What if you told the truth?

Don’t you ever wonder what would happen if you told the truth? I mean if you really actually told it like it is in your head – if you didn’t sugar coat it, or make it palatable? What if you just came out and said it, as it is, whatever it is?

I spend a lot of my time wondering about that but in the end, I’m stuck with the way things are – polite conversation, behaving acceptably, not rocking the boat, and above all else not making people uncomfortable.

Nobody tells the truth because nobody wants to hear the truth.

If I were to tell the truth I’d say it hurts and that I’m angry and that I’m full of regret. I’d say that my nightmares aren’t full of abstract ideas but the one mistake I can’t live with, played out over and over and over again in all its gruesome reality. I’d say that’s why I can’t sleep – because every time I close me eyes THAT”S WHAT I SEE.

If I were to tell the truth I’d say I’m too old to put it right and that really, that’s what this is all about. Back then I thought I had so much time to make it better. I thought it was going to be different. I didn’t realise I was going to have to live with it, not like this. I thought there would be an ending. I thought I would put it all behind be and that would be the end.

If I were to tell the truth I’d say that for all the shame I feel that it wasn’t really my fault because I didn’t understand it – not like I do now. I’d also say that what I feel now is a just punishment, and that I deserve everything I get because WHY DIDN’T I MAKE MYSELF UNDERSTAND.

The truth can be contradictory.

Mostly, when you look at it, people do ordinary things with their lives. They find jobs and hobbies and people to love, and they buy houses, and fill them with things and children and pets and it’s all very ordinary.

When I was young I didn’t want ordinary, but now? Now I’d give everything and anything I could if I could have a tiny bit of ordinary in return. Everything and anything and whatever else it might take.

So yeah – If I were to tell the truth I would say that this person is not the person I was supposed to be, and this life was not the life I wanted to live. If I were to tell the truth I’d say that I’ve got it wrong – at every step, I’ve got it wrong.

If I were to tell the truth I’d say that I’m blessed with friends and family and love. And if I were to tell the truth I’d say that for everything I am blessed with, somehow I am cursed with more.

Just some thoughts…..

I don’t mean to be alarming, but I’m tired of this. I’m tired of how it goes, and what it all means and where this ends up. Where this ends up, by the way, is almost always me – wide awake while the rest of the world is sleeping – wondering why in the name of fuck I can’t just have one of those normal brains that behaves itself and gives itself peace and generally doesn’t do this shit 

By my reckoning it’s been about twenty days (or nights) since I last managed to get a decent night’s sleep under my belt. As a rule I can’t seem to get to sleep and even if I do I end up tossing and turning because I’m cursed by strange nightmares that wake me up way before I’ve had anything approaching enough sleep. Bottom line? I’m so very, very tired. And yet here I am: wide a fucking wake when by rights, I ought to be asleep. 

Insomnia isn’t new to me. I’ve been here, bought the t-shirt and come out the other side MANY TIMES before. Seriously. If the doomie gloomies think keeping me awake against my will FOR WEEKS AT A TIME is enough to beat me into submission? Well – the doomie gloomies never came up against a WeeGee like me before, I guess. 
This is a bad patch and that much is obvious. The fact that I can’t sleep is part of the bad patch and not sleeping makes the bad patch worse. On the surface it feels like a double injustice but at least I’m eating right because I LEARNED THAT LESSON and I’m not hurting myself BECAUSE I LEARNED THAT LESSON and I’m doing all I can to get through this BECAUSE I LEARNED THAT LESSON (Or, to be fair – I’m learning that last lesson as I go – it all counts)

In part – this post is what depression looks like. Something as straightforward as being awake when every fibre of your being wishes you were asleep. 
I’ve lived with depression, on and off, for more than half of my life. I’ve tried to talk about it, and write about it, and somehow make it real. I’ve lived with it, loved with it and lost with it. Sometimes it has been the biggest part of my life, and sometimes I’ve barely known it was there. 

This week is depression awareness week. In an ideal world I’d have written something different, more meaningful – something better to mark it. As it stands I couldn’t write the post I wanted to – depression stopped me.

Instead I wrote this because it was the best that I could do. My name is WeeGee. I have depression. This is a little bit of what it feels like but only a little bit. I’m not ready to write the rest. Not just yet. 

One for sorrow

Earlier today I was watching a magpie going about his business. You know? That single solitary magpie that makes your heart sink and fills you with a strange sense of dread even though there isn’t a superstitious bone in your body? ‘One for sorrow’ I thought, ‘ONE FOR SORROW’ and somehow, in that moment, I felt like I had accidentally stumbled upon the meaning of life. 
What? Too melodramatic you say? A little self indulgent? I don’t suppose I can argue with that….

