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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Once again, for your delectation, my monthly ‘Pheonix Flights’ progress report on my aims/ambitions for this year.

After the initial shaky start, April has actually been quite good all in all 🙂 .

However, since Lent finished, I have lapsed back into being a lazy, late sleepin’, TV watching old sloth, but these days are numbered as the communal heating goes off in a couple of days which should help get my lazy ass out of the door, so best foot forward for May!

As per last month, my psychological model/imaginary friend ‘The Good Parent’ (who Aunty C bangs on about all the time) will be the ‘voice’ of my Action Points.

<Jeez, no wonder I’m friggin’ barking….>

As I am rapidly running out of ‘airborne things’ to stay in keeping with the ‘Flights’ theme (even last months insects were more crawly than fliers), so let’s dig deeper into the animal kingdom and look at the world of le Chat :-).



Ragdoll/Burmese Cross

Whilst I still have that Ragdoll urge to just flop out, my  more outgoing Burmese side is coming more and more to the fore.

So, whilst I recognise and finally accept that I will always need my duvet days and a bit of solitude, I am a whole lot more willing to get out and about nowadays.

Action Point – Keep it up and make the most of the duvet days whilst you still can (see Earn Money)!’



The Runt of the Litter

I have no choice with regard to the time that I awake because according the house hierarchy, I appear to be the Runt of the Litter, given that my cats generally bully me into wakefulness every day by jumping on my most tender body parts, scratching my scalp, batting me in the eye with their paws, and most recently, chewing my hair.  That said, I tend to stagger off to the kitchen, feed ‘em, then slink back to my pit whilst they are tucking in.

Nil points!

Also, like all cats, I’m a bit nocturnal so still not good at getting to bed before midnight.

Action Point –As per last month, go to bed on time and get up as soon as cats arrive’.



The House Cat

Like the House Bound Cat, who has nothing better to do, I’ve lapsed back into the super bad habit of staring at the box for hour after hour, and especially at trash daytime TV.  So I acknowledge and recognise that I must put aside my addiction to ITV2 and mad, overprivileged American ‘Housewives’ bitching at nothing and screaming at one another and focus on more important things instead.


Action Point – Bad kitty!  Only watch quality stuff, no more than a couple of hours a day maximum.’



Top Cat

I’m pretty proud of myself on this one!  I’ve only pulled out of arrangements when really tired, I turned up for all of my yoga modules and I made it to a party on Saturday after a big panic attack.

Hey, hey, hey!

Action Point – Keep up the good work.’



The Burmese

The Burmese is not only friendly but a ‘chatty’ cat, and like this gorgeous kitty, I have been very sociable this month, seen more of my existing friends and made a few new ones too!

Being an Empath I tend to get a bit overwhelmed by people sometimes and can be a bit lazy at small talk, but I’ve been careful about who I’ve spent time with so I don’t get drained, I’m open to believing that I’m likeable enough to be friends with, and have made more effort in social situations, so pretty pleased with my progress here :-).

During the course of 2013, certain people have moved or are moving out of my life, but lots are moving in, so I’ve just got to have faith in the process and that everything has been and is for the best.

Action PointKeep up the good work, and trust your own instincts.  When you’re comfortable being your self, the right people do and will come and stay into your life.’



The Persian

Like the Persian I have been a bit lazy this month.

Unlike the Persian who weighs no more than a bag of feathers, I have put some excess timber on that needs to come off ASAP :-(.

My diet hasn’t been that bad, but have had a couple of pasta nights with friends, oops….

Action Point – Lay off the lasagne Garfield, and join some kind of Bootcamp club or hire a (cheap) personal trainer if you can’t discipline yourself.’



The Aristocats

Just like Thomas O’Mally and Duchess, I’ve been cutting a rug quite a lot recently both at ballroom lessons and at a recent party I had a good salsa (and a little more besides) and really enjoy both.


Rinky tinky tinky!


Sorry had to share this picture too, this cat looks just like me at a salsa club, just about to stick my stiletto into some dirty bastard’s foot 🙂

Action Point – Sign up for the Intermediate Ballroom course and find somewhere nice to salsa where you won’t get groped.’



The Bengal

Most cats aren’t that fussed about drinking, but the Bengal really likes water, and I’ve learned to embrace H2O of an evening and have largely eschewed drinking alcohol at home.

And if I really fancy a tipple?  I have ONE G&T rather than open a bottle of wine which would then need to be finished over the next few days.  Oh and every now and then I have hot milk laced with Baileys before bed 🙂

Action Point – ‘Well done, keep it up!  Your liver and skin with love you for it!’



