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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5 MINUTES AND YOU’RE NOWHERE NEAR #TIME TO TALK DAY #EUPD

Christian-bale-pulls-an-american-psycho

Friends, Britons, moneymen, lend me your ear.

If only for 300 seconds.

For today, I’ll have you know, is national ‘Time to Talk’ day, and you are impelled, nay, obliged to take 5 minutes out of your day to talk to your pet office nutter, or at the very least, talk about nuttiness or the deranged to your peers in general.

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday

And just in case you run out of stuff to say and are tempted to welch on the deal, you have to log your five minutes on line, so don’t even think about it, sane person!

Oh my. 🙂

This is one of the few times I’d love to be back in the corporate world watching everyone squirm like a fish on a gaff, trying to say something relevant and politically correct, whilst eyeing the clock frantically until the final seconds tick past  Or worse still, patronise the nearest depressive (simultaneous outing them) whose name they can’t quite remember, who they’d never normally talk to anyway as they are so far down the food chain.

‘Erm yes, hello young, erm Janice, so you work in accounts…sorry, of course you’re my PA…..yes, I know, 5 years now….well don’t you worry about your depression at all OK? My wife’s second cousin was once hospitalised, but we all talk about it now and go and see her at least once every five years and…erm…well at weddings and funerals.  Just try and smile a bit more!  What’s that song that American with the mountie hat sings, yes buy a copy of that, that’ll cheer you up!  Don’t worry be happy! <guffaws, then looks up>

Is my five minutes up yet?  Book me a cab will you?’

To be honest, as a card carrying crazy myself, I’m not even sure how I’d broach the subject.

Check people’s bags for medication?

your-votes-count

Host a game of all staff ‘Name that Mental Health Condition!’ perhaps?

Ask for volunteers to talk about their experiences?

Excuse me if I just smiled to myself here 🙂

Because as we all know, no one ever comes clean about having depression/bipolar/BPD etc. if they want to maintain their career and a roof over their head.

Unless you’re stupid like me and believe that honesty is the best policy, and that as long as my condition didn’t effect my work that I’d be allowed to carry on whilst continuing manage myself, and take annual leave NOT sick leave when I felt the black dog approaching, because as most of you know, it didn’t quite work out that way.

Silly, silly, silly Sista…

What I’d have liked to have done was out all the psychopaths at senior management/board level, but that would never happen, because guess what?  The sickest folk of all don’t even know they’re sick, because they have no conscience or empathy whatsoever!  They want what they want, and don’t care who they need to stamp all over to get it.

And they’d probably implement and deliver their 5 minutes of faux support talk to some unsuspecting pill popper, words flying off their tongue, as slick as greased weasel shit, and then walk away looking like a hero.

I know some of you normal folk will be thinking ‘What a cynical, miserable old cow, what’s wrong with this campaign?  At least  they’re trying to open a dialogue about this awkward and potentially alienating subject matter?’

And you’re right.

But 5 minutes of patronising small talk is nowhere near enough my friend, even if you were lucky enough to find someone mad enough to be ‘out’ and tolerate your enforced waffle.

Because any real change in the work place will only be implemented from the top down and would take someone with a fine set of balls, a bit of moral courage and some vision which as we all know is sadly lacking when it comes to most companies.

Because it might cost money.

It might affect productivity.

It might create a need for flexible working hours.

They might flip out if I shout at them!

I won’t be able to sack them without looking like a total prick!

Someone might attack me like that bloke in American Psycho!

Calm down bitches. Little do you know, but that guy is probably already on your dream team 😉

It might mean that the powers that be would have to entertain the idea of valuing honest people with honest feedback as opposed to ass sucking, greasy pole shinning, silver tongued spin masters talking crap in order to justify their huge salaries whilst hundreds of normal working people get laid off.

Because if people continue to be ousted from the workplace and pushed to the sidelines just because they once had a breakdown, are on medication, have to have the odd duvet day, or all of the above, then companies are missing out of working with brave, competent, highly skilled, deeply creative individuals with excellent emotional intelligence and the highly underrated talent of being able to recognise one of they own and support them in their time of need.

