Phoenix Fights

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


YOU CAN GO NOW, SISTA… #bpd #depression #cocksuckers


3 days into Lent, so many aims and ambitions (most being dietary/health related), but I’m taking it it slowly and starting with the main ones (giving up sugar and alcohol) and aiming to add extras as I progress, in order that I can get a life or something.

I’ve also being tasked with writing a positive message to myself every day (a schema therapy activity) and putting it in a pretty box.  To date most haven’t been too inspiring or ambitious (‘Managed not to shriek at benefits people this afternoon – yay me!‘), but today I was proudly able to scrawl ‘I have been to yoga for the first time in 2015′ onto my little pink post-it and pop it into my receptacle.

Progress indeed.

I didn’t like it very much, the yoga class.

It ached, my balance is all fucked up, and even my hands hurt.  And when I went into shoulder stand, all the lard I have cultivated on my belly squidged unattractively into pale sausagey wedges, and I felt a surge of hate and disgust infuse my entire being.


How revolting it is.  And the more I look at it the more anti veggie/vegan I feel, as let’s face it, at least if someone dines on big slabs of flesh, it’s useful, as unless you really look after your body you end up looking and feeling like a factory farmed heifer.  I was watching some footage from the Meatopia fair this afternoon and I thought ‘Yes, that’s it Sista!  Donate your piggy body to the next festival!  There’s plenty on there for everyone and crackling too!’

My body, for it’s part, is sulking, hence it’s protesting twinges, total inflexibility and generous cultivation of blub.  My fault for not coming out of hibernation, gorging on comfort food, indulging my addiction to expensive hot chocolate and watching back to back DVD boxed sets, not to mention gross neglect on all levels.

That’s what I’ve been doing all this time y’know.  Watching TV.  I can’t really afford to do anything else (yes I know that’s no excuse), and let’s face it, the people who populate HBO TV series have so much more interesting lives than mine.

My current passion is ‘Deadwood’ and I am besotted with the two male leads, anti hero Al Swearengen and Seth Bullock, the latter for rocking a moustache like no other, and very nearly bringing my libido out of it’s coma like state.

Much good that will do me right now, as I wouldn’t wish this blubbery carcass on my worst enemy.

The former however, fascinates me like no other.  His anger, toughness and sharp tongue resonates heavily with me and whilst I don’t go around spitting profanity at all and sundry, I sure as hell used to, and then some.

I’ve just finished Season One, and in the first few episodes, I hated him, but having watched the last episode last night, I saw a different side to the homicidal whore house owner, and it had such an impact on me, I watched it twice and replayed the heartbreaking scene between Al and Reverend Green again and again.

These characters seemed in that uniquely intimate moment, when Al did God’s job for him, the two sides of the same coin;  One world weary and filled with spleen and hate, the other devoted to his Lord and oh so desperate to believe that he was still in his light and his appalling suffering was not in vain.

And when Swearengen tenderly muttered to the dying priest ‘You can go now, brother’, as my throat closed up, I felt a pang like no other.  Whether it was sadness, relief or just sheer envy I know not.

To be sheer conscious and nothing else.  To shed this bag of blood, flesh and bones.  How freeing that must be!

But that scene touched me and stays with me 24 hours later, as did crippled Jewel dancing in her leg brace with Doc Cochran.

And whilst I am in my own gutter, muddled with medications, looking to movie stars and fictional characters for meaning and inspiration, I know that I at least, unlike poor Reverend Green and Jewel, I can get up out of the puddles, stagger to my feet and move on.

It’s a question of wanting to, really.  Maybe I have it too easy.  Maybe you have to be physically fucked up or super angry to give a shit about this world.  But I’m not allowed my anger anymore, as unlike Al, it did not and does not help me succeed in this world.

But I’m still trying to get to my feet and ease on down the road.  In my own feeble, reluctant way.

My home is now on the market, I’m going to try and get back into favour with my body and brain, and hope there is a life worth living ahead of me.


Once upon a time, my philosophy was not that dissimilar to Al’s, and my anger did push me forward in the world, but in the act of trying to manage that part of my nature via therapy makes me more passive, and drumming up passion and the will to live is now ironically harder than ever.

But the notes box is both beautiful and roomy and I’ve still got lots of paper, and I’m at least inching forward towards my destiny.

Ready once again, to face up to the black hats of the world, and take my pain like a man.  But also to hope, like the Rev.

Namaste Cocksuckers, namaste x





I did it.

