Posts by girly-d

  • Gone swimming...

    I'd cooked crab.

    It's his favourite

    He was asleep, and so I made up the salad and waited for him to come back downstairs.

    Only I waited and I waited, until I got tired, and so I un-made the plates and I went to head upstairs to bed.

    But then he woke up and came into the kitchen, and so I remade the plate for him and put it on the table...Only I "put it down wrong" and he flew into a rage again.

    It took me an hour to pick that crab, and all of 30 seconds for the plate that I'd put it on to fly across the room, where it smashed against the wall and ended up in the the washing up bowl.

    My fault.

    Apparently...

    And so I'm sitting here at work, and it's a week before my birthday and I'm so sad and so broken and tired and confused...because I love this man with all of my heart when he's sober, but when he's drunk he's out of control and I can't be going through all of this again...

    And I'm writing this down because I need to see it for myself in black and white just how much of an arse he can be when he's had a skinful...and remind myself for hopefully what will be the last time that "love" isn't actually supposed to be like this...

  • Beautiful, thought-provoking, mesmerising...


     

    Beautiful. Thought-provoking. Absolutely mesmerising… You know how sometimes we choose not to see things? A couple making a scene in a restaurant say, or some guy in the street maybe, asking for change; only we turn a blind eye because it makes us uncomfortable. We become engrossed in our phones, look down at the pavement, maybe even cross the street for good measure, quietly humming away to ourselves “la,la,la - sorry can’t see you…” as we quickly bolt and make our escape. Well you can’t do that here… because Vicky Moran’s incredible play “No Sweat” shines a spotlight so brightly on the subject matter that there is literally nowhere to hide from the truth. Which is that there is a LGBTQ+homelessness crisis…and it’s getting worse. No Sweat tells the stories of three, young, gay, homeless men, “Tristan”” Alf “and “Charlie”, who randomly cross paths whilst seeking solace in a sauna. It explores and exposes the underlying bigotry, bullying and relationship breakdowns that they face, whilst highlighting a series of hopeless faults and flaws in our called “support” system that not only throws them together, but also, without exception, manages to throw them under the bus. Denholm Spurr shines as “Tristan”, a relative newcomer to the dark streets of London. Lost, lonely, and completely out of his depth, he sleeps with strangers he meets at the spar or on Grindr for free in order to put a roof over his head. James Haymer is incredible as “ Alf”, a street-wise but self-destructive wrecking-ball, fuelled by suspicion, pent-up emotion, and liberal helpings of GHB as he spends his days and nights getting paid by the hour… but it is “Charlie” ( played by Manish Gandhi) who is, without a shadow of a doubt, the absolute shining star of the show. Forced to flee his native Pakistan because he is gay, his heart-breaking story of beatings and brutality, coupled with his fathers twisted attempts to make him “Un-gay”, made me want to cry. Broken-hearted and destitute, he hides himself away in the sauna whilst attempting to seek asylum here, only to be told through a series of increasingly ridiculous interrogations by the Home Office that actually he is “not gay enough” to be allowed to stay. Produced by Reece McMahon, No Sweat is an absolute triumph, managing to be both harrowing and enthralling at the same time. No easy task, when you consider the subject matter. The tiny, yet incredibly intimate venue, means that the audience is seated mere feet away from the cast, and this, coupled with Alex Berry’s ingenuitive portable set design, and genius finishing touches such as the scented “steam” from the sauna that gently wafts through the audience at times, is what helps give the play its eerie, immersive feel. But the thing that really sets this play apart, the thing that sits at the heart of it all, is the fact that all of the stories featured in this play are true. Transcribed by Moran from real interviews, given by real people hoping to expose the plight facing a forgotten generation of homeless gay youth. And they have done this in spades. So, go see this play…and then when you have seen it, go tell all your friends. So that they can tell theirs and then hopefully this play can get the recognition it deserves. Because it’s absolutely beautiful. 4 Stars.

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     

  • Magical thinking...

    I'm sat in the sunshine with an old friend.

    And so I don't see that he's walking through town until he's right at my table, telling me that he's had a drink.

    And those words cut through me like knives and everything changes in an instant, as the grim reaper himself takes a seat right in front of me, grinning like a cheshire cat, pointing at his scythe and mouthing the words "I've got another one..."

