hot coffee inside;
rough bark as I leave the ground.
Encased by branches,
watching the world unseen.
I attended an online poetry workshop yesterday, for the first time in 9 months I wrote alongside other people. I’ve missed that space, when the air feels charged with thought and intention, people searching for the phrase or illusive word which could carry the weight of their world.
My poem was created around a word prompt,I wonder if anyone can work out what the word may have been?
I’ve been keeping a list on my phone, that I add to when I remember. The list is named ‘things I’m grateful for’ and I thought I may share my list for today.
I am grateful for water and sunshine and beautiful daffodils.
I am grateful for friends to drink tea with.
I am grateful for Cleo’s warmth and weight as she sits, curled up on my lap.
Simple things tend to reoccur on mine; my cat, home, fluffy slippers; hot tea.
What you would have on your list for today?
I’ve made a major decision which goes directly against doctors advice. Gulp. I’ve decided, for one month, to stop my anti psychotics and see what happens to my weight (also if I can live with the side effects of not being on my med)
I’ve stopped now for 6 days and so far I’ve had a splitting headache, I’ve got the sensation of electric shocks, or fireworks going off in my brain, constantly; I cant sleep; I’m hot and sweaty and feel disorientated. My anxiety is through the roof so i’ve added more anti anxiety med throughout the day. BUT i’m not complaining as, so far, I can cope with these things if it means I am able to lose some weight (4 stone 5 pounds ive put on in the past year and a half) yet all the psychiatrists tell me im on a ‘weight neutral’ medication….. My body proves to me that it’s not, for me at least.
Anyway, rather than tapering the medication off or consulting with the psychiatrist, in my usual style I’ve gone cold turkey. Stupid may be a good word for me right now.
One thing that I am doing, which is different for me and I hope takes this medication holiday from self harm to being an active and possibly healthy decision, is that I am being very clear with everyone that I am coming off the meds; I’ve informed my partner, psychologist, best friend, fitness leader, kids school etc and asked them all to let me know if I’m behaving strangely and to let me know, or my partner know, so that I can go back on the meds. Saying that though, unless its affecting my kids i’m likely to keep off the meds for at least the month.
On a completely different note, I became a NaNo Winner on the 21st of the month. I spent last Saturday in my dressing gown (purple, long and soft….mildly pretentious) writing away at my kitchen table and after a day of chasing my protagonist round the outskirts of London I reached the target of 50,000 words. Whoopee!!
I was thinking to myself what id like to take away from NaNo this year and I realised that what I value the most is spending, however much or little, time in my own world, fighting my own dragons and focusing on that elusive but magical thing called inspiration. Many days during NaNo the inspiration was impossible to find but I wrote anyway. I don’t want to be a NaNoer who writes only in November, instead id like to write a little each day and learn a little more about the skill and craft of writing. I worry that I’ll run out of things to write but in truth, I’m more worried about not writing at all. During NaNo I’ve been aiming to write 2000 words a day. I’ve decided to set myself a target of 500 words a day; yesterday was day 2 and I missed doing it! Whoops! Anyway I caught up today so am happily sipping a coffee while posting this blog.
Sometimes when ur feeling a tad mentally unstable, the only thing to do is to recruit a friend and visit the London Dungeons to have the living bejebers scared out of you!
The umming and urring is over; the decision is made. This November I am going to attempt National Novel Writing Month for the 2nd time.
Last year I heard about it about 3 days before it began so I pantsed my way through the 50,000 words in 30 days. I did it but this year I have the time to prepare and hopefully find it easier to find the words towards the end of November.
So how am I preparing? I’ve been organised enough to write myself a list for October!! Some I will definitely do, some I’m half way through and some I’ll (ahem) maybe attempt to do….
As I’ve got children my first priority will be stocking the fridge and freezer, getting ontop of washing, putting routines in place for their independence so there are less “mummy I want”‘s just as my protagonist demands my full attention.
I’m going to tell my friends and family that I’m doing NaNo so they can cheerlead or nag as needed. I’m also putting up a whiteboard with my daily target word count and my actual word count on it for dinner time shaming if neccessary!!!!
I enjoy write ins so will be checking where my local ones are and possibly setting up a few of my own with friends and other NaNo’ers.
I’m planning on setting up a good workspace; as I work wherever I find the time….. coffee shops, sat during swimming lessons, in the car waiting for school pick up etc, my workspace will be in my bag and include my laptop, charger, notepad, pens and my lovely stripey pencil case.
I’ve downloaded a word count app to keep track of what where I am. Also got a memory stick purely for NaNo 2016.
I’ve planned each day of November with a keyword or a scene and as October progresses I’m hoping to flesh the ideas out. Im going to move the ideas onto scrivener so I hopefully keep on track!
I *ahem* plan to watch the scrivener tutorial on YouTube (I’ve been saying this for a year), also finally finishing Stephen Kings book “on writing”.