I rang my mortgage lenders, hung my head, and rolled over, then closed my eyes, waiting to be torn to shreds.

Or that’s how it feels at any rate.

And although it was what I was advised to do, and in theory the most sensible course of action, I know in my heart that I have sacrificed my last shred of dignity.

Lost job?  Check.

Claiming benefits?  Check.

Bad credit rating?  Imminent.

The thing is that I rang them in good time so that this wouldn’t happen.

But I am such a naive fool.

Because even though I have no bad debts and have not defaulted on any outstanding payments (yet), now that I’ve alerted them to the fact that I may not be solvent for much longer, they are now on red alert.

It also doesn’t help that I have my mortgage, bank accounts and credit card all with the same people, so I’m guessing that using my plastic is going to be touch and go from now on, and that any overdrafts and/or loans will be totally out of the question.

Not that I need or want debt.

It’s just like having that ‘You can stay with us if you’re desperate’ offer which, as I’ve previously mentioned, has not being reiterated of late.  There is no way I want to stay in anyone else’s home, nor accrue debt if I can possibly avoid it.

it would just be nice to know that these things are in place should the worst come to the worst.

Just in case.

But now the final nail is in the coffin of the person I used to be, the person I thought I was at any rate.

You see, whilst I don’t think i have much to be proud of in my life, one of the few things I have prided myself in over the years is that I have been quite sensible with money.  Apart from the occasional splurge (which tended to be on food/wine as opposed to designer clothing), I paid all bills well in advance of the deadlines, paid my credit card off in full every month, and did everything I could to ensure that I would never end up on the street.

A tough working class upbringing by one parent who lived in the pub/bookies and another who scrimped and saved and who feared this above all else tends to rub off on a kid, and I was determined that her fear would not be my fear, let alone my fate.

Funny how things turn out, hey?

You think you know yourself, or one knows oneself, don’t you, until things gradually fall away.

Your job, your business, your ethics, your social life, your dignity, your pride.

Maybe this is what is meant to happen to me.  Maybe I’m being tested.

On the plus side, there isn’t much else I can lose right now.

Apart from my life.


And right now, I just wouldn’t give a shit.  In fact in some twisted way, I’d love it because I’d be able to just give in, for real, rent out this shit hole, guilt one of my friends into taking in my boys (with visiting/sofa rights of course cos dying would make me shameless), get the old credit card and just party until all my credit has gone and/or the geezer in the black coat arrives with his big knife thing and drags me off to wherever.  Maybe the place where the other sucker with the white robes should have dropped me off in the first place.

Whatcha say big boy?  We got ourselves a date?  Because dragging me ain’t gonna be necessary.

You don’t even have to wait till Halloween, I don’t want to come on too strong but any night works for me.  Hell, you don’t even have to buy me dinner.  I doubt you’d eat much anyway.

Because, for the record, you don’t scare me, you boney bastard, so quit all that grimacing and whoo-ing and get your skinny arse over here and take me out.

Before the next thing happens.   Because I have a horrible feeling that I haven’t even reached bottom yet.

Incidentally someone is so going to get it in the neck for all this one day.  Because my memory, patience and appetite for revenge probably even outstrips yours.

In the meantime, God please help me endure this life and that which is yet to come.

It’s the fucking least that you owe me.



I love this song. I really, really do. Especially this version.

And JC OWNS it.

He’s not just singing a cover to pad out an album or something. It’s the story of his life. His swan song, his epitaph. He sings of regrets, as he sits amongst his dusty photographs, sun bleached trophies and the rotting remains of a banquet, and of how, despite his successes, riches and luxurious lifestyle, he wished he’d done things differently, as he wife looks on, close to tears.

Within a year both of them were gone.

I can’t watch this video only once, as I am in equal parts, fascinated, moved and terrified by it.

I’m scared because it touches something dark, angry and despairing inside me, and the fear that when I’m his age, I’ll feel exactly the same way about my life.

Without all the success.

Because it feels too late to start again.

Then again, it always did, for as long as I remember.

I’ll watch it once again because it’s so beautiful, but then I’ll try and forget about it until the next time I happen upon it, when once again I’ll touch base with my darkness.

My sweetest friend.



Poem inspired by recent deaths, both in and out of the public eye, and the nature of modern ‘friendship’.


