been vegetating away at home doing squat for pretty much two years.

Oh the shame…

I and others with mental health issues have no doubt wished for death at least a couple of thousand times in our lifetimes; and it still happens.  I do try not to because (a) it doesn’t work, (b) it’s an affront to people who are dying and very much want to live, and (c) unless I am woman enough to crash the party and boogie along to the mortal coil shuffle, it ain’t happening.

I did it again yesterday though.  One more time.

As I’d have given anything to take this kid’s place.

Not for me. But for him.  Because for less than 2o years, the world was a better place with him in it.

And my heart aches for his mother and loved ones.

If you are trying to guilt me into taking an active part in life God, it’s starting to get to me, y’hear!

I had to go to the dentists today and be fitted with some god awful medieval oral contraption in order to stop me gnashing my remaining teeth to chalk.  Mincy (https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/rubberneckers-of-the-world-unite/) went to great pains to be nice to me again, bless him, and I feel vile for judging him before.  Anyway it was hardly a barrel of laughs but at least it got me out of the house.

Afterwards I must have walked for miles and miles. Rain was forecast and I didn’t have a brolly, but whilst the dark clouds were never far away, I didn’t get wet.  And as I walked I tried for once to see the good stuff and be thankful and mindful.

The sun on my pallid little phis.  The breeze in my hair.  The soundness and solidity of my body.

My back didn’t ache.  My head didn’t hurt.

I wasn’t the person over the road being screamed at by his scary, chavvy partner.

A toothless, snot nosed little cherub beamed at me as I walked past.

I got a cheeky wink from a huge roofer as I passed under some scaffolding (what is it with me and big, dirty geezers?!).

My freshly washed cotton trainer socks were not rolling up and chafing my heels like they usually do.

The way my stomach relaxed as a long, luxurious, silent-but-deadly fart exited my body as I passed a gang of surly looking school kids <Man!  You is rank!>.

And my fully functioning, almost full , hot water bottle of a bladder, insistently reminding me to stop for a loo break already.

Nothing is perfect.

At least I didn’t wet myself.

And I am here.

An animated, corporeal lump of meat, bones and blood perambulating along the street.

Alive.

And for once? Bordering on grateful.  Or at least trying to be.

I catch a late lunch and sit in the late Spring sun, nursing a latte, pondering my next move, and when I think about the last year, some things have changed, and I am better than I was.  Aunty  C would be thrilled to hear me say that as she is very pro my recognising what she sees as my triumphs.

I am less angry and aggressive.

I get out and about a bit more.

I earned some money.

I am learning to live with loneliness.

I am learning to forgive.  Properly.

But I can’t carry waiting for something to happen all the time as the days of my life whizz past.

In health, I give others good advice. Everyone says so.

In fact I’d go so far to say that I give really good advice. Everyone use to come to me for it.

But it’s that age old thing, innit.  Physician heel thyself and all that. But maybe it’s time I tried.

Time to book an appointment with…me.

Yes, I’ve finally lost it.

I hope that God has put meat on your bones and colour in your cheeks, young Stephen, and that you get to keep on partying hard in the afterlife, along with some well earned rest.

Do me a favour though, and give the Man Upstairs my best won’t you?

I just want to make sure He hasn’t forgotten to put my name on the guest list.

Lots of love

xxx

 

 


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THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT

 

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Just in case you weren’t aware, we are less than 2 days from Easter Sunday, and I’ve been (mostly) off sugar and alcohol for over 40 days for Lent, and I’ve been trying to establish a healthy way of living mentally, physically and spiritually with varying degrees of consistency and success.

So what have I learned from this?

 

SUGAR, SUGAR

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One of the first unsurprising realisations was that as much as I love the stuff, sugar and products made of sugar are energy killers, and when you stop eating it, you realise how prevalent it is in our diet, hence how much of eat we eat as a nation.  I know you’re probably thinking this should not come as a surprise to me seeing how much I bake, but I didn’t actually think about it when pouring glistening white heaped spoonfuls of it into a bowl for a large batches of muffins.

It’s only when I calculated the grams of sugar per serving that the penny dropped.  And it’s quite shocking.

