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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I’VE GOTTA BE ME? #BPD

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I just had a bit of a spat with one of my closest friends, and for once, I had no idea where it came from.

I knew he was pissy with me because of his silence and lack of ‘How are you?’ texts for a few days, but when I sent him one telling him that I just got a days work with a well know steak restaurant, he totally killed my buzz by replying:

‘Well being a vegan you can’t expect me to cheer about it’.

Alrighty.

And because I was a bit peeved by his passive aggressive silence and for pissing on my bovine BBQ, especially as (a) he’s not normally so easily offended, and (b) lives with a carnivore, (c) knows how financially strapped I am, I replied with a sarky but humorous:

‘You?  A vegan?  Really?  But you’ve kept so quiet about it!’.

Because out of all of our circle of friends I am the most supportive, helpful and facilitating of his lifestyle choice.  I send him recipes, I eat in veggie/vegan restaurants with him (something one of our close buds wouldn’t even contemplate) buy him vegan friendly gifts, make him vegan food and treats, and even baked him a vegan ‘cake’ for his birthday.

But then the real reason for his snippiness came out.  Apparently I had offended his partner by the tone of an email I had sent to our circle of friends.

I was dismayed.

‘It was banter!  Surely the exclamation marks and winky faces gave that away?  Anyway Bruce hardly has a subtle sense of humour, surely he should be able to put his big boy pants on and suck it up?  As for your being a vegan, I never forget that and am always willing to work around it, but I eat meat, always have and I need the money!  Can’t you just be glad for me?’

Then I was hit by a barrage of venom about how insensitive I was, how eating meat was like child abuse (interesting, does that mean that beef biting Bruce is his live in nonce?), how it’s my fault if I got the tone of the communication wrong, and if it was such an effort I shouldn’t bother to try work around his eating habits.

Gotcha.

The thing is I’ve know this individual for nearly 20 years so he should (a) be able to tell when I’m joking, (b) be able to automatically give me the benefit of the doubt if he thinks for one minute that I’m serious, and (c) talk to me like a man before jumping to conclusions.

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But I’m starting to fear that coming out as EUPD and depressive has given certain people a ‘Get into Jail Free’ card when it comes to deciding who’s right and who’s wrong, because I know for a fact that when I was younger, my humour was much more caustic, unforgiving and in your face.  But because in their minds I was more or less ‘normal’ then that was just down to my strong personality and everyone took it on the chin and gave back as good as they got.

But now that I’m officially a ‘Bunny Boiler’ and more emotionally vulnerable, then they can allude to me being a bit mental as a get out clause when they want to win an argument.

I also remembered that I forgot my meds that day which may have led me to being a bit more hyper than usual.

Fuck.

So I asked another very outspoken member of our crew if she thought my email was rude, she was emphatic that it was not, and that she read it as, not just my sense of humour, but our collective sense of humour. This was and is how we roll, both in written form and face to face.

Right!  Exactly!

And to be honest, would it be such a terrible thing if I actually came off my meds and then be even more myself?

Whilst this wouldn’t be the best idea right now, it is definitely a long term goal as being perpetually tamped down makes for a very boring Sista indeed.  My passion is part of who I am, and in order to live my life to the fullest, I gotta be me, regardless of what anyone else thinks or how they choose to judge me.

Si’s behaviour does feel like something of a betrayal though.  A less healthy Sista would have cut him to shreds, held a grudge for months, been much less flexible and not bothered to make any kind of effort with the friendship moving forward.

But I’m bigger than that nowadays.

Well I will be in a few days as I need time to simmer down as I’ve just cut my medication by half.  Yay!

Look out world, the largely undiluted, allegedly annoying, takes no prisoners Sista is coming atcha so you better put meat on your argument, or prepare to be roasted in the process! 😉

dr seuss

Peace to all and Namaste x

http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/sammy_davis_jr/ive_gotta_be_me.html


7 Comments

FRIENDS

Just a quick line to say thank you for all your messages and offers of support.  

Just because I wasn’t fit to receive them doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them more than I can say.

Was on very shaky ground there for a day or two, but I managed to get to yoga last night and am tanked up to the eyeballs on Divine Miss S, so am working towards getting my baggy old butt out into the world if only to breathe freshly polluted London air instead of the aroma of drug sweat, tea breath and stale cat farts.

Also I have a big family event to attend next week, and aren’t as selfish (or cowardly as some people would claim) to ruin their big day by not attending or something far worse.  That and the urge to punch the touché éclat off the boat race of a certain Shep Smith, who/whatever that is.

How fucking dare he? What is it with him, Hannity and all those other pompous, brainless right wing pricks being paid to mouth their ignorant, short sighted, stupid opinions for money?  Who watches that shit anyway?

Unlike the song says, my problems haven’t gone, but I am done seeking gurus, spirit guides and signs from above to light my way.  It’s down to me to put my big girl pants on, and get myself out of this shitfight. 

Most of my friends have gone.  They took themselves away, truth be told.  Or did I drive them away? Right now I neither know nor care. 

But it gladdens my heart to see you lot easing down the road, smiling and waving instead of hiding behind lampposts in the hope that I pretend I didn’t see you, and fuck off home. 😉

I’m also here if you need me, but i think you know that anyway.

Special thanks to CD, you little tinker.  Stay in touch!

Big love xxxxxxxx


11 Comments

EAR WORM No. 22 – Elvis Costello – EVERYDAY I READ THE BOOK #BPD

Whilst not everything has gone right for me of late, I had a really good day on an unpaid job the other day.  I was able to laugh, clown, bond and banter and at the end of the day I was besieged by Facebook friend requests.  Well about ten, but that’s a lot for me!

As always I seem to find that by being someone else, I get to show my best/true nature, contradictory and mad as that seems.

Then I had dinner with a friend that I wasn’t sure I could be around, but lo and behold, we had a really nice time!

But as surely as night follows day, this halcyon period of normality is swiftly followed by a disgusting bout of sabotage and self destruction, and it’s almost like part of me can’t possibly allow someone as undeserving as me to keep up the momentum and stay on the straight and narrow.

So, I’ve decided to try and replicate what I did in Lent (i.e. stay off sugar/alcohol and work out more), plus I’ve created a tick box of things I need to do everyday in order to try and help me be nicer to myself and progress in areas I’m neglecting.

Healthy heart check list

This includes cutting losing myself in TV 24/7 and instead, reading that Schema Therapy book (Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey E Young) and wherever possible, working through the exercises.

One hour in and I’m writing this instead.

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Whilst I’ve long recognised and understood a lot of where my shit comes from, and, on an intellectual level at least, understand what needs to be done to rectify it, I don’t like it reading this tome, much less anticipating doing these exercises with a bunch of strangers in September and I can feel a hot murky soup of unknown emotions bubbling ominously within me.

Urgh.

Actually I can name them.

Anger, fear, resentment, embarrassment, vulnerability, shame, despair.

There!  But I will finish the damn thing, maybe even by the end of the weekend.

I’m determined.  Otherwise how am I going to bring myself to even show up come therapy time?

I’m also being pushed by Aunty C to write some fiction, and I’ve promised her I’ll try again, but whether I stick to that one is anyone’s guess.  And when that day comes, I’ll be able to head up a post that reads ‘Everyday I WRITE the book’.

But in the meantime, I had to include this superb Elvis C track.

Why should you lot miss out because I’m a such a procrastinating wimp? 😉

Namaste x

EAR WORM No. 20 – Depeche Mode – SHAKE THE DISEASE – #BPD #EUPD

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I’ve just spent the week bailing on the few regular social encounters I have in my life, carefully but relentlessly tearing down those gossamer thin routines and relationships that bring me into contact with the real world, and simultaneously killing off any fledgling opportunities to broaden my horizons.

I’m not sure what trigger brought on this particularly destructive bout of ‘what’s the point’, but this time it’s deep. All the good work I did during Lent has been lambasted and I feel fat, bloated, tired terrified and futile. All of my new ‘friends’ seem to have cottoned on to my being odd/different/unpredictable etc. and I have little motivation to go out into the world again, but God knows I’m trying.

But I know that no matter how it feels this way, I am not alone with this illness, as many of my fellow bloggers on here have testified, especially this particular post, http://lifeinabind.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/constant-craving-bpd-and-the-need-to-feel-understood/ brought to my attention by lovely Marci this morning, and of course this song lodged into my head at breakneck speed as soon as I read it, and has been there ever since.

Dave Gahn the tough acting, but ultimately fragile lead singer with Depeche Mode always maintained that this was a love song, but for me this is a cry for help.

‘Understand me’

I think I have found the ultimate BPD anthem, no matter which variety you’re rocking.

