Month: August 2012

A little note

The second most common search term on how do you eat an elephant? at the moment is this:

Where is my brain?

I kid you not…

From time to time I find myself having a bit of a worry about the person* who has lost their brain so I’ve written them a little note to say hello.

A little note to say hello

Dear Person who has lost their brain,

Hello.

I’m truly sorry that you have lost your brain. My own brain has a habit of disappearing every so often so I know how you are feeling. Would you like a hug?

Here’s the thing though. I don’t know where your brain is. Believe me – I’m not the kind of responsible adult who is entrusted with the safekeeping of important things (like theatre tickets. Or brains).

I’m also a bit worried that you – a mixed up person in want of your brain – have found yourself wandering around how do you eat an elephant? Please be warned. It isn’t the best place for you; it’s full of nonsensical nonsense and nutty stuff and will surely do you no good.

Anyway so yeah, I don’t know where your brain is but I do hope you find it soon. By the way, have you looked in the fridge? It’s amazing what turns up in there.

Lots of love (and that hug if you want it)

WeeGee xxx

*Or persons – who knows how many brains are MIA on any given day?

Things and stuff and what not

Once again I am writing only for the sake of writing. I think I’m getting paranoid that if I don’t keep writing I will eventually stop writing and that my poor little blog will die.

All is well in WeeGee land. Well you know, as okay as it ever gets. Thanks to Bourbon I’ve been busy writing limericks for most of the day. It’s tremendous fun and is an excellent way of warding off the doom and gloom: it’s hard to feel doomy and gloomy when your brain is occupied trying to think of words that rhyme with ‘bum’*

Here’s my latest effort:

WeeGee and her cat lived in Surrey**

They both had a liking for curry

Two peas in a pod

Though it got a bit odd

When Gee said she wished she was furry.

Ahem. Or should that be amen?

I went out for Sunday lunch today. You know, as in out into the world with friends and stuff like that. I had a super time and once again found myself wondering a) why I don’t force myself to do it more often and b) how I can make sure I remember not to forget that particular gem.

I’m starting to reflect on my time off work a bit. I’m definitely looking forward to going back, because I’m missing the routine , daytime TV is truly shocking and I’ve run out of Breaking Bad*** to watch. At the same time, I really do feel like the time away from it all has been beneficial because I feel more like ‘myself’ than I have for a very long time. The trick now is to keep hold of myself….

Meanwhile in other news I have developed a strange allergy type thing which is affecting only my hands and feet and is itching like mad. At first I thought it was psoriasis and then I thought Gryff might have fleas**** but it is definitely neither of those things. I expect it’ll turn out that I’m allergic to myself because that would be just my luck.

Nothing else to report today save that I have lined up an ‘exciting’ guest writer and will keep you posted and At The Drive In have reformed and this has made me VERY happy because I can now post a celebratory video. Hurrah!

Lots of love and stuff from WeeGee

*Harder still when you are informing a close friend that his face resembles a bum

**We don’t really, but we nearly do and surely poetic licence applies?

***WeeGee LOVES Breaking Bad

****As much as I love him, fleas would see him out on his ear

WeeGee McStrong

There’s a new award doing the rounds at the moment: The Strong Person Award.

This isn’t just any old award though, it’s an extra special one because a) it was created by the very fair hands of the Quiet Borderline* and b) its creation is a beautiful and generous gesture of encouragement and support.

Anyway, three of my fellow bloggers have very kindly put me forward for this award: The Quiet Borderline, Angel Fractured and Bourbon and I have decided to tentatively accept the award. I say tentatively because I’m going to have to break the rules a little bit…. All will become clear!

The Strong Person Award

‘You heard me right! You are not weak, you are strong. You are not a failure, you are a fighter! This goes out to all mentalists. And it’s a gift from me (The Quiet Borderline) to you all – Please spread the love. Mental health is not something to be sneered at and it deserves much more respect. Stop the stigmatising’.

The rules of the award are:

1. Make sure to add in the text and image to spread the love and add how little or how much you want!

 

Done (see above!)


2. Name your diagnoses – Stand loud and proud! You can tell us a little about them also if you’d like. How you’re affected by these diagnoses and how you are fighting your way out of them.

 

Okay, so this is where I break the rules because I don’t talk about my ‘diagnosis’. It’s a personal decision that has nothing to do with stigma, or shame, or secrecy or any other bad thing beginning with ‘S’….

For a long time, even I didn’t know what my ‘official’ diagnosis was. I was worried that the ‘label’ would consume me and that I would use it to give myself permission to let the symptoms take the driving seat.

The thing about my psychiatric diagnosis is that it isn’t very important to me. It’s just a collection of words that describe the bit that is important to me: my symptoms. I suppose my take on it is that I’m not trying to fight a diagnosis, but the symptoms as they manifest themselves on a daily basis.

