Phoenix Fights

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




Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet, things have been very challenging of late.

Not going to bore you with all the details, but those of you who read this pile of piffle that I call my blog know what’s up anyway.

I’ve had to take a deep breath, gather up every fragment of courage I have left and tackle a couple of very scary things in the last ten days or so, but I did it, despite, whilst taking a very humiliating call from my bank one morning, bursting into tears and crying so hard that my nose bled all over my favourite top.


Where the fuck did that come from?

Even more embarrassingly, I couldn’t stop and couldn’t hang up until I’d sorted the situation out.  God it was bloody (quite literally), the operators kept changing to ones with softer/kinder tones and I kept trying to stifle my sobs, sighs and snuffles and grasp back some dignity, but to no avail.  At the end I could almost visualise them laying the phone gently down on the desk and backing away from the hysterical, middle aged madam on the other end, arms in submissive ‘don’t shoot’ position as they edged towards the staff room for a revitalising cuppa.

I just wanted to die of shame.  How didn’t I see that coming?  Yes I did lose my temper and scream obscenities until my throat was sore at the automated voicemail before being put through (as you do), but I honestly didn’t think I was on the verge of full breakdown.

Then I realised; I hadn’t taken my meds for four days. Two day’s of migraine hell accounted for the initial period (as I can’t mix those meds), and I guess the trauma of having to deal with all this shit had caused me to forget to continue afterwards.

I think I sobbed for a good part of the day until it was all out of my system, outbursts triggered by sad real life stories on ‘This Morning’, animals with shattered limbs surviving surgery in ‘The Supervet’, and even that frigging stupid, manipulative Sainsbury’s WW1 Christmas ad where the young, handsome British squaddie gifts his Sainsbury’s branded chocolate bar to his German counterpart during that legendary…(sniff)….Christmas day…(sob)….football match…choke…. 516d7_the-grinch-emotions


As my long-time Christmas anti hero the Grinch (Jim Carrey version) once said ‘What is the deal?’


And this is a big but…. ….I hadn’t noticed any side effects and after the howling had subsided, I felt kind of…


That afternoon I started to research a new estate agent, applied for a full time job and looked into doing some charity work over Christmas.

This is good, I thought.  Isn’t it?  I knew that I was supposed to talk to my GP about coming off Big Sista S and do it gradually, but hell I was on a roll, and might as well keep going.

Then wouldn’t you know it, some horrible little voice (of the mind monkey persuasion) kept whispering to me incessantly ‘If you’d done this two years ago, you would have saved all that money instead of living off it.  You would have gotten yourself a job, been able to sell your flat and not be on your uppers now, you dumb, weak willed bint!’

Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!

Too late for that now.

But it was right, as was Aunty C.  What else can I say?

Then last night when I went to bed, I woke up all writhing and fidgety, and could not get back to sleep.  I don’t know whether it was my long suffering sexuality trying to break through the hazy weakened SSRI barriers whilst I wasn’t looking and demand to be fed, but I swiftly got up, staggered to the bathroom and took a swift 50mg of my drug of choice and went back to bed.

There’ll be none of that kind of behaviour in my bed, thank you very much. Not at that alarming level at any rate.

So I might have to do the sensible thing and come off gradually, if only to ensure that I don’t end up dry humping some unsuspecting pub Santa for giving me a ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ and a festive hug.

You can get arrested for that kind of thing in this country.

And hiding away in a drugged stupor ignoring the inevitable has gotten me into a whole heap of trouble, so I need to break free from my meds and be fully alert and lucid in order to save my miserable ass come 2015.

Even if I have to feel stuff.


Help me Saint Freddie, wherever you are….

Namaste bitches x


sad turkey

I watched the final part of ‘My Last Summer’ the other night.

As expected, it was heartbreakingly sad and no doubt the entire audience watching around the UK were in floods of tears.

Not me.

I could feel the raw emotion though, bubbling around inside me like an uninterrupted volcano, and afterwards, I kept doing those big shaky inhalations that you do after you’ve bawled your eyes out.  Except I hadn’t.

