Phoenix Fights

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

25 DAYS OF SONGS CHALLENGE: DAY 9 – A SONG THAT MAKES ME HOPEFUL

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Pretty much anything by The Sounds of Blackness picks me up, in one way or another, but when I’m at my lowest, ‘The Pressure Pt. 2’ soothes my soul and makes me believe that a way forward is maybe just about possible…

And when I’m more upbeat and on the verge of daring to take a risk, ‘Optimistic’ nails it. To the core.

Enjoy!

And never say die. x

 

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EXCUSE ME?!

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GGGGRRRRRR!

This forgiveness malarky is not very easy at all….

Today is Day 3 and I had to write a list of people that I want to forgive, and that list, I have to tell you, is quite a long one…

As for the list of people that I wanted to forgive me?

Just the one.

And that’s debatable.

Because I rarely do anything that wrong or that wasn’t deserved in the first place. 😉

Then I had to choose one person from the first list that wasn’t too traumatic to address and eventually forgive, but by the same token wasn’t too easy either.

A 5 or a 6 out of 10 as it were.

So I choose someone whom I believe that used my vulnerability to her own selfish ends and tried to punish me when I no longer danced to her tune.

The trouble is though, within a matter of hours, someone else’s rating has shot up and I’m going to have to address him one way or t’other.

Because, I’ve just discovered, not only did this person judge me, influenced another person against me and screwed me over, but used something I gave him to benefit his position, and had no qualms about sharing this information with me today.

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Oh dear.

Now my inner Malvo is whispering “He. Is. Screwed. He made a choice and now there’s a consequence. You? You’re the consequence.  Here there be one very pissed off dragon, and someone need a roasting…”

I’m seething.

So much for a successful day three. 😦

I SO want REVENGE.

The thing is, if you knew what this infringement was, you probably wouldn’t think it was a big deal.  And on it’s own, it’s not.  It’s just the last straw as it were.  To screw someone over and then to casually throw into the conversation the fact that you used something you gave them to benefit their position was just a large pinch of Malvern salt scrubbed into a not yet healed wound with a nice, big, scratchy granite pestle.

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I mean, someone has to pay here!

Right? 😦

To think I was whinging on the other day about not having any weapons; right now I don’t need one.  I could decapitate him with my teeth if need be.  The fact that he’s still in the same county amazes me, but to be fair, he didn’t know the ‘old’ Sista otherwise he’d be getting emergency plastic surgery as we speak just so’s I didn’t get my hands on him.

Dessie Tutu, I don’t want to forgive this asshole!  I want to annihilate him!

Sllooowwwwlly…

God, there has to be some state between feeble/weak/pathetic and homicidal rage, because if there isn’t I don’t think I can do this anymore without picking a side, and right now, rage is most likely to get my vote…

But I went for a walk, pounded the shit out of some bread dough, then pondered on that old adage about the very best kind of revenge…

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🙂

Also:

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Let’s make it clear, whilst this person and I are no longer close, and he isn’t going to feature heavily in my life moving forward, there’s no benefit in slapping him down over this and he’s still going to be around, so…I’ll let it slide this time.  Water off a duck’s wotsit.  If he’s learned something from me and used it to get more business, good for him!  He clearly has no ideas or imagination of his own.

He also has to deal with me beating his performance at every turn moving forward.

So I forgive you Wanker.  That said, you clearly have no moral compass and I’ll bear that in mind in future.

And I’ll never share anything with you ever again.

So you’ll just have to find shit of your own volition in future.

But let’s face it.

It won’t ever be as good as mine 😉

Today, I forgave someone.  🙂

OK I’m hardly Matty Gandhi here, but heaven knows I’m trying…

And God, as we know, loves a trier!!

Namaste xx


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FORGIVE (WITH) ME!

 

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Today I planned to meet up with a couple of people whom I believe screwed me over, and naturally I was apprehensive about the encounter.

Why, you might wonder, was I meeting them in the first place?

I was meeting them because I have this habit of permanently falling out with friends over intentional or unintentional infractions of the friendship and consequently don’t have many left, so I have to learn how to handle people better and forgive and accept their failings as they probably accept mine.

I’m not very good at forgiveness, you see.