What I’m trying to say (I’m sorry, I’m not saying it well!) is that I am a person who has mental health problems which fit into a number of different boxes. It doesn’t matter which box I fit in to at any given time, what matters is that I am a person with difficulties who works incredibly hard to manage the symptoms of my broken brain.

Sometimes I get depressed; sometimes I hurt myself on purpose; sometimes I drink too much;  sometimes I don’t eat enough; sometimes I don’t understand the world and the people in it; sometimes I hide; sometimes I wish that I wasn’t alive.

But most of the time I’m just WeeGee trying to make sure than none of those things get the better of me.

I hope you don’t mind that I cheated a little bit….


3. Add a photo of yourself, or some abstract picture that represents you, anything you like!

 

There aren’t a lot of photos of me because I have remarkable skills when it comes to hiding from the camera. Wouldn’t you rather have a picture of Gryff? He’s a handsome little fella:


4. Send this on to as many, yes, as many, people that you like. It can be five, ten, fifty.

 

This is one of those awards that is going to do the rounds, and I’ve already lost track of who has received a nomination. What I’d like to do is pass this award on to each and every one of my readers. Every time I sit down to catch up with WordPress I am blown away by how incredible my blogging buddies are. It’s just so amazing that in spite of what goes on in our heads we still manage to do all the things we do – the jobs and families and blogs and adventures and ups and downs. Truly. Amazing.

So if you are reading this, and you’re mental like me I’d  like you to take heart. You are strong and amazing and I’d very much like you to accept this award from me. As the Quiet Borderline says ‘You are not weak, you are strong. You are not a failure, you are a fighter!’

Lots of love from WeeGee xx
PS – I’m sorry the spacing is all a bit weird. I tried to fix it for ages but my head got done in and I had to give up xx

More lessons

I feel that I should write something. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to write, but if I don’t write something soon I’ll get out of the habit of writing and that’d probably spell The End for How do you eat an elephant? Which would be a bit of a shame…..

I suppose I should start by filling you in on the last couple of days which have felt like something approaching good. Yes, you did read that right – I said something approaching good! Okay, so I had a minor melt down at the start of the week but it had been a long time coming I suppose and I’ve just about forgiven myself  because I feel like I’ve learned some important lessons along the way. Which is no bad thing…..

Important lesson of the week # 1: If you can’t keep going you have to stop keeping going until you’re ready to get going again.

I’ve also been busy taking care of myself and making a plan. It feels like ages since I’ve a) properly taken care of myself or b) had a plan. It feels so much better to have something to aim for other than Eastenders* I’m not talking about any kind of grand ‘sort your life out in four weeks’ plan, more of a ‘let’s get from a to b and worry about c later’ type plan.

Important lesson of the week # 2: You don’t have to do EVERYTHING right now because there’s plenty of time for everything.

I’ve had a few words with ‘the brain’. It’s a ridiculous state of affairs – we can’t hate one another for ever because we’re pretty much stuck with each other** and whether we like it or not we’re going to have to find a way to rub along together. The deal goes something like this: I will nourish rest and generally take good care of the brain if the brain promises to make a concerted effort to stop with all that over thinking it nonsense. In the fullness of time I’d like the brain to give up on all that up/down/backwards/forwards/shake it all about stuff, but hey! At least we’ve got a start.

Important lesson of the week #3: If you take good care of your brain it will be remarkably compliant when it comes to doing deals.

One week. One meltdown. Three lessons. Could be worse eh?

In conclusion I think things are looking okay. That’s as far as my ‘state of the nation’ update goes: WeeGee is okay. Which is pretty much okay.

Never fear – I’ll be back later with some of the more usual rambling idiocy

Love WeeGee xxx

*Yes. I watch Eastenders. What of it?!

**What with the frontal lobotomy being out of fashion and all….

Learning lessons

Where to begin? I suppose I should start with the story of the last few days which can be summarised thusly: ‘the good, the bad, and the downright shitty’. As I write I am somewhere between bad and downright shitty which although not ideal is a whole lot more ideal than just plain downright shitty….

I’m currently signed off from work owing to the downright shittiness that descended on Sunday morning. Being off work is an unusual state of affairs for me and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. All I know is that I got to Monday morning (somehow) and it became blindingly obvious to me that I couldn’t carry on going on the way I was going on. My GP and my employer agreed.

Thankfully, it’s a short term ‘rest’ rather than long term sickness. I think a period of long term sickness would drive me mad (ho ho). I’m expected and expecting to be fit to return to work next Tuesday on a ‘phased return’, which would probably be a bit extreme were it not for the extent of the downright shittiness that has been upon me. By the way I’m not going to tell you about the downright shittiness – I’m hoping you will take my word for it: it was DOWNRIGHT SHITTY SHITTINESS for a little while there.