I cannot seem to feel or express.  It’s the same as my orgasms.  The body seems to go through the motions if I force it, but it’s not even worth disturbing it, so miserable and pointless is the outcome.

I’m like a big frozen turkey that someone has forgotten to take out of the freezer, and shows no signs of being aware, much less bothered that it’s Christmas day.

Gobble, gobble, toil and trouble, my innards churn but my heart’s made of rubble…

But my throat has a lump that won’t go away, and my heart aches for those poor, brave people who have suffered so much, especially the two who continue to suffer.

I haven’t had chance to see Dr B about lowering my meds yet; that said, I’ve already started without her, but nothing seems to be happening.

Then this morning as I was vacantly TV channel flicking, trying to find the news for the day (yeah, right…), I come across ‘Terms of Endearment’.  It was about 30 minutes in, but to my surprise, I grabbed myself a tea and settled myself back onto the sofa to watch it.

‘What are you doing?!’ nags my Good Parent/Higher Self/Some Nosy Interfering Bastard With Nothing Better To Do, ‘what about trying to cut down your TV consumption and spending your time more fruitfully?  Turn it off, apply for jobs and do some bloody yoga!’

But I’m curious and stay put.

Of course I’ve seen this movie numerous times over the years and know when the worst bits are coming.

And here they come.

The bit where Emma’s told that her treatment hasn’t worked and that she’s going to die.

Slight contraction in the throat, hand raises to mouth.

The bit where Aurora kicks off and screams at the nurses to give Emma her painkiller shot.

I sigh, do a tea burp and shift onto my other bum cheek.

The scene where Emma says goodbye to her boys, and the youngest is sobbing his heart out.


WTF have these drugs done to me?  It’s official.  I must be dead.  Or a Vulcan or something.  Saying I’m a frozen turkey is an insult to fowls everywhere.  Even Bernard Matthews would consider me a heartless old bird.

I sigh, gather my shit and prepare to go and do something productive.  Like comfort eat, do the cats tray or clean the toilet.

Then I pause and decide to stay for the death scene.  What the hell, I might as well finish what I started.

And then, after Emma dies and you see Aurora fidgeting frantically, both contained and agonised, then cracks wide open and howls her grief….so do I.

Let it go, let it go, I’m really gonna cry…

It starts with a solo tear trickling down one eye and then I convulse and break into a proper sobbing fit, complete with snuffing, gasping, a streaming nose and that horrible ache in the throat that always accompanies such an outburst.

It wasn’t a big one and subsided soon after that scene ended.  But it’s a start.

And so the thaw begins.

I maybe even be ready for Christmas.

Thanks for that Shirl.  You deserve an Oscar.  And then some. x






I’ve made a decision.

I’m going to come off my medication.

Well I’m going to try anyway, and will have to do it gradually but the intention is to be meds free ASAP and see how I get on from there.

I know it’s a risk and I know that I may have to do a swift about turn and get back on it if the whole thing backfires and I turn into a panic stricken, aggressive, super anxious, destructive, paranoid wreck, but I’m pretty sure that the reason I’m so stunted and not moving on any time soon with anything is because I’m so stoned on Sertraline.


Aunty C has been telling me this for years, and some of my friends think it’s a good thing because I’m all ‘Zen’ now (Hah!  If only they knew), but I think the final straw for me was the other night when after watching one of the saddest, most tearjerking programme that has been on TV for a long time, I was unable to shed a tear.

Even though I could feel myself practically boiling with emotion.  That can’t be right, can it?

Also last year I was told by a yoga teacher that all my chakras were blocked, and I’d never be able to get them active until I’m free of personality altering medication, and I’m starting to believe that she was right.

I am going to be a good, responsible Sista, go see Dr B, get some advice and do it under supervision, but I am going to do it, as I’m never going to be able to touch base with my true self whilst it’s being watered down like this.

