Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The conversation that needs to be had



A woman came into the news recently because she retracted her statement claiming that she had been gang-raped. I'm not 100% sure of the details so I can't comment on her case specifically, but my opinions on the subject still matter.

My opinion may be different given my perspective on this issue, but there are few people in my eyes as scummy and repulsive as people who make fake rape claims. How dare you? How fucking dare you? You are the reason that the world keeps quiet because they're scared of not being believed. You are the reason that rapists walk free. You make up these stories for whatever reason and because of you people will continue to be assaulted and raped. The world will continue to suffer because of people like you.

I had a conversation with someone last night who said that they feel sorry for the woman involved in the situation in question, and I was so angry that I said I wouldn't have the conversation with them, with anyone at all, but that's not true. This is a conversation that needs to be had and I will continue to have it until my perspective is no longer shocking. What are people scared of? I was scared. I put my life on hold to make sure no one was at risk anymore. I changed the world. I kept people safe and you're telling me that you feel bad for someone who is being punished for lying, for retracting their statement? It's not a case of character, of not wanting their lives to be upturned for the sake of making someone pay for their actions. If you care more about yourself more than the lives of others, I don't know what to say to you.

In the latest season of you *spoiler alert* a woman is reluctant to report a paedophile because of what the media will say. Really? You would rather save face than keep people safe? What the fuck is wrong with you? For ages, I said I was glad it was me. I was happy that it was me instead of someone who wouldn't have been strong enough to make sure the man that raped me never hurt anyone again. Bullshit, fucking bullshit. I don't care who you are, you should, as a human being, want to keep people safe.

One of my pet peeves is celebrities that claim they have been raped or assaulted in the past. What, you were worried your career was at risk? You would rather become famous than make sure it didn't happen to anyone else? There is no excuse there. I did it, I kept people safe. You don't get to use a desire to have the career of your dreams as a means of justifying the fact that you didn't want the people in question to pay for what they did.

I did it, everyone else is just as capable as me as reporting people. Not everyone will be brought to justice, but people will know.

No more excuses.

xXx

Saturday, 21 December 2019

My top five favourite albums, for absolutely no reason




As a result of the fact that I haven't even remotely been taking care of myself lately, haven't eaten an hot meal since Tuesday and managed to sleep for nearly 36 hours, I need cheering up today, so I'm going to write a post that really doesn't mean anything, but it's fun. I present to you, five of my favourite albums. In no particular order.

The Killers, Sams Town 

You ever remember the first time you heard a song? When, regardless of how long ago or obscure the memory is, the fucker is still there? The day I heard this song it was cunting it down, truly cunting it down. I was walking home from school in the rain and I remember being particularly pissed at my cousin's boyfriend at the time for driving past me without offering to give me a ride.

The perils of the personalised number plate. I knew your car Johnathon.

Anyway, I got home, soaked and sat on my living room floor, wrapped in towels watching TV and then When you were young started to play. I don't remember exactly why I liked it. Maybe it was the video, maybe it was the song itself, who knows, but I loved it and, subsequently, the album.




Maroon 5, Songs about Jane

This one I don't remember the day, but I do remember the song. She Will Be loved, which my angst ridden pre-diagnosis brain, related to as I had already subconsciously decided that all I wanted in the entire world was to feel like I was loved. From that spurned a love of the album, that I'd listen to over and over and over again regardless of the fact that a) I didn't really understand any of the lyrics and b) even if I did I really shouldn't have been singing them. It produced some of the greatest tunes of my youth and for that, I thank it.




Placebo, Meds 

My actual first encounter with Placebo didn't start with this particular album, but with a mix CD I somehow managed to steal off a guy I had a massive crush on in year 7 on a bus ride to a school trip to Pleasure Wood Hills (hi Sean, by the way). It contained the glories of Welcome to My life by Simple Plan and the iconic Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance and I will forever be thankful for the guy that I may or may not take some time to Facebook stalk later on this afternoon.

The first album from them I then came to posses, a birthday present from my mum's boyfriend, was Meds. If I'm honest, the most recently released album of theirs I actually liked and the disk that allowed my to first here a version of Pierrot the Clown with such a spectacular note change that I've replayed on Youtube more times than I can count. It's beautiful, and I would still bone the shit out of Brian Molko.




No Doubt, Rock Steady 

Fun fact, this is the first album I ever bought. I'd been searching for Dirty by Christina Aguilera on single (fuck my life that makes me feel old) but it hadn't been released yet. Instead I went to my second choice and found Hey Baby on the aforementioned album and No Doubt was purchased instead. 




The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground 

We return once again to remembering the first moment we ever heard a song, and therefore remembering the first time I heard an album. I was balls deep in the first round of my eating disorder, walking around the outside of a rug that had once lived in my living room and sobbing to myself listening to Candy Says. The opening line, Candy Says, I've come to hate my body was the only way I could think to describe how I felt about, funnily enough, my body. My mum was ill, I was ill, and the desire to lose pound after pound after pound was relentless. I'm not going to go into my eating disorder right now, this is not want this post was about but, that song, I still and will always love.

It's about a woman named Candy Darling btw, just incase you were wondering. 

xXx

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Proximity


I want to do my best to post a little more throughout December, a 12 days of blogmas if you will. I can't promise I'll get through a full 12 but, to kick things off, here's a guest post from the author of the crime thriller novel Proximity, Jen Tugwell. 


Proximity: A crime thriller set in a world that suffocates us in safety by Jem Tugwell

When I wrote my debut novel, Proximity, I was worrying about where the current technology advances would take us, and how a government might misuse it to suffocate us in safety.
Sound farfetched? In the last few days, I’ve been warned that my hot drink is hot. Warned to hold onto the handrail on the stairs. Warned at an indoor ski-centre with real snow, that snow is slippery.
These days, technology is at the heart of everything, but rather than focussing solely on the technology, Proximity is a thriller that uses it to add another dimension to the crime story. 
The technology imagined in Proximity provides the convenience of no keys, no identity theft and no passwords to remember. The characters are healthier because their calorie and fat levels are monitored, and their hearts are constantly scanned for issues. Because the government knows where they are all of the time, the police solve nearly every crime very easily. Murders, mugging, stabbings and theft drop to nearly zero when the perpetrator is guaranteed to get caught. 
So far so good.
But, like in real life, political expediency overwhelms the naivety of scientists and technologists. A system designed to enhance people’s lives, becomes a control system.
Fiction mirrors fact as the physical person and their data twin are more and more inseparable. I hope that Proximity challenges the reader to recognise the importance of their data and the potential implications of sharing it.
The main plot of Proximity is a crime thriller. It is designed to be a fast-paced, entertaining read, but during the police investigation into a ‘impossible’ killing, Proximity asks the reader to think about how technology might be used and abused. 
How would you feel if the government collected data of your activity levels, your intake of calories, alcohol, fat, etc.? It would allow health professionals to make you healthier. Insurance companies would reward you with lower premiums. Great, but things can easily turn, so that medical professionals and insurers use our data against us. What if they think you are taking too many risks? Will they claim that your illness is ’self-inflicted’ and use it as a justification for denial of service? Will the reward for healthy behaviour become an obligation? Will it be ‘no insurance unless you conform’? Is a longer, dull life better than a shorter, more exciting one?
Proximity allows an examination of how our lives might look inside a fast-paced crime thriller. The positives and negatives. The moral dilemmas. It is a near-future could be just a few steps away. Almost an alternate now - a world where, 'You can't get away with anything. Least of all murder.' Hopefully, it doesn’t act as a design template for our politicians.