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  • Skeletons...

    Skeletons...

    We all have them.

    Swinging merrily away in the closet, not posing a threat or a danger to anyone in any way, shape, or form...just as long as they stay in there, obviously.

    Only they don't tend to do that do they? It appears that they don't like being hidden away back there in the dark, with only each other and the occasional moth-ball for company. They tend to get bored, restless...and start looking for the exit.

    And that's when the fun starts...

     

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  • Enabling......

    If you, or any one you know has ever had a relationship with an addict, you will know that being around one is bloody hard work. It's the emotional equivalent of letting a hungry, muddy rottweiler loose in a show-home.

    It's carnage. 

    Even when you are prepared for the tantrums, the lies, the plea-bargains and the often empty promises, it's a mammoth task and one that shouldn't be underestimated...because getting emotionally involved on any level means that like it or not, you will become an "Enabler", and according to pretty much every professional ever, thats "naughty"...so don't do it. 

    An "Enabler" basically does what it says on the tin...they enable an addict to function without having to acknowledge or accept the consequences of their actions. Because, by cooking, cleaning, buying food, toiletries, clothes or whatever, you are basically allowing the person you care about to continue blithely on feeding their habit while you run around after them, cleaning up carnage and getting the shit end of the stick.

    I used to be a support worker. I know all of this. I know that certain things are "frowned upon" and why. I "enable" my boyfriend anyway. Because I love him and I know that at present he struggles to do these things for himself.

    I'm not prepared to let him lie around under a filthy duvet because I'm not supposed to do the laundry. Or watch him go hungry because he's too sick or weak to make himself a sandwich. I don't want the flat where he lives and where I spend my spare time to be a shit-tip. So I make sure that when I am around that these things get done. Am I enabling him? Yes. Am I happy about that? Not really...no. But I know that at present and for as long as I stay with him, then I'm just going to roll with that.

    I get angry with him. Frustrated. Upset...because I want him to be well and he isn't. I wish that things were different. Because he was sober when I met him the second time around. He seemed to be doing ok. But then he went to the shop and bought vodka and now he is anything but.

    That was two months ago.

    I went to see him on Tuesday. He said that he was low. What he actually was, was drunk. He had been for days. Since I walked out on him the previous Thursday in fact. He denied it of course -even though he could barely stand. I didn't bat an eyelid. It's becoming the norm.

    The place was a pig sty. Thats becoming the norm too. Broken glass on the floor, food everywhere. Sandwhich crusts mainly. He can't make much else. 

    I cooked us a roast. "Enabled" him again. He didn't want to eat it in front of me, which in alcohol speak translates into "I can't pick up my knife and fork". I left him to it and went and sat in the kitchen where I ate mine.

    His went cold, so it went in the bin... Minus the gravy. That was all over the duvet... which bought a whole new meaning to the term "damp patch" when we had to sleep under it later.

    I couldn't be arsed to tell him about it. He wouldn't care anyway. I'll wash it in the morning, with everything else that I picked up off the floor earlier.

    Because that's what us "Enablers" do.

    Well I  did.

    I'm not actually doing this anymore. You see, when I scraped his plate into the bin earlier, I thought I saw our relationship in there, right there at the bottom. Hidden under the scraps... Which deep down I know is all that he's offering me...and that's on a good day. On nights like tonight, you don't want to know.

    I'm worth more than scraps. Plus I've decided that actually, I don't like cleaning up sick.

    So I'm leaving him.

    In fact I left him on Wednesday. I packed all my things and I caught the train back. I just don't think that he's noticed yet.

    Which is, in itself "enabling". 

    It enables me for a change. 

    To realise that this guy doesn't need me to help him...he needs to go to rehab.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • #nofilter

    It's hard, being a writer. Because everything you see, do or hear potentially has a story behind it. One that, if shared with the world, would resonate with somebody, somewhere...maybe give them some hope, or an idea or bring clarity or whatever.

    There are 200 odd blogs on my website. There could easily be triple that number if I didn't have to filter things. But I do, I do filter. I have to. To spare feelings, to stop secrets spilling out, to keep up appearances. There are a million and one reasons why I can't always write the things that I want to write and every time it kills me.

