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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PITY PARTY TRACK 21 – BREATHE ME – SIA

I’ve always been a bit obsessed with Six Feet Under.

I own the boxed set and have just finished watching all five series (seasons) for about the third time, and the finale always stays with me for days, hence this song stuck in my head on repeat.

Because I’m also obsessed with death, plus I totally and utterly envy the fictitious, feckless, fucked up Fishers.

Because despite their disputes, down times and dysfunctional behaviour, they are a proper family.

They fuck up time after time, they fall out, make up, make the most appalling choices for themselves, are promiscuous to a man/woman, but they are family.  That creepy house come funeral home with its coach house, dated decor, antiquated kitchen always has room for everybody, with a constant influx of the living and dead alike, and they all ebb and flow like the ocean that features so significantly in the dream sequences, so that it’s almost like a living, breathing entity.

Plus they all seem to have plenty of time to hang around smoking pot without ever getting busted.

Not to mention Ruth’s crazy, pill popping sister Sarah has an amazing flower power domicile somewhere out in the sticks, and has a constant stream of hippy friends popping in to dance around the bonfire naked.

And when I saw all the women standing around the body of Fiona their fallen sister singing ‘Calling All Angels’, I, like Ruth longed for that kind of intimacy on a permanent basis.

Who lives like this?  Can I live like this?  Where is this fucking place anyway?

Because what is left of my family is strewn across the UK.  And my friends are either estranged or busy with their hectic 9-5 (or rather 8-8) existence, and I am lonely.

Wrap me up.

Today I walked to town and back.

So what, you might ask?

Well I did my 10,000 steps and its the first real bit of exercise I’ve done this year.

The Fishers made me do that.  Well watching Nate (the bastard) collapse after shagging that awful Maggie and wake up with stroke symptoms, and then die, might have spurred me on a bit. 🙂

And I know for a fact that I’m not going to find my very own utopia sat at home on the couch with the cats living vicariously through the Fishers.

So tomorrow, I’ll take a deep breath, and do it again.

And try not to lose myself again.

Namaste x


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OY OY!

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When you’re at rock bottom, teetering on the brink of ruin and/or homelessness, and on top of that, wake up with a knackered back, it’s funny where inspiration can be found.

Quite literally.

Today I deemed that it was totally pointless trying to do anything, as no matter how hard I try to be positive, the shit just keeps  splatting me in the face, so I decided to lie low, bar taking a stroll to hopefully loosen my injury.

I then got up, went to the loo and within seconds, managed to knock my last loo roll into the toilet with my elbow whilst flushing, the waters dousing it with cat litter, pee and poo.

Fuck the walk.

Clearly nothing was going to go my way today. I went back to bed and picked up my favourite read of the moment, ‘Becoming Johnny Vegas’ the memoirs of one of my favourite actor/comedians.

I love Johnny Vegas because he’s as funny as fuck but also a truly sensitive vulnerable soul, and I frequently fantasise that he’s my friend. I then read that Michael (JV’s real name) loved and hugely admired the self styled father of British Alternative Comedy, comedian, club owner and notorious prankster, a man by the name of Malcolm Hardee.

‘Hmm,’ thinks I, ‘I know that name’, and lever my wincing carcass back out of my pit, I go and Google him.

Of course!  That sarf London guy with the glasses who was in ‘The Greatest Show on Legs’ where he danced a precarious routine with two other geezers and some party balloons, invariably exposing his knob and an alarmingly pendulous set of balls by the end of the set. Intrigued I wanted to know more about this man who inspired such love in my hero, so I went on Wiki and was shocked to discover that Malcolm was actually dead.

Shit!  He can’t have been much older than me!  What did he die of?

Alcoholism?

Lung cancer, as he was never seen without a fag in his gob?

Or did he finally get a good kicking for peeing over one of the punters (another party piece) at his comedy club?

None of these things. Malcolm Hardee, absurdly, drowned in the Thames whilst travelling 50 yards in a dingy from his floating pub ‘The Wibbly Wobbly’ to his houseboat ‘The Sea Sovereign’ whilst pissed, and when they brought up his body he was still clutching a bottle of beer.

A fitting if untimely end, it seems. But this man clearly lived his life with gusto and inspired great love and affection in his peers and family for being unapologetically and unashamedly himself.