Finally I’m going to commit and donate to NaNoWriMo so it can continue in the years to come.
Is anyone else doing NaNo this year? What are you doing to prepare?
Apologies in advance as this is another whiney post. I am rankling at an injustice…. see what you think…..
The past two weeks have been full of homework. My darling little 5 year old son is trying to get his homework done…. 8 sides of workbook (takes at least half an hour a side), 8 spellings and reading out loud each day….. it’s not possible to keep up with so I went for a chat with the teacher.
Instead of trying to understand she reminded me “he has the choice to do it during golden time”…. right… the only time during the week for him to relax, play and be a kid. Then she proceeded to teach me how to do tens and units….. not my child how to do it, but me!!!! I left more than a tad frustrated, unheard and upset.
The next 48 hours I spent in bed apart from dropping and picking kids up from school, it’s just astounding how mental illness can just swipe your legs from under you.
Last week we missed church and bathtime so we could get the hw done; we’ll do the same this week…. I guess I was always destined to have smelly heathens as children, I just wasn’t expecting it to be caused by a teacher or so young!
On the plus side I’ve been going to dance classes again. I resemble an epileptic octopus, but a very happy and sweaty one!
How is everyone else? Any ideas what to do with the homework situation?
After so many years on the planet, I should know that after visiting the dump i am either suitable for gardening, mud skidding or a shower.
Instead im wearing cord trousers which dirt adores, a formerly WHITE jumper and half my garden whilst eating lunch out, shopping with my lovely sister, then to the school playground, son to dance class after which I hopefully have time to change before I go to dance myself.
I’ve wet wiped the mud and bits of tree off my face, arms and hands but the wet wipes did little on the long brown mud stain down my trousers…. oh well! I’m consoling myself imagining people think I’m a horse owner and own a stable of thoroughbred that I occasionally help out with…..
To my amusement as I was heaving the garden rubbish into the overflowing tip at the dump I realised what I’d forgotten when I was distracted during getting ready this morning, deodorant! Oh don’t worry its not that bad… I only forgot my left armpit!
Maybe I should just go back to bed now!!
On another note I’m going back to dance tonight after 8 years off! I’m terrified which may explain my left armpit and poor clothing choice. I’ll let you know how it goes….
An odd part of being in the world of mental health, that I still find unsettling, is the way I meet with a pleasant professional who chats with me for half an hour or so. Then I get on with my life, until a few months later a new diagnosis lands on my doorstep; no warning or conversation. Just a few words committing me to a new life sentence.
And yes I understand it’s potentially not a life sentence, it’s potentially treatable. But so far I’ve been in treatment for over 2 years and I still fulfil the diagnostic criteria. And the next ‘possible’ diagnosis explains a lot but it is a life sentence, which I could do without.
I feel the phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is apt. Anyone fancy a glass?
I’ve been absent from my blog for a long time. In that time I’ve been hospitalised for 5 weeks, resigned from my job, become a trustee of a very worthwhile charity and started working out.
We had the most amazing summer and as September begins all of my prior commitments come flooding back to me and I find the word ‘blog’ on my daily to do list. It’s taken a lot for me to finally sit down and start to type, mainly the decision that my creative output is important, as important as other items on my to do list, such as put the recycling out or to take sandpit to the dump…. maybe it’s even more important yet until today it didn’t reach the top of my to do list.
I’m early for a dinner date with a good friend, as usual I am positively rude by showing up 20 minutes early; it makes people uncomfortable but I need to do it so I feel settled and ready to socialise. It also gives me time to go through my calendar, write in my notebook and to gather my thoughts…. today i gathered my thoughts enough to blog.
So welcome back and hello to any newcomers.
I began a new therapy course last week which sadly I’m not allowed to blog about…..and there was one helleva lot to blog about!!! I’ll leave that to your imagination and tell you what I learnt…. apart from that people with my diagnosis’s shouldn’t be put together in a confined room and left to our own devices!!!
Firstly I learnt that emotions rarely come as singles, but as a rush of overlaying emotions. Simple now I’ve heard that said but a revelation to my conscious mind nonetheless.
Secondly that part of borderline personality disorder is the hypo or hyper mentalising. For years therapists have explained to me that my diagnosis means I don’t mentalise (so hypo mentalise) yet I’ve never sat with that comfortably as i mentalise (hold in my mind other people’s thoughts and feelings) to a point that it becomes obsessional and to my detriment. To the point where I create whole back stories for people from a single glance. That’s hyper mentalising and that is also part of bpd but a part that I’ve not found referred to in any of the books I’ve read.
So two new things have slotted into place for me.
But what did I get from it? That I am not my diagnosis. I am complex and individual. And, today, I’m happy being just me. Welcome to you all.
Am I safe here? I whisper through the night’s chilled air.
You stir in your sleep, your eyes crease at the edge.
In your sