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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YOU CAN GO NOW, SISTA… #bpd #depression #cocksuckers

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3 days into Lent, so many aims and ambitions (most being dietary/health related), but I’m taking it it slowly and starting with the main ones (giving up sugar and alcohol) and aiming to add extras as I progress, in order that I can get a life or something.

I’ve also being tasked with writing a positive message to myself every day (a schema therapy activity) and putting it in a pretty box.  To date most haven’t been too inspiring or ambitious (‘Managed not to shriek at benefits people this afternoon – yay me!‘), but today I was proudly able to scrawl ‘I have been to yoga for the first time in 2015′ onto my little pink post-it and pop it into my receptacle.

Progress indeed.

I didn’t like it very much, the yoga class.

It ached, my balance is all fucked up, and even my hands hurt.  And when I went into shoulder stand, all the lard I have cultivated on my belly squidged unattractively into pale sausagey wedges, and I felt a surge of hate and disgust infuse my entire being.

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How revolting it is.  And the more I look at it the more anti veggie/vegan I feel, as let’s face it, at least if someone dines on big slabs of flesh, it’s useful, as unless you really look after your body you end up looking and feeling like a factory farmed heifer.  I was watching some footage from the Meatopia fair this afternoon and I thought ‘Yes, that’s it Sista!  Donate your piggy body to the next festival!  There’s plenty on there for everyone and crackling too!’

My body, for it’s part, is sulking, hence it’s protesting twinges, total inflexibility and generous cultivation of blub.  My fault for not coming out of hibernation, gorging on comfort food, indulging my addiction to expensive hot chocolate and watching back to back DVD boxed sets, not to mention gross neglect on all levels.

That’s what I’ve been doing all this time y’know.  Watching TV.  I can’t really afford to do anything else (yes I know that’s no excuse), and let’s face it, the people who populate HBO TV series have so much more interesting lives than mine.

My current passion is ‘Deadwood’ and I am besotted with the two male leads, anti hero Al Swearengen and Seth Bullock, the latter for rocking a moustache like no other, and very nearly bringing my libido out of it’s coma like state.

Much good that will do me right now, as I wouldn’t wish this blubbery carcass on my worst enemy.

The former however, fascinates me like no other.  His anger, toughness and sharp tongue resonates heavily with me and whilst I don’t go around spitting profanity at all and sundry, I sure as hell used to, and then some.

I’ve just finished Season One, and in the first few episodes, I hated him, but having watched the last episode last night, I saw a different side to the homicidal whore house owner, and it had such an impact on me, I watched it twice and replayed the heartbreaking scene between Al and Reverend Green again and again.

These characters seemed in that uniquely intimate moment, when Al did God’s job for him, the two sides of the same coin;  One world weary and filled with spleen and hate, the other devoted to his Lord and oh so desperate to believe that he was still in his light and his appalling suffering was not in vain.

And when Swearengen tenderly muttered to the dying priest ‘You can go now, brother’, as my throat closed up, I felt a pang like no other.  Whether it was sadness, relief or just sheer envy I know not.

To be sheer conscious and nothing else.  To shed this bag of blood, flesh and bones.  How freeing that must be!

But that scene touched me and stays with me 24 hours later, as did crippled Jewel dancing in her leg brace with Doc Cochran.

And whilst I am in my own gutter, muddled with medications, looking to movie stars and fictional characters for meaning and inspiration, I know that I at least, unlike poor Reverend Green and Jewel, I can get up out of the puddles, stagger to my feet and move on.

It’s a question of wanting to, really.  Maybe I have it too easy.  Maybe you have to be physically fucked up or super angry to give a shit about this world.  But I’m not allowed my anger anymore, as unlike Al, it did not and does not help me succeed in this world.

But I’m still trying to get to my feet and ease on down the road.  In my own feeble, reluctant way.

My home is now on the market, I’m going to try and get back into favour with my body and brain, and hope there is a life worth living ahead of me.

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Once upon a time, my philosophy was not that dissimilar to Al’s, and my anger did push me forward in the world, but in the act of trying to manage that part of my nature via therapy makes me more passive, and drumming up passion and the will to live is now ironically harder than ever.

But the notes box is both beautiful and roomy and I’ve still got lots of paper, and I’m at least inching forward towards my destiny.

Ready once again, to face up to the black hats of the world, and take my pain like a man.  But also to hope, like the Rev.

Namaste Cocksuckers, namaste x


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NAMASTE BITCHES

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I made it back

I hit the mat

But in my head are those mean twats

Who say that I should disappear

But I still made it, I’m still here

 

It is as tough as I recall

Some poses I can’t do at all

My muscles ache, my joints they creak

Whilst my demons hiss and speak

 

‘If your old workmates saw you now

They would seriously have a cow!

A teacher, you?!’ they laugh and jeer

‘So much for old ambitions, dear!’

 

And I’m ashamed, I must confess

Poor body, it’s in such a mess

Days, weeks, months, years, gone I know

I didn’t mean to neglect it so.

 

‘Get through this class, then move your ass

Go home and put it in the past

You know you’re not good at committing

Just hit that sofa, stick to knitting’

 

They have a point, I know they’re right

But I won’t go down without a fight

I may be tired and full of fear

But I’m still moving, I’m still here

 

Those years are dead and gone, God knows

As for tomorrow, fuck, who knows

I may just end up staying in bed

And let those bastards fill my head

 

But now, I’m present in the zone

And whilst I may still long for home

I move my ass, lunge, dip and breathe

And let those bastards curse and seethe

 

I’m looser now, I’m feeling lighter

If nothing else I’m still a fighter

So hear this demons, loud and clear

‘Namaste bitches, I’m still here’

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COME OUT, COME OUT, WHOEVER YOU ARE….

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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.

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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?!

Well.

I guess we’re about to find out.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid…

 

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/these-are-the-days-of-the-endless-summer-3-mylastsummer/


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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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IT’S NOT WHERE YOU FINISH, IT’S WHEN YOU START

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It’s always the same isn’t it?

The minute you think you’re onto something or found a way forward, something spooks you, you relapse and fall into your old ways.

This Lent 10,000 steps thing (https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/10000-steps/) really seemed to be working.  I was sleeping better, waking refreshed, losing blubber, but for some reason I didn’t get out of the door Thursday morning.

‘Never mind,’ I thought, ‘I’ll pop to the shops in the afternoon’.

But it didn’t happen.  I had a call from some old dragon from the benefits department and ended up having to dig out and copy yet more proof that I wasn’t a multi millionaire rigging the system and pretty soon I looked out of the window and the sun was going down.

‘That’s not the end of the world,’ I reasoned, ‘I’ve got choir tonight so I’ll go the long way and that will easily eat up 10,000 big ones’.

Well it might have, had I left the building.

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‘OK’ I said gravely, getting rather strict with myself now, ‘if you’re not going to choir you are definitely going to a yoga class.  You haven’t done anything since Tuesday.’

Guess what happened.

That’s right.  Nada.

And 24 hours later, I still haven’t done shit or left the flat.  I nearly got out half an hour ago, I’m sat here fully made up for an evening out but still in my trackies.  I had a fun evening in the pipeline, but something somehow held me back, and now I loathe myself and my weakness even more.

Why is it so easy to slip back into old, destructive habits, especially when things had started to look up?  Maybe it’s because things had started to look up that I want to flee back to my hidey hole again.  Who fucking knows?

I honestly don’t know where the last 20 months or so have gone.  OK I’ve done or tried to do some useful, proactive stuff, but the majority of it has seemed to have been spunked away in front of the computer or TV, and even being off Facebook hasn’t stopped me reading gossip online, following the Pistorius trial (GUILTY!  It’s an open and shut case!  You can’t just let someone off just because they can run a bit!) or staring with wonder at pixie haired Pammy’s latest nude photos.

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My God, she does look extraordinary though doesn’t she?  Good for her, no hater I….