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As for his funeral, it was, according to one chap, ‘The best I’ve ever been to!’, attended by hundreds of comedy’s great and good, whom kept the banter/heckling going via some ‘bespoke’ floral tributes, propping his sailors hat and a life belt on his coffin (a bit ‘stable door’ methinks) and no doubt the chosen few, posthumously, took him down yet another peg or two at the wake.

It’s what he would have wanted.

But it was this eulogy by another great British comic Stewart Lee, paraphrasing Matthew 6 Verse 25-34 that struck the biggest chord with me.

For some reason I found it unbearably touching and came to the closest to weeping as I have since my post medication days.  Partly because it was the perfect tribute, partly because this man was so loved, and partly because Malcolm was clearly the perfect example of someone who lived without fear or worry.

He quite frankly did not give a fuck, and probably drove friends and family half mad with his impulsivity, mad criminal activity (he once stole Freddie Mercury’s 40th birthday cake), practical jokes, and sheer unadulterated irresponsibility (he apparently would take unwanted bills, tax claims etc. and fill them in as being ‘deceased’) and was as free as the birds of the air, if somewhat less than fragrant as the lilies of the field.

Of course that did not stop him dying young.  But would worrying about it have changed his final outcome?

Each day does indeed have enough trouble of it’s own.

I’ve finally come to realise that praying, meditating, cosmic fucking ordering et all is not going to stop the shit raining down on my head.  It certainly rained down on Malcolm both metaphorically and apparently in real life one day when he deliberately steered his boat under a stream of effluent spewing out of a pipe from a liner, covering himself and all of his friends/passengers with a stinky brown soup. But I digress.

The point I’m trying to make is that if shit is in my future, it’s going to happen.  I’ve just got to grow a pair of big pendulous Hardee stylee balls and be ready to face it head on with a chirpy ‘Oy, oy!’.

That said I’m never going to be one of the Malcolms of this world.  It’s not in my make up.  But if I try harder, get out there and make my mark, maybe I’ll be loved a least a fraction of the way that he was and still is AND have some fun along the way.

And that will be enough for me.

God surely does move in mysterious ways…. Namaste x

http://www.malcolmhardee.co.uk


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THESE ARE THE DAYS OF THE ENDLESS SUMMER 3 #mylastsummer

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The last few days haven’t been great for me.

I’ve bailed on social stuff again, when I should be at least trying to socialise and enjoy these hot days and balmy night, having whined on about how much I hate being isolated during the summer months every single year.

I’ve passed stuff I was invited to, not shown up when people were relying on me, and inexplicably, cancelled on stuff where I asked to be invited, only to let them down last minute.  I’m pretty sure I’m one of the few people who’d walk out on something she’d gatecrashed only five minutes earlier.

I’ve avoided yoga as if it were a pap smear with a hot poker instead to something which soothes and nourishes me on every level.

I also used binge eating to comfort and distract myself from the tide of self loathing and recrimination that nails me to the wall every morning, undoing all of the healthy stuff I’ve been doing of late and I’ve watched hour after hour of TV to block out my mind monkeys which are gibbering wildly as we speak.

Bad Sista.

One of my fellow bloggers asked today what his readers had to be grateful for, and I’m sorry to say that I struggled to reply with anything.

Until I watched ‘My Last Summer’ on 4od.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/my-last-summer/4od

This is the story of five random people who have one thing in common. They’re all terminally ill, and they get together periodically at a manor house in Gloucestershire to talk about their condition, share their life stories and support one another.  This is also the story of their partners, families and carers whose lives have been turned upside down as they fight to support their loved ones, keep on top of all the mundane things in life that need doing whilst trying to make sense of what they are going through and face the inevitable loss that lies ahead of them.

it is, all at once, funny, dark, distressing, heart warming, heart rending and hugely moving.

Three episodes in, having watched all of them suffer and deteriorate, and one of them, a DJ by the name of Junior Mac, die in the most horrendous way, 3 hours after marrying his devastated bride, and I’m in shreds.

I can’t cry though.  That said, the amount of medication in my system might be able to tamp down my reactions, it cannot contain the vortex of pain, grief and sheer fury that’s lodged like a hot brick in my solar plexus, and I can’t stop thinking about them.

Sweet Jesus Christ, what is the point of all this?  It’s so fucking cruel and twisted, I’m starting to feel like we mean nothing to the God/s whom made us, that we’re merely like the occupants of a bug farm, bee hive, or some celestial game of chess or Big Brother where He/She/It can randomly throw in a fireball, pit us against one another or release the kraken, then watch dispassionately, just to see what happens.

