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: CRINGEWORTHY – “TONIGHT, MATTHEW I AM GOING TO BE….CRINGY!”

brucey

“Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?”

Oh Lord, are you kidding me?

If anything I actually feel more uncomfortable than the person making a tit of themselves.

Not only that but my eyes water, which is a dead giveaway to anyone who knows me well, that someone should just sit down and shut the hell up.

I’ve suffered from this affliction for as long as I can remember, at least since very early childhood.

If my drunken Dad got up to sing at Butlins dubiously named ‘Talent Night’ to sing (especially if he did Al Jolson’s ‘Mammy’.  Oh God, just thinking about it make my arse clench), or my Mum sang along to a chart song (with all the wrong words, natch) dancing around the kitchen, I’d practically shove my head up my own sphincter in a vain attempt to escape the abject humiliation.

I used to die inside when the theme tune for ‘The Generation Game’ used to strike up on a Saturday night, as I knew that from the first cringetastic Brucey pose (“Alright m’loves?”) right through to the end credits, my eyes would stream as couple after couple would be made to perform all kinds of humiliating stunts and tasks, such as dancing with a samba troupe, making some strange, messy European delicacy or acting in some God awful play whilst Bruce eye rolled, goaded and jeered, for the delectation of the viewing public.

I think my sister has an over sensitive cringe gene too, as she would actually disappear into the pantry and put a tea towel on her head, such was her distress at British Light Entertainment in the 70’s, and this became the alarm cry for approaching mortifying moments in our house.

So whenever someone cried out ‘To the pantry!’ we would all scatter and do what we could to avoid the eye watering event whenever possible.

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Nor did this affection abate as I got older.  I could not, would not, watch ‘Stars In Their Eyes’.  I tell a lie I watched about ten minutes of one episode and when the contestant announced “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be Richard Marx”, I just knew that the hellishness was just moments away.  And sure enough when some bloke emerged from the dry ice with a mullet wig and a dopey grin to the soppy strains of ‘Right Here Waiting for You’, I seriously, honestly wanted to fucking kill myself.

I can’t bear it when people are being duped and refuse to see it (ref Paul McCartney/Heather Mills).

I die inside if someone is trying to be funny but isn’t.  Especially if they don’t even know it.  Yes I’m talking about you, ‘Newzoids’ (impersonators are some of the worst offenders)

And of course I can’t stand karaoke.  When I was working in the corporate world, I used to get dragged to these fun filled ‘team building’ nights that would end in some manky hole of a club in the West End, where we would be forced into a grubby room with sticky carpet and fag burns in the leatherette sofa, and forced to warble into the mike (“No no Sista, you have to do at least one!”) alongside some twat you despised, which would then be uploaded onto Facebook or You Tube for added humiliation.

For that alone, I should have walked out a long time before I actually did.

Again, I tell a lie.  I’ve done it once or twice.  But ONLY with people I like, who made no effort whatsoever to make it sound nice.  We just bawled ‘Living on a Prayer’ like a pack of howling wolves, and that was alright.  We knew we sounded shite.  We took the piss out of ourselves, played mock air guitar and shook our heads Wayne’s World stylee and that was, if not enjoyable, then tolerable.

It’s when people try and think that they’re actually good at it that opens my tear ducts, especially when they’re really earnest about it and then feign modesty when everyone tells them how good they were (with fingers firmly crossed behind their back) when they are just GRIM.  That is absolutely torturous to me, and I don’t know whether I feel sorry for them or wish them to spontaneously combust.

Probably both.

Oh, how could I forget?

For the life of me, I have yet to be able to sit through all 4 minutes of this, especially the last minute:

Absolutely.  Agonising.

I have no idea why I take on other people’s humiliation so eagerly.  I mean it’s not like they benefit or appreciate it.  In fact they probably just gaze at me, puzzled, wondering why I’m crying and/or looking so pained.

