tomorrow

I had 3 glasses of cool white wine and 6 delicious cigarettes in the blazing sun, and then the dark heat, and I’m not sorry. The cigarettes must go tomorrow. The wine can stay. I must learn to let it back into my life sensibly, it cannot become another enemy, or cause for anxiety.

I haven’t set an alarm since April. Now I’ve got two. 8.00 – get up. 8.30 – take your drugs. 9.00 – be at doctor’s for one last check up. 10.00 – … work.

Oh I can’t even properly talk about it with myself. I’m scared. Is that enough? In 11 hours I’ll know what’s what. Right now I know fuck all. Life is… blurry. But the horizon is out there, I KNOW IT. I saw it, I felt it, I wrote an article for a news website, I put what I am into it and I came home to myself. But now I’m tired and sweaty and I’ve never felt less sexual in my life. The stories are true, kids – antidepressants do make you lose your sex drive. Or maybe, rather, not pay attention to it. It’s there somewhere, I guess, I just can’t feel it. It takes forever to climax. And when I do it’s… different. Not worse, not better by any means, different, strangely intense but not explosive, more like an unsatisfactory bang from a broken gun then waves of liquid golden rose petals. I prefer the waves. They last longer and you can twist to meet them halfway. The bang is out of your control. All you can do is receive and hope for the best.

Two paracetamol, two beta-blockers and now a vague attempt at sleeping. If sleep doesn’t come… sleep doesn’t come.

tomorrow, I guess.

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rose hips and dragonflies

.

Okay, here goes.

I am a writer.

I am a journalist.

The former I have always been. The latter I have decided to become.

I’ve said it. I’ve claimed both words. Now they are mine.

I need to sleep now, because I’m tired and once my head is on that pillow, my eyes will close, my brain will fog over and I will sleep, peacefully. Probably there will be strange dreams with no purpose but that’s OK. I told my mother about the hallucinations today. I don’t want to worry her but then… sometimes I have to.

Until tomorrow, I remain… a writer.

It is tomorrow. Today. I’ve mowed some of the lawn, I’ve made a quiche for a family gathering later, I’ve had coffee and coffee and coffee and I’ve clenched my teeth and for the first time in a long time found myself under the covers, eyes towards the wall, staring into space, scared. Anxious. Again. It’s alright… it has to be. There are reasons, which is better than there being no reasons. I’m in a phase of letting go, of detangling myself.

I just had a short conversation with my mother. I cried. Sometimes I cry at the very thought of some day not being able to cry in her company. She’s my best friend. And now I’m crying again. Finding my future is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and I’m so sad and confused and emotional but UNABLE to give up. Or in, to the easy way out. On Monday I’ll be face to face with my boss and I don’t know what I’ll say to him. It would be easy to shake his hand and say ‘thank you’ when he says ‘welcome back’. And it can cost me dearly if I do. I’m a circle trying to fit into a rectangle and my problem is that I’m able to do so. Slowly, as I innocently, stupidly, squeeze with too much force, the rectangle shapes me, shaves thin slices off of my sides, so thin I don’t notice them until I’m comfortably stuck at the bottom, a small circle in a big rectangle, screaming for someone to lift me out. ‘Help. This was not supposed to happen’.

Well, I’m out, now. I should have undone what I was doing before I ended up where I did but that is a nonsense way of thinking. Because I never would have. I’ve got to know myself better in the last two months than in the past 6 years. And no, I’m not in a hurry to try to fit back into that fucking rectangle. It’s not the rectangle’s fault. We’re just too different. I can make it happy but it can’t make me happy.

A week ago I went to a festival. And I wrote an article for an online media website about it. And as I sat in the press tent, making notes, staring at my story, I felt calm and at home. It’s where I belong. It feels so silly to have not have taken this seriously before, properly seriously, but then, when the fuck do I ever take anything seriously that has anything to do with myself?

It’s here, by the way, if you want to read it. I also have a film blog. I do write. And I do take it seriously, it’s maybe the one thing I always have. I just… never wanted to involve anyone else in it. Because I don’t write for you. Them. And I never will but I don’t consider that a bad thing. But I think maybe now that I have found the courage to identify with what I really am (I still flinch, I still feel embarrassed, ‘a writer’, how fucking pretentious, OMG get over it, though and that’s right now), then… then, well… things can only get better?

