Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Happy Boxing Day from the elves

Finally, I've found five minutes to upload this "Elf yourself" vid that Geekster created on his new IPad!

Stropster (17) would not give permission to be on my Blog . . . might ruin his street cred, so it's Hamper G, Geekster, Bernie (Bro's dog), Herbert the cat  . . . And me!   . . . Me, straight out of bed, I might add . . . Geekster would not even let me "put" my eyebrows on! no mascara, nothing, he said "You won't look any different Mum, it's only a tiny photo" . . . there's no point trying to explain to a Thirteen year old lad.

I'm charging my phone/camera and hopefully will find another five minutes (or an hour) later to post some pics. I need to tidy up again and set out another buffet as family and folk are popping in again today . . . And I bought way too much food for yesterday. The roast will wait until Thursday now.

I will reply to comments on previous post . . . The OCD may have loosened it's grip but I'm not prepared to loosen mine ;-)

I hope you're all having a great time doing whatever it is that you enjoy . . . Thanks, as always, for being here. Much love to you all x

Monday, 24 December 2012

I'm rather excited!

Saturday night . . .

Hey ho here we go!

I've worked manically for the last ten days, yes, since that Thursday, when I kicked myself up the arse and decided I would get on with this Christmas thing and do it properly. And I have, well, almost, I still have a few things on my "to do" list; mainly the things that I have carried forward from one day's list to the next . . .  cleaning the cooker. But all in all, I'm pretty satisfied with my winter clean up and clear out.

The kids are excited, I'm quite excited really. I'll be more excited by Monday night when all I can possibly do is done and I can relax. I decided to have an open house all day buffet on Christmas day, otherwise I spend all day in the kitchen. I'll do a family roast on Boxing day, but for Christmas day as people seem to be coming and going at various times to fit in with other folk, it makes more sense to leave the food on offer all day . . . And eat all day. And play all day. And laugh and eat and play some more.

I will put some pics up soon, I haven't forgotten. I took some of Hamper G being an angel in her school nativity play but they didn't come out too good.

I had my first CBT assessment session with therapist, I was very impressed. I'll write more about this in detail when I have time, after Christmas, but she seems very thorough and is interested in the accumulation of mental health issues, over the years, that have brought me to where I am now. She will not deal with the phobia as a separate issue as she believes that the addiction, phobia, depression and anxiety all go hand in hand . . . I think she's right. I feel very optimistic about her approach. Anyway, more of that in the new year.

So, Sunday night . . .

I went up to Mum's house today to wrap all the presents that I've been buying and stashing for several weeks now. One last grocery shop tomorrow for veg, last minute bargains and anything else that occurs to me during the night (crackers!)  Geekster's Dad is Swiss and celebrates Christmas tomorrow evening, we're all invited (Mum, Bro plus partners and me plus kids) up to his house for food, presents and celebrations  . . . A chance for me to sit and relax whilst someone else does the work, I am so ready.

That's it then . . . I'm off to bed. If I don't get here tomorrow, I'll definitely pop in on Christmas day. I'm right looking forward to it all now . . . Bring on the fluffy antlers! Enough work, time for some fun.

Much love and a Happy Christmas to you all x x

Sunday, 16 December 2012

At last!

Thursday night

A real quickie this will be . . . BUT, in this case, length is of no importance!  None at all, the only thing that matters here is . . . well, I suspect you may have already noticed? or maybe not  . . . Anyway, I hope I'm not speaking too soon, and even if I am, and this is short lived, at least I will have shared this moment of feeling better with you all . . . And why wouldn't I? I've shared enough of my misery . . . I should maybe try and strike some kind of balance, har, har.

I've started my major winter purge of the lounge in preparation for the tree and trimmings . . . Yes, I finally experienced one of my manic, marathon 14hr non-stop days, that I've missed so much . . . O how I've missed them. I didn't get as far as doing the tree or trimmings, yet, but purge I did. I emptied the whole room, rearranged the furniture so the bay window area is ready for the tree, mended the outdoor icicle lights, cleaned the windows . . . totally stripped, scrubbed and patchoulied this room ready for its tinsellating tomorrow. I'm actually, seriously, shockingly, looking forward to tomorrow . . .  Did I write that?

I will put up some pictures soon.

Hamper G was at home from school today with cold/cough/earache/slight temperature and I think Geekster will be joining her tomorrow too. Poorly tortoises. They're both good patients. I had to re-schedule this morning's therapy for next Tuesday.

Anyway, sod that . . . I've got tomorrow to get on with and if I'm getting this right, this new concept . . . It's up to me, to a degree, how tomorrow goes . . . if this is so, I think tomorrow could will be a good day for cleaning, fixing more fairy lights, bleaching, lighting candles and oil burners, flinging silver streamers over anything and everything, adding baubles and beads, taking a few pics . . . I really can't wait.

I'm going to bed and keeping a firm grip on this.

Saturday night!

I can't believe it's half ten, I've only just sat down (since this morning, not since Thursday!). I did keep a firm grip on my well overdue motivation and on this new feeling on having some control. I also kept a steady eye on the elusive, flickering light in the distance, it settled and shone until I could see it, no matter where I was looking. I finally finished the lounge today. Yesterday was full of distractions as Hamper G and Geekster were home from school poorly. They're both much better today. So, it's onto the kitchen tomorrow; windows, oven, cupboards, drawers . . . No stone will be left unturned.

I must admit I'm getting quite excited now. I am making an effort to focus on really, literally, taking one day at a time and reminding myself, often, that I have choices and that I can, to an extent, make this day a good day . . . I know it sounds simple and last week it would have meant nothing to me . . . But just for one fleeting moment somewhere on Thursday it did make sense to me . . . and I kept on going back to the idea and trying to keep a hold on it, to build on it, nuture it. Making myself believe it. And that's when things began to improve. How relieved am I? I'm sure you can imagine.

So, once again, I reckon tomorrow will be a productive day. A good day, leaving me feeling that I've taken some control, made some decisions and acheived a few, albeit small, goals. I believe it will.

OK, off to bed. Thanks to all of you for being here with me and for encouraging me.  All of the words and love that I find here mean so much to me.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Today's Truth

Friday afternoon
New post eh? Well I've clicked on it, that's a start . . . Now where to really start?

Ok, firstly, I'm having difficulty thinking, about anything. I've seen my doctor and she thinks this is a result of increasing my dose of Fluoxetine (Prozac) . . . I explained to her that I used to write lists of things to do, bills to pay, just stuff to keep my head above water. Now I sit down to write a list and I stare at the page, or doodle. I used to keep account of money spent; having to budget very closely where every pound goes and  . . . again, I sit down to do this and I can't remember back as far as yesterday to think what has been spent, or how, or where . . . She didn't seem concerned when I told her about this and said they would like to keep it at this level until I've completed the CBT (exposure therapy for phobia) and then reduce. I can see the logic of this, in that my anxiety and "OCDness" is massively reduced and so is my phobia, yes I've noticed that too. I can understand how this will make the therapy less frightening and such . . . But, I dont like not being able to think, or obsess. It's a big part of who I am. And what if I face the exposure therapy and the object of my phobia at this level, only to return to my anxious, obsessive, phobic self once the pills are stopped . . . anyway we'll see, but, for now, I am struggling to think and I'm struggling to do.

 . . . I'm not blaming this lack of focus entirely for my lack of fight . . . But those glimpses of the awful reality of this addiction are few and far between, and with little, or no, impact. So, although I'm sure this state of mind is ideal for facing one's worst fears . . . It's not so good for keeping up with day to day demands  (keeping ALL the socks paired and the loo bleached) or obsessing of any sort . . . Or getting a grip of any sort.

It's freezing cold, I'll tell you that. Freezing cold, wet and windy and freezing cold.
And Christmas is creeping up on me, well, on us all, I suppose . . . everyday, it's a day closer. Really.
And much as I would like, at this moment to fast forward to the new year, rather than face the stress and expense of Christmas  . . . The new year, itself, will bring with it a new problem, more about that later.

It's Saturday morning now. I had a "moment" at half four this morning . . . I lay on the sofa (that's where I sleep at the minute) with these questions going through my mind  . . .  How will I ever stop this? How long will I exist if I don't stop this? What if Hamper G's Dad is homeless on his release from prison?  (17th Jan) in this freezing cold? How can I not help? What if he OD's? Why did he not tell me that he tried to hang himself in prison almost three years ago (at the beginning of his sentence) Why? What if? What will it take? Silent hot tears were falling and I didn't even know I was crying . . . A voice came through the dark from the other sofa  "I love you Mama" . . . what made her say that, right then in her sleep? and why can't I do this? Please, why are three beautiful children not enough to keep me out of this darkness?

There is so much stuff I should be doing . . . And I'm not, I'm just stuck. Real stuck.

And now it's Saturday afternoon. Geekster's Dad has been round for coffee and to arrange to pick Geekster up tonight . . . I see that man looking at me with sadness in his eyes, asking himself where did she go? He might well ask.

Stropster will be in from work in a minute wanting lunch, he's still mad with me, in a
way . . . Rightly so.

This is some of the top layer. The very top layer of a few things, but you knew that.

I was up at half seven this morning to get Stropster up for work and as I made the coffee I accidentally knocked a brand new jar of coffee from the worktop and it smashed on the tiles. I scooped up three sponns to make my coffe with hot milk . . . picked up a large shard of glass and held on to it like it might save me . . . Fortunately, I then imagined the kids finding the mess and walked away from it all, back to the sofa with my coffee . . . So, to some extent, the kids keep me out of the worst of the darkness.

And now Geekster has just phoned me from town to ask what shoe size I am . . . as he's found some fluffy leopard slippers at half price in New Look and he's getting me them for Christmas . . . That boy makes me cry. And now I'm crying again.

I'm not going to read over this or try to improve anything . . . It's today's truth.
Love and thanks to you who read here.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Midnight Fantasy

I can't see this being anything other than a right miserable post . . . so unless, for some reason, you happen to be looking for just that, I'd move swiftly on.

I've been here often over the past two weeks, catching up on Blogs, commenting when I have time, starting a post and leaving it until tomorrow . . . or whenever, or never.
So I won't start by reading Blogs tonight. I'll just write about where I am.

I feel right wound up to tell you the truth. My soul is aching with tears of frustration . . . I remember writing a similar post to this, possibly a year ago, when once again, I'd spent the whole day waiting, wondering and believing false promises. I could bore you with the whole story, every text, every phone call, every lie I chose to hang on to . . . but I won't. Fellow addicts would know the story all too well. Non addicts would wonder why anyone would put up with such nonsense . . . I don't know why it has to be so difficult. I can't think of any pre-addiction situation that compares. Something like being an alcoholic during the prohibition maybe . . . but I don't suppose any of us know much about that either.

Had I not spent so many hours getting gradually wound up over this, there could have, eventually, been the "joy" of finally getting the damn stuff, but by now I am beyond feeling "joy" . . . and even if I were to feel, say, a hint of relief, the thrill of the kill, so to speak, on it's arrival . . . disgust at my own fickleness would soon dampen that . . . So I wont. Be happy, I mean. Good lord, whats the point of this? Surely I might as well give in to feeling some kind of relief or short lived shallow happiness, should it be offered, after such a day . . . I'm obviously barking up the wrongest tree on the planet here. It could be that it's not even a tree.

Sometimes, somehow, I try to remove myself from myself for a second and take a look from another's eyes . . .  I can't even explain what I see, well, not so much see, as feel. Hopelessness, that's pretty close, or is it helplessness? I would shake my head at her and think; this is going nowhere, nothing will change, she's past the point of no return . . . Unreachable. That's what I'd say. But who am I to say?

So, do I just go on with this slow suicide until my lungs can take no more, then lie in a hospital bed cursing my comforter to the end. My children will still be my children.  I'll ask myself why, why did I not stop when I still had the chance. I already have the benefit of hindsight screaming at me . . . unwelcome visions that come to me at dawn. Glimpses of the crushing weight of regret that will be upon me. Twinges of the unthinkable pain of leaving them all too soon. Knowing that there will be no going back . . . It will be too late. Will anyone say "You must have known this would happen" or will they just think it? . . . There'll be no more chances. It will be time to pay the price . . . And the cost keeps on mounting.  I'm already grieving the loss of me . . .  where the fuck did I go? I don't remember choosing this, but I must have done . . . Where on earth was I when I made that decision? I don't suppose it matters any more.

Can I fast forward myself to that most awful place? . . .  Pleading for a chance to feel life and see life and live life. To choose life . . . Yes, anything, I'll do anything to live, to breath, to be given that choice again.

Really? you will?
Of course I will!!

Then off you go . . . Sleep now and when you awake tomorrow you will be back to where you were at almost 50 again and life will be yours for the taking. Just remember to take it this time. Every little bit of it with both hands, both ears and eyes.

Can you imagine . . . Can I imagine?

Well, I'll try.

I'm neither going to read through this or apologize for my misery. It's just a snippet of where my mind is at tonight . . . that's all.  Who knows what tomorrow today might bring. Love and thanks to you, my friends x x x

Thursday, 1 November 2012

I'm still here . . .

Ok, I'm gonna attempt to explain why I haven't posted recently . . .

I have started many posts and this is already beginning to feel like another one of those. Well, I suppose it will be as I'm going to be totally honest, as I have been in the drafts, but hopefully the difference will be that this one gets published.

Firstly, I won't stop Blogging. Even if I only continue to write my past story with updates, I will at least do that. When things are not going so good, I feel that, as much as writing can sometimes help to sort out the mess, putting it out here might look like I'm looking for sympathy . . . I'm not. Also, although this feels like some wretched deadly disease to me, I do have my physical health, and many more things, to be grateful for. I am all too aware that life could be much much worse . . . and that tends to make me feel a little selfish, griping on about this addiction that, after all, is in a way, self-inflicted . . . But, gripe I will!

I woke at 5.30 this morning and had a massive reality check. One of those huge ones where all the negativity and worries of my life came flooding over me like some fucking tidal wave . . . I lay there almost paralysed with fear as each aspect hit me like a bullet, sending me cringing further and further down under the quilt. Ouch. Sometimes it's all too much.

Then, in the aftermath, I lay there thinking about the lighter things in life; paying for bills, buying Christmas presents blah di blah and as I focused on these things, in the back of my mind somewhere deep under these thoughts I felt my hands typing a phrase. I was gradually falling back to sleep so this was part dream but I was also awake and thinking. I had no idea what my hands had typed, this was totally on a sub-conscious level as lists of toys and bills went though my conscience . . . I looked at a screen where I had "typed" . . . I heard, saw and felt the words loudly over, and over, with a certain rhythm.

"You can not control me" . . . and, of course, I can't.

This shook me away from my more lighter worries and it hit me, more than ever, maybe for the first time ever . . . that I can not control this addiction. I just can't. I'm so so fed up to the back fucking teeth of it. So utterly pissed off with my own bullshit of "tomorrow will be better" . . . Why do I even try to kid myself that tomorrow will be any different, it won't. That I might just have the strength to say no tomorrow . . . I don't think so.

I do feel bad even posting this, but this is my truth, how I feel. I could write on and on about how stuck I feel, how trapped and totally out of control I feel and I might just do that later . . . but for now this is just to say; I'm here. I'm still reading all of your Blogs. I sometimes just can't comment.

I will just say the kids are all fine. They enjoyed Halloween, decorated cup-cakes for "trick or treaters", helped me watched me carve the pumpkin . . . dressed up, made their faces up and had a spooky evening knocking doors in the dark, wind and rain! . . . And now they're back to focusing on "The day when they get loads of presents from Mum!"

On the surface, life looks normal. In my head, it's a very different story.

Thanks for reading and still being here. Really, I do appreciate every single one of you. Love to all x x x

I'll try and get some photos here of Hamper G as a witch, and maybe one of our final (?) baby hamster . . . he's so cute and he wasn't part of a litter, just a one off, luckily!

Ps. I'm so sorry for causing any worry. I will reply to the comments on my previous post. I really do, foolishly, underestimate how much folk really do care . . . I truly am sorry.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Purple Daisies and Autumn leaves

Hey! . . . I've finally got some good news . . . No, not that good, but not bad. Definitely good, but not in the miracle category . . . why don't I just shut up about how good it is, or isn't and tell you. It's hardly worth the mystery . . . I just won something! I've never won anything, ever. Well, not that I can remember, maybe I'll have a little think about that later. Anyway, I was doing a small "top up shop" the other day in Tesco (I don't often use Tesco and have no idea why I did on that day) and I was talked into writing my name and address on a prize draw slip for a golden ticket . . . do you know what? I didn't even read what the prize was, I literally just scribbled my name and address to appease the insistent cashier and posted it in the box for the draw, it hardly even registered as done in my mind . . . Until Wednesday whilst I was doing my big weekly shop in Asda, I answered a call to an unknown number, which in itself is rare for me . . . It was a lady from Tesco blah blah blah . . . I was barely even listening, as I looked for which soft cheese was on offer . . . "Blah blah blah . . . But you did win one of the runner up prizes which is £100 of Tesco vouchers" . . . "I did what?" . . Yes, I did and they can be spent at Tesco on-line so I can use them towards Christmas presents for the kids. What a bonus eh? I was buzzing, I still am.

Now I've mentioned Christmas in October! let me tell you this; every year I promise myself that next year I will start my Christmas shopping early to avoid taking out a loan (a no interest loan, I might add, nevertheless it has to be paid back at £25 per week) and every "next year" I break my promise and take out a loan. Well not this year, I have started early, three weeks ago to be precise. Fortunately I had the good sense (or maybe it was Mum's idea?) to stash the presents at her house . . . as Hamper G has been off school with diarrhoea for two days now, poor little soul, her bum is burning and stinging, I know, too much information, and she's only eating toast and water . . .  Anyway, I have no doubt that if those presents were here, I would have let her have at least one of them today. Just as well they are at Mum's house . . . Talking of Mum, she's off to Australia alone in two weeks to visit my sister. Inspired by my recent weight loss Mum also managed to lose 20lbs this Summer and with this weight loss came a new wardrobe and a new lease of life, so that's her 80th birthday present to herself. Good for her! I'd love to think that I might be so physically active and mentally sharp at 80 years of age . . .  another 30 years! . . . Well, who knows eh? I'm all too aware of what would improve my chances, of course . . .

And talking of Australia, I was thinking of
The Elephant's Child the other day and the photographs of her wonderful garden, and other things, that she posts . . . She had posted some of a "Daisyish" flower in her garden that I recognised from my own garden. Most of the Summer flowers are almost over, but these two pots of daises have flowered over and over again. I presume this could be their last flowering, so I snapped some pictures of them which I will attempt to post here. I don't know if I could keep these flowers alive in the house over winter . . . does anyone know? I don't even know what they're called.

So, what else is good . . . O yeah, I got a phone call this morning with the result of last week's assessment. They have decided to offer me exposure therapy (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) for my phobia . . . I have mixed feelings about this; ranging from excited to terrified. I know it can work, and that I could rid myself of this debilitating phobia forever with some hard work and much discomfort, but part of me wants to hide and avoid it; to cancel the therapy and live exist alongside it, as I have for the past 48 years  . . . But I won't hide and when the first appointment comes through I'll go and I'll face it. And, what's more, I'll write about it. 

As most things seem to be going so well today, I'll try and bring those pictures over here . . . Geekster is still in France so I can't call on him to help. I'm missing my little Geekster but he'll be home on Sunday to his favourite roast dinner.  I dare say he'll have a few tales to make me laugh too . . . Possibly to do with his Dad's reluctance to part with money . . . which of course is why he has so much of it. Right, I'll stop myself there!

Yay! There's the Daisies. I must remember to take my phone/camera thingy with me next time I walk into town. The colours of the Autumn leaves really are something else. I'm sure the older I get, the more I notice, and appreciate, the detail and colour in nature. I must admit to feeling a tad optimistic today. I'm not sure why, nothing has changed in that area . . . maybe it's the double dose of Prozac.

O well, whatever it is, it's made for a lighter post than usual. I'm going to leave it at that; quit whilst I'm ahead as they say . . . Love and thanks to each one of you x x 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Come what may, I'm posting today!

Sometimes I struggle to find any quiet in my day. My head's spinning with it . . . Stropster playing his guitar, Hamper G "talking" to Galah, her imaginary friend, on the phone, I keep putting off writing until it's the right time, or a better time, and it just never is.

Last week was hectic with appointments, assessments, shopping or some such thing every morning, which meant I didn't return home in the morning after the school walk until lunch time. Stropster comes home for lunch, which then leaves me a couple of hours to do the "keeping my head above water" chores and it's school time again . . . then cooking and washing blah di blah. Hamper G is sometimes so tired from school that she needs a nap at four whilst I'm cooking, all good, but after a nap and her dinner she is full of energy again until half nine, ten . . . half ten? and on and on we go . . .

Anyway that wasn't the case today (written on Monday). I had no appointments and came straight home from school at 9.30 am, it was dark and grey and raining. I curled up in my chair with a blanket and slept through until it was almost time to go to school again. I did feel a slight twinge of guilt at wasting the day, but I also felt a bigger twinge of I must have needed the sleep. So I kind of wasted my "quiet alone time" instead of appreciating it . . . I probably didn't waste it, I made the most of it by sleeping, but you know what mean. O well. It's sodding noisy now that's all I know.

Right that's my griping over with and it's two hours later now and quiet. I might have some more griping to do, I'm not sure, yet.

Stropster passed his driving theory test today so he's buzzing and he can put in for the practical test next . . . He also got a wage rise so all is good in his world and despite my moaning about him playing the guitar he's progressing well and I do normally enjoy listening to him play . . . just not tonight.

Geekster is in France with his Dad. His Dad lives here locally but he bought a real nice farmhouse in France during our last attempt at a relationship. There was talk of us living there and it is a beautiful place . . . but there you go. A beautiful house doth not a relationship make.

I went to the city N/A last Wednesday, there were three men there. It felt slightly awkward for some reason but I think I'll try it again. They were all rather keen to suggest other larger meetings to me but they're all evening meetings and I can't get over to the city of an evening . . .