Oh everybody loves you when you’re dead

Those accolades they go straight to your head

Well they would if it were there

Half mine’s splattered on the stair

Oh yes, everybody loves you when you’re dead


Everybody loves you when you’re gone

It helps that you don’t need them to lean on

You don’t lean on anything

When from a ceiling you do swing

In those darkest hours just before the dawn


Oh yes, you are adored when you’re no more

And not a living, frightened, needy bore

‘Oh I wish I’d known the score’

Well you would have, silly whore

If you’d gotten up and answered your front door


Everyone loves a funeral doncha know

It means you get to put on such a show

Of how much love you had

For this person oh so sad

That you hadn’t seen for, oh, 2 years or so?


And you always give good quote

And you’ll don black shades and coat

And you get to show off that new Prada tote….


And naturally the wake you will attend

And meet your buddy’s other lovely friends

And stories you will share

About the times so free from care

Or so it seems to suit you to pretend


So the next time you are needed, my dear friend

Perhaps you’ll help and be there till the end

As believe me, it is true

That one day it might be you

Who seeks that ole Grim Reaper to befriend


Everybody loves you when you’re dead

The eulogies they’d go straight to my head

If I could hear their song

But alas I’m dead and gone

As your words die, like your roses, so blood red




Tony Hadley was on breakfast TV this morning, promoting his new whatever, and because it is Valentines Day, they played out with Spandau Ballet’s iconic, romantic hit single “True”.

And as always, I turned it off. Not because I’m single/lonely/bitter and twisted.

It’s because, for me hearing that song always reminds me of the day that love died.

My Mum didn’t love me. I know that much is true. Well if she did, I certainly couldn’t feel it, and she definitely didn’t like or approved of me. For most of the years we were together we were at loggerheads because I knew in my gut that I wasn’t what she wanted or expected, and the fact that she blatantly favoured my sister.

Hence the memory of our time together is peppered and scarred by her inherent disgust and excoriating criticism of me, my desperate attempts to force her to love me, my bruising, bloodied war with my sister, and throughout it all, my Mum telling me she loved me as much as her when interrogated, hissing her affirmations through gritted teeth, her eyes shining with impatience and hatred, and my howls of anguish at the unfairness and loneliness of it all.

So after years of being eaten away by cancer, on the day I was told that she had died, I had to be pinned to the floor by my cousin, such was my pain, rage, sorrow and defiance at God for tearing her from me before her time, before she made me feel like I really mattered.

Then, in a matter of minutes, something inside me went cold and impervious.  I got up, dried my tears, absorbed my rage within myself, and did the dutiful daughter thing.

I cleaned up, organised the funeral, baked for the wake, bought something black and severe to match my charred bubbling fury, and put her in the ground.  And on that day, when my father finally told me he loved me, I looked at him coldly and thought ‘No, you don’t.  You’re just scared of being without her’.

And that was the week that “True” was number one in the charts.   Also, flying high was New Wave/Punk artist Joe Jackson with his album Night and Day which my sister played incessantly, especially the particularly delightful and timely track “Cancer” (or was that me?  I honestly can’t remember), so what with the radio playing Spandau every hour, and my or my sister’s perverse choice of music de jour, the two tracks merged into some sort of twisted mash up, which went:

‘Everything gives you cancer, uh oh oh, OH uh, there’s no cure, there’s no answer, I know this much is true….’

And I hated them, I hated her, I hated him, and I especially hated HER, but most of all, I hated myself.  And to be honest?  If I’d have known you during that dark, endless, excruciating week, I’d have probably hated you too.

No offence 😦

You wouldn’t have noticed though.  You would just have seen a haughty, thin, distant Easter Island statue of a girl with the closed off, haunted eyes of someone far older than her nineteen years.

You still wouldn’t have wanted to be around me though.  You would have sensed the poison, the badness, the ugliness, the faults and the failings.  Because if my own Mother couldn’t love me, there must have been something fundamentally wrong with me.

Over thirty years have passed since that day, and over the decades and via painful experience, I know more and I know better.  For the most part. But that hasn’t stopped my self loathing sabotaging every relationship I ever had, and every potential relationship from growing into something to treasure.

When people said ‘You have to love yourself  before anyone else can love you’ I would think ‘Bollocks.’  Plenty of good looking, rich, famous, successful, sexy fuck ups have found someone to love them and be with them.  Or at least that’s how it appears from the outside looking in.

I do however think it’s the only way forward for me.  Because if you love yourself, at least someone loves you. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to let more love into my life if/when I get there.

Valentine’s Day isn’t usually a biggie for me.  I’m not one of those women who bemoans my singleness, sends myself flowers/cards/chocolates to prove to others that I’m loveable, or acknowledge/celebrate it by going to an anti Valentines event, something I’ve always found bemusing.