It’s a gorgeous day. I need to feel the sand between my tanned toes, the cold ocean licking them, the wind in my curls, spotting beautiful shells between bunches of black sea weed. I need to drive. Go. GO GO GO.

I’m a writer. I’m a journalist.

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dream a little dream of [file not found]

I dream of a house with large windows. A white house with dashes of azure and sunny yellow and grass green and everything in between. I dream of big pots of rosemary and lavender that scent the air on warm mornings and rainy afternoons. A cat, coloured a beautiful grey. Snoozing. A dog but really only if the kids won’t let the idea go. Fruit trees, whatever can grow in the climate. A study, a quiet place, with a large desk for writing, a chaise lounge for resting and a view of the gardens.

I dream of children and a partner.

I dream these things when I’m awake because I can’t fucking sleep. Again. 2 hours I was courteously granted by my busy brain. Why are you so busy, little brain? What have you got to think about at this hour that’s so important?

The dishes are piling up again. The clothes, the documents, the…things. Things, things everywhere, things that have a home but somehow never make it back. And no, I don’t want your fucking help, leave me alone.

They want me back at work on Monday next week. ‘To do what you do best’. I knew the email would come but the longer it didn’t, the more I’d convinced myself that it never would. That I was free of it all, effortlessly free. I try to imagine myself back. Go into the office, wave at people in the canteen, stop and chat. Take the lift upstairs, turn the corner, say hi, there is a commotion, hug a few people, get glares from a few people. Then say hi to my boss, go into a meeting room, maybe HR will be there. Then the formalities and the welcome back and the chit chat and then ‘how can we help you?’ and ‘what do you need from us?’ and so on and so forth. And I keep getting this vision of myself, smiling and suddenly just saying, ‘….I’m sorry, I can’t do this. You can expect my notice by the end of the day’.

Because… because, bless them, they don’t know I’m dead. How could they know? I’m dead and gone and I’m being respawned into someone they didn’t hire.

I’m just going to have to go in and see what happens. I’m not making any promises either way.

Something’s kicking in. Beast got a tranquilliser dart in his ass. It’s called Propranolol and it’s not as efficient as it used to be. I miss the benzodiazepines. They put him to sleep instantly.

At least I’m not randomly thinking of killing myself. I am, however, thinking of the fact that I’m not thinking about killing myself. A lot. You can’t win.

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might as well face it, you’re addicted…

Stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch, type, type, type, type.

I’m sorry for the Robert Palmer reference. It was necessary, I’m afraid.

When I was a kid, I liked to eat. I’ve never been a picky eater, ever. Yeah, I wasn’t crazy about peas but because of consistency, not flavour. And… alright, fine, I’m picky when it comes to tomatoes but that’s very much because most tomatoes taste of nothing. And I spoilt – where half of me is from, a tomato with a bit of salt, a bit of olive oil and a bit of fresh basil is the meal of gods. But I ate. And I got chubbier. And I got told so, repeatedly, by bullying boys. And by my father. For years and years and years. ‘He’s a doctor, he’s looking at it from a medical point of view’. ‘That’s just the way he is, don’t pay it any attention’. ‘Just talk back to them, don’t give them what they want’.

Fuck you. Fuck you fuck you fuck you.

Eventually, the bullies realised that school was about studying and that being cool wouldn’t get you any good grades. And seeing that I was the smartest girl in my class, suddenly I was the cool boys’ new best friend. And I should have told them all to go fuck themselves. But I was 12. And lonely. So I didn’t. How very weak of me.

My dad just kept telling me I’d gained weight every time I saw him. Which was less and less, after the age of 10. And eventually I made a very conscious decision. If it was so important to him for me to be skinny, I’d get so fucking fat he’d stop loving me all together, once and for all. Get it over with. Just get it fucking over with, take one look at me and go ‘no, too big’ and that would be it. Because the comments on my weight were the only honest words that ever came out of his lying mouth anyway.

So I ate. And I ate. And at 15 I told him I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. And for years, food was my enemy, my addiction, my best friend. And I started smoking. And I started drinking. And I started fucking. And I was loud and I was funny and I owned it. And I was so fucking unhappy, for years.

At 25, I woke up. There is a story, but I prefer not to re-live it. I joined a gym. I educated myself on food. I stopped overeating. I started working out. I lost a lot of weight. It did make me happier, yes, because I did it for me and not anyone else.

