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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Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon – LOVING THE ALIEN

What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?

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Space; The final front ear.  

Or something like that.  I can’t think straight right now.  And I can’t be bothered to google it.

First of all I’d like to stress that I shouldn’t be here in the first place.  I knew from the off that this wasn’t my planet.

But I stayed.  I had no choice.  I existed, I blended in as much as I could, and I survived.  I did everything I could to fit in, pass for one of you, find a tribe, belong.  But it never really worked and whether it was apparent to others or not, I have always been the loner, the odd one out, on the outside looking in.  Humans are smart and their instincts subliminally warn them not to get too close to the alien in their midst.

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‘You’re too honest/simplistic/blunt/frank/obvious/naive!’ they would chide/laugh/scold ‘That’s not how to make friends/do business/deal with confrontation/get what you want!  You have to pretend/lie/bullshit/flatter/connive/kowtow/deceive to get things done!  And if you don’t believe in what you’re doing or saying?  Fake it to make it!’

‘Um, what about being myself?’ I’d ask

‘Urgh, what are you talking about?  Who wants to see that?!  No, you need to be different things for different people in order to get what you want in this life, so how could that work?’

So I act? Every time I encounter someone new I morph into my interpretation of what they want me to be?

But i was never any good at that.

And then one day, it all got too much, and I cracked and took that giant step when I walked out of my life, cut all ties and fled back to my own space where I could escape these mad, cruel, ruthless, lying freaks; hide, lick my wounds and regroup.

With the aid of hefty doses of Sertraline of course.  My SSRI Sista.  My saviour.

Space (bass?); How low can you go?

Pretty damn low actually.  I was exhausted, battle torn and afraid.

But I had a plan, and that was to avoid the avaricious, ruthless, two faced members of this race and only mix with my true friends and the good humans.   The honest, the true, the kind, the ethical, the like minded souls, and then I could just be myself, and they’d accept and love my fucked up personality disordered alien ass and I’d be able to settle into something vaguely resembling a life until the Big Guy figures out he dropped me off at the wrong stop.

So I lowered my meds, researched jobs/courses/activities/retreats and sought out the spiritual, the creative, the kind and the ethical and tried to get back into being back on the Mother Earth ship.

Are you surprised to discover that things didn’t quite work out as planned?

Turns out the spiritual/creative/ethical/kind etc. can also betray, lie, manipulate, hurt and let you down.  So I now don’t trust anyone and I’m more alone than ever.

Mission aborted!

Take more happy pills and put your helmet on.

And now, I’m drifting, spaced, watching the minutes, hours, days tick by, vaguely aware that I’m running out of oxygen and trying to find it within me to give a shit.

And I don’t think George Clooney is coming any time soon to rescue me. 😦

So I drink, and sleep and drift and wait.

Planet earth is poo, and there’s nothing I can do.

And as much as somewhere under this cloud of chemicals I rage, seethe and despair of my pain and abandonment, I have to make myself remember.

It’s not you, it’s me.

No truer cliche has been quoth.

So I can stay like this or come down a bit, tune into my inner sat nav and try and find my way back by forgiving and making allowances for the failings and flaws of others.

But most of all my own.

So I pray.  And hope.

That my prayers may break the sky in two

Believing the strangest things

Loving the Alien

Can you hear me Major Tom?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/daily-prompt-moon-walking/

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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IT’S THIS ONE THING THAT’S GOT ME TRIPPIN’

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Do you ever find yourself totally taken over by one thing, one person, one incident, one insult and let it become your entire world?

As an example of this, whilst women are meant to be good multi taskers, I seem to be totally incapable of the art of balance and perspective, and am very easily coaxed down a hollow in search of that elusive something I must have and no other.

Especially since the advent of t’internet and the oh so addictive search engines, I can while away hours, no, days searching for the name of a song I heard on the radio, a pair of boots I saw in a magazine, a recipe for apple cake, a cashmere scarf or a vintage pair of book ends on eBay.

Especially if there are more sensible and important things that need to be done.

Like getting a job or setting up a business.

This handicap of mine also has a more sinister, dangerous side.

Any negative encounter or experience, be it a curt rebuff, a slight, an accident, a let down, a sneer, the tiniest of rejections and my world will suddenly be falling down around my ears.

