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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2015 – THE YEAR OF ‘GET HAPPY’

happy_new_year_2015_champagne

Here we are again.  Another year nearly over.

And whilst looking back to December 2013, and acknowledging that things seem to have gotten worse, I no longer have the expectation that making a list of New Year Resolutions to work through and tick off is an appropriate strategy for someone with EUPD, or indeed any kind of mental illness.

Human beings in general, let alone us crazies, are much more complicated than that, otherwise there’d be no such thing as irrational phobias and fears, unhealthy addictions would not supersede our higher selves and ALL diets and fitness training plans would work because we would apply ourselves to them without question.

So there you go. BUT, as I’ve bored you all year with my pain, failures and woes to date, I’m actually going to try and focus on the positive and try NOT SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE!

So what was good about 2014?

WORK

I’ve done some successful bits of work in the last year and have even been in the papers, so I should give myself a pat on the back there.  I dabbled in a baking business, and maybe gave up a tad too soon, so perhaps that is something to revisit come 2015.

FRIENDS/FAMILY/LOVED ONES

I can count the number of people I can rely on on one hand, but I am learning to manage my expectations with regard to the others.  Making friends isn’t a problem for me.  When I’m in fun mode, I attract people to me, no doubt about it. Keeping them is.

I think I’m getting better at it.

SELF ACCEPTANCE

Whilst I still can’t say I like my appearance I think I am learning to accept the way I look, the ageing process and other things about myself.  The other day I was subjected to a barrage of romantic intent (see DATING/SEX) AND I looked like cack as I barely had any make up on so maybe it’s not all about having the perfect nose, a botoxed brow and perky titties?

DATING/SEX

Danny-Dyer-deviation

I’m still a born again virgin (coming up for 4 – 5 years now – practically healed up), but whilst doing some volunteer work I was heavily pursued by a big hairy, lairy dude, who kept calling me his new wife, bringing me bottles of water and little treats all day.  And whilst he’s not really my type, is barely literate AND smokes, I was pathetically enchanted by these crude overtures, and that he kept calling me ‘Princess’ and ‘Treacle’ in a very butch cockney accent.

Ludicrous really.  I’m embarrassed for myself.

I wonder if God has figured out yet that our hormones and genitalia are seriously unreliable when choosing one’s mate? Because it also turns out that he’s not as strong as he appears and could be quite vulnerable beneath that brash exterior.

Great.  Just great.  Another casualty of war. 😦

BUT we’re still chatting and I’m going to try and not be too judgemental.

PHYSICAL HEALTH

I am in pretty good shape really, considering that I neglect and test my poor old carcass with daily mistreatment, so if I start to look after myself better in 2015, it can only improve. Right?

Plus I’m still working on my…

ANGER

….and working out helps tamp my temper down.  Look, anger is at the heart of me.  I haven’t figured out why, or why it’s so all encompassing, but I’m a whole lot better at controlling it nowadays. Despite the fact I screamed abuse at a call centre worker only this very morning, because they’d pushed my patience to the very edge.  Yet again.

Ahem…this is a work in progress y’know?

FINANCES

I lived off one years money for nearly two and a half years, so I don’t need to earn as much as I did in order to survive.  Good news right?  Except I don’t just want to survive anymore.  I want to LIVE more fully and have some fucking….

FUN WITH FRIENDS

….so I do need a swift and steady cash injection in order to participate fully.

I’m also trying really hard to find ‘fun’ friends as per Aunty C’s instructions, but need to figure out what I’m putting out that attracts the walking wounded to me, and how to change that frequency.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all my friends, and empathise fully with my fellow casualties, but sometimes feel a bit like Jack Dawson, as I attempt to clamber on board a bit of raft in order to save myself, but keep finding people who need/deserve it more that keep dragging me off, so I just go along with it instead of piping up ‘Budge your fat ass over Rose, you selfish bitch, before my dick falls off, and then I can get us both some help!’

FILM: Titanic (1997), with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson and

After all, like all the airline flight attendants inform us when we’re busy browsing our Duty Free pamphlets whilst lingering on the tarmac, in an emergency, we have to give ourselves oxygen first in order to survive long enough to save our vulnerable, so could someone please tell me where all the fun people are?!

AirplaneOxygenMasks-1161

Or is it my duty to fix the weak ones before I can move on?  All very confusing really, but I’m going to try and do a bit of both, that’s fair isn’t it?

GOALS

I have goals.  Yes I do.  I’m just not going to look at them too closely as there is no surety or clear path for me right now and that’s pretty scary, plus I know my inner saboteur will put on my Doc Martens and stamp the shit out of them. This I have been proving for two years now.  My inner sab can turn the most enjoyable thing into a chore in my mind, so I’m keeping stuff under my hat for now.