I am HSP and empathic though which may account for some of it.  Quite why I syphon off people’s humiliation instead of their confidence, triumphs or good luck is a mystery, but I’m putting down to my BPD and probably a whole slew of shitbag karma.

Hell fire.

Here’s hoping this life is my last shift.

Namaste x

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cringe-worthy/


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FAMILIARITY BLEEDS CONTEMPT

A few days ago, I was told, albeit in a jocular manner, that I must like loathing myself because I do it so much.

My immediate reaction was anger and irritation, but I’m HSP, and as I knew it came from a good person who was only trying to make me smile, I didn’t respond in a too negative way.

But it played on my mind all day, not because it was a stupid thing to say, but because I can’t really explain why we depressives/BPD types do the things we do to ourselves time and time again, so the reality is that I am more angry at myself than anyone else.

And there I go again, beating myself up, only proving her point.

ARRGGHH!

Can I stress that this is in no way a dig at my friend or a ‘pity me’ article?  I more than anyone want to understand why this keeps on happening and rectify it, but I do know that self destructive behaviour is a classic BDP trait.

So I tried to think a bit more about why I lapse back into self defeating behaviours when i know so much more than the average Joe about mental health and the techniques, habits and care taking that can prevent them taking hold.

‘Reinventing Your Life’ by Jeffrey E Young calls these behaviours ‘life traps’ or ‘schemas’ and I bought it about a month ago as I will (hopefully) be having 2 years of schema therapy come Autumn.

Have I read it yet?

No.  That would be far, far too enabling and rational, innit?  Well I got as far as the second chapter entitled ‘Which Lifetraps Do You Have?’ and stopped because didn’t want to ‘spoil’ my new book by writing on it.

Jaysus, I sound like an 8 year old schoolgirl not wanting to crease her new exercise book…lame excuse really…

But what I do understand is that schemas are cultivated during childhood and are down to flawed parenting, repeat and repeat throughout our lives, are comfortable and familiar and when challenged, will fight for survival.

And maybe that’s why we keep on repeating and repeating our self hating shit.

It’s easy.  We know the routine.  We know what to expect when we do it.  We know what the outcome will be.  We know that there are no surprises lurking around the corner.   And we know that no matter how hard we fight, these fuckers tend to win and overcome our good intentions around 90-99.9% of the time.

So we trudge on down that same old path, stubbing our toes on the same old rocks, scratching our faces on the same thorny undergrowth, besieged by the savage mosquito like words of our traitorous subconscious that sting and sting again, and press on staggering and bleeding, rather than take the road lest travelled.

Scarecrow

Because whilst that other route might look bright, lush and inviting after you get past the scary bit, and is probably safer that the lonely old wilderness that we choose time and time again, we ‘know’ from experience that whatever can go wrong, does go wrong, so we don’t trust that it leads to a pretty little copse full of colourful butterflies, fragrant flowers and chattering birds, as we ‘know’ that just around that corner that fricking scarecrow/bat thing from ‘Jeepers Creepers’ is lying in wait for us, just dying to swoop down and claw our peepers out, so fuck that for a game of soldiers.

Why everyone else however, manages to trot down it and come out the other end totally unscathed is a mystery.

So how to defeat these damned schema things?  Dunno yet.  And whilst I’m sure that actually reading the book in full and doing the exercises (instead of using it as a coaster) might help, I’ll only really know by doing the therapy with other BDP sufferers, which I’m actually looking forward to.

Because being on your own makes it even easier to lapse, because no one is there to chivvy you along when you mope, yank the duvet off your reluctant carcass of a morning and shove you towards the bathroom, drag you to the cinema, or circle jobs in the local paper in order to get you out into society again.  Cats are all very well, but they can’t do that shit. And if they could I doubt they’d bother. They have too much on what with the eating, fighting, jumping on my belly, chewing my hair covering it with fishy spittle, and trashing my furniture, so having sessions with and support from people who not only get it, but live it will probably be revelation.