Wait a minute, though?  If I’m not on sertraline anymore, how can I be Sista Sertraline?  This one pseudonym/identity has been the only surety in my life for the last 18 months or so, and it’s quite scary to think that I might have to give it up.

Who the fuck am I anyway?!


I guess we’re about to find out.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid…




It’s clear to me that I can’t really drink alcohol anymore.

It’s just not worth the repercussions.

Anyway this is all Stephen Sutton’s fault.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided that it would be a good idea to cut out a photo of him and stick it to my fridge, so that if I was stressing, grizzling, crying, feeling sorry for myself, worried about something, inwardly dying etc. I could look at it, take inspiration and ask myself ‘What would Stephen do?

Great idea, huh?  I was quite chuffed with myself for coming up with that.  Who wouldn’t snap out of their shit and pull their finger out at the sight of Stephen beaming kindly at them through his specs?

Trouble was, as day turned into night, it started to make me feel a bit paranoid.

I used to have a friend who was big into a form of yoga and meditation that is run by a big ass, almost corporate organisation in the US, and for a while, I dabbled with it too.  Andy, delighted, dragged me along to a group satsang with him one evening, and whilst some of the devotees looked a bit out of it and zombie like, I loved the sense of community, the chanting and the meetings, and the mail out correspondence course that landed on my mat every month did seem to be spookily relevant to my life at any given time.

Then one day, Andy gave me a framed photograph of his guru as a gift.  And whilst it looked very nice at the makeshift alter in my bedroom, I was uncomfortably aware of her eyes following me around the room a la Mona Lisa, and her expression had changed from being lovely and ‘Ohm’ to being rather ‘Hmmm…’.

As in ‘Hmmm, you don’t fool me dear, not for one second…’


And she freaked me out so much that I had to take it down and put it away in a drawer, where it probably is still to this day (ridiculously I didn’t dare chuck it out), and I gradually moved away from that particular cult, I mean, sojourn in my life.

And now, 20 years later, I appear to be getting ‘Hmms’ from my Hero, SS.

And it made me really twitchy and restless.

So much so that I really started to want a drink.

Not just a small beer.

Not just a modest glass of wine.

I’d remembered that I had a nearly full bottle of sloe gin left over from Christmas.


I know.  I know, I know, I know

But just for once, I just wanted to get shit faced.  I didn’t want to meditate, I didn’t want to pray, I didn’t want to actively forgive and I didn’t want to think about anything.

I just wanted that warm, buzzy, muzzy, fuzzy feeling, to watch the sharp edges of the world magically blur and to stagger off to bed and disappear into dreamless unconsciousness.

It only took two glasses.  I was always a bit of a lightweight, but nowadays I’m beyond pathetic.

My vision swam, the edges blurred, and when I finally retired, I crashed spark out and didn’t wake up till morning.

And I felt awful.


Not hungover or headachy.

Just as if all the bad stuff in the world had seeped into my being, leaving me, in turn, indifferent, angry, resentful, sad, lonely, hopeless, hated and hateful.

Today was the hottest day in the UK this year, and I’ve spent it indoors, swaddled up in fleecy gym wear and swigging hot mugs of tea, staring mindlessly at my computer screen.

And I still feel cold.

And now the sun has set and I feel so alone.

Even my friend/foe the moon is nowhere to be seen.

And that bottle of gin in the cupboard is keening and calling to me.

I really want some.  I just want this fucking day to end.

It’s not fair!  I barely drink anything compared with my friends!

But I know it’s to do with it clashing with my meds.

I go out to the kitchen, and there he is, smiling at me, eyes a twinkle.

‘You needn’t start giving me evils either’ I mutter to myself, ‘I bet you caned it big style of a Saturday night!’

Yes, but he was a teenager, Sista!

The smile seems to widen, and I remember what he’s doing there.

It’s hard when someone less than half your age makes you feel twice the degenerate.

I put the gin back in the cupboard, put the kettle on and wonder grimly how long it will take me to get to sleep tonight without any booze.

