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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FEAR(LESS)

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I started the New Year on a high.

Reeling and spinning wildly to an Irish folk band with my friends, when midnight struck, I thought ‘What am amazing start to the year!  Surely only good things can follow a night like this!’

Then the rain came.

Then Christmas was over.

The decorations come down.

Then reality bites.

I’m almost broke, still unemployed, still nuts, and have so, so very much to do.

And much of it is out of my hands.  How I hate been beholden to or having to rely on anyone else.

So I made like a very grey squirrel and hibernated under the duvet as the storms ripped and swirled and howled outside my bedroom window.

So today is essentially the first day of my 2014 and dawned when I was rudely awakened by the postman trying to deliver me a parcel.  Even I was too shamefaced to start the year answering the door to him all crusty eyed and apologetic AGAIN.

Déjà vu much?

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But I’m up and about and starting to do good stuff for myself whilst waiting for the rain to stop and my group therapy to start.  Like drinking more water.  Cutting down on sugar (as much as a wannabe baker can).  Making tentative social plans for the week.  Making plans for the year over all.

As whilst 2013 didn’t kick my butt down the stairs, it did very politely escort me to the elevator and press ‘B’ for basement as far as helping me achieve my aims was concerned.

But there was stuff I needed to see down there and I’m guessing I needed to go a bit further back, just so’s I can get a good run up when leaping forward into 2014 😉

Besides, good things came from 2013, without a doubt.

And whilst I do have some New Years Resolutions to keep front of mind this year, I’m not going to bore the tits off you lot with all of them.  I’ll find other ways of letting you know how I progress in life. 🙂

But here are a couple that might resonate with some of you:

  • Not swear like a foul mouthed chav/football support/navvy all the time
  • Treat my body more like a temple and less like a graffiti covered, piss streaked bus stop in Peckham (whoops, did it again, gosh darn it!)

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  • Start one thing and finish it before embarking on something else. That should stop me disappearing into cyber space for hours on end when I’m meant to be working.
  • Practice yoga.  If it leads into a career path great, if not, I still benefit.  NO PRESSURE.
  • Workwise, stop fannying around (arghh!) doing things in a half hearted manner.  If I’m going to act, I owe it to myself to make some kind of commitment, get some good photos done, build a portfolio and treat it like a business as opposed to a hobby.
  • Focus my energy on things that count and move ME forward, and not rant about Piers Morgan/Gordon Ramsay, get caught up in reality TV, or spend days commenting on and sticking up for people like Nigella Lawson who is fabulous, but has/had a great legal team and, let’s face it, doesn’t even know that I exist.
  • Eat uncooked jelly/jello as it’s meant to be good for the nails and mine are like paper.
  • Groom my cats everyday and then they’ll vomit up fewer hairballs and I won’t walk out of the door looking like a yeti every day.

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  • And finally and most importantly, work hard to conquer the fear.  After all, what’s the worst that will happen?

Don’t even think about answering that one!

After all I may be a cat lovin’, pill popping, fear filled freak, but one things for sure, I sure ain’t no pussy….

Happy 2014 one and all!

Namaste

SS x


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So the storms have returned to old London town, whipping and lashing and sluicing the remnants of naughty old 2013 around and around like lees in a teapot, ready to be tipped up and hurled down the sink and replaced with….what?

I could take this opportunity to tell you what the various websites say is in store for us financially, romantically and from a planetary aspect, but from what I can tell, there are still global challenges for us to all work through in the coming year, 2014.

From a personal point of view, the moment has come for me to bring this year to a close and analyse whether I achieved my aims/ambitions, what I have learned from 2013 and whether blogging and downloading all the crazy shit from my ranting, raving, sadistic mind has helped me, let alone anyone else.

And if I break down my attempted ‘flights’, i.e. 2013’s New Year resolutions, it doesn’t look that great.

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I’m still not working.  I don’t always get out of bed at a respectable time.  I sometimes don’t get out of bed at all, let alone leave my flat.  As for liking how I look…..

Looking back I smile at my naivety.

I thought it would be as simple as making a list, reporting back monthly on how I’m doing and that I would rise to the challenge rather that let down a bunch of strangers who I have never met before in my life, turn my life around to epic proportions, and end up on the news, This Morning, Oprah etc., laughing and simpering with faux surprise at how the world had changed for me now that I’m a household name, that I had never wanted to be unmasked, but if my story had helped change anyone suffering from mental health issues’ life, then it was all worthwhile, even though my family/friends/cats won’t answer my calls/speak to me again.