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I can only marvel at their courage, honesty and generosity in telling their story and sharing such devastating experiences.

When one of the other guys, Ben, said that on hearing his diagnosis, he just went home and stayed in, waiting to die, I felt thoroughly ashamed for pretty much doing the same myself for the last 2 years or so.

Except I don’t have a terminal illness.

ARRGHH.  There is so much I want to say that I don’t even have the words for.

But I’m going to end with something positive.

The gratitude that there is evidently such love in the world, some of which might come my way, if only I would let some of it in.

And the knowledge that I at least have a life to fuck up.

Off to bed now.  Big day tomorrow.

Gotta sort my shit out.

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RIP Junior, and bless your heart, I hope that your pain and terror is behind you now and that you are rocking’ out the heavens with some rare old skool mixes.

Please gird yourself and watch this series (last episode airs next week) as it will give you a whole new perspective on life, and honour Junior, Ben, Lou, Andy and Jayne for putting themselves out there so courageously.

Namaste x

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

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/these-are-the-days-of-the-endless-summer-part-2/


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WHAT WOULD STEPHEN DO (WWSD)?

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It’s clear to me that I can’t really drink alcohol anymore.

It’s just not worth the repercussions.

Anyway this is all Stephen Sutton’s fault.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided that it would be a good idea to cut out a photo of him and stick it to my fridge, so that if I was stressing, grizzling, crying, feeling sorry for myself, worried about something, inwardly dying etc. I could look at it, take inspiration and ask myself ‘What would Stephen do?

Great idea, huh?  I was quite chuffed with myself for coming up with that.  Who wouldn’t snap out of their shit and pull their finger out at the sight of Stephen beaming kindly at them through his specs?

Trouble was, as day turned into night, it started to make me feel a bit paranoid.

I used to have a friend who was big into a form of yoga and meditation that is run by a big ass, almost corporate organisation in the US, and for a while, I dabbled with it too.  Andy, delighted, dragged me along to a group satsang with him one evening, and whilst some of the devotees looked a bit out of it and zombie like, I loved the sense of community, the chanting and the meetings, and the mail out correspondence course that landed on my mat every month did seem to be spookily relevant to my life at any given time.

Then one day, Andy gave me a framed photograph of his guru as a gift.  And whilst it looked very nice at the makeshift alter in my bedroom, I was uncomfortably aware of her eyes following me around the room a la Mona Lisa, and her expression had changed from being lovely and ‘Ohm’ to being rather ‘Hmmm…’.

As in ‘Hmmm, you don’t fool me dear, not for one second…’

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And she freaked me out so much that I had to take it down and put it away in a drawer, where it probably is still to this day (ridiculously I didn’t dare chuck it out), and I gradually moved away from that particular cult, I mean, sojourn in my life.

And now, 20 years later, I appear to be getting ‘Hmms’ from my Hero, SS.

And it made me really twitchy and restless.

So much so that I really started to want a drink.

Not just a small beer.

Not just a modest glass of wine.

I’d remembered that I had a nearly full bottle of sloe gin left over from Christmas.

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I know.  I know, I know, I know

But just for once, I just wanted to get shit faced.  I didn’t want to meditate, I didn’t want to pray, I didn’t want to actively forgive and I didn’t want to think about anything.

I just wanted that warm, buzzy, muzzy, fuzzy feeling, to watch the sharp edges of the world magically blur and to stagger off to bed and disappear into dreamless unconsciousness.

It only took two glasses.  I was always a bit of a lightweight, but nowadays I’m beyond pathetic.

My vision swam, the edges blurred, and when I finally retired, I crashed spark out and didn’t wake up till morning.

And I felt awful.

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Not hungover or headachy.

Just as if all the bad stuff in the world had seeped into my being, leaving me, in turn, indifferent, angry, resentful, sad, lonely, hopeless, hated and hateful.

Today was the hottest day in the UK this year, and I’ve spent it indoors, swaddled up in fleecy gym wear and swigging hot mugs of tea, staring mindlessly at my computer screen.

And I still feel cold.

And now the sun has set and I feel so alone.

Even my friend/foe the moon is nowhere to be seen.

And that bottle of gin in the cupboard is keening and calling to me.

I really want some.  I just want this fucking day to end.

It’s not fair!  I barely drink anything compared with my friends!

But I know it’s to do with it clashing with my meds.