I had what I thought was a mental health assessment this week, but it wasn't, it was an assessment for CBT (cognitive behaviour Therapy) re the phobia . . . so after an hour of interview, I realised I'd told them all sorts of irrelevant information as I wasn't aware that the interview was only phobia related, until the end! . . .  I'll be hearing from them soon. The full mental health assessment to decide where we go with treatment and medication is not until next month. Until then, my GP has doubled my dose of Prozac. I said I didn't feel much different apart from complacent and unmotivated . . . she said this wouldn't be the pills, they should make me feel motivated . . . we shall see!

I still feel very stuck in this addiction. I did have another of those lucid frightening reality moments at 3.15 this morning. I sat up in bed full of fear and terror, wandering how the hell things had gotten back here again? . . . and how it must stop, and it will stop, and how will it stop? and when will it stop? My heart was racing and I couldn't settle again for some time. It was possibly only 15 minutes but it felt like hours. I don't know, I really don't. And now Hamper G's Dad has just called from prison and I ignored the phone . . . five times. Sometimes I can't do phone calls, sometimes I can't do jovial . . . or even normal.

Well a right misery post this is turning out to be, I knew it would, which is why I've been waiting, hoping I would lighten up a bit . . but No.

I mean, throughout the day with all of it's distractions all is well. On our way back from school this afternoon we collected a selection of amazing Autumn leaves and made a tree collage to send to Hamper G's Dad and another one to send to my Dad. We had a good time reading Hamper G's reader book from school, she's doing very well and loves the feeling of learning and achieving but when it's just me in my own head, which it is here, then I really get to wandering . . .

I do wonder if  I'll ever be that healthy, free, creative version of me that I should be, living life to it's, and my, full potential. I know it's all down to me to make that happen, and I can perfectly imagine how it would be, it's not too far fetched or ridiculous. It doesn't rely on any big money or anything other than what I have really. It's do-able. So why the hell don't I get on and do it, make it happen?

(Tuesday morning)
I would say sorry for such a miserable post, but I wont because, really, I'm not. I mean, I'm a tad pissed off that I still feel like this but I don't feel there's much point in apologising for myself.
I do, however, hope that my next post is slightly more cheerful . . . I think I've been saying this for a while.

I will reply to the comments on my previous post, I almost did this morning and then decided I should post this first. So I will, right now. I'm not going to edit or dwell on making this readable. I will post and move on.

Before I do, I will thank every person who is reading here. Whether you've been here for the whole year or just a day, thankyou. With love, as always x x x

Monday, 1 October 2012

Turkey, Tramp and Trimmings

OK, I've got a little story to tell. I've almost finished the next episode of the ongoing saga that is my past . . . and I don't have much anything new to add to the ongoing saga that is my present. So.

The other day, I was reminded of something that happened many, many years ago, when I was eight. Yes, that long ago. And yet, it's as clear, maybe clearer, than yesterday.

I'd been thinking about a couple of posts that  John at Going Gently wrote this week. One post led to another on the subject of including people who are generally excluded . . . and how or when we first learnt to do this, if indeed we did learn.

It didn't take me long to rake out my first memory of including the outsider . . . although being an outsider myself, I was only including him into my own outsideness, but that was better than nothing. Anyhow, I left a brief comment at John's and refrained from telling the whole story in the comment box . . . But the memory was unleashed and snippets kept playing over in my mind, jumping into my  thoughts out of nowhere, until I played it right through, sort of mentally re-lived it and settled it back into the archives again. I really hadn't remembered this in years. It was quite extraordinary . . .

It was Winter 1971 and I was almost nine. Half way through our school term a new boy had joined our class. His name was Lee-Roy and he was Black. West Indian. The only black kid in the class, possibly the school.  He looked as different as I felt and I recognised a kindred spirit. I wondered if life would be easier if I was black; if my difference showed up physically, it might be justified somehow. I was fascinated. I'd never spoken to a black person, apart from the bus conductor. I felt a connection with this lad; not only did he look as different as I felt, he looked as worried as I felt . . . and as lonely. We must be feeling the same inside . . .

We were seated in Alphabetical order of our Surnames, mine began with V and his with W . . . he was given a seat next to me! Next to me!. . . I helped him out in class, gave him my spare pencil and when it came to playtime, he stayed with me. I expected him to go off and play with the other boys but he didn't. We just sat together on the steps, we didn't even talk much, we just sat and watched the other kids playing.

Our school was on the edge of a notoriously rough council estate where Lee-Roy's mother had been allocated a house. She was a single mother to five or six boys but I didn't know any of this at the time. One afternoon in class, as we put our chairs up on the tables and sang our "going home" song, which always made me feel so sad, Lee-Roy asked if he could come round to my house one day.

"Yeah, of course, come round for tea . . . now".

I learnt this from my Dad. My parents were in the Salvation Army and did a fair amount of work in the soup kitchen with homeless folk. Dad was also an outsider, always had been, even though he wore the SA uniform and looked like any other man there, he never felt as though he belonged. He questioned other people's integrity when they said "Oh you must come to Dinner one Sunday" He wanted to say "Why one Sunday . . . why not this Sunday . . . or next Sunday?"
So, most Sundays after "open air" meetings in the city centre Dad would find a homeless beggar to come and join us for Sunday lunch.
"Yes, come on, up you get now, of course you can bring your dog and shopping trolley. Yes, you can bring your bottle. No thanks, I don't drink but you're welcome to bring it with you" . . . And Christmas, well Christmas dinner was not complete without a vagabond at the table. If they so wished, they could take a bath and he'd give them some "new" clothes, maybe a haircut and a shave Sir?. . . They were as necessary as the turkey itself. Turkey, Tramp and Trimmings . . . I digress.

We left the school and waited for the lollipop lady to see us across the wide and busy road that, I now know, separated the council estate from the private houses. His eyes grew in disbelief. I was always amazed at how curled his lashes were. "You live on the other side of this road?" . . . I had no idea this was a dividing road. I wasn't aware of those houses being any different to these houses. They were houses, built of red brick, on paved streets. They were the same. To me.

Mum came in from work and warmed up a tin of Heinz vegetable soup. She shared it into two bowls and put a loaf of white sliced Mother's Pride bread on the table. I don't think Lee-Roy touched his spoon. He ate slice after slice of bread soaked in soup until the bowl was clean . . . and the loaf was gone. All gone. We sat on the floor in front of the gas fire and his eyes shone, he seemed to come alive, to glow in the warmth. He smiled more. I wanted to feel his hair but I didn't dare ask. He stared at the burning plates of the gas fire as if they were beautiful dancing flames. His eyes watered from the heat, I think.

It was freezing cold and getting dark and eventually, very reluctantly, he left. I felt his sadness and my sadness.

Our bedrooms were freezing cold, early nights were the most efficient way of keeping warm. At that time my Sister and I had the small front bedroom with twin single beds, separated only by a small bedside cabinet. We would pull the blankets over our heads to get warm, leaving just a whispering space open and in the dark we would whisper about everything and anything . . . Until one of us realised we were whispering alone.

The next thing I heard was Mum screaming to my Dad . . .

"Bob! Bob! get up here! Help!! there's an animal! . . ."
I heard her running downstairs, then some more shouting in the kitchen . . . Then, running back up the stairs, back into our room. My sister was still asleep and Mum growled at me through clenched teeth.
"Get up now and get down those stairs! . . . What on earth were you thinking?"

I had no idea what I was thinking, or what I was supposed to be thinking. I was very confused and scared, I was obviously in big trouble . . . I got up, I remember; I was wearing a mauve stretch-nylon, flared legged, flared sleeved, catsuit. I loved it . . .  I crept down the stairs slowly, silently, trying to work out what I was meant to be thinking . . . I could hear raised voices in the front room now . . . Someone was pleading "She did not know Madam, I swear, she did not know" . . . It was Lee-Roy!!

Mum had heard the floorboards creaking in our room and had come up to make sure we were in bed. We were. She'd been horrified to see, shining through the darkness, the frosted head and two big eyes of what she thought was a dog, lying curled up on the floor between our two beds . . . As she'd stepped back and screamed, he had bolted on all fours, out of the room and down the stairs with all the speed and agility of a cat! He was heading for the back door where he had crept in, but Dad was in the kitchen locking up for the night. He was trapped and frightened. There was no way out now.

We all sat in the front room, Lee-Roy staring at the gas fire once again. And again, he pleaded with my parents; to believe that I had no part in this plan and not to call the police. He said his Mum already had too many worries with his Brothers. He was so sorry. So, so, sorry, he cried and cried. I cried. I was sent back to bed and Dad drove him home. Home, where there was no warm soup or soft white bread. Back to the other side of the divide. Dad insisted on going into the house to explain to Lee-Roy's Mum, she must be worried sick . . . She wasn't there, she was working nights at the city Hospital so she could be at home during the day time for the kids. As they stood in his kitchen, Dad hugged Lee-Roy and told him he understood. And he did understand; he knew the pain of hunger, the scrounging around for crusts of bread in the streets. His father would come home from sea, drunk and penniless, having spent a months wages in the boozer. He knew the yearning to be part of a family, part of something, anything; to sit at the table with another person and share some warm soup  . . .  To feel the warmth of the fire.

As he said Goodnight to Lee-Roy he noticed a note on their kitchen table, written by a child.

Mum . . . I go to live with Diane. I come back to see you soon. I love you.
Lee-Roy x x x

In his mind it was that simple. If only.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Dream and all things mythical . . .

OK, I'm gonna write, right now. I've got a heap of paperwork, phone calls, e-mails and messages to deal with but they will all have to wait . . . I'm not even gonna take time to read any Blogs this morning or comment; if I do, before I know it, it will be midday, then I'll need to spend this afternoon catching up with life and, once again, I'll be too tired to post tonight. So, here I am at 9.30 am.

I had a very weird and telling dream last night. It seemed to play through the whole night but I'm sure it didn't . . . There was some kind of huge pagan festival, which I was walking through. Sometimes indoors; rooms from the commune where I lived, from the houses of my childhood, hospital rooms and classrooms. Sometimes outside; fields, rivers, bridges, railroads . . . but always surrounded by a whirlwind of weirdness (there's a surprise!) At one point I looked down to see I was pregnant and wearing a purple fleece dressing gown. A nurse came through a door and called me into a room to question my drug taking (whilst pregnant - Guilt!) . . . She said I could take a pill and the baby would go away . . . Go away? I looked at least 8 months gone.

Next thing, I was carried along by a very enthusiastic crowd, down to a wide, raging river from which were emerging, what can only be described as bears . . .  bears with limbs as long as those of a human,  . . . Folk were clambering to hug one of these "bears", the bears were revered, worshipped, magical, mythical beings . . . "Get one!" they called to me. "Get that one!" That one, being the one who was coming towards me, looking like he might get me first! Personally, I wasn't too trusting of these beings and certainly didn't have any intention of hugging one. Again, I looked down, this time I noticed that I had no shoes on . . . "I have to go" I called "I need to find my shoes" and clambered, sometimes forward, then slipping backwards up (and down) the very slippery, wet, muddy river bank (trying to get away from something that many people find appealing . . . hmmmm) OK, you don't need me to explain, I know.

Then . . . bear with me (bear!), I can't remember much more, but this is VERY clear . . . I was on the inside of a square tower, empty, apart from a staircase winding up along the inside of the four walls . . . Many parts of the staircase were missing; sometimes the outer rail, sometimes a few steps, other times many steps. Occasionally, where there were huge gaps, there would be a table nailed to the wall (!) . . . On these tables were jewels and crystals, statues and trinkets for sale. Distractions, designed to stop me moving on up! . . .  I digress . . . I (?) was singing . I question the "I", as this was the most beautiful voice I've ever heard. It was more than a voice. It was an uplifting (literally), spine-tingling, ethereal, angelic choir, yet I was controlling it. When "I" sang, I floated over these gaps, they were gone, I was "as if by magic" on the other side of them. When "I" stopped singing, I struggled; alternating between edging my way along, hanging from the loose and broken rails, and attempting to reach across empty gaping spaces to the next steps. I was aware that I had "written" this song, this wordless, amazing melody was straight from my soul. . . I wish I could remember it, although I know that is not the point of this dream . . . Again, you don't need me to tell you.

OK, back to reality . . . My "main man" got sent down for six months yesterday (not drugs related). Obviously this doesn't make it impossible for me to score, but it's certainly a major deterrent. To go from having it discreetly delivered to my front room, of an evening, to having to visit a well known, well watched, often raided, crack den in the middle of town and in the middle of the afternoon, makes a huge difference to me. Town is almost a mile away and as I already walk four miles a day, unless I go there as part of my journey on the way to school, alone, in the afternoon (a very small tiny weeny window of opportunity temptation) . . . I will not be doing it at all. And when I say often raided; that's by police and crack fiends with machetes. This could be just what I need . . . divine intervention! I've already imagined many nightmare scenarios that could occur, visiting that place . . . hmmmm.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to the city N/A this Wednesday as I had an appointment with the doctor and a "breathing review" yesterday. In fact I barely sat down yesterday between 7am and 8pm. I've introduced Mother to Hamper G's wonderful teacher as "Grandma, who will be picking her up on a Wednesday afternoon"  . . . So, definitely next Wednesday. I've made sure I have no other appointments.

O My, it's midday! how did that happen. I must go. I need to find my shoes! . . . I have a feeling I will remember more snippets of this dream as I go through the day. Yes, it was one of those dreams. I've already remembered another piece but it involves my phobia, so I'll keep hold, or rather, let go of that bit . . . It obviously represents a lot of stuff that I want to get away from. And, indeed, how to get away . . . I need to find my shoes first . . . I'm off to look for them.

I will catch up later with your Blogs, of course.

Thanks to everyone for reading, commenting, sharing their lives or just being. One week today is my first anniversary of Blogging . . . I really hope, pray, wish and want, more than ever, to be clean. Love, love and more love to you all  x x x

I have ridden comet tails in search of magic rings,
to conjure mythical kings, mythical kings . . .
Singing scraps of angel song, high is right and low is wrong,
and I never taught myself to give,
down, down, down where the Iguanas live.

PS . . . I gotta tell you this. I just picked up my list of fourteen "things to do" today, ranging from sending Hamper G's Dad (in prison) some new socks to phoning Virgin Media, with all manner of things inbetween. None of which I've done, yet, as I've been here . . . So. I added "write a post" to the end of the list and gave it a huge, satisfying tick ;-)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

No, no buts about it . . . It's still progress!

I finally got to do some writing this afternoon. I'd been rooting through some old pictures, looking for something specific the other night and went off at a tangent. This led me to Google the village where I lived for a few years in France. . . . Which led me to a Blog written and photographed by one of the villagers on many aspects of village life . . . I was there till 3am! So little has changed there in Twenty-five years, it was amazing to see so many faces I recognised, the Pizzeria where I worked, every single fountain, the folklore festivals, the traditional music, the Chamois and the Marmots up in the mountains, the Edelweiss . . . Each and every little detail. Needless to say, it brought back many memories and whilst my head was in France, I retraced my past back through Nice to the day I arrived in France after crossing the border with "nice eyes", in  Eliza escapes (part two)
(for new readers, that post is the 9th and latest in my story on the Flashes from the Archives page)
So, after almost two months, the next episode will be here soon. I do wish I could write as and when the mood takes me, without interruptions. Maybe one day . . . well, like today really.

