Don’t Forget to Remember

I am not a needy person; I don’t want you to think that.  I am not demanding; nor am I someone who pours out their soul whilst in the company of friends. Yet I cannot figure out why I so often find myself so fucking alone.

I don’t have insanely high expectations of my friends.  I don’t feel that I am demanding in any way, shape or form.  All I want is a friend to be able to text and say, “Fancy a coffee? Pop over!” or “Want to hang out a bit later?”  I really don’t think that is an unrealistic expectation to have? Or maybe it is?

I have reached the point where I am done being the person to try to set up plans with friends, only to be cancelled on, or to have to ‘book’ with them months in advance.  What happened to just being able to hang out with a friend without needing to fucking schedule it in?

My best friend lived in London for close to a decade.  Due to the fact that it physically wasn’t possible to ‘grab a quick coffee’ we made a point of setting up ‘bestie dates’ and would go out for dinner in Central London once a month.  Sure, it meant we only saw each other once a month but at least those 4 hours were quality time when we could really shoot the shit.  At the beginning of 2017 she moved to my area and started renting my apartment which is approximately 30 seconds down the road from where I am currently living.  She has been there close to 5 months and I can count on one hand, and have fingers to spare, the number of time I have seen her.

I am done with asking people if they’re free at the weekend.  Done with “Time for a quick coffee?” texts.  I don’t understand when it suddenly became so hard to maintain a friendship.  Can people just not be fucked anymore? Friends are always having someone over for dinner, or spending time with parents.  I guess sometimes you get to know someone so well that you assume that they’re always going to be there.  You forget that friendship doesn’t need time, care and nurturing. Sometimes people forget to remember you.

Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have a couple of really good friends than a bunch of acquaintances but is wanting some company really such a huge fucking demand?  I am so.damn.lonely.  With the exception of my daughter, the children I teach and my fitness class participants, I have very little social interaction with others.  This is not through choice.

How do you reach out to people without screaming, “I fucking need you ok?  Friends are supposed to be there for each other and I need you right now, so be there for me. Please!” I am not that kinda girl – I am not the one who lets people know I am falling apart. That’s why I come here and let my real emotions spill anonymously onto the page. I don’t want to burden people; no one does but I would just like to be remembered once in a while.  Is that genuinely too much to ask?

 

No Time to Say Goodbye…

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I am no stranger to death.  I have lost many close to me over the years.  I held my father’s hand as he slipped away after a painful battle with cancer the day after I turned 12 years old. I have lost classmates to suicide, car accidents and tumours but I have never experienced the sudden and unexpected death of someone who I love dearly. Until now.

This experience has taught me that grief is so different depending upon the circumstances.  In the past, I was able to prepare myself for the inevitable.  Make sure that the words I chose in their presence used a sense of hindsight. My emotions were laid bare. Nothing left unsaid.

Unexpected death is a thoroughly different experience.  It is like a tidal wave that slams you off your feet without a second to catch your breath.  Before you know what is happening, you are sucked under, struggling to breath. You frantically attempt to steady yourself and set yourself upright and then it hits again, flooring you – an out of body experience as you blink in disbelief “This is not my life.”

That day is a blur of blue flashing lights, haphazardly mounting the kerb to ‘park’ my car as I sprinted towards the house. A mish-mash of paramedics, police, undertakers and the God-awful wailing of everyone in disbelief.  I sat and I waited.  I paced and I sobbed as they fought to preserve life for what seemed like an eternity (but in reality was approximately 90 minutes” and looked up as all 4 EMT’s slowly descended the staircase.  “Why are they walking so slowly? Where has the sense of urgency gone?”

I watched numbly as the words, “We’re so sorry, we tried everything we could…” empathetically leave the young paramedics mouth and I realise she is looking at me, she is talking to me. Saying the line reserved for TV shows.  Except this isn’t TV; this is real life. My life.

Leave nothing unsaid. Time is so very fucking precious.

That’s a Wrap…

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Life throws some weird shit at you sometimes.  3 weeks ago something horrendous and huge happened to me which I don’t really want to talk about right now but it was a game-changer and I’ve spent much of the last few weeks in tears, unable to sleep and generally just going through the motions of life.

Last week, out of the blue amidst all the insanity of what was going on in my life, I received a voicemail from a guy making a film, asking me if I would consider taking part, as they were looking for someone like me to be in one of their scenes.