I can be pootling along, relatively at peace with the world, minding my own business and something will happen, and then that ONE THING will suddenly totally eclipse everything that was OK, good, or downright lovely, and my whole world will be tainted by a horrible, dark, sticky, contaminating cloud of hideousness that will cause me to sink to the ground in despair, then grab me by the hair drag me down said hole like a rag doll.

‘There is no point in resisting’, it silently seems to say, ‘no one will miss you anyway.’

The last time this happened was  one Saturday.  I was having a perfectly pleasant evening chilling in front of ‘Strictly’ with my cats, when a neighbour caught me unawares and pretty much forced her way into my flat to discuss some outstanding, rather contentious issue.

As you might have guessed, I don’t like people turning up unannounced and interrupting my favourite programme.

Nor do I like this woman.

She has something of the ‘smiling assassin’ about her, and whilst I conversed with her and her lessor-of-the-two evils companion in a fairly amicable manner, by the time she left, I felt defiled, tainted, railroaded and hugely outraged that my territory had invaded.

I let her in!  How did that happen?

It happened because of my cursed British politeness of course, and because we live in a shared community, so to a greater or lessor degree, it’s better that we get along with one another.

So when she rang my buzzer, I was not really able to cry down the intercom BEGONE, WHORE OF SATAN!’

But I kind of wish I had.

Because after they left, I slid down a sticky, stinking slope of despair and got really paranoid about it.

She just came in.

Just like that.

Knowing I didn’t want her there.

Smirking and nodding with hatred and scorn in her eyes.

This is MY HOME.

And then I had to drink in order to get to sleep.

So I woke up the next morning feeling really shit after mixing my meds with booze.

These ‘one thing’s seem creep up on me and mess with my world ALL THE TIME.

The other week, some rather odd woman at one of my Meet Ups totally blanked me when I addressed her cheerily, directly and very publicly.

She may have been distracted, shy, or just plain rude, but I felt exposed, rejected and very, very humiliated.

And whilst she is one of the most bland people I have ever met, I made that encounter my all for the following three days and nights when I took to my bed and thought about ways of not being here anymore.

It didn’t matter that I didn’t and don’t desire her company or friendship.

It’s the fact that I’m shit and even she knows it.

My obsessive focus on that one thing, be it to the greater or lessor extreme is extremely debilitating as they stop me getting on and making any real progress in my life, and Aunty C (my counsellor) is always giving out to me about it.

‘Seriously what is that person to you?’ she’ll rail at me in frustration, Do they honestly matter enough to get you in a state like that?’

‘I know it was rude of that company not to come back to you about that job!  But would you honestly want to work for someone with manners like that?’

‘So you friend is ignoring you!  Get on with your life, and when she comes crawling back, you will be her equal, not some needy sidekick!’

And when I waste time searching for that elusive thing/information/must have item, she’ll accuse my ‘bad parent’ of allowing my child to run riot’ presumably whilst she’s watching Jeremy Kyle, gorging on Hob Nobs whilst swigging gin or something.

But both me and ‘my parent’ find it so hard to prioritise, balance things out and find/maintain perspective though.

So the other day when some stupid twat hit my car, the third time it has happened this year and at NO TIME my fault, I had to chant to myself, mantra style ‘It’s just one thing, just one thing, not everything’ and remind myself of:

My health

The roof over my head (well for this month anyway)

My cats

My friends

That loaf of freshly baked bread cooling on the hob

The Ceilidh dance just a week away

Those beautiful skeins of burnt orange silken yarn, sat in a duck egg blue shopping bag on top of my dresser.

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And that time, at least, I kept the Horseman at bay.

But he waits patiently as his horse tears at the turf restlessly with it’s hooves, for the next opportunity to take me down.

As the next thing is invariably just around the corner.

So I will count my blessings, hold my nerve and above all, try and keep my head.

After all, it’s just one thing my soul maybe feeling….

Namaste x


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LOONEY BIN v GOING WITHIN

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So.  I was watching the penultimate episode of ‘The Big C’ tonight (don’t tell me what happens in the final one please!) in which Cathy goes into a nursing home, and appears to encounter a lot of dead people in various forms and it occurs to me that I seem to be living a very similar life to her of late, i.e. living in the same few rooms, eating, drinking, sleeping, excreting, watching TV and taking medication.