‘You have to be mindful of who you let see your ‘child’!’ my counsellor Aunty C urges, ‘some friends can be trusted to this end, but you can’t be super close to everyone!  You have to protect yourself whilst figuring people out!’

She’s right. I’m not much for casual friends.  And If I meet a ‘kindred spirit’ I tend to spill my guts, show my vulnerability and then when they can’t resist the temptation of fucking me over and/or letting me down, I furiously see them off with my (metaphorical) sawn off shotgun complete with a 20 ft flame thrower attachment.  And they, understandably, run.  Never to be seen again.

You would think that someone in my position would do everything they could to hang onto friends wouldn’t you?

During my therapy prep session with the Perkies earlier this week https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/holy-moses/, I was asked a series of questions about whether I was (a) terrified of being left by men/family/friends, (b) whether I ever begged them to say, and (c) whether I ever used emotional blackmail on them to make them stay.

I believe my answer them was something along the lines of ‘I’d rather cut my tits off and hang them on a barbed wire fence.’

That caused a bit of pinkcheekitis I can tell you.  Bless! 😉

It was then that I started to think that I might not be BPD after all.

Then I remembered.  I did used to do those things when I was young, green and vulnerable with no confidence in myself whatsoever.  Then my mum died and, in my fury and outrage, I turned to stone.  Then when anyone messed me around or let me down (especially men), I wouldn’t cling to them.  I dumped them so hard their ears bled.  I essentially despatched them before they got chance to despatch me.  Even if they never intended to in the first place.

I was one cold bitch.  And I loved it.  I gloried in my intractability, my formidable reputation, my ability to show no fear, and my merciless resolve to never, ever forgive them for what they had done.

I felt STRONG.  I was respected.  No one dared cross me.

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And decades later, when I finally unravelled, my so called armour collapsed like a wet cardboard box, leaving little peeled prawn me quivering and trembling alone in the barren landscape of my reality wondering how the hell I was going to protect myself now.

I’m starting to realise that I had it all wrong.  As in keeping out anyone who let me down, I also kept out not only their potential goodness, but the good people who could have had a positive, supportive role in my life, because, from a love perspective, I am essentially alone now.

And without being cringy, corny or a God botherer, it’s only since I’ve been using my beads and praying that I’ve seen any kind of positive shift in my life.

When I had a rather intimidating family get together the other week, I prayed for help in getting through it, to not deliberately sabotage it by make things awkward no matter how annoying they were, to not take offence at any tactless/dumb/hurtful thing that might inadvertently be said, and to let them in, if only for that day.

And I survived it.  They thought it was a great success.  I was exhausted, but exultant and relieved it was over.

My pow wow with the Perkies?  I prayed to be patient, trusting and to remember that they were, and are, trying to help me.  It’s not their fault that they are young, lovely and normal!  And apart from one or two awkward moments it was fine.

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Today was going to be hard though.  Because those naughty Mind Monkeys were at it again, telling me that Friend 1 was the instigator and was now shitting himself because I might drop him in it with Friend 2, so perhaps I should do just that, hmm?  Serves him right hey!  And they reminded me that Friend 2 was nervous after getting a chilly reception from me last time our paths crossed, and wouldn’t it be a good laugh to keep her on tenterhooks all day by way of punishment? After all, she complicit too, so deserved to be jerked around.

It’s hard to resist those prankish primates with their mischievous, amusing, destructive ideas.  They kept tempting me with sharp, witty, faux innocent one liners to smack my friends down with, reminding me of their weaknesses and that I should punish them so that by the end of the day, they’d know that they’d been Tangoed per se.

Boom!

Actually no.  If I went down that route, no one would be speaking to anyone by lunchtime, so whilst I was sorely tempted to exact a little revenge, I asked for help in keeping calm, not being cruel, getting over what had gone before and, without putting my ‘child’ in danger to let myself be softer and to try to see the good inside them.  And, if possible, to forgive them.

And apart from one teensy weensy bitch slap (Look, it was more of a pat than a slap, OK?!) which only happened because someone decided it was a good idea to resurrect a point of contention, it went fine.  I was a bit stiff and uncomfortable at first, but by the end of the day everyone was happy, relieved and it was evident that we had finally put the entire matter behind us.