And I can put my emotions to one side and be objective about this.  I know the potential pitfalls of hiring someone who has a history of mental illness.  I’m a bit mad but by no means stupid.

I know certain people wouldn’t flourish in highly pressured roles, boring pedantic jobs or jobs where one has to compromise their integrity, or be willing to fall under the bus whenever deftly pushed by their blame adverse line manager.

But everyone has something they are good at, and if they work in an environment of acceptance and understanding (or the willingness to understand at the very least) they will flourish, contribute, think outside the box and bring no end of benefits to a variety of industries.

Does everyone really want team after team of ‘yes’ men who kiss their asses and big up their ideas and strategies, even when said strategies are not performing?

I have recently had the great satisfaction of now knowing that all the initiatives and target deals that I was meant to bring in three years ago, never came to fruition after all, even when worked on by men three levels senior to me.  The projects they blamed me for not ‘negotiating properly’.  And now, having no one to dump the blame on, they are being let go, and everything i predicted has finally come to pass.

Karma-Meme

But joking aside, that didn’t have to happen.  And whilst people for a while questioned my sanity, there was and is absolutely nothing wrong with my business acumen.

So to the Alan Sugars, Richard Bransons and Peter Jones’ of this world, please step up to the plate and start creating jobs, even part time or casual positions for people with actual mental health conditions, setting an example to others in this country, and prove that we can be valuable team players.  In other words…

Put your money where your mouth is; or you ain’t saying nothing.

And, to reversion that old Stranglers song:

I need a job where I can live what I said
I need a place that understands my head
Where the boss doesn’t curse and wish me dead
if you don’t hassle me mister I won’t lose my head

Five minutes and you’re nowhere near
Five days and I’ll address my fears
Five weeks and you might see
What an asset I might be

Five months and I’ll still be there
And you’ll be pleased you took my dare
Five years and you’ll forget why
You ever thought I could not fly

Namaste

http://www.lyricsbox.com/the-stranglers-lyrics-5-minutes-x3m7c7w.html


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I’M BORED

where-wild-things-are-rumpus

I’ve missed my last two group therapy sessions.

Not deliberately, but whenever I plan my journey to the hospital something always seems to go wrong, and I’m starting to think the universe is trying to tell me something.

And after the last one I attended I was late and felt even worse afterwards, which was not because anything struck a chord with me, but because I almost felt as if I was resented for my non weepy, rather detached mood.

Told Aunty Clara (my counsellor) and she asked me how I felt whilst in the sessions.

‘I dunno.  I don’t trust the shrinks, I don’t have the relationship with them that I have with you.  The exercises they give us seem so obvious and cliched.  I sit there, listening to everyone’s woes, foot jiggling with frustration, and when I sometimes crack jokes to cheer people up and relieve the sheer unadulterated fucking misery that’s in the room, I’m told that it’s some kind of avoidance tactic!’

Aunty C laughs but when I ask her if I should keep going she gets serious.

‘You know that I never approved of you writing yourself off as BPD, and whilst you might think the the diagnosis applies to you, I think you have done all the digging you need to do, and I’d rather you pushed forward and established a new life for yourself.’

‘So why can’t I do what I need to do?’

She smiles and gives me an affection shove ‘Because it’s hard!’

arnie-levin-well-i-feel-some-of-you-in-this-group-are-heavily-into-denial-new-yorker-cartoon

I frown.

‘Do you think I’m in denial here, and I’m trying to get out of this because something painful is coming up for me?’

‘Do you think you are?’

‘Don’t you start, you sound just like him!’  We both laugh.  ‘But the answer is, no.  I’m the only one in the group that has never cried during a session.  I totally feel for them, and see aspects of myself in some of them which has been helpful but I feel like I covered this ground years ago, and I’m seriously bored!’

As Iggy Pop might say, I’m Chairman of the Bored.  Actually no.  I’m the SVP/majority shareholder.

‘How was Christmas?’

‘OK, but, well, boring.  It’s just the same old shit whoever you spend it with really isn’t it?  I just made polite chit chat, ate loads, watched TV and tried not to fart.  I actually enjoyed the volunteering more than Christmas Day!’