I go out to the kitchen, and there he is, smiling at me, eyes a twinkle.

‘You needn’t start giving me evils either’ I mutter to myself, ‘I bet you caned it big style of a Saturday night!’

Yes, but he was a teenager, Sista!

The smile seems to widen, and I remember what he’s doing there.

It’s hard when someone less than half your age makes you feel twice the degenerate.

I put the gin back in the cupboard, put the kettle on and wonder grimly how long it will take me to get to sleep tonight without any booze.

God I could do with some spliff.

Just as well they don’t sell that at my Sainsburys.

Well it’s goodnight from me, and it’s goodnight from him.

Namast-frigging-ste. x


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‘UNDER THE INFLUENCE’ – MOST INFLUENTIAL BLOGGER AWARD

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I was feeling ever so emotional last night after half a bottle of wine on top of my meds, and on hearing the passing of Nelson Mandela, when I discovered that I’d been nominated for the Most Influential Blogger award by Bradley from http://www.howisbradley.com.

Bradley and I don’t natter and banter as much as I do with some of you but he has the uncanny knack of saying something supportive, succinct and totally empathetic, just when I need it.

He is a fellow traveller on the road to sanity, self acceptance and a passionate promotor of a greater understanding of the effects of mental illness and very valued he is too.

There are many on here that have influenced me greatly but not all of you accept or respond to awards, so I’m going to bend the rules a bit and offer it out to anyone who is enthusiastic enough to do the following:

1. Display the award on your blog.

2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who awarded you.

3. Offer the award to as many people you like or to all your followers.

4. Answer the questions that your awarder asked, and then write some for your awardees (or use the same ones, up to you!)

Here are the questions I’ve been asked to answer and my responses:

1. If you could change one thing about society, what would it be?

How politics and politicians are allowed to operate.  There is too much ‘us and them’ going on where political parties are perpetually waiting for the ones in power to mess up so that they can expose them, and because of this so much is hidden from we voters and brushed under the carpet, so that we never learn from our mistakes or properly thrive as a country.

Those scenes from the Commons with all those old buffers bellowing and jeering at each other absolutely infuriate me.  We are paying them for this kind of time wasting behaviour, WTF?  If I had my way, I’d stamp all over this shit, and/or have officials preside over these sessions armed with cattle prods, ready to inflict punishment as soon as anyone started shouting and generally behaving like an arse.

There should be 100% transparency, where people have access to all information and demand referendums when the majority feel it necessary.  We all, Labour, Conservative, Republican, Democrat, want the same things deep down, so to paraphrase Rodney King, ‘Why can’t we all just get along?’ and collude for the greater good?

Very simplistic and naive of me, I know, this is an ‘ideal world’ scenario and unlikely to happen in my life time, but I can dream, can’t I?

2. What do you turn to when in need of inspiration?

My yoga mat.

3. Name one person, alive or dead, who has influenced you most.

I think it goes without saying that right now, Nelson Mandela is in pretty much everyone’s minds and hearts.

What blows me away about this man, was that he could have come out of his prison cell full to the brim with bitterness and anger and organised mass genocide and riots, turning black against white, and man against his brother and no one would have blamed him.  Yet he came out in the spirit of forgiveness and forward thinking, focussing on the greater good, bringing peace and reconciliation to his country and inspiring the world to think differently too.

I have a white hot temper, struggle terribly with forgiveness and have an instinct and desire for revenge if someone crosses me, but I fight on, and on the hardest days I think of Mandiba spending day after day, year after year in a stinking cell, refining his soul, at one with God and resolve to fight harder.

4. What’s your favorite quote?

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‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that’

Martin Luther King, Jr

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

― Charles Bukowski

5. Share one key insight that has helped you most in your writing.

Be authentic; try and be anything but and you will be busted 😉

6. Are rules made to be broken?

Most of them, hell, yes!

7. What does democracy stand for as far as you’re concerned?

Fairness, parity and equality in it’s purest form.

8.  Something you wish could be done ASAP?

Something that would save our planet, but I fear it may be far too late….

9. If we respect everyone’s opinion as valid, where does that leave hate speech?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some opinions should not be allowed a big, high profile platform, especially when it influences the young, the poor, the dispossessed or the educationally subnormal to carry out evil that does not benefit them, in the name of a God that does not wish them to do so.

