Phoenix Fights

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




I’ve just been let down.


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.



I LOVE this video!

Big Cat Rescue do amazing work saving abused animals from bad situations, and here ensure that they get to celebrate Easter along with everyone else.

Just goes to show, no matter how big the cat, the inner kitten is never far away…

Here’s to that playful kitty inside each and every one of us.

Happy Easter everyone! x

Ear Worm No. 2 MUMFORD & SONS – Winter Winds

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It’s the last official Winter’s night here in Blighty as the clocks will be going forward one hour soon and tomorrow will be the first day of Spring 2013 :-).

Ironically and simultaneously this has been and still is the coldest March on record since 1962, so I thought I’d share this with you as Winter winds are still, as we speak, littering London with lonely hearts….

So much for Spring swapping snow for leaves, you lied Mumfords, you lied!

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Whoever thinks that knitting is the domain of slightly batty old ladies is seriously way off base.  Anyone who is skilled at this must have minds like razor blades…..

I’m starting to wonder whether I’m out of my depth with this lovely cable sweater pattern, as it appears that you need a degree in Applied Mathematics just to get beyond the ribbing.

I spent over an hour last night un-knitting about four rows as, unbeknownst to me, I’d been reading the pattern charts wrong.

These things are not read top to bottom, from left to right.  No, you have to read them from bottom to top, from right to left unless it’s an even numbered row, then it’s left to right.

And blank means knit and dot means purl.  Unless you’re on the wrong side, there is an ‘r’ in the month and your moon is in Uranus and then you do the exact opposite.


This project is, however, probably the best Easter present I could have given myself as when I’m beavering away at it, mouthing the mad instructions, squinting at the multiple charts and graphs and swearing like a navvy, I’m not thinking about anything else,  i.e. my deepest, darkest fears.

Which is just as well, as for the first time in a long time, I’ll be on my own for Easter Sunday.

I did however decide to have a posh dinner with an old friend, H, in Oxford the other night by way of compensation.

I’d like to say that it was fun, but it wasn’t.

When H is on form, there’s no one like her. We met on a hiking holiday in Scotland a few years ago, and she had me in complete stitches every single day.  H has a wry, caustic, coruscating humour, little patience and no buffer, so like her or loathe her, there is no way of ignoring her, especially once she’s had a few. She is also a hugely talented, creative individual and a real inspiration.

On the minus side, she is hugely depressive, extremely self sabotaging and another one of those people who expects everyone to heal, rescue, understand, help, FEED HER in every which way possible.

She is also of late, very negative, nothing is her fault and she can fall out with her friends at the drop of a hat.

Know anyone like that Sista, hmmm?  Recognise any of those less than charming traits?

H spent the entire dinner documenting her woes, moaning about people who’ve let her down, telling me how horrible everything in her life is right now, and generally vomiting up all her shit onto the table for my perusal.

The worst part of this was that it was like looking at a great, big, frightening, distorted mirror image of myself.

‘Is this me?’  I inwardly asked myself as she droned on and on and on, without asking me a single thing about myself, unless it was something she needed to know for her own benefit ‘Is that why I can’t keep my friends?  Is that why no one calls?’

I listened as sympathetically as I could, trying not to let the green black sludge suck me back down into my own, only recently vacated tar pit, and changed the subject every chance I could, but there was no good/positive/fun news to be had from her.

I think that in three hours we must have laughed once and that was when we were saying goodbye, she, because of the joke she cracked, me from relieved hysteria that I had managed to survive the evening largely intact.

I was desperate to get back to my knitting though, to hide amongst the knits, the purls and thick white cables, and try shoo away the thick black clouds circling around my head.  I think that was when I rushed through it and fucked it up instead of reading the pattern properly.  Dammit.

H is also on her own tomorrow and something inside me was thinking that I should cook a roast and invite her over.  Cheer her up instead of compulsively, maniacally nit picking at her in my head.  Be a fucking Christian for once.

But I couldn’t.  My home is my sanctuary and to be locked in here with her for hour after hour, as she gets more and more pissed and maudlin, not knowing when she might leave, would (a) tip me over the edge, (b) quite possibly end the friendship if I try and evict her, and I’m not willing to lose her ‘cos I like her far too much to risk that.