The Scaredy Cat

Speaks for itself doesn’t it?!

Apart from Saturday night, I’ve done really well with regard to managing panic attacks and keeping the Fear at bay and I’m afraid that if I go back out into the corporate world, it will all come flooding back, and I don’t think I can take that, as I’ve come so far and never want to be that person again.

But money doesn’t grow on trees, so I’m going to try making stuff and selling it, be it cake, toiletries or toys and keep my eye open for a part time job so I don’t get overwhelmed by a 5 day week.  I’m also exploring going back into remedial massage.

Action Point – Well, that rendered anything I have to say obsolete, didn’t it?!’



The Siamese

OK, so whilst I haven’t exactly been a sex kitten, as like the Siamese I’m discerning about whom I get close to, but I do like a cuddle from the right guy, and am a lot more chatty and flirty around the male of the species of late.

Also something has started purring again, and I’ll give you a clue, it’s not my mouth, it’s my p…..

Yes, my libido appears to be back, haven’t checked my orgasm for a while so must see if that is any better, and will report back accordingly ;-).

Dating wise, I met Groin Guy, and he was nice but there was no chemistry but I haven’t arranged anything else for a while but do have a date tonight, which I’m not looking forward to, as we spoke on the phone and he sounded a bit insincere/potentially duplicitous to me.  I know, I can’t really judge him before I meet him (which is why I’m going) but my instincts are second to none and I’m already getting alarm bells….

But I’m going!  I promise….

I also seems to be getting attention from some younger toms in the ‘hood, but just can bring myself to go there, alas….

Action Point – Don’t you dare bail on tonight!  I know you want to…. Arrange one date a week until something happens, or failing that, shag that Italian Stallion before your foof goes into a massive sulk again….’



Cat-astrophe (sorry…)

I’m not even going to try and fudge this one.

I don’t like what I see.

My belly is fatter but my face is thinner and my neck is getting more and more scraggy.  My skin is drying up and veins are starting to show through my legs, and every now and again I get a Dennis Healy eyebrow hair that curls up and takes on a life of its own.  Oh and my hands are starting to look ancient….

Action Point –You can’t look that bad if you are attracting young blokes at parties? Anyway remember that saying about the words you speak ending up being your life?  Try and see your good points rather than the bad.’ 

Yes, but he just wanted a…

‘Enough!  No more negatives, do as you are told.’



The Sleeping Cat


The Sleeping Cat is apparently the symbol of peace in Japan, and you will be surprised to discover that I am not angry with anyone anymore.

Not even my old boss and he’s a total cock….

This is progress indeed, I can’t remember a time when I’ve not been furious with someone….

Action Point – Who are you? And more to the point, what have you done with Sista?!’




Typical eh, as soon as I add this to the list I stop doing it….

If I remember rightly, I was doing the evening pages one night, trying to get some help on something from God and nothing happened.


In fact I felt worse, so I think it put me off a bit…..

Action Point – Give it another go, just pick up where you left off.’



Paws-itive 🙂

I have and I do, but I could do more…..

Am (obviously) still writing, still knitting but have a boxful of fabric that I have yet to put to good use….

Action Point – Start making things and when you perfect them, you can sell them and set up your own company!’ 



Shivasana Cat

I’ve given Yoga its own posting as I’ve been really neglectful of late and it’s typical of me, I find something I love, then I stop doing it.

Why?  I have no fucking clue.

So whilst I’m great at Shivasana, this will not bring me customers come Autumn.


Action Point – Get Downward Dogging already!  And do something EVERY SINGLE DAY.’


So.  Not a bad month all in all!

I’m not such a shitty kitty anymore, and with the right mate, could even be a Lovecat 🙂  As long as my boyz approve, natch….

I’ve finally achieved some level of forgiveness, I’m more sociable, less anxious but still have stuff to work on.

Wish me luck on that date tonight, just hoping I don’t get sprayed….


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This was very nearly a ‘Pity Party’ track as someone who has been winding me up and letting me down for some time now has finally snapped my very last, frayed nerve, and whilst I’m not going to make a big deal out of it, I’m certainly not going to seek out her company anymore.

But sometimes, good things come out of bad, and what could have been a miserable day turned out to be a great one, and I met some really great people and have a Cuban themed party to attend as a result of it, so whilst the message may be ‘No More Drama’ I chose the funky remix rather than the slow sad version so that I ended this week on a high.

So enjoy, and when faced with a drama queen (of either sex) who jerks you around, take the high road and walk the other way. As the saying goes ‘you can’t argue with crazy’….

And I for one should know! 😉




Made a discovery the other day via that made me think so much, I tipped over into a skull cracking, earth shaking migraine, which only served to give the theory more validity!

God, can the next wake up call be a little less painful?!

I have always known that by nature I am empathic, but I have never heard the term ‘Empath’ before.

But when I read the Empath Guidebook everything seemed to fall into place and I’m a bit gobsmacked really.

We all know stuff about ourselves, don’t we?

I know that I’m sensitive, depressive, creative, paranoid, a ‘rescuer’, a bit psychic, highly defensive etc. but this condition unlike depression alone seems to incorporate so many of my applicable characteristics.

Let me break it down:


Yup. Frequently. Sometimes after a panic attack I’d look in the mirror and not recognise my own face, so this fits 100%.


This is what clicked the most as, whilst I’ve always tried to help others in distress, recently I can find it totally overwhelming and seem to ‘catch’ the mood like a disease or sickness, either brought on by my breakdown, current vulnerability/instability or I’ve lost the skill of keeping my boundaries in place. This explains so much and is reassuring as I’ve felt like I’ve let down some of my more vulnerable/damaged acquaintances/friends of late as I can’t cope with being around them.


As some of you might know, I see dead people. To be serious, I seem to attract entities (ghosts, disembodied spirits or whatever you want to call them) and am subject to their attention seeking tricks. They don’t tend to materialise when I’m happy and I have never been sure that they want to help, hurt or just mess with me. Apparently they can feed off people like me and whilst they’ve rarely worried or scared me that much, maybe I should learn more about this and how to protect myself from the dodgy ones.


I am actually photosensitive and pretty much wear sunglasses intermittently the whole year round. I am also very intolerant to unnecessary/excessive noise! If you chatter, fidget and rattle your popcorn during the entire movie when going to the cinema, seriously, do not sit near me!


I am not good in crowds, hence avoid them like the plague. I cannot get onto a crammed tube train or go to crowded festivals as I cannot bear others leaning on me, touching me and being unable to get away and it makes me feel really hostile if people invade my space. If I want someone to touch me, they’ll know about it!






This dogged my life for decades, but have pushed against of late out of sheer defiance. People who try and lay guilt trips on me really piss me off, so clearly I have issues.


I am not ‘Medium’ level, but I do have some, and my instincts when followed, have never let me down. I can also read the Tarot.


Abso-fucking- lutely.


For years and years I have felt like a tent carried away by the wind, and have been unable to get down and nail a peg into the ground. I have rarely ever felt grounded or like I belong anywhere in my entire life.


Yup. I reject before I’m rejected and leave if I get that vibe from anyone or in any situation/scenario.


Totally. Aunty C (my counsellor) used to tell me off for making decisions/assumptions off the back of this, but the problem is, I’m rarely wrong 🙂 .


Used to. Don’t any more. Much prefer physical violence ;-).


Love both, and feel as close as I can feel to being at peace around them. Most animals are drawn to me. Especially mosquitos.




Check. I think it’s what I’m here for. Not sure how though.


I used to be able to when I did massage, people used to tell me that my hands would heat up. Not sure if I still can, should be able to though if this is true.


I don’t!!




I do feel energies changing, used to be very useful in business meetings/negotiations.


This apparently can happen if a spirit is trying to communicate with you. I don’t have this. Mine just knock things over, wake me up at night and hide my credit card/nail file/travel card. Bastards.


When I am in a very dark place or angry/upset, I can affect the people around me. It is palpable, so that’s when I turn hermit as I don’t want to upset anyone. I don’t use it to attack, it’s never occurred to me to do so. I’m also told that I ‘glow’ when I’m on a high.


I do subconsciously put love into my food and used to push energy and healing out of my fingers when massaging people. For that reason I would never take on a client I disliked and I rarely cook for anyone I don’t care for.


Yes a lot of the time. Probably down to lack of confidence.


Empaths can take refuge in these. Whilst I would never classify myself as a alcoholic and have never really used recreational drugs much, wine and prescription pills do dull the pain. I know they’re not good for me though.



These are just some of the characteristics listed in this 191 page document, plus there are suggestions and help re how to deal with the condition too, so if any of these symptoms correlate with you, you might want to check this out. Bach Flower remedies seem to be the main source, and there is stuff about using spirit guides that I have yet to get my head around, but there is too much that makes sense here for me to dismiss it.

I’d better start reading up, who knows, this may be a turning point for me and my health.

Look out pesky disembodied souls, your annoying hide-the-thing-I-need-most games may soon be coming to an end!

All together now ‘I ain’t afraid of no ghosts…’




Scrape, scrape, scrape…

It’s early. I raise my head from the pillow and squint.