God I could do with some spliff.

Just as well they don’t sell that at my Sainsburys.

Well it’s goodnight from me, and it’s goodnight from him.

Namast-frigging-ste. x


Daily prompt: Just Another Day – TROUBLE MAN (BPD BLUES)


“Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?”

Like many people that are unstable/out of work/downright idle, I don’t really have a routine, but from my darkest days when I only drag my butt out of bed to pee, to my extremely rare 24 hour highs, and everything in between, three things must happen:

  • I need to take care of my cats
  • I NEED tea.
  • I need to take my medication.

So rather than write some longwinded dirge about why this is the case and bore everyone on here who’s heard it all before, I decided to bastardise one of my favourite songs by the late, great Marvin Gaye.

Apologies in advance to his family and estate.

Sorry Marvin.  I love you…


I come up hard baby, but things weren’t cool
But I survived sugar, playin’ by the rules
I come up hard baby, said I was fine
But I was troubled sugar, movin’ down the line
I come up hard but that’s okay
‘Cause trouble men, I sure made them pay
I come up hard, baby

I’ve been real ill, baby, but I keep movin’, even when I’m down
I fall apart, but I’m still around
There’s only three things that’s for sure
Catshit, meds and cuppas
This I know baby, this I know sugar
But ain’t gon let it sweat me babe

Got me singin’, yeah, yeah, ooh
Come up hard, baby, I had to fight
Tried to fit in with all my might
I come up hard, fall apart, drank too much gin
Then start all over next day again
I come up hard but that’s the way
‘Cause trouble man it is here to stay, hey, hey

I seen dark places and I’ve been some faces
Made no real connections, had no direction
What people say, it ain’t okay, it bothered me, so
Now I say “Just fuck ’em”, I’ll make my own luck man
Don’t care ’bout no haters, I say “I’ll see ya laters”
It’s time I just try to be my own ‘Me’ now

I come up hard, baby, time to be real, baby
Heal my troubled mind, keeping up the fight
I fall apart, and I get down
There’s only three things for sure
Catshit, meds and cuppas oh
This I know, baby, this I’ve known, baby
Hey gotta pick this shit up baby, ooh

All right, baby, ooh
Some days it’s hard, some days it’s cool
I can’t make it, baby, playin’ by the rules
I’ve come up hard, baby, now it’s tea time
I add milk and sugar, hey, and take my Sertraline, oh, oh, ooohhh…




Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon – LOVING THE ALIEN

What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?


Space; The final front ear.  

Or something like that.  I can’t think straight right now.  And I can’t be bothered to google it.

First of all I’d like to stress that I shouldn’t be here in the first place.  I knew from the off that this wasn’t my planet.

But I stayed.  I had no choice.  I existed, I blended in as much as I could, and I survived.  I did everything I could to fit in, pass for one of you, find a tribe, belong.  But it never really worked and whether it was apparent to others or not, I have always been the loner, the odd one out, on the outside looking in.  Humans are smart and their instincts subliminally warn them not to get too close to the alien in their midst.


‘You’re too honest/simplistic/blunt/frank/obvious/naive!’ they would chide/laugh/scold ‘That’s not how to make friends/do business/deal with confrontation/get what you want!  You have to pretend/lie/bullshit/flatter/connive/kowtow/deceive to get things done!  And if you don’t believe in what you’re doing or saying?  Fake it to make it!’

‘Um, what about being myself?’ I’d ask

‘Urgh, what are you talking about?  Who wants to see that?!  No, you need to be different things for different people in order to get what you want in this life, so how could that work?’

So I act? Every time I encounter someone new I morph into my interpretation of what they want me to be?

But i was never any good at that.

And then one day, it all got too much, and I cracked and took that giant step when I walked out of my life, cut all ties and fled back to my own space where I could escape these mad, cruel, ruthless, lying freaks; hide, lick my wounds and regroup.

With the aid of hefty doses of Sertraline of course.  My SSRI Sista.  My saviour.