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I do get it though.  Some people must find out shit very frustrating, and even Aunty C chides me for ‘moping’ sometimes, but she’s my therapist/mum so she’s allowed.

What would be absolutely unbearable however would be to live with someone who didn’t understand, and was in my face, saying stupid shit and nagging me half to death.  After all familiarity breeds contempt doncha know, and the thought of a malign being sharing my home when I’m at my worst is enough to make me booby trap all my doors with razor wire, so I am actually thankful that I live alone.

Well me and the cats.

AND the good parent, the bad parent, the child and all the gibbering mind monkeys.

Better the devils you know eh? 🙂

Hey ho, roll on September…

Namaste x

http://www.justsomelyrics.com/748403/susan-cadogan-hurt-so-good-lyrics.html

http://www.schematherapy.com/id202.htm

 

 

 

 

25 DAYS OF SONGS CHALLENGE: DAY 6 – A SONG THAT REMINDS ME OF A BEST FRIEND

10 Comments

I’m going to cheat a little here.

I want two songs.

But at least they are by the same artist, the wonderful, uniquely voiced Lloyd Cole.

And just to be extra awkward I’d like to state that I don’t really have a best friend anymore. Anyone I’ve given that description to in the past has invariably struck out at me (well in my little HSP BDP mind they have), and I don’t really trust any of them much anymore.

Hence the first song ‘Rattlesnakes’.  As in:

‘A girl needs a gun these days
Hey on account of all the rattlesnakes’

And whilst I don’t look like Eve Marie Saint in On The Waterfront (I wish), I agree on the therapy bit and that I need love.  Unfortunately ‘It’s so hard to love, when love was your great disappointment.’

I do love my friends though.  In my way.  And I’m aware that much of this could well be my imagination.

But I’d so love ‘A Brand New Friend’ that I could trust with my heart.  Maybe that has to be me.  So I’ve been told.

I know; boo hoo, hoo, crack open the gin, it’s yet another Sista S Pity Party!

Great songs though, so suck it up bitches and pass the frigging twiglets! 😉

Namaste x

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/l/lloyd+cole/rattlesnakes_20084753.html

http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107858683932/

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BALLS

And just when I thought everything was going so well.

I’m two weeks from a pretty successful Lenten ‘best behaviour’ period, and all of a sudden, it feels like I’m about to roll down a hill to nowhere.

It’s like a juggling act really, isn’t it, trying to get all your daily chores done, sticking to your resolutions/good intentions and keeping it all going?

Then something distracts you and you drop a ball.  Be it getting to bed early, eschewing alcohol, or bad carbs ball, one day you forget to do something then immediate sense of guilt/failure unsteadies you, but you manage to flick it back in the mix whilst not losing anything else.  Then another wobble, another mini guilt trip and just as you manage to get everything under control again, Life comes along, rudely jogs your elbow, then of course one escapes, and then another, and the whole fucking lot comes tumbling down around your ears.

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That potential work opportunity I was telling you about?

It all seemed so promising at the time.  But now?

Now I smell a rat.

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Actually I love rats so let me change that.

It’s starting to smell a little fishy.

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Nope, that’s not working either…

OK, so what I’m trying to say is that something seems a wee bit suspect about them.

The first time I visited the company, it was all very exciting and promising, but the second time, their attitude and whole proposition seems a little slapdash/complacent/indifferent, PLUS they wanted their substantial fee paying cash in hand which immediately got my antenna twitching, and as the meeting commenced, something told me that I was not going to get much out of them.

Okay.  So, I acknowledge that I’m paranoid.

And I know in some ways, this could be me deriding myself, by thinking that they wouldn’t (or is that couldn’t) value or prioritise me, and that my old friend FEAR is once again lurking around the corridors of my psyche trying to gain entrance.

But my intuition is 99.9% spot on and rarely lets me down. Even Aunty C acknowledges this.

