Phoenix Fights

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




This week, after months of silence, upon receiving an invitation from my oldest sister, I put a veritable polecat amongst the pigeons by announcing to her and the family that I wouldn’t be there on Christmas day.

More silence.

Oh dear.

And as my Guilt and Anxiety rose, and dammit, despite trying really hard, I ended up justifying why and that I was going to be doing some volunteering for a charity instead.  I also suggested that I would try to be up later in the week if I had the petrol money when my other sister and her brood will be there.

The reply?

A curt ‘Yes, that would be fine.’

Oops.  Guilt and Anxiety are rudely shoved to one side as Anger, Indignation and Resentment are now in da house.

After all, it’s not like they don’t know about my financial hardship, no matter how much they’ve closed their ears to it, and the fact of the matter is, I just can’t afford them, let alone all their presents, cards, goodies that I usually pack my car with as I plan my pilgrimage oop North come Christmas eve.

So let’s break it down:

WHEN I NEED THEM, they ignore my subtle cries for help, compare my situation to ‘being a bit hard up’ and tell me that ‘we’re all struggling’ then lie low in the hope that they never have to offer financial aid, let alone a temporary roof above my head.  As if I’d ever accept it, given what they did the last time I had to stay at theirs.

Here’s a lovely, heartwarming Christmas story for you.

After a few weeks of staying with my sister some years ago, on leaving their homestead, I was presented with a bill.  You know, like one you’d get if you stayed at the ‘W’ Hotel or something except this was scrawled on exercise book paper.  That said the only thing missing was the gratuity.  I was billed market rate for the room, food, share of bills, council tax, old chipped mug that I broke, you get the picture?  Pretty much everything you would charge a complete stranger if they were renting space from you.  Except I was her younger sister, who had arrive back in the country post breakdown, didn’t have a penny to my name, and had only just secured a job and accommodation.  After that, things got even worse, with more financial demands and a total relationship breakdown, but sorry, I digress….

BUT come Christmas they expect to be able to dig me out, like a dusty old Christmas tree decoration, plonk me on the sofa, shove a paper hat on my head, prop me up at the table, drag me out to some hideous local carol concert, force me to watch an equally awful (no, actually it was even more excruciating) pantomime and then 3 days later, bid me farewell and neglect me for another 12 months?


Before you wag a stern finger at me and open your gob to lecture me oh my lack of good cheer, I’ll openly admit that it’s not all bad.

  • I do love to see them.
  • Christmas Day is usually a lot of fun.
  • The food, both mine and theirs, is great.
  • I even occasionally get a decent present or two, though never anything to get me really excited.  To be fair, I think you need be passionately loved, or at least fucking someone for that privilege.

So am I passive aggressively using this as an opportunity to hurt them for not supporting me in my hour of need?

Well I can honestly say, hand on heart, ‘No.’

Right now, my financial situation is so precarious that, if the money is not in my current account, I don’t spend it.  I stay in, eat from my freezer/cupboards and wait until my benefits arrive, so unless I want to hasten a move to a cardboard box underneath the arches for the New Year, I cannot risk buying presents, food and goodies for 13 adults and kids, something I have done for decades without a murmur of complaint (well, maybe one or two) even though, until recent years, I rarely got so much as a box of Ferrero Rocher or something ropey from the Boxing Day sales in return.


Incidentally, does anyone else think FR are pretty shit?  I think they suck and would personally sooner receive a six pack of bog roll than cheap chocolate, so the Ambassador can stuff them up his ring piece one by one (foil on or off) for all I care, but I’m digressing again….

THEN my other sister comes back and says she won’t be there before New Year so I wouldn’t get to see her anyway.

Suits me bitches.  I’ll spend the petrol money on M&S Christmas food and hole up with the cats for the week, so ‘Ho, frigging Ho’ to the lot of ya.

I know that despite all this, my family are feeling let down, and some how think they are justified in being frosty with me because I’m not playing ‘Aunty Presents’ this year, but fuck, what do they actually expect me to do? Get into more debt?  Plus i can do without any more unexpected bills right now, especially those written by hand on scrap paper.