Space (bass?); How low can you go?

Pretty damn low actually.  I was exhausted, battle torn and afraid.

But I had a plan, and that was to avoid the avaricious, ruthless, two faced members of this race and only mix with my true friends and the good humans.   The honest, the true, the kind, the ethical, the like minded souls, and then I could just be myself, and they’d accept and love my fucked up personality disordered alien ass and I’d be able to settle into something vaguely resembling a life until the Big Guy figures out he dropped me off at the wrong stop.

So I lowered my meds, researched jobs/courses/activities/retreats and sought out the spiritual, the creative, the kind and the ethical and tried to get back into being back on the Mother Earth ship.

Are you surprised to discover that things didn’t quite work out as planned?

Turns out the spiritual/creative/ethical/kind etc. can also betray, lie, manipulate, hurt and let you down.  So I now don’t trust anyone and I’m more alone than ever.

Mission aborted!

Take more happy pills and put your helmet on.

And now, I’m drifting, spaced, watching the minutes, hours, days tick by, vaguely aware that I’m running out of oxygen and trying to find it within me to give a shit.

And I don’t think George Clooney is coming any time soon to rescue me. 😦

So I drink, and sleep and drift and wait.

Planet earth is poo, and there’s nothing I can do.

And as much as somewhere under this cloud of chemicals I rage, seethe and despair of my pain and abandonment, I have to make myself remember.

It’s not you, it’s me.

No truer cliche has been quoth.

So I can stay like this or come down a bit, tune into my inner sat nav and try and find my way back by forgiving and making allowances for the failings and flaws of others.

But most of all my own.

So I pray.  And hope.

That my prayers may break the sky in two

Believing the strangest things

Loving the Alien

Can you hear me Major Tom?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Basically Beyond Basic
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  5. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon- Being Independent | Journeyman
  6. I Think My Leg Is Broken | Musings | WANGSGARD.COM
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  8. A Rainy Day At Home (short story) and The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
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  10. I’m Michael Jackson | Knowledge Addiction
  11. I Will Weather | Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | likereadingontrains
  12. DP Daily Prompt: Walking On The Moon | Sabethville
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I reached a turning point this weekend with regard to the way I feel about my looks.

Not that long ago, i.e. less than a year ago I wouldn’t even go outside to empty the bin without putting some make up on.

Since I was old enough to get away with wearing them, cosmetics have been my friend.  I applied a generous mask foundation and powder.  I turned up the drooping corners of my eyes with big ‘ticks’ of shadow, applied layer after layer of mascara, used black/blood red lipstick to distract the eye from my big teeth and general used a whole palate of colour as armour against the name calling, cruel asides and bullying I used to have to endure in secondary school.

Fortunately my ‘clarting my face with make up’ (as my Mum used to say) co-incided with the punk and new romantic era, so I fitted right in and no doubt looked the epitome of those times, with my aubergine hair, blackened eyes, sneering mouth and cold hauteur.


And when the times and make up fashion changed, it still took about 45 minutes of slappery for me to achieve a ‘mininal’ look that I could live with.

Even when going to the gym or staying with family or close friends, I would hastily apply some concealor, a bit of mascara and flesh lip colour so that they thought I woke up looking that way.

As for when A MAN stayed over, well you don’t even want to know the trouble and palaver I went through to look acceptable when he awoke, not that it ever did me any favours really.  Men can smell self hatred a mile off.

But this weekend I, without even wearing my regulation huge sunglasses, not only went out without a scrap of make up, but I did a ‘before and after’ style photo shoot for a women’s magazine.

Not that I love or even accept my face, you understand. That would be far too ambitious a claim right now.

I’m just trying to get over myself and come to terms with the idea that I am more than the sum total of my looks, and that ‘me’ is more important than my appearance.

And I really ran with the experience.  I laughed and joked about it, had a laugh with the other girls, bantered with the photographers and generally had a really fun day. The mood was aided by all the champagne they served with lunch but I was still very proud that I faced my fears and did it anyway.

