Phoenix Fights

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



I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself tonight, and it’s ages since I did a Pity Party number, so here’s a bit of Cilla for you, singing the wonderful Burt Bacharach’s beautifully poignant ‘Alfie’

What’s it all about? 50 odd years on I’m none the wiser, let’s hope you are and you have enough love in your life to sustain you through the dark days and lonely nights x





If you really love someone, you want the very best for them.


I’m starting to realise why staying off Facefuck was no real hardship whatsoever.

Today is not a good day.  My neck is stiff.  I’m bloated.  Everything has gone quiet on the work front.  I’ve just paid a humungous bill and am very worried about money.

And someone who once was a close friend of mine is getting married next month.

I used to be her confidante in another life, and she, to a certain degree was mine.  But Beth, like many others (and let’s face it, like me), thought that my illness would magically disappear the minute I left the corporate world, and when she for the first time saw me, not even at my worse, but not a well bunny, she essentially bailed on me.

At the time, that hurt a lot.  And whilst she laid low for a long time after, I no doubt communicated my anger and disappointment to her telepathically, lest she think I didn’t mind.


i can do that y’know.  I know!  It’s a gift… 😉

In the year or so that has passed, we have made a number of half assed attempts to meet up, me being reluctant to see her because I was afraid of losing it with her, and she no doubt anticipated this, because each and every time she organised something, she cancelled on me, and each and every time was a sharp, rusty spur in my already severely lacerated heart.


I’m not angry with her anymore though, and in many ways I don’t blame her.  We have always been frank and intimate in our conversations in the past, and it would be hard, insurmountable even, to have to default to small talk as a means to avoiding the massive, cranky, marauding elephant that would plonk it’s arse down between us and trumpet deafeningly in our ears:

“Well?  Are you gonna talk about it?  You can’t not, can you?!”

“She,” it would say, pointing it’s trunk at Bethanny, “pretty much abandoned you, just when you needed her most.  You asked for the tiniest thing and she bolted like Sea Biscuit on speed in the opposite direction…aren’t you pissed off about that?”

“…and she”, turning on me now, the buck toothed bastard, “is even madder than you, is a total embarrassment and anyone hanging out with her will be found guilty by association, so no wonder you legged it!”


Ordinarily I would have no problem with pointing out the intrusive, fat fucker and discussing it till the cows come home, but the stumbling block would be that I strongly sense that Beth wouldn’t.

I think she feels bad for what she did or rather didn’t do, remembers the formidable, accusary Sista that would want to cut through that steaming pile of jumboshit and have it out with her.  This would be something that she would not be prepared to endure and therefore the least painful/intimidating option was probably to slate me to all our acquaintances for not being right in the head, going to ground and use that as a reason that we no longer see one another.

And, given that she is lovely, popular and ‘normal’ (and that I’m not in touch with any of them) they will have believed her.

So we stay estranged.

And never the twain shall meet.  And as sad as I am about that, I’m no longer angry and have left her be.   That said, I do wonder if she messes me around in order to get my attention.

Maybe she’s angry with me for not trying harder.  But I’ve had bigger sharks to fry.

But it’s not only Beth’s recent status that has upset me.  Or the bling on her finger.  Or the million and one friends (my ex friends included) that love her and are cooing and whooping at her glad tidings as we speak.

Indeed I was one of them myself.

It’s bearing witness to the hundreds, nay thousands of them and others that are living happy, successful, selfie/’like’/friend filled lives without me, as being able to witness their triumphs only serves to highlight the pointlessness of my own miserable existence.

Of course, intellectually I know that not everyone’s live is as peachy as they would have you believe on Facebook.  But when I’m having an off day like this, it all sound seriously idyllic and convincing to me.

And in my heart I’m truly happy that things are going well for her, and she has outgrown her self destructive tendencies and proclivity for colossally arrogant, misogynistic, self serving arseholes and has found a nice guy to spend her life with.  He looks like an absolute sweetheart.  I’m just sad that we’re such different people now, and that we’ve clearly outgrown one another.