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Blah, blah, bleugh, I’m so full of shit, Walter Mitty has nothing on me.

And if I were still analysing my progress in that way, it didn’t work out.  Then again, you’re not strangers anymore either, and as such the fact that I failed you should make it sting even more. But it doesn’t.  Because you’ve been so amazingly supportive/interactive/funny/mental yourselves that all I feel is a deep kinship.

Turns out it takes more than a snappy name, tick list and 12 months to unravelling over half a century’s worth of shit. 😦

But I’ve learned so much.

And maybe in spite of my assumption that I was at my lowest ebb in January 2013, I had to descend even further  before being able to rise again from my ashes.

So, for the sake of due diligence, I’ll go through some of my aims/ambitions for this year:

 

FRIENDS

I may have mentioned that I created a mood board early this year, featuring words, pictures and photos of the things/places/people whom I wanted to spend more time with in 2013. I look at it now and it isn’t entirely applicable anymore.

Some people I don’t see because we no longer occupy the same world.

Some have gone by the wayside because they can’t cope or are not attracted to the new, constantly changing me.  I lost one friend, fell out with and reunited with another, and a third hangs in the balance; I reckon it’s 50/50 odds that we are still friends come this time next year.

I hope we are. But if the cost is too high, we won’t be.

Some I’ve lost contact with because I’ve kind of subtly, inadvertently eased myself out of their lives, either out of paranoia, resentment or sheer indifference, so whilst I work hard at not consciously cutting people off, it kind of sneaks up on me sometimes. But in fairness, I suspect that the people I sneak away from are probably sneaking away from me too 😉

But others have crept onto the board and taken their place.  New, shiny, precious beings who like the things I like, do the things I do, introduce me to other stuff, make me laugh uproariously and enhance my life no end, including many of you lot, so all in all, not a bad result when you think about it. 🙂

DANCE

I don’t dance as much as I could/should, but I dance more than I did in 2012, and when I do, the life affirming buzz is phenomenal.

I would like to do it at least once a week (missus), but I’m not going to say I will, because as you’ve probably gathered, that shoulda-woulda-coulda shit I end up putting on myself does not work for me! But let’s see what happens.

P.S. Doing it tonight!

LIKING MY APPEARANCE

If anything I like the way I look even less now, as in the last 18 months I have aged dramatically, resulting in being scraggier around the face and pudgier around the middle. The one thing, my nice figure, that I hung onto for all of those decades as my first line of defence is now sadly in decline, and let’s face it, isn’t going to improve.

I just hope that I can either get fitter at least and/or care less about it and give more importance/priority to other things as the years go by.

TV

Yes, more often than is good for me, I still escape from the mundanity of my life via the goggle box.  Not good.  Not only that I am obsessed with eBay and online games.

BAD Sista!

DATING/SEX

Oh Lord….

Look, it’s not that I want to die alone, and not have a best friend to hold my hand, give me a hug on a bad day and empty the bin for me, but the odds are against me.  It was hard enough in my forties, but what chance do I stand now?  As one gets older, one gets more set in their ways and if anything, pickier, then there are fewer men out there, so the market narrows like the top of a triange, and you have the choice of investing in good hardware (sex aids), toy boys (urgh) or, like me, give it all up as a bad job, and succumb to the warm embrace of a home baked, lavishly buttered scone.

This is probably mostly down to my poor little libido which is currently smothered by a whole stack of drugs.  I don’t think it’s dead, because whenever I forget to take my anti-d’s it kind of flutters and flickers  and my minny tingles.  So I take a double dose of everything and that takes care of that! 😉

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Joking aside, I still don’t have much of a clue who I am, and still crave oblivion on a regular basis, and that isn’t exactly boner inducing is it, but maybe as I get braver, stronger and heal, perhaps, just perhaps, someone might come along and he’ll be worth waking up my sleeping dragon for.

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But I’m not banking on it.

FORGIVENESS

At last, something good I can say about this year!