I, in my way, am sad too.  But to be honest, it’s about time.

Aunty C (my counsellor) has been nagging me for years to start claiming back Christmas, making my own traditions and hosting my own dinners, because she, like me, fears that I’ll be going to my sisters forever, and in the end, I’ll be sat on a commode, dribbling into a plastic bib in between courses, dining on a lunch that has been put through a blender and spoon fed to me, then propped up in front of ‘Call the Midwife’ swimming in sherry, whilst the young ‘uns party, in the hope that I quietly pop my clogs and remember their kindness in my will.

Ugh.  An aged, incontinent, pathetic spinster Sister is one ghost of Christmas future that I’d sooner not ever have to encounter.

Maybe my future Christmases will be different every single year from now on.  Maybe I’ll host.  Maybe I’ll go away.  Maybe one day I’ll even spend the day in bed with a lover (HAH!).  What I can’t do any more is cling to my family and sit on the kid’s table just because I don’t have a life of my own.


What I will always do from now on though, is something for a homeless charity every year.  Because, right now, the ghost of Christmas Present still occasionally put his bony fingers on my shoulders and breathes icy air raspily in my ear as if to remind me of how close to destruction I have come, and if I ever get out of this situation intact, I will never, ever take having my own home for granted again.

My sisters’ kids are nearly all grown up now, and already are more mildly indifferent than excited at my arrival, which is how it goes when kids grow up,  and how it always will be.  Nothing wrong with that.  Plus they all get an alarming number of presents money and vouchers, so I’ll be amazed if they even notice the absence of either myself or my offerings.

And to requote Nanny McPhee “When you (sort of) want me and no longer need me, then I have to go. It’s rather sad, really, but there it is.”

So I’m standing firm on this one, for all our stakes and stepping away from that table of my own volition once and for all.


Always leave them wanting more, that’s what I say 😉  And let’s face it, in this supposed time of great austerity, where the divide between the ‘have’s and ‘have nots’ is ever wider and where the desire for more and more ‘stuff’ brings out the worst in everyone, isn’t it time to be grateful for what we already have and not only for one day?

Namaste x

OPTIMISTIC MIX TRACK 15 – Dog (Shit) Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine



Let’s get one thing straight here before we go any further.

I do NOT feel optimistic today.  Quite the contrary.  I feel like an old, desiccated, pallid piece of dog shit, but time is running out, as is money, and these cats ain’t gonna feed themselves, and this roof ain’t gonna stay over my head unless I pay ‘the man’ so I must get back on this ole Gratitude horse, and hope it moves me forward out of the fetid, stinking hell hole I find myself in at this moment in time.

Today I am (or should be/trying to be) thankful for the following things that occurred in June 2014:

  • My one day of work (albeit unpaid) as a TV audience member with a new friend Bonnie
  • My day out at a (free) museum with Goatee Man
  • My lovely afternoon tea with my traveller friend from NZ
  • My evening touching base with two girls I met on holiday years ago
  • Someone I hugely admire favouriting my tweet to them on Twitter
  • My now pending long weekend by the sea with my sister (hurray!)
  • My cats, especially as my friends cat is about to be put down and he is heartbroken
  • Aunty C and her not losing patience or giving up on my shit after all these years
  • You lot, and your support, comments and hugely talented writing.  Love you all x
  • These remarkable images I’ve just found, courtesy of Toby Allen on cargo, whose depiction of BPD you can see at the head of this blog, which is deceptively pretty, but that’s only because the little fucker has sheathed it’s claws, hidden it’s teeth and then posed for it’s ‘selfie’. The bastard.

There!  I’m trying, hey?

So fuck off sweaty, heady, humid dog days and bring on the horses!

Namaste x




The last few days haven’t been great for me.

I’ve bailed on social stuff again, when I should be at least trying to socialise and enjoy these hot days and balmy night, having whined on about how much I hate being isolated during the summer months every single year.