It's been a busy week again, nothing exciting; the usual keeping afloat stuff; washing, cooking, cleaning, shopping . . . contemplating decorating. Yes, contemplating . . . I do know, from experience, that once I start the decorating, there'll be no stopping me. No cooked dinners during those days, washing will pile up, shopping will have to wait. When I start on a room, it's rather like doing a drawing; I have to work straight through until it's completed. I'd stop to make a sandwich for the kids or take them to school, the absolute necessities . . . hopefully, not long enough to lose the mood. If I did, the room would have that suddenly abandoned style. Anyway, I'm not sure when it will happen, but I know it will.

Now then, I noticed that it's almost a year since I started this Blog . . . Nearly a year!!  I don't really want to examine the changes that I've made this year, quite likely because I feel there are too few  . . . But that depends on which areas I examine. There has been progress, maybe not as much as I would've liked . . . then again . . .  I'm not really sure at all am I? Maybe I should take a closer look.


Hamper G is in school, even happily settled in school. A year ago I was still fighting to get her a place in the local school. Protesting that I could never walk four miles a day . . , Now I'm grateful that I have no choice but to walk those four miles a day. It does me so much good and there's no way I would have the discipline to make myself do this walk . . . every day, even in the winter.

So, I'm walking four to five miles per day, fast, approx 6 miles per hour. Hamper G either scoots or cycles to school now . . .  so we're fast. I've improved my lung function for sure. I could do with re-introducing the weights and skipping, as they increased both my stamina and strength. More of that can't be a bad thing.

From 72kg I've got my weight down to 62kg, only 2kg off my original target of 60kg, yeah, you noticed the addition of "original" . . . Well, I'm thinking I could go for 57g now, this would take me to my pre-Hamper G weight, and pre-menopause weight.

Hey yeah, there's another one! Hamper G is cycling without stabilisers now. That's huge progress. A great achievement for us both, really.

I kept half a garden this year and although it wont be long before the flowers are over, it's been a pleasure to maintain and admire, mostly . . . Sometimes a pain in the arse to water, but the benefits far outweighed the occasional inconvenience.

Right, now I'm scraping the barrel, let's get to the one that I'm obviously avoiding, like the main goal in all of this, number Six (?) on the list (!) Well, that about says it all, doesn't it?  Not that this is in order of importance, but it was my main goal, I mean, it took priority over planting some flowers.

OK . . . being in the middle of a prolonged lapse, doesn't negate the fact that there have been many clean days this year. In fact, the most days I've had clean/sober in any year out of the last 34  . . . Yes, 34! So, even if I was to say, on average, there were only three to four days clean out of every week between February and August this year, which would equal roughly 80 days in 6 months  . . . they'd be the first 80 days in 34 years . . . That has to count for something. Progress. And I don't intend to stop fighting either.

I won't carry on with that subject as I feel totally schizophrenic about it all. Like, if I think, or write, something positive, I immediately hear the other voice contradicting me. Likewise, if I say, or think, a negative, the other voice defends me . . . So, as you can imagine, the conversation becomes tediously single minded, for a person in two minds . . . .

OK, more progression;

Stropster is still in the same trainee mechanic job/apprenticeship that he began when he left school. That's a year, bless him, earning approximately a third of the minimum wage, oh yes, that's why employers are keen to get apprentices on board  . . . £2.50 per hour for the first year and he works hard there. Fortunately, he has the sense to look at the bigger picture, the future.
He's doing good on the guitar and can strum a few good tunes now. He's booked his driving theory test for next Tuesday . . . The practical exam will follow if he passes the theory. Bro's gonna get him a small car and help out with the insurance. All good then. Progress for sure.

Geekster, well Geekster just sails through school being Geekster, top marks with no effort whatsoever. Good for him. He has a very scientific mind. An enquiring mind, a thinker . . . and an eccentric. He progresses by just being.

So all in all, I reckon there's a fair amount of progress (Shut up you, I ain't listening to your negative chat)
Yeah, but . . .
No, no buts about it,  I'm not listening, I didn't say it was perfect, I said it was progress . . . I know there's room for plenty more!

Progress not perfection

Right on that note, I'll away. I'll probably be in France tomorrow evening . . .

Hey, let's not forget the progression of the actual Bloggery itself. The relationships that we've built. The struggles and triumphs that we've shared . . .The community here, your Blogs, the lives of you people that I get to read about, think about, even worry about!  Folk I've come to know, to trust, and consider to be my friends. I had no idea that this could even happen when I started a Blog. It certainly wasn't a goal, as it wasn't a possibility in my mind. That's more than progress  . . . That's a massive, wonderful, unexpected, shining bonus!

Thanks to anyone, everyone who's here reading now . . . You're very much appreciated. Really.
Much love x

O Wow, it's almost 2 am! I need to quickly play the part of the tooth fairy, then I'm off to bed x

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A huge But . . .

Rightio, in line with my "honesty being the best policy" policy I'm going to get it all out there, as it were.

Some things have improved over the last week; I took Hamper G to see her Dad on Friday, which I'll write about another time . . . but at least I faced the visit and didn't cancel, as I did the week before. Hamper G is settling at school in the mornings. She has a gentle, caring teacher who has very quickly noticed that if she gives Hamper G a job to do, making her feel useful and responsible, she is happy to let go of me and get on with her duties. I'm grateful to her teacher for taking the time to do this as it's made a huge difference to both of us. My energy has improved, maybe the four mile daily walk has helped with this . . . I haven't quite started decorating yet but I am keeping busy . . . ish. . . most days.

But . . .

Yes there is a but.

I am struggling to get one clean day. In fact, I'm finding it impossible. I've thought long about this, I've fought with it, taken the days an hour at a time, the hours a minute at a time and pretty much tried everything that worked last time . . . and failed. Well, almost everything.

There is one thing I haven't tried, I haven't been to N/A throughout the Summer holidays. I left a comment on Dawn's Blog a couple of days ago, Dawn is writing a month of recovery posts based on the twelve steps programme, and in her reply she mentioned that her only concern was that I was doing this alone, as in no face-to face contact. Maybe I need to get back to N/A, be it the local branch or in the nearby city, I need to meet people who have beat this shit and stayed clean. N/A is the only place that I've ever found clean addicts. To talk and listen to people who have fought this battle . . . I'm not thinking that it will suddenly be easy or that N/A can do this for me, but I do believe that it helped me last time and at the minute I will try anything that might help.

It's very confusing; knowing that I won't see the trap that I'm in, until I'm out of it. Knowing that I'm blindfolded and numb, wanting to feel the severity of this, but not being able to . . . Knowing that the insanity will only become clear with hindsight. I can talk of it now, but I can't feel it. It's just words. I used to say "If I wasn't an addict I could get off this shit" I know that sounds ridiculous but I mean, If I was my pre-addicted self, of course I would have the strength and the sight to see the situation for what it is . . . but in the midst of addiction it's nigh on impossible to see it. It's like standing in the fog for so long that you become accustomed to it . . .  not being able to recall how things looked without the fog. Not noticing how foggy it is until you are no longer in the fog and have something to compare it to. I know I've had clean times recently and I felt so much better. But I can't feel that at the minute . . . I can't grasp how good it felt to be out of the fog. Cunning and baffling indeed. It's just another trick. When we have clean time, it's easy to look back at the addicted times and see, even feel, how enslaved and trapped we were . . . yet when we are using it doesn't seem possible to look back and see, let alone feel, how free and full of life we were, when we were clean.