  
Safe to say that it hasn’t really been plain sailing weather here in WeeGee land of late. Truth told things have been pretty fucking torrid although it is important to note that I haven’t once thought about jumping out the window. This, by the way, is how looking on the bright side goes at the moment: I may well be coming apart at the seams but hey! At least I haven’t spent any time sizing up the light fittings. 

I feel separate from the things that are going on around me. I know that I am here and I know that ‘things’ are going on around me. What I don’t know is how in the name of fuck I go about connecting the two. There are things and then there is me and never the twain shall meet. It’s not so much that I don’t care (even though mostly, I don’t) – it’s more that I have no part to play in any of this because I’m not exactly here; I’m just skulking about on the sidelines feeling detached and wishing the whole world would go away and leave me in peace.

  
More than anything, I’m struggling with guilt because what right do I have to fall apart right now? I’m lucky: my life is mostly charmed and nothing terrible has happened to me. I know people – I CARE about people – who haven’t had a lot of luck, who don’t live such a charmed life and who are coming to terms with all kinds of grief and pain. Christ, I know someone who doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from and who may not have a roof over their head tonight. So how the fuck can can this be happening to me – what right do I have to feel like the sky is falling in and that nothing will ever be the same again? Shit. The worse thing likely to happen in my life this weekend is going to fucking Waitrose and discovering they’ve still run out of the ONLY brand of cat litter my little prince of a cat is willing to pee on at the moment……

  
I don’t think I’ve felt this crazy since the last time I went bat shit crazy. That was a long time ago now but, man, it was tough. That said, I guess the thing for me to remember is that I got through it. I came out the other side – my life was just about in tact and I started again. Most importantly of all, the life I landed in after I was bat shit crazy was infinitely better than the life I was living before I was bat shit crazy. I learned a lot about myself and it was okay in the end and I guess these things are sent to try us….and all that jazz.
For now, we’re back to the old drill here in WeeGee land. One foot in front of the other in front of the other in front of the other until you don’t even realise you’re doing it anymore. That’s how this works and that’s what you do – I know the drill of old and it hasn’t failed me yet.

  
I end with a song, in the time honoured WeeGee land tradition. It doesn’t mean anything. I just like it, a guilty pleasure, I guess.  

Love you all lots like jelly tots,

WeeGee

PS – I’m sorry the images are all different sizes. It offends my sensibilities too but I’m on an iPad and I can’t edit them properly xxxx

 

Down at the bottom of the garden….

As far as I’m aware, I never did pack a bag and run away to the bottom of the garden when I was a kid – even although I was probably exactly the kind of kid you’d have expected to spend her time packing bags and running away to the bottom of the garden.  
Now I’m a grown up……

No, that’s not quite right. Wait, stick with me, I’ll get this…..

Now I can do a reasonable impression of being a grown up…..

That’s it, that’s much better.

Now I can do a reasonable impression of being a grown up and running away to the bottom of the garden isn’t an option anymore. Dammit, fuck, fuck and fuckity fuck. Running away to the bottom of the garden isn’t EVEN AN OPTION anymore. 

I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d done it while I had the chance.

  
It’s not so much that there is anything I want to escape from because everything is fine. (For the avoidance of doubt – everything is really, actually and properly FINE and yes, I’m taking my meds and did I mention that everything is FINE?). It’s just that I’d like a bit of peace and quiet without all of this ‘life’ going on around me, or at least without me having to take part in it. I just want to duck out for a bit, you know? Be by myself and with myself and most of all I don’t want to have to answer for the quiet I need right now.

  
It’s tough, isn’t it? I love the people in my life. I’m glad that they’re in my life and I know that I’m lucky to have them. But right now? I want to be alone and I need to be in charge. I know that I’m not making a lot of sense to people right now but that’s because I need time to make sense of myself first. This is only ever going to make sense if I have time to find the sense for myself. I have to do things in the right order, in my own way and in my own time. 

Thing is, I’ll get there, to wherever it is I have to get to, so long as I can get there on my terms. 

I don’t need to run away to the bottom of the garden. I just need a little time. That’s the way things roll here in WeeGee land. Ever it was thus.

All my love and lots and lots of jelly tots and here’s a song…..

