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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ANGER IS AN ENERGY

Lord_of_the_Kraken_by_SteveArgyle

I can’t be around people I know right now.

Or, more to the point, people who know me, know about me and profess to love me.

I can’t contain the anger see, no matter how I try.

Even if I keep schtum, it twists my mouth, bleeds from my narrowed accusing eyes, and emanates from my core, surrounding me in such a huge miasma of unvented vitriol, I wonder how my hair doesn’t crackle and stand on end.

And whether they know it or not, they sense it.

You see, I may mock these Schema sessions, but it’s only taken three for them to bust through my ‘accepting’ Zen like veneer, and release the Kracken, and since the last meet, I can’t stop the fury.  My lying, weasel of an estate agent, the patronising sexist caretaker, a faux Facebook friend, Oscar Pistorius, and subsequently ‘alternative’ comedian Jimmy Carr have all felt the rough of my tongue, and I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

Even before I got to the session, I was bubbling and roiling with resentment, and when I remembered that (a) we were being filmed, (b) I’d consented to this and (c) the fucking camera was pointing in my direction, (ironic given that in different circumstances I’m perfectly happy with being filmed), I was absolutely determined to give not an inch.

Nada.

They prompt me, you see.

Gently and with apparent concern (retch), but I’m not having it.

‘How are people feeling today?  Sista, would you like to start?’

‘No.’

‘Ah….’

And everyone shifts uncomfortably in their seats.  It’s quite funny really.  They’re so grateful to be there and desperate to be ‘cured’, but I’ve been here so many times before, that a ball of wool, bits of felt and sympathetic tones cut no ice with me.

They don’t care about us.  We’re just lab rats and something else to put on their illustrious CV’s.

Then they start discussing the ‘Punitive/Demanding Parent’ (close relative to Aunty C’s ‘Bad Parent’ I believe) and that, whilst our parents damaged us, they probably did their best at that time, and when everyone seemed keen to embrace that theory, that is when I cracked.

‘Sorry, I don’t buy that at all.’

Shrink No’s 1 and 2 whip their heads my way and frown.

‘They had a choice.  Even if they had a bad childhood, they could have decided to transcend that experience and give their child that which they missed out on. But they didn’t.  They decided that if they were hurt, why should things be any easier for us?’

One of my fellow inmates pipes up.

‘Yeah, but that was back in the day and they didn’t know about all, erm, all this then?’

I know what she means and I know she means well.  But she’s talking arse.

‘I was dragged up in the North West in the ’60’s and believe me, I know that there was no psychological awareness there when I was a kid.  You were either a looney and to be jeered at, or normal and accepted.  No one knew about this “Good Parent, Bad Parent” malarky that’s for sure…’

And I mime inverted commas with slightly excessive force and more than a touch of sarcasm.

‘…but my cousin took his shitty childhood and did the opposite to what his father did and became the best parent he could, and all his kids absolutely adore him.  See?  He had a choice and decided his kids deserved better.  Our parents chose the other path.’

‘That’s a fair point actually, and yes, this is sometimes the case’ agreed Shrink No. 1, and the others mumble in acquiescence.

Then I notice another girl is crying.

No. 2 is on it.

‘Bella*, what’s that bringing up for you right now?’

‘I don’t know, I’m…’ then she lets out a shaky sigh and meets my eyes.

‘….I….just don’t like anger’ and she shrugs apologetically.

I feel a bolt of shame lance straight through me, and I am silenced.

I know that I scare people sometimes, without even trying.  That said, she should see me when I really flip out.  But to be fair, us BPD’s are hypersensitive and I’m sure she senses the molten fury bubbling under my relatively composed facade.

As if reading my mind, No. 1 pipes up with ‘Please remember that this is a safe place people.  We are here to take care of you and Bella, I know Sista isn’t angry with you or anyone else in the group.’

I should say something.

‘Yeah, honestly?  I think you must be stronger than me if you can forgive and still love your parents.  I’m actually the weak one here.  And I’m sorry if I made you cry.’

Bella rewards me with a watery smile.

No. 1 then decides to chime in with ‘Believe me Bella, I don’t think Sista is that angry right now.   Believe me.  I’ve seen her when she’s angry!’