Ssshhhh…

FORGIVENESS

I’m a whole lot better at this nowadays too.  Maybe hard times do make one into a better person. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments of ‘Fuck them’ and the desire to block people out of my life still seems to be my psyche’s knee jerk reflex of choice, but this is all becoming all the more obvious to me, because of my group….

THERAPY

Gawd.  This has been hard, continues to be hard and I have no idea if I’m going to be able to stay in London in order to complete it, but it’s been a fucking education to date.  Not necessarily because of the specific discipline, or because I rate the shrinks, but seeing your shit reenacted by others is beyond cringeworthy which impels one to do better with regard to certain kinds of behaviours.

I still don’t think it’s a good idea to get too friendly with my group fellows, nor do I like all of them, but they are some of the  best teachers I’ve ever had and I can only applaud and appreciate them for their presence, and be as kind as i can to all of us as the process continues.

Right at this moment in time, I should be very worried and uncertain, but I am starting to realise that hiding away and settling with survival does not a positive life make. So whilst on paper, I have very little reason to be confident and excited about the year ahead, I’m going to try and be happy and get out there and see what I can achieve for myself. This is of course, no easy feat and there will be plenty of times that I’ll be back in my pit of despair, but I’m going to try and control my mind a little more, make positive affirmations and at least try and see if it has any affect.

I’ve been OK over the seasonal period and survived it, but that says it all really.

That word again.

Oddly enough the thing I enjoyed most over the last week or so was the charity work, grafting flat out for a common goal.  And yes, I suppose the little flirtation and attention I got kinda upped the ante a little too. But it’s important for me to recognise and record the times and things that have made me happy or contented in the past.

Such as:

Working as a team with fun people.

Horse riding in the Spanish mountains.

Being around animals.

Getting praise for things I have done.

Being accepted.

Nurturing and being nurtured.

Getting attention from the opposite sex.

Had to note down that last one, as I’d much sooner ignore it.

AND I MUSTN’T IGNORE IT!

Because maybe there is someone out there who I can be around who’ll add value to my life.

Re New Year’s Eve, I’m actually not going out tonight, because there was nothing very interesting happening, but I think this is a positive thing, as there is no act more lonely than to hurl yourself out of the door and attach yourself to someone, anyone, rather than be alone at the stroke of midnight.

And it’s not like I haven’t been here before, and only good things came out of that.  Like this blog! 🙂

Thank you to all of you for your friendship and continual support.

I’ll keep on keepin’ on and hope you do too.

Happy 2015!

Love and kisses Sista xxx

2014-12-28-1746_54a033cce087c341a3941537 https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/last-flight-update-2013-back-on-the-tarmac/


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EAR WORM No. 22 – Elvis Costello – EVERYDAY I READ THE BOOK #BPD

Whilst not everything has gone right for me of late, I had a really good day on an unpaid job the other day.  I was able to laugh, clown, bond and banter and at the end of the day I was besieged by Facebook friend requests.  Well about ten, but that’s a lot for me!

As always I seem to find that by being someone else, I get to show my best/true nature, contradictory and mad as that seems.

Then I had dinner with a friend that I wasn’t sure I could be around, but lo and behold, we had a really nice time!

But as surely as night follows day, this halcyon period of normality is swiftly followed by a disgusting bout of sabotage and self destruction, and it’s almost like part of me can’t possibly allow someone as undeserving as me to keep up the momentum and stay on the straight and narrow.

So, I’ve decided to try and replicate what I did in Lent (i.e. stay off sugar/alcohol and work out more), plus I’ve created a tick box of things I need to do everyday in order to try and help me be nicer to myself and progress in areas I’m neglecting.

Healthy heart check list

This includes cutting losing myself in TV 24/7 and instead, reading that Schema Therapy book (Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey E Young) and wherever possible, working through the exercises.

One hour in and I’m writing this instead.

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Whilst I’ve long recognised and understood a lot of where my shit comes from, and, on an intellectual level at least, understand what needs to be done to rectify it, I don’t like it reading this tome, much less anticipating doing these exercises with a bunch of strangers in September and I can feel a hot murky soup of unknown emotions bubbling ominously within me.

Urgh.

Actually I can name them.

Anger, fear, resentment, embarrassment, vulnerability, shame, despair.

There!  But I will finish the damn thing, maybe even by the end of the weekend.

I’m determined.  Otherwise how am I going to bring myself to even show up come therapy time?

I’m also being pushed by Aunty C to write some fiction, and I’ve promised her I’ll try again, but whether I stick to that one is anyone’s guess.  And when that day comes, I’ll be able to head up a post that reads ‘Everyday I WRITE the book’.

But in the meantime, I had to include this superb Elvis C track.

Why should you lot miss out because I’m a such a procrastinating wimp? 😉

Namaste x


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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.

cat_scratching_furniture

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 22 – A SONG THAT SOMEONE HAS SUNG TO ME

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I had to think very hard about this one…

As some of you may know, being HSP, along with a lot of other shit, I have a very low embarrassment tolerance and as a result of this, I’ve had a lot of songs sang at me, rather than to me.

Allow me to explain the difference.

When I was teenager, one of my biggest hates was seeing ‘old people’ (ha!) trying to be cool when, to my mind, they were NOT, so Saturday night TV in the 70’s was particularly painful viewing as people with prime time shows like Bruce Forsythe, Lulu and Cilla Black did just that every pigging week.

This came via a variety of mediums, such as by singing their own groovy theme tune (urgh), their own versions of chart hits (unforgivable) or, worse still, duetting live with said chart topper (NOOOO!), all accompanied by unnecessary ‘yeah’, ‘whoos’ and ‘baby’s and, of course, obligatory dad dancing.

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The memory still makes my scalp prickle. 😦

And at these times, I would try and disguise my acute discomfort, leave the room and lock myself in my room before anyone noticed, but my evil fucking sister would immediately tune into my agony, turn up the volume to max then chase me up the stairs, pass me, then block my bedroom door, singing along to the cringefest into whatever microphone-esque object was at hand, gyrating madly, as I fell to my knees, curling into a ball, fingers in my ears, howling ‘NO! Mum! Dad! TELL HER!’

She particularly liked doing this to the theme to a programme about the Guinness Book of Records which was utterly heinous, and I had to train myself to be out or locked way safe about five minutes before that programme started, such was my aversion to this innocent, happy ditty.

So much for ‘at‘.  I will spare you any video clips.

To‘ wasn’t much better. Being such a fucked up individual, unused to love, I have been unable to appreciate a lot of heartfelt, romantic gestures such as being serenaded without resorting self defeating tactics such as mockery, sniggering and jeering, so whilst I’m sure it happened more than once, my brain has, for once, saved me and locked such memories in that rusty old filing cabinet marked ‘Not to be opened under any circumstances whatsoever’.

But I see one dog eared old file that has slid out of the bottom file and onto the floor.

Erk.

On the plus side the song is ‘Moving‘ by the incomparable Kate Bush, which I love (along with the rest of ‘The Kick Inside’) but the memory of my second boyfriend singing it to me at intimate moments whilst gazing into my eyes (with emphasis on the line ‘Give me life, please don’t let me go’) still makes my bum hole clench with embarrassment.

In all fairness I don’t remember mocking him.

Much. 😉

But I do remember freezing, rictus grin on face and waiting agonisingly for it to be over.

Jaysus, and I wonder why I’m a spinster…

Sorry Steve, I hope your at home now with someone who appreciates your romantic soul so much more than I did…


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CHICKEN LICKEN V THE EASTER BUNNY

Road-Sign-with-Hope-and-Sky

OK, so a little door opened just a crack for me yesterday.

And for a moment I was thrilled, my heart filled with elation and I felt something almost akin to hope.

And then of course, my old mucker Fear decided to drop by and poke me in the solar plexus with a witchy gnarled up finger, reminding me just where Hope had gotten me in the past.

Because Hope, my friends, is so much more scary to me than Defeatism.

Defeatism always lives up to one’s expectations.  Hope, my dears, guarantees nothing and can take your hearts desire and hand it over to those biatches Failure, Disappointment, Humiliation and Despair who’ll kick it around whooping and jeering, stamp on it, then for their big finale, poo on it from a great height.

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Hence I’ve never really allowed myself to want something or someone too much, indeed I usually swiftly dismiss/reject it/them, so then I’m not putting my ass/ego on the line.

Next step up the corporate ladder?  “Nah, that would make me ‘one of them'”

Real/main reason?  ‘I might get busted and everyone will find out what a fake I am’

Maintaining a sex life?  “Can’t be bothered with all that malarky, life is much easier without the hassle of men!”

Real reason?  ‘I’m afraid plus I’m too old and don’t think I’m attractive enough to attract anyone anymore’

Handsome eligible man?  “Who, him?  Not my type, looks too conventional, plus he’s far too up himself”

Real/main reason?  ‘He wouldn’t touch me with a bargepole plus if he did he’d only two time and hurt me, so I’ll get in there first, and hopefully bruise his ego.  Result!’

Dream cottage in the country?  “There is too much going against it, and there are plans for a big factory being built in that area”

Real reason?  ‘It’s too much commitment/risk, what if I lose my job as I can’t keep this act up anymore?’ (ha, I was actually right about that one!)