WeeGee xoxoxo

Whatever is in front of me

Hello. It’s me, WeeGee. You remember me, right? 
I’ve been away for a while and, I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t entirely sure I was ever coming back. Everything had changed, you see, and this little corner of the Internet didn’t feel like it belonged to the new world order. This was about the me that was, back then, when the fabric of things was altogether different. 
  
I suppose, what I’m saying is that I’ve been busy being the me that is now – carving out a new space and getting used to spending time in it. It’s taken me until now to figure where my blog fitted in The All New (not exactly singing and dancing) WeeGee Land. I suppose, what I’m also saying is – I’M BACK , although exactly what the fuck that is going to mean remains unclear.

At the moment, life is very much about whatever it is that’s in front of me at any given time. It’s more than just going through the motions but it’s less than living life in full technicolour. As has often been the case, I’m stuck somewhere between two extremes – I’m sitting in the middle waiting although I have no idea what it is I’m waiting for. 

  

Every once in a while I still seem to find my way to the very edge of the universe; truth told, I think that this is just the way things will be for me. Mrs Mountain tells me I should accept and forgive myself and I know she has a point so I’m trying to figure out what the edge of the universe can teach me about finding ways to live the life that is in front of me. The edge of the universe is nowhere near as terrifying as I once thought it was: I used to go there and think about jumping but now I peer over the edge and know that there are softer places for me to fall. 

  
Recently it has struck me that its easy to romanticise mental health difficulties – to make it all about noble battles fought by brave warriors who are somehow stronger, more worthy, than the three in four of us who are lucky enough to remain untouched. I seem to see it all the time and, you know what? I’m calling bullshit on that bullshit. 

  
There is nothing romantic about the cruel tricks your brain can play on you. NOTHING. N. O. T. H. I. N. G. Living your life whilst your brain implodes, and meaning leaves you, and everything hurts, and hope disappears? That’s not romantic. That’s an awful reality that won’t leave you alone and that colours everything you are and everything you thought you could be. 

The bottom line is that my life is not a battle and I am not a warrior. My life is just my life and I want to live it, whatever the reality might be. So what if my brain is imploding, or meaning has left, or everything hurts, or hope has disappeared? That’s just what’s in front of me – a set of facts, not at all unique. No heroics, nothing special – just what’s in front of me. End of story. 

I needed to get that off my chest. I’m glad I did. 

Meanwhile in other news I’ve been wondering how you guys are all doing. I can see things have changed here on WordPress and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Give me a week and I’ll be right on top of this….. Nothing else to report today save that would you care for a song to wrap this thing up:

Love you all lots, like jelly tots

WeeGee xoxoxo

Only tomorrow knows

There is nothing remarkable about my story.

I can tell it so that it’s funny, or sad, or boring, or hopeful, or desperate, or happy, or tragic. I can tell it like it’s all of those things at the same time, or I can tell it like it’s none of them at all. I can start my story anywhere – at the beginning, in the middle, or at any of the endings so far. I can tell it backwards, or forwards, or in no particular order at all. I can have one big story or lots of little stories. I can tell it differently depending on how I feel or who I’m telling it to.

There is nothing remarkable about my story and, in that regard, my story is no different from anyone else’s story. My story, like every single one of the millions of other stories is really nothing but a changing and changeable narrative that frames a life lived and forces it to make sense. That is what my blog has been about: a space for me to tell the story of myself to myself – a search for sense and meaning hiding in the madness I must live.

When I stopped blogging my story didn’t stop and I certainly didn’t stop longing for sense. And so I found different ways to tell my story and I found meaning in places I hadn’t looked before. Blogging gave me one kind of narrative; not blogging gave me another narrative entirely.

It would seem, that for today at least, my story is happening here even though it hasn’t happened here for the longest time. Today, this space feels like the right space – the only place I want to be. Tomorrow may feel different or it may feel the same. Only tomorrow can tell how tomorrow will feel. I have learned to wait for tomorrow patiently, and with hope in my heart. I have learned that tomorrow always comes to move the story on, although not always to the place I expected to end up.

It may be obvious to you, I don’t know. But today I am whimsical, and thoughtful, and maybe not terribly focused on what I’m trying to say or trying to do. As far as comeback posts go, this is may be a little confusing to those living outside my head. But this is my space, I carved it out of nothing at my lowest ebb and I wanted to come back today – to make it mine again and have a different voice and a different story to tell. I wanted to come here. I wanted to speak.

Maybe I’m just nostalgic – missing WordPress and missing the blogging buddies that I didn’t take out into the real world with me. Or maybe this is something new: a new chapter, or a sequel to the last story, or maybe even it will turn out to be the beginning of a new story altogether. Only tomorrow will tell….