I think I’m over it.  And it might not sound like a big deal to a normal, balanced, non BPD person, but for me it really is.

Getting over shit and not holding onto anger, bitterness and the desire for revenge seems to be at the heart of my potential recovery.

Then I saw this on today’s Reader Feed.

http://forgivenesschallenge.com

Timely, no?

I don’t know what this consists of, how it’s going to work or whether it will be useful, but I’ve decided to give it a go, as God knows I need all the help I can get.

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That said, I’ve just played the first video and if I was a cartoon I’d have a huge question mark above my head right now.

You’ll know what I mean when you watch it. 🙂

Strange days indeed, as I’ve said more than once of late…

If you too have an issue with forgiveness and feel ‘stuck’ because of it, drop your weapon of choice and join me.

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Not for the wankers who’ve hurt you, but for you and your well being.

Because you’re worth it (flicks hair Cheryl stylee).

Namaste xx

 

 

 


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THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT

 

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Just in case you weren’t aware, we are less than 2 days from Easter Sunday, and I’ve been (mostly) off sugar and alcohol for over 40 days for Lent, and I’ve been trying to establish a healthy way of living mentally, physically and spiritually with varying degrees of consistency and success.

So what have I learned from this?

 

SUGAR, SUGAR

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One of the first unsurprising realisations was that as much as I love the stuff, sugar and products made of sugar are energy killers, and when you stop eating it, you realise how prevalent it is in our diet, hence how much of eat we eat as a nation.  I know you’re probably thinking this should not come as a surprise to me seeing how much I bake, but I didn’t actually think about it when pouring glistening white heaped spoonfuls of it into a bowl for a large batches of muffins.

It’s only when I calculated the grams of sugar per serving that the penny dropped.  And it’s quite shocking.

This isn’t going to stop me baking or eating cake though.  I’m not a frigging saint!  I just won’t indulge as often as I used to, that’s all, plus I’ll replace the white stuff with agave or another less addictive sweetener wherever possible.

 

NO MORE MILK AND ALCOHOL

I actually missed my occasional glass of wine more than cake and chocolate, but similar story really energy wise, plus my frequent, trippy dreams totally stopped for the most part, which is annoying because I have a thing for hot milky drinks spiked with liquor before going to bed, so that’s one little habit I’m probably going to have to drop long term.

Again, I’ll still have the odd tipple, but will try not to drink alone and only in strict moderation.

 

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

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I managed to stay off social media websites and to be honest I haven’t really missed it, and I can report that I’ve hardly seen or heard from any of my ‘friends’ whilst being incommunicado, so it’s been quite lonely for me really.  

I have made a little more effort to see more people, but I still seem to struggling to integrate and find my pack so to speak.  It almost feels like I’m deliberately being held back until I sort my shit out, which segways very nicely into….

 

LIKE A PRAYER

I’m still using my rosary, sometimes, I have to admit, in a half assed fashion, but I do try hard to communicate with the big guy and it helps if I have something specific to say.  

Does it make me feel better?   

Sometimes.  I am, for instance, alone for most of this bank holiday, because, as per usual, any plans I try to make tend to get scuppered right at the last minute, but I’m trying to relax into it and be accepting and even appreciative of the solitude, especially after two gruelling days of being with strangers (more on that next post).  

I may even sneak into mass this Sunday.

No promises though. 😉

 

OM AND OM, AND OM AND OM…

I’ve been to yoga at my local studio quite a bit, but still can’t bring myself to practice at home.

As for mediation…

FFS, what is wrong with me?!

Something to talk about with the big guy later…

 

I WALK THE LINE

Walking everywhere has been a bit of a revelation too.  My waistline has shrunk, my energy better and I’m probably saving a fortune in bus fares.

This is definitely a habit I want to maintain.

 

So in sum, I’ve kind of realised that my chances of having a good day are greatly enhanced if I look after my body, eat right, try and keep the spiritual pathways open and accept and make use of those quiet, lonely times in my life, i.e. most of the time, and be kind to myself on those days.

All good stuff, eh?

Except, today wasn’t a very worthy day at all.  I ate too many carbs, didn’t go out let alone walk, and feel strangely sleepy, sad and flat.