Dexter, you git.

I flail to the other side of the bed and wave my arms futilely in the general direction of the noise/destruction.

‘No Dex, naughty, no, no…..NO, stoppit!’

I hear loud, satisfied purring, and something soft and fluffy grazes my fingertips.

Little shit.

The scratching stops. I fall back on the pillows and seek further solace in the merry old land of Nod and just as I almost get to the end of that pillow brick road….

Scrape, scrape, purr, scrape, purr, scrape, PURR, PURR….


I slide inevitably from bed to floor, stumble to my feet, and stagger after the perky, self satisfied little brat to the kitchen, fill two bowls with cat food then head off back to bed.

Crunch, crunch, crunch….

That should keep them occupied for a little while.

Sleep don’t come easy, boy please believe me…

And breathe…

Nearly there, three or four more downy soft, floaty steps at most….


Chirrup! Purr…

Another feline visitor; a furry skull pushes at my hand with surprising force. I pat it. Smooth not fluffy.


I groan. I know what’s coming.

I bathe every day unless I’m really ill, but that doesn’t cut it with little Chaz. Ignoring my noises of protest, he firmly, thoroughly, and meticulously wipes his chops all over me, teeth grazing my skin, giving me an occaisional nip lest I even think to escape, liberally and thoroughly coating me with cat spit.

After about 15 minutes of these tender mercies, I am awake and spitty, and Charlie, satisfied, plonks himself onto my (full) bladder, circles a few times then settles down for a recuperative nap. Dex, tummy now full, assured that I am now totally beyond sleep, hops up and joins him.

Just another morning Chez Sertraline.

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If you ever have a sneaking suspicion that you are not living an authentic life that makes you happy, and want to check this out, I know a way.

Log into and check your last online dating profile.  And if you don’t have one?  Write one.  Don’t think about it, do it quickly without thinking too much and do the best you can.

Then (and this is the fun bit) analyse it and see how honest you were.

So, you might ask, what I am doing, rooting around in the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ of the dating world?

Well, in an effort to achieve at least some of my goals this year, I have decided to give internet dating one more try <groan>, so I have just logged onto the last website I was registered on, reviewed my old summary, and found myself asking ‘Who is this bitch?’

Firstly, I am of course anonymous (hey, I love a good nom de plume) but I stand by that having once being stalked to my workplace by someone very high up in radio, whom, after having been rebuffed, googled me, realised he knew some very senior people at my work, then implied to me that he had influence over them, and indirectly, my career, so perhaps we should meet up after all.

Creepy, creepy, creepy.  So, suffice to say, that ain’t changing.

I’d also put myself down as five years younger than I actually am; ironic seeing as one of my ‘dislikes’ is ‘people who lie’ 🙂 .

Why?  If I recall, my rationale was that any woman over 50 will not get any hits (which to be fair, is probably true) and anyway, I reasoned at the time, I don’t look my age.  That may or may not be the case, but already, I’m changing stuff about myself to make myself acceptable to people I haven’t even met yet.  Not good.

My photos were, however, relatively up to date and not 10 years old (like some people’s I could mention), but obviously the most flattering I could find, i.e. none showing me in profile which I hate.  The main shot is one is of me at a work function, champagne in hand, wearing a grey suit dress looking very corporate indeed, clearly indicating how much I was bought into that whole ‘job title = identity’ malarkey.

I hated work functions so why am I smiling? Then I remember that I was hammered from having been on the bubbles for 3 hours without any food in my stomach, and was chatting up this ginormous bloke who owned the club instead of making small talk with my clients.  Whoops.

Back to the profile; I’ve been pretty honest about my height, weight, colour of eyes etc. (what’s the point of lying about stuff like that?), but it’s the ‘About Me’ section that is the most tellling.

It reads something like this:

‘Slim, independent, attractive, professional woman living and working in the Capital seeks Batman to her Robin.  I work in Film/Marketing/Media, love my job, have a great social life with lots of friends, but am missing the icing on the cake in the form of like minded, professional, solvent alpha male soul mate for drinks, movies, dancing and maybe more!’

What an absolute pile of crap.  I hated my job, was too knackered to go out with my friends, so my social life sucked.  I was on all kinds of medication to get me though the day, but selling myself as this oh-so-together, spin-tastic go getter who loved her Blackberry more than her Rampant Rabbit (I was also too tired to even use that for the most part).

So the thing I hated the most about my life was the thing I used as my key selling point to prospective partners.  WTF?