Then before you know it you spot something about her ex husband and father of her kids having a big dick, you go looking for that (good Lord…), then you see he supports PETA, so you go on that site, sign a petition against seal culling, wince at some hideously cruel photos showing mans shameful abuse of animals (what is wrong with people?), look at something more cheerful and before long you have RSI of the right hand (from mouse clicking, not pebble flicking, thank you), a pending migraine and another day of your life has come and gone.

Sometimes I don’t care though.  After all, the lives of others, famous or not, are much more interesting than mine.

I’m still having mad dreams about my past and Auntie C (in lieu of those NHS bastards actually doing something) is trying to make me focus on the present and I feel like a crazy compass needle or sycamore seed, spinning in the wind.

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I have to try and get back on track though.

I think the most successful days so far have been when I have stuff organised from the get go.  Real stuff that I can’t bail on, as opposed to vague plans that I can easily shun because no one is looking and no one cares, so I’m going to try and plan more stuff, as early in the day as possible. So I need to start as early aspossible instead of waiting till the cats start bouncing off my uterus demanding their breakfast.

I also seems to get derailed if I’m not feeling well, and in the last few days one of my old war wounds has been playing up.  Rather than ignoring it for fear of spending money, I think I’m going to have to let the moths out of my wallet and go and get treatment.

Also maybe not letting myself eat until I’ve done some yoga might break that particular impasse.

I’m also going to set a timer for 10 minutes every time I go near my PC, and when it goes off, I’ll log out.

I’m also gonna ‘earn’ my TV, the length of viewing dictated by how long I exercise that day.

I’d also better start being more sociable with my friends again so that people do care if I open my door every day, especially if I’m meant to be meeting them.

Up I get again (groan, stagger), but God knows, if I had any other choice, I’d bail in a heartbeat.

So I’ll start yet AGAIN, and i guess I’ll finish eventually….God how I hate this shitty planet.

Namaste x


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10,000 STEPS

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So I’m nearly a week into Lent, and apart from the occasional craving for a nice chilled glass of verdelho, I’m doing OK.

I’m not just giving up one thing up for ole JC this time.  Oh no.  I have a whole list of things I have either eschewed or have vowed to do for the sake of my health, and whilst I’m not going to bore you with all of them, I’m pretty much keeping to most of them most days, in particular the challenge to walk 10,000 steps every day.

A simple idea based on the well know theory that one needs to walk at least 10,000 steps in order to stay healthy, but it’s benefits appear to be multifold.  There’s the improved fitness of course, and calorie burning, but I’m also (hopefully) keeping my hereditary/potential death by stroke/s at bay.  I’m saving money on petrol/parking/public transport too and of course, unless I want to wear out my carpets, come rain or shine, I have to go outside.

So on some days, when even the most robust, hyperactive mutt is being throttled half to death and getting carpet burn of the bum hole whilst being dragged out by it’s owner for it’s daily constitutional, you’ll find me doing laps of the park in a wind cheater, hood up, squinting at my pedometer, cussing like a navvy as I stride through the deluge and dream of hot tea and Easter eggs.

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I’ve also rediscovered my love of yoga.  Not with Guru https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/reach-out-and-touch-faith/ and the heinous hippy chicks I hasten to add, but at my local studio where there is no wizened old tortoise boring my ass off for England and proclaiming to have been at Christ’s crucifixion (yes, he really did allude that), no cliquey covens where you are meant to buy 100% into everything they believe, buy their fart inducing food and hand over your first born son, plus let them treat your home like a Premier Inn.

Ahem.

No.  Just some pretty learned, die hard, hard core practitioners that just bloody well get on with the lesson and expect no more from you than that you pay, turn your mobile phone off and put your mat away.

And it does my heart and my head good. Because when I’m concentrating that hard, the mind monkeys don’t get a look in.  Plus the unspoken communion with other like minded souls is wonderful.

My diet is better and without alcohol, I’m waking up a little more alert of a morning but to be honest, the trippy dreams are still happening.

In fact they are getting worse.

As for those group counselling sessions I was promised, I’m still waiting to hear something, so I’ve decided that instead of chasing/weeping/pleading with the NHS, I’ll just wait for them to get in touch with me.