    Because I'm a writer. I need to write... It's how I make sense of things, put some order in my world, keep everything peachy. It's my outlet, my off switch...it's how I convey to the world "enough...I've had enough now...just let me be for a while, tap tap tapping away while I make sense of of this and then i'll be back, just as soon as I've got this thing out of my head and onto this page"...

    If I didn't have to filter I could tell people that recently I moved away for a while. Made a fresh start. Pushed my own boundaries, ventured out on my own...because things were unstable where I was and I was desperately unhappy.

    But then I came back, because I really missed my boyfriend and I wanted things to work, even though present circumstances mean that  he is far from being my Mr Right, right now.

    If I didn't have to filter I could tell people that I think I have bi-polar. That at times it scares the shit out of me. That it sends me into panic, meaning that I do odd, spontaneous, off the wall things...like moving hundreds of miles away on a whim to make a fresh start. To wipe my slate clean...to become someone new. Someone with a better, maybe more reliable head than mine...only to find that when I get there, that I still have my own head, only now I have a greatly reduced social circle and a lot less money because I spent it all on train tickets.

    If I didn't have to filter I could tell people that I'm sick of my boyfriend giving me false hope. Telling me that he is cutting down his alcohol consumption...me believing him, and then sitting here like an idiot with only a burnt chicken for dinner because he's still sat in a bar somewhere drinking with his mates.

    If I didn't have to filter I could just tell it like it is...just for once.

    I think that maybe, just maybe I'm all done filtering...

  • Painting over cracks...

    It's 3.00am and I'm struggling to sleep.

    I lie here in bed tossing and turning for a bit before deciding just to roll with it, heading downstairs and flicking the kettle on. I'll make a cup of tea I think... a good cup of tea solves everything.

    I decide against some biscuits - I can probably do without the added sugar rush I'm guessing, and then I head into the living room where he's sat watching TV. He has a cup of tea in front of him...great minds and all that.

    "I can't sleep" he says, giving me a sheepish grin, as I slide in next to him on the sofa.

    I resist the urge to say to him that maybe the two bottles of wine that he drank before bed have got something to do with his insomnia, but I bite my tongue, and the words go unsaid.

    He has a drink problem, my boyfriend, in case you were wondering. Two bottles of wine before bed is not out of the ordinary now...there are two bottles of wine before bed most evenings, as well as the pints and the brandys while he sits in the bar after work. "Unwinding".

    Still, the New Year is coming he tells me. He'll stop in the New Year...

    I just smile and I nod and I squeeze his hand, and I try not to worry about how old and ill he is looking, and then we both sit there in silence staring at the TV at stupid o clock in the morning, because, well really there is nothing left to say after that if I'm honest.

    Nothing that I haven't heard before, anyway...

    He's a painter, my boyfriend. He paints peoples houses.

    He gets out his brushes and lays down some dust sheets and he glosses over stuff...

    And then he comes back home to me, opens a bottle of wine, sidesteps the massive elephant in the room that has recently come to stay with us, and then we both do the same in our own house...

    #Otherpeoplesproblems

     

  • Talking to fridges.....

    A friend of mine is writing a book - A compilation of personal accounts centred around the #metoo hashtag.

    Because we share this in common, my friend and I. We've both experienced the devastation, but thankfully, years later we've worked our way through it and come out on the other side using our respective coping mechanisms. Mine involved talking to a trusted friend at the time, seeking professional help, and eventually writing about it years later on my blog. My friend however, took a slightly less conventional approach....

    We were chatting online. We talked about the book; discussed our own experiences, and  I asked her if she had ever had counselling. After a minutes hesitation, her reply was "Not unless you count talking to the fridge"...

    It was meant to be a joke, but it gave me a kind of lightbulb moment...which I thought that I might share...

    You see, a fridge is designed with a door that can be opened 24 hours a day, meaning that it's always there when you need it. That's kind of handy at 3.00am when your head is going crazy and there's no-one else around...

    A fridge can't talk, so it can't "give advice" or interrupt you mid-flow.  It can't tell the time or walk away either...meaning that you can talk for England if you need too and it won't be going anywhere until that shit is off your chest. No, a fridges  job is to basically chill the wine and keep the chocolate safe for when you've finished off-loading and need consolation...

    It's the perfect tool for the job.

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  • Borrowed size 9's

    I'm my fathers daughter...apparantly.

    I look a bit like him.