I’ve passed stuff I was invited to, not shown up when people were relying on me, and inexplicably, cancelled on stuff where I asked to be invited, only to let them down last minute.  I’m pretty sure I’m one of the few people who’d walk out on something she’d gatecrashed only five minutes earlier.

I’ve avoided yoga as if it were a pap smear with a hot poker instead to something which soothes and nourishes me on every level.

I also used binge eating to comfort and distract myself from the tide of self loathing and recrimination that nails me to the wall every morning, undoing all of the healthy stuff I’ve been doing of late and I’ve watched hour after hour of TV to block out my mind monkeys which are gibbering wildly as we speak.

Bad Sista.

One of my fellow bloggers asked today what his readers had to be grateful for, and I’m sorry to say that I struggled to reply with anything.

Until I watched ‘My Last Summer’ on 4od.

This is the story of five random people who have one thing in common. They’re all terminally ill, and they get together periodically at a manor house in Gloucestershire to talk about their condition, share their life stories and support one another.  This is also the story of their partners, families and carers whose lives have been turned upside down as they fight to support their loved ones, keep on top of all the mundane things in life that need doing whilst trying to make sense of what they are going through and face the inevitable loss that lies ahead of them.

it is, all at once, funny, dark, distressing, heart warming, heart rending and hugely moving.

Three episodes in, having watched all of them suffer and deteriorate, and one of them, a DJ by the name of Junior Mac, die in the most horrendous way, 3 hours after marrying his devastated bride, and I’m in shreds.

I can’t cry though.  That said, the amount of medication in my system might be able to tamp down my reactions, it cannot contain the vortex of pain, grief and sheer fury that’s lodged like a hot brick in my solar plexus, and I can’t stop thinking about them.

Sweet Jesus Christ, what is the point of all this?  It’s so fucking cruel and twisted, I’m starting to feel like we mean nothing to the God/s whom made us, that we’re merely like the occupants of a bug farm, bee hive, or some celestial game of chess or Big Brother where He/She/It can randomly throw in a fireball, pit us against one another or release the kraken, then watch dispassionately, just to see what happens.


I can only marvel at their courage, honesty and generosity in telling their story and sharing such devastating experiences.

When one of the other guys, Ben, said that on hearing his diagnosis, he just went home and stayed in, waiting to die, I felt thoroughly ashamed for pretty much doing the same myself for the last 2 years or so.

Except I don’t have a terminal illness.

ARRGHH.  There is so much I want to say that I don’t even have the words for.

But I’m going to end with something positive.

The gratitude that there is evidently such love in the world, some of which might come my way, if only I would let some of it in.

And the knowledge that I at least have a life to fuck up.

Off to bed now.  Big day tomorrow.

Gotta sort my shit out.


RIP Junior, and bless your heart, I hope that your pain and terror is behind you now and that you are rocking’ out the heavens with some rare old skool mixes.

Please gird yourself and watch this series (last episode airs next week) as it will give you a whole new perspective on life, and honour Junior, Ben, Lou, Andy and Jayne for putting themselves out there so courageously.

Namaste x



It was a bit of a sad day yesterday.

I’d been experiencing the inevitable guilt fest people like me go through when someone young, vital, and full of love dies.
God alone knows why he takes the ones that want to stay, and keeps those of us that would be thrilled to be beamed up Star Trek style to the great beyond down here.

Yesterday young Stephen Sutton finally died at the heartbreaking age of 19, after a four year battle with cancer, who, before thumbing a lift to the afterlife, raised a staggering £3.2m (and rising as we speak) for the Teenage Cancer Trust by working his way through a 46 item bucket list and being sponsored along the way, after having been told that his cancer had spread and that he didn’t have long to live.

Whilst most people (i.e. me) would have, on diagnosis, sighed pitifully, settled back under the duvet (assuming I ever emerged from it in the first place) and intermittently slept and stared wistfully into space whilst everyone (I don’t know ‘Who?’ OK? Just go with this willya?!) ran around doing shit for me.

I might have stretched myself a little by planning an Ealing Comedy style will/inheritance challenge scenario to torment my family after my demise, pitting them against one another whilst alive by way of pre match training. 🙂

But that would be it.

Not this kid. He was a fucking whirlwind and did not waste one second of his life.  He grabbed it by the throat and made it work for him and for those in his position, and had a blast doing it.  Did being in pain, sick, nauseous or weak get in his way?

Not for one single moment.

He even completed his exams and got A*s aplenty in the process.

And whilst he’s been doing this?


I’ve been vegetating away at home doing squat for pretty much two years.

Oh the shame…

I and others with mental health issues have no doubt wished for death at least a couple of thousand times in our lifetimes; and it still happens.  I do try not to because (a) it doesn’t work, (b) it’s an affront to people who are dying and very much want to live, and (c) unless I am woman enough to crash the party and boogie along to the mortal coil shuffle, it ain’t happening.

I did it again yesterday though.  One more time.

As I’d have given anything to take this kid’s place.

Not for me. But for him.  Because for less than 2o years, the world was a better place with him in it.

And my heart aches for his mother and loved ones.

If you are trying to guilt me into taking an active part in life God, it’s starting to get to me, y’hear!

I had to go to the dentists today and be fitted with some god awful medieval oral contraption in order to stop me gnashing my remaining teeth to chalk.  Mincy ( went to great pains to be nice to me again, bless him, and I feel vile for judging him before.  Anyway it was hardly a barrel of laughs but at least it got me out of the house.

Afterwards I must have walked for miles and miles. Rain was forecast and I didn’t have a brolly, but whilst the dark clouds were never far away, I didn’t get wet.  And as I walked I tried for once to see the good stuff and be thankful and mindful.

The sun on my pallid little phis.  The breeze in my hair.  The soundness and solidity of my body.

My back didn’t ache.  My head didn’t hurt.

I wasn’t the person over the road being screamed at by his scary, chavvy partner.

A toothless, snot nosed little cherub beamed at me as I walked past.

I got a cheeky wink from a huge roofer as I passed under some scaffolding (what is it with me and big, dirty geezers?!).

My freshly washed cotton trainer socks were not rolling up and chafing my heels like they usually do.

The way my stomach relaxed as a long, luxurious, silent-but-deadly fart exited my body as I passed a gang of surly looking school kids <Man!  You is rank!>.

And my fully functioning, almost full , hot water bottle of a bladder, insistently reminding me to stop for a loo break already.

Nothing is perfect.

At least I didn’t wet myself.

And I am here.

An animated, corporeal lump of meat, bones and blood perambulating along the street.


And for once? Bordering on grateful.  Or at least trying to be.

I catch a late lunch and sit in the late Spring sun, nursing a latte, pondering my next move, and when I think about the last year, some things have changed, and I am better than I was.  Aunty  C would be thrilled to hear me say that as she is very pro my recognising what she sees as my triumphs.

I am less angry and aggressive.

I get out and about a bit more.

I earned some money.

I am learning to live with loneliness.

I am learning to forgive.  Properly.

But I can’t carry waiting for something to happen all the time as the days of my life whizz past.

In health, I give others good advice. Everyone says so.

In fact I’d go so far to say that I give really good advice. Everyone use to come to me for it.

But it’s that age old thing, innit.  Physician heel thyself and all that. But maybe it’s time I tried.

Time to book an appointment with…me.

Yes, I’ve finally lost it.

I hope that God has put meat on your bones and colour in your cheeks, young Stephen, and that you get to keep on partying hard in the afterlife, along with some well earned rest.

Do me a favour though, and give the Man Upstairs my best won’t you?

I just want to make sure He hasn’t forgotten to put my name on the guest list.

Lots of love






I think I’m being tested.

This morning, I received a very exciting email asking me to come into town this afternoon to discuss some paid work, and was asked to dress to impress.