C grins at me.

‘I know it’s me.  Other people like the traditional and predictable, but I feel like a kid that has no one to play with!  I want to have FUN!’ 

C clasps her hands together with glee.

‘There now!  Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you say that?’

And that’s true, she has urged me to make time for play, but what happens if no one else wants to?  Playing alone is a sad thing, especially if you had to do it for most of your official childhood.

And that’s when it struck me.  If my existing pals aren’t up for high jinks due to work commitments, kids or in some cases, good old fashioned ‘can’t be arsed’ syndrome, I have to find new ones who are.

So I’ve got a business idea.  Nothing major you understand.  Alan Sugar can rest easy. But a way of attracting equally infantile souls whilst making a bit of pocket money, or if nothing else, covering my costs.

Like many other ideas I’ve had in the past, it’s been popping into my conscious intermittently during the past week, and to date, those horribly negative mind monkeys (word to the wise – not all primates are fun) have rubbished it, like they have every single venture I’ve considered in the past, and given me every reason not to try it.

Mind Monkeys

‘IT’S A STUPID IDEA, IT’S PATHETIC – HOW OLD ARE YOU, IT WON’T WORK, YOU’LL LOOK LIKE AN ARSEHOLE WHEN PEOPLE FIND OUT, YOU’LL LOSE MONEY, THEN LOSE YOUR HOME, WHAT IF YOU MOVE, WHAT IF YOU ATTRACT PSYCHOS, …SHRIEK, SHRIEK, JABBER JABBER, SCRATCH SCRATCH….’

But fuck those flea ridden fuckwits, I’m going have a go and see what happens.

Watch this space and let the wild rumpus start!

As for the group, I’m going to suck it and see if it keeps sucking.  If you know what I mean.

Wish me luck?

Namaste xx


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EAR WORM No. 24 – Oasis – WONDERWALL #SHAME #LONELINESS

It’s still a massive trial meeting new people, even through something like meditation.  Because even if they appear flaky or weird they seem to have a life, ambitions and their shit together.  ‘What do you do?’ they ask.  And I’m at a loss re what to say.

Seeing people I used to know fills me full of dread.  Because I’m so ashamed that I haven’t made a success of my life since I last saw them.  And I know most of them avoid me because they have no faith in me, and are embarrassed to be associated with me.  ‘Hows the yoga training/job situation/book?’ they’d ask.  And I’d have to lie to save face.

I no longer want to see those I love either.  Because I’m too embarrassed to not be able to pay my way, go out to nice places or even contribute.  ‘How are you, how are things?’ they’d ask dully.   And I wouldn’t want to answer because they don’t want to even hear a response.

Hah!  Maybe I should make friends with my therapy group after all at least I don’t have to hide anything from them.

What is the difference between me and all these people?  Some of them at least must have had a rough start to life, how come they’ve managed to navigate the winding, blinding roads of life and get to where they want to be, or at least some place on the outskirts?

Probably because they’ve either (a) had love and support, (b) are made of sterner stuff than me, or (c) when realising no one is going to help, have got on with it themselves instead of waiting for someone else to save them.

‘Cos maybe, nobody’s gonna come and save me….

God after all, is gonna let me fall….


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EAR WORM No. 23 – The Smiths – THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT #SUICIDE

No prizes to guess why this particularly ditty is going round and round in my head.

‘Take me out tonight….’

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/take-me-out/

The lyrics are also darkly, comically astute in this instance.

‘Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one
Anymore’

That said ‘I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care’ because it’s by the mighty Smiths who can do little wrong as far as I’m concerned, and whilst lots of people take issue with Morrissey, their controversially outspoken, mincy front man, no one can deny their musically prowess and, whilst you may not agree with Mozza on everything, you can’t deny that the man has ethics and isn’t afraid to voice them, acceptable or otherwise, and his quotes are legendary.

Plus he’s an animal lover, which makes him one of the good guys in my book.

There is a surprisingly optimistic line in this song which is, of course, ‘There is a light that never goes out’, and whilst I somehow doubt that it’s a reference to God or anything to do with the afterlife, I could be wrong.

Perhaps it’s all about clinging to that moment (or moments like it) when you’re driving around in a soft top car on a warm summer’s night with someone you love, your wages/student grant burning a hole in your pocket, the air ripe with frivolity and possibility, and shitty old real life is on the back burner, and seems so very far away.

Until of course, the clubs close, your money’s all gone, the air is ripe with the smell of stale beer, spilt blood and fresh vomit, your hangover is just started to kick and and you’re sat on the pavement still off your tits waiting for the night bus to take you home.

That’s the rub. We always have to turn back around and face what’s lying in wait for us.  Even Morrissey knew that, hence he was willing to die just to stay in that moment.

Can’t say I blame him really.

Despite all this, I find this sing-a-long classic strangely optimistic and I guess, like some wise soul told me recently, ‘Just remember, when you’re sat on the (beer soaked) floor, you can’t fall off!’

I just hope that there are no uncovered manholes within crawling distance, that’s all.  Or dog shit come to that.

Enjoy the song x

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/smiths/there+is+a+light+that+never+goes+out_20126868.html


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TAKE ME OUT

wolf

Well.

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.

pp31942-spiral-reaper-game-over-poster

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.


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PITY PARTY TRACK 20 – TRAPPED – COLONEL ABRAMS

Yes it’s Pity Party time again, so swig down your vodka and orange (squash), put down your cheese straws and hit the dance floor as I’m just lining up the 12″ version of Colonel Abram’s ‘Trapped’ so you can get down with yo bad self 80’s style.

I can get even more down on mine.

😦

Apols for my absence of late, but I so wanted to have good news for you for my next post, but sadly things have not gone according to plan.

Re my three pronged approach (see Safe as Houses) I’ve done two out of three (which Meatloaf will concur, ain’t bad), but am shit scared to do the latter.

Mainly because my property has been on the market for two weeks now, and I’ve only had one person over to view it.

ONE.

So I can’t even say to my lenders that there’s lots of interest and that I should be out before Christmas and pay you off in full, so right now I am nigh on nostalgic for the days when my biggest worry was which club to go to, and whether my flat mate would ‘borrow’ my favourite tarty, scrunchy body con dress before I got home from work.

1400702716whitney_h_24

Hell, I’m nostalgic for that pitiful fear I had but two weeks ago at the mere thought of selling this place.  Little did I know that the market is practically moribund due to (according to the estate agent) concern of how the election might affect interest rates and the imminent arrival of Christmas.

Didn’t tell me that when I listed with them, did he, fucking slimy, bloodsucking twat?

Then I was terrified that I wouldn’t make enough to finance my new life elsewhere.  Now I’m shitting bricks and having nightmares about being repossessed, ending up on the streets, and/or having bailiffs take my car.

And before anyone suggests it, I can’t rent it out because I wouldn’t make any profit and I wouldn’t get my rent paid by the government because I’m be a property owner.  And no, I couldn’t stay with friends because now it’s critical, everyone’s has gone very quiet and seem to have forgotten their casual ‘Oh you can always come and stay with us’, because, let’s be honest, they never thought it would come to this otherwise they’d have kept their gobs shut.

As for my family, they never made that offer in the first place (no hypocrite they), and are now very much ‘Oh everyone’s in the same boat’ when I showed them the white of my eyes out of sheer desperation.

Well we’re not actually.  We’re not even in the same fucking river!  No one is going to make you homeless you bastards.

The only good thing about this situation is that you find out who your real friends are.

Trouble is, I don’t appear to have any, so I am trapped, and totally powerless and at the mercy of besuited bankers whom I will have to come clean to, and hope that they give me six months or so to shift this pile and get the hell outta Dodge.

On the plus (?) side, I’ve started Schema Therapy!

Oh boy, now that’s another story.

Stay tuned for another exciting episode of ‘The Fall and Fall of a Failing, Flailing, Fucked Up 50 Something’…..

Namas-frigging-te x

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/safe-as-houses/