How much we all want the world to ‘get us’, but I don’t anticipate this happening any time soon.  We frighten people.  Whilst befriending a depressive is seemingly de rigour right now in the UK, anything beyond that is downright scary to the average Joe, even here in the capital.  After all, history, the media, fiction and movie world can’t resist demonising those of us who are not entirely normal:

BIPOLAR – Frank Bruno, huge, skilled in a violent sport and unpredictable, Russell Brand, foot-in-mouth syndrome and can’t keep his willie under control, Vincent Van G, handy with a razor, has trouble hearing and most likely to stain your carpet with something or other.

SCHIZOPHRENIA – Teddy Daniels (Shutter Island) violent, murderous, self deluded, and would cost the National Health thousands in specialised reenactment therapy, Heath Ledger’s ground bracingly terrifying Joker in Batman, doomed Pink Floyd musician Syd Barrett.

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER – Oh boy, we have loads of terrifying role models.  Evil Livia Soprano, Single White Female girl, Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction, poor Anna Nicole Smith, and Darth Vadar!  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Strangely enough I got Darth Vadar in the ‘Star Wars’ online Personality Test a few years back; oh how we all laughed!  Not quite as amusing now, eh?

The fact is, most of us bring as much if not more positive skills/creativity/talent into the world than negative influences.  Think of Brian Wilson, Jack Kourac, Virginia Woolf, Ruby Wax, Kurt Cobain, etc, etc, and yes Syd Barrett, Van Gogh and so many more.

So perhaps with a little more empathy, kindness and tolerance on the part of you more judgemental ‘normals’ out there (and much reassurance on our part of course, that we’re not going to take off your ear, steal your identity or braise your miniature lop) perhaps you’d get even more benefits moving forward.

As just a bit of understanding would give us all a head start on, if not shaking the disease, then giving it a bit of a soothing, accepting stroke?

Plus Aunty  C (my counsellor) maintains that everyone has personality disorders, so judge lest not ye be judged, bitches!

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/depeche+mode/shake+the+disease_20039276.html

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


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BLOGGING FOR MENTAL HEALTH – LIKE MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT

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OK, we’re half way into January already, how did I miss this?!

Oh, I remember, I was kinda busy as this excerpt from my diary illustrates:

The nerve of WordPress. Inviting me to blog for Mental Health – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?

Actually, that belongs to the Grinch, but is remarkable similar to a day in the life of moi.

A potted (or potty?) history for you; I am HSP and have suffered from depression as far back as I remember.  In the summer of 2014 I walked out of my job after being bullied and pressured to torturous levels as a result of sharing my condition with my line manager (I know – a regular prince, hey?), promptly melted, Wicked  Witch of the West like, into a sticky, heaving puddle of self hatred and humiliation and slept for six months, then started Phoenix Flights on the stroke of midnight New Year’s eve 2012 as a way to offload somewhere safe, work through my aims and recovery for 2013, sharing what I did and how I progressed online.

I thought I’d be done in a year and come January 2014 everything would be, if not roses, on track with regards to my recovery and being able to lead a full, normal life.

Remember that saying about making plans if you want God to chortle?!

Turns out it takes longer than 12 months to unravel over half a century of sh*te, and having just being diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, my journey and my blog (now Phoenix FIGHTS) continues into 2014 with a special focus on Fear, my biggest demon of all.

Any masochists out there wanting to know anymore, please take a look at my ‘About’ and ‘Background’ pages.

All joking and banter aside, writing this has been a life line for me, as has the support and interaction from all of my treasured followers, and if anyone reading my endless gouts of runny, putrid, prolific verbal diarrhoea helps anyone other than myself, I’m profoundly grateful as you may be helping me burn off some of the truckload of hideous karma I appear to have accumulated through my lifetime(s) – every little helps!

I’ll even cancel Jazzercise for you! 😉

Keep on keepin’ on.  I have no idea what I’m doing here or what this here life thing is all about, but we count and should be valued, not just by our family, friends and loved ones, but to society as a whole, did they but know it, and if you ask me, it’s about time they did!