I leave you with a song, much love, and lots and lots of jelly tots xoxoxo

The stars look very different today

Since last I wrote I can’t help feeling that the world has shifted slightly – that somehow it is different than it was before.

Like many people of my age and musical persuasion I spent a happy chunk of my early twenties exploring the David Bowie back catalogue and in the years that have followed I’ve returned to some of the treasures I discovered from time to time. That’s the extent of my David Bowie story – which is really just to say that his music found its way into the corners of my soul and stayed there with all the rest of the music I’ve taken to my heart.

Of course there’s no reason that what WeeGee has to say about Bowie’s passing matters, save I suppose that it matters to WeeGee because, as far as anything goes, music matters.

If my blog has only one consistent theme it’s that music matters. Music is about hope, and despair, and belonging, and meaning, and happiness, and grief. Music is about life and death and everything in between. It’s what keeps my chin up and helps me make sense of the things that hurt. David Bowie’s music was, and will remain, part of that.

The stars look very different today, no less beautiful, but different nevertheless. Perhaps there’s another one up there tonight, shining just a little brighter than the rest…..

Farewell Starman. Over and out.

 

Hello. It’s WeeGee

It’s been far too long since my last post for me to begin with my usual ‘since last I wrote’ update. I thought about looking back over 2015 and writing some kind of ‘year in review’ piece, but in the end I decided that it all boiled down to pretty much the same thing: there has been life and some bits have been better than the rest. If that sounds a little pessimistic, it really isn’t intended to: when all’s been said and done, it’s only the better bits that count anyway.

Hello, by the way and happy new year (I realise now that would have made for a better beginning than the rambling paragraph I decided to go with. What can I say? You live. You learn). Welcome to the 2016 edition of How do you eat an elephant? I hope you’re all fine and dandy and filled full of the optimism and hope that a Brand New Year usually brings with it?

You may or may not be pleased to learn that I’m hoping to fit in a lot more blogging in 2016 but, at this stage and for the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever I need to make it clear that I have NOT made it a new year’s resolution. I’m not well known for finishing things at the best of times and the chances of me saying I’ll do something on the 1st January and still giving a flying fuck three days later, let alone a WHOLE year later are slim to say the least. The fact that it is January and I am (sorta) promising to do more of something in the coming year does NOT mean I’ve gone and made a new year’s resolution. Okay, so I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up…..

I may DEFINITELY NOT have made any new year’s resolutions but I am, nevertheless, pretty optimistic about the year to come. I quite like being at this end of the year looking forward before any of the time has run out. It feels shiny and new and there are endless possibilities. For example, winning the Booker prize for my first (as yet unwritten) novel only ever feels possible in the first few days of January – of each new year. I expect it will be ever thus, but I’m glad that the possibility remains, and indeed returns, no matter how many times the world has turned beneath my feet.

I head into 2016 in better shape than I headed into 2015, of that I am sure. I’m also sure that I headed into 2015 in better shape than I headed into 2014 so I’m marking the past few years down as a victory for progress. I’m still getting used to living with myself a little more, and a little better every day. The ebbs and flows of my brain don’t engulf me the way they once did – I’m safer in my own skin somehow. I catch myself when I start to fall and make running repairs as I go. Of course there are still grey days, and obstacles, and challenges and heartache. I know that these are things that will never be far from my side; I know that knowing is a large part of the battle fought.

Anyway. I just stopped by to share what’s in my head today. Now you know and I’ve achieved what I set out to. There is news – of course there’s news, there’s always news. I’ll save that for another day though and leave you instead with a song of old just for the sake of a song of old:

Love you all lots like Jelly tots,

With smiles, or hugs, or hope or whatever else you need, WeeGee xoxo

If I could talk I’d tell you 

Since last I wrote it’s all been coming up WeeGee. I love the way that happens – you know, the way that even though it all seems arid and bare, green shoots manage to appear and suddenly, it all feels okay again. Life shuffles along, things get better, hope is important………

Last month was hard. It was hard on my brain but it was way harder on my heart. So often I’m told that my ‘problems’ live in my head but you know, the more the more I think about it and the more I feel it, the more I think that really the problem has more to do with my heart than anything else. Every time September comes around the thing that I have to deal with is a broken heart, not a broken head.

I’ve thought long and hard about whether I have any words for the heartbreak that September brought. I don’t. Not because the pain doesn’t deserve words, but because none of the words are good enough and because I can’t bring myself to say them and because somehow, even after all this time, I just can’t. If I could talk I’d tell you. But I can’t.

