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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YOUR FRIEND’S IN THE NORTH

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So.

I made it 🙂

It wasn’t easy.  Of course it wasn’t.  I am a drama magnet, so anything that could go wrong went wrong, to the extent that post move I actually got embroiled in some legal action (from which I ended up the beneficiary – fuck you, unprofessional, lying, scaremongering biatches from HELL!), but gradually, gradually, things are getting better.

I have nice neighbours, a couple of friends nearby, am closer (but not too close) to family and don’t go to bed in mortal terror of what my dreams might bring.  Yes I have bills to pay (I am NOT on benefits.  Yet.  But hopefully never again), there things to buy and do for/to my new home, so I need some work so I can carve out a decent life for myself.

And of course I still have the darkest of dark nights (and days) of the soul with no real means of support; mental health is not something that is a high priority in Stark Land.  If I’m lucky and can prove I’m on the verge of suicide, I may, just may get a prescription for Sertraline, a disapproving frown and a ‘Pull yourself together woman!’ admonishment from my new GP, and of course I have no intention of telling anyone in my new life about my condition.

But I own a home outright, the cats are settled, I actually have a view when I look out of my window at night, everyone is friendly and nice, it is quiet and peaceful, and when I unlock my door and step out onto my path of a morning, I do it to the sound of birdsong and the robust aroma of cow shit instead of the wail of police sirens, snarls from passers by, and a blanket of London smog clogging my little traumatised lungs.

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So, unlike the original cast of the above mentioned much loved ‘posh soap opera’, (whom all for the most apart still reside in the Smoke and have never looked back), I have come back from London chastened, an older wiser Sista, and hope to discover my real life’s mission back in the county I was born in.

Anyway I am sorry for not having written for so long.  This has been for a number of reasons:

 

First, the sheer gruelling, creative energy sapping toll that moving house has on one, left me with little energy to wax lyric about anything really.

Second, the hellish bouts of major depression that hit me like a landslide when all seemed to be going to pot.

Third, I honestly didn’t think anyone would miss me.  And, let’s be honest, most of you probably didn’t.  And that’s OK.  I have no problem with that.  Life and blogging goes on.

Fourth, the fact that I felt, and feel that I’ve said everything there is to say about myself, my life and BPD.

Fifth.  Right.  I wasn’t going to say anything about this, but it’s actually gotten to the stage that being subtle and kind only had a temporary effect, so I’m going to be frank and honest and hope that it works.

Since been off air, so to speak, I have been prompted, chivvied and nagged incessantly to come back by a certain individual, and I cannot even fart on Twitter without it being commented on, and it’s now gotten to the stage that I feel almost stalked and  dread even the thought of logging into WordPress, so unfortunately for him, the net result was probably the opposite of what he intended.

 

Note – some of you have gently enquired once or twice via WordPress where I am and what has been happening since my last post.  These comments are not directed at you, OK? x

Re my future blogging, I now feel that I have shared too much and feel a bit exposed on this profile, so I need to decide if I’m going to stick with it or start up a new one.  Under another name.

But I’ll probably be back in some way, shape or form and will stay in touch.

Promise.

Over and out for now x

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2010/sep/18/our-friends-flannery-eccleston

 


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SPACE INVADERS II – ‘THE DAY THE EARTH TREMBLED’

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I went to the park again yesterday.

And sure enough, it happened again.

Picture the now very familiar scene; I’m lying on the grass, staring semi meditatively into the sky, a soft breeze playing across my skin, cool grass beneath my feet, dragonflies playing, birdies twittering etc., etc.

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Fifteen minutes in, some school kids arrive.

Cue ominous ‘Jaws’ theme tune.

‘Well,’ I reason with myself firmly, fighting the urge to bolt, ‘they’ve just finished their school day, so they’re bound to want a bit of fresh air.  But in the quietest, most boring part of the park?!  But still.  They’re here.  So chill.’

Then more arrive.

And more.

And even more.

Within ten minutes, it’s as if an entire school has decamped into this little patch of tranquility, and the air is filled with shouting, chatter, shrieks and laughs.

I’m perplexed.  Is it some kind of budget school sports day? And even if it was, there are vast open areas of land much more suitable for kids to go and let off steam, so why are they in the twee granny garden?

I turn my head to look at the lady on my left to see if she is equally horrified. She is reading, has iPod earphones in and obviously doesn’t give a shit.

Normal, see? <twirls fore finger in direction of cranium>

I really want to leave now, but I’m determined to hang in there for at least an hour. I’d only just got there!

‘Here!,’ yells an excited boy suddenly, ‘let’s do it here!  You go that side and we’ll go here!’

All of a sudden the earth starts to vibrate, and as I prop myself up on one arm, two boys, one either side of my rug bolt past me, sprint to the bottom of the copse, turn around, and hurtle back up and past me again. They both then tag someone else, and that couple of sweaty youths fly past, almost taking one of my Havaianas with them.

Startled, I sit upright and look around properly. There are two sections of this little nook of the park bisected by a path; the area on the other side of the path is almost empty.