Whaaat?  Thanks Doc.  I’m now the groups very own Incredible Hulk and everyone will flinch if even my top button strains.

I reward him with a mock scathing sneer, everyone giggles and we move on.

But the shame stays with me.  Because the Jolly Green Giant is a mere tantruming toddler when compared to me at large, as I can destroy with my tongue as well as my fists.  And I clearly remind Bella of someone who hurt her very much.

I regularly mourn the fact that I am childless, but right now I thank God that I never reproduced, because who knows whether I would have lived up to my own exacting standards or gone classic ‘Mommie Dearest’.

But the anger’s still there.  If anything it’s worse.

I tried to do the best for myself and kept a pre arranged trip to the cinema with a ‘close’ friend, I haven’t seen for three weeks just to get me out of the flat.

How hard could it be?

1. Buy tickets

2. Small talk till the ads start

3. Watch the movie

4. Drive him to the station

5. Go home

Quite hard as it happens, as after three weeks silence, as went enter the cinema, he mentions that he’d deducted that I’d had a hard time of late from my posts on Facebook.

<yes, but you still kept your distance hey?  funny that….>

I fought to keep control.

‘Honestly Dean?  I really don’t want to talk about it, it’s too depressing.  Let’s focus on what you’ve been up to?’

Great parry.  He filled up the minutes with tales of his full, fulfilling social life until mercifully the trailers started, then the movie commenced.

But oddly my underlying mood clearly seeped into his personal space as unbeknownst to him, his body language clearly communicated his discomfort as throughout the film, he shrank away from me, turned his form in the opposite direction, and even whilst the movie itself was riveting, checked his watch on a regular basis.

When we got out it was late, the pubs were shut so the only option was for us to go to our respective homes.

<not that you’d linger anyway, hey Dean?  skint friends are such a bore and you have much more amusing things to do with your time I’ll bet>

‘Wanna lift to the station?’

‘Please!’

Then it went horribly wrong.

‘So what’s actually going on with your flat?’

‘Oh you know estate agents!  Full of shit until you sign with them!  To cut a long story things ain’t looking good re my great escape and I’m very worried about my future.  How are things at work?’

‘But can’t you rent out?’

<fucking drop it will you? drop it, drop it, drop it>

‘Nooo, because I won’t make a profit and won’t get my rent paid.’

‘So, there’s nothing on the job front either?  Odd because Steve says there’s load of temp work out there right now?’

<shut up, shut up, shut up….>

And then it all comes tumbling out.

‘I can’t move because there are no interested buyer plus it’s unlikely to sell for enough to get me out of this hell hole.  I can’t rent out.  I can’t get a job because I’m over 50, bonkers, can’t do full time because i have to work around my Schema Therapy, and everyone I’ve ever worked with, including my FRIENDS have pretty much distanced themselves from me so would not recommend or help me get something.  If I stay I’m fucked, if I move I lose my therapy.  My bills are bigger than my bank account and I could get repossessed and of course everyone who said I could stay with them is shitting themselves because let’s face it, who wants a depressive and two cats on their sofa?!’

I wink at him mockingly and before he can interject I continue.

‘No one that’s who.  It’s like the Budda says, you can never rely on others only yourself.  I can’t afford to go out and I can’t afford to stay in. My family like my FRIENDS are lying low just in case I ask anything from them and I’m essentially on my own in all this.  There!  Think that covers everything.  Questions?’

And as I take in his shocked little face by the light of the station lamps, I realise I’ve killed off yet another friendship, or at the very least, drop kicked it into intensive care.

‘I erm, well, I didn’t know things were that bad.’

I smile with faux jollity.

‘Well ya do now!’

We stare at each other.

He doesn’t move.

<get OUT of the fucking car Dean>

‘Erm, I didn’t know given you’ve just been a bit distance the last few weeks…’

I feel my mad Joker grin widen even more.

‘I haven’t been distant Dean!  You’re the one who said you’d be too busy to do anything for two weeks!  I just didn’t want to crowd you!’

His mouth is kind of moving but the words don’t make it out.

<get. out. of. my. car.>

‘You’re going to miss your train?’

‘OK, yeah, well I’ll….we’ll…’

‘Indeed!’