This is the tragedy; Aunty C always bangs on at me to make ‘healthier friends’ but I’m a magnet to my own as they are to me, and sadly, I’ve grown to realise that I can’t rescue them.  I can offer advice if I’m a good place myself, but if they don’t take it or at least try and help themselves, then I’m powerless.

I don’t respond well to guilt.  I was made to feel guilty by my family right throughout my childhood for everything and anything, and it left me very defensive and extremely angry, and I have finally learned that you can only give what you can give.  If you don’t have the emotional readies (or real ones actually) in the bank then you can’t withdraw them and give them to someone in need.  It’s impossible. Especially as some fucker has blown the door off my safe and completely cleaned me out.

I need to heal myself before I can properly help anyone else, and even then, it may not be my place to do so.

In the meantime, all I can do is love her, be a friend and see her when I can.  I will continue to gently rebuff her hinted demands, help manage her expectations and hopefully  even make her smile and bring back the H that used to have me in tears of laughter.

As for me, I’ll enjoy the peace and serenity of my home, continue to wrestle with this bastard jumper and see what tomorrow brings.

The snow has arrived.  I gaze out of my window and smile.

Suddenly, I don’t quite feel so lonely anymore.




I can’t sleep.

I’m tired, but agitated.

And the fucking moon is staring at me.

I’m going to sit at the table where I can’t see it in this dark, unlit room.  And more to the point, it can’t see me.

I shouldn’t have gone out tonight.

Did something awful happen?


In actual fact, the mood en route to my engagement was very convivial.  People seemed to be very jolly, a lot of them tipsy or downright drunk, and there was a general party atmosphere.  People were laughing and smiling on the tube.


If I didn’t know it was March, I mused to myself at the time, I would swear it was Christmas.

And then I remembered.

Easter long weekend.

It’s not like I’d forgotten.  I’ve been giving up stuff for Lent, I was aware that people have plans, I just didn’t make plans for myself.

Even this morning, when my friend M expressed concerned that I’d be alone for the bank holiday, I brushed it off, genuinely unconcerned.

‘Don’t worry about me,’ I said airily ‘when you’re not working, every day is just another day  Weekends are irrelevant.’

You see, the worst part of celebratory times was having to listen to other peoples plans in the office and either have to endure their pitying looks or, to your eternal shame, make something up to keep them from feeling sorry for you.  So, I reasoned to myself earlier this week, this weekend should be a breeze.

Aunty C was a bit perturbed too.  ‘Do something nice for yourself,’ she pleaded ‘honour yourself and the day.’

Doing what?  My only break opportunity was spending it with family and they were all off to the frozen North, and what with the snow and traffic problems, I didn’t bother to invite myself along.

Nor did they invite me.

That stung.

Not because they don’t love me.  Because they know me too well.

They know that I’ll usually find a way of getting out of going to see them.  That I’ll be late and probably mess up their arrangements.  That I’ll want my own room, need some privacy, and be unwilling to sleep on the floor or on a camp bed.  That I’m picky about where and what I eat and will nurse a glass of water whilst they eat junk food.  That I’d rather eat fish and chips in a cafe than outside from the paper.  And that I’ll find spending three nights and four days in a two up two down with six adults, two teenagers and one kid overwhelming to the point of being absolutely unbearable.

So I get it.  I’m not the perfect house guest.

I just wanted to be invited.

So I could say no?!!!

God, help me understand, what the fuck is wrong with me?

So whilst I don’t have to explain away my solo weekend to anyone, it still smarts to be alone regardless.

How could I have convinced myself that it wouldn’t?

People are delighted that they have the next four days off because they have responsibilities, work hard and have a life, so enjoy them because they have something to compare this freedom with.

They also have things to do, people to see, promises to keep, holidays to take, traffic to sit in, dinners to cook, chocolate to give, kids to kiss, partners to fuck, lives to live in the next four days.

Light and shade.  Good and bad.  Yin and Yang.

I’m just sort of….the same.  All the time.  No stress, no delight.  Just bleugh.

It’s down to me to change things.


It’s suddenly gotten lighter in here.  I turn my head and there it is, beaming cheesily, stupidly, relentlessly through the glass.

‘What the fuck are you looking at?’ I snarl at it.