It’s tough enough for anyone to admit that they aren’t coping, but I manage to make it double difficult on myself, because coping is the only thing I do well: whatever the horror in my head, however low I go I make it my priority to function because I don’t want to let people down. I don’t want people to make allowances, or worry about me, or (to be honest) know how bad things have really got for me.

Trouble is that’s pretty much the same as pretending and you can only play make believe with your broken brain for so long….

In the end, for me it came down to a simple choice. Take a break, and go back to work in stages or find myself being a gibbering wreck, probably in hospital and definitely unable to work for a considerable amount of time. As tough as it’s been to say ‘Help!’ and ‘I need to stop’, I feel like I’m doing the right thing and taking care of myself (possibly for the first time in my life)

So I finally said it – in no uncertain terms: things are bad and I can’t cope. Truth told, I already feel like I’m coping better just for having said it. I don’t have to be ‘strong’ all of the time or rather perhaps I’ve misunderstood ‘strength’. I suppose you could call it a lesson well learned.

Lots of love,

WeeGee xx

We’re all doomed

Don’t worry, we’re not really. Doomed that is, well at least not as far as I know. To be fair, if we were all doomed I’m pretty sure the powers that be would get in touch with someone important (like the Pope) or wise (like the Dalai Lama)* rather than me….. Moving swiftly on before I get myself into trouble.

All kinds of things ‘hold me back in life’. Some of the things that hold me back feel insurmountable at times and I know I have to hold on tight, work hard and keep my head if I’m ever going to deal with them. And that’s fine. I know what my goals are.

At the same time, some of the things that hold me back aren’t so huge and I know that the answer to overcoming them is entirely in my gift. Like for example, the fact that I’m shy.

There you have it. I’m shy and I lack confidence but (and here’s the thing) that’s not because I’m mental. It’s a simple character trait. Sometimes, when you’re mental it’s too easy to forget that you have a ‘personality’ at all – everything gets bound up with your difficulties whether it belongs there or not.

When my mental tendencies get mixed up with my shyness I start to think that I’M DOOMED. Except of course, I’m not doomed. I’m just a bit** mental and a bit shy.

As I said – I’m working on the mental health stuff but there isn’t a magic wand and I just have to keep plugging away. What I tend not to remember is that I have to work on the shyness stuff too – there isn’t a magic wand for that either, but then again I can at least put my mind to it.

So, in light of that, I spent this afternoon deliberately doing things I don’t like doing because I’m shy. That’s deliberately…. as in, on purpose. I stand by my assertion that this is nothing to do with being mental!

Shyness is, in some ways, a little bit like mental health difficulties: everybody experiences it slightly differently even though it has a common name. For me, the biggest part of my shyness is the ‘fear’ that I will ‘look’ foolish. It’s a bit like anxiety, but not quite… sometimes I get anxious and I know how that feels, but most of the time I’m shy and I know how that feels too.

In order to avoid looking foolish I avoid situations where ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’, or where I feel ‘conspicuous’. This means I hardly ever do anything new. It also means that I don’t do some really simple things that I’m perfectly capable of doing, and for that matter, enjoying.

Here’s what I’ve been up to this afternoon

1. Inviting Mr Friendly to dinner even though I was scared he would think it was a stupid idea and that I would end up feeling foolish.

2. Going into a brand new coffee shop, purchasing a beverage and drinking it there even though I had never been in there before and was scared everyone would look at me because I was on my own.

3. Wandering around the boutique type shops in Surbiton even though I had never been in them before, had no money to buy anything and was scared everyone would think I didn’t belong there.

4. Using the coinstar machine in the supermarket even though I thought I might not be able to work it and that everyone would look at me and think I was a fool.

5. Buying an ice lolly on the way home AND EATING IT IN PUBLIC on my own

It seems like a pretty small list of achievements I guess doesn’t it*** but I don’t care, because I decided I was going out of my comfort zone just because I could if I tried. And I did it. And I had a pretty okay day all things considered.

Lots of bravery and love from WeeGee xx

*Did you see what I did there?!

**Okay – a lot mental

***Oh no, am I feeling foolish now?!

I heard a fly buzz

There is a fly buzzing around my flat at the moment. It’s driving me and my cat NUTS*. It’s driving Gryff nuts because a) he can’t catch the little bugger despite his best efforts and b) it’s far too hot for his best fly catching efforts today. It’s driving me nuts because a) it is a fly. Buzzing. In my flat and b) it keeps making me think of that Emily Dickenson Poem ‘I heard a fly buzz when I died which in turn is making me think ‘what if I am actually dead but don’t realise it’?

It’s a hotbed of mentalness round here today…..