And pretty soon, our weary old elephant will get up, fart in disgust, swish it’s weedy little tail and slowly walk away.

For the record, I’m glad I’ve changed, painful though the road has been.

I do miss Beth though.

Just not as much as I miss the positive, self righteous force that was my anger.

Sadness is so much harder to bear.

Namaste x






You might remember that business opportunity I was given a week or so ago?

Well I decided to go for it.  Prepped up my little kitchen, went to the cash and carry, spent an entire day baking goodies, bagging up treats and digging out items to decorate our stall and barely took a minute to eat, or more importantly, drink anything, then packed up my car with delicious things, had a bath and a nice glass of red wine to ensure a good night sleep to prepare me for the early start and busy day the next morning.

Unfortunately for me it didn’t quite work out that way.

Most of you know that whilst I’m not a big drinker, I haven’t totally eschewed drinking alcohol on top of my meds, and I generally get away with it.

This night I didn’t.  I can only assume that I was totally dehydrated, as the wine clashed horribly with my medication and I spent the whole night having crazy trippy dreams.

I won’t go into too much detail as I know how boring other people’s dreams tend to be, but I promise you, this was anything but boring. The overlying theme was my being worried about sleeping through my alarm and I kept finding myself in strange landscapes with strange people, trying to find my way home before the alarm went off.  The dream also featured me in various states of undress, insects that stung and laid their eggs on me and when I pulled out the stinger, whole grubs and bugs would ooze out and rapidly be replaced by others, all strung together, Lionel Blair, of all people, kept saying strange things to me, I couldn’t snap the string, I wandered from bus stop to train station, there was a weird keening in the background, and then an eerie cat, who turned out to be a real cat, my Dexter, woke me up glowing fuzzy and green in the dark.  Then I fell asleep again and when I woke up the next time the alarm had gone off and I felt like total dog shit.


I tried to get out of bed and was nearly sick, and when I closed my eyes again, Lionel was back grinning maniacally saying ‘It’s the schtick.  The SCHTICK’ like a mentalist again, so suffice to say, I didn’t trust myself to drive, let alone work on a market stall, so in the end, I had to let down my friends, and bail.

To say I was devastated was an understatement.

How unlucky can one person get?

I had rung in sick in my last job so many times, that the sense of failure from having to do it for something I genuinely wanted to do for a living came flying back in glorious technicolour.  Plus I had let down my friends, and what the hell was I going to do with all the food?

Then I remembered that later that afternoon I had to go and talk to someone about claiming benefits as my financial situation is getting quite scary, and I thought I maybe I had found meaning in what had happened.

Maybe I wasn’t meant to start trading until after my therapy?

Mind you, if this was a message from God/Buddha/the Universe/Frith, I’d much sooner they’d told me about it before Id wasted shitloads of money, and baked up a storm, but no matter, I’ll take what i can get, I suppose.

So, come 4pm a very wan, shaky moi headed off to the advice centre armed with a load of paperwork, a bottle of water and a banana cake.  If nothing else, someone was going to enjoy the fruits of my labour and as it turned out, my volunteer Nadia was extremely chuffed to receive my RAK thank you gift too.

And whilst it makes sense for me to claim something (I’ve worked and paid taxes since i was 16 so I’m hardly a benefits scrounger) while I’m getting therapy, it was still disheartening to even consider it, so I went home tired, cakeless, and even though I’d made someone’s day, pretty downhearted.

I then received a text reminding me that I was going to see the movie ‘Gravity’ with my friend Adam that night.

In 3d.  Oh God.

The tickets were already bought, plus it was an early birthday present so I had to go, but believe me, I still felt very spaced out (pardon the pun) and probably wouldn’t even need the special glasses.