    Same curly hair, same blue eyes...same, two, matching dimples in my cheeks.

    I think like him too it would seem...only that bit's not so great.

    Because you see, my dad had "issues", as did the rest of his family.

    My nan churned him, his brothers and sisters out in fairly quick succession before deciding that actually, they cramped her style a bit...so off they all popped into care for a while, while she went off to bingo, dated the man from the bookies and laid on the chaise lounge for months drinking her sherry. 

    Anyway, long story short, the kids came back, completely ravaged and traumatised,  my nan still didn't like them, and simply watched disinterested, as one by one, they became mental ticking time bombs, as they tried desperately to figure out what they had done that was so wrong that they had to be sent away in the first place.

    Not one of them saw 50.

    My dad was 38.

    I didn't meet my uncles; They died when I was a kid. John drank, fought, womanised and gambled his life away on the streets of London, and my uncle Bill killed himself in the bathroom after discovering that his wife had been having an affair; One rejection too many I'm guessing.

    But it was my late Aunty Sheila who really got under my skin.

    She died alone in a basement flat in London many moons ago.  No-one reported her missing. The flies on the window the only giveaway that something was amiss inside.

    She used to come to our house when my brother and I were kids.

    We'd all try and hide from her.

    We were embarrased, ashamed... Unsure what to do with her, and so we did what everyone else did back then...we ridiculed and ignored her. Couldn't wait for her to leave...on the rare occasions my mum let her into the house in the first place.

    She used to wear a brown fur coat, my aunty. Her shoes were too big. If she had any on at all.  Her hair would be matted and her glasses were cracked. Her nails were long and dirty, and back then I thought that she looked like a witch but then I was only 5.

    I used to hide from her behind the sofa, well either there or in the pantry. She scared the living shit out of me.

    And then I became her...

    It took a while, granted. It didn't happen overnight. I didn't just wake up one morning wearing dirty clothes, with matted hair and dirt under my nails - I morphed into her gradually. It took a good six months I would say to fully become her after my mental health took a nosedive and went and hit the skids.

    And then it was me that people talked about and ridiculed.

    Me, that people pointed at, or crossed the street to avoid.

    Not my Aunty Sheila.

    Me.

    And I went to Button moon for a while, while the world went on around me, and the demons in my head declared an open house and a free-for all, with drinking round the clock...and I got thinner, madder and dirtier with every day that passed as I tried to keep up with it all.

    Days passed and button moon got crowded. People came for the free drinks and a day at the zoo. They wanted to see the main attraction - which of course was me...I just didn't know that then. And they would buy me drinks and they would laugh at my clothes and my tangled, matted hair and they would point and they'd whisper and say "Look at the state of that" ...and then they would laugh as I'd fall over, and snigger as I would drink myself unconcious and they would go back to their non-fucked up lives and their perfect homes and everything would be just peachy for them whilst me and everyone else who was like me just slept where we fell on the cold-hard floor of groundhog day, praying that no-one would piss on us in the night.

    And then I got well again...

    And I left Button Moon and the madness behind and I hid myself away for a while while I tried to make sense of it all, and when finally, it did make some sense, I picked up my phone and I wrote about it...

    And now I write about that time, and the madness, the shame and the stigma... the sheer bloody loneliness,  and the terror that you feel when there is something wrong with your head but you don't know how to fix it and no-one wants to know you, and you are so lost and lonely and sick of people picking the very meat off  your bones that you just want to curl up and die...

    I look back now with massive hindsight and realise that my late Aunty Sheila was no more scary than I am. She was struggling and she was ill. There's a massive difference.  But people talked about her because she was different. She didn't look right. Her clothes were dirty and her shoes were too big...

    Well I've walked in her shoes - they don't fit me either...

    But I learned an absolute shitload about peoples perceptions while I was wearing them...

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Sleeping with the enemy......

    Published in Daring Woman magazine March 2018

     

    Have you ever tried not to breathe, even if it's just for a few seconds? 

     It's harder than it looks. 

    Because it's pretty important, breathing. It tends to keep you alive and stuff...which leads me to this question.

    If you thought your life depended on it, do you think you could not breathe then??...

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  • So much more than "Just A girl"...

    To Whom It May Concern...

     

    I don't really know "Just A Girl" very well.