I thought I was dead once. I stepped out in front of a double decker bus** and it hit me. People say that when they have those kind of near death experiences that ‘their entire life flashes before their eyes’. For my part, the only thing that flashed before my eyes was A DOUBLE DECKER BUS, and the only thought I had was ‘Shit – I’m about to be HIT BY A DOUBLE DECKER BUS’

Anyway, there was this tiny second where I knew I’d been hit by a bus but didn’t know if I was alive or dead. It was the strangest sensation – like not being.  It wasn’t a nice sensation but it wasn’t altogether unpleasant either… It didn’t last long because I was soon brought to my senses by a kindly gentleman who reassured me that I was ‘all in one piece’ and pressed a tissue to my head. I had no idea why he was pressing a tissue to my head until he swapped it for another one and I saw the blood. Then the ambulance came and I was all a bit boo hoo for a while. Then I went home all black and blue and ever so slightly confused.

Getting hit by a double decker bus was a pretty painful experience – the headache lasted for days and was like no other headache I’d ever experienced. It also left me with a slightly gammy eye. Still it wasn’t all bad because it gave me two stories to tell.

Story One: the near death experience story.

Story Two: All five feet and two inches of WeeGee, seven stones*** wet through if she’s lucky WAS HIT BY A DOUBLE DECKER BUS AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE.

Where was I? Oh yeah. There’s a fly buzzing around my flat and it’s driving me MENTAL….. Told you it was a hotbed of mentalness today. It’s going to be a long evening…..

Love from WeeGee and Gryff (demented within an inch of their lives by a buzzing fly) xxx

 

*No – I can’t swat the fly dead. Committing murder just because something is getting on your nerves is not socially acceptable.

**Accidentally (lest there be any doubt!)

***Ish – I don’t have a clue how much I weigh, wet through or otherwise.

A different bus

The first song that I wanted to share with you today is so ‘obscure’ that I can’t find it on YouTube and I can’t think of an alternative so I’m a bit stuck as to how to get this post going.

I suppose I could share the other song I wanted to share. It doesn’t relate to the content of my post but it’s been my earworm for the past few weeks and I thought if I posted it on my blog I might be able to banish it from my head:

For the record, I’m not a Kate Bush fan and to be fair it’s probably this version of the song that is stuck in my head:

But no matter….. back to the point.

I had my counselling session today. I don’t tend to write about my counselling sessions because they’re private, but today’s was a bit different because I feel like I had a revelation so I wanted to share it. Be warned though, this is all a bit cryptic so I hope it makes at least some sense….

Mrs Mountain (that’s the counsellor) and I were talking about ‘waiting’ today. Sometimes, I feel like I’m waiting for the future to start which is what got us on to the subject, but it soon became clear that it isn’t just the future that I’m waiting for. I’m waiting for something very specific to happen, and even though I know in my heart that this specific thing is never going to happen, I’m still waiting for it to happen. I don’t know if that’s blind faith, or hope, or stupidity but it’s just the way it goes in my head. I’m happy to wait even if I’m waiting for nothing. Or at least I thought I was.

The thing is Mrs Mountain is good at examples that challenge the way I’m thinking and today’s example was a particularly good one:

If you turn up at a bus stop just after the bus you need has left and you stand there you are waiting – even though the bus isn’t going to show up because you missed it, you’re still waiting. If, on the other hand, you arrive at the bus stop just in time to see your bus pulling away and you choose to stand there anyway you aren’t waiting for the bus anymore. You’re doing something different.

“Fine” I said. “If I stand at the bus stop long enough another bus will come along”

And that was exactly her point. I’m not actually waiting for the thing I think I’m waiting for. I’m just telling myself that for now because I’m not ready to catch a different bus just yet  – but deep inside I know I’m going to be strong enough to catch a different bus sooner or later. That, I think, is a small crypitc step in the right direction!

Love from WeeGee (waiting for a different bus after all)

Another poem what I wrote

 

Here is another poem what I wrote:

Sad summer’s trading

Sooner or later I will drown
In your memory.
You will forget the hooked
Nose of my profile,
The giddy sleepless chatter
Of our first year,
Even my laughter which
Fooled no-one.

I will fade behind all that your
Eyes are yet to fix on.
Become a different continent
As far away as home.
And if I come to the surface
I will be the kind of sad summer
That your memory must
Trade with time.

 

©WeeGee 2012. All rights reserved.

 

A poem what I wrote

Here is poem what I wrote….

Looking back to Lisbon

Memories of those days still swirl and fill

The blank square of my time.

You and me, side by side in summer clothes.

The unhappy shape of our lives,

Melting away, too briefly.

You and me unhappy – but somehow content.

 

Memories of those days filled with what I miss

Not what was, but what will never be.

You and me, side by side, somewhere new.

The unhappy shape of our lives,

Chased away, at last.

You and me content – and looking back to Lisbon.

©WeeGee 2012. All rights reserved.