The Unbearable Unfashionableness of Blogs

October 2, 2021

I do not know what brings me here to this desolate place. A friend once told me she found my blog one of the most depressing things she had ever reward. She was surprised, when she met me that I could bet exceedingly vivacious, especially when inebriated.

I am aware that blogs have gone irretrievably out of fashion. So 2010s and that my readership is tiny by today’s standards.

Everything is temporary anyway

My first home on the web was Usenet. In the late ‘90s I had a greyscale laptop that ran Windows 3,1. I also had an eating disorder. I had bought it on a whim. It was steam driven. If i wanted to print out an essay or an article I could set it up and take a walk around the block. Several, in fact. All three. Binge eating disorder, anorexia (know; in those days as bulimiarexia). I made friends or at least I believed I had. I invested a lot in that place. They clearly meant more to me than I did to them.

Everything is temporary anyway
When the streets are wet
The colours fade into the sky
And I don't know why, I don't know why
That means you and I

I shall persevere. The blog is back.

Somewhat Bitter

December 9, 2019

Dear Nurse O’Connor,


I am writing to you because you are my only point of contact. Please forgive the rambling, fragmentary nature of this missive.  As you know I have significant cognitive impairment and this is reflected in my communication style.

I would be grateful if you could pass it on to the relevant authorities and I will no longer attempt to contact you.  You have made your opinion of me quite plain.


Yesterday I received an in-home visit from Dr Simon Mitchell (consultant psychiatrist) and Ms Natalie Bo (some kind of social worker).  From the outset their contempt for me was palpable.  I would not expect any health care professional to like every patient they encounter.  My problem is when they make these feelings obvious and they permit this to affect their ability to act in a professional manner. Their attitude perplexed me because I have had very limited contact with them; a *single meeting* with Dr Mitchell (in which he apparently decided I required no more assistance from the CMHT); and a couple of brief telephone conversations with Ms Bo.


I was then informed that I was not a priority (even though people with severe and enduring illnesses are absolutely a self-declared priority.) and that my contact with your service would be reduced to seeing   Dr Mitchell every six months, which is extraordinary given the nature of both my illness and the medication I am obliged to take.  I might as well then be getting my medication from a vending machine.  It would probably have a better bedside manner.  In the past, I have had psychiatrists who have approached their patients in a more holistic manner, presumably because they recognise that no mental illnesses occur in a vacuum, detached completely from their social contexts.

Dr Mitchell clearly has a vastly different approach.


It was implied that I am somehow unworthy of treatment, that I was a waste of resources.  Need I remind you that I was taking up a whole two hours a month of your time.  Hardly breaking the bank. The manner in which this was delivered was hurtful, devoid of compassion or empathy.  When the meeting drew to a close I was obviously distraught but the pair left the flat with no attempt to address this. And even if it is a matter of resources then why am I specifically being singled out?


I would also like to know what process your team went through to arrive at this decision.  You informed me that you and Dr Mitchell arrived at this conclusion in a meeting but he denied all knowledge of this.


I was also told that I would henceforth be in the sole care of my GP. I pointed out that I have no working relationship with my GP’s surgery because I have been under the care of your team for until your abrupt & whimsical decision to abandon me at the beginning of the summer.  I have had no regular contact with my GP for five years.  And besides, they are not specialists, and many have limited experience with my complex needs.  This did not elicit a remotely satisfactory response.


I get the distinct impression that their treatment of me is being influenced by the personal grudge you seem to have against me.  I am being unjustly treated as a result.  This is not acceptable. Please be aware that  I fully intend to make a complaint and follow it through to its conclusion.


Yours Sincerely,


Insert Real Name

At An Impasse

November 20, 2019

I doubt anyone will read this but I want to make a record in case anything happens.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

First some context. I suffer from a ‘severe and enduring mental illness’ called Schizoaffective Disorder. (I have no time to explain its symptoms here but ppl can google it.) If you don”t mind I will refer to myself in the third person. (It’s easier that way). She was neglected for years by the NHS and then in 2014 her father died and she spent nearly a year slipping in and out of a state of psychosis and extreme changes in mood.

Eventually her GP realised how much she had deteriorated and she was finally admitted to hospital and was at last given the treatment she so desperately needed. An apology was issued (her mother, who lives in another city, had spent the entire year phoning them, informing them of her deteriorating state of mind) and it was acknowledged in writing that ‘(I) do not think this (illness) has been adequately treated at any point in the recent past’. They were also informed that this would never be allowed to happen again.

But now it *is* happening again. In May of this year she was unceremoniously discharged from services, apparently because she had ‘failed to engage in interventions’. (Whatever that means) She was also told that it was a matter of resources, although this has since been denied. She was informed of this in a letter which basically said ’goodbye and good luck’. This decision had been partially made by a new consultant psychiatrist who had seen her a grand total of one time. There was no preparation made for this discharge, no referrals to other agencies that could help, just a letter. She was despatched into the care of her GP with whom she had not had a working relationship for five long years.

These are the facts:

The fact that someone likes being asleep more than they like being awake

The fact that they see their dreams, however horrific, as preferable to being awake

The fact that someone never leaves the house, not even to get food

The fact that someone self neglects to the point of not washing properly for weeks

The fact that medication has reduced efficacy & psychotic symptoms are returning

The fact that this person does not see a real life human being, apart from those who deliver her food, for months at a time.