Only difference being, I don’t have cancer or any visitors.  Dead or otherwise.

I didn’t plan for it to be this way, but since I got back from the yoga retreat I’ve gradually eased myself back out of people’s lives.  It wasn’t hard; my relationships have always been low key and people do back off with relief when they know you are low.  I also think we mentals scare others because they don’t want to think as hard as we do about what is going on in our lives, as they’d rather not get into that mindset themselves and potentially realise that they’re not as happy as they think they are.

So the days pass, and like Cathy, I’m either drugged off my tits or waiting.

Waiting for something to happen.

It’s not like I haven’t tried or made moves to do stuff that I think might help me and/or others and get me back out into the world.  I’ve volunteered.  I’m trying to sort this place out.  I’ve applied for jobs that I think I can tolerate for the money.

But nothing seems to feel right or progress in any way.

And I pray for an open door, and extended hand, a sign of what I should do and which direction I should go, but nothing happens.

And I wonder to myself.

The things I think I believe in and think I’ve seen, and felt in my heart, are they all just my imagination?  Is it all just hooey?

Is there really any meaning to any of this?  Any rhyme or reason?

Or do we all just live, die and return to the earth as rotting meat, ashes to ashes, dust to dust?

And if this is the case, is there anything actually wrong with that?

I just want to know what I’m dealing with here.

That bonging therapist in Spain told me I don’t know myself.  She’s right, I don’t.  I thought I did, but I’m still a leaf in the wind wondering where I’ll drop.

Actually that’s not right. I’m a leaf on the end of a branch, waiting and seriously hoping that the Autumn wind will blow my ass off of it and onto pastures new.

Then I imagine that I’m getting messages from unexpected sources, Facebook, leaflets, messages, horoscopes.  Teasers, if you will.  Do this, try that, find it, find your path, find you.

Just my imagination?

Yesterday, I found myself on Osho’s website http://www.osho.com/ and drew one of the Zen tarot cards, and got ‘Suppression’.

It reads something like this:

‘In Sanskrit, the name is alaya vigyan, the house where you go on throwing into the basement things that you want to do but you cannot, because of social conditions, culture, civilisation.

But they go on collecting there, and they affect your actions, your life, very indirectly.

Directly, they cannot face you – you have forced them into darkness, but from the dark side the go on influencing your behaviour.  They are dangerous, it is dangerous to keep all those inhibitions inside you.  It is possible that these are the things that come to a climax when a person goes insane.

Insanity is nothing but all these suppressions coming to a point where you cannot control them anymore.  But madness is acceptable, while meditation is not – and meditation is the only way to make you absolutely sane.’

 Osho The Great Zen Master Ta Hui Chapter 11

I may be a desperado clutching at straws here, but this is spookily accurate.   I do seem more willing to embrace my insanity than even trying to meditate properly.  Something about it scares me.

But I’m going to try again.  Tonight. Before I go to sleep.

I know you’ve heard this a million times before from me, and I might still bail yet, but when you find yourself relating to a (fictional) terminally ill woman and envying her because Bethany, the death predicting cat is slinking around under her bed, it really is time to grow a pair and get stuck in or I really might as well top myself and donate my body to Gunther von Hagens, as at least then I’d be halfway useful.

Please God, if you exist help me stick with this, this time.

*Night night x

* P.S. I’m not going to say ‘namaste’ anymore until I truly feel, believe and live it.  Amen to that.


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BEWARE THE CUTTER

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Sorry I haven’t been around much this last couple of days, but I’ve kind of hit a pretty jagged brick wall.

And as if that’s not bad enough, I also think I also just got smacked in the face with a big, scary realisation.

I have this coping technique you see, and whilst it’s served me well for most of my life, I’m not sure it’s doing me any favours anymore.

It goes something like this.

If someone or something hurts or abuses me enough, I cut off.

Big style.

I mean I can pass people in the street and pretend that they don’t exist. I can bump into them at a party and everyone around would think we were total strangers. I can look through them like a pane of glass, and they would not be able to tell what I felt inside. Usually because I’ve cut those feelings off too, like a big, bloody bag of a placenta on the end of the umbilical cord that connected us, and dropped them both into a bin.