My first thought was, “Are you fucking kidding me?  Could your timing be any worse? I am going through some full-on shit right now and I’m being asked to take part in a film project?”  But then I thought to myself, maybe that’s exactly why I should say yes.  I needed something else to focus on, something fun to distract me from my thoughts.  And so I thought, “Fuck it!” and before I knew what I was doing, I’d text back the number the guy had left agreeing to take part.

Sometimes you just have to say “Yes!”  Granted, the timing was awful but it ended up being something positive to focus on, whilst reminding me that life is about taking opportunities as and when they occur.  It’s highly unlikely I would ever get a chance to do something like this again so I decided to embrace the bad-timing and throw caution to the wind.

I have just returned from the shoot.  I am so glad I agreed to take part.  What a buzz.  Despite only being a small production there were cast and ‘film folk’ everywhere. It was really fun talking with the director about the kind of shots they wanted and how many retakes they thought they would need to get the desired effect.  I can’t wait to see the project once its been edited and released.

If you ever get an opportunity to be in a film, no matter how bizarre or ill-timed the offer may be, take it.  I highly recommend the experience.  I’ve gotta say that tonight was probably the most fun Sunday night I’ve ever had. Sometimes you’ve just gotta say, “Yes!”

That’s a wrap.

 

How low can you go?

Over the years I’ve done a lot of reading on bipolar disorder.  From this extensive research, I’ve learned time and time again that bipolar disorder gets worse with age.  Fuck.  Hypo-mania seems like a lifetime ago, a blurry and distant memory.

This low has lasted for a long time.  I usually get a break in my lows – a gap in the clouds where the sunshine cracks through, unexpected yet welcome.  There has been no gap in the clouds, no spontaneous brightness.

I miss my life.  I miss who I am.  I don’t think that I have ever felt so alone in my life.  When I am in this place, there are a handful of people that I feel comfortable enough around to be able to open up my heart and mind to.  But none of these people are here.  They have their own lives going on. Time and time again, I’ve reached out but to no avail.  And trust me on this one, I am not the sort of person to ask for help and reach out.  So if I ask for you, or say that I miss you and need to see you, that’s as close to a cry for help as you’re ever gonna get from me.

Am I suicidal?  No.  I thankfully don’t feel enough to feel suicidal.  I am just numb.  Do you ever think that you can only be hurt so much before you learn to feel nothing at all?  In recent months I’ve come to accept that I have finally reached breaking point.  I can hurt no more and so I have embraced empty.  For the first time in my life I actually believe the words, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.”  They can’t.  Not anymore.

At times like this I have to ask myself this question again?  Is it better to hurt than feel nothing at all?  Right now, I feel nothing.  I’m not gonna lie, it sucks.  But would I switch it for the crippling pain of the black dog?  Don’t get me wrong, I know that what I am experiencing right now is depression, I’m not daft.  But I realise that is a different kind – this is not the type that makes me question my existence and daydream about ways out.

But it still sucks.

I really miss myself.  Right now all I am is mother, wife, teacher, instructor.  I am not me;  in my purest form.  I am a version of myself that is adapted dependent on audience.  I miss having the opportunity to be the pure, uncensored self that I am when I have time in the presence of those who have no expectation of me – they like me for who I am and demand nothing of me except my company.  Except they’re nowhere to be seen.

I don’t mean to sound like a whiny little bitch.  I’m just tired.  Tired of being the person that I’ve become in recent months.  The longer I spend in this shell, the more I forget who I really am.  A stranger looks back from the mirror and walks in my shoes.

Come back to me, me. Please.

 

 

50 Shades of Grey

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I’m sorry American readers but here in little England, we spell it grey and I can’t bring myself to spell it any other way.

Today’s post has nothing to do with the shittily-written, lame ass attempt at word porn; I merely thought the title accurately represents how I feel. Grey.

80% of the time I am a vivid, colourful firecracker of a personality.  My hair changes colour each week – one week hot pink balyage, the next icy blue.  My eyes are always made up in vibrant hues of pinks, blues and purples, my body tattooed with images that tell my story (there are still more to be added – DAMN YOU bank account!)  It is no secret that, like Marmite, I am an acquired taste.  You either love me, or hate me.  It’s generally the latter.  And whether I am loved or despised, I cannot be described as bland.  Honest? Talkative? Inquisitive? Excessive? Intense?  Yes. Bland?  No.