I am, without any shadow of a doubt, better at this than I used to be.  I was dark, angry and vengeful and could bear a grudge for England, and whilst I can still fire up if underestimated, dismissed, or treated discourteously, I try very hard to bite down the reflex to retaliate for fear I do or say something that I will one day regret, as I have many, many of those days in my past.  Leading onto….

ANGER

Again, whilst there have been vast improvement here, to be honest my anger/defensiveness is always going to be my achilles heel, and I think it’s going to take time to crack it, and I may never do so 100%, but I do intend to keep on trying.  On the plus side, according to Aunty C, it can be channelled in the form of passion and drive and used for something good.

One things for sure, it will never ever go away for good.  It’s part of who I am.

YOGA

I love yoga.  Or did. Don’t I?  Or do I?  Because if I do, why don’t I do it and keep doing it?  And if not why don’t I just stop it?

Enquiring minds wanna know!

FOOD

A long, long time ago I had a very unhealthy relationship with food.  It got worse.  Then it got better.  Then it go worse again.  Then it got better. And so on, and so forth.

And whilst I don’t abuse my body that much anymore, I have used my baking as an excuse to comfort eat.

The other day I went to do a pictorial review of my year on Facebook.  Most other peoples contained photos of family holidays, celebrations, births, parties etc.  What do you think mine mainly consisted of?

Cake!

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Whilst I love baking, and don’t want to give it up OR die of cake, I need to tap into and do other things before I turn into a big, lumpy, oversized pudding.

But to do other things, like holidays, adventures, parties etc Sista, you need money!

Which leads me on quite nicely to….

JOB/MONEY

And here it is, the doozy of them all.  Time to tackle this head on.

Economic crisis not withstanding, there are things I am qualified to do for a living.

Things I can do in theory tolerate in order to bring money into the home.

There are things that I love that I’m told I’m good at, and this is the Holy Grail so to speak, i.e. the way I’d like to earn a living most of all.

But the one thing standing in the way of this, and indeed some of my other failed aims is my huge distrust and fear of others and the outside world. and the overriding terror of failing again, everyone seeing my shit, glorying in it and spewing an endless stream of invective about and at me.

Yes, of course I’m paranoid!  Keep up, will you?!

 

Recently some of you may know that I was finally diagnosed as having Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (down stark insanity, down! x), and whilst it was a bit of a shock, when I read the criteria, it is a very accurate fit.  And whilst I don’t necessarily like or to totally buy into the name or think  that there’s something wrong with my personality fundamentally, I have been offered therapy, possibly group and if it is group, I think I’m going to take it.

Over the years I, like many of you, have bought lottery tickets and sometimes ask myself, would it hurt God that much to let me win, just once?  And whilst this may be down to the fact that I have some very shit karma to work through and probably don’t serve it, I think the Big Man Upstairs knows that if he sends me vast amounts of money that I’ll just carry on as I am, living in this flat, feeding m’cats, fannying around on t’interet, blogging away, seeing my chosen few and never ever reach my full potential.

And now my money is very low, the heat is on.

So, has writing this blog eased me out of my shit and helped me achieve my goals?

Erm no.  Well only some.

Has writing this blog helped me?

Absolutely.  Without a single shadow of doubt.

What I think writing Phoenix Flights (a word play on Phoenix Nights, top British comedy show if you didn’t know) has done for me is inadvertently enabled me to dig up all of those horrible painful memories from my past, some of which I had completely eradicated from my memory, so that I can potentially see them for what they are,  heal them and move on.  This was not how I expect it to pan out, but I’ve been having therapy for years and despite this, have never really managed to shake my fears, feel grounded or safe, so I’m hoping that group therapy will be that final hurdle that I need to clear in order to brave the world at large, and live properly and wholly for the first time in my life.

That said, this little Phoenix has had a whole year of writhing around in the ashes of her past and hopes and yearns to fly again one day in the not too distant future.  Please God?

And what I’ve also learned, from Aunty C, you and and my loved ones?  I need people more than I actually thought I did.

I’ve just got to learn to trust the buggers, that’s all 😉

Is this the end of Pheonix Flights as you know it?

Yes.

Is this the end of my blogging?

No.  I’ll be back.

Look out 2014, here I come!