And I’m so good at it, I can almost ensure that we never meet again. Don’t ask me how, but for the most part, it’s rare that I cross paths with those who I’ve severed contact with. And if we have any friends in common, they are either sworn to secrecy or only hear a limited amount of information about me so that they can’t pass on any relevant gossip. Knowledge is power and I don’t like my ‘enemies’ knowing my shit, good or bad.

When I finished with my ex fiancee, in some kind of unspoken, almost telepathic agreement, we managed to divide up London between us, and apart from one near miss on the underground shortly after our separation, didn’t run into one another, despite being based on the same side of the river, for near enough fifteen years. I can’t even begin to tell you who ‘owned ‘which suburbs, and/or which boroughs are out of bounds to whom, it was like I was in London and he was in ‘Neverwhere’. Or the other way around.

Whatever. I didn’t care as long as he stayed out of my way.

And when on that fateful day, I did see him in the City a couple of years ago, I couldn’t have been more surprised if he’d come back from the dead.

I was on my lunch hour on my way to a restaurant, and when I saw him coming down the steps of a nearby bank, I froze, then bolted up a side street, heart hammering, hoping with all my heart that he hadn’t seen me.

And when I saw his brother in the post office one morning a week or two after, I was forced to ignored him for a good 20 minutes whilst we both came face to face with one another numerous times in one of those infernal looped queues that seems to go on forever, where he eyed me with sad, beady reproachfulness.

Awkward was not the word.

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I didn’t dislike my ex future brother in law. I just wanted him to doubt that it was me, so he didn’t report anything back to my ex.

I know I sound mad. I know.

And finally when said ex contacted me on my last birthday via LinkinIn to congratulate me on my ‘special’ day, I couldn’t have been more outraged and affronted had he rocked up outside my flat and left a big, steaming, freshly laid turd on the bonnet of my car.

How dare he? Didn’t he remember the rules?

Anyway why would I want to hear from him after all he’d done, nattering away about me being ’50 years young’ (the knob), pretending that everything was just tickety boo and that we could just sweep the past under the carpet (ha, how I remember that little saying and it’s sinister relevance) and act as if we could even contemplate being friends?

Well fuck him. He might want to breach the terms of our unspoken agreement and step over the barrier betwixt here and ‘Neverwhere’, but I for one won’t be rolling out the red carpet or making it easy for him.

So I duly treated this missive with the silent contempt it deserved, and haven’t heard from him since.

And good riddance.

Again, I didn’t and don’t hate him. I just don’t want him in my universe anymore, because that was a different life and he doesn’t belong in this one. I wasted 5 (child bearing years) of my life on that man, and it’s too painful to remember what a mistake it all was. So I pretended that it didn’t happen.

I did a similar thing to my last serious boyfriend (but on a smaller scale) after he seriously wounded me and my pride, and can still remember the devastation on his face when I cut him dead in the street one day and how it affected me not a jot.

That’s the price of hurting me, motherfucker.

Jog on.

An ex manager of mine who witnessed my occasionally utilising this malevolent, sphinx like behaviour in the business environment nicknamed it/me the ‘Ice Queen’

‘No, no!’ he’d plead when I was pissed off to the extreme at some stupid wanker who had dared to try and throw me under the bus, ‘Don’t do Ice Queen! Promise me you won’t do Ice Queen!’ But when the Lord hardened this Pharaoh’s heart, there tended to be no going back until blood was shed and scores were settled.

There is also something else about cutting off that I like. It satisfies my need for surety; It’s final.

I recently brought a friendship to an end because it was writhing around in the dirt badly wounded, I was trying to save it, but the other party wanted to play games and drag things out, so I stamped on it, killing it stone dead. I hate suspense and power play, you see, so if someone dicks me around, I’ll make the final decision for the both of us.

I also hate rejection so if I sense it coming, I’ll get in there and be the one to do the dumping first.

So, as you can probably imagine, having cut off from numerous people numerous times, I’m gradually painting myself into an ever descreasing corner, as was made clear by my contact with an ex colleague the other day.

For any of you who have followed my story to date, it will come as no suprise to you that I have cut contact with the majority of my ex colleagues from my last place of work.