The fact that she finds it impossible to interact with other members of her own species, even on line

All this time devoid of human companionship when it has been established that this degree of extreme isolation can affect long term cognitive function

The fact that as every day passes her chances of returning to a normal life and interacting productively with society are reduced.

The fact that this person no longer sees any point in life itself

The fact that as each day passes this person is deteriorating further

One would imagine that these ’facts’ would be a cause of grave concern for those who are responsible for this person’s care. But they are not. She telephones the duty team (as she has a right to do under Section 117) and is met with bewilderment (you can’t be that bad if you can eat), indifference, barely disguised contempt and even hostility. She gently suggests that maybe a brief spell in hospital would be sufficient to get her back on an even keel, even a slight increase in anti psychotic medication could help. This is what has happened in the past but she is informed that this ‘is not the the way things work any more’ and that to be hospitalised ‘one of us has to see you’ but they will not see her. And so we are at an impasse. And every day she loses touch with reality even more. She does not know how this will end.

Found an Adorable Pic of Bella the Cat

November 19, 2019


August 30, 2019


July 29, 2018

Decades pass
And miraculously
she is still alive
By the grace of some
Benevolent God
She survives

Ground down by the weight
Of the enemy within
Year after year
They tore layers off her,
Peeling off the veneer
Revealing a face like cracked china
Ready to split in two
Ever stoical it regenerates,
Healing itself.

But her eyes are sinking
Loose teeth clatter in her mouth
Time etches creases on the skin
Yet two men fight over het:
‘Gentlemen please,’
The policeman cries
As they prepare
To tear one another to pieces
And she allows herself
A small, secret smile

Old Novel

July 29, 2018

A Day on an Eating Disorders Unit:

First page of an old novel

(Warning it’s pretty terrible but nonetheless…)

Images of the Edible

She was dreaming of food.

It was all that Gemma could dream about.  It filled up most of the space in her head. Sleeping and waking, her mind was stuffed with images of the edible.  Chips- hot and salty.  Apples- cool and crisp, straight from the fridge.  Corn flakes, covered in sugar and immersed in milk.

At every mealtime Gemma heard the footsteps of her fellow patients pounding past her door, heading for the dining room.  They seemed to live for food.  The dining room was one room Gemma was determined never to enter again.

They brought her a tray laden with food three times a day.  Breakfast.  Dinner.  Supper.  Every day.  The food they brought her always remained uneaten.  She didn’t even bother to remove the covers to see what culinary delights they had brought her.  The aroma was enough.

She wanted it.  But she could not have it.  It was desirable but forbidden.  It was poison.  Sugar-coated cyanide.

Instead she was sustained by memories of epic binges.

Three times a day, every day, the nurses came to remove the tray with barely suppressed sighs of disappointment and looks that said, ‘Eat.  It’s not so hard.  Just pick up a fork.  Spear a broccoli floret and raise it to your lips.  Then chew and Swallow.  Simple.’

But they didn’t know Gemma.  They didn’t know that if she were to start eating again she would never stop.  She felt like she could consume the entire world.  She pictured herself as some obese God, grabbing planets and stuffing them into her mouth, their juices running down her chin. She felt as though she could have munched her way through the entire universe.  But she still would not have been satisfied. Her appetite was insatiable.

Saboteurs (Repost)

July 28, 2018

Eye to Eye With Their Ally


In the milky light of the bleak dawn
Agents and saboteurs awake
Preparing to assassinate
Some dark lieutenant
Of the occupying power

They will not be acclaimed
They will not even be named
They will remain
Unknown, a footnote
They dislocate our fate

We wait. Where are they now?
Missing, presumed dead,
He said. Martyred
Wanton devastation
The butchery of me.

They took lessons
In the art of destruction
Sabotage is a craft
They were taught
How to kill
With their bare hands

A veil was drawn
Over their future
They did not know
What their mission was
Until the final moment

When they were despatched
By air and by sea
Smuggled in by gunboat
And parachute
Eye to eye with their ally,
With their enemy
Upstart amateurs
Armed only with cyanide
Inside a suicide pill.

Dedicated to member of SOE
(see soon to be established on Drowning In Academia)


July 26, 2018

I do not remember my dreams any more. I prefer being asleep to being awake. My life is over.

Frail dreams fade,
Shrinking away from the hot, bright light
Of the day
Until evening falls
And they rise once more

(By day
As I sit in the classroom
Only half awake
I sense a presence,
A thin wire
Linking me to them)

My incorporeal allies
Those who do not walk,
But fly. Soaring through the skies
The caress me with their wings
They are God’s precious things.

Breaking the Spell

July 25, 2018


Breaking the Spell
What does it take to break the spell
To rupture the webbing
That wraps itself around me
The world is waiting for me
Waiting to trip me up
I am no sleeping beauty
No prince will hack his way
Through dense forest to rescue me
I have been holding my breath,
Starved myself half to death
Waiting for him, in vain
He will never come again
No one will come again
For they know not what they do
For they know not what they do

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