I neither need nor want any witnesses to my pain, not even planetary ones.

The moon glows back apologetically but shows no sign of desisting.

It’s not yet Easter Sunday, but quite frankly, something’s got to give on the sacrifice front.  But not the alcohol.

The TV.

The only thing that can help on a night like this is drawn curtains, hot milk and back to back ‘Six Feet Under’ until I nod off from complete exhaustion as I fear that my Long Good Friday is only just beginning.

Funny how death can comfort and lull a girl to sleep.

And funnier still that no matter how alone I am, there always seems to be a witness.  And it may not be the moon.

Now that is spooky.




I’m trying hard not to think about it, and hope I’m wrong, but I sorely suspect that an unwanted intruder is reading my blog.

I blog anonymously for a whole variety of reasons; legal, confidential, wanting to protect my friends and family from the truth about my state of mind and my more desperate moods.  To ensure that I am not perceived as unemployable  in the workplace, and most importantly, to enable me to write an unembroidered account of my life, my illness, my innermost thoughts, my hopes, fears and dreams without having to temper, embellish or tone down anything I say.  Being anonymous means that I can do all this and avoid leaving myself in a vulnerable position.

To that end I have specifically asked my family and friends not to try and find my blog on WordPress.  The only person who gets to read it is ‘Aunty C’ my shrink/counsellor.

Only one other person would have a head start should she decide to hunt me down as she is familiar with the artwork on my page as we collaborated to create it.  I have no technical skills to speak of, so had to trust someone.

Ironically and typically she is also the person I fell out with last week.

That isn’t the only reason I am paranoid.  As you will know, words and phrases used in the searches that lead people to our pages are available for us to see, and the wording used by one ‘browser’ is very telling indeed…

Obviously I have mental health issues and am massively paranoid so I could be wrong, but my instincts are second to none and I swear I feel her eyes peeking redly out of the rushes.

So.  If, despite my appeal/need for privacy, you have sought and found me CL and can now continue to intrude on my inner world?  Good for you.

That said, this means that you are no doubt the kind of person that eavesdrops on private conversations, snoops in other peoples email and social media accounts, checks your partners mobile when they’re in the loo, and would not hesitate to ransack someone else’s home for their diary, and read it unbeknownst to them.

Not quite so big or clever when it’s put that way is it?

Kind of slimy, creepy, intrusive and grossly inappropriate isn’t it?

My immediate urge is to shield myself, temper my writing, be less honest about how my condition effects me, and not show any weakness so that you don’t get to see the whites of my eyes ever again, as I’ve had first hand experience of how nasty you can be when you don’t get your way, and am aware that you have no compulsion with regard to using such my vulnerability to hurt, jeer at and insult me.

That said, after a bit of thought I’ve decided, BOLLOCKS to that.

I will not moderate my words because of you.

Read away and do what you want, as whatever you relate, such actions say so much more about you than your disclosures will ever say about me.  Just know that if any harm comes my way because of your actions, there will be a pay back.

Because within and because of my weakness I am stronger than you know.

When loneliness and isolation strikes, I turn and look it in the eye, rather than flee and cringe behind others, because I am not a coward.

I am strong and authentic enough to be solitary when I need to be, and not cleave to another just for the sake of not being alone.

I am brave and discerning enough not to keep people in my life who are not good for me, and whilst I do self sabotage, I work on and challenge myself every single day in order to fight my fears, paranoia and neuroses and carve myself a better life, facet by facet.

Can you honestly say the same?

Despite my handicaps I have survived 50 YEARS PLUS and will not only continue to survive, I WILL THRIVE.

As per your advice, I will continue to ‘have a nice life with my virtual friends’.

Because blogging on here has been a revelation, and brought me into contact with a range of beautiful, brave, innovative, intriguing, fucked up, inspiring, talent, creative, awe inspiring, seriously funny, fan-fucking-tastic people who never fail to surprise and inspire me, whom I would never have met in real life because we are all so different, and scattered across the planet like so many stars in the sky.


You know what though?  I reckon that, if teleportation was possible and they all rocked over to mine for a party, it may not go without incident, the police may be called out because of the noise, some of us might mix our meds and I’d have to pay someone to sort the mess out the next day, but it would be the best party I’ve ever thrown :-).