And even the people I’m allegedly still in touch with, I’m very cautious with regard to what I let them to know about me now. And they know it, and are understandably not impressed. But I can’t help it. They may have proved themselves untrustworthy and like I keep saying, knowledge is power.

And no one has power over me now.

No one. And I intend to keep it that way.

One of these people, F, was a very good friend of mine, but over the last year, I’ve found that I trust her less and less. Not because she’s done anything bad to me (well not recently anyway) but because she stays with the company, knowing how they behaved and what they did to me. And when I got word about her recent promotion with them, it hit me like a kick in the stomach.

Aunty C (my counsellor) gets cross about this, because as far as she’s concerned, F is who she is and can work with them and not let it get to her, and is entitled to do what she wants with her life. But for some illogical reason, it feels like a massive betrayal to me.

Also (and this is the big, horrible, scary bit) the fact that if she can cope with them and make them like her, that means that there must be something very wrong with me if I can’t.

In addition to this, I can’t help but feel that because she is more ‘in’ with ‘them’ than she ever was, I can’t let her into my life on anything other than a superficial basis anymore.

Knowledge is power.

She hasn’t done anything to me, but I’m now aware that Ive been gradually cutting contact with her.

Because any contact with anyone from WRU reminds me that this little bubble I now occupy, and my tiny little daily triumphs and evolutions will not be enough for much longer.

I was meant to leave this flat in ten minutes for my new writing group, but now I’m frozen to the seat, holding a huge glass of wine in a shaky hand because I know how mental all this sounds.

More than that, whilst I’ve always known that my Demon is Fear, but the realisation of how much it still completely and utterly rules me is absolutely terrifying.

  • Realising how when cutting off, how much good I’m obliterating from my life along with the bad, because I think it will make me safer because I think everyone is out to get me.
  • Not putting myself in situations where I might bump into former colleagues because I think they’ll laugh a/pity/sneer at me and my joblessness.
  • How I hardly try for any jobs because I don’t want any of ‘them’ gloating when they hear about it if I fail.
  • How I won’t apply for jobs that will want a reference from my old company as that will give them power over me and an opportunity to hit back at me
  • How I don’t want them to hear anything about my condition as they’ll pat themselves on the back for what they did to me.
  • How I don’t want them to hear anything good about me because they don’t deserve to feel anything but guilt and fear that what they did might come back to haunt them one day.
  • And that by letting these fears rule me, I’m giving them the one thing I don’t want them to have; complete and total power over me.

Plus, having been out of the marketplace for over a year and still unemployed, could the rumours about me actually be any worse?

And the realisation hits me that I’m still so very ashamed at what happened to me last year, how I was treated, and how useless, stupid and incompetent I felt and still feel to this day.

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And whilst this is very painful to have to admit, I also realise that if I keep cutting off and dividing chunks of territory between me and people who have hurt me, I’m going to end up all alone on a very, very tiny little island indeed.

And then the sharks will circle.

Back to therapy for me….

Jesus when does this shit get better?!


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CAT SOLDIERS

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It’s dark.

Night?

The curtains are closed, so I can’t see if my friend the moon is out.

Oily, sludgy, slick, metallic tang on my tongue.

My eyes are sticky, my head hurts and I can’t breathe through my nose.  Did I take any meds?  I honestly can’t remember.

I must have gotten up and done something, because the TV isn’t on anymore.

I gingerly raise an arm and feel for water.  There is none.  Shit.

Something shifts at the bottom of the bed.

The cats?  Absurdly, given that I might have been here for 24 hours, I stiffen. I don’t want to disturb them.

I raise my head carefully and I can just make them out, one each stationed sphinx like at each bottom corner, serene but alert, eyes trained on the door.

It’s then that I know that I’ve had ‘an episode’.

Anyone that says that cats are emotionless, without feeling and can’t love, have almost certainly never owned one or have owned one and not treated it well.

Because when I am genuinely poorly,  an unspoken ‘don’t bother mum’ amnesty falls into place.  No scratching the bed, no sitting on my head, no bouncing off my chest, pouncing on my feet or mad grooming sessions.  No loud purring or yowling for food.  My boys quietly, carefully come to wherever I’m passed out, twisted up in a ball, or cowering under the covers, arrange themselves around me, ignore their own needs and keep watch.

I reach for the curtain and manage to grab a corner.