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/its-this-one-thing-thats-got-me-trippin/

That said, I know that I’m very prone to letting one bad thing attach itself to another and then they breed like cancer cells, so I’m trying very hard to put it on the back burner, get me balls back up (watching shite TV and skipping walking/yoga specifically) and weigh it all up rationally once my panic abates.

This also might be self sabotage as I’m dreading interacting with the ‘normal’ again.  I say ‘normal’.  I met this woman on the way in and she talked at me for about 45 mins without drawing breath, neither noticing or acknowledging the horrified look and sickly smile no doubt pasted to my chops.  I was bordering on obtaining a restraining order in case she ever recognised me again.

Boring

It makes me wonder how I coped when I was working too.  If I remember rightly I was exhausted by the very act of getting into the office, no wonder I found everything and everyone else such a challenge, so kudos to all you people that have a job and manage to stay on an even keel.

And how do people who work, and have a family and kids to deal with?!  Double kudos you people, I can only stand back (at a safe distance with my bag on the seat next to me, no offence, nothing personal) and admire you all for this.

Anyway, it’s a sunny day and I have no excuse not to walk.

Then I can do a bit of mat work when I get back.

Plus I’m physically fitter than I have been for a long time, so why screw that up by eating badly?

And I’ve taken the plug of my TV.

OK, I haven’t but I have turned it off, OK?!

Onwards and upwards, both me and my cojones.

Here we go again.

Hup!

 

 


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BLOGGING FOR MENTAL HEALTH – LIKE MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT

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OK, we’re half way into January already, how did I miss this?!

Oh, I remember, I was kinda busy as this excerpt from my diary illustrates:

The nerve of WordPress. Inviting me to blog for Mental Health – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?

Actually, that belongs to the Grinch, but is remarkable similar to a day in the life of moi.

A potted (or potty?) history for you; I am HSP and have suffered from depression as far back as I remember.  In the summer of 2014 I walked out of my job after being bullied and pressured to torturous levels as a result of sharing my condition with my line manager (I know – a regular prince, hey?), promptly melted, Wicked  Witch of the West like, into a sticky, heaving puddle of self hatred and humiliation and slept for six months, then started Phoenix Flights on the stroke of midnight New Year’s eve 2012 as a way to offload somewhere safe, work through my aims and recovery for 2013, sharing what I did and how I progressed online.

I thought I’d be done in a year and come January 2014 everything would be, if not roses, on track with regards to my recovery and being able to lead a full, normal life.

Remember that saying about making plans if you want God to chortle?!

Turns out it takes longer than 12 months to unravel over half a century of sh*te, and having just being diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, my journey and my blog (now Phoenix FIGHTS) continues into 2014 with a special focus on Fear, my biggest demon of all.

Any masochists out there wanting to know anymore, please take a look at my ‘About’ and ‘Background’ pages.

All joking and banter aside, writing this has been a life line for me, as has the support and interaction from all of my treasured followers, and if anyone reading my endless gouts of runny, putrid, prolific verbal diarrhoea helps anyone other than myself, I’m profoundly grateful as you may be helping me burn off some of the truckload of hideous karma I appear to have accumulated through my lifetime(s) – every little helps!

I’ll even cancel Jazzercise for you! 😉

Keep on keepin’ on.  I have no idea what I’m doing here or what this here life thing is all about, but we count and should be valued, not just by our family, friends and loved ones, but to society as a whole, did they but know it, and if you ask me, it’s about time they did!

Big love

Sista Sertraline of the 7 Wounds x

I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2014 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others.  By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

The following bloggers/blogs have taken the Blog For Mental Health 2014 pledge: 