I’m getting irritated now because I feel like an inanimate piece of gym equipment, a flag, bean bag or something that divides the two team tracks.  Nice to know I’m still good for something.  😦  

Perhaps if I hang around long enough, they’ll run twice around my rug and tag me or something.

Seriously am I invisible or what?

But I lie back down and put my book over my face resolutely; I am staying at least another thirty minutes, come what may.

After five minutes or so, the race appears to be over.

I sigh, shift on my rug, settle myself and start to nod off….

Suddenly I wake to what sounds like a Stamford Bridge on a Saturday afternoon.  I sit up sharply and look behind me.

About three feet from my rug and army of mums have set up camp with their rugs, McDonalds/KFC picnics (stinky) and their respective rug rats.

I turn to look at the other side of the park.

Empty.

What kind of fucking fuckery is this? Why does this keep happening to me?

Why are space invaders forever in my face?  Didn’t they get the ‘Fuck the hell off, you intrusive wankers’ psychic memo?

Mind you, I don’t think I’m alone. There seems to be some kind of perverse, reverse law of attraction where certain poor sods like me attract the very thing we want to repel.

  • It’s always the woman that doesn’t like kids that ends up holding someone’s snot encrusted baby whilst it’s siblings leave yoghurt, tears and chocolate stains all over her best pashmina after ‘borrowing’ it for their den.
  • It’s always the kid who’s allergic to insect stings that gets chased by that freakishly big, pulsating bee with an attitude problem.
  • And it’s always the chap who’s allergic to cats that the naughty pussy stalks around the room, and swipes her sneeze inducing fur all over his rust corduroys.  To be fair, that’s quite funny though 🙂 .

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Why is this so?

And can we do anything about it?

Dear Gary, Psychic Empaths, can you advise?

Love Sista S x


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U CAN’T TOUCH THIS

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Since being out of the workplace for the last year, it is fair to say that I feel OK more days than not, and I sometimes tell myself that I could go back to a corporate role in London if I so wished.

But, it is only when I have to go into Central London that I get a massive reality check and invariably realise that this is probably not going to happen.

Practically 12 months to the day that I left Wankers R Us, I had to go and meet a close friend, G, to go to an art exhibition a mere five minutes walk from their offices.

At the time of booking this event, I didn’t think twice. So what if it’s down the road from the corporate hell? So what if I do bump into someone from my old life?  What are they going to do?

Pelt me with rotten fruit?

Spit at me?

Call the men in the white coats?

I bought the tickets online without a moments hesitation.  I didn’t give a shit about going back to the scene of the crime, and even if I bumped into old Voldermort, I’d just flip him the finger, smile sweetly and whisper ‘Cock’.

When the day finally arrived though, it was a different story.  As I got ready, the atmosphere started to change.  I couldn’t find stuff.  Nothing fitted.  I tried on outfit after outfit, went from shoes to boots to sandals and it got later and later.

What was I trying to achieve?

A look that said ‘new me’, ‘success’, ‘style’ and ‘fuck you’ without looking any way contrived whatsoever, but as if I’d just dragged the pieces on without even thinking about it, the end result being effortlessly cool and elegant nonetheless.

But nothing looked right.

I could feel the oh so familiar panic start to rise.  This is what I went through pretty much every morning before work for about 18 months.  I’d only just realised that I rarely did this anymore.

Then just when I found a combination of garments that just might do, it started to rain, totally rendering my new burnt orange suede ballet flats obsolete, so I had to start from scratch.

By the time I’d pulled together a new ensemble and boarded the bus, I was at least thirty minutes late.

The air was thick, damp and humid and my hair immediately flattened and frizzed up simultaneously with equally unflattering results. I could have saved myself the hour I took washing, drying and styling it and just popped outside for five minutes, rolled in a puddle then shoved my head in a bush instead as the end result would have been remarkably similar.

The exhibition started at 6pm, so this meant I would be travelling into town during rush hour, something I hadn’t done for a long, long time.

For good reason.

I don’t like queueing.

I don’t like crowds.

I don’t like strangers touching me.

Now that I know I’m HSP and an Empath, these fears and aversions all make sense now, but that didn’t make the journey any easier.

As I got off the bus and approached the Tube entrance, I felt my hackles rise and my neck tighten.

It seems that as soon as people go underground, they lose the concept of personal space and promptly graft themselves to your back/arm/curve of your waist/the cleft of your arse.

Don’t get me wrong; I know that there has to be some leeway when travelling during London rush hour, but seriously?

Do. Not. Touch. Me.

Whilst the Urban Dictionary defines Personal Space thus:

  1. Roughly defined as a one foot radius around a person.  It can only be entered by close friends, family members, significant others, etc.  You know when you’re in a person’s personal space.  You can sense it!  Whoa, man!  Personal space!  Arm’s length, bucko!
  2. An area around a person, within which other people make them nervous, except for intimacy.   Also spade and my space. You’re invading my personal space.  Get out of my space!

