Archive for September, 2009


September 25, 2009

From baby steps
To the ballerina’s
Flawless pirouettes
I am a marionette
And all those years
That pass between
Are rich and green

Boundless possibilities
I step through the door
Fears unrealized
I do not disintegrate
I do not fall
To the parquet floor
And I am triumphant

I stand tall
Like a verdant tree
In summer time
And I turn
I return, I respond
To the Audience’s call
For an encore

Fading II

September 24, 2009
Cat on the Edge

Cat on the Edge

It was I who had been fading. Not Nobby. Nobby is courageous and upright and resilient. I am none of those things. Nobby went through a war and its aftermath. He saw comrades blown to pieces, burn to death, drown in their own blood.  I have seen none of these things.  And after the war he contributed even more.  He stayed in the army.  He reached the Rank of Regimental Sergeant Major.  He spent two decades as what we would now call a ‘paramedic’.  Then he was just a plain old ‘ambulance man’.  After that he worked as a college porter (although they liked to call themselves ‘college disciplinarians’.) He spent the last couple of decades of his working life running a student hostel.  When his wife became too ill to manage her hostel duties the council (to their credit surprisingly quickly) found him a council flat.  Five weeks after they moved in his wife died in hospital.  She had fallen from a high bed and had never recovered.  Nobby has been living alone ever since but what he lacked for in human companionship he made up for in animal companionship.  He had Freddi, the West Highland dog until she died in 2008.  And now he has Ginger, a plump Tom cat who has slipped comfortably into Freddi’s place.  His is truly a life lived as fully as a life could ever be.

And he is strong.  Much stronger than I will ever be.

Pictures are more eloquent that my words could ever be.

At the Beginning

At the Beginning


September 22, 2009

These two creatures – one human, one feline, are probably the only living beings keeping me tethered to the world at the moment.  And one of them is fading from view and fast.  Last Monday I met Nobby at his front door. He stumbled towards me into my arms. I could not support him.  He was too heavy.  I held him while he fell as gently as possible to the floor then I turned him over into what I vaguely remembered was the recovery position. He lay there barely conscious as I ran across the sitting room and, with trembling hands dialled 999.  I was speaking to the operator  when Nobby made his ‘miraculous’ recovery’.  He staggered in.  He was weak and pallid but he pulled the receiver from my hands and spoke to the operator himself.  He told her that he was not ill (even though he very clearly was) and that he did not need an ambulance (even though he very clearly did). He put the ‘phone down and leaned back into his chair, all colour drained from his face.

I was besieged by a mixture of emotions.  I had hesitated.  I had not known what to do.  Had I overreacted?  Would the staff at the ambulance station right there and then be having a laugh at the melodramatic, hysterical timewaster they’d just been forced to devote valuable time to.  How should I have responded?  I have had (admittedly very limited) first aid training and I never envisaged myself behaving as I did when faced with the situation I had just been confronted with.  You imagine yourself to be cool, calm, focused, but I simply panicked.  ‘Get help, get help,’ said the voice in my head.  And so, acting purely on instinct, I called an ambulance.  I surrendered to my own hysteria.  I acted like a drama queen, or like one of those time-wasters so despised by members of the emergency services everywhere.

I am so angry with myself.

Nobby is 92, btw

He is holding on and is a million times more courageous than me.

Is my blog crap beyond redemption?

September 8, 2009


It’s the middle of the night and  I am terrified so please indulge me.  For a little while.

Why do people HATE* me so much, even online.  Am I an abomination?  I try to help.  I try to be good.  What did I do wrong.  The voices in my head were right…useless, stupid, grotesque.

Bring it on.

Spare a penny for the Dignitas fund.  This planet can’t find a use for me. Or Hanover Court Beckons  – that building has taken on a life of its own. It wants me to jump from it.

Am I the witch at the edge of the village.  Is Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder  General approaching?  Has he heard that, even now, nearly two years after her death she still visits me occasionally.  A little white ghost who disappears when I half turn.  And if they tried to drown me I would most definitely float.

‘The bottom of the tree,’ I chant.  ‘in the mental illness hierarchy.’

Turning for comfort
To the gravedigger
And the Parish Priest
And to top it all
The Lord of the manor
In his great hall
For I stand accused
Of enchanting them all
I am lying in a crevice
In the ground
And Hopkins’ henchmen
They stand around
Contemplating barbarism
They kick the dust over me
For I am a witch you see
They lay stones upon me
Later they will leave
All this behind
As they march
To the ale house
And the streets will be filled
With raucous laughter

I have been shredding my legs.  There a strange tingling when the blade goes in.  And all that blood.  It is punishment.

can’t. afford. to. .go. .to .hospital.  would rather die than go to hospital.  Other patients will  hate me anyway.

*Addendum: That may only include members of one particular forum.  I think I’d better unsub.

Black-Edged and Borderless: Assignment

September 7, 2009
Black Edged and Borderless

Black Edged and Borderless

I was supposed to write about my mental illness last week but procrastination is my middle name and I didn’t get around to it. Another problem is that I am so ambivalent about it. I have a truly weird diagnosis – or rather, diagnoses – schizoaffective disorder and bulimia nervosa although like many bulimics I started out with anorexia – at least that’s what it says on my medical notes. I actually started out with binge eating disorder and ‘progressed’ to anorexia when others commented unfavourably on my weight. So I am like Churchill’s Soviet Union: A enigma within an enigma within an enigma. Basically, I am plain weird. I do weird things, say weird things, think weird things and for all of those weird things I take a bucketful of weird medication. And I hate it. Even those bucketfuls of medication don’t make me ‘like everybody else’. But then as a CPN once said to me ‘You will never be normal because there really is no such thing as normal.’

That made me feel better for about a quarter of an hour.


September 6, 2009

It’s The Ghost of John Lennon:
(Or it might be just some random bloke on the street)

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