It was all a bit last minute but it sounded very promising and I was most excited, and ran around like a mad woman (yes I know 😉 ), trawled through my wardrobe for the perfect outfit, washed my hair and put it up, trowelled on the make up, got done up to the nines, paid London congestion charge to take my car into the zone, so I wouldn’t get rained on, accidentally drove into a bus lane (SHIT!) because I was so nervous, paid a small fortune to a sweet genial man to park near the venue, refreshed my lipstick, took a deep breath and teetered over to the cobbles in my most elegant heels, trying not to perspire in the sunny, humid atmosphere and, for once, 20 minutes early, reported to reception.


And as I scaled the stairs to the interview room, I imagined that this was going to be the start of a new phase for me, a successful happy trouble free period where I would get a working life back on track, earn something akin to a living, and maybe even excel at something that I found fun and exhilarating.

Then as I approached the lady in charge, and before I even took my coat off, greeted me with this immortal line.

‘Oh dear.  You’re younger than we thought. I don’t think this is the right job for you.’

And that was it. Blown out of the water in less than a minute, with a bright smile and barely an apology for wasting my time, money and energy, when they knew my age and what I looked like from the onset and still asked me to attend, plus they almost seemed to take some kind of perverse joy in seeing my face fall at being dismissed so rudely.

I did myself proud though.

I did not let those arrogant, power crazy bitches see my disappointment. Not one flicker. And if they were waiting for me to grovel or plead my case, they were wasting their time.

I gave them a dazzling smile, thanked them for their time and exited with my head held high.

And as I drove home I realised that there would potentially be many more days like this, where I would have to interact with the ignorant, and I would have to roll with the punches and gird myself against letting the disappointments in my future overwhelm me into fully blown ‘dark days’.

Sure I would learn something from today and guard against any further invitations from this company and companies like them, but to be able to do something you like (well, don’t mind too much) for a living comes at a cost and such roles are hard fought for hence competition is fierce. I have however vowed that I will never let anyone see my vulnerability again, and I plan to stick to that, no matter how people treat me.

As for those who really overstep the mark…


Going back to today, all I can do is try and focus on the positives:

1. I look younger than my age. Apparently this isn’t perceptible from my photos, even those that have been photoshopped, but, hey, whatvs… 😉

2. I had the guts to grab an opportunity and run with it.

3. I didn’t get hit/killed when I drove into the bus lane (and hopefully won’t get fined, please God…)

4. A very handsome guy flirted with me en route.

5. My lovely friend was there to cheer me on when I told her the news, and commiserate with me when I was dumped, bless her heart.

6.  The lovely car park guy on hearing my hard luck tale, fully refunded my parking costs, how sweet was that?

7. After my Lenten deprival I can now fit into my slinky 1950’s Betty Page dress again!



8. I have about 2 kilos of high quality chocolate squirrelled away in my kitchen!  But will only have one.  Chocolate, not kilo that is. 😉

Those Oasis boys know a bit about rolling with it, and whilst they’ve had their ups and downs, they’re still out there doing their thing.  We’re a tenacious lot us Mancs, and as Liam has frequently demonstrated, not a race to be messed with!

Play this song when you feel down and beaten, and I hope it gives you inspiration.

Namaste x




Well folks, guess what?

I got in.  🙂

Don’t get me wrong.  Whilst I’m thrilled, I’m also nervous about it, and am now wondering what I’ve gotten myself into, or whether I’ve presented myself as something I’m not.

But I don’t think so.

This company say time and time again that they only take on people who are comfortable in their own skin, and somehow, someway, I got away with it.

But let’s face it, I’ve had plenty of practice as I’ve been pretending to be someone or something I’m not all my life because I’ve never really known who I am or where I belong.

So they must think I’m a happy, balanced human being who loves myself for who and what I am.  How the hell did that happen?  If only they knew what a self loathing, paranoid little misfit I am!

Or maybe, just maybe I am comfortable in that forum and this is what I’m meant to be doing.  I do know for a fact that I enjoyed the interview.