Saturday, 23 November 2019

Skate away




When I first started mentioning my ex in my blog, I referred to him as Andy for reasons that involved bodies of water, T-pain and my love of the song Jizz in my Pants. For the purpose of the title of this blog post and the fact that the only Christmas album I really love is A Very Ally Christmas from the kick ass 90's TV show Ally McBeal, I'm finally going to tell you his name.

It's River.

We met on Tinder, as so many stable couples do, and I ended up living in the same building as him thanks to him being able to find me a spare room and my desperate need to stop living in hostels. From the beginning it hurt, it hurt a lot. I'm not good at getting close to people and I second guessed every interaction we had. I visited him one night whilst drunk and regretted it for weeks because he said that at first it was 'off putting'. I was convinced that every time he rolled over in bed to kiss me he was going to tell me he didn't want anything to do with me anymore and agonized for weeks over whether or not I should sleep with him regardless of the fact that I really wasn't ready.

Yeah, I'll fuck a one night stand senseless but it takes me weeks to be ready to bone someone that I like. Work that one out.

When River broke up with me, I already knew it was over. It had always been over, if I'm honest, in that I knew that I shouldn't have him in my life. I was too desperate to cling onto the idea of him, too afraid of ending things because of my utter terror at being rejected that I held on for so much longer than I should have. He'd only want to see me once a week, I couldn't tell anyone that we were together and he denied that there was anything between us despite him living with me for at least three weeks. When I met my friend Anna in New York we talked for ages about how he wasn't good for me and how I wanted to end things, but I still couldn't let him go.

Luckily for me I didn't have to, and I returned from New York to be told that he "couldn't handle" how I react to things and that he "couldn't be relied on by anyone for a social life." It hurt, it hurt a lot. I cried more than I can ever remember and became friends with my friend at the Irish bar near my house because I sobbed uncontrollably in her arms. I started cutting again, couldn't get out of bed and was in an amount of pain that I hadn't felt for years.

I also lost my job at the same time, which was nice.

Bizarrely, thanks to a part of my brain that I"m really not fond of, I did actually see him again after that. He came over, and as we lay naked together in bed I tried desperately to convince myself that I was happy. I wasn't. I don't know if I ever really felt happy with him but at the same time I didn't want to let go. I was holding on to things that were irrelevant, tissues of anecdotes that meant nothing no matter how hard I wanted to them to. He didn't care about me, he never would and it would have meant nothing if he did because he was no good for me. As he left he told me that I made him feel uncomfortable, and I never saw him again.

No shit, he ghosted me.

It wasn't until I went to Montreal at the beginning of July that I really felt over him. I reached a place of pure euphoria as I danced barefoot to a live jazz band with an electric harmonica, sweaty and happy with the moonlight coming through the window and a queue of people wanting to dance with me. The band played The Doors on my request and it was, without a doubt, one of the best nights of my life. I finally, finally, felt over him and I experienced the kind of feeling that I only ever feel when I'm listening to live music. I felt free and happy and every time I think of that moment I smile. I loved it.

I've been thinking about him a lot lately, a lot a lot. I don't know if it's because someone has moved into his old room below me, if it's because I'm vaguely involved in someone else or for another reason I can't quite work out. I feel sad when I think about him, there's no hope or happiness involved, but he's there. I don't have any contact with him and, other than an Instagram account I've been blocked from following, I have no way of contacting him. I don't want us to speak, speaking to him won't do me any good and I know that, but the idea is still there.

xXx

One day



I just saw that someone I follow on YouTube did a "day in the life with gastroparisis" video and I decided I wanted to write one of my own. About BPD obviously, because whilst I have destroyed my stomach and shit myself from time to time, I don't have gastroparisis.

Anyway, here's a day in the life of someone with BPD, ish.

Morning: Wake up, or at least try to. You're exhausted. You're always exhausted, and you always will be exhausted. You're medication is brutal but without it you can't function. So have at it baby Jane, it's time to suck it up and haul ass out of bed.

Morning pt 2.: You take aforementioned medication. It may not be unusual for you to contemplate not taking it but, as with anything that you're body relies on, withdrawal is a bitch and you really like being able to communicate and function, so you knock them back. You also take a shower and have breakfast because, after over a decade of living with an eating disorder, you actually don't mind eating first thing and won't blame that for anything bad that may happen that day.

Don't get too comfortable, it won't last forever.

Morning pt 3 to somewhere in the afternoon: Go to work. You struggle at your job, everything anyone says to you can be misconstrued as an insult and it takes a lot of strength to keep it together when you are losing control of your schedule and pay check. You're constantly paranoid that you're going to get fired and, on some occasions, you may feel the need to sob uncontrollably until your anger goes away. This is normal.

Not only this but you will be exhausted, physically and mentally exhausted. There is no amount of caffeine in the world that is ever going to rectify this, so get on with it. Your body hurts, your brain is spinning and forming sentences is a real struggle but, as people with BPD are known to be unlikely to hold down a job and you don't wish to become a statistic, you carry on.

After work: You get home, once again exhausted, and take a nap because there's no way your body can continue to function without rest. Whilst lying in bed you may cry, feel angry or personally attack or victimized by an event that has happened during the day, this is normal. There's nothing you can do about this and no amount of crying is going to fix how you feel but, as is the norm, you deal with the amount of emotions you are feeling as best you can and try to get on with your life.

Post nap: You wake up, you're still tired, and you contemplate getting up and having something to eat but the prospect of staying in bed and going back to sleep is more appealing to your exhausted brain and body, so you decide it's time to call it a day. If you're lucky you manage to brush your teeth, if you're really lucky you manage to take your makeup off. When all else fails you are, at the very least, likely to take your medication. You knock it back, lay your head down once again and call it a day.

Nunight

xXx 

Friday, 15 November 2019

Cirque de Boarderline



Roll up, roll up, come on inside. 
It's time for a magical borderline ride.

They're terrible people I hear them say, 
Well some may agree but I,say nay.

So read this list, count one to three
and learn how knowing us can benefit both you
and me

Bitch be sick at poetry

If you're basing your opinion on some evidence, my own behavior included, you may come to the conclusion that knowing a borderline is a massive pain in the g-spot. Not to be a traitor to my own brain but, if I'm honest, we can be complete assholes. But this doesn't happen all of the time. Whether you believe me or not, there are some benefits to having us in your life. 

So, without further a do, I present to you three reasons why being friends with a borderline is pretty kick ass. Mostly because the number three rhymes with me and it fit quite well in my poem. 

We will feel for you the way few people ever have or will

Being loved by a borderline is something unique, something that you really can't explain unless you yourself know what it's like to be consumed by a suffocating urge to devote your entire existence to the happiness of someone else. Can we hurt you? Yes, but we never want to. When you're loved by a borderline it truly is a love that will never be experienced by anyone else. You are our everything, our night and day and day and night and you will be for as long as we can make it possible. You may have been loved before, but there's nothing quite like being loved be a borderline. 

We will never lie about how we're feeling 

When it comes to rocking the BPD flag, there's no hiding behind our true colors. Emotionally, what you see is what you get whether you like it or not. There's no lying about emotions when it comes to BPD. If we're sad, we cry. If we're mad, we scream. If there's any other emotion in our hearts we can possibly express we will do it whether we want to or not. Parts of us are manipulative, there's no denying it, but when it comes to how we feel? It's as clear as night and day.