This isn’t going to stop me baking or eating cake though.  I’m not a frigging saint!  I just won’t indulge as often as I used to, that’s all, plus I’ll replace the white stuff with agave or another less addictive sweetener wherever possible.

 

NO MORE MILK AND ALCOHOL

I actually missed my occasional glass of wine more than cake and chocolate, but similar story really energy wise, plus my frequent, trippy dreams totally stopped for the most part, which is annoying because I have a thing for hot milky drinks spiked with liquor before going to bed, so that’s one little habit I’m probably going to have to drop long term.

Again, I’ll still have the odd tipple, but will try not to drink alone and only in strict moderation.

 

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

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I managed to stay off social media websites and to be honest I haven’t really missed it, and I can report that I’ve hardly seen or heard from any of my ‘friends’ whilst being incommunicado, so it’s been quite lonely for me really.  

I have made a little more effort to see more people, but I still seem to struggling to integrate and find my pack so to speak.  It almost feels like I’m deliberately being held back until I sort my shit out, which segways very nicely into….

 

LIKE A PRAYER

I’m still using my rosary, sometimes, I have to admit, in a half assed fashion, but I do try hard to communicate with the big guy and it helps if I have something specific to say.  

Does it make me feel better?   

Sometimes.  I am, for instance, alone for most of this bank holiday, because, as per usual, any plans I try to make tend to get scuppered right at the last minute, but I’m trying to relax into it and be accepting and even appreciative of the solitude, especially after two gruelling days of being with strangers (more on that next post).  

I may even sneak into mass this Sunday.

No promises though. 😉

 

OM AND OM, AND OM AND OM…

I’ve been to yoga at my local studio quite a bit, but still can’t bring myself to practice at home.

As for mediation…

FFS, what is wrong with me?!

Something to talk about with the big guy later…

 

I WALK THE LINE

Walking everywhere has been a bit of a revelation too.  My waistline has shrunk, my energy better and I’m probably saving a fortune in bus fares.

This is definitely a habit I want to maintain.

 

So in sum, I’ve kind of realised that my chances of having a good day are greatly enhanced if I look after my body, eat right, try and keep the spiritual pathways open and accept and make use of those quiet, lonely times in my life, i.e. most of the time, and be kind to myself on those days.

All good stuff, eh?

Except, today wasn’t a very worthy day at all.  I ate too many carbs, didn’t go out let alone walk, and feel strangely sleepy, sad and flat.

And whilst I hunted for a ‘not too religious’ (!) image to post atop of this article, and seeing all the images crosses and thorny crowns coming up on my search engine, I realise that today of all days is probably not meant to be too jolly, and perhaps my lassitude and endless introspection is appropriate in this instance.

And come Sunday?  Whilst I accept that my own personal ‘Good Friday’ may not be over for quite a while, I will try and give thanks for my life and make some kind of agreement with myself and God to take each day as it comes, be patient, and trust that it will all work out in the end.

Whatever that means.

Namaste x

 

 


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FAUX? PASS. RIP SWEET PEACHES G X

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As most of you know, I’m really trying to rein in my anger generally but seriously, some people just make me want to explode with outrage and frustration, namely an individual who has written about his bemusement at the outpouring of what he sees as ‘faux’ grief at the untimely, tragic death of Peaches Geldof.

Like many, I was stunned at the news of her demise, and genuinely still feel deeply saddened today.  I thought about writing something on this blog yesterday, but thought to myself ‘What can I say that others have not already?’ and settled for praying for her family, children and loved ones instead.

Then I saw this.

http://wakeuppromotions.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/peaches-geldof-and-the-phenomenon-of-faux-grief-08042014/

Lord God, where to start?

I’m going to try and do this kindly and honourably just so that Lee Cooper might understand that just because his experience does not mirror that of his contacts, does not mean that people are not genuinely affected by this.

The crux of his message seems to stem on the rich and famous “beautiful people” being at the centre of media attention when tragedy strikes, but millions of unknowns die every day under the most awful conditions possible.