I have bigger fish to fry.

My salvation doesn’t depend on another homosapien with a penis.

It’s down to me.

So today, I’ll mostly be doing loving things for myself.  Nurturing my mind, body and soul, and opening my scarred and battered heart and soul to the possibility that it is not too late to love and be loved, in all of it’s aspects, guises and manifestations, and I invite you to do the same.

As, whether you are single or not, there are worse things that you could do for yourself in the next 24 hours and beyond.

So I send you big love this Valentines Day and hope you are surrounded by the love of your family/friends/partner, and most of all the love of that spark of light that ignites and dwells within us all.

Namaste x




I heard this track on the radio today and it took me back to what, now, seems like another life.

To a life where, for a brief period of time, I felt pretty damn formidable.

I was probably at the peak of my attractiveness, my body was lithe and model like, and the boys rather predictably, didn’t seem to care about my dubious nose or big teeth anymore and I hid behind that confident veneer as if my life depended on it.

My punk/new romantic look made my aloof features an advantage, and along with my Miss Whiplash attire and liberal use of black/navy/burgundy/blood red make up atop of my pallid visage, the desired ‘Don’t touch, in fact don’t even look‘ image was complete.

I was earning decent money for once in my life so was starting to realise I didn’t have to rely on anyone anymore.

I’d broken one heart and was about to break another.

The mother who’d never loved me enough had died and after a month of pure agony, my blood was replaced by ice water, my body turned to marble and the six inch thick steel door that stayed in place for a good decade or so, slammed shut on my emotions, making me one very scary bitch indeed.


If anyone had dared ask, I couldn’t have exactly said I was happy.

I might not have realised how fucking angry I was, but I knew that I was, for once in my life, powerful.

No one was going to make me feel bad anymore. No one was going to let me down when I needed them the most.

And, most importantly of all, no one was going to tell me what to do, least of all a man.

I realise now that under that haughty, superior exterior, I was one sick puppy. But at the time I didn’t know, and if I had known, I wouldn’t have cared.

Anyone who tried to mess with me now was going to pay.

Three decades have passed since that girl partied hard in the clubs of Manchester, outplayed the players, saw dating as a blood sport, and used her sexuality in the most harmful way possible; My looks have faded, my snarl has gone, and after years of therapy, my life blood has returned, my form softened and the steel door has gradually come down.

And for the most part, I don’t like it. And whilst I do still have a weapon, I can’t always find it, plus my challenge is to try to choose my battles and whenever possible, leave it in it’s sheath.

I’m old, unarmed and scared.

But I fight on. For that motherless, abandoned girl for whom love only ever brought insecurity, doubt and pain, who embodied a white hot fury that had to be incarcerated as it was too painful to acknowledge, and I can only hope that I can make a life where she can experience what love, security and self acceptance actually feels like.

So I resist the urge to tool up and fight.

But my God, if I could have put this brain into that young body, I could have ruled the world.

And when I hear this song, I could almost be there, striding into a club, in spike heels, vinyl trousers, flicking my burgundy hair with an insouciant smirk across my plum stained lips.




I wake up with the now familiar chemical taste in my mouth, fuzziness of head, and a shortness of breath.

My home for the last week or so has been horrifyingly toxic, thanks to the new carpet I had installed last Friday, and it has been harder still to drag myself out of bed at all, let alone do my morning yoga, as anything that encourages deep breathing will only exacerbate my misery.

If this is God’s idea of flushing me out my burrow, well it hasn’t worked.

Until this morning when I woke up with pins and needles in my left arm and hand.

The first word that came into my head was stroke.

Multiple stroke syndrome.  By far the most horrible, prolonged, miserable exit from this world that I can think of.  And I can, and do, think of a lot of them.

As after seeing my big, strapping six foot warrior of a father, flattened and helpless, thrashing like a newly caught fish, unable to speak, eat, and covered in sores, atrophy and shrivel into a dried up husk of his former self before gasping his last, it has been my worst nightmare when it comes to doing the mortal coil shuffle.

I’d sooner overdose, be struck by lightning, be squashed by a falling crane, have a stake driven through my heart or cark it on the loo like Elvis, anything but that hellish dying minute by minute, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month with no way of telling anyone what you feel or having any kind of control over your last days on this earth.

Alright, damn You.  I’ll get up and do something.