When we're done, we're done 

You know when you're a teenager and you can't tell if someone likes you and it goes back and forth and back and forth in your brain until it hurts so much you want to scream? Knowing a borderline, past a certain point, isn't like that.

When we first try and let go, it hurts, We want to hold you, clasp your fingers in ours and beg you to stay until we scratch and bleed and burn our skin and you're pulling away and there's nothing we can say or do or promise to make you come back. We want you, we need you and we really will do anything to have you.

But eventually, we're done.

When a borderline doesn't want you in their life anymore, you'll know it. There'll be no second guessing, no doubting, Whether you have any say in the matter or not once being in our lives isn't beneficial to us we can, and will, cut you out, Seemingly brutal at first but, if you think about it, who really wants someone in their lives if the person in question doesn't want to be there in the first place?

xXx

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Boarderline Personality Doesn't, Pt 1



Earlier in the month I wrote a post about the things that my BPD causes me to do. Things I can't always control and that happen even if I don't want them to. Today, instead of focusing on more of the things that my BPD causes me to do, I thought I'd write a post about what it doesn't do. You know, for balance.

IT DOESN'T MAKE ME INCAPABLE OF LOVE 

This one may be a little hard to believe given my terrible love life, reluctance to discuss my feelings with people I feel affection for and my raging commitment phobia, but I am actually capable of forming relationships.

Whilst I've been in some terrible ones, I have also found myself caring for people in what could almost be described as a, GASP, healthy way. Relationships with people with BPD are not all necessarily doomed to fail and they won't lead the opposing party to have to undertake years of therapy in an attempt to remove the horrible memory of having ever interacted with a member of my kind. Can they be shitty? Yes, but so can all relationships. Whilst it's a factor that can be influenced, I'm not eternally destined to be alone forever.

Unless I choose so myself.


IT DOESN'T MAKE ME SELFISH 

Being called selfish is one of the things that gets to me the most because it really is a double edged sword. If by selfish you mean I focus on my own feelings as a way of protecting myself and going after what I want? Then yes I am selfish. If by selfish you mean I don't give a shit about others and never consider the feelings of those around me, then no I'm not.

By putting the man who raped me in prison, I undertook the most selfless act that I will ever have to do. Whilst I wanted him to be punished for what he did, I also wanted to make sure he could never do it again. Thanks to me, he can't hurt anyone anymore and he is being punished for what he did to others. It's not just me that benefited from his incarceration, but everyone he'd hurt in the past and anyone he may have hurt in the future. I sacrificed my health, my degree and my happiness to put him behind bars and it baffles me that some people still feel they have the right to call me selfish.

It also baffles me that people use the "oh xxx could have affected my career" as a reason to not report those that attacked them, but that's another story.

IT DOESN'T MAKE MY FEELINGS INVALID 

I've been struggling with this one a lot lately and actually reaching out to people for help and advice when I'd normally try to ignore it. I'd like to be clearer about how I describe it, but it's 2019 and the world can't keep its mouth shut so there are going to be a few euphemisms in there.

Recently I was at, lets say the zoo, when I had a problem with a particularly difficult moose. This moose does not like me and feels the need to harass and complain about me over the fact that I once asked said moose not to move a gate. I have no problems with any of the other moose in the zoo, this one is just a cunt. And not in a good way.

Anyway, I ended up having a meeting with the head zookeeper and one of the supervising zoo keepers who I'd also been having a problem with, which essentially became 30 minutes of me being told I was wrong about how I'd perceived things.

Quelle Suprise

Now, interpreting situations differently is one of the key symptoms of BPD, but that doesn't mean my reactions are always wrong. The supervising zoo keeper has been treating me badly, but instead of supporting me the head zoo keeper said it was my fault for interpreting it in that way. As someone with BPD is difficult to trust your feelings, particularly when you don't often know what they are. But, whilst I may sometimes react in ways that others would not, I am also able to interpret situations correctly. Just because I might interpret things in the wrong way most of the time, it doesn't mean I can't be right some of the time.

xXx

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Boarderline Personality Does, Pt 1.



This evening I had plans to spend time with some friends. I made them on Monday and was really looking forward to seeing them all. Unfortunately, after finding out that I bag I lost on the subway yesterday hadn't been handing in, I was hit with a wave of feeling low and so had to rearrange, hoping but also knowing that my friends will understand.

Instead of letting the fact that I had to let them down get to me, which it certainly had the capacity to do, I decided to make a blog post out of it. So, here it is, a list of things that my BPD makes me do, whether I want it to or not.

Cancel plans

I had to start with this one because it happens a lot. I want to see people, get really excited to hang out with them and then at the last minute I get tense, anxious or upset and have to cancel or rearrange. This is one of the factors of BPD that I feel most guilty about, because I worry that eventually my friends are going to get bored of it and tell me to swivel. I know this isn't the case, good friends really aren't like that, but it's a concern none the less. Just know that, if I do have to cancel our plans at the last minute, it's not out of not wanting to see you, promise.

Feel guilty

My first point led itself perfectly to the next one, which is quite possibly the part of my BPD that I hate the most. I feel guilty every single day, even though I have nothing to feel guilty about. Eat out, feel guilty. Get an Uber to work, feel guilty. Get paid, feel guilty. There is no rhyme or reason to why I feel this way, it's just a feeling that's always there. I've begun to look at is as more of a symptom of my BPD rather than a separate emotion that I have to feel, partly because that helps me categorize my feelings into what I can and can't control. The majority of my guilty feelings center around money, earning it, spending it, borrowing it, I constantly feel guilt and shame, but I'm seeing it as something I can work on. I know that if I take control of my attitude towards money than, eventually, I will stop feeling guilty.

Put myself in dangerous situations

This is a big one, and one that I've become more and more aware of since I've left England. In the UK if I do something potentially dangerous, I'm never overly far from someone who can take care of me. In Canada however, this isn't the case.

I have a tendency to forget myself when my BPD is bad. Forget that I'm not invincible, that the world is not a safe place and that it is my responsibility to make sure I'm safe. Being raped didn't change my attitude towards the situations I put myself in and being thousands of miles away from home didn't either until very recently. I'm not excusing the actions of anyone around me should they take advantage of my inability to prioritize my safety, but prioritizing my safety is something I should definitely be doing.

Sleep

I am, and for as long as I can remember have always been, exhausted all of the time. Whether I get 12 hours sleep or 2 hours sleep, my brain and body are always tired. Partly because of my meds and partly because of my condition in general I am chronically tired to the point that I get anxious about making plans to do things in the evening, because I know I'll be tired to the point of not being able to function the next day.

For a lot of people, my napping all the time is a joke. The idea that if I don't answer the phone or you can't find me is because I'll be curled up in bed somewhere is true, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. I know there are ways that I can ease my tiredness and I take regular vitamins to do what I can to boost my energy. Just know that, when I tell you I'm tired, it's not out of an attempt to one up you if you yourself are feeling tired, I'm just constantly exhausted.

xXx

Friday, 4 October 2019

Friday night forts



Sometimes I don't have anything much to say, but I just want to get words out. I haven't written a lot lately. There seems to be some kind of marker in my head that is torn between wanting to write and write and move and travel but not knowing if what I have to say has any right to be written. I've just gotten a freelance job as a copywriter, my first writing job outside of England which is a really big deal to me. I've worked for international companies, but this is the first job I've been employed to do in North America. It's exciting getting to write for a purpose again. Who am I kidding, to write for a wage.