Recently, I’ve been overeating again. And when I say recently, I mean since The Crash. I don’t work out anymore. I eat half a glass of Nutella in one sitting. I eat until I feel sick. Then I eat some more. I wonder when I’ll actually be sick. If there is a limit.

It’s funny how that thing of ‘talking to someone’ actually does help. I still hate it. But I guess I am forced to admit that it has its perks. I mentioned some of the above to my therapist and she gave me the ‘try a food journal’ tool, amongst other things, and that’s fine, I’m never going to do that, but it doesn’t really matter because I just needed to say it out loud to someone. And now I haven’t eating anything sweet for a week. Stop the fucking press or whatever. If only it was that easy. I don’t miss it, I keep telling myself it’s because I’m bored and it’s true, that is why. Trouble is it’s 2.45PM and I haven’t eaten anything yet. I’m not hungry. Or maybe I am but I don’t feel the hunger. What I do feel, however, is that when I start to eat, I won’t stop. I’ve had coffee. I love coffee. It used to be accompanied by cigarettes. I don’t even miss them, how fucked is that.

There is no point to this. I’m sorry if you were waiting for one, there is none. There’s no point to any of it.

But I guess I need to highlight to myself my tendencies to binge on things. Food, cigarettes, alcohol. They’ve been replaced with cross stitching, TV and starving myself. Is that better? Of course not. I cross stitch so much my joints get stiff. I watch TV from morning to night and then turn it on again first thing, I can’t fucking STAND the silence. I’m not hungry… I’m not. Am I? Please don’t make me eat. Even the gym I couldn’t control, it was every day in the end.

Why is it always fucking either or?

In two days I get on a plane. Destination: destiny.

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i am going to live without fear

So.

Here we are.

It’s June, which means it’s been two months since my head just… fell apart in my hands. My brain dissolved, grains of sand running through my fingers, I couldn’t keep it together and in the end I had to let go.

So I did. And it was the scariest fucking thing I’ve ever done in my life. The tailspin prior to The Crash…I can only described it through music because I realise, now, that my feelings had a melody. It’s only just resurfaced now, right now, this second, and I’m listening to the song and I’m crying, goosebumps, tingling feeling in my hands, fuck.

This track has been playing for so long. The first five minutes since December 2014. And the last three minutes just got louder and louder and louder throughout 2016 until I couldn’t fucking hear anything else. And I kept trying to get that fucking plane to pull up or at least change course until it all just went fucking… black. Dark. Wet. Quiet. The track finally ended, the music faded away and all that was left was static and numbness and fucking endless beast thoughts and beast pacing, all over my fucking grains of sand brain, poor thing didn’t stand a chance.

And it seems endless. No horizon. The side effects are terrifying. The not being able to think, the not being able to concentrate. Being scared. Being so transparent, they can see right through you, what do they want, why are they looking?

And people keep telling you to not give up hope and if you had any kind of energy you would tell them that you have no idea what that means. Hope of what? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I can’t fucking see anything, everything is dark and wet and black, everything else is just a surreal notion – part of a reality you used to, also, be a part of.

But that’s exactly what letting go means. It means letting yourself plummet, deliberately, outside of the confines of the box we have built around our lives and call Our Reality, pulling that red emergency alarm chord in passing, screaming, howling, ‘I AM FALLING’. And you hit the ground. And you die.

I have died, you see. What I used to be inside that box is dead. I think if I had really wanted it, I could probably have respawned as my former self. An exact copy. Some people might choose that, I don’t know. I don’t care, each to their own. I was dead before I hit the ground. And I knew, from the moment I separated from my old self, broken bones and blood left lying on the ground, that I would never be able to be that self again. I couldn’t just respawn. Whilst rebooting I also had to reinvent. My self. My life.

Reboot, reinvent, respawn.

I am respawning, hatching, I can feel it. You’re never going to be ready for that. I came crashing down, I tore the walls of My Reality down as I went and what I am going to do, deliberately, is step back into that box before the walls are completely rebuilt. And I will be exposed. And the sun and the wind will blistering cold will feel twice as rough. But I have made an important decision, based on a realisation that I had maybe… maybe today?

I am going to live without fear.