Of course, all of that matters because the things you don’t say matter even more than the things you do say. Fine. I’m going to leave it at that. There are things that I don’t, or won’t (or can’t) say out loud. Those are the most important things of all and they become no less important if I stay quiet.

I don’t have to shout about it for it to be important. The opposite of shame is NOT pride. It still matters if the whole world doesn’t know about it. Most of my heartbreak is quiet and introverted and none of any other fucker’s business. Still. My heartbreak, or the pain in my heart, or the pain in my head – adds up to an illness, in the same way that any other illness does.

I write about it because it makes me feel better, and because it allows me to connect. I don’t write about it because I want to be a spokesperson, or an ambassador or because I think that my experience of ill mental health ought to serve as anything other than one girl writing her life, if anyone cares to read it.

Here’s the thing, at least as I see it. Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes I love it. I feel responsible for the life I have, to make the most I can of it. But sometimes I can barely find my way through it. I want to survive and I want to do it quietly. I want it to be okay to feel depressed or a little manic, or separated from the world. I want to feel okay but I want to know that my place in the world is the same if I don’t feel okay.

I didn’t choose poor mental health.

I didn’t choose depression. I didn’t choose hypomania. I didn’t choose an eating disorder. I didn’t choose any of the things I got, but I got them. And I live with them.

If I could talk I’d tell you all about the life that I’ve had. But I can’t.

I’m not ready to talk yet….

Meanwhile in other news there really is nothing I can add. Nothing else to report save that I love you all lots, like jelly tots

WeeGee xoxoxo

Hiding. It ain’t all bad…..

Here we go again then, eh? September’s over and done with for another year and I’m still here, putting one foot in front of the other, managing to survive and wondering how I keep on managing to pull it off……

Last month was all about going easy on myself, and, to a certain extent, letting myself get away with things that I wouldn’t otherwise let myself get away with. But that was last month – this month is all about taking hold of the boot straps and pulling myself back up as best as I can.

I’m still feeling remarkably short of time mostly, I think, because my brain is busy. Generally speaking, I prefer a busy brain. I have a fear of what I have come to know as ‘spare brain’ because when my thoughts aren’t gainfully occupied they tend to wander off in dark directions. This, I think, is why I’m at my happiest when I’ve got lots of different projects on the go.

At the same time, every once in a while I find my brain getting a little too busy what with this project and that project and the other project and A MILLION AND ONE IDEAS and a couple of obsessions thrown into the bargain. Looking at it with my sensible head on, I think I have a tendency to over compensate during ‘difficult’ times because I’d do anything to avoid the ‘spare brain’ thoughts taking over. In the end of course, I overwhelm myself with all the ideas, or run out of energy, or more usually, I get overwhelmed and exhausted at the same time.

Of course recognising that this is happening is more than half the battle won because when you can see what’s going on you can take steps to stop the bad stuff coming down the tracks. As it stands, I know I’ve been a little over focused on distracting myself from, well, myself, for the past month. I’ve detached myself from much of the real world and I’ve connected myself with as many activities as I could manage to care about. On the one hand it worked because here I am – safe and well and not lost in misery. On the other hand it can’t go on forever because, whichever way I look at it, I know I can’t hide forever.

I’ve learned that hiding has its place: sometimes, in fact, it’s going to be the only thing for it. I wasn’t ready for the anniversaries that September brought, nor was I ready for the heartache that came with them. Hiding was a better response than unravelling or jumping off an impossibly tall thing. Hiding was the right thing to do LAST MONTH. But last month is over now and I have to stop hiding because I really didn’t ought to be making a habit of it.

That’s my long and rambling way of saying that things dipped into a strange and not entirely healthy little hole for a little while there. But there was a good reason, and I’m letting myself have a little dip because its way better than a ginormous dip that ends with me deciding jumping out the window is a good idea. For now it’s all about building my routines back up, and getting my connections back in place and looking after myself. Because everything is easier when you look after yourself…..

Meanwhile in other news I had my hair cut this weekend which confused Mr Awesome Thing Number Five because he genuinely couldn’t understand why I was delighted that it looked EXACTLY the same as it did before. Nothing else to report save that I have recently fallen in love with this guy’s songs and, since I can’t stop raving on in real life I might as well rave on here. Check it out – it’s beautiful:

Hope you’re all fine and dandy. Thanks for reading my ramble of a post. I’m working up to something more coherent, promise.

Love you all lots like jelly tots

WeeGeexoxoxo