All I want to do is put words down. I was talking to a friend at work the other day who was discussing changing her major at school, because she has her whole life to carve out and enjoy her career. I don't feel like I have that. Sometimes I feel as if I've missed a chance because I didn't do a certain thing or study a certain course or go to a certain school. Journalism interests me, but a specific type of journalism. I want to write about something that matters. I want to write something that matters. I want my work to matter.

Right now I'm about a quarter of the way through The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson. I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as a teenager and then I think again for a module in my fourth year of university, but so far I like this more. Thompson's method of "gonzo" journalism is something every creative writing student with a Moleskine wants to achieve, despite the very nature of the style being unidentifiable. I'm different, everyone's different. Everyone has something to say, everyone has something meaningful they want to get out. I want to write mine down, and I want it to matter.

There's an episode of One Tree Hill where Lucas submits Peyton's work to THUD despite her saying she doesn't want her work published, because she wanted to draw something that meant something and if she couldn't do that she didn't want her work published as it was too important to her. This isn't exactly how I feel about my work. I'm not afraid of people reading it, you can't be afraid and work in any form of the arts that's just not how it works. No one is going to find you writing in the corner of a bar on a Friday night by yourself over $5 beers and dub you the next Hemingway, you have to go out and find what you want. You have to go out and get what you crave if you're ever going to do something that matters to you.

The problem with this lies in the fact that, for the most part, writing for the purpose of paying bills involves being hired by someone. Someone has to read your work and decide that it's a fit for what they're company is looking for and hire you. When I first started out I was convinced that every rejection was telling me my work was bad, the word having rolled around in my head for years to the point that reject was my IT password in high school. Rejection hurts in every sense of the word, regardless of who is being rejected by what.

A former colleague came into work today and said she'd cried in class after being told to stand up and tell a room of people her deepest darkest fear and it got me to thinking. What is my deepest darkest fear? What am I afraid of? What would I give anything up to avoid? Part of me thought I should say writing, of not achieving what I want but, in reality, I know that will never happen. I'm never not going to achieve what I set out to do because that's not who I am. I'm not going to stop until I am completely satisfied because I can't. This doesn't necessarily mean I know exactly what I'm striving for or that I'll know when I reach it because I don't, there might never be an end point, but I know I'll keep working at it because that's who I am and I know that will never change. I'm not afraid of giving up because I know it'll never happen.

That doesn't mean I know what I'm afraid of though, but that's for another post.

xXx 

Friday, 20 September 2019

Review: In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree and American Flowers by Micheal A. McLellan




When I was a kid, I read the book Chalk and Cheese by Adele Geras about two sisters who were, unsurprisingly, as different as chalk and cheese. To describe In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree and American Flowers, both by Michael A. McLellan, as being as different as chalk and cheese, would be a bit of an understatement.



The first book I read, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, features freed slave Henry and runaway rich girl Clara as they try to leave their previous lives behind. After losing his girlfriend to a snakebite, Henry narrowly escapes being hanged to go and live with the Cheyenne people, while Clara leaves home to get away from her controlling father who disapproves of the father of her unborn baby.

Through a series of attacks on the Cheyenne people and American soldiers, Henry and Clara reach their destination, only for Clara to have a miscarriage and die next to the father of her baby once they have been reunited. The book itself doesn't so much end in any form of resolution, other than the protagonists getting what they wanted only for it to not end up as they thought it would.

This seems to be a theme within McLellan's work, as the protagonists in American Flowers sure as hell don't end up in the situations they thought they wanted at the end.



Essentially, it's Requiem for a Dream for the 2010's. Starting with Chris, the high school baseball pro turned meth addict, meeting Allie, a runaway teen, in his dealer's house, the two become progressively more and more addicted to meth and end up on the run from the police.

Sliding further into addiction, Chris begins dealing to fund his habit and ends up selling to a 15 year old who dies of a heart attack. Blamed for the teenagers death and suspected of ratting out his dealer to the police, Chris and Allie wind up involved in an armed robbery which leaves four people dead and start their lives on the run from the authorities via motel-room murders, kidnap and a hell of a lot more meth.

Eventually, the two are discovered asleep in the woods and are taken in by a local woman who lets them stay with them while they detox, only to shoot Chris in the head when he refuses to hand himself in and leave Allie to get on with her life. While she didn't get what she wanted, to spend her life with Chris, she got what she needed.

I'd thought of ending this post with a comparison of sorts, but there really isn't room for it here. As with author's I've enjoyed in the past, the style and subject matter of McLellan's two text are such polar opposites that it would be impossible to compare and contrast them without falling into writing a full blown essay. The texts were both incredibly interesting and covered both brand new subject matters and topics that I've read time and time again. American Flowers is not something I"d recommend to anyone upset by portrayals of drug use, but if you are interested in how death and mistreatment can be seen in both a historical and contemporary settings, then McLellan is an author I'd recommend.

xXx

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Review - Wild, Dark Times by Austin Case



Magic can get you some wild pussy 

Good to know

I haven’t posted a book review in a while, mainly because the books I’ve been reading either haven’t been that great or I’ve read them so many times that, at this point, reviewing them would be kind of pointless.

On the road anyone?

This one, however, I don’t mind reviewing. Not necessarily because I loved it, there are some paragraphs on my PDF that I’ve written WHAT?? around in the intelligible scrawl only used by doctors, toddlers and the guy I had a thing for that I set next to in year 9 science, but because I loved the language.

Writing about the language of a book instead of the plot isn’t something I’ve read in many reviews. This isn’t an “I’m not like other writers” kind of post, but more a comment on my understanding that, unless you have a particular interest in it, solely reading about the language used by an author might be quite boring. I’m fully aware of my status as an epic writing nerd, but I’m also fully aware that the use of the written language is not something that appeals to everyone else.

Without indulging in my traditional, overdramatic, nature, it is fair to say that the language used by the author is nothing short of beautiful. Descriptive, delicious and invitingly metaphorical, if it hadn’t have been so vibrant I probably wouldn’t have finished the book (and it’s only 96 pages). Whilst they may have had difficulty creating a continuous plot both easy enough for readers to follow and as equally as unique and popular as is needed to attract an audience, it is more than made up for by the words they use in their attempt.

If the idiosyncrasies of language make your nipples hard or if you're looking for a quick read to finish in a day or so, this one's for you.

xXx

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Why I'm not Moving Back to England


I don't think I've really discussed politics in great detail in this blog. Other than my destain for the B-word (Brexit), it's not something I really talk about because I often don't feel able to provide an informed perspective. It's also something that I'm somewhat insecure about talking about, so I tend to let it go. In this instance, however, I actually have something to say, so I'm going to give it a go as best I can.

Until very, very, recently if anyone asked me whether or not I was going to stay in Canada after my work visa ran out I, quite literally, laughed in their face. Sweet baby Jesus, no, I think was one response I used when my dad asked the question. But, due to recent proposals by the UK government, I'm starting to change my mind.

Recently, Iain Duncan Smith proposed that the pension age of citizens of the UK should be raised to 75. Meaning that, until the age of 75, individuals would receive no form of pension from the state. The argument behind this is that it would be put in place to support the "fiscal challenge" the country faces in light of the increasing life expectancy of the population.

Eight years ago, on December 21st, we lost my Grandad, he was 74 at the time. In line with Duncan Smith's proposal, he would have had to work until after the day he died in order to receive any form of state pension. Not until a decade before he died, not until a few years, but until after his death. Not only is this physically impossible, but it shows the lack of care and respect that certain people within my country's government have for the general population.

Whether or not this proposal may come to fruition I don't know, my guess is that it's not going to get the go-ahead and, even if it does, the proposal suggests that it won't come into effect for another decade or so. My problem is that even the law isn't imposed, I don't want to live in a country where the government may have wanted my grandad to work until after his death in order to receive any kind of support, after having worked his entire life.

Not necessarily a rational reason to not return home (other than to visit) but one I believe in, and so am going to stick to.

xXx

Monday, 19 August 2019

Early noughties teen literature, what even?



Today ladies and gentleman, we are going to be taking a walk down memory lane, particularly the lane that holds my previous taste in literature. To be specific, the teen literature of Meg Cabot.

When I was a teen, I had no desire to be a princess. However, I did have a desire to be loved and therefore enter into a relationship as romantic and adoring as that of Mia Thermopolis and Micheal Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries.

Not only are we not going to address the content of that last paragraph, but we're also going to ignore the fact that I didn't need to google the spelling of Moscovitz. #Thoscovitz for life.

Would that be there ship name? Who knows.

Anyway, I digress.

The title we're going to be addressing in today's episode of "I'm in a rare ass mood" is The Princess Diaries 6: Sixational. For those of you who didn't spend hours on the memo boards of the Meg Cabot website, the book centres around some bullshit that vaguely relates to Mia becoming student body president and the pressure that comes with dating a college student, aka genius boyfriend Michael.

I was totally invested in this as a teen and let's face it, would happily re-read the majority of the series.

So, spoiler alert, in the book Mia throws a bitch fit after finding out that her boyfriend isn't a virgin (what even?) and he throws a bitch fit because she doesn't want to bone.

Hello, mid naughties? 1940 called and they want their neanderthalic opinions back.

Side note, I googled it and neanderthalic is, in fact, a word.

As I discussed in my previously unread post To the guy that drove me home, trying to pressure someone into sex is so many different shades of wrong that E. L. James wants her book titles back. This guy's behaviour was bullshit, but I'm a grown-ass woman (*cough*) and I'm able to tell someone to suck a dick when I need to. As a teenager, I was completely unable to do this. At the age of 16, I was nowhere near secure enough to be able to tell someone I didn't want to sleep with them and, as a result, found myself in situations that I really wasn't happy with. For some reason, Meg Cabot felt it appropriate to not only write an entire novel based on someone feeling pressured into having sex with her boyfriend but, after they break up for reasons that had something vaguely to do with Japan that I can't remember at this point, she deemed it appropriate for her protagonist to not only be happy remaining friends with her ex-boyfriend who told her he "wouldn't wait around forever" to have sex with her, but they also GOT BACK TOGETHER.

Seriously, this was an appropriate message to send to teens in the mid-noughties? I'm not convinced. As I said, I'm in a rare af mood today, but it would be impossible to deny that they may be a connection between being told that it's okay for your boyfriend to try to pressure you into having sex, and people allowing others to treat you like shit. 

I have various opinions on the #metoo movement, but bro, this is not an okay message to send.

In all honesty, I'm not sure what my conclusion to this post is going to be, But, to summaries, it's not okay to use literature to tell people that it's okay for others to pressure into sex, whether your protagonist is the future princess of Genovia or not.

xXx 

Monday, 29 July 2019

The Dating Game


When I started dating my ex I began writing a blog post about him that I never published. I was convinced that if I posted anything discussing the fact that I liked him I would jinx everything and he wouldn't like me anymore.

TBF I was convinced of this in most situations and spent the entirety of our relationship petrified that he would go off of me, as I have been in almost all of my romantic endeavours. It wasn't the healthiest of couplings.

I'm attempting to rid myself of the automatic assumption that if I'm involved with someone they are guaranteed to "go off" me. Admittedly I doubt I'm rather difficult to forget but, in true BPD style, I associate romantic relationships with feelings of instability and have done for a very long time. I always assume that people will leave not in the physical sense, but in the sense that their feelings for me will disappear.

Fear of abandonment is one of the most prominent symptoms of BPD, and it is often said that those living with the condition will exhibit manipulative behaviours in order to guarantee that people will "stay". Me, I do the opposite and engage in behaviours that I, in all honesty, know will push the person in question away. This isn't an example of "if someone really likes you they'll understand", it's a case of "I know this is going to drive the person anyway, but I just can't stop doing it."

Self-sabotage is also a very prominent symptom of BPD.

I've recently been on a couple of dates with someone that I like and, although I'm not going to divulge any details of the connection on my blog, it makes me nervous to post the words online. Not because I don't want people to read it, let's face it my reader count isn't very high and nobody knows the person in question, but because I don't know how things are going to turn out. I never really know what constitutes "dating" someone, is there a number of dates you have to go on or do you incur points like in videogames? I don't think it would be correct to say that we're dating, but it would also be incorrect to say that his existence is irrelevant to my daily life. It's not something I am fully capable of describing but it's there.

Confusing as hell, but at least I can take comfort in the fact that I can't be the only person who finds dating this difficult, borderline or not.

xXx

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Things that are currently pissing me off




One of the things I don't think there's much chance of me modifying during this oh-so-cliche journey to not letting myself get treated like shit again is my temper. People with BPD are known to have pretty short fuses and mine is no exception. I once shouted "I don't have temper" at someone who suggested that I can be a little, hot-headed, at times but, if I'm quite honest, I really don't mind.

Aside from my all-consuming hatred of Cat Dealey and Jameela mother-cunting-fuck-face Jamil, here's what's pissing me off at the moment.

PEOPLE WHO DON'T RESPOND TO THEIR EMAILS

This one is quite specific to job hunting but, even so, it makes me mad. It's 2019, people use their phones while they're taking a shit, stop being so god damn lazy and respond to what I've sent you. Even if it's with an "I'm a bit busy at the moment but I'll get back to you shortly", I need to at least know my message has been received. Don't be rude, don't be a douche and send me a mother cunting email back.

RUDENESS

In a similar vein to the above rant, the root of this one stems from my favourite of all activities, job hunting. About two weeks ago, I went for an interview at a coffee shop about 20-25 minutes from my house. Baring in mind that I not only took about an hour and a half out of my day to travel down there, as well as the $7 I spent on public transport, you would think that the person who interviewed me would feel obligated to show some basic professionalism right? Wrong. Towards the end of the interview, I was met with an "I'll let you know by the end of the week and if you don't hear from me, that's your answer." I'm sorry, are you in the middle of curing cancer? Are you busy running the country whilst simultaneously finding a solution to world hunger? No. You run a mother fucking coffee shop, so don't be a douche, show some manners and actually send an email when you don't want to employ someone. You run a business, surely politeness should have been part of your training?

CANADIAN POST

My Dad is a postman, ironically as my name is Jess and he once had a black and white cat. Obviously, given that he still lives in Basildon, he does not deliver mail in Canada, but I'm guessing that the process is roughly the same.