I'm not sure if this makes much sense, I'm just thinking really. And tired.

Anyway it's late and I'm off to bed.  I will try again tomorrow to stay clean and to write something earlier on in the day. Maybe I will see things more clearly. I'll let you know . . .
Thanks to each one of you for being here.

Written Monday night. Posted early Tuesday morning.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Three in a wheel! The Roborovskis ;-)

Just a quickie here as I've been promising Gledwood for so long that I would post some footage of some of my (23) Roborovskis. This is my first attempt at filming them, I dare say I will improve!  They are nocturnal and really come into their own at about 3 am . . . not a time when I'm usually up and about with my phone/camera thingy. At 3.13 on the first video there are five in the wheel! I must point out that there are two other wheels in the cage for them to use . . . Anyway, I'm cleaning them all out today so maybe I can film some more antics as I empty their cages!
It's been a busy week with a long day yesterday visiting Hamper G's Dad in prison. I've been reading all blogs as usual but rarely had time to comment. I'll update later as it's late Saturday morning here; Geekster Stropster will be in from work for bacon butties, the washing needs to be hung out, plants all need watering, nine hamster cages/tanks need cleaning out and on and on the list goes.
I've definitely felt more energetic and hopeful this week . . . As if I'm taking the first steps again towards something good. Anyway I'll write about that later  . . .
Meantime, I hope you all have a great weekend, much love and many thanks to you all for being here x

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The last few pics of Wales . . . and a little ray of light

The morning dip
Lunch outside "The George"
Beauty all around
Hamper G with me taking a picture of the archway, I love archways. I'm not sure if they're even called archways . . . But I know I love them.
 Bro and Geekster!
 The Blue Lagoon
Clean sand and blue sky!
Hamper G "brumming" the boat I built for her
At the bottom of the slide . . . I did try to get a picture of her coming down the slide . . . but ended up with twelve shots of an empty slide!
 The end of another lovely day.
I'm feeling a little more positive today. No particular reason for this, nothing has changed . . . yet. Today felt lighter and I felt stronger . . .  I hope that tomorrow brings more light and strength for us all.
It's past midnight and I'm almost falling asleep so I'll leave it at that . . .
I do feel as though I'm looking forward to something . . . I've no idea what, but just to feel something, other than fear and dread, is a blessing. A relief. A ray of light and hope.
Love, light and many thanks to you all x x x 

Friday, 31 August 2012

Uncomfortably numb

Once again I click on new post and don't know what to say.

I have several draft posts started at various times this week. One of them begins, and ends;
"Well I'll be buggered if I'm gonna let this shit stop me writing . . ." hmmmm.

I had an appointment with my Drugs worker yesterday. She said she had never seen me so flat. Neither up nor down, no motivation, no plans. No laughter, no tears.
I asked her, could this be the Prozac? She answered,well it could be, but these are also symptoms of the depression, which they are trying to treat with Prozac . . . It may be that they need to up the dose . . . what? Without knowing whether the damn pills are the cause. This is how I see it.
These are symptoms of depression, Prozac are anti-depressants, how can they be causing symptoms of depression  . . .  ?

I seem to be going round in circles . . . again.

So. Round and round I go.

Back to school yesterday, that's two mornings I've had to leave little Hamper G stood alone crying in a crowded class room, it breaks my heart and I don't know how much longer I would be able to do this. She made many friends locally over the holidays and spent so much time across the road on the park with a large group of girls, aged seven to eleven . . . but, of course, they all go the local school, where there are no places available. She feels lonely, lost and afraid and as her Mother, those are the last feelings on earth that I want her to feel. I know, I know, there are kids out there going through real trauma . . . and I realise, in comparison, this is nothing. But at the time it feels huge.

I let Hamper G and her Dad down on the prison visit. I never thought I would do that. I could just not face it . . . I've re-booked for a week today. Yes, I keep on hoping, praying, wishing that something will change. I know it has to be me that makes the changes but I still can't find that missing bit of me, that strength, fight, the motivation that kick started the changes last time.

This post reflects pretty much how I feel; dull, empty, miserable and stuck. I do feel bad even posting this, but I am aware, and grateful, that many of you truly care about me, so I thought it right that I up-date.

I want nothing more than to get back to where I was. Busy, motivated and feeling as though I was right on the edge of something good . . .

Thanks for still reading here. I am still reading all of your blogs and though I often click on "post a comment" . . I sit and stare at the empty box or type, delete, type, delete . . . thinking it all sounds wrong. 

I so hope my next post is not like this . . .

Hey, I've just been to the chemist to pick up my script. One bit of good news, I weighed myself there and I'm down to 63kg from 70kg. My aim was, and still is, 60kg, so I'm almost there. Woopidoo! slim and miserable ;-)

I know one should never apologise for the truth, so I won't, but really, I do wish I had something more positive to write about . . .  I can list many things that I know I'm grateful for, but I just can't feel the gratitude, or much else really.

Love and thanks to all x

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Waiting for a better day . . . Or Stick Man

I'm not even sure why I've clicked on "new post" . . . The last few days I've come here to do that, I've thought to myself  "Wait for a better day (!?) . . . wait for some clean time . . . wait, wait, wait"

Why? Well I'm a bit fed up of myself really. And I'm damn sure I'm not the only one. A bit more than a bit fed up. Nothing changes if nothing changes and all that.

I know how it goes. I know I wont feel any different, any better, any anything, whilst I'm using. Apart from waking up with that sinking feeling of  "Fuck, shit, bollox, how did I get here again?" . . . So stop then. Simple. Put in some effort and reap those benefits. Yeah ok . . .

Looking back on pre-Wales posts is as remote as looking back on "Archive" posts.
Where did I go . . . ?

Half an hour later . . . I'm on day six of Prozac. My ears are permanently whooshing along with slight, weird little headaches. Not pain as such, just aware of feelings/twinges in my head that weren't there before. I've been told to wait couple of weeks to feel the effects. I can't decide if this is a good idea or not.

I'm Hamper G's pet penguin today and she's teaching me to read and count. Dr. Seuss's amazing alphabet book. Big Z, little z, what begins with Z? A Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz as you can plainly see! This is within my capabilities. Good grief.

I will try again later. Try try try again. Resist the impulse. Wait for it to pass. Stop kidding myself that it will help. I really will try, but I have really tried for days now . . . weeks. I feel utterly crap and drenched in sweat. Hot inside my head and cold outside.Yuk. Get a grip girl.

The good news is that I didn't get any further "unknown" calls . . . yet, even on that one I managed to convince myself that as I'd missed the call, they decided I was ignoring the call and decided to write instead. Well, I would, wouldn't I. Yes, this is embarrasing, but this is my mental state, me. And that's what I'm writing about . . .

I think we have a prison visit booked for Tuesday. Back to school Thursday. Utterly overwhelmed and wondering how I will do either of these things at the moment. Something has to change before then . . . And I know I am the only one who can change this something.

Right now that feels like saying to someone who is paralyzed, "Nothing will change unless you get up and walk" Of course I know this is only a feeling and not a reality . . . But it's a real feeling.

OK, enough. I'm getting on my own nerves here.
Hamper G passes me, the pet penguin, Stick man to read . . .

A Stuck man? A Stuck Man?
Now who could that be?
"Don't worry!" cries Stick man.
"I'll soon set you free."

Hurry up Stick Man, I'm stuck.

Thanks for sticking with me x

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Thankyou all!! And . . . Case closed!!!

Ok, I'll try and keep this brief. Firstly because I'm exhausted (imagining the worst all day is tiring!) and secondly, it has sapped more than enough energy from me and I we can now move on.

I want to thank you ALL for your comments this morning, I read them over and over for reassurance and positive thinking and because it helps me to feel such caring and warmth from you.
I would love to answer them all individually, as per usual, but I want to tell you all the outcome. I would need to write the same thing over to all of you and I really am so tired.

I called my drugs worker at 8am and left a message asking her to call me back, which she did. She assured me there was NO new law or policy whereby they are obliged to report users with children to Social Services. They have always had the same policy; "A duty of care"; report if you feel the children are at risk, which, she added, is why I have never been reported to Social Services by any Doctor, drugs worker, Police worker or other professional that has known me in twelve years of using.

Eventually at 4pm a lady phoned me from Social Services. She said I had been referred by my GP as there was a concern that "after many years (!?) of only using methadone (!) I had gone back to using Heroin and the Doctor felt obliged to report the changes . . .

I won't bore you with the whole conversation. The GP had got the story completely wrong. I told the social worker the truth, the whole truth and . . . yes, you know the rest. I didn't have to tell her, but that's me, and I felt she should know just how wrong the Doctor was. Obviously she can check the details on my medical records or with my drugs worker if she doubts my story (sanity) . . . but I don't think she does. I mean why would I lie to say; "I've never had any long periods of only using methadone. I've pretty much used for twelve years solid and only had numerous 4-6 day clean sessions since February this year . . ." 
". . . But also, that in twelve years of using and dealing with all kinds of professionals who have met the children and been to my home, I had never yet had a referral to Social Services".

I told her of my near-recovery and the recent events in Wales which had led to this anxiety and depression, well, you all know the whole story as it is, and that's exactly what I told her . . . I spoke for twenty minutes almost non stop and told her of the plans I had made to deal with the anxiety, phobia and depression and to get back to where I was pre-Wales.

She thanked me for my honesty and said it was quite clear that I was an intelligent (!), responsible and capable mother and that I was obviously doing everything possible to work my way through a difficult time . . . She was sorry that I had been caused further anxiety by this referral and as far as she was concerned the case was closed!! CLOSED!! Over. Filed and Finished.

I do feel better. Tired, but so much better.
I'm sorry I caused you concern and that I haven't replied to each individual comment . . . You all know how OCD I am about that one ;-)

I really can't thank you all enough for your support, your reassurance and encouragement. For your love and prayers. Also for believing in me.  I honestly appreciate every single word that you took the time to write. I know I might have said this before but I consider you to be my true friends. That may well sound crazy . . . That's OK.

A quick spellcheck and I'm off to bed. I've rushed this post to let you know the outcome, so it might be a bit disconnected and repetitive . . . It doesn't matter.

I will sleep tonight.

Love and peace and a huge thanks to you all x

PS. I feel it is my "Duty of care" to give this GP some advice . . . I will, of course, keep you updated on this.

What was she thinking?

I will try and stick to the facts for now. The minimum.

I saw the Doctor yesterday. A new Doctor. A very young, pregnant Doctor. Maybe that's not relevant but these are the facts. She listened as I went through my list. I was aware that the appointment was only for five minutes so I tried to be focused and use her time efficiently. She also had, on screen, a letter from my drugs worker outlining some stuff. I would like to see that letter.

She prescribed me Fluoxetine (Prozac) for now, to manage the anxiety and phobia related panic. She referred me for cognitive behavioural therapy with a view to progressing to exposure therapy if the CBT is not effective on the phobia. She said, once the anxiety has settled, they will review the mood swings and decide, after an assessment, if Prozac is still the right treatment. She said it was a shame that my near-recovery had been messed up like this and she hoped that I could get back on track soon. Meantime, that I should give the pills time to work, avoiding any stressful situations and take it easy.

Good, Yes thank you Doctor. She made an appointment for me to see her in two weeks, and every two weeks thereafter, alternating with my drugs worker, so that I'll be seen by someone every week, until some improvement is noted. Good, yes, very thorough.

She phoned me this morning to ask how I felt . . . Yes, not too bad thanks, bit nauseous and head achy from the first dose but I expect that for a few days. Also a bit shocked to have a Doctor call me to ask how I am . . .

She said . . . Well, I can't remember her exact words as my head went into a spin around the middle of the sentence. It went something like this;

One of the reasons I am calling you, is to inform you that I am obliged, under a new rule/law/hormonal feeling, to call in Social Services on you as a Heroin user with children. They will be calling you later.

Ok, let's stick with the facts here, if I were to start on the emotional stuff I don't know where it might take me.

I spent the rest of the day and evening scared. Stuck and scared. I have nothing to hide, which is why I have been totally honest with my drugs worker, the Doctor, my family, you people. I am not afraid of them discovering anything I have done, if I was, I would have lied. I am afraid of their power and their secrecy. I am afraid because they are just people with way too much power. They are flawed humans, with emotions. It only takes one with some beef towards users, some grudge, some anger or even just lack of understanding. I'm afraid because they don't know me at all. I am afraid because I am already in a bad place and I went for help . . .

They have not called today so I will worry for another day or as many days as I have to wait until they call. My mind is not sound at present, so I can't just not worry. I am searching constantly in my head for whys and whats and ifs and what ifs . . .

Just when I thought things were improving ever so slightly.

What was she thinking? I went to her feeling overwhelmed, trying to get back to a good place. I reported anxiety, depression and she has sent it soaring through the roof.

Sorry, my light-hearted interlude was very short-lived. I pray that they will call me tomorrow. I didn't think I could feel more afraid than last week, I think I was wrong. Although it is a different fear. This is rational and I can't run from it.

O God. I don't think I will sleep tonight.

Yes, I understand that there are bad parents who use, or drink, or abuse their kids in all manner of ways and sometimes intervention is required. I can't even think.

Monday, 20 August 2012

A light-hearted (ish) visual interlude . . .

Finally my laptop is registering that a "portable device" is plugged into it . . . and we can see some holiday pics. I've whittled them down, and further down, there are still too many, so I'll start with a few for now and then just post random ones here and there.

Washing up in paradise.
I booked the panoramic pitch last year. This ensures that any other tents (room for maybe ten) are behind us, that we have a large private "front garden" and I will show you the view from the tent . . .

This makes me want to cry . . . Ooops sorry I was going to be light-hearted!

Inside the tent. Two comfortable double beds, lounge and kitchen. Let me just explain here . . . The space between the bedrooms is the trailer, the white cupboards are the wheel arches, the whole thing packs into a small trailer that is towed behind the car! A trailer tent.
Ovaltine time for Hamper G . . And all three (yes, I will have to delete this one later, Stropster would not be pleased) of them having a morning cuddle in Geester's bed. I won't dwell on the layout of pictures and text . . . It's  taken me all morning to get them here!

More raw beauty . . .

And below, through a "secret tunnel" . . . into an old slate quarry. Freezing cold water on a beautiful hot day

The blue lagoon . . .

Geekster about to plunge.

Looking down from the top, and across from the top. Thanks to Stropster and Geekster who climbed up to take these

Ok that's enough heartache beauty for one day ;-)

I love Wales, that's all there is to it. I love natural beauty . . . One day I will be there . . . I'm not even gonna spoil this post with any "but, for nows" . . . No, I'll be back later with that.

Huge amounts of love and thanks to you all x

View from the tent down into the estuary.