Tuesday Round Two

Been asleep on and off all day. Couldn’t find the energy to stay up. Been feverish. Got up, showered and dressed, then collapsed again. Been dreaming vividly since – Nearly Mama came in to see if I was alright, and later the doctor came and there was a small group of people looking concerned and examining me. They took blood and then told me to wee where I was, because I couldn’t move and they needed a sample. Both these times it took me about sixty seconds or more to force my body to move so I could respond. The more I tried to get up, the harder I was pushed down. I was completely paralysed. It felt like I was opening my mouth for a few seconds at first, but then the familiar realisation came that I wasn’t. None of this actually happened, though at the time it was real enough that I went along with it. I spent another full day of doing in my head, though I have been laid here since 1:30am last night. Terrifying and incredibly frustrating. Feel out of it tonight, but happy with life apart from that. Ding ding.

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Dury you darling

Today I want to shout out to a few things that make me tingle with joy. I hope you find some in them too.

My friend Wes’s blog http://mediocremisadventures.wordpress.com/ because he is one of the most genuine, kind people I know and I love that he is doing something creative

In chronological order, three songs that made me dance like a prick last night on Radio 2 on the way home from work: Ian Dury – Hit me with your Rhythm Stick, The Peppermint Apes – Dancefloor Hero, Let Me Be The One (I’m guessing the title of this one because I can’t find it or who it’s by, but it was lovely and happy)

My friend Salla’s blog http://blondipatonkimaassa.blogspot.com/ because even though I can’t understand a word, it is all pink and happiness and just looks like how I know her to be in life; driven, passionate, interesting, thoughtful, artistic, beautiful and sparkly.

My friend Brindle’s videos http://www.youtube.com/brindlecake because they make me snort without fail.

My friend Pete http://www.iampeter.co.uk/ who never ceases to amaze me with his talent, sense of humour and thirst for life

My brother’s ex girlfriend’s amazing photography http://www.flickr.com/photos/megansharpphotography/

This fantastic website that prompted me to start writing regular love letters http://www.sleeptrip.com/300loveletters/2.html I know I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I think so much of it.

My mama http://www.seventh-heaven-massage.vpweb.co.uk/default.html who is wise and down to earth and I don’t mind a bit if I turn out exactly like her.

Mami

So. Entry 50.

Not a lot to say today. I have very shaky hands, which I can’t explain. Listening to This Bitter Earth by Dinah Washington and relating to the lyrics.

‘This bitter earth
What fruit it bears
What good is love
That no one shares
And if my life is like the dust
That hides the glow of a rose
What good am I
Heaven only knows

This bitter Earth
Can it be so cold
Today you’re young
Too soon your old
But while a voice
Within me cries
I’m sure someone
May answer my call
And this bitter earth
May not be so bitter after all’

Had a good weekend (night) with my beau after my first kids’ writing workshop with Expanding Imaginations at work, which was lovely. Asked the children to contribute to a story I’m writing for my friend’s seven-month-old bump. Got some lovely responses and I’m looking forward to next week’s session.

Up and down very much still. Tramped round town the other day dressed as a pretty appalling superhero, Bathtime Bitch, (I only had towels and blue things to hand), and remembered why I don’t do fancy dress, or work with people. I am shy again. Drama didn’t change me, and I don’t feel I could go back to it now. I feel awkward again, I do things like run out of breath when I’m talking because I get so het-up about whether I’m being interesting or out of line or whatever. It happens more with some people than others. Some I probably want to impress, some I just don’t want to be around. I hate the sound of my own voice and lose my comfort in singing to myself and acting or reading aloud, things I love to do.

It honestly isn’t all downhill. Yesterday I was very level headed. I accepted that I had very little time with my boyfriend and still managed to enjoy it all, and keep him happy too. Sounds simple enough, but for me it was kind of a landmark. I don’t know if this is my success or ours. Hopefully it’s a sign of our strength and not just mine, I’d like to believe so. Who ever knows. Everything is up in the air. He still doesn’t know his plans for summer and the future, which leaves me hanging, but I’d be glad of the extra time in York with this group of wonderful people I’ve found, although I know it will probably do me no good to drag out the goodbye. I hate goodbyes. I love to think we can keep in touch as long as we want to, but you can’t do it alone, it has to be a two-way thing, and not everyone works the same way. People get disappointed, make assumptions, have their own things going on inside their heads. Things change constantly.