And whilst I hunted for a ‘not too religious’ (!) image to post atop of this article, and seeing all the images crosses and thorny crowns coming up on my search engine, I realise that today of all days is probably not meant to be too jolly, and perhaps my lassitude and endless introspection is appropriate in this instance.

And come Sunday?  Whilst I accept that my own personal ‘Good Friday’ may not be over for quite a while, I will try and give thanks for my life and make some kind of agreement with myself and God to take each day as it comes, be patient, and trust that it will all work out in the end.

Whatever that means.

Namaste x

 

 


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MOTHER OF MINE

 

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Being both motherless and childless, it’s a rare occurrence indeed if Mothering Sunday impacts on me in any way whatsoever.

For Mother’s Day is, quite literally, a non event in my life.

I send nor receive gifts on this day unless you count the huge soggy fur ball I found in one of my slippers this morning, courtesy of one of my fluffy family (and I’m not talking about my rather hirsute sister).
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Back when I had a life, the penny only tended to drop when I couldn’t get a table at my favourite restaurant for Sunday lunch.  Damn those smug mommas and their guilt ridden offspring depriving me of my roast beef with all the trimmings with their once-a-year token gestures!

The other common ‘tell’ was the unavailability of my friends on that day, as they either had a mum to visit, kids to treat them, or some are lucky enough to have both.

And of course, it’s hard to miss it completely when the shops are literally bulging with cards, roses, chocolates and teddies (what grown woman wants a teddy?!), but fortunately for me, the only parent in my life is the ‘Good Parent’, that oh so familiar PAC model that I’m meant to invoke when I’m being shit to myself, and she/he don’t deserve nuffin as I rarely see even them anyway.

When I was a kid though, I was usually coerced into schlepping down to the newsagents for some Milk Tray for my darling maman regardless, as you did as you were told or got a clip around the earhole for insubordination if you stepped out of line in our house.

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At the time, I remember some warbling, simpering brat called Neil Reid brought out a diabetes inducing, nauseatingly sentimental single entitled ‘Mother of Mine’ which made me want to honk up my Weetabix every time it came on the radio or Top of the Pops.

Allow me to share some of the lyrics with you:

“Mother of mine, you gave to meee

All of my life, to do as I please

I owe everything I have to you

Mother, sweet Mother of mine”

I have spared you the pain of listening to it by not uploading the song, but I’m sure it can be found on YouTube if you want the ultimate earworm de jour ringing in your pinna.

Suffice to say, little Neil and I did not share the same idyllic childhood.

So why do I feel so sad today?  Where is my usual indifference?

Whilst I can’t be sure, I strongly suspect BBC2’s showing of ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ last night may have struck a cord.   Great timing Auntie Beeb, you soppy, sentimental old harridan you…

Not, can I stress, that I totally relate to the Kevin character, as I have yet to be seen running around sarf London terrorising my neighbours with a crossbow, poison tipped arrows and the ‘Robin Hood’ theme tune pumping into my iPod headphones.

But I strongly suspect that the character’s earlier years mirror mine.

I don’t think I was as horrendous a brat as little shark eyed Kev, but I must have been bad enough for her to dislike me so.

I know I could have been cold, aloof and when pushed hard enough, I could transform passive aggression into a war like art form.

Because as a kid in 1960’s/70’s working class Britain, that was your only weapon, unless you wanted a good hiding.

But I wasn’t as good at it as Kev.  Yes, I think we did the ‘tit for tat’, ‘who can hurt who the most’ thing.  But I was only a kid.  And it hurt.   I hurt.  She had the power, and she knew it.

But as a adult AND my mother, she should have known better.

But maybe she couldn’t help it.  And maybe she loved me deep down, even if she never liked me and hated me sometimes.

I think the hardest thing of all is to admit that there were some good times, which I choose to block out, such is my bitterness and desire to allocate blame, so I can’t paint her as a total demon.

I just have to think hard about what they were.

Once upon a time, on Mother’s Days past, I used to try and be how she wanted me to be so that, dead or alive, she might like me more.  I’d not swear for the day, be ‘ladylike’ (whatever that means), not get into arguments and think about how to be a better person.