My joints hurt.

No moon.

Good.

The cats head whip around, then as if on cue, Charlie starts purring and Dex jumps down and stretches, priming himself for a good old bed scratching session.

My boys are hungry.

The very least I can do is get my skanky arse out of bed and feed ‘em.

Who says I’m not loved?

I am blessed.


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THESE ARE THE DAYS OF THE ENDLESS SUMMER

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Aslan is on the move.  At least it looks that way.  It’s sunny, there is little wind, buds are starting to open on the branches and a thrush is singing throatily outside my window.

The return of Spring would bring hope to any sad heart, any but mine that is.

Lots of people say they get ‘depressed’ in Winter, but depression is not brought on or ruled by the seasons, a bad hair day or a duff scratch card.

Only the really fucked up feel worse come Spring.

In Autumn and Winter when the weather is harsh, the temperature is cold and the days are short, people tend to eschew invitations, hurry home, hunker down with their families and hibernate, fortifying themselves with slow cooked casseroles, home made soups and hot toddies.

Like me.

So whilst they’re not in the room with me and (the majority) are not alone, I sense their presence behind each brightly lit window glowing in the dark and feel less of an outcast, and more of a kinship, hence less alone.  So whilst rain and sleet lash my windows, the winds howl, and the skies darken late afternoon, I huddle by the fire, with a mug of hot tea and a warm cat, and kid myself that I am ‘normal’, the same as everyone else.

Spring and Summer are a different matter.  The nights are lighter, the air warmer, spirits rise and everyone feels a lot  more sociable.  So at the first sign of good weather, out come the people, off come the layers and almost overnight the streets, pubs and parks are filled with happy families, picnicking pals, smooching couples, barking dogs and shrieking kids.

And me?

I have no place in this world.  I feel more of an outcast and less like a human being than ever before.  And when I go outside I squint in the bright sunshine (or hide behind sunglasses – I’m photosensitive) and feel like I have ALONE! UNLOVED! tattooed on my forehead.  And whilst the sun may darken my skin, I have the aura of grey, rain dashed slate, and the stance and bearing of an apologetic, whipped, homeless dog.

Or worse than that, I feel transparent, almost invisible like a ghost that has only just realised that she is dead and is resolutely stuck in this place and time with no one to haunt until someone says otherwise.

My situation is of my own making; I can’t blame anyone else for my anti social ways, my mainly geographically distant friends, or lack of partner, but these are the days that it hurts so much to be alive.

The only solution is to get out there, do some serious socialising leg work and make new friends.  But it seems like an impossible task.  How can I present the way I am now and expect people to befriend me? All of my real friends that have stayed knew me before I got this ill, so have seen me at my best, and know that the times I’m on form are worth enduring the dark days for, but they have jobs, kids, lives of their own and cannot be with me 24/7.

But to attempt to make new friends right now is as intimidating as having to apply for a job, put on an act and pretend to be someone I’m not in order to get it.  Something else that looms over me and my future….

I don’t have answers, I don’t ask for pity.

I just have to say it.  Share it.  Because the truth, no matter how terrible, when spoken out or written down is somehow downgraded from a cold endless ache in your heart to a lump in your throat, and in the hierarchy of symptoms this gives me hope that it is working its way to the surface of this battered old body, and will someday leave me for good, leaving only serenity, wisdom and if not gratitude then an acceptance and appreciation for the things I do have than a mourning for what is absent.

Holding out for the love of the one magician.

Whenever you’re ready Friend.

Namaste


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TAR PIT TUESDAY

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After another day of being stuck in my own sticking black pit of sadness, I have admitted defeat and upped my meds again.  Now is not the right time to be a hero.

The artists will have to go on their way without me.

Comatose v caring?  Comatose wins.  By a country mile.

Unfeeling v fear?  Take a wild guess.

Sertraline-induced-something-like-serenity v self hatred?  No prizes here.

This stuff is sticking and clinging to me so tight that it takes more effort to struggle free than I’ve got.  As I sink deeper, I’m trying to keep it out of my eyes as it’s hard enough to see a way forward as it is.

I have friends, family, therapy, happy pills, self help, books, what the fuck else can I do? 

What do I have to do to want to be here?

I hate it.

I’m tired.

I want to go home.