Anyway, enough moaning. I think this week has been pretty good. Everyone is lovely and beautiful as usual and I feel very looked after. I will be VERY sad to leave my current gang.

I got another government questionnaire in the post to fill out, asking about all sorts of personal experience, emotional trauma and other invasive questions. I know I’m seeking help but I really don’t want to put this stuff down on paper in little boxes. a) when I was fourteen, b) when I was fourteen, c) the kitten on the stairs, d) about my dad. It just feels so wrong.

I’m trying to plan a night of performance loosely themed on love, including readings of my stories, a friend’s poetry, another friend’s love letters and yet another friend’s amazing piano fingers. Looking good so far. I would say I’m excited, but I’m not really feeling anything at the moment apart from the pawing of a tiger at my back.

Diary 49

In response to your kind, wise words:

I went to work, not the doctor’s, that’s just how I am. I cannot justify to myself a day spent outside my usual responsibilities, I have never been a wild child and find it hard to prioritise if it means compromising my goody-two-shoes status.

I know I am lucky. I have a lot of really good stuff and circumstance in my life. I hate moaning when I remember all this, but I do it because I feel so sedated that I can’t remember what it feels like to be genuinely excited and passionate and believe there is meaning to our day to day. I can’t stop thinking about the bigger picture in a detached, overwhelmed, lazy way. This has been me for longer than I’ve been calling it by a name, or attempting to treat it.

I am fully aware that I do this to myself and that I am here because, somehow, I want to be. I don’t know why that is but it’s a need. A dietary requirement to feel low. It’s in my chemistry. This is not a plea for help because I respect every emotion that goes through my mind and want to give them all the space and time they need. I have my ups and downs and all that jazz. I hate the phrases I’m using these days. I feel very compartmented. I am really so much more of a real person than that. I think there is more to life than trying to fix problems. Some things seen as problems are not, they are just nature, and I appreciate everything that’s happening to me in a way. I wouldn’t change my life for anything. Despite my days of reading Girl Talk and Shout, I have never truly wished I was anyone else or had done anything differently.

I know that it’s scary and dramatic to say I’m thinking about hurting myself, but in all honesty, everything I say must be taken with a pinch of salt. I am always honest, but it was merely a feeling. An urge. Energy coursed through me and I needed to stab something. That’s the only way to describe it. I don’t think I will ever be of the mind to actually carry out such things, though it is perfectly natural to feel that anger from time to time. Thus I would feel wrong repeating such thoughts to the doctor, who I am sure would have me referred to men in white coats not a second after the words were issued. I know the checklists they use. I know the keywords they prick their ears at. I would not be so contentious as to abuse that. I am playing my life by ear, while taking their advice at the same time.

Please know you are not powerless. Any one of you. Every message has an affect on me and I really do appreciate it, even if I don’t have the energy or the words to express that every time. I am always here for you too, and I know I can count on you.

I will also always be sceptical of medicals, not least because my dad once mistook my dislocated shoulder for a mild bruise because I wasn’t ‘screaming in agony’. I’m a tough cookie, pops.

Hard as I try to avoid it since another wise friend from uni advised me, I do have expectations of people. I realise when they are or aren’t met. I  feel dissatisfied when they are met because I think I should have been more ambitious. It breaks my heart to say it but this probably means I will never be happy in any relationships because I feel that whenever I attain something, it is not quite what it should be, or it was too easy, etc. However, I am still constantly amazed by and in love with people. I guess this is the contradiction kicking in.

To follow… Reasons to Be Cheerful: Part 1, inspired mainly by points 8 & 9 of the Kali guide to a healthy mind. This superhero will be wearing her delicates on the outside very soon (that of course being how one evokes one’s powers.)

Thank you all for thinking and responding. I am still in a very smudgey place but I will respond properly in time, I promise. I will show life what I’m all about, in full. Ask me direct questions, it’s the only way to be sure to get to me at the moment.