Feeling like a pawn in a celestial game of chess, where God has picked me up by the ankle and hurled me onto the next square whether I like it or not, with nothing more than a vague curiosity as to whether I’ll survive the game.

I get up, shower and head out of the door without really knowing where I was going or what I was going to do.

Which is why it was even a surprise to me when I found myself at Shagger’s yoga class, with my lungs and body full of toxins, my limbs stiff with misuse and a sudden unexpected bank of vitriol and hate lodged directly under my diaphragm.

I have worked hard at dissipating and dealing with my anger of late, with a lot of success, but suddenly, as if knowing I’m at my weakness, it has returned with a vengeance and is keen to make up for lost time.

I grab a mat and avoid all eyes, setting up my spot as quietly and unobtrusively as I can.

The door opens, and in walks some guy who eyes me furtively, with considerable interest.

I immediately look away, leaving him in no doubt that I had absolutely no desire to connect with him or anyone in any way, shape or form this morning.

His response to this?  To pick up his yoga mat, and put it within centimetres of mine.

I look around me with disbelief.  Whilst the place is filling up fast, there is loads of room and he could have gone anywhere.

I feel pure hatred like a lump in the back of my throat, and close my eyes and lie in shavasana as I try and block him out.

No such luck.  Two minutes later, he drops the sleeve of his New Age poncho on my belly, and as my eyes snap open, his are there to greet them, grinning inanely at his clumsy subterfuge.

‘Whoops, sorry!’ he stage whispers.

Fuck off and die.

I don’t say this out loud, but what I do do is totally ignore him, just catching his look of disgruntlement as I remove flick the offending garment off me and close my eyes again, intent on spiritual oblivion.

Two minutes later.

‘Excuse me?  I think you’re going to have to move over a bit.’

I stare at him with undisguised venom.

‘If I move my mat over any further my arm is going to keep hitting the wall?’ I retort icily.

‘That’s why we “stagger” them!’ he chortles in response, looking for an audience to share his ‘joke’ with.

Walls don’t “stagger” to accommodate people, you tosspot, they’re inanimate and made of concrete!

Ignore him Sista, ignore him.

‘Ummm, huuh, uuummmm, huuuh…’

Oh God, a fucking breather right in front of me, doing everything she can to catch my eye, presumably craving my admiration.  Perve to my right, wanker straight ahead, what’s behind me, a fucking huge, rusty spike?

Then the class begins.

And everything hurts.

My back.

My muscles.

My lungs.

My head.

My anger ravaged soul.

I have absolutely no idea where all this fury is coming from.

I work through the class with grim determination, pausing when I know a move is too much for me, ignoring the trembling, determined limbs of my fellow yogis.

And when the tediously, predictably jutting crotch of my teacher is dead level with my eyes as he pulls my arms parallel to the floor, I avert them and catch sight of the bright russet leaves of the great oak through the window, rustling in the wind against the bright blue sky, and words spill from my psyche into the air around me.

Oh God, I have never believed in you more or liked you less.

I don’t want to be here.

I hate this body, this ageing, creaking, pissing, sweating, shitting lump of bones and meat where you have trapped me.

And right now, right in this moment, I hate you too.

You watch me from your throne, like a half squashed flies thrashing miserably in the dust, and you are INDIFFERENT to my agony.

Well, screw you.

Then unbelievably, someone’s hand brushes my arse.

Baldy pervert man.  Of course.

How I don’t turn around and bawl my outrage in his stupid, simpering, butter bean face and hurl him bodily across the room, I’ll never know.  I can only tell myself it was an accident, and anyway, if I twat him, someone will call the police.

I know I’ve been here before.

I don’t want to be here.

And I certainly don’t want to come back.

And as I go into shoulder stand, I feel not energy, not relaxation, not peace, but poison, masquerading as blood, streaming through my veins and plumping my heart.

I just want to GO.

Then as I drop to plank, I feel the hands of Shagger, and brace myself for further outrage.  But to my surprise, he did not grope or invade my space, but deftly, gently, with great kindness, pressed my screaming limbs into a better position and I stared ahead with grim determination, fighting the sudden urge to cry, and prayed for it to end before I made an utter fool of myself.  

And when it does?

I walk away, still black with pollution and wondering who, what the hell I am.

One book, ‘The Exorcist’ I think, muses on the theory that we are all fragments of the fallen angel, journeying inch by inch, dragged by an unseen force over rocks, stones, land and sea to the inevitable reunion with the Almighty.

I can buy into that.

It’s just so hard when it takes oh so long.