The movie, it has to be said, was amazing, especially as at times I actually felt like I was in it, with the added disadvantage of being able to empathise whole heartedly with Sandra Bullock’s character’s space sickness, as I probably felt worse than she did.  I also had to close my eyes in parts and flinched as missiles flew past my beleaguered head wishing fervently that I was at home in my bed, but I survived.

Or thought I had, as when i got home, I felt the onset of one of my mega migraine attacks, and couldn’t take drugs as I was scared of tripping again.

And when it kicked in i remember whining pathetically to God ‘You’re just a big bully!  What the fuck did I ever do to you?’

But when the pain got too much, I thought sod it, and took a Migraleve.  What the hell, it was just a mad dream, and the better of two very unpleasant evils.

Except this time the dream was extremely unpleasant.

I was back in an even more hellish version of my previous job were I was trapped in the building, everyone blatantly hated me, everyone was out to get me and my boss presided over and pushed me toward a variety of tortures and humiliations, none of which I could escape from.

Jesus Christ, I left that job 18 MONTHS AGO!  I’m OVER this!  I’ve even forgiven them, well kind of.

Why won’t it go away?

Then at around 3am, just to enhance the experience, my cats decided to play ‘Murder in the dark’.



Then the scariest thing of all suddenly hit me.

What if all of this is random? What if there is no meaning to any of it?

What if there is no God, or if there is, he/she doesn’t give a shit and we’re all just ants at his/her sandalled feet, seconds away from being trampled on?

Or maybe all of this navel gazing has accelerated all of my bad karma, and 2014 is my Chinese Year of the Vengeful Payback Dragon from HELL?

I fell back into an uneasy, but thankfully dreamless sleep, woke at 10am bruised, sore and absolutely exhausted and staggered out to the kitchen with my sunglasses on to feed the cats and put the kettle on.

Then when I took them off and open the curtains, I realised that the agony had stopped.

And I was grateful.

But as far as figuring everything out, I don’t want to think about anything today.

This is the support I get, God, for taking a leap of faith and trying to get back on my feet? I get sabotaged?

I doubt you exist anyway, I might as well be trying to communicate with El-ahrairah, the Singing Ringing Tree or the Man in the frigging Moon, and if you do exist, you’re a mean, cruel arse and I’m not talking to you.

Right now, all I believe in is the mug in my hand, the cats at my feet and the mattress under my bum.  At least it hasn’t let me down.


But at least it’s here and I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.




It’s the last day full day at the retreat today, and I feel a combination of sadness, relief and a deep, fundamental dissatisfaction, as whilst my yoga has improved and my passion for it reawakened, my fears of mixing with people I didn’t know for a week and not fitting in were well and truly founded, so I am not, as I hoped I’d be, reassured that I am ready to venture out into the big wide world as a fully socialised adult again.

It’s not the retreat owner’s fault though.  

I mean they didn’t advertising, ‘yoga, meditation, great food and a chance to make your nutty self more acceptable to a broader section of society’, did they?’

I’m ready to go home. 

But I’ll so miss this beautiful place, the yoga, my teacher, my sadistic masseur and the resident retreat cat who has stepped into the shoes, sorry, paws of my boys whilst I’ve been here and always comes by to yowl a greeting and get his daily cuddle.  I may keep in touch with one or two of the other guests, but long term it’s unlikely, and I feel myself detaching more and more from them, even my bathroom/toilet sharing neighbour.

Any chance of making friendships for live is now pretty much over.

That’s another thing I won’t miss; the food.  It is delicious and ‘healthy’ in it’s way but they serve way too much of it, and I feel a bit like a foie gras goose whose liver is about to explode.  My jeans are tourniquet tight, and I have a dimply, porridgy muffin top, so I’ll be back on animal flesh, wine and bread when I get home as I want my figure back, plus it will be great to stop pooing all the time!

Nor will I miss those creepy dreams of the ole Ginger Minger, have yet to figure out what that is all about.