Diary 48

I start to rely on people again as soon as I feel that delicate feeling creeping back. I panic slowly, thinking ten times over the implications of each emotional urge and getting overwhelmed yet again. Cried on my drive home again tonight, actually sobbing like a child making it hard to see. I feel a breath away from becoming an angry ex-girlfriend. I feel trapped and stunted and unable to please anyone and disappointed in myself and the world. Do all relationships die? Do any last longer than this? Are friends just temporary? Because if I have to do all this over again each year, I really fail to see the point. Fresh start, new friends, new name, new place, new boyfriend, new feelings and catchphrases. Time, familiar feelings, more of the old heartbreak reaffirming enduring neuroses about life, people and my psyche. Am I doomed because I choose to see it this way or because it is this way? Who cares which one it is, when it makes me feel like this? I actually feel like driving a knife through my arm. This is new. I don’t feel safe with my boyfriend anymore and I don’t feel sane. I feel it is unfair to ask him to bear with me any longer and I am not even trying very hard at that anymore. I just want to be able to cry in private, stab something, forget all the hateful feelings that rise up every time someone insignificant makes a careless but deeply offensive remark, and try to see my life as something elevated from the situation I feel so stuck in right now. I’m sorry but I don’t want to kid myself. I don’t want any pink glasses. I want nothingness. I am convinced I will always be alone because I will never get it entirely right with another person and I will NEVER know what the right thing to do is for myself. I do not want to be kept alive but away from sharp objects. I don’t want to go on a list but I want peace. I need major change or you are going to lose me. For real. I am starting to experience a new kind of energy and it’s not good. I feel like a different side of me is taking over, parts of me are shifting positions, and right now all I can think about is that knife in my arm.

The Underwater Pillow

No fairytale here you’ll find, I know. You can try all you like. But I know you won’t, because this story is real. A very real story about very real people and very real things. This is a story about an underwater pillow.

You might think underwater is a strange place for a pillow, and you’d be right. But a lot of things that are real, are very strange. And this pillow was very real.

So real it was, but only to our friend in question. The girl of importance. This girl’s real name was Hush, although of course you won’t find the real names here, because they are sort of private sometimes. Times like these. So we’ll call her Hush.

Hush was a girl, of course, as we said, and we must keep it real, so she was doing girl things and had girl friends and thought girl things and made girl cakes. Girl plans were made in Hush’s mind, changed over time, faded and throbbed.

Being a real girl, real things happened to Hush. Real things passed her eyes and altered her heart. Real wind blew on the back of her neck and real sun shone on her lashes.

Sometimes Hush felt a little unreal. Sometimes life seemed unreal to her, and she started to wonder whether it was her or things that were real, or if anything really was real at all.

Such massive thoughts would stay in Hush’s mind for days, even weeks, or lurk around in the background for longer. She would go out into the real world and find a little patch somewhere, in the shape of her girly bum. She would peer out into the distance and breathe out through her mouth. It was here Hush first thought of her underwater pillow.

In real time, things go kind of quickly. A day is really just twenty-four hours, and a week is only really seven days. You can even check the months off fast.

However, in unreal time – the time inside your head – things go kind of slow. Real time things will come and go before you have enough unreal time to even see some of them. You might catch a glimpse of one or two, and some might stick to the inside of your eyes as they glide past. But a lot of things are just too much in unreal time.

Hush tried various things to turn down the number of real things getting in, just to give her a bit of a rest. She talked. She thought. She slept. She ate. She didn’t. She tried a lot of things over a lot of years, counting all the time, and after a while she made a decision. It was time to make something. Other than the decision.

Being a thinker, she thought she had thought a lot about it, and had probably come to a pretty safe conclusion. It was time to make her way to her underwater pillow.

Hush had pictured the pillow for a very long time, even in unreal time. The idea had come to her over years and years, and, having tried everything else, she knew it was the only thing to do. She would settle her head on a pillow under some water, close her eyes, and think about all the lovely things that happened.