Alice In Borderland – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Another Hope Entirely – Blog for Mental Health
Bipolar and BPD Support – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Bipolar For Life – Two Hebrew Kings Blog For Mental Health
Blogging Astrid – Blog for Mental Health 2014
BlueHero – Blog For Mental Health 2014
A Borderline Life – Blog for Mental Health 2014
A Canvas Of The Minds – Blog For Mental Health 2014 (official BFMH launch post)
CardCastlesInTheSky – Writing & Illustrating for Mental Health
Chopping Potatoes – I Pledge Awareness . . . to the Cause
Calamity Rae – Blogging for Mental Health – Complex PTSD and Poems from my Chapbook
The Cosmic Carousel – Truth, Justice, and a Pledge
a day with depression – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Depression and Bipolar Disorder – Blog For Mental Health
Diagnosably Delicious – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Disorderly Chickadee – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Echoes of My Past – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Faerie Thoughts – Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project
fractalthoughts – I Pledge to Blog for Mental Health in 2014
Girl Filth – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Half of a Soul – Life with BPD – Blogging for Mental Health 2014
How do you eat an elephant? – Blog for mental health 2014
Human In Recovery – Mentally Ill or Neurodiverse?
I Was Just Thinking. . . – Still Crazy After All These Years – BFMH 2014
Infinite Sadness… or hope? – Blog For Mental Health 2014 Four In Four
kittyramirezdotcom – Blog for Mental Health 2014
The Magical Thinker – I pledge my blog for Mental Health!
Marci, Mental Health, & More – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Maree Roche – Bipolar Blessings – Huh? No! Wait! What?!
Mental in the Midwest – blog for mental health 2014
Mindful Musings at Midlife – BLOG FOR MENTAL HEALTH 2014 PROJECT
Mom N Daughter Savings – I Fought As Hard As I Could Today, But Still Lost!
Much Madness – III – Blog For Mental Health 2014
My Mind Matters – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Naked Nerves – Blog for Mental Health 2014
No Holding Back – Lying Cold and on the Floor
Not a Punk Rocker – Going in Circles
Notes From The Devil Dollhaus – Blog For Mental Health 2014 pledge
onbeingmindful – Blog for Mental Health 2014
THE OVERCOMING – Suffering and Honesty: Blogging for Mental Health in 2014
PDX Social Safety Net – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Pieces of Me – Blog For Mental Health 2014
PixyGiggles – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Pride in Madness – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Rearranging Letters – M is for Mental Health
Return to Rural – Blog for Mental Health 2014
RosieSmrtiePants – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Sad Mum Happy Mum – My commitment to Mental Health
Shedding Light on Mental Illness – Blog for Mental Health 2014
Snake Lady Librarian – I: Blog for Mental Health 2014
Spaghetti Squiggles – Blog for Mental Health 2014!!!
Stuphblog – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Surviving Out Loud – Blog For Mental Health 2014 – Eradicate the Stigma
the tao of jaklumen – Journey out of the darkness, into the light Blog For Mental Health 2014
tara82blog – Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic!
that cynking feeling – Chilling thought
Teen writings:) – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Trauma and Dissociation – Blog For Mental Health 2014 – fighting stigma together
Under Reconstruction – Why I’m happy to talk about my depression / Blog for Mental Health 2014
UnFocused – Blog For Mental Health 2014
welcome to grand central – My Long Road Back – Blog For Mental Health 2014
Write into the Light – Pledge to Blog for Mental Health
W.T.F. – Alice In Her Own Wonderland
You Won’t Tame This Sassy Cat – Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project
Young Adult DBSA Dual Diagnosis Addison Meeting – Blog For Mental Health 2014

http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/


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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 😉


3 Comments

CHRISTMAS 4 – THE VISITORS 2

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OMFG, I just have to share this with you!

Remember my ex colleagues aka ‘the visitors’ who are currently holidaying in the capital?

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/christmas-1-the-visitors/

Well I’m meant to be meeting them for dinner tonight (in a Mexican restaurant, and I hate hot food, but I digress) and not massively keen on going, but wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and meet J face to face for the first time, so, despite the crazy, stormy weather, I agreed to go.

Then a few minutes ago J mentioned on Facebook that he had wanted to buy a very costly cashmere sweater, and was shocked by the price, so I very helpfully (probably didn’t help myself here) suggested a better place he could go.