We air kiss and he opens the door.

‘See ya!’

And I drive away with a feeling of palpable relief, a furious grief and a howl of pain that never seems to end.

Another one bites the dust.

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But still the anger roils and boils.  I need to find a way to vent this shit before I take down entire cities.

I need to forgive the people who’ve let me down so badly.  Or have they?  It’s hard to tell when you’re certifiable.

I could be wrong.  I could be right.

This anger is the only energy that ever motivates me to do anything. Such a shame it’s a force for evil.

If I ever get to harvest it for the good, that’s when I know I can Rise.

But I ain’t holding my breath.

Ciao for now x

* FYI all names are changed to ensure anonymity, even though I blog under a pseudonom.

http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/public_image_limited/rise.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/jimmy-carrs-controversial-oscar-pistorius-joke-goes-too-far-at-the-q-awards-9812847.html

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THERE’S A DOG IN THE MANGER, WHAT AM I GONNA DO?

mirror teacher

Sigh…

I’m trying really hard to see the positives in people, but, of late, all I seem to encounter are the negatives…

So I have a very close friend, one of the closest, who is also unemployed, but that is where the similarity ends.

She has only been out of the work place for six months, she and her partner are very well off, her partner will support her come what may, she also has both of her parents who would always house/support her if things went drastically wrong, and, after flirting with the idea of escaping the rat race, she wants to be back in the corporate world full time ASAP.

She also doesn’t have any mental health issues hindering her progress whatsoever.

Beth (not her real name) and I have grown closer during this period and have been mutually supportive to date, and I routinely check and edit her job application letters before she sends them off the the relevant company, but what she has been sending me most recently is so half assed effort wise that I feel that she’s getting lazy and needs to learn from what I send her, and not just send me the skeleton of her communication and expect me down load the job ad, check her CV and add all of the flesh for her.

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So the other night, when I was feeling pretty sick and muzzy anyway, on receiving another aforementioned Mr Bonejangles, I sent him back to put a bit of weight on with a helpful note.

‘Sorry sweetie, feeling a bit shit post migraine, but can you add/amend/clarify a few things, then I can give it a final health check and amend before you send it out?’

In reply I got a rather snotty ‘I am going to rework it and send it in the morning, get better soon.  Regards Bethany’.

O-kee-dokey.

So I dropped her a line the next morning, again offering to give it a final check/edit, and this time she gratefully accepted.

That little outburst did stick in my mind though.  Hey ho, part of the BDP territory to hold grudges close to our hearts, so I tried to put it out of my mind and got on with my day.

Then yesterday, she got in touch because she wanted to offload about a part time job that was kind of offered to her, and then retracted because she’d be working for a new acquaintance who did not want to compromise their friendship.  In fairness, this friend probably knew that Beth wouldn’t stop looking for high status jobs and would leave as soon as something more suitable/lucrative came along.

But the more she talked about it the more I realised that it might be perfect for me.  And call me tactless but I asked her what this woman was like and if she’d be happy to put me forward instead?

At first she asked for me CV to forward onto said lady. Then she kind of prevaricated and said that she felt ‘weird’ going back to her and it became apparent to me that she wasn’t keen on putting me forward, even though I’m in dire financial straights and could, worst case scenario, lose my property.

And I did what I always do in these scenarios.

I pushed and pushed and pushed.

Because it wasn’t about the job anymore.  It was about (probably) my closest friend not wanting me to have something that she couldn’t have, and didn’t really want, which rightly or wrongly, this old cow found rather shocking and hurtful.

In the end, she wouldn’t send on my CV, but mentioned to her friend that she knew someone who was looking for work and if she was interested, to get in touch with me herself.

I both recognised and appreciated the concession, but was still wounded.

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Because if I could have passed on a job to her, even if it was one I wanted and couldn’t have, I would have done it.

In the shake of a lambs tail.

Because that’s what friends do.

‘But that is YOU Sista!  And Beth is Beth!  You have to accept people as they are, not what you want them to be!’ booms the disembodied voice of Aunty C in my ear.

And she’s right.  I must stop judging and challenging what’s left of my friends to live up to my somewhat exacting standards and focus on my own dung instead.

grinch-heart

But I feel my heart harden and shrivel whenever I am let down in this way.