So I’ve pretty much stayed stuck in one place for most of my life thanks for the fear of the worst case scenario, courtesy of the ‘Chicken Licken’ gene that programmes you to believe that disaster is just around the corner. Thanks for that one, Mum.

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But I’ve got a choice here; to go for it, or to continue to fester on the sofa until I have a fucking stroke, then die inch by inch in the most appalling way whilst my relatives fight over my belongings and my cats starve <See?!  Go away, Chicken Licken!>

It’s not like I don’t know how to fight for something but I only tend to come out punching when threatened and then I go crazy and annihilate people, so not the best use of courage, strength and ambition 😦

So as much as it scares me, and as much as I fear the outcome, I’m going to go for it.  Only one person knows about it, so only she will witness my humiliation if it all goes horribly wrong.  It’s going to take some work and some serious acting on my part, as this agency wants people who are, and I quote ‘comfortable in their skin’ (hilarious eh!), and physically fit to boot, but I need to get my ass in shape, and Lent starts tomorrow so this is the perfect time to prepare.

I applied for this thing with no hope of even getting a reply so whilst I’m trying not to see it as fate or apply any other meaning to it, it is without doubt an opportunity so I’m going to try and confine my clucky little pal to the freezer to devour on Easter Sunday and give it my best shot.

And if he scrabbles from under the ice cubes and frozen peas, gets out and starts squawking again?

I pray to Got that the Easter Bunny will sally forth to my rescue 🙂

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Gulp.

Wish me luck!

Namaste x


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MISSION ABORTED

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Today was my first day volunteering as a kitchen worker for a charity.

I’d requested a local branch, but the only post available was in town, so whilst inconvenient, I thought it would be alright.

You wouldn’t think it would take very long to get anywhere in London, would you, what with all the buses, trains, tubes and trams at our disposal would you?  

But I practically have to use pretty every mode of transport available to get to a tube, let alone to the venue, and yes, you’ve guessed it, I missed two buses and found myself, once again, tardy for the party.

And then the panic set in.

The shaking.

The dry mouth.

The heart palpitations.

The stomach churning with fear.

The gremlin’s voices in my head.

‘How can you have missed it?  You should have set off early just in case, stoopid!’

‘There isn’t another one for at least 20 minutes now.  You’re going to be at least half an hour late, how embarrassing!

‘Late on your first day. They’re going to love you!’

And they laugh, and jeer and cackle, hysterical with mirth.

‘Yes, they’ll be falling over themselves to offer you training, oh and maybe permanent employment, probably a directorship – not!’

‘I bet they’ll leave you with all the dishes tonight and it will serves you right!’

‘Can you picture their faces when you walk in now?’

I can.  

Disgusted, angry, exasperated.

My heart skitters even faster now, and I’m frozen to the spot.

‘Are you OK?’

A young guy touches me on the arm, his face concerned.

I start, and smile, trying my hardest to look, well, normal.

‘Yes, I’m fine, I just remembered something I forgot to remember!  I mean i forgot…I….’

He laughs, ‘I know what you mean!’ and walks on, then glances behind him looking directly at me.

‘Look, you’re attracting attention!  Go inside!  You look like a raving lunatic!  Go home!’

I head for the door, push the key fumblingly in the lock, stumble inside and slump against it, my heart hammering in my chest.  

I’ll wait in the warm, just until the next bus arrives.

‘Who are you trying to kid?’  

‘You can’t go now!’

‘Stay home, it’s not like they’re even paying you!’

‘They’ll hate you whether you turn up or not now, It’s not safe, bail!  BAIL!’

So instead of helping others help needy folk, I’m sat here typing this, my face burning with shame and humiliation.  I sent an email, apologising profusely, and the kindness and understanding in their response only make me feel worse.

How the hell am I to set up my own business if I can’t even catch a bus without freaking out?

How will I get through any job interview process when I’m like this?

How I am going to earn a living?

How will I survive?

The gremlins have stopped their noise for now.

But, just out of the corner of my eye, I see them smile.

Oh how they smile.

 

 

PITY PARTY TRACK 9 – I’LL LET YOU SLIDE Luther Vandross

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Now this is a Pity Party track you can DANCE to!

Reason for choosing it? I cannot, cannot let ANYTHING fucking slide, if something is in my head I just have to say it, no matter what the consequences, and whilst I am a lot more gentle about it these days, I do know how to push peoples buttons….

I listened incessantly to Luther in my 20’s and not only related to his heartfelt, lonely love songs, but danced the night away many a time so his superb contributions to funk and soul.

Beautiful man inside and out, gone but not forgotten ❤ .

Now I’m going to dance around kitchen, or maybe I’ll just slam my head a few times in the fridge door….