Yesterday held my first attack in five days. I saw it coming, I went outside and breathed for a minute or two, I walked upstairs and sat down, and it got worse for about fifteen minutes. I was worn out afterwards, physically and emotionally, but got on with the rest of the day. I made a few mistakes this weekend, and even broke a promise. I realised I have a long road ahead of me.
The other day I went out and bought those books some of you recommended to me. I have dipped into them all briefly, and have gotten furthest so far with Taming the Black Dog. Although the religious and alcoholic undertones are not particularly relevant, the practical, bite-size format lends itself to my impatience. Usually I spend Reading Time peering over my boyfriend’s shoulder, getting frustrated that he has turned twenty pages in the time I have read a paragraph, drifted off and ended up two pages later, having taken in nothing except the shape of the pattern in the carpet. Today, I read twenty-two pages before he woke up, and felt exulted.
One thing I have gained so far is to identify positives and negatives, so you can begin to build on the good and overcome the other. I am actively recognising the things I used to enjoy but have lost touch with in this trough, and will begin to build them up again, slowly. I have always been: an arty fart, a drama queen, a writer, the daughter of a masseuse, someone who takes photos and listens to music.
Anyone care to join me in a lovely friendly project, and create a kind of talent swap? For example, you podiatrise my feet and I give you a lovely back rub? My mum used to have this kind of set-up with a friend or two, and I think it’s a lovely idea.
I want to sweep one particular negative out the door. The word ‘sorry’. All my ex-boyfriends left me, saying that word. It is a horrible word. It doesn’t make me feel better; it makes me feel like a charity case. I am not a one-eared dirty teddy bear with stuffing coming out of my tummy. I am a beautiful, intelligent, loved, warm human being with a bright future and actual friends. I will get over it.
I will no longer apologise for things that are not my fault – the lady who got in my way in the toilets the other day, the stranger who knocked me in the street, the whimsical opening times of the local surgery, the rain.
If you’re feeling down, I say I love you. That’s what works for me.
I will own up when I fuck up. But it is never a nice word to say, or to hear.