Much love and big thanks to you all.  I don’t know what I’d have done without you xx

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CAPTAIN’S LOG STAR DATE 2013

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It’s here at last.  The last bong has bonged, the fireworks have kicked off, Jules is bopping away with his oh so cool muso friends, and me?  I’m home alone, if you don’t count the cats, breaking my blogging duck.

This is not, as you might imagine, an appeal for sympathy.  This is not a New Year Pity Party.  I did have options, but as always, it felt so forced, going somewhere to be with random friends at their home, just so I’m not alone on New Years Eve when in my heart I tend to feel alone wherever I am, no matter who’s there.  So this year, for the first time I didn’t scurry round frantically and graft myself to a willing host and pretend to enjoy myself in order to prove a point.  And it was OK actually.

From a macro perspective however, things are not OK.  I’m pretty f*cked up and for the majority of time, I get little pleasure or joy out of living.  I feel like I’m just marking time and waiting for something to happen, something that makes me realise what the point of all of this is, because, for the most part, I just don’t get it.

I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember, and for years I either didn’t know, pretended it wasn’t happening or hid it.  It has taken various forms (anorexia, bulimia, self harming) but things very much came to a head over the last five years or so, so I’m now on strong medication and semi ‘out’ as it were, in the hope that it makes things easier.  News Flash – It doesn’t.

In the Spring of 2012  after being continually put under extreme, unreasonable pressure and subject to a campaign of systematic bullying that would shame Donald Trump, I was pushed too far once too often and walk out of my job.  Depression doesn’t sit well with big companies so they saw me as a liability, but I fought my corner and after a protracted, bloody legal battle extracted myself from the company, bruised and exhausted with as much dignity as I could muster.

As drained as I was, I comforted myself with plans of how my future would now pan out now I was free of this company, what I would and wouldn’t be willing to do, how I’d do something more creative and fulfilling, make my mark, be appreciated for my contribution and love my next job.

What I actually did was go into meltdown for a good six months, upped my medication and hibernated.  As I gradually regained my equilibrium, I began to participate a little more in life.  I saw a friend maybe once a week, did a bit of yoga, baked bread, decorated, went to the supermarket, andpretty much pottered around like an old lady.  Every week I would resolve to look for some other line of work, start writing again, get out into the world again, but something always held me back and holds me back still.  I had day after day to do with as I will, to read, to write, to blog, to sing, to dance, to f*ck, but somewhere in my sub conscious I’ve slammed the breaks on.  I feel like I’m sat on the end of a high diving board, swinging my legs, staring into space, studiously ignoring the shouts and boos, delaying the inevitable.

Except it can’t go on really.  Every year at this time I tell myself it will be different and every year passes with me taking the minimum of risks, putting obstacles in the way of any progress, seeing harm and danger in every friendly or romantic overture, rejecting people and opportunities again, again, and again and then wondering why I’m so unfulfilled and lonely.  I skim on the surface of life making no waves, like a fricking May Fly then wonder why I haven’t made my mark.  Having just turned 50, I’m going to be more and more invisible after the menopause hits, so I’m not helping myself really.

I recently read some astrological guff that espouses that when a woman going through the ‘change of life (as my mum used to call it) that this is when her True Self being ‘cooked’ and she will rise like a phoenix from the ashes having reached her full potential.  That’s all very well, but it’s no comfort when you can feel it looming behind you, it’s papery hand on your shoulder smelling faintly of lavender as it snatches away your f*cking libido and makes hair sprout on your toes, so I’m hoping for at least one big mid life crisis before everything collapses like a wet cardboard box.

So this year, as far as I’m concerned, it’s do or die, and I’m going to need to use every tool in my armory to drag myself out of this pit, and use them I will. Be it self help books, spiritual enlightenment, colonic irrigation, macrobiotic food, I’m game, and if all else fails, I’ll make my decisions by the roll of the dice.  It really is that desperate.

In case you haven’t worked it out, Sista Sertraline is not my real name.  I have nothing to hide really (except my crappy writing), I just don’t want anyone to worry about me any more than they do already or feel they have to rescue me when I recount my lows.  I just need to log this if only to ensure I make positive changes, and if this blog makes anyone else feel more ‘normal’, then that’s a bonus.

I’ll share what helps, what doesn’t, my ups and my downs and hopefully my road to recovery.

Happy New Year and welcome to my world.  I’ll try and ensure that it’s not as dull as the six months have been!

Big love to you all x