Finally, I apologise from the bottom of my heart if I am falsely accusing you of doing something you haven’t done CL, and I mean that sincerely and wholeheartedly.

But if that’s the case, you won’t actually be reading this, will you 😉 ?

Sorry to anyone who has had to endure this paranoid rant, but sometimes you just have to make a Stand.

Happy Easter and God Bless to all x

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THE ARTISTS WAY: Week Four – The Long Good Friday


So after another bruising fall from grace, I’m back in the ‘Artist’s Way’ saddle again, so please excuse that my Week Four has seemingly been about a month long!

Ironically enough, this is around about the same time I dropped out of the course last year.

‘Recovering a Sense of Integrity’ shouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. Hell, I walked out of my job, am studying yoga, and am looking for a job in charidee, so ain’t nobody braver or more authentic than me!

But when I look back, it seems that I’ve mainly spent the last eight months watching TV to block out the fear inside, so whilst Julia C seems to think that reading is the enemy here, the goggle box is definitely mine.

I recently set myself the challenge of limiting myself to two hours viewing only per day. What’s so difficult about that, you might ask? Well when you’re not working, anti social, borderline agoraphobic and trying not to spend too much money, it’s your main refuge.

If I think about it, I’m a bit like Scrat from Ice Age, clinging nervously to my little acorn nest egg, hiding in crevices, casting around anxiously for predators, when for all I know, there could be a veritable forest of oak trees out there.

But it’s not about da money.  It’s about clinging to my warm, safe comfort zone, and protecting myself from risk, harm and pain.

The upside of this is that I have the luxury of only seeing and having to deal with my ‘safe’ people (the number of which are gradually diminishing), get to watch endless crap on TV, interact with ‘friends’ on Facebook, blog to my hearts content, browse the internet, quaff wine, and comfort eat to my hearts content without putting my heart, ego or soul on the line whatsoever.

The downside?  I afford myself little opportunity to open my heart, let new people in, test and risk my ego, enrich my soul and embark courageously on the next chapter in my life.

So I stay stuck in my trench waiting for the bomb to drop.

But I’m trying.  I’m gradually nudging away my crutches, peeling away those protective layers, recognising and weaning myself out of my self destructive, self sabotaging habits and braving the inevitable cliff jump that lies ahead.

I’m given up booze for Lent so no longer drink at home and I’ve been off Facebook for at least a fortnight.

Is this helping me progress?  Yes, but sllowwwly, as I’m now slyly, surreptitiously taking refuge in blogging, faffing around on the internet and (the biggest sin of all) watching too much TV to keep me safe/stuck and stop me from having to make those all important changes.

As I type this, I’m sat in a silent sitting room, and every key tap sounds like that ‘Go Compare’ bloke tap dancing  on sheet metal.  I can hear my breath, the cat shifting on the duvet in his sleep and a tap dripping in the bathroom. The silence is all consuming.

I don’t like it.

For a while now, I’ve maintained that one of the main reasons I don’t like going out and doing stuff on my own is that it made me feel lonely.  That has never made sense to me, but now, all of a sudden, it does.

My TV is and has been my best friend for a long, long time now.  It natters away cheerily in the background, calms me, thrills me, educates me, makes me laugh and makes sure I’m good and bug-eyed tired before I go to bed.  And if I’m on Facebook, I get to interact with others about what I’m watching, and it’s almost like being with them in person.  Isn’t it?!

And now, in the absence of its endless, comforting white noise, the truth emerges; I don’t just feel lonely when I do stuff alone.  I feel lonely all the time.  The TV just shields and protects me from that fact when I stay indoors.

I didn’t want to know that.

I’m scared.

I can hardly bear to type this down.

On Thursday night, I’m going to turn my TV off and leave it off until Easter.  And whilst I can’t compare it with the suffering of a certain someone, this is going to be my very own Long Good Friday, where I get to spend a whole lot of silent, quality time with me, myself, I.


I can only hope I don’t end up shooting someone.

Finally, one of the challenges I have yet to complete from Week Four is writing my own Artists Prayer, and whilst I have toyed with some wording, in the lead up to Easter, I’m sure it will come out all by itself, as in ‘Oh God, what have I done?!’

Julia Cameron – biatch, you have a lot to answer for……