I appear to be learning to accept that I cannot control everything and I’m going to try and just allow things to be and evolve when they’re meant evolve.

And when I get anxious and start to fret, I’ll just strap on my back pack, grab my water bottle and keep on trucking.

And the dreams?  I’ll just watch them as impassively as possible and write them down when I wake up.  Perhaps I’ll write this decades version of Eraserhead, make a fortune and retire to my dream cottage/mill/lighthouse in the country/by the sea. 🙂

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I’m also trying to interact with fellow human beings face to face every day, and have agreed to do some voluntary work later this week.  I may even think about what I’m going to do with regards to paid work in the future.

Gulp.

So whilst things aren’t exactly perfect right now, and whilst I’ll no doubt be frothing at the mouth and ranting away at you again tomorrow, I think I’m taking a step in the right direction.

One day at a time, sweet JC….

Namaste x


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FEAR(LESS)

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I started the New Year on a high.

Reeling and spinning wildly to an Irish folk band with my friends, when midnight struck, I thought ‘What am amazing start to the year!  Surely only good things can follow a night like this!’

Then the rain came.

Then Christmas was over.

The decorations come down.

Then reality bites.

I’m almost broke, still unemployed, still nuts, and have so, so very much to do.

And much of it is out of my hands.  How I hate been beholden to or having to rely on anyone else.

So I made like a very grey squirrel and hibernated under the duvet as the storms ripped and swirled and howled outside my bedroom window.

So today is essentially the first day of my 2014 and dawned when I was rudely awakened by the postman trying to deliver me a parcel.  Even I was too shamefaced to start the year answering the door to him all crusty eyed and apologetic AGAIN.

Déjà vu much?

https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/please-mr-postman-2/

But I’m up and about and starting to do good stuff for myself whilst waiting for the rain to stop and my group therapy to start.  Like drinking more water.  Cutting down on sugar (as much as a wannabe baker can).  Making tentative social plans for the week.  Making plans for the year over all.

As whilst 2013 didn’t kick my butt down the stairs, it did very politely escort me to the elevator and press ‘B’ for basement as far as helping me achieve my aims was concerned.

But there was stuff I needed to see down there and I’m guessing I needed to go a bit further back, just so’s I can get a good run up when leaping forward into 2014 😉

Besides, good things came from 2013, without a doubt.

And whilst I do have some New Years Resolutions to keep front of mind this year, I’m not going to bore the tits off you lot with all of them.  I’ll find other ways of letting you know how I progress in life. 🙂

But here are a couple that might resonate with some of you:

  • Not swear like a foul mouthed chav/football support/navvy all the time
  • Treat my body more like a temple and less like a graffiti covered, piss streaked bus stop in Peckham (whoops, did it again, gosh darn it!)

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  • Start one thing and finish it before embarking on something else. That should stop me disappearing into cyber space for hours on end when I’m meant to be working.
  • Practice yoga.  If it leads into a career path great, if not, I still benefit.  NO PRESSURE.
  • Workwise, stop fannying around (arghh!) doing things in a half hearted manner.  If I’m going to act, I owe it to myself to make some kind of commitment, get some good photos done, build a portfolio and treat it like a business as opposed to a hobby.
  • Focus my energy on things that count and move ME forward, and not rant about Piers Morgan/Gordon Ramsay, get caught up in reality TV, or spend days commenting on and sticking up for people like Nigella Lawson who is fabulous, but has/had a great legal team and, let’s face it, doesn’t even know that I exist.
  • Eat uncooked jelly/jello as it’s meant to be good for the nails and mine are like paper.
  • Groom my cats everyday and then they’ll vomit up fewer hairballs and I won’t walk out of the door looking like a yeti every day.

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  • And finally and most importantly, work hard to conquer the fear.  After all, what’s the worst that will happen?

Don’t even think about answering that one!

After all I may be a cat lovin’, pill popping, fear filled freak, but one things for sure, I sure ain’t no pussy….

Happy 2014 one and all!

Namaste

SS x