    This doesn't really sound the start of a particularly convincing reference, but allow me to qualify this.

    It's true, I don't know Just A Girl very well at all. Yet I know her very well through her writings.

    We 'met' through a friend of a friend. You know how it is with social media. I'm browsing. Checking trends with friends. Then I found her. Then I read my first blog. Then I stopped in my tracks. Rarely have I come across such brutal honesty. The heartbreaking truth of addiction. The despair. The cycle of chaos, lies, self-destruction, confusion and helplessness that grips, holds and threatens to kill. A joyless whirlwind of loss. Loss of self-esteem, confidence, looks, weight, family and home.

    And when all is lost and the bottom of the abyss has been reached? No, there's still a little bit more you can lose.

    Hope.

    All this catalogued in black and white. No glamour, no fluffiness. No romantic vision of utter despair to dress up in. No pity party to attend. All cried out, all fucked up. At the end. And if she had had the strength to knock at heavens gate? No one would have been listening.

    But folks like me are listening now.

    The stories resonate deep. Stories that can only be told by someone who has been there, done that and puked on the t-shirt. I've been there myself and I'm encouraged through Denise's writing, to tell my own story.

     

    There are many stories to be told, and Denise has the elusive gift to inspire, to encourage, to lift up those in pain, those who are in the thick of it, with her stories.

    I cannot recommend Denise highly enough. If you have your doubts then let me use an analogy I often use.  Yup, t'is my own.

    You may own a stable. You may own horses. You may watch and learn from horses. On your shelves you may have many books about horses. You may know people who ride horses, gamble on horses, trade horses.

    But if you've never ridden a horse then how do you know what it's really like?

     

    The end 

  • This Is Depression....

     

    I'm getting thin.

    There are dark circles under my eyes, my clothes don't fit me and my hair is a mess.

    I look terrible.

    I don't care...

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  • Black is the new black...

    I don't know what day it is.

    I do know however that I really need a shower.

    I needed one days ago actually but I'm too ill and too traumatised to take off my clothes in a virtual strangers bathroom. The thought of him knowing that I'm naked behind the bathroom door is too much for me to handle right now, even though I'm sure that his intentions  towards me are good. My clothes are my armour, which is probably just as well...I don't have any other defence mechanisms left.

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  • A sort of Fairytale...

    Once upon a time there was a lost little girl, whose world was all scary and dark. Her father had died, her mum had hit the bottle and there was no one left to take care of her, and so she would sit by herself watching cartoons, or reading her fairytales, and she would dream about the day when she would be big enough to fend for herself in the world and not have to worry about other people all the time.

    But she was shy and unsure and frightened of everything, and so in order to cope, she pretended that she had wings made of steel like her cartoon hero "Batfink" and then anytime she felt scared or alone, or lost or afraid, she imagined those wings of hers wrapping themselves around her, and  she wouldn't feel afraid anymore.

    And she grew and she grew, and her wings made her invincible, and gave her the confidence to overcome anything that she was unsure of, and people all around her wondered what her secret was...

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  • Brain Freeze...

     This is a blog about my mum.

    I don't write about her very often. Our relationship is complex and mostly non-existent. Which I hate... but that's how it's always been so now I just get on with it.

    As a child, living with my mum was like trying to balance a handgrenade. 

    On a see-saw.

    With no hands.

    My little brother perched on one end, me on the other, and my mum the un-exploded bomb in the middle, in all of her unpredicable, chaotic glory rolling around between us, the pin constantly working loose but never quite coming out completely.

    The fear of that pin coming out caused me to live my life in a constant state of high alert and high anxiety, which now I mostly manage, but back then was horrendous.

     

     

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  • Hedonism......

    So he's coming to see me. This amazing "blast from the past" super-cool person of mine.

    I'm ecstatic.

    Because it's going to be amazing.

    Me and him. A hotel room somewhere. And an absolute whale of a time guaranteed. All arranged lastminute.com which is always how we roll...

     A  "Hey _____  I've been thinking. I've missed your face. And I'd really love to come see you again ...are you gonna be free between ____ and _____? (Him)

    (Me) "What's there to even think about? Do it. Come see me. Get in the car and get down here...will be amazing. So yes. I'll make sure that I'm free...'cos I've missed your face too..."  kind of conversation.

    And so he's coming. To see me. In two weeks. I'm turning cartwheels.

    Fuck...I'm turning cartwheels.

    I need to do a risk assesment...

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  • Hospital Food....(T.W)

    So this is a story about a man.

    A funny, intelligent and articulate man who has recently snowballed into my day to day life. Out of the blue. From Nowhere. Completely unexpectedly,  and completely unannounced.  I'm still attempting to process it all. It's kind of a complicated story. Involving an extremely complicated man.

    We crossed paths via social media. He'd followed me on twitter. I checked his profile and clicked onto one of his blogs. And time kind of stopped for me. Literally.  As I re-read his words and struggled to take in exactly what this guy was telling me.

    Because as I read this blog it was clear that this guy had had a plan. Which didn't involve following me (or anyone else for that matter) on twitter if it had worked. He wouldn't have had time to sit about surfing the internet and making new aquaintences. He would have been way too busy being dead. Which is kind of a full time job once you've comitted to it. And from what I could see he was pretty comitted. Up to his neck in it actually. 

    Anyway. Long story short.

    Despite his well thought out and carefully articulated plan, involving ingesting enough prescription medicine to knock out a small country, washed down with copious amounts of tepid white wine, coupled with  the  fact that nobody actually knew quite where to find him whilst all of this topping himself on social media business was going on, (which didn't help the emergency services who were at this point  frantically attempting to locate him), for some unknown reason, somewhere along the lines that night it didn't quite work out.

    Mainly because he found himself  very much "Not Dead" . When he woke up very much alive on an acute psychiatric ward. From an induced coma. With tubes going into places that really should only allow for stuff coming out. Along with various other pleasantries that had been carried out in a desperate  attempt to save his life.

    And that's how the weirdest friendship in the world began. I sent him a message. He messaged me back. The rest is history.

    He's bringing out stuff in me that I can't describe.

    I feel an incredible protectiveness towards him. We are similar in lots of ways and share the same history.  I'm hearing my story but told by a man and from a mans perspective. We are both alive when we didn't actually want or plan to be. And dealing with the implications of that. Our similarities are beyond weird. 

    We talk every day.

    I try and walk the line between keeping him cheerful and making conversation that isn't going to be too overwhelming. There's a lot going on in that head of his right now what with him still being alive and all....

    I take the piss a lot. There is no elephant in the room during our conversations. It's how it should be. And I send him stuff. Snapchats. A song from the movie  "Suicide Squad". I call it "My cheer up song." It's a private joke. Thankfully, he thought it was funny too when I explained. We share the same dark humour at times.

    He has an adopted sunflower.

    He didn't get a say in it really. I just gave it to him. It lives in my bathroom where it gets plenty of sun. He gets regular updates and photo's - as though he's signed up for some random charity or other  off the TV.  "Look Nick - here's "Sunflower" chilling out on my windowsill." ( He doesn't have a name. He's just "Sunflower"),  or "Nick, check out Sunflower and his brother in this pic. Your's is kicking ass. He's grown loads"....

    Although obviously Sunflower is a metaphor, Sunflower is real. He is growing. Every day I see tiny changes in him. My friend is growing too. He might not always think so but he is. 

    I've known him no time at all, but I have the greatest respect for this guy and I wish that I could do more to help. I want him to be well. And far away from a psych ward. Being comfortable in his skin. Being happy. But that's not my job to do and not my thing to wish for. It's his. It has to be his.

    I don't have a magic wand. I can't just wave something and make him better. It's not that simple. Only he can decide where he goes from here. To a Penthouse or a Park bench. It's a 50/50. It's going to be a long haul. But if this guy is half the guy I think he is, he'll do it. With bells on. He just needs to cut himself some slack.

    In the meantime,  I'm honoured to know him. It's like I see into his soul. And hopefully my chit chat helps. So for now the songs, the snapchats and the crazy Sunflower  photos are staying on the menu. To try to compensate for the terrible hospital food.  While he puts himself back together however he sees fit. Until he doesn't need them anymore. Maybe because he'll have his own garden again and can grow his own Sunflowers. No internet intervention necessary.... Or no garden at all.  It's up to him. It's his life. And gardens are over-rated anyway.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say to this man is this. That the past is the past. It's happened. It's gone. Nothing and no-one can change that. And despite his best laid plans for his life at that point,  fate appeared to have a different agenda when the shit hit the fan for him  that night. And maybe there's a reason for that.