Hush found her pillow underwater, and put her tired thoughts to bed.  Water drifted through her head in unreal time and made her feel like she was just as real as anything she had ever seen or heard. Real time passed and real things stopped happening to Hush. Stopped making her feel unreal, anyway.

Sitting duck

Mayyyybe, if I write on here, you will all get the message at once, and I won’t have to worry about not being in touch with you all, all the time, or at least often enough for you to know I still think of you as a good friend. I feel overwhelmed again today. I started out on form but the day wore me down. I felt more competent and polite and warm with the customers at work than I ever have. But I still come home to a cup of tea and msn and the same deep empty pull in my stomach. The same want to walk out and say fuck you all, none of this means anything and I’d rather have a bath. My friends are just as low if not further engrossed in the same black cloud as me at the moment, and I want to be there for them. I am here, by the way, if you do read this, any time of day or night, I don’t care how close we are or when we last spoke, I am here for you if you want SOMEONE to talk to, vent to, I know that feeling and I have tried people at 3am to no avail. I have tried and got hold of a boyfriend. You should all know by now too that it feels good to think you are making someone happy too, it is psychological fact that the giver of favours is always more satisfied than the receiver. So let me give whenever I can. I know I don’t call on all of you as much as I maybe should. I will get round to all those phonecalls, I promise.

I got a gift tonight that made me cry a bit inside. Thank you. It was a very sweet thing. You clearly know me very well.

Last night before I fell asleep I hallucinated a woman’s voice, very loud and clear, in my ear, saying, ‘They’ve gone to bed.’ First time I’ve heard a voice that wasn’t there. I continue to see half visions every now and then. I really wish my chemical imbalances could manifest them in physical ways, (perhaps preventing me from work?) as opposed to this psychosis. I never thought I’d be in this box. I think it’s given a bad name really because it does sound cliché but it’s so much more real than that.

I still feel crazy. I still feel down. I need a bigger dose please, and I want the government to care instead of making me fill out a monthly questionnaire based on figures that are supposed to deduce my levels of anxiety and depression, and then get filed away in a dusty corridor to be pulled out as evidence when I hit someone’s car, or get thrown away when I say I am better. I guess I’m being harsh. I just know what happened to our evaluation forms at university. AND, if you care so much how I feel that you’ve made it the law for my doctor to give that to me, maybe you could take some time to acknowledge, diagnose and address it for me? Being the health department and all.

Aside from the moaning. A suppressed worry is surfacing, having been kept at bay for the duration of my relationship with my boyfriend so far. I feel almost like he doesn’t know the real me, that either I have hidden certain aspects of it from him, or he has chosen to ignore them because he doesn’t like them. Little things add to this, like the way he doesn’t really care for massage, which is such a massively good thing in my eyes that it shocks me how he can refuse them and really not care at all. What is wrong with you, I think. Well. Maybe he just isn’t into it. So what got him into me? I know I am more than massage. But what am I, if I am not the things I can summon when asked what I do and enjoy. And shouldn’t he love everything I do and even NEED it, on a daily basis, for the rest of his life? Am I surplus to his existence? To everyone’s? Is there a reason I was loud and beautiful and noticed in the street until I started school and then shut myself up and was never heard, but still thought myself top of the class until I was fourteen and was told we plateau, is there a reason I always dreamed big and ignored the hard facts of drama being a redundant career choice and fannied on with it till the age of twenty-two and then slumped into this massive pool that seems to have been hoarding all my negativity and paranoia from years past, bubbling with hurtful memories of things like shutting bunnies in doors by accident, and getting my first disappointed look from a teacher, calling my mother something awful. Is there a reason I went through all of this, pulled myself up, thought myself wonderful at the core, strode back to reality with an ‘I’m ready’ smile on my face, and ended up serving people ice cream while they shout at me like a problem child. Is there a reason I have never, though I’ve wanted to, said ‘Yes, that’s what I gave you because that’s what you asked for, now fuck off before I spit in it,’ and thrown my baseball cap on the floor, headed for the sunshine that taunts us from outside all day every day. Real life awaits. This can’t go on forever. If it does for much longer, I am sorry life, but I’ve had enough and I can’t keep waiting. If better isn’t ready for me yet, I think it’s time to give up.