As you know, I am not above being resentful of said “beautiful people” (https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/daily-prompt-green-eyed-lady-shiny-happy-people/), but surely this is one of those crucial circumstances when we realise that they are not necessarily so ‘shiny’ and ‘happy’ all the time after all, and when it comes down to it, death, sickness and devastation are neither prejudiced or fussy?  In fact, when the chips are down, the fates/gremlins/four horses of the apocalypse will happily crash into anyone’s life and stomp their dreams into the earth at any given time, no matter how pretty their faces or how talented/well know/rich they are.  Bottom line is, shitty things are the greatest leveller.

The other point is that fame and fortune tends to come at a price.

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Ask Amy Winehouse.  Ask Jade Goody.  Ask Brittany Murphy.  Ask Princess Diana

But you can’t can you?  Because they are no longer with us, and arguably still would have been had they not lived their lives in the glare of publicity, under the perpetual scrutiny of the muck raking, gibbering gossip mongers, parasitical paparazzi and the ‘build ’em up, tear ’em down’ tabloid media.

And the millions of people who die in similar or even worse circumstance every day?  As unfair as it might seem, we don’t know anything about them as individuals so we cannot relate to them and tend not to mourn them in the way that we do for people in our circle or, like Peaches, people whose lives we have some knowledge of.

The collective sadness surrounding the death of Peaches Geldof, like Princess Diana, is down to the fact that we know, or think we know her, and our empathy is strong because we all have a ‘Peaches’ in our life.

A daughter, a niece, a cousin, a sister, a granddaughter who we now clasp to us in gratitude, whilst aching for Ms Geldof’s loved ones as we imagine the unimaginable, searing, endless pain they must be suffering and thank God that such a thing did not befall us or ours.

This time.

To that affect, when we mourn someone famous we are mourning for all lost children and their bereaved parents, friends, siblings and lovers, because if we knew of them, we’d empathise with them too.

Can I put into words why I personally am so sad at Peaches’ death?

Firstly, for those of you that don’t know, my blog is totally anonymous so I have no reason to write anything other than the absolute truth. I am not into showboating (quite the contrary) or using this article to make myself look like some obsequious, rubber necking, ‘faux’ (there’s that word again) saint or something.

Those of you who know me know that I am far from that.

I’m sad because I’m from her mother and father’s generation and I remember Bob, Paula and their clutch of happy, tow headed moppets from the ’80’s and ’90’s, and they seemed like the happiest family in the world.

I then remember only too clearly Bob and Paula splitting up, the chaos that  ensued, and the resulting media frenzy and thinking ‘God, those poor kids’.

Having once been a fan of her writing, I also remember, to my shame, judging Paula harshly and dismissing her as vain, selfish, and destructive, when I didn’t really know her or what was going in her marriage.  This is why I avoid the tabloids nowadays, because when you’re a judgemental old cow like me, it is only too easy to believe what you read in the newspapers.

No one is all good, and no one is all bad.  We are both shit and sugar.  We all have our shadow side.  Deny it’s existence and it can take over.

Fact.

I later remember my shock at Michael Hutchence’s death, and only then started to realise that he and Paula weren’t necessarily living the ‘hot rock couple’ party lifestyle, and that Paula’s monumental decision to split from Bob had corrupted her life and which then started to speedily unravel.

I saw Paula in a cafe in London about a week before her death having lunch with Finlay Quayle.  She wore none of her usual trademark make up and red lipstick, and remembered thinking that she looked very wan and apathetic.

Ten days later she was dead.

The whole thing was like some awful, horrific soap opera.  When and where would it all end?

And always at the heart of the action were her poor children, confused and disorientated, bug eyed at the cameras, shrinking away from the unwanted press attention.

Poor Bob.  Quite how he kept it all together during those dark days is beyond me.

And what he did next was nothing short of heroic.  He put aside his animosity towards Hutchence and took up custody of his and Paula’s love child Tiger because he felt it best that she was raised with her half sisters, formally adopting her in 2007, and brought all of the kids up himself, along with his partner Jeanne Marine, giving them love, security and solid family environment in which to flourish.

There has been a lot in the press about relations with the Hutchence family and Bob not being great, and accusations of keeping them and Tiger apart, but no one is perfect, and I dare say there is muck to be found if one cares to rake it up.

But to my mind, Bob Geldof is a decent bloke with a huge heart.