The irony that I’m trying to do this now via this ‘no holds barred’, profane, gut spilling on line blog/diary is not lost on me at all.

But I am praying again.

Perhaps not in the way that you would like or appreciate Mum, but hell you can’t have everything, woman!  As Popeye once said  ‘I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam, and whilst I was never your cup of cha, and I am open to evolving and hopefully finding out what the fuck, sorry, hell God put me here for, I cannot and will not be anything other than 100% authentically myself.

There is much healing to be done here, and I very much doubt it will all be worked out today, but in the spirit of Mother’s Day, I will tell you at least 10 THINGS I liked about my Mum

1.  She was a great cook and made sure we were well fed

2.  She used to let me put her curlers in and do her hair sometimes

3.  We watched black and white movies together.  Usually tear jerkers.  In retrospect, I have no doubt in my mind that she, like me, was depressive

4.  She taught me to make Sunday lunch

5.  She loved animals and animals loved her

6.  She rarely drank and was hilarious when she got tipsy on ONE half of shandy.  Even I’m not that much of a lightweight.

7.  She’d give the dog a toffee so she could laugh her ass off at him trying to lick it off his teeth

8.  I think she once told me I had pretty hair

Shit.  I’m struggling now.

9.  Whilst usually passive, she would occasionally put my Dad right back in his place when he pissed her off enough

10. She once stood and watched me as I slept and leant over to stroke my face.  She must have just found out that she didn’t have long to live.  Typical me, even as I slumbered, I consciously, deliberately turned my face away.

I wish I hadn’t now.

She must have been so afraid.  But I didn’t know or wouldn’t believe she was dying.  I can’t remember which.

The day before she died, I walked to the hospital to visit her, and as all mums do, she clutched at my hands and fussed and berated me for not wearing enough clothes (‘yawn’ thought belligerent teenager moi), and pleaded with me to wrap up warm in future.

I never saw her again.

And on the day she died, I felt like my heart had been ripped out.

I think my mum, like Eva, tried harder with me when I was older, but by then, like Kevin, the damage was done.

What hell it is not to be loved for who you are.

What hell it must have been to not love your offspring.

Mum, wherever you are, I never stopped loving you and I forgive you for being who you were and that you tried to love me as much as my sister.

Anyway you have to admit, I could have been a whole lot worse than I was, and lets face it, if Eva and Kevin can hug it out after everything that transpired between them, maybe there’s hope for us when our paths cross again.

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Happy Mother’s Day xx

P.S.  If ‘wrapping up warm’ was an Olympic event, I’d have a glass case of gold medals by now.  No one does it better.

 

 

A SINNERS PRAYER AKA CHOOSING MY RELIGION

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After decades without owning one, I have recently acquired a rosary.

I had subconsciously been looking for one for about a year, but whilst I wandering through famous cathedrals and churches, checked out websites and eBay, I never really saw anything beautiful that I connected with.

Then last week I did.

And it was lovely.

Not your average, conventional Catholic format though.  Until the other day it didn’t even have a crucifix attached.  I still loved how it looked, but it didn’t seem right without one, so the guy who made it for me sent me a matching cross to add, gratis, bless his heart.

Now it looks perfect.

I pick it up and admire it all the time.  Pinch the cruciforms.  Run the cool, dappled stones through my fingers.  Ball it in my hand and press it close to my heart.

But I don’t know how to pray with it.

For someone who believes in a God, I’m certainly not great at having a dialogue with him/her/it.

It’s the same with meditation.  I own all the paraphernalia but in reality I’m full of shit.

As with many things I talk the talk, but cannot bring myself to walk the walk.

Conventional Christians please look away now, because I don’t want to offend you!

When I was a kid, we were taught to pray as a duty and/or a penance, so it was never a pleasure or a respite from the world let alone a dialogue with the Almighty.   We just babbled words parrot fashion under the steely eye of some embattled, bitter old bag of a nun who you knew was just itching for you to laugh, so that she could give you a smack upside the head.  Not that it stopped us.  I was bored.  An hour or so is a long time for a kid to keep quiet whilst standing up, sitting down, kneeling down intermittently, and I lost count of how many times me and my friend were kicked out of mass for tittering away at some pompous, holier than thou twat or other, posturing in the pews.