Big love

Sista Sertraline of the 7 Wounds x

I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2014 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others.  By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

The following bloggers/blogs have taken the Blog For Mental Health 2014 pledge: 

Alice In Borderland – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Another Hope Entirely – Blog for Mental Health
Bipolar and BPD Support – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Bipolar For Life – Two Hebrew Kings Blog For Mental Health
Blogging Astrid – Blog for Mental Health 2014
BlueHero – Blog For Mental Health 2014
A Borderline Life – Blog for Mental Health 2014
A Canvas Of The Minds – Blog For Mental Health 2014 (official BFMH launch post)
CardCastlesInTheSky – Writing & Illustrating for Mental Health
Chopping Potatoes – I Pledge Awareness . . . to the Cause
Calamity Rae – Blogging for Mental Health – Complex PTSD and Poems from my Chapbook
The Cosmic Carousel – Truth, Justice, and a Pledge
a day with depression – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Depression and Bipolar Disorder – Blog For Mental Health
Diagnosably Delicious – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Disorderly Chickadee – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Echoes of My Past – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Faerie Thoughts – Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project
fractalthoughts – I Pledge to Blog for Mental Health in 2014
Girl Filth – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Half of a Soul – Life with BPD – Blogging for Mental Health 2014
How do you eat an elephant? – Blog for mental health 2014
Human In Recovery – Mentally Ill or Neurodiverse?
I Was Just Thinking. . . – Still Crazy After All These Years – BFMH 2014
Infinite Sadness… or hope? – Blog For Mental Health 2014 Four In Four
kittyramirezdotcom – Blog for Mental Health 2014
The Magical Thinker – I pledge my blog for Mental Health!
Marci, Mental Health, & More – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Maree Roche – Bipolar Blessings – Huh? No! Wait! What?!
Mental in the Midwest – blog for mental health 2014
Mindful Musings at Midlife – BLOG FOR MENTAL HEALTH 2014 PROJECT
Mom N Daughter Savings – I Fought As Hard As I Could Today, But Still Lost!
Much Madness – III – Blog For Mental Health 2014
My Mind Matters – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Naked Nerves – Blog for Mental Health 2014
No Holding Back – Lying Cold and on the Floor
Not a Punk Rocker – Going in Circles
Notes From The Devil Dollhaus – Blog For Mental Health 2014 pledge
onbeingmindful – Blog for Mental Health 2014
THE OVERCOMING – Suffering and Honesty: Blogging for Mental Health in 2014
PDX Social Safety Net – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Pieces of Me – Blog For Mental Health 2014
PixyGiggles – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Pride in Madness – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Rearranging Letters – M is for Mental Health
Return to Rural – Blog for Mental Health 2014
RosieSmrtiePants – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Sad Mum Happy Mum – My commitment to Mental Health
Shedding Light on Mental Illness – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Snake Lady Librarian – I: Blog for Mental Health 2014
Spaghetti Squiggles – Blog for Mental Health 2014!!!
Stuphblog – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Surviving Out Loud – Blog For Mental Health 2014 – Eradicate the Stigma
the tao of jaklumen – Journey out of the darkness, into the light Blog For Mental Health 2014
tara82blog – Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic!
that cynking feeling – Chilling thought
Teen writings:) – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Trauma and Dissociation – Blog For Mental Health 2014 – fighting stigma together
Under Reconstruction – Why I’m happy to talk about my depression / Blog for Mental Health 2014
UnFocused – Blog For Mental Health 2014
welcome to grand central – My Long Road Back – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Write into the Light – Pledge to Blog for Mental Health
W.T.F. – Alice In Her Own Wonderland
You Won’t Tame This Sassy Cat – Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project
Young Adult DBSA Dual Diagnosis Addison Meeting – Blog For Mental Health 2014

http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/


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WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU GINGER….

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Whilst for the most part, there is precious little to love about this tenacious, mental little monkey on my back, the flip side of it are the days when I feel like this.

It’s a scorching hot day in ole London town, and everyone is out and about, desperate to grab a bit of vitamin A, and as many disfiguring white straplines on their boiling hot, red shoulders as they can.

And as I strolled over to the park come late afternoon (mad dogs and Englishmen etc. plus I’m old), I happened to pass a kids park, which has an enormous paddling pool, which was positively heaving with hordes of happy, splashing, squealing kids of all ages having the best fun.

And do you know what I thought?

Two words.

Legionnaire’s. Disease.

No I didn’t I’m joking; that may well have popped into my head a day/week/month ago, but today is a very rare ‘high’ day when my monkey actually sleeps, and where I feel grateful, content and happy to the point of joyful for the simplest of things.

  • A line full of brightly coloured washing drying in the sun
  • A pain free body
  • A fridge full of good, healthy things to eat
  • A charity shop bargain
  • Something fragrant and delicious bubbling away on the stove
  • A fleeting whiff of jasmine as I pass someone’s garden
  • The crush of cool, recently cut grass beneath my feet and between my toes as I write this post

And it’s not about this recent spate of sun.  I can feel a similar kind of high in the shittiest of weather, and for things as random as cleaning my flat, bleaching teaspoons (might be the vapours?!), doing some random act of kindness or other, scraping ice of my car windscreen, feeding the birds on a snowy day, sitting on a wall waiting for a bus to come, or running around the common in the pouring rain.