Over the years, Peaches, like most kids, had her ups and downs, and because she was unable to grieve for her mother for years, stumbled around, trying to find a sense of belonging as she did not really know who she was.

I understand and empathise with that feeling oh so well.  I too lost my mum too young, and am still trying to figure out who I am and my place in this world and I’m in my 50’s.

Then after a very brief marriage that was swiftly dissolved, she found a life partner in Thomas Cohen, had two beautiful babies and everything seemed to fall into place.

As an outsider looking in, it just felt that she had found her place in life.  She no longer sought the wrong kind of attention, she no longer indulged in unhealthy pastimes.

You could see her happiness in her face.

There was no longer doubt or discomfort in her expression.  She literally glowed, and it was evident that she was happy and had blossomed from a bolshy teen into a secure, self assured woman and mother, and I couldn’t have been more pleased for her.

And later, she confirmed my inkling in her last ever interview.

‘Becoming a mother was like becoming me, finally,’ she said, ‘After years of struggling to know myself, feeling lost at sea, rudderless and troubled, having babies through which to correct the multiple mistakes of my own traumatic childhood was beyond healing’.

And then, yesterday morning, she died.

It was beyond shocking.

How fucking inadequate words are sometimes.

How could you not feel sad about this?

If you don’t, I’m not judging you.  We are as we are, and as an empath, quite frankly, I envy you.

What I do judge however is someone who deems the grief and feelings as others as ‘faux’ whilst parasitically using the death of one of his much maligned “beautiful people” to try and create controversy and attract attention to his blog.

Who is he to call into question the authenticity of the feelings of others?

Who is anyone hurting by posting their messages of sympathy online?

Maybe just maybe this surge of empathy will colour all of their lives and we’ll all, even if only for a day or two, start treating one another a little more kindly? Would that be such a terrible thing?

My heart goes out to Bob Geldof.  How much more tragedy and heartache can one man take?

Her siblings are so young, too young to have lost a sister at 25, bless their hearts.

Her babies, who’ll never really know their mum and may not even remember her or how much she loved them.

Her poor manchild husband Thomas left to bring up his children alone, when he’s barely more than a boy himself.

As Ellie Goulding said “Even if you think you’ve got it all figured out, some things still can’t be explained or understood”

I can’t even begin to understand or relate it to a merciful and loving God.

And yes, I would feel the same for anyone else who has suffered the loss of a child, spouse or mother in such devastating circumstances, famous or otherwise.

I can only hope that Peaches died painlessly of natural causes, that the press and paps BACK OFF, and that her family and friends are left alone to mourn her in peace.

If you feel sad, feel sad. There is nothing to justify or to be ashamed about.

Please say a prayer and send love/grace/chi to all of her folks, because they’re so going to need it now and in the months and years to come.

RIP sweet Peaches G x

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IT’S JUST ME, MYSELF AND I

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So as of last weekend, it’s now officially British Summertime.

Eeek.

For most people this is great news, but I’m one of the few oddities that dreads the return of those bright mornings, long, heady days and balmy summer nights.

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/these-are-the-days-of-the-endless-summer/

But this year I realise that if I want things to be different this year, it’s me who need to change with regard to my attitude toward summer, others, and, of course, me, myself and I.

Summer is lovely when you have friends and family to spend it with, but historically I’m not great at maintaining a loyal fun band of beach buddies or picnic pals.  I’m OK at making friends, it’s keeping them that has been the problem because I tend to put all my eggs into one basket, and when said old basket invariably (sensing my vulnerability and reliance on them), does something shitty and lets me down, I respond by dropping their ass so hard their nose bleeds.

Classic BPD behaviour doncha know.  Shame no one told me about this, oh 30 years ago?!

In fairness, I always knew that something was wrong, and Aunty C (my counsellor) tried her best to help me change the behaviour pattern without labelling me (something she was and is highly resistant to), but there is something about being diagnosed EUPD that has kicked my arse hard enough to make me realise that the world isn’t going to change, so I have to.

Before I thought it was all others doing stuff to me.

But the reality is that it’s my behaviour that allows them to do it.