The majority of us stay around the pool for the day, hoping to make the most of the sunshine before going home, but clouds are never far away and a sense of unease breaks out as we all give up the ghost and head off to our rooms to start our packing so that we just have to shove in today’s clothes before heading off to the airport in the morning.

The last big hurdle I have to tackle before heading back to Blighty is the looming threat of a bit of Ecstatic Dancing as a last night send off.  

There is no getting out of this one, as (a) I’d suggested it to the Manager (on arrival, when I thought I might make ‘friends’ to play with – ha!), (b) she’d gone out of her way to set it up, (c) it’s now being hailed as the highlight of the evening, so like it or not I was going to have to get my groove on tonight.

Before that though, was the Last Supper.

I’d told myself this morning that I’d only eat half of whatever was served tonight, so that I could give my poor old guts a break, but when it came to it, it looked so delicious, and it was our last proper meal, so I end up scoffing it all down and ended up with a nice big ‘post Christmas Dinner’ sized belly full of impacted mulch, so couldn’t wait for things to get started so I could swing my pants!

Not.  😦

And when the time came, I shamefully slope off to my room to ‘change my shoes’, but our teacher, sensing passive rebellion touched my arm gently and assured me that she’d wait for me before starting so the die was cast.

Whilst there was no one I was really close enough to enjoy bouncing around like a twat with, thankful we put in place a ‘no cameras’ rule, the room was pretty dark so I thought sod it, threw caution to the wind and went for it.

And it was fun!

Unlike that New Moon thingy I went to, the music was well chosen, great to dance to, and soon everyone was getting down with their bad selves.  Miss NFEFM (see yesterday’s post) was predictably the biggest show off of all, but it was so dark even she shelved behaving like a dick after 10 minutes or so, and I soon managed to lose myself in the music and even exchanged smiles with some of the others as we flitted passed each another on the dance floor.

Ironically, what enabled me to do this was my ‘fuck ‘em, I don’t care’ attitude, and for their part I don’t think they’d ever seen me so animated for the entire holiday.  Most of them were 5 rhythms virgins, and it was a pleasure to see them lose their initial inhibitions and really get into it.


We prance around, whooped, swung, pirouetted and cheered, and finally the music went into stillness when we curled up on the floor, or stood swaying, chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya’.

And as the chant penetrated my psyche the meaning rang true, that true consciousness dwells in us all; I am them, they are me and there is more that binds than separates us and I should see God within them and not fight it or judge them so much.

Or anyone for that matter.

As the music ended, we all got to our feet and a couple of them ran over to thank me for suggesting the activity and said how much they had enjoyed themselves.

I was elated that we had finally connected in some way.  

Perhaps some of us will become and remain friends beyond these walls?

‘I did feel a bit stupid at first’ one of the more prim, proper girls confessed, ‘but it’s the last day and no one was looking at me anyway!’

‘Exactly!’ I enthused, ‘And the best part of it is that it doesn’t matter anyway as you never have to see any of these people ever again!’

Stunned silence slipped into the atmosphere like an anchor into a cold, dark sea…..


Think I pretty much killed that moment…..

Their faces are a picture and I almost get the giggles, but you know what?

I might have been clumsy, tactless or whatever, but I had spoken my truth, and had not meant to deliberately hurt anyone.

So I brazened it out, laughed it off in their cold faces, bid goodbye to my wonderful yoga teacher and headed off to bed.

You think it’s all over?

Yup, me too….

Onwards and upwards.

Bags packed.

Sleep in, then only breakfast, then taxi to the airport and journey home to get through.

Bring it on.

Namaste x








So…I didn’t get the abuse helpline job.

As you can imagine, I was pretty disappointed, so I asked for some feedback.

You can guess what they said can’t you?

Yup, that’s right, they were concerned as to whether I would be able to cope with such calls, given that I suffer from depression.

