Today

I am consumed by hate and fear and anxiety, when I desperately want to feel love and joy and calm. My face is forgetting how to smile. I need to remember how to do it before it’s gone for good. Whatever happens from this minute on I will remember that this is not all of me. This pain and distress is not how I will always feel. I will recover. I will find out what really matters to me and make that my life. Not this purgatory. Not this sadness. Not this enveloping, soul-destroying, appalling, and somehow pathetic, loss.

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Unloved kid.

img050 I always felt frightened. I can’t remember not feeling like that. I lived with chaos, instability, violence, misery. I look at old photos of me and from the age of about four I have that same slightly blank, shell-shocked look in all of them. I was ignored, hit, humiliated, betrayed, and given away to people who abused me. I was unloved. I still sometimes feel that way. I think most of my current mental health problems come from the long-term effects of all the effort it took to survive. I AM loved now. I know that. But I weep daily for that little girl who was so easily and casually damaged by the people who were supposed to love her then.

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Sigh. (Again.)

After today’s colossal and repeated errors in judgement, rampant foolishness, overwhelming panic and just utter stupidity, I have come to the conclusion that I learn slower than a fucking pigeon. When will it end? I am an unstoppable fool; this is the plain, unvarnished truth. I need a theme song. I think this’ll do it:

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In which I am a mess.

I am all over the place these days. J came back from hospital but has to go back in again on Monday. Still no joy getting rid of his abscess. He will stay for a while I think. My OCD is raging. I am panic stricken. Caught in a loop of checking and worrying and checking. I can’t stop. I have my counselling and the instructions to deal with it but this week I have been at fever pitch. I am lying awake worrying about how I will stop checking. How I will break this cycle. My checking behaviours cross over with my avoidance behaviours and it is really difficult to unpick them and know which is which, and how to not do either. I have made it a rule today that I must look in the mirror when I wash my face, do my hair and put on make up. I avoid this usually. But then I check in the mirror sometimes up to 60 times a day. I walk from one mirror to another, making sure that nothing has changed in those seconds while I wasn’t looking. So I have to stop that. I have to extinguish all these behaviours and Lucy assures me that the intrusive thoughts that accompany them will die off too. So, I will use the mirror for the three things that I have been avoiding.  And then I will not check. No matter what thoughts are raging through my head about how my face is melting off and how disgusting I look, I will not check.

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Neutropenia.

J is going back to Birmingham. Another blow. He has neutropenia; his white blood cells are demolished and there’s nowhere to go with medication now. No changes to make that will help him. I do not know what they will do to fix this. He recovered from his sepsis, he recovered from the massive abscess, and now this. It’s not fair. But nothing is fair I suppose. How do we go on from here? How do I keep him from losing his will to live? It seems like the closer we get to being okay, the faster the hammer blows fall. I am a selfish woman. I watch him going through this and I think of myself. All I want is my life back. Is that so much to ask? I can not run away now. I have to stay here and see J through this. See our children through this. I’m so tired and lonely. I feel like I’m holding up the world and my body is just too weak to do it any more. If I let it drop what happens? At some point I’ll find out.

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unstoppable pain

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Words

I was awake much of last night, thinking, crying, anxious, frightened almost. I wrote in my diary and listened to music that can sometimes settle me but last night, nothing. It was a bad night. Dark thoughts, wanting to just stop. Fearful of carrying on with this crippling level of anxiousness and leaden misery. As I wrote I thought about how to tell the people I love and who love me that I am living in this terrible place. How can I best explain the anxiety and the attendant behaviours so that they make some sense to others? How can anyone who doesn’t have anxiety and depression understand what someone else is suffering? I don’t know what the words are. I don’t know how to make anyone get it. I’m not suicidal, I’m not unsafe, I’m just very low and ticcing constantly, fighting my OCD because it has increased and is fighting back against my attempts to kill it. I will win. I know that all of this stuff is happening for a very good reason. I know that I am in a rough spot and I’m working hard to fix things and this makes the symptoms worse. It’s temporary. But I think it’s important to be able to talk to my family and friends about what’s going on, and I can’t. I start to speak and become ashamed. I feel silly. I feel small and like I’m hogging time and attention. I feel pathetic. I can not give myself the compassion that I would give to any other human being. So I clam up. Worthless, stupid, attention-seeking Pippa. Why do I feel like this? Why can’t I talk to myself the way I talk to my friends who sometimes suffer like this? I suppose it’s part of the whole package of low mood and anxiety. It’s a vicious circle. I have instructions from Lucy on what to do in these moments, and I have to really try and follow them. Today I will work hard to do just that. I have some time today for myself, and I mean to use it constructively, compassionately, kindly. I think I’ll try and shelve the need to explain, too. Maybe people don’t need to understand it. Maybe they love me no matter what.

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I have a friend

who I have known for 20 years. His name is Stuart. We became friends back when I went to college as a mature student. (Even though I was only 23 at the time I had not been in education since I got married and had my little girl when I was 16 so I was classed as mature.) Stu was a good bit younger than me but we hit it off right away and became best friends. We did everything together, he worked his way into my heart and he became part of my family. Over the next 20 or so years we moved away from each other and lost touch a couple of times but never once have I felt apart from him. He is my best friend. My platonic soulmate. He gets me. I get him.

Last night was a bad night for me. I was so low and so lonely and very scared and somehow Stuart knew. He texted me and then phoned me and he talked to me lovingly and kindly and made all the misery go away. He made me cry and he made me laugh and he speared right to the absolute core of what’s damaging me and just plucked it out and burned it up. I felt stronger. I feel stronger. I feel loved. I can’t adequately say how much it means to me to have someone who I love so completely and wholly just somehow know that I need him. I have so much love in my life; it’s huge, real love coming from many different places. How wonderful is that? I couldn’t see it at all yesterday; everything was dreadful, but then Stu opened my eyes to the love everywhere around me, touching my heart, making me smile and making me cry and holding me safely. I am so lucky. So very lucky, after all these years, to still have my Stuey.

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Ulay Ulay Oh… Marina Abramovic and Ulay…

My friend Jen found this. It moved me to tears this morning. Enjoy.

If you haven’t already seen this…possibly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever found on the interwebs… did some digging around for an ‘after-story’ but nothing….
sorry..apart from an interview with Ulay where he doesn’t discuss Marina at all , but talks about having cancer in 2010/2011..which had me wondering if he thought he was dying when he went down there..either way… These two were loves 30 years ago, agreed to split and never see each other again.. 30 years later .. he turns up at the MoMA show where Marina is doing her ‘one minute with the artist’ Art Installation…


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Two steps forward…

…one step back. Or what feels like two steps back. He’s back in hospital. He was feeling unwell for a few days and then he went really poorly on Thursday and was readmitted while they work out what’s wrong. Turns out to be huge abscess, poisoning him. They are draining it and bombarding him with antibiotics and fluids, all the while balancing his anti-rejection meds because they are wiping out his immunity. This feels never ending. I just want to escape. So much anxiety, so much disappointment. And each time I think I’m closer to getting what I want in life, something pulls it further out of my reach. I know how selfish that seems, given what he’s going through and how hard he is fighting to be well. But after all these years of putting everyone else first I’m learning to recognise my needs and attend to them. And at the moment I need space. I need him to be well, to need me less, to be ok. I need to keep working on my OCD. I need to keep walking forward, even though it feels like I’m wading through glue. I think more than anything, and in spite of the massive support I’m getting from my lovely family and friends, I feel alone. It’s a lonely place in my head these days. It will get better, I know. But right now I would give pretty much anything to know that someone understands how I’m feeling. I think I might dance now. Loud music, a little bit of vodka, moving wildly for a while. It sometimes helps. Dance with me. No-one’s looking.

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