In truth, there doesn’t seem to be an pattern or cycle or indeed, any kind of regularity to these good days, alas. They just pop up every now and then, and no, not when I need them the most.  They aren’t that smart.  They just randomly mimsy past when I least expect them, like a saffron robed Hare Krishna, who dances past when you’re out shopping, gives you a bit of paneer and a big fragrant cuddle then leave you topped up with love and light and able to see things in a much more positive way.

huggingKrishna

Take earlier this week.

I was really irate after having stayed  in for two hours for a grocery delivery, only to find (after they’d gone of course), that, despite explicit instructions, they’d got it wrong.

Instead of leaving me a kilo of potatoes and a small nub of fresh ginger, they left me one potato the size of a plum, and enough ginger to stun a gorilla, the dipshits, so I had to go out to the shops after all, defeating the whole purpose of using them.

Even after ringing up the company and giving them a flea in their ear, being apologised to, and having the delivery cost refunded, I was still fuming and muttered away to myself for hours….

‘…for God’s sake, why do I bother? Why.  Do.  I.  Bother? What a bunch of amateurs, what’s the point of having a comments sections if those numpties don’t even read it?  And even then, where is their common sense?  Who in God’s name would order one tiny potato?!!  And what the hell am I supposed to do with all this fucking ginger?  Clearly whoever packaged this stuff lives on frigging Iceland ready meals and wouldn’t know a fresh potato if one was stuffed up their arse, then again most kids don’t even know what a carrot is in this country, and would run screaming if confronted by a cauliflower, no wonder they have to go to constipation clinic every week, I don’t know, blah, blah, blah….’

Miserable cow, eh? 😉

Guess what happened to that big stash of ginger?

This morning it was peeled, chopped, boiled with lemon peel, then combined with sugar, lemon juice, honey and a cheeky little dram of rum, and is now reincarnated in the form of a little pot of syrupy dynamite, ready to use in puddings, cakes, chilled drinks, cocktails, fruit and whatever else takes my fancy, and will no doubt spread a little spice and sunshine on some of my less than joyful days.

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So, what actually went through my mind when I passed those rug rats splashing around in that paddling pool was how their ability to find joy in what life brings them is something we should all try and emulate.

  • Give a child a cardboard box and they’ll turn it into a ship, dolls house, castle and play for hours.
  • Give them a tin tray and they’ll sled down a snowy bank.
  • Show a kid some mud and they will stomp in it and, if no one’s looking, lob it at each other.
  • Blow bubbles for an infant and they’ll be enraptured for a good hour.

And take your kids to a place where there is a bit of sun, twelve inches of dirty water and a load of other kids, and they will play joyfully for hours.  And afterwards, all it takes to make their day perfect is a nice tea/supper, maybe an ice cream, a warm bubble bath and a cuddle with their mum/dad wrapped in a big fluffy towel whilst being read their bed time story.

Kids really do know how to get their happy on.

Which is why I’m lying on a rug in this crowded park surrounded by hoards of sun worshippers, pissed up teenagers and their kids, who are as we speak, shrieking, running, crying and fighting, completely disturbing an otherwise beautiful day.

Umpteen toddlers, footballs, tricycles and scooters fly past my rug by the minute, swiftly followed by the respective mother’s bawling reprimand (‘PRECIOUS!  For God’s sake, be careful!  WATCH THE LADY’S RUG!’) which is invariably more disturbing than nearly being hit by a ball in the first place.

Wafts of marijuana (oh, hello!) taint the smell of the lilac blossom to my right, someone is having a drunken domestic with their beloved, and if I dare to look up from my book, I can practically see up the minny of the bikinied beauty lying a foot further up the bank from me.

But the sun is kissing my skin, a breeze is cooling my back, a toothless little minx of a toddler has just bestowed me a goofy grin, and by some miracle all is well with this little nub of ginger’s world and I’m happy and contented in my rough old skin.

And as my bottle of water inevitably gets warm in the sun, I know that when I get home, a nice big glass of ginger/lemon/honey water will only be moments away.

gnamakoudji

And I’m celebrating the sweetness; while I can.

Namaste.