I then go onto specifics re what I would like in a potential partner; I want funny, clever, in shape, solvent, generous, masculine, authoritative, sensitive, smoke free, spiritual, reliable, faithful, yada, yada, yada…

Who did I think I was exactly?  It’s as if I think I have access to some kind of ‘Build a Bear’ technology, and can create the ideal man, and that nothing else would do.  In hindsight, I’m amazed anyone actually bothered to contact me at all.

Also note the term ‘alpha male’. God you would think after years of dating big, muscle bound, chest-thumping, emotionally autistic dickheads that I might have learned something wouldn’t you?  Unfortunately for me, this is what has always floated my boat physically speaking, along with the odd rangy but super charismatic sexy bastard who would occasionally saunter into my life like Clint Eastwood circa 1972 (but with more attitude), and ironically, fuck with my head ten times more than he ever did with my body.

So why was I still looking for more of the same?  Is having someone hot more important than meeting a soul mate and best friend?  Evidentially it was at that time. But now?  Not so much.

When I look at this profile I marvel at how much I have changed; OK not totally for the better, but I certainly bear no relation to that highly groomed (but drunken) exec with long red nails, a politicians smile and a packet of beta blockers in her bag.

So, I can see I’m going to have to start from scratch.

But how honest can I be?

‘Slim, burnt out, once attractive woman living on a shoestring in the Capital seeks Rachet to her McMurphy.  I don’t work, have an almost non existent social life with a few trusted friends, but am missing the icing on the cake in the form of a like minded, tolerant alpha male soul mate to watch Real Housewives with, keep me calm in social situations, and, if you’re lucky, try and jump start my sexuality and see if my taking ‘scary man juice’ has moistened my muffin yet.’

Hmm.  Maybe not.

Something in the middle perhaps?

After about an hour and a half, I’m done.

I’ve updated my photos to shots that are more recent and reflect my new lifestyle; well, I’ve taken out the work snaps anyway…

My ‘About Me’ reads something like this:

‘Slim, independent, attractive female woman who has left corporate life and exploring new avenues seeks fun, attractive guy for high jinks and adventures.  If my change in lifestyle puts you off/scares you/makes you think you have to pay for everything, then you’re probably not the man for me, whatever I end up doing.  If however this intrigues you and/or makes no difference to your interest in me whatsoever, perhaps we can grab a coffee, chew the fat and see if we can put the world to rights?’

I’m quite jocular and bantering in the rest of the profile as that is how I am when I’m in a good place, and I have limited my relationship choice to ‘Just Friends’ for now, as that’s all I’m ready for, as I would have to share a bit more about myself and my condition if I was to see someone seriously, as that’s only fair to them.

So whilst I might be wasting my time and have lost 90 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back doing this, I’m proud of myself for finally letting go of everything that incorporates and connects me to my old identity, and have finally come out as a 51 year old writer/trainee yoga teacher who is still feeling her way in the world.

And if they give a damn?  They can ‘Take Me Baby or Leave Me’.




OK so before anyone says it, I know I’m not supposed to read or share any of this yet, but what the hell, shoot me…..

Note to the uninitiated, this isn’t meant to make sense, OK? So why am I writing it?  It’s all I’ve got right now…..

Snowing, another morning, still at home. Watching people scurry by in their winter woolies, faces screwed up against the wind.  Where did all that time go?

Only seem capable of cleaning, feeding and keeping myself warm, how can I move myself forward?

In a warm coat and bibbity bobbity hat, oh God I can do better than that…..

Bailed on ballroom again last night, hey ho…Who am I?  More to the point who do I say I am?  

Hi, I’m Sista and I’m not sure what/who I am yet, can I come back to you?  What, really?  You don’t want to dance with me?!

Hi, I’m S, yes I took a bit of a sabbatical from work for the last year…..what?  Did I travel, volunteer, work in a kibbutz, run a marathon, get an allotment, set up my own business, write a book?  No of course not, I’m a total fucking loser, hey…hey…..where are you going….hello?

God knows I’m good, God knows I’m good, God may look the other way today….

So quiet here today, blazing fire, warm dozing cats, hot tea, all I need is a loud, ticking clock and for Mr Tumnus to pop by and play me a tune and I might fall asleep forever…

…never have to worry about going out again, such a lovely idea….George Michael you can stick going outside up your ….., staying in is the fetish du jour……

Except my fucking itchy hand would keep me awake of course, it’s big and raw and driving me crazy, my quarter stigmata for an undeserving martyr, who likes a tomata, and reads of Siddhartha…

Dr B will kill me for clawing at it and making it worse, I’ll come home with a big plastic cone around my neck, disobedient little bitch that I am.

Today only day left to do Artists date, wonder if she’ll take a rain (or would that be snow) check?