Then, just as i thought we were done, 30 minutes later Beth text me to say that this lady was interested and passed on her email address to me.

And I was relieved.  Because it did cross my mind that she didn’t even speak to her in the first place.

So whilst my heart didn’t exactly go up three sizes that day it did cease to contract and a little fresh blood plumped it back up to normal size.

Which isn’t saying that much.

But I’m trying dear God, I’m trying….

Judge ye not and all that shit…

Namaste xx

 


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FEAR SMACK DOWN 1 – SPINNING AROUND

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2014 has been a wee bit tough for me so far.  Deaths, illnesses, resigning myself to applying for benefits, baking stall disasters etc., but last night I did my first Fear Smack Down of the year.  🙂

I’d pretty much spent 4 days and nights on my own, and one of my friends, whom I thought was supportive of my illness not only appears to be blanking me *, but has kind of ‘jumped in my grave’ so to speak, and snatched an opportunity away from me that I alerted her to, mug that I am.   And given she is one of my new supposedly ‘positive’ acquisitions, it feels like such a betrayal and makes me fall back into thinking that I can’t trust anyone whatsoever.

So me being me, of course, I found a polite way of saying ‘stuff it up your arse’, backed off and let her keep it.

Then last night, I was meant to be going to a Meet Up group with another new friend who, after asking if she could go with me, cancelled on me at the very last minute.

Instant karma anyone? 😉

I know, I can hardly talk, but it did drag me even further down mood wise.

And as the turbulent storm outside (and the even bigger one in my head) raged, yes, you guessed it, the urge to bail and stay glued to the sofa for the night was almost irresistible.

I did my usual procrastinations to kill time; hoovered the flat, played Scrabble online, sniped a bit on eBay, bleached my teaspoons etc. and all along the voices told me don’t go out, stay in, no one will talk to you let alone dance with you, what are you going to say when they ask you what you do, you’re too late now, look at the state of you, you’re too old for this, stay in and watch TV with us, you don’t need anyone else, you’ll only get hurt….

Then a very familiar voice cut through all of the others and said kindly but insistently ‘Don’t let the child sit in and fester!  Encourage her to go along, and remind her, she can always come home if she doesn’t like it.’

And for once, out of the hundreds of times I failed to listen to Aunty C’s sage words, I slid off the sofa, rushed to the bathroom, hurriedly daubed on some make up, pulled on a top and jeans and scuttled out into the night, muttering to myself ‘It’ll be fine, it’s loud and anonymous; take the car and if it’s awful you can always leg it home quickly.’

And do you know what?

It wasn’t fine.

It was brilliant!

As soon as I got in I spotted someone I’d met before and before I knew it, we got chatting to two other girls and I had friends, for the evening at least.

The bands were loud, too loud for us to chat too much, so I kept my anonymity, hid my nuttiness, and any nervous OTT antics were probably just perceived as me trying to be heard over the din.  The dancing was hilarious, everyone was clowning about and it was so much fun, and I span till I was dizzy, and all I could feel was joy and gratitude to God for this few hours of respite.

I also got a few appreciative looks from the opposite sex, but I avoided their eyes, ducked my head and steered clear.  Run men of Knightsbridge run, you have no idea what you’re dealing with….

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I even had a couple of cheeky ciders, both of which I am regretting this morning, but in all all?

I was glad I went.

So take that Fear!  OK you might be well up on points, and have hundreds to my one so far this year, but I warn you, this time, I’m committed to kicking your arse by the medium of dance.

So, I’m spinning around, move out of my way bitch!

Namaste x

* I could be wrong 😉


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BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

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You might remember that business opportunity I was given a week or so ago?

Well I decided to go for it.  Prepped up my little kitchen, went to the cash and carry, spent an entire day baking goodies, bagging up treats and digging out items to decorate our stall and barely took a minute to eat, or more importantly, drink anything, then packed up my car with delicious things, had a bath and a nice glass of red wine to ensure a good night sleep to prepare me for the early start and busy day the next morning.

Unfortunately for me it didn’t quite work out that way.

Most of you know that whilst I’m not a big drinker, I haven’t totally eschewed drinking alcohol on top of my meds, and I generally get away with it.