But I find myself in this perpetual state of grey.  The shades vary throughout the day but all within that fucking spectrum of grey.  I am fully aware that this is bipolar disorder being a c**t – I’m a smart enough woman to understand my illness and know that the lack of sunlight and leaving for work in the dark does wonders for stoking the fires of depression. I know all of this, yet does it help to alleviate the gloom? Does it fuck.

I have some general shittiness present in my life right now but hey who doesn’t?  I have no right to feel this way.  It makes me angry.  I know I have bipolar disorder yet I wonder why I am feeling this way.  I have so much to look forward to right now – a life-changing scenario literally lies on the horizon.  An opportunity so immense that it would make the majority of people jump back-flips on the spot whilst whooping it up. But still, grey.

I could literally be dumped in the middle of Disney World right now and still I would have that little black rain cloud looming over my head.  The frustration is immense.

I know that I should clean the house, learn new choreography, get my work laptop out, drive into town to pick up the bits I’ve been meaning to get for weeks.  I know that I should take the 5 minute walk to the post box to mail the letters I wrote on 2nd January.  And yet I don’t. I lay with my eyes wide open and I stare into space; my head full of everything and nothing. And so the cycle continues.

Give me anything but grey.

You just don’t get it…

Sometimes people try to be ‘helpful’ with their comments about mental illness but in fact end up exacerbating my feelings of frustration.  Some days I hate my disorder.  I fucking hate it.  Some days I embrace it.  But I always know it.  I know my condition inside out, back-to-front and up to the moon and back. You don’t live with a chronic mental illness such as this without learning a thing or two about this lifelong companion.

I am in a very dark place.  I am fully aware of that I have felt it coming for some time now.  Before 2017 began, in fact.  I had managed to maintain a sense or normalcy for a while and returned to teaching after the Christmas break.  I love my job.  It is demanding and stressful but my God is it rewarding.  I work with the odd douchebag but in general I enjoy my job and have a good working relationship with my co-workers.

Work stress has fuck-all to do with this episode.  When I think of work, it does not fill me with dread or panic etc.  Well wait, it does but work is not the reason.  At this point in time, day to day living fills me with a sense of panic and dread.

Now, you don’t know me. I could be any bipolar blogger who has been yet again smashed in the face by the black dog.  But I can assure you, I am a positive and fun-loving person.  I am the outgoing introvert.  I am the girl with tattoos and blue hair that generally doesn’t give a fuck what others’ think of.  I have my small close circle that keeps me safe and fuck anyone else.  I am past caring what other people think of me – it is none of my business.

But right now, I am not that person.

The thing with people and their opinions on how I should mamage my illness, is this.  They know ‘well me’ – they are familiar with the woman who can take it on the chin and just keep ploughing away despite the incredible amount of unfortunate events that seem to come my way.

These people do not know the me that has been blind-sided but this fucking c**t of an illness.  I know getting out of bed, showering, washing my hair, putting my face on, getting to work, running my fitness classes, meeting friends for coffee, reading books, going to the cinema, baking, making home-cooked food would help me feel better.  Of course, I fucking know this – I am 35 years of age. I am a professional who has succeeded in life despite a shaky start and being fucked over on more than one occasion by people of significance.  Of course I realise this.  However, that doesn’t mean I’m fucking capable of these things when this gloom envelopes me.

Taking a shower and showing up sounds so fucking easy right?

Wrong.

So yeah, thanks to the colleagues who text “Surely coming into work would be better for you as it will provide a distraction; that’s what I do!”

Well good-for-fucking-you but the major difference is that you don’t have a chronic, at-times-crippling mental illness.

So I’m sure she meant this with the greatest intention but you have based that advise on the person you know.  The professional woman who has it together.  You are not familiar with the fucking wreck that spends days in a catatonic state staring at the ceiling.

 

Trust.

When am I gonna learn?  Time and time again, I tell myself not to trust others, not to let them in because ultimately it will only result in me getting hurt. Again.

And again.

Why do I find it so fucking hard to take my own advice? When am I going to learn that not everyone thinks like me, not everyone speaks the truth like me?  People are liars.

When I am going to learn this lesson?