And my desire for only a couple of soul mate and no superficial acquaintances compounded by my ridiculous reluctance to do anything by myself tends to leave me in a very shitty, lonely spot between the proverbial rock and hard gaff.

So, as I see it, a two pronged attack is necessary.

Firstly, I need to be more sociable.  Yes, I know I’ve been saying this for months, nay, years now, and I’m still on the back foot, but from now on I am really going to try and get out there, do small talk (ARRGHH!), meet more people and spread my eggs far and wide.

That sounds a bit unsavoury doesn’t it?  But you know what I mean.

And even if the first few times are, sorry, feel uncomfortable/boring/pointless, I must persist as sometimes it takes a while for people to show their true selves and grow on you, and vice versa.  I know for a fact that this is going to be a massive challenge, as I’m not good at ‘trying’ with people, and flee at the slightest whiff of rejection, but I don’t think I have any choice if I want things to change.

For example, I could have gone dancing tonight.

But I didn’t.  I’m here writing this for you because I made up all the excuses in the world for not going, and I’m not going to meet any new folk that I can socialise with in my spare bedroom.

At least I hope not anyway…

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The other thing I have to address is my fear and reluctance of doing stuff on my own.

You may well be thinking right now ‘Why does this stupid mare dump her friends all the time if she hates flying solo?’

The answer is ‘I don’t know dipshit, I’ve got a personality disorder!’

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Sorry, I digress….

The other day I suggested to a friend that we go for a walk in the park.  She couldn’t make it because she had to study.

Did I go anyway?

No.

Why?

I’ve asked myself this a million times, and I think it’s because I’m frightened of looking sad/lonely/conspicuous to those of you out there with loved ones to play with.  However, when I think about it, I’m sure you’re too busy arguing with your wife, trying to find a parking space, stopping your kid/dog from jumping in the pond after the ducks, squeezing your boyfriend’s bejeaned bum or finishing your Mr Whippy before its dribbles down your arm to notice some old misfit like me hovering around the periphery of life, apologising for my very existence to absolute strangers, some who are probably just as weird as me.

And some even more so.

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Anyway surely it’s better to look like a saddo and be out there enjoying the day than staying at home and actually being a saddo?

You keep telling yourself that Sista, just you keep on telling yourself that….

I know it won’t happen over night.

But I am going to try harder.

Because I may not be like everyone else or fit in with the masses, but who wants to be the same old boring ‘coloured water’ anyway?

De_La_Soul_Me_Myself_And_I_Cover

And if people stare, whisper and laugh, well that’s their shit.

 

Because one day I’m gonna be happy with my own company.  And when that day arrives, my aura will be so beautiful, attractive and beguiling, I’ll probably have to fight all the others off with a stick.  😉

I know that many of you are in the same position as me.  You cannot bear yourself, let alone love yourself, and at times the isolation, darkness and pain are so intense that you wish yourself to be somewhere, anywhere but here on this earth and face all the shit we have to encounter every single day.

But you matter.

WE matter.

Be yourself, my lovelies.  Everyone else is taken.

Namaste x

 

 

OPTIMISTIC MIX TRACK 12 – GETTING AWAY WITH IT Electronic

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Well folks, guess what?

I got in.  🙂

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/ear-worm-no-19-slow-moving-millie-please-please-please-let-me-get-what-i-want/

Don’t get me wrong.  Whilst I’m thrilled, I’m also nervous about it, and am now wondering what I’ve gotten myself into, or whether I’ve presented myself as something I’m not.

But I don’t think so.

This company say time and time again that they only take on people who are comfortable in their own skin, and somehow, someway, I got away with it.

But let’s face it, I’ve had plenty of practice as I’ve been pretending to be someone or something I’m not all my life because I’ve never really known who I am or where I belong.

So they must think I’m a happy, balanced human being who loves myself for who and what I am.  How the hell did that happen?  If only they knew what a self loathing, paranoid little misfit I am!

Or maybe, just maybe I am comfortable in that forum and this is what I’m meant to be doing.  I do know for a fact that I enjoyed the interview.

Excited, afraid and that most scary thing of all, hopeful.

I may not have to prove myself for some time, but once I sign on the dotted line, it’s on!

Thanks Big Guy.

I think.

Namaste x