10. Do you think online media will replace print in the next few decades?

I hope not. I still like to open a book and feel the pages between my fingers, and looking at moving text for prolonged periods cannot be good for the eyes.

11. What is the main thing you want to achieve as a blogger?

To learn, to share, to engage, to entertain.

NOW, OVER TO YOU!

As these are such great questions, please answer them accordingly.

Looking forward to seeing your responses, and thanks again to all for your support and feedback this year.

Big love

Sister S xx


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SISTA IS DOING IT FOR HERSELF

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I’ve never considered myself to be a leader.

Far from it.

Acceptance, avoiding rejection or being ‘found out‘ have been my main ambitions to date, and at my most comfortable and confident I have been a leaders ‘No. 2’ (no jokes please), feeding them ideas, strategies, solutions and generally being the wind beneath their wings.

And to date, I’ve been content with that.  Or have settled for that, some who know me better might say.

I would also say that I would make a good critic whether it be customer service theatre or restaurant.  Someone can do something and I can tell you what I think is wrong with it, and how I would do it better. And it is with some discomfort that I recognise myself to be a bit of a ‘eunuch in the harem’:

 

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“Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.”

Brendan Behan

 

But the message is coming through loud and clear that no one is going to come along and hold my hand through all of this, because whilst I have been, or at least I thought I had been, putting some effort into working towards the things I need, when I look back, my efforts have been pretty half assed, in the vein of:

‘I’ll whack over my CV to whoever and if its ‘meant to be’ they’ll call me in for a meeting, give me a big cuddle and snap me up.’

But the lovely tarnishedsophia busted my cover yesterday and forced me to confront my lack of courage and commitment, and on waking this morning I realised that yet another 24 hours of my life have passed that I have totally wasted by not ‘growing a pair’ and having a go at something.

I then noticed that a new blogger had liked my last post, so I clicked on to discover more about her and this is what I found:

http://letsreachsuccess.com

So the messages from the Gods are coming though loud and clear. They’re just not the ones that I wanted.

The bottom line is I’m on my own and I’m going to have to do ‘it’ myself.

And I’m scared.

Because even if I start a new business, market stall, book or whatever, I can’t do everything by myself, so how will I cope?

I guess if I’m going in the right direction and being true to myself, that’s when I ‘Ask, Believe and Receive.’

And I have no doubt that I will fuck up, lose money, waste my time and effort, fall on my ass, end up a laughing stock etc. but I’m just going to have to suck it up and get back on my feet again like everyone else does.

Plus for all my yogic posturing, I have avoided any kind of proper attempt of meditation and going within to get to know myself.

The thought just terrifies me.

I don’t know why.

So thanks to all of you for putting up with my whining and procrastination, I am going to dig into some yoga and meditation this weekend, ask for guidance properly, acquire a new backbone over the next few days (even if I have to knit one 😉 ), and start next week with hope, confidence and renew vigour.

God bless you all for your support and friendship xx


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PEOPLE, HELP THE PEOPLE

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In a world where religion divides and acts of terror are far too common occurrences, three women stood up to machete wielding killers on the streets of Greenwich London yesterday to try and help and comfort a dying man.

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The man had been spotted and identified as a soldier by his ‘Help the Heroes’ t-shirt and army issue backpack by these two hateful individuals, who hit him with their car, then dragged him off, propped him up against a wall and hacked him to death.  They even tried to decapitate him.

And whilst cowardly, masked, far right extremists donned balaclavas and gleefully took the opportunity to use this tragedy to riot, stir up hatred, and attack mosques and muslims, religious groups sent out messages of peace and condolence, condemning the acts as appalling, heinous and not representative of them or their God.

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People take heart; even in the midst of these horrific crimes, people come together, show immense courage, publicly condemn these actions and even put themselves in danger in order to help and comfort the stricken and stand up to what they believe in.

Why is it so hard for these people to realise that their actions are entirely Godless whatever their religion?

Hatred = Absence of God

Love = God is present

And didn’t these butchering fools realise that Allah/God wasn’t praising their actions, but instead was regarding with love the lady who stood tall and confronted them, telling them ‘You will not win’ and laying his/her hands on the woman sitting in the pool of blood laying on hands and praying over the corpse of a murdered boy?

Women of Greenwich, thank you for showing us the way.

And those of you with anger and vengeance in your hearts, think on; if you act in hatred, you drive your God from your side.  It really is that simple.

Peace and love to all x

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/may/22/woolwich-attack-horror-soldier