    So he's alive. With a fresh clean slate. If nothing else resonates right now, it's a start.

    Also known as a beginning.

    But if I did have a wish for this friend of mine, it would be this.....That you would choose to begin Nick.

    Just begin....

  • Saying goodbye to old ghosts...

    I'm back in St Ives, my absolute favourite place in all of Cornwall.

    It's my 'go-to' place, my healing place - the place that I ran to when something bad happened, something so terrible, all of those years ago, that I couldn't bear to live in my own skin, let alone my own flat.

    I blamed myself back then. Lots of 'could've, should've, would've' type conversations with my head, based on if only I could have known the outcome of that night. But the fact is, that I didn't know, and so I didn't do any of the things that I wish I'd done now.

    Instead, I bought myself a train ticket and ran away here.

    Continue reading

  • Kintsugi...

    Cathy Rentzenbrink’s incredible book “A Manual for Heartache” talks about the Japanese art of Kintsugi...repairing chips or cracks in objects with gold, so that they stand out and shine, themselves becoming things of beauty,  rather than hidden flaws that fade back into the background.

    Its a beautiful concept...and if I could offer you one piece of advice from me to you today, it would be this...take a good, long, hard look at yourself in the mirror as soon as you possibly can, and start painting over your own cracks with gold.

    I promise that it will change the way you see yourself forever.

    I bought the book for my boyfriend. He was grieving. I thought that it would help him, but as I read her story of loss, loneliness and spiralling mental health, I realised that it was me who needed to hear her message.

    Because not all that long ago, I had a mental break-down. 

    Years of feeling “not quite good enough” combined with a horrific year caused me to lose sight of who I was, drove me to addiction, and left me an alcoholic, emaciated wreck, scared of her own shadow.

    I looked and lived like a tramp, and had no self-respect or self-esteem.

    I wanted to die, and to be fair, I very nearly did...it took a stay in hospital, followed by months in detox and finally rehab, to get me resembling anything near part-functioning human again. 

    My recovery was hard, involving much gritting of teeth, endless soul-searching and pretty much around the clock slaying of demons...but it worked, I saw myself in a whole new light, and as I walked out of rehab, I promised myself that I would never, ever,  treat myself that badly again.

    And I haven’t, I don’t.

    I treat myself with respect, and give myself credit for the journey I have been on.

    I even kind of like myself...

    So this is my Kintsugi...every blog, every podcast, every film, discussion or magazine feature...these are my bits of gold...each portrays a scar, a flaw, a memory or whatever.

    I wear them all with pride.

    Every single one of them.

    Addiction broke and disfigured me.

    Kintsugi shows me that I’m beautiful...just the way I am.

    So thank you Cathy. For your incredible book, and for showing me a different way of doing things...

    X

     

     

  • Hollow...Winner of St Petrocs Poetry competition April 2019

    I’m black and I’m blue, I’m feeling degraded,

    My hair is a mess, my make-up is faded

    I look in the mirror, despise what I see, then I look at this man who means nothing to me

    I creep out the door before he awakes,

    I’m tired and I’m ill…there is nothing to take

    I don’t leave my number, I don’t know his name, 

    I’m tired and hungover and burning with shame

    I creep down the backstreets, avoid being seen, and I long for a shower, or just to feel clean

    There’s no-one to turn to, there’s nowhere to go, 

    It’s just me and my head in this shit horror show

    So I head for the basement and open a can, 

    And I drink to get shit-faced as fast as I can

    I’m all out of options, I’m running on empty, I have nothing left now, I’m just how he left me

    I’m counting the days now, I’m counting the hours,

    Because soon I’ll be dead and be pushing up flowers

    And I’m ok with that, I’m resigned to my fate, because I’ve tried and I’ve failed to keep spinning these plates

    It’s too much too deal with, it’s too much to take, and I’ll tell that to God when I’m stood at his gate

    And I hope that he gets it…that he sees that I’ve tried, as I drown in the river of tears that I cried

    Because I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to stay, in this horrible head funk of “Alcohol Day”

    So somebody help me, or let’s get it over, I’m all out of hope, I can’t deal with life sober

    So this is my story, and this is my shame,

    Written here on my face and beside my real name...