 

And Wikipedia, as follows:

Personal space is the region surrounding a person which they regard as psychologically theirs. Most people value their personal space and feel discomfort, anger, or anxiety when their personal space is encroached.[1] Permitting a person to enter personal space and entering somebody else’s personal space are indicators of perception of the relationship between the people. There is an intimate zone reserved for lovers, children and close family members. There is another zone used for conversations with friends, to chat with associates, and in group discussions; a further zone is reserved for strangers, newly formed groups, and new acquaintances; and a fourth zone is used for speeches, lectures, and theater; essentially, public distance is that range reserved for larger audiences.[2]

The amygdala is suspected of processing people’s strong reactions to personal space violations since these are absent in those in which it is damaged and it is activated when people are physically close.[3]

 

But whilst I’m willing to be flexible to a degree, all I can say is that there are a lot of Londoners with fucked up amygdalas out there.

And when examining the two very helpful diagrams of what is and what is not acceptable:

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ACCEPTABLE

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NOT ACCEPTABLE

 

This is what we’re dealing with in London’s labyrinths:

 

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Mate, if I can feel condensation forming on my face from your soggy pits, it’s time to get the fuck away from me!

Because I don’t care how busy it is or how late you are, if you cannot grant/allow even one inch of space between you and the stranger next to you, then stay on the platform and get the next train.  That’s what I do!

What are we? Animals?

But no, that is still apparently too ambitious an expectation.

Even standing on the train platform before boarding, someone stood next to me and applied their clammy bare upper arm to mine, causing me to turn my head and give the little toad a look of such anger, disgust and distain he actually went the opposite platform and waited for a train going in the opposite direction.

And that was just a preview of what was to come.  As our train door opened, it practically sighed as a warm, damp fart of sweet, fetid air greeted us as we held our collective breath and fought to get a seat or a tiny space to call our own.

I managed to get somewhere to sit, balancing my relatively small butt on the edge of the double seat so that I didn’t have to touch my neighbour, but this huge hairy legged tourist in shorts who smelled like a combination of raw meat and soil hurled himself down and pretty much sat on me, letting his big dimply thigh slide over mine as he settled himself, leaving half of it balanced there as he sat back with a happy sigh.

I nearly asphyxiated with horror, yanked my (meaty man sweat coated) leg free and burrowing under a forest of skanky armpits, and found a quiet-ish corner to jam myself into until my stop came.

When it finally came, I realised that I’d pretty much been holding my breath for near on 25 minutes, and gratefully squeezed out of the door and allowed myself a big sigh of relief only to be met with….

….another damp, heaving, stinking mass of commuters shuffling in the direction of the exit at the approximate speed of one inch per minute.

By now I just wanted to escape very, very badly.  But there was no quick way forward and no going back, so I had to merge in with the soggy shufflers and join in with their dismal dance of dismay.

Two shuffles forward, one shuffle back and two to the side.

Then one besuited little rebel of a City chap tried to force his way past everyone and nearly took off one of my tits with his elbow, shouting in a very clipped English accent ‘Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me…’ as if he, Mr fucking Angry of Mayfair wanted to get out and conduct very important business, and the rest of us were just chilling out and shuffling around like zombies because we liked it.  Mind you after I paid him back with a nice sharp jab to his nuts with my brolly, he calmed down a bit and decided to step in time with the rest of us mere mortals until we reached the exit.  The dick.

By then I was beside myself with anxiety.

I was nearly an hour late, hot, dishevelled, sweaty, had man-musk on my right thigh and an injured boob.  Not only that but it was raining quite heavily and old thunder thighs had broken half of the spokes of my brolly when he sat on it.

As I marched past my old workplace in the rain, head down, battered brolly up, I braced myself for the very worst, i.e. my ex boss exiting the building in a smart suit, looking good,* erm, smart whilst I looked like I’d been sleeping in the park for two days.

(*he could never truthfully be described as look good.  You could put a tiny Armani suit on a turd and give it a pair of Churches brogues and an iPad 3 to clutch, it would still be a turd) 

But as you can probably guess….nothing happened.

And by the time I reached the exhibition halls and a worried G, I was a whole lot calmer if absolutely exhausted.

‘Are you OK?’ she asked nervously.

I nodded.

And I was.

But I will never, ever travel during rush hour (if I can possibly help it), let alone do it five days a week, again.  I used to put up with that shit for nearly 3 hours a day, can you imagine?  What a waste of life.  I will never get that time back. Ever.

It’s no longer worth the stress, as far as I’m concerned.

On the way home, we walked past the building again.

‘What do you feel?’ asked G, ‘you know, being back here again?’

And do you know something?  I felt nothing.

Because that was then and this is now.

That was a different life and now I have a new life.

And that was a different Sista who marched out of that building in a smart suit, with neatly styled hair, a file of legal documents in her hand, her heart in her boots, and her head held high, who looked strong from the outside but was a broken mess on the inside.

This Sista, who might on this particular day, be wearing soggy jeans, have tizzy hair, with a broken umbrella in her hand, but her heart is in recovery, her head is naturally held high and not in defiance, but with bearing, and she is both stronger on the inside and well as the outside.

And even if old Voldermort had come strutting out of that door in his finery?

He can’t touch me.

None of them can.

And if any of them were dumb enough to ever publicly disrespect me again?

It’ll be Hammer Time all over again….