This night I didn’t.  I can only assume that I was totally dehydrated, as the wine clashed horribly with my medication and I spent the whole night having crazy trippy dreams.

I won’t go into too much detail as I know how boring other people’s dreams tend to be, but I promise you, this was anything but boring. The overlying theme was my being worried about sleeping through my alarm and I kept finding myself in strange landscapes with strange people, trying to find my way home before the alarm went off.  The dream also featured me in various states of undress, insects that stung and laid their eggs on me and when I pulled out the stinger, whole grubs and bugs would ooze out and rapidly be replaced by others, all strung together, Lionel Blair, of all people, kept saying strange things to me, I couldn’t snap the string, I wandered from bus stop to train station, there was a weird keening in the background, and then an eerie cat, who turned out to be a real cat, my Dexter, woke me up glowing fuzzy and green in the dark.  Then I fell asleep again and when I woke up the next time the alarm had gone off and I felt like total dog shit.

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I tried to get out of bed and was nearly sick, and when I closed my eyes again, Lionel was back grinning maniacally saying ‘It’s the schtick.  The SCHTICK’ like a mentalist again, so suffice to say, I didn’t trust myself to drive, let alone work on a market stall, so in the end, I had to let down my friends, and bail.

To say I was devastated was an understatement.

How unlucky can one person get?

I had rung in sick in my last job so many times, that the sense of failure from having to do it for something I genuinely wanted to do for a living came flying back in glorious technicolour.  Plus I had let down my friends, and what the hell was I going to do with all the food?

Then I remembered that later that afternoon I had to go and talk to someone about claiming benefits as my financial situation is getting quite scary, and I thought I maybe I had found meaning in what had happened.

Maybe I wasn’t meant to start trading until after my therapy?

Mind you, if this was a message from God/Buddha/the Universe/Frith, I’d much sooner they’d told me about it before Id wasted shitloads of money, and baked up a storm, but no matter, I’ll take what i can get, I suppose.

So, come 4pm a very wan, shaky moi headed off to the advice centre armed with a load of paperwork, a bottle of water and a banana cake.  If nothing else, someone was going to enjoy the fruits of my labour and as it turned out, my volunteer Nadia was extremely chuffed to receive my RAK thank you gift too.

And whilst it makes sense for me to claim something (I’ve worked and paid taxes since i was 16 so I’m hardly a benefits scrounger) while I’m getting therapy, it was still disheartening to even consider it, so I went home tired, cakeless, and even though I’d made someone’s day, pretty downhearted.

I then received a text reminding me that I was going to see the movie ‘Gravity’ with my friend Adam that night.

In 3d.  Oh God.

The tickets were already bought, plus it was an early birthday present so I had to go, but believe me, I still felt very spaced out (pardon the pun) and probably wouldn’t even need the special glasses.

The movie, it has to be said, was amazing, especially as at times I actually felt like I was in it, with the added disadvantage of being able to empathise whole heartedly with Sandra Bullock’s character’s space sickness, as I probably felt worse than she did.  I also had to close my eyes in parts and flinched as missiles flew past my beleaguered head wishing fervently that I was at home in my bed, but I survived.

Or thought I had, as when i got home, I felt the onset of one of my mega migraine attacks, and couldn’t take drugs as I was scared of tripping again.

And when it kicked in i remember whining pathetically to God ‘You’re just a big bully!  What the fuck did I ever do to you?’

But when the pain got too much, I thought sod it, and took a Migraleve.  What the hell, it was just a mad dream, and the better of two very unpleasant evils.

Except this time the dream was extremely unpleasant.

I was back in an even more hellish version of my previous job were I was trapped in the building, everyone blatantly hated me, everyone was out to get me and my boss presided over and pushed me toward a variety of tortures and humiliations, none of which I could escape from.

Jesus Christ, I left that job 18 MONTHS AGO!  I’m OVER this!  I’ve even forgiven them, well kind of.

Why won’t it go away?

Then at around 3am, just to enhance the experience, my cats decided to play ‘Murder in the dark’.

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Then the scariest thing of all suddenly hit me.

What if all of this is random? What if there is no meaning to any of it?

What if there is no God, or if there is, he/she doesn’t give a shit and we’re all just ants at his/her sandalled feet, seconds away from being trampled on?

Or maybe all of this navel gazing has accelerated all of my bad karma, and 2014 is my Chinese Year of the Vengeful Payback Dragon from HELL?

I fell back into an uneasy, but thankfully dreamless sleep, woke at 10am bruised, sore and absolutely exhausted and staggered out to the kitchen with my sunglasses on to feed the cats and put the kettle on.

Then when I took them off and open the curtains, I realised that the agony had stopped.

And I was grateful.

But as far as figuring everything out, I don’t want to think about anything today.

This is the support I get, God, for taking a leap of faith and trying to get back on my feet? I get sabotaged?

I doubt you exist anyway, I might as well be trying to communicate with El-ahrairah, the Singing Ringing Tree or the Man in the frigging Moon, and if you do exist, you’re a mean, cruel arse and I’m not talking to you.

Right now, all I believe in is the mug in my hand, the cats at my feet and the mattress under my bum.  At least it hasn’t let me down.

Yet.

But at least it’s here and I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.


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SITTING IN THE BACK ROW

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OK have just come back from my third date with GM and I’m, well, a bit disappointed.

I am taking into account that he’s still working though and finalising a break up with his ex (whom he’s still living with), and, as previously mentioned, I’m not sure that there’s any chemistry between us in the first place, but this is officially the first time I’ve ever had a date at the cinema and not been kissed. 😦

I’m not saying that I wanted him to kiss me, but to sit next to someone for a full two hours and not even be holding hands, leaning into one another or resting an arm each others arm was kind of, well, sad….

Am I so unattractive that I do not engender affection from someone of the opposite sex who is, in theory at least, ‘dating’ me?  And when I think about it, I actually got more admiring looks from complete strangers today than I did from GM.

He also didn’t seem to have much regard for me as a person. After the movie, he asked if I fancied something to eat, and enquired as to whether I liked Mexican or spicy food.

Unfortunately I don’t, so we wandered around on the premise that we’d pass something we both liked, and lo and behold suddenly found ourselves outside a Mexican restaurant.

‘Oh look, it’s Fahita & Co’s!’ he exclaimed with mock surprise, and for some reason I agreed to eat there, didn’t enjoy it at all and left most of the food on my plate.  Even if we are only friends, I would expect a bit more concern and effort from him with regard to ensuring that I enjoyed the dining experience too.

He’s also very careful when it comes to who pays for what and, even though I’ve always said I go 50/50, he’s working and I’m not, so whilst I’m happy to stick to my guns on this, when someone is so adamant to the point of being a bit paranoid about making sure I pay my share, it’s not very attractive at all.

He did do me a music CD though, and whilst I think I’ll keep him as an occasional friend, I am rapidly writing off the potential of our ever being romantic with one another.

Whilst I’m not the best at relationships, I’ve had some lovely boyfriends who’ve treated me with love and respect, so even at my age, I’d think I’ll hang out for someone who prefers to get hot in the back row of the movies instead of in cheap Mexican restaurants and tongue blistering chilli dishes for their thrills and spills…


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THE BOTTLE

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I’ve just been let down.

Again.

For the second time in 24 hours.

Rejected, discarded like a broken Easter Egg.

Today is the official end of Lent, therefore I am allowed to drink alcohol again.

But I daren’t.  I’m frightened that if I crack open a bottle of wine, I won’t be able to stop.  Because right now, I just want to get smashed and tamp down the pain.

R suggested both meets and cancelled both meets.  And I get it.  She wants to want to be there for me, but not enough to look in the mirror.

Because she sees in me what I see in H.  A less than happy vision of the future if she doesn’t get her shit together.

Karma is a bitch, huh?  But at least I know where mine is coming from.

Somehow I have to change what I’m transmitting so that I can attract people who will help me evolve.  Not because they feel they have a duty to. But because they like being around me enough to embrace what I bring to a relationship but also accept that I have a flawed side.

That in itself will bring out the best in me.

And I don’t think I can find that in a book, in a course or even in a church.

I need to go within.

Which is what I’ll now be doing this evening.

Wish me luck.

Because I don’t want to end up livin’ in the bottle.