Quite how I’ll feel when I see the end results (if I can bring myself to look at them at all) is another thing entirely, but I just felt like I needed something of a baptism of fire to get some traction with this issue, so to speak.

And over the last few days, I took it further and went to the shops completely au naturale. And whilst fewer men looked at me, women seemed to be more smiley and accepting of me.  Maybe it’s because I look less aloof or imposing.  But the freedom of just going out and thinking ‘Whatever’ has been immensely liberating. So what if people think I’m ugly? It actually seems more the case that I’m invisible rather than mockable, and that’s alright by me.

So I have been giving myself a bit of a pat on the back today.

Less self hatred?


Less jealousy/envy?


Less angry?


More forgiving/accepting?


It’s all coming together, I thought smugly to myself, I’m evolving more and more every day.

Until tonight.

When I happened to log into Facebook and was met by the most hideous photos of myself that I have ever seen in my life (well for a couple of months anyway) in full glorious technicolor on my friends Tina’s profile page.

I was gobsmacked.

And as I clicked on them in horror, I remember vaguelly that she took some later in the afternoon, when a few of us were a bit, well totally, trollied.

She didn’t drink much that day, so she and the other girl in the pictures look fine.

Well gorgeous actually.

Whereas I look absolutely hideous.

For a start, is obvious that I am pissed.  My eyes are closed in half of them, in the other half I look totally out of it, and in all of them I am just downright coyote ugly.


My response was instantaneous.

My temper soared.

I immediately sent texts and emails to my hapless friend, pretty much saying ‘WTF Tina?!  If you are my friend, TAKE THESE DOWN OR CROP ME OUT OF THEM!  I hate them!’

I was absolutely livid and my hands were shaking on the mouse as I scrolled through them again, again and again. What kind of friend would upload these, knowing how I feel about my looks?  So when she called me on my mobile I was ready to pounce.

Before she can get a word out I hiss ‘What were you thinking Tina? Don’t tell me you thought they were nice photos of me because you know they’re not!’

‘I thought they were, when they were little!  I didn’t have my glasses so I couldn’t see them properly!’ she stammered, clearly in distress, ‘Then when I uploaded them I….’

‘Well of course,YOU look lovely in them!’ I continued bitterly, bristling with self righteous indignation ‘Good for you, and I can see why YOU want them on YOUR page, but the very least you could have done was crop me out of them!’

‘I didn’t mean to upset you!  I’m sorry, I’m taking them offline now, I’m so sorry…’

‘Sorry, I have go, I’m going out, ‘ I snapped briskly in reply, ‘speak to you later.’

And I put the phone down.

And seethed.

Some friend!  Of all the selfish, vain, stupid….

…she always looks stunning, it’s alright for her…..

…didn’t give a shit about me….

…all over Facebook…..

Uh oh.

Let’s go through that check list again:

Less self hatred?


Less jealousy/envy?

No.  I was jealous of my friend because she looked nicer than me.  And I’m ashamed.


Oh fuck.

More forgiving/accepting?


This was where I rallied a bit, because once I realised how unreasonable I was being, I immediately called my poor, long suffering friend and apologised for my tirade, my paranoia and my endless self obsession.

And she was lovely.  She fully got why I was upset, was mortified that she upset me and that I still hate the way I look and promised me she’d warn me if she was going to upload photos of me in future.

Especially shit ones.

Oh, balls.

Do I really want to come from under the wing of ‘Big Sista S’?

Seems like I’m not a very nice person without (much of) her.

But I’d have never even tried to do this shoot if I was still huddled up in the cloud of her 100mg a day embrace.

Onwards and upwards.

Tines, I’m a jealous, self hating arsehole, and I’m sorry I flew off the handle.

I’m trying to improve but have to acknowledge that my shit runs deep and change will only happen gradually and not overnight.

And doncha know that Rome wasn’t built in a day……

Hey, hey, hey….