And I understand, I really do.  I even hesitated to be up front with them about it, but thought I should be honest and forthright given the nature of the role.

It….well….it just seemed so right for me somehow.  I have so much love and help to give, and I don’t want to die with it all still lodged here untapped inside me, so if I can stop others  from letting pain, anger and fear blight their lives, I want to find a way to do it.

But maybe emotional intelligence, experience of the same kind of abuse and the desire to help really isn’t enough in this instance.  I know the person interviewing me liked me, so I just have to believe and trust that she’s turning me down for my own good.

So much for ‘Ta da!’.  Not a happy wabbit right now.  😦

The question is, moving forward, when it comes to other interviews, both as a volunteer and/or for paid work, should I be as ‘me’ as I was last time?

In other words, should I always be up front about my condition if/when appropriate or necessary?

If I was going back into a corporate environment (that’s a ‘Hell-to-the-No!’ as things stand, by the way) there is no way I’d ‘expose my child’, as Aunty C would say, to anyone in that world again under any circumstances, but I have another volunteer opportunity coming up (which isn’t anything like as heavy as the one I’ve been turned down for) and if asked, should I be transparent with them?

Fellow fruitcakes who follow this blog (and you know that I use this term as a compliment and with love), what do you think?  What have you done in the past, and what would you do in my position right now?

In the meantime, there are far worse things happening in the world than my little disappointment, plus there is a big slice of plum crumble cake with my name on it, which I’ll have with a big mug of tea, which is far better than 70cl of neat gin, doncha think? 😉

Let’s hope God has something else in store for me with regard to my making a difference in this world…..

Namaste x

P.S.  BTW I’m keeping the TK Maxx shopping, OK?!




What’s she got that I have not?

Well, as It turns out, quite a lot….


A past to envy

So filled with love

Not one you’d write a shit memoir of

Mum and Dad and siblings all smiling

Mine were somewhat less beguiling

God could not have smiled upon you more

You lucky, plucky girl next door


A popular kid

With lots of mates

Not the geek in the corner that everyone hates

A straight A student, the world at her feet

No reason to sweat, or fret or cheat

Parties, and ponies and school trips galore

Nothing’s too good for the sweet girl next door


A career to envy

Opportunities knocked

When every road I e’er travelled was blocked

Always the right place, always on time

A knack, as it happens, that never was mine

Just a smile to beguile and they could not ignore

That charming, disarming, girl from next door


And her good looks meant she had plenty of dates

But she never gave anyone reason to hate

Girls want to be like her, men want her so bad

To their mums she’s the daughter that they never had

A leader, a breeder, could you ever want more?

That moreish, non whoreish, girl next door


And given that she was so generously blessed

I’m guessing she’s never, ever depressed

So, sane as well as being a looker

Not a seething, fucked up, dark pressure cooker

Always happy, life’s never a chore

For that chirpy, perky, girl from next door


So how do I know that all this is true?

Well I saw a filmed tribute created by you

So now to my cost, I know the attraction

Is not just a result of a physical reaction


And hard as it was for me to sit there and stick

And watching it did make me feel kind of sick

I endured till the end, and to no real surprise

I finally saw her through your big brown eyes

And I had to admit, to my dismay

I’d want her too, if I happened to be gay


I still don’t know how it came to be

That she is she, and I am me

To God I cried out to, in my despair

‘How is this really even fair?’


‘Had I had her life

Supportive and kind

Would love, kids and happiness now be mine?

Would I be in the arms of a loving man

Who would do for me the best that he can

Would he gaze at ME with love and wonder

And let no woman put asunder?’


But God stays silent

God answers not

God doesn’t seem to care a jot

That it would been much better for me

Had she been I, and I been she


So I’ll move on

What else can I do?

There is just no use talking to

A Father that I could hold dear

If he stopped pretending not to hear


So I’ll close this book

I’ll shut this door

There isn’t anything to fight for

But one thing I now understand

I have no doubt that God’s a man