And it is going to change my entire life and it is going to put me on the right track. I look a wrong turn. It happens, you know how it is. And I developed into a self, I built some walls and I created this life and a lot of it is fantastic, and shall be repeated, and a lot of it died with my old self and will either be ditched for good or reinvented, too.

I am going to live without fear.

Because I have finally come to terms with the fact that I do not belong in the box of conformity. I belong on the fringe, in the margins, not centre stage, not 9-5, not just what I’m good at but what I can’t do without. Chances have been given before but I have always been too afraid to grab them. Now I’ve been given another… and I just took it. Because I AM GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE WITHOUT FEAR.

Because I plummeted. Nosedive, free fall, belly flop. And it fucking hurt. And I’ll be fucking god fucking damned if I don’t learn something from that.

Back on the horse. A new horse, mind you. My horse, not someone else’s shit pony. I get in the saddle, I ride back into my box, head held high. And we come to a halt, amongst the rubble and dust and I inspect my barren land, my scorched ground and I declare, loudly, to myself, ‘Here WILL be fauna and flora once more!’

I am going to live without fear.

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metaphors and 5 AM thoughts (no decisions)

The thing I hate the very most about being where I am in life right now is that it forces me to soul search, take myself seriously and dwell on every aspect of my thoughts and feelings. I have to become self-involved. I have to sacrifice the objective for the subjective.

Fucking hell, is there anything more uninteresting? I find it so boring  – in borderline bad taste, really. Who the fuck gives a shit? I don’t, why on earth should anyone else? The subjective is only ever interesting if it grabs hold of something universal. If it is symbolic, metaphorical and abstract. Who the fuck wants to hear about ME me? I repeat, I don’t, why on earth should anyone else? There is nothing interesting about me – what is interesting about me are the things that are also in other people, those that am able to put into words that ring true to them, for obvious reasons. The rest? The details? My ‘story’? My god, fucking kill me. Zzzzz.

I’m 100 pages into Milan Kundera’s Immortality. We agree a lot.

‘I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating’.

Oh Sartre. Thank you.

I’m extremely pleased that I’ve started reading again.

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comforting sounds

I stripped my bed of the old bed sheets.

I can finally feel the turn. The ship is so huge you can’t feel it turning but it is. It is turning. The oar is being steered, it is. And no, you won’t be able to sense that for a long, long, long time. You will only feel the ship going down, beast and all. And it will be scary. And the dark waters will come closer. You will stick your feet in them. And they will stay there, ebb and flow, sometimes up to your knees, your waist, your neck, I’m drowning.

But suddenly, one morning, you will wake up and your feet will be dry. You’ll go back to having dripping toes, of course, but they will be dry, for a moment, and you will feel it. You will feel it. You will feel it. And if you could cry, you would cry with elation. If you could fly, you would just float. What felt like a fruitless attempt to reignite your soul, your dead nerve endings, has paid off. The smile is creeping back in your lips but it’s not forced; it’s slow, hesitant, but unmistakably there.

And it feels good.

And I don’t want to rein it in but I don’t want to jinx it either. I’m not sure I believe in jinxing but I believe in the meaning you attach to things yourself. I believe in things coming true when you say them out loud. But I also believe in making promises to yourself. I live by them as my holiest. And I firmly, firmly believe that these promises must remain unspoken until they have left the draft stage, been throw the first revision, even the second, and the third. There is nothing more in the world I want to do right now than to call my mother and tell her, ‘It’s me calling, not Anxiety or Depression… me’ but I need to be sure first, otherwise I will break her heart. And I already have. But the guilt is lifting. It’s no longer weird guilt and TV, it’s just TV with a splash of anxiety.

My promise to myself is this: I will smile again and mean it.

And who knew that this part of my convalescence would be scored by Mew.

I went to see them live last night. And I was sat there, on the balcony, next to my friend without whom I would just have drowned, while those familiar visuals – the little cat in the military uniform, the little teddy bear with glasses, both on violin – unveiled before us, and those familiar tunes – tunes that have been part of me for 17 years, tunes I had forgotten – scorched my icy heart back to lukewarm, on a night like that – the night after some misguided fool committed such a senseless act of violence against people – kids – who also just wanted to have their lives scored by a bit of music. And I felt so safe. Safe. I touched my face and for the first time in such a long time I felt my skin.

This is from me, to you. I don’t know why you read, and I know I don’t connect with you normally, but I know you are there. And thank you for that. Stay warm. Stay safe.

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