Assuming this is the case, why the fuck does my post keep getting lost? At the moment I'm on about 6 for 6 in terms of things getting lost, including a birthday card from my best friend and a shit-tonne of planner supplies that I, unsurprisingly, actually kind of wanted. A package my mum sent in January took 4 fucking months to arrive making it's contents, gloves, tights and fuzzy socks, really quite redundant. In the majority of cases I've managed to get a refund on what I've ordered, but this really isn't the point and I shouldn't find myself reluctant to order things because the Canadian post doesn't seem to want me to receive them. It's not a difficult concept, just send me what I've ordered, that's really all it takes.

But, as The King Blues say I'd rather be pissed off than be pissed on.

xXx 

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Caring



I was in bed last night, casually rolling my past romantic failures around in my head as a single woman in her twenties is want to do every now and again, and I realised that I have a pattern within my dating life that I didn't know about. I care.

Part of the reasoning for my not wanting to let go of my most recent romantic endeavour was an innate need to care for the person in question. Other people's life stories are not mine to tell but suffice to say a part of me wanted to make them feel safe and secure even if I didn't.

Taking hold of this, I looked back and realise that I've done this time and time again. There were boyfriends with eating disorders, boyfriends with dead parents, boyfriends with depression and boyfriends who's lives were just different from mine. Whether they wanted me to or not, and whether I wanted to or not, I felt the need to, metaphorically, take them in my arms and do anything I could to make them feel secure regardless of the effect it had on my own wellbeing. Without realising it, I liked that these people felt able to turn to me for support, even when I was scared to trust them with details of my own condition for fear of them leaving.

Freud could have a wet dream analysing why this thought process is so deeply ingrained in my psyche, and this is coming from someone who was even sent to a psychoanalyst at one point. Growing up both my mum and I suffered from eating disorders and, regardless of my own struggles, my mum's health was always 'worse'. She was thinner, she was able to eat less and she became the illest towards the end of her experience whereas my body flipped a switch and decided, after years of starvation, that it couldn't hack being malnourished anymore and so I developed binge eating disorder. She was 'better' at having an eating disorder than me, and the fact that I couldn't help her get better destroyed me.

Sat at my desk writing this, I'm asking myself if I want her to recover just for her own health or to make myself feel like the more successful sufferer? And, if I'm honest, I don't know the answer to that right now, all I do know is that for a part of my life my soul focus was placed on my mum's eating habits. I couldn't keep her safe from the thing that told her not to eat, and even now I can't quite process how that made me feel.

It would seem however that this desire to help people even if they don't tell me outright that they want or need help is ingrained within me, and I've been putting this above my needs. Part of me thinks that it's my refusal to let people get close enough to have an in-depth knowledge of my condition that makes me take this position. If I'm looking after and being there for someone else, it stands to reason that I can't possibly need someone to take care of me, right?

As with my posts on self-sabotage, I can tell this one is going to take a long time for me to crack and I'm definitely going to have to revisit it in the near future. I know I care, I just don't know to what expense.

xXx

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Don't look back in hunger



Ah, don't you just love that one song that reminds you of your ex? :p

As you can probably tell, I'm spending a lot of my time reflecting on my past relationships at the moment. Not so much in a "woe is me" kind of way, but more in a "what the fuck was I thinking kind of way."

One of the symptoms of my BPD I've touched upon in the past is the amount of guilt I feel. An all-consuming pain that chokes and envelops me on a daily basis, I've discussed in therapy and chipped away at some of it, but the feeling's never really gone away. Of all the symptoms I live with, this is one of my least favourites.

Usually, I can't tell why I feel guilty, I wake up searching for reasons to feel guilty even when there aren't any there, simply because it's how I'm used to feeling. Yesterday it was because I hadn't re-potted my plant Hugh, once I did that it moved onto having spent money on the supplies I needed to do so. It's unrelenting and exhausting and also something I find really hard to explain.

One of the things I felt guilty for a long time for was cheating on my first boyfriend. I was 18 at the time and I contributed it to our breakup even though, to my knowledge, he was unaware of it at the time he broke up with me. Linking back to my previous post about self-sabotage as a form of self-harm, I knew he'd leave me when he found out. As a result of this, I believed I would receive the treatment I deserved and feel the pain I thought I was meant to feel once my actions came to light. I believed that I was cheating on him as a way of hurting myself. It was a ridiculous thought process to have at the time and, even now, I still can't make much sense of it.

The guilt I felt because of cheating on my first boyfriend lasted with me for a long, long time. For years, and even now as I type this, I feel like the reason I have bad luck in relationships is because of how I behaved when I was with him. I believe I deserve to be treated badly.

This random reflection into my first relationship comes as a result of him popping up as someone I might know on my Instagram. I'm not usually one to cyber stalk, but given that he looks exactly the same as he did the last time I saw him I thought I'd have a bit of a nose to see what had changed.  He's moved, he has a new Mrs and that's about as far as I got. I'm a masochist but I'm not stupid, I know going any further wasn't going to do me any good.

I considered following him on Instagram to say hi, but what would be the point. It sounds cliche but I almost don't even recognise pictures of who I was back when I was with him. Although I was still dealing with a lot of the same shit, this was pre-diagnosis, pre-rape, pre-everything. I can honestly say I was a completely different person then to who I am now, and from looking at his picture it seemed as if our relationship hadn't really happened. It was so long ago, and things were so different back then. There are some things I'm going to have to re-visit whilst I work on my relationship with my self, but old boyfriends certainly aren't one of them.

xXx

Self-sabotage



I've been talking to a friend today, one of the only other people I know with BPD, and we've been discussing the idea of self-harm. Not in the traditional way, we're not gabbing about my enjoyment of slashing an arm or two every now and again, but the type of self-harm that doesn't shed any blood. The type that could also be described as self-sabotage.

As I go along the (cliche alert) journey I'm currently working through, I'm realising just how often I've acted in a self-sabotaging way when it comes to my relationships. It seems that all I ever do is get involved with people that I can never 'have', not that you really ever have anyone, but the term works for the sake of argument, which inevitably results in my getting hurt.

Amongst many others, there was Elliot, who once told me mid-way through having sex in the back of my Ford Fiesta that I wasn't allowed to tell my friend we'd hooked up. James who I was in love with for over 6 years, who would pop in and out of my life whenever he wanted, telling me he loved me before getting yet another girlfriend. Dan, who was a shit show from start to finish and Alex.

AKA period blood guy, we all know how that ended.

My point is that, for the most part, all of the relationships I've ever been involved with have been with people that didn't want me. Being a commitmentphobe of epic proportions who refused to get close to someone for fear of them leaving, I always assumed this was a good idea. I thought that their behaviour and actions perfectly suited what I wanted, when in fact anyone they should be shouting from the rooftops that they have me in their lives.

I'm realising more and more that it's not just my razor blades that cause me harm, but my thoughts and actions towards myself as well. By allowing myself to get close to these people, those who don't even have the slightest intention of caring for me, I'm in turn hurting myself because I know I will get hurt in the long run. I know these situations can't last and, if I'm honest, I don't really know how many of them I wanted to work out. Take James for instance, we could never have been together, we just weren't compatible in that way, but that doesn't mean I didn't love him, that I couldn't stand the idea of him not being in my life. Letting go of him was hard, and even now I have days where I miss him, but I know that he wasn't good for me, know that moving on was the right thing to do.

Plus I think Hannah would have bitch slapped me if I left her any more voice notes telling her how much I loved and missed him. She even pulled the best friend card on that one and you know it's serious when that bad boy comes out.