Excited, afraid and that most scary thing of all, hopeful.

I may not have to prove myself for some time, but once I sign on the dotted line, it’s on!

Thanks Big Guy.

I think.

Namaste x



I logged into my account for the first time in 2014 and imagine my surprise when I discovered that I was nominated for another Sunshine Award by the lovely Jenifer from the most engaging Busted Flip Flops.

I can only imagine that this is wishful thinking and she hopes that I might cheer the fuck up already, but if anything I have written has made her smile, then I’m extremely chuffed as she pretty much emanates positivity herself and I could learn a lot from her.


If I had a different head/life/karma that is 😉

OK, so in accepting this award, I must follow a few rules.  The first is to list 11 random facts about myself.  As if you don’t know too much already.…


1)  I haven’t had sex for three years and am completely dead from the waist down.  Whatdaya mean, that’s not very sunny?!

2)  I see dead people. As in ghosts, not in a mortuary. That would be weird.

3)  Keanu Reeves perved at my boobs and grinned at me once.  I was absurdly flattered and went rather giddy for about an hour!  Sorry Jen 😉 believe me it was a LONG time ago….

4)  I love the smell of fireworks and struck matches.

5)  I walked out of my job (OK I was sacked) in 2012 and haven’t worked since.

6)  I am, by all accounts Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (BPD by any other name) and am awaiting group therapy.  That should be a laugh.

7)  I’m a pretty darn good cook which is just as well as I am a die hard feeder so people don’t tend to mind too much.

8)  Hair has inexplicably started to grow out of my nose, and I now have to trim it.  Only goes to prove that God must be a man the perverse, sadistic git.

9)  I’m a bit of a poet and I didn’t know it!  Until I started writing this blog that is. 🙂

10)  I think marijuana should be legalised, then I could buy some without risking arrest/a panic attack.

11)  I used to be very, very intimidating according to one of my friends.  I am so going to slap her silly when I see her next. 🙂


Now another rule I must follow is to answer 11 QUESTIONS:

What is the first thing you do as soon as you wake up in the morning?  Yell out in pain and shove one of the cats off my boobs.

What is your greatest fear?  That my life on this earth has been for nothing.

Do you have a new years resolution for 2014?  Yes, some of them are in here

What is your favorite song at the moment? ‘Diane Young’ by Vampire Weekend

What is your favorite childhood memory?  In all fairness, I don’t have many, but remember getting a nurses outfit for Christmas when I was very small?

Facebook or Twitter?  I tweet a bit under this pseudo name, but waste more time on Facebook.  Trying to cut down.

What did the last text message you received say?  Was from a friend saying he could come out for my birthday 🙂

What bugs you the most?  EVERYTHING!  Sorry again Jen, but I’m HSP so a natural whinging pom as the Aussies would say.  I’m a lot better nowadays thought so I’ll narrow it down to a few.  Mainly aggression, bullies, people taking liberties and bad manners.  Oh and littering.  I once picked up a burger that a tourist just dropped in the street, ran after him and asked him sweetly to stop littering MY city and find a bin, whilst squishing it back into his big, sweaty, startled mitt.  It goes without saying that this was before I was on medication….

What do you consider to be the most important appliance in your house?  My log fire.  I do not like being cold.

If you could have one song that would play whenever you entered a room, what would it be? ‘Female of the Species’ by Space to remind me of when I was once one formidable biatch 😉

What’s your favorite movie quote?  “Anyone check you for a heartbeat recently?” – The Last Seduction.  Also “Monty, you terrible ****!” from Withnail and I still makes me laugh out loud.  And who doesn’t love ‘We are the knights who say….”Ni!”‘ from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Now I am to nominate 11 bloggers I would like to give the Sunshine Award, and they are as follows:

How Is Bradley?

Finding Beauty In Spite of Myself

The Mirror

vic briggs

Running for My Life


Chatty Owl





People I know these things take ages to do, but if nothing else, I wanna know your opinions!

Thanks again Jenifer!

SS x