His reply?

‘Excellent advice, exactly the kind of thing we want from you tonight, specifically recommendations for boots and crockery, but we can chat later!’

Hmm.

So I’m not being sought out for my excellent company, but to continue my role as their unpaid, un-contracted London bitch/concierge/personal shopper/travel advisor.

Who the fuck do they think they are?

I am absolutely fuming and itching to cancel as absolutely nothing about the pending outing appeals to me at all; the food, going out in this shitty weather, being grilled for information or being  patronised/treated like their lacky.

J rather grandly said that the dinner would be ‘their treat’, and as broke as I am, I want to insist on paying my way, but in all honesty, I’d just as soon as not go at all.

BUT.

As Aunty C (my counsellor) said, i have to learn to deal with people.

And let’s face it, this should be a fucking masterclass.

Sigh.

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I’d better head out into the storm and stock up on indigestion tablets as one way or another, tonight is going to be a hot one….


2 Comments

The Phoenix from the Flames

Spot on as always Kozo 🙂
I really need to get the hang of this as I’m finding that the people I love are getting very unpredictable as I change and I’m trying not to take it personally (says she after losing her temper big time yesterday)….
And what happened to you Kozo? You grew up to be a highly empathic, sensitive man, a great father and an inspiring, entertaining blogger who influences many by sharing his lessons along the way, so you can tell your step father that from me with a complimentary nice hard kick in the balls (optional)   😉

 

keep-calm-and-kick-him-in-the-balls-3

Big love my friend x

everyday gurus

How neuroscience offers hope to survivors of abuse and peacemakers of the future

“What happened to you, then?” my step-father’s booming voice echoed out into the early evening crowd at Outback Steakhouse.

The question was not asked with compassion or caring. It was a jab, an attack, a verbal confirmation that I was a failure in his eyes.

I had been explaining to my extended family how my son was a highly sensitive boy (HSB), when my mom chimed in that I, too, was highly sensitive as a child. She used the term “glass feelings.”

I explained to my sister-in-law how HSBs, if nurtured, could become compassionate artists or peacemakers like Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, and Carl Jung.

That is when my step-father interrupted me with “What happened to you, then?”

What amazed me most was my reaction. In the past, an aggressive comment like this would have sent me to…

View original post 340 more words


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“Stop Breathing on My Neck. I’m Trying to Be Compassionate.”

I love this blogger, his insights, honesty and observations, and this post made me smile, albeit somewhat wryly.
Being out of the workplace at this moment in time, I currently have the luxury of being able to avoid most of those irritating ‘other people’ as I can, for the most part, pick and choose who I want to be around, but know that it’s only a matter of time when I am catapulted amongst them again and will have to put up with their annoying shit and not take them down, either physically or verbally :-s

bloggerplus
Being something of an intolerant, easily offended biatch who takes everything personally (I’m HSP with attitude), I’m certainly going to give this a try, but I’ll know I’ve reach a spiritual landmark if I can do it (a) at rush hour on the Tube (b) on a bank holiday in Ikea, or (c) in a packed cinema populated with (i) popcorn rattlers, (ii) iPhone addicts and (iii) fidgets/seat kickers/elbow nudgers, all which tend to make me nigh on homicidal with suppressed rage.

Annoying_Cinema

Which is better than my limited edition ‘expressed’ variety, believe you me…..

I will, however start small and test it out at my local park. At 6.30am. When it’s closed to the public.
One day at a time, sweet Jesus….. 😉

everyday gurus

How to obtain peace when other people are around.

Listening to Adyashanti explain how resistance causes our suffering, I could not focus because some guy behind me was breathing like a hot furnace.

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HELLO, I MUST BE GOING!

smalltalk_annetaiontor

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I am frequently late for appointments, and it drives some of my friends mad.

I don’t know the exact reason for sure, but I know one of them is down to my underlying reluctance to leave my flat for anything/anyone, especially if I am going somewhere where I will be out of my comfort zone.