There's so much more I need to work on with this and I know I can't work on everything at one time. But if there's ever something that needs to be dealt with before I even think of being with another person, it's this.

xXx

Fucking Pussy





This is my cat Poppy, ain't she cute?

Before we begin, I have to make you aware that the title of this post involves me calling someone a fucking pussy. I'm not talking about fucking pussy.

Not in this post anyway :P

I'm not usually a fan of those cliched "You deserve more girl" memes. Mostly because I find them incredibly patronising but also because they fill up my news/Instagram feed and prevent me from ogling the delicious men on the Men and Coffee Instagram account. We get it, you have a 'Live Life Love' sign in your living room, take a seat.

However, recently my friend has been posting a lot of them and I'm actually finding myself relating. Unsurprisingly, posts talking about loving yourself (in the non-masturbatory sense) are quite poignant to me at the moment, and so I'm not as irritated by them as I usually would be.

Anyway, I saw one this morning that really hit home, mostly because it's incredibly relevant to a situation I found myself in recently where a fucking pussy (see, there's the link) told me that they can't handle how I react to things and that I make them uncomfortable.

He also told me that he can't be relied on for a social life/mental health support, completely ignored me and blocked me on Instagram and text and did the exact thing he told me he wouldn't do. Boy's a cunt, and not in a good way.



                               

What made this post really hit home was that, for as long as I can remember, I've blamed myself for how people react to me. Someone calls me scary? My fault. Someone feels uncomfortable being around me because of my BPD? All on me. It seems that all I've ever believed is that, in order for certain people to be in my life, I should do my best to hide my symptoms to make them happy, which, if we think about it, is total bullshit.

Sure, if I were to go around licking people's faces then I could totally understand them being uncomfortable, but that's not something I would ever do. All I do is feel things, and last time I checked that was pretty standard for the majority of living beings. It's not my fault you don't like my condition, and I'm so done with thinking it is.

I'm not saying that my thoughts are going to change overnight, this mindset is not going to disappear straight away and I know that. What I am saying though is that if you, or anyone else you know, find my BPD strange, scary or intimidating in any way, that's on you, not me. And if you're expecting me to hide a part of me away in order to make you feel better in my presence, you know where the door is.



Fuck tard.

xXx 

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Not gonna lie



I'd considered not writing this post for fear of upsetting people, but there's not a part of me that can be bothered to lie.

About a month or so ago, I started self-harming again. I was in an inexplicable amount of pain and all I wanted to do was cut my arms, so I did. I could say that I'm ashamed of it, embarrassed by the fact that I'd broken my 4-year streak of being cut free, but I'm just not. I wanted to do it and so I did, and it did exactly what I needed it to do. It made me feel better.

I'm not overly sure how many times I've done it since then but I made a pretty deep cut this morning. I'm fine, it's fine and I have plaster of it so there's no chance of me bleeding everywhere. I know my body and so know the worst of it will be healed in a couple of days and eventually it will be nothing more than a distant memory etched on my arm, along with all the other mornings, afternoons, nights and evenings I've ever spent cutting. Just as I'm doing my best to move on in other situations within my life, my arm will do the same.

Although it may not seem like it, to me this is a part of taking care of what I want and need before I can be involved with anyone else. I've been doing this long enough to know how to not really hurt myself and, if I'm honest, I like doing it. Not in a 'doing it just for funsies' kind of way, but in a 'I know what to do to make myself feel better' kind of way. For as long as I can remember I have been plagued with feelings of guilt, to the point that I have no idea what I'm feeling guilty for anymore. I do, however, know that spending money and drinking make me feel guilty, so the usual retail therapy or drowning my sorrows with a bottle of wine is out, and cutting is in.

I also don't have a freezer, so going balls deep in a pint of ice cream isn't an option either.

This isn't to say I'm going to start doing it on the regular again, that's just not the case. What I am doing, however, is just accepting that this is a part of what's going on with me at the moment, and that's good enough for me.

xXx

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

AAAAAAND here we go


I told you I would come crashing down, didn't I?

I hurt right now, I hurt a lot. I've been hurt, someone has hurt me and all I can think is what did I do wrong to make them act like that? Rationally I know it's not my fault, but I don't think rationally. I think in ways that blame myself for the pain that I'm feeling, that makes it my fault that everything hurts so god damn much.

All I can think about right now is, what did I do? What could I possibly have done (and when) that means bad things keep happening? I rack my brains over and over and over again and I still don't understand. I do my best to be a good person, I try so hard, but everything still hurts. What is it I need to do to fix things? What can I do to make it all better?

My friend Matt is with me right now. Well, not really, he's dead. I know he's not really there, but it feels like he is. I can hear his voice, feel him next to me and see his beautiful face when I close my eyes. I haven't felt like he was here this much since I was last in Paris and, if anything makes the pain and delusions worth it, it's feeling like he's here with me.

I know tomorrow I will feel differently, hell in an hour or so I'll feel differently. But right now, it hurts. It hurts so much and I would do anything and everything to work out how to fix it.

xXx 

Sometime's it's worth it


This morning, I received some of the greatest news ever delivered to mankind. Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, the show that shaped and influenced my life until it got a little bit shit, is returning for a one-off reunion show. It's impossible to put into words just how I'm feeling about this and I shall be singing along to the musical episode at the top of my lungs even more so than usual.

You will probably notice that, in the vast majority of my mental-health posts, I talk about how shit BPD can be. It's tiring, draining and down-right painful but, today, I'm bouncing off the walls and loving it. I'm buzzing, I'm excited and although it's highly likely that I will come crashing down like a sack of shit in pretty soon, I really don't give a shit. I'm happy.

It's often hard to explain to people the good side of my BPD because for the longest time good patches have been few and far between. Before I was diagnosed, I spent years refusing to take any form of medication because I was willing to put up with the lows in exchange for the highs. Obviously, this mentality only lasted for so long and eventually, I conceded that not only did I need an actual diagnosis, but that I also needed help in controlling my emotions in order to function as a normal human being.

Well, semi-function.

As a result of this, the highs seemed to fizzle out and the lows became far more common. Even as I'm writing this, I can see how it might seem strange that I just accept the lows as part of my everyday life now but, at the expense of not being able to survive, I'm happy to accept it.

Whilst this may seem like another post reiterating the pain I feel on a regular basis as a result of my condition, it really isn't the case. Today I'm happier than I've felt in days and I intend to hold on to that for as long as humanly possible. It may last the morning, the day or the week but right now, I don't give a shit. The mood I'm in is nothing short of euphoric, and I intend to enjoy it for as long as I can.

xXx


Tuesday, 11 June 2019

What hurts the most



One of the things I find the hardest to explain to people when it comes to my BPD is how it feels physically. How my body feels when I'm in the middle of a bad patch much like the one I'm in right now. I'm not just talking about when I'm exhausted or hungover after quite literally trying to drink my feelings away or even how my arms feel when I slice them to ribbons, but how I actually feel.

It was only recently that I thought about writing this post after I realised that I'd developed a new symptom. I'm not a fan of new symptoms of my condition cropping up. I can, for the most part, handle the ones I've experienced for years but when I'm thrown a curveball and my brain decides that it's time for something new, I seldom know how to react.

The latest symptom is an actual feeling of my condition taking over. You know the sensation when you've necked 5 Redbulls and then come crashing down like Charlie Sheen at the end of a 2-week bender? That's exactly how I"m feeling, only these peaks and troughs happen within the space of a few minutes. Eventually, I know I'll learn how to get passed this one and soon it'll become part and parcel of my life with BPD, but all I can really do about it now is rest.

Aside from this new whole-body takeover, the place I feel pain most is my chest. It's a heavy, dragging feeling that sits rights above my sternum, and there's nothing I can do to get rid of it. Even I don't know much about the connection between mental illness and physical pain, but I'm at least 99.99% sure that painkillers aren't going to touch it.

I've been experiencing this type of pain a lot recently, which has not been helped by the fact that my immune system decided that working was too mainstream and so shut down last week. Whilst my chest infection is finally clearing and the dizziness and double vision are gone, the BPD pain is very much there.

This bad patch has been pretty rough, not just because of intensity but because of how long it's lasting. I'm doing my best to get out when I can and make use of the times I feel able to make it out the house but, for the most part, I've been spending my time at home in bed. I know that I'm strong and eventually things will be okay, but I"d really like to be done with this one now.

And no, I'm not going to the doctors.

xXx

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Self Love Pt 2


In the same way that I introduced my previous post of the same name, please be aware that this post has nothing to do with masturbation.

Sorry

When I was 17 I made the catastrophic mistake of shitting where I ate and entered into my very first relationship with a guy I worked with. It was great for about 15 months, and then we had a delightful conversation over text one night where he simply told me he didn't want to be with me anymore.

To be fair he'd said it before but then we'd gotten back together, we really should have stayed broken up.

Anyway after a lot of screaming, sobbing and valium (this was pre-diagnosis and therefore pre-medication) I managed to face him again and head to work.

It was fucking brutal.

Finding me sobbing in the toilet, my friend Hollie came in to comfort me and uttered the immortal words, you can't love anyone until you love yourself.

I won't lie, at the time I thought it was bullshit.

To me, nothing else mattered other than getting him back and I relentlessly told myself that it was something wrong with me that made him leave. It took me years to get over him, and I finally found solace after bumping into him on a night out and crying into my friend Craig's arms under a clock in Downham Market.

I also may or may not have hooked up with one of his friends but what are you going to do.

Anyway, fast forward 8 years and I really am feeling the pain again. I can take BPD flare-ups, but this one is lasting a lot longer than usual. I'm doing my best to leave the house, eat and achieve the bare minimum of tasks required to call myself a human, but it's hard.

It wasn't until the other day after I'd spent a good half an hour rocking back and forth sobbing into my pillow that I remembered what Hollie had said. After all these years was I finally getting it? Was I finally realising that I have to change the relationship I have with myself in order to be in a relationship with someone else? Was it finally dawning on me that I need to take care of me first? Finally, it was.

Laying my head down to sleep, I said to myself that I needed to take care of my body, my brain and my heart if I was ever going to move forward, I realised that there's no way of getting out of it this time. I really can't keep going around in self-hating circles in a desperate bid to feel love that will, quite literally, only end in tears.

And, as my amazing friend Jill said to me in the jewellery cupboard of the Kings Lynn Hardwick branch of Argos, "no daughter of mine is ever going to cry over a man."

I'll keep you posted.

xXx 

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

-73



My current bank balance, in case you were wondering.

Due to a combination of re-structuring, lies and all-consuming frustration, I have recently found myself to be unemployed. Not great in the long run and, if I'm honest, a tad demoralising.

Yesterday, in an attempt to calm myself the fuck down, I decided to try a yoga session. Unfortunately, this did nothing to soothe my mood and I burst into tears 10 minutes in. Luckily, I was at home, but still, hysterical crying is seldom the reaction expected of an exercise commonly associated with calmness and serenity.

Currently trying to rectify my present financial situation, I'm finding myself becoming more and more obsessive and upset each and every day. All I seem to be able to think about is job hunting, I check my emails at least 12 times an hour and my mind is constantly saturated with anger at the fact that I have to go through this whole fucking process again.

Whether we like it or not, money is a key component of survival in the Western world. We need it for food, we need it for shelter and we need it if we plan on doing a variety of things involved in leaving the house.

It also seems at the moment that 99% of the conversations I have with people seem to revolve around my current employment status. How's the job hunt going? People ask. Are you trying XYZ? Have you applied to this place? Everyone around me has a bizarre obsession with whether or not someone is paying me to do something and, subsequently, the contents of my bank account.

Now I'm not completely void of the ability to understand human emotion, and I know that most of them are doing it out of care and consideration. But, in all honesty, it feels to me as if they only seem to care if I'm employed or not. Regardless of how my insecurities may make me feel at times, I'm more than my bank balance, more than the contents of my resume and cover letter and I'm sure as hell more than my fucking LinkedIn profile.

Don't get me wrong, I would really like a job. I'm bored, frustrated and do not do well with having free time, but I'm slowly realising, for today at least, that whether or not someone is paying me on a regular basis has very little to do with who I am. I'm a writer, plain and simple. Does this mean that I receive a regular wage for doing so? No, but it does mean that I've been lucky enough to find something that I'm not only passionate about but also incredibly good at. How about, instead of asking me how many hours I'm spending trying to convince a complete stranger that I'm the perfect person for each and every individual role, maybe ask what I've been writing about lately. Who knows, you might actually find it interesting.

And no, I don't want to apply for a job in my local pub. I need at least one place I can relax.

xXx

Monday, 27 May 2019

Raising awareness and shutting the fuck up



I've started writing many a post on my hatred of the term "raise awareness", but none of them have reached the point of publication. Not really sure why other than maybe I can't quite put across how fucking angry the term makes me. Thankfully, through the glory that is Room 101, I'm finally feeling able to put my words out there for all to read.



When telling presenter Bob Monkhouse why she wanted to throw marathons into the fiery depths of Room 101, Katherine Ryan uses the phrase "We've heard of it, sit down" in response to the eternally repulsive and unrelentingly nauseating phrase raising awareness. Thanks to this glorious and very public exclamation, I really think I've found someone else who gets it.

Now, the phrase raising awareness is often used by self-righteous and small-minded morons who, for some inexplicable reason, don't realise that, as members of the human race, a vast percentage of the population are also aware of the existence of the same certain topics they are. Subjects include cancer, world hunger, global warming and common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

That's right, I said common, bite me.

Now, do what you want in support of these charities. I'm not disputing their importance and I really don't give a shit about what you do in your spare time. Climb Everest, jump out a plane, shave your head - whatever gets you out of bed in the morning, just don't use the overly cliched and completely necessary headline to cover the fact that you want attention. Yes, we get it, you want to visit an underdeveloped country on the other side of the planet to show the world what a kind and considerate person you are but don't expect me to pay for your holiday or rim you in return. Let's just say what it's you're really doing shall we, boosting your ego and raising money. It's 2019,  we should all be grown-up enough to be honest with each other by now.

Obviously, as I am a human being, my anger is powered by a pre-existing personal agenda, in this instance being BPD. When no-one has a fucking clue what something is then, and only then, do we need to raise awareness. I have no problem explaining my condition to people, as I'm fully aware that not a lot of people have heard of it, but the world and his middle-aged nextdoor neighbour knows what hunger is, so stop assuming that I'm a fucking moron for the sake of your inner hardon.

Can you tell I'm not in a great mood today?

xXx

Image By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34539191