I also have to say that, back in the day, I never ever felt the presence of God in church.  But in all fairness, it’s not like we were properly introduced.  It was all about us being unworthy, lowly sinners, who had to bow and scrape, kneel down on the cold floor and try and keep our bony little arses still on that slippery, artfully cheek numbing bench to make up for JC being nailed to the cross because we were such rubbish human beings.

No one explained the prayers to us, what the words meant let alone assuring us that we were allowed to have a direct relationship with God.  I mean, c’mon, how would a working class, snot nosed little scrap like me know what ‘fruit of thy womb’ meant?  No one would have told us what a womb was, because that was to do with ‘the facts of life’ (said in hushed tones in case a passing penis might overhear), and even if we knew, what had fruit to do with it?!  I don’t even think our parents understood either.  We might as well have been reciting the phone book.

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So when the day came that I was old enough to rebel, I immediately refused to go to mass.  My father had never gone, my brother was let off the hook a few week prior, so there was no way I was going to go back.  As far as I was concerned, my local church was largely populated with nasty, small minded hypocrites that bitched/gossiped about/hit one another 6 days a week, then on the 7th rocked up clutching their plastic beads, faces devoid of make up (unless it was disguising a pending black eye), every trace of the booze they had swigged at the pub the night before ruthlessly erased by toothpaste, beaming with holiness, all sweetness and light, simpering away in front of the priest.  As for him (the priest that is, not God) if he was so frigging holy, how come he didn’t spot them a mile off and pull them up about it?

Religion?  You could keep it.

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Yes, even at that age, I was a judgemental little mare. 🙂

It took me some years to realise that religion and God were two very separate entities indeed.

Hence here I am, with my rosary and no instructions manual.

And I doubt I can do the old Hail Mary/Our Father routine.  I think both of them know what and where they are so they don’t need me to keep banging on about it.

And am I meant to kneel like I used to?

It’s a mystery.

I think I’m going to have to make up my own words and routine.

The last time I was faced with the prospect of writing my own prayer was when I was doing the Artists Way last year and I found it too cringy to even contemplate, but here we are again, and this time there’s no avoiding it.

So I will do it.

But not now.

As Meatloaf once said, with a sweaty passion, quite inappropriate for this subject matter, ‘Let me sleep on it, Baby, Baby, let me sleep on it’.

I’ll give it a go in the morning.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share this superb version of the ‘Sinners Prayer’ by BB King and Ray Charles, when they cry out to the Lord because they are down on their luck, and apologise for any wrong doing because they want to be in the money again.

Shallow, yes? But hell, unlike some of the mealy mouthed, sycophantic wankers I once shared a pew with, a least they’re being honest.

As will I.  Because now I get to choose how I conduct my spiritual life.

Enjoy!

And pray for me and my prayer.

If you know what I mean.

Namaste x

EAR WORM No. 19 – Slow Moving Millie – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET ME GET WHAT I WANT

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Haven’t had a dream in a long time….

A game of two halves.  That was yesterday.

Another pointless visit to Dr B, asking where the hell the cavalry is, after being left for over three months in personality disorder limbo.  She’s as frustrated as I am.

Then a meeting with someone who could find me work in the future for BEING MYSELF.

Kind of.

It’s a long shot, I won’t deny it.  This company are much sought out, specialist in their area of business and they have seen thousands of people in the last few days.  And even if they take me on, there’ll be a financial outlay, and I wouldn’t be guaranteed work, consistent or otherwise.

I think they liked me.

I made them laugh.

It’s still a long shot.

My dreams aren’t like the dreams of others.  I don’t want or expect fame, fast cars, a stunning husband, a holiday home in the Maldives or millions in the bank.

I just want to find a way forward to living the rest of my life authentically, healthily and safely, fully realised, instead of working for the man, playing the game, lying, manipulating and posturing, pretending to be ‘normal’ whilst my soul shrivels and dies, or just existing, scraping by, living hand to mouth and waiting for the hammer to fall.

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I sometimes hate hope so much more than hopelessness.  But in this case, I can’t douse this tiny persistent flame in my heart.

So God, if you’re listening, I don’t ask you for much.

But please, please, please?  Let me get what I want.

This time.