Last night was such an appointment.

As a challenge, and to meet new ‘healthy’ people (as Aunty C, my counsellor, calls non mental folk), I joined a ‘Meet Up’ group and arranged to go and see a gig with them at a pub.

I wanted to see the band, the group looked nice (I’d met the host before and she was fun), but as always, when the time to leave approached, I used all kinds of delay tactics (Facebook, tidying up, sorting out sock drawer, bleaching spoons etc.) and had to fight hard with my inner demons who came out with the usual shit (everyone hates you, you’re ugly, too old to be going to gigs etc.) to make myself leave the flat.

To do this, as advised by Aunty C, I tried to play the ‘Good Parent’ to myself, and reassure the child (that’s me) that it’s OK to be nervous, but to that it would be good for me to socialise, make new friends, and that if the child doesn’t like it, she can always come home’.

That’s easy enough to say, but in real life, things aren’t always that simple.

Leaving when you want or need to isn’t something we tend to allow ourselves the luxury of, as even with good friends, we don’t want to seem aloof, rude or impolite, and whilst a few of my very close friends do sometimes tolerate me legging it mid event, strangers won’t necessarily be quite as understanding.

Take last night; by the time I managed to convince myself to get out of the door, I was already 15 minutes late, and very conscious that this was hardly creating a good impression on the group, but in the end, it was a blessing in disguise, as when I arrived, I found my new buddies in a vast crowd/queue waiting to get into the room where the gig was taking place.

So we spent about 40 minutes standing there in a sweaty, sticky pub being pushed and shoved, and I could feel my anxiety grow minute by minute.  Had I known that was going to happen I’d have stayed welded to the sofa.

I don’t like crowds.

I don’t like feeling trapped.

I don’t like people touching me.

Had I been on my own or with close friends, I would have been out of there like greased weasel shit, but because I was there with new people I had just met, not only did I have to stay, deal with my mounting claustrophobia, listen to my inner dialogue….

(it’s hot, i can’t see the door, i wanna get out, don’t touch me, how much longer, i wanna get out, who did that, try to look normal bitch you’re trying to make friends?!!, i wanna get out, touch me again you stinking fucking pseudo hippy twat and I’ll rip your liver out and slap you around the face with it, you’re drifting off again focus on the conversation, what’s her name again, i wanna get out, i’m going to faint, i hate you and your fucking backpack you cretin, i want out of here now, OW! etc.)

….biting down the urge to punch anyone in arms length of me and head for the door, I had to make small talk.

Small talk.

Small.  Talk.

Two simple, seemingly innocuous, one syllable words that without fail or exception fill my soul with a cold, creeping, despairing dread.

It’s not that I’m not capable of it.  I am. Well I used to be.

I did it for decades, as it was a requirement of the job and industry that I worked in.

And for most people, it might have been a pleasure because a lot of the people that we schmoozed were nice enough, the events usually took place in very salubrious surroundings and I was being paid well to do it.

It’s just that it took such a super human amount of effort for me to network, that I’d usually need to be shit faced to drum up the energy, and need a day off sick afterwards to recover from it by not speaking to anyone at all.

It’s not that I think I am better than anyone else; quite the contrary.  It isn’t that I think I’m better company than anyone else; I just find pointless, social chit chat hard work, soul suckingly boring and a complete waste of life.

I don’t know whether it’s down to my depression/paranoia/nervousness, my being empathic/HSP or both but I honestly don’t get it.

And some people can willingly, nay happily do it for hours.

I suppose putting me in those kinds of scenarios is a bit like someone who’s not keen on kids being locked in a crowded nursery, who’s forced to coo, entertain and sooth them whilst all the while thinking, ‘Fuck, I wonder when I’ll be able to escape from this’.

Only difference being kids are generally pretty amusing.

It’s not that I don’t like people either.  I just find it hard work to operate on such a superficial level, because I need some kind of spark or connection on a deeper level in order to invest time in a person.

That’s one of the reasons I don’t have hoards of friends.

Because in reality no one does.  What popular people actually have is 70% acquaintances, 20% casual friends, 10% good friends.

And whilst I know I need to have more casual friends to complement my few good mates, I don’t have the energy for a load of acquaintances who I have to fight to feign interest in.

Some people are very good at pretending to give a fuck when talking to someone they have no interest in whatsoever.

But whilst having to do this at various functions in the past, I have had to fight the urge to flick the canapé off the cocktail stick I’m holding so that I can slam the sharp end into my eyeball, then I can escape to A&E/ER where I can sit on a nice uncomfortable plastic chair for 6 hours next to drunks, screaming kids, yobs, disorientated pensioners and people with unusual things stuck up their orifices and not have to talk shite with anymore anymore.

And to be honest?  I’d sooner talk to any/all of the above than someone banging on to someone about the frigging weather.

And when I have  had to make small talk with someone who is a genuine, card carrying, 18 carat bore?

My tolerance level is zero.

I’m not being a diva here, and I do try and be polite and interactive, but because I am both unconfident and shy, I find it hard to maintain eye contact at the best of times, but if someone is excruciatingly dull, they exhaust me and I have to fight not to hurt anyones feeling or embarrass myself by drifting off in their presence.

I did actually once fall asleep when chatting to one client at a dinner because I couldn’t escape any other way.  Luckily he thought I was hammered.  I had actually been drinking water all night.

Back to last night.

Somehow I managed to stay put (cursing Aunty C for every minute of my life I was losing to this hell) and eventually the crowd carried me towards the room the act was appearing and I found myself in a seat with the rest of the group, and whilst I did the small talk thing with them as best I could, all I could think was that there was only about 2 inches of space between me and the big long haired beardy in front of me and the woman with halitosis behind me, perspiration was practically dribbling into my eyes and the girl next to me’s thigh was so mashed against mine that I was considering proposing to her.

So I endured….

The band came on.

I endured….

My face hurt from smiling.

I endured….

The hairy bastard in front of me flicked his manky mane and the tail end of it landed in my drink.

<retch>

Oh how my new friends laughed!

Oh how he laughed!

Oh how I laughed!

But I really wanted to scream.

Then, mercifully came the interval, and I made good my escape to the bogs.

You can guess what happened next, can’t you?

Reader, I legged it.

Because I was specifically told that if I didn’t like it the child can always come home’, right?

Right!

But I doubt that my host felt the same way when I text her to say I had to leave  because I had a headache, the cat had coughed up a fur ball, or whatever lame excuse I gave her.

Because, I suspect that by her complete radio silence that in her eyes what I did was rude.

But there was no way I was going back into that sweaty hellhole to talk about the weather, peoples kids and/or what they ‘did’ whilst drinking warm, hairy vodka and cranberry with a complete strangers thigh pressing enthusiastically against mine.

No.

Way.

Welcome to the first chapter of ‘How to Make Friends and Influence People’ by Sista Sertraline 😦

Maybe I’m just not cut out for ‘healthy friends’….

So what do I do in future?

Not go to these things?

Try and be more normal?

Take double doses of medication and come across as a stoner?

I honestly don’t know.

But even amazing evenings out in the company of like minded souls can feel like a complete anti climax to me, so I guess how I behave in ‘polite society’ on a regular common or garden evening with dull/predictable/normal/well meaning folk is just the nature of this anti social beast….

And I’m done with pretending to be anything other than who and what I am.

You know, little kids and grumpy old aged pensioners are great at this kind of shit, because they just say what they mean, if they don’t like someone or something they say so, if they don’t want to do something they refuse to do it and if someone tries to make them, they kick off, go apeshit and behave in a generally embarrassing fashion until someone drags them out of the building and gives them a telling off, some sweets or a Mogadon.

Hey!

Maybe there are some things to enjoy about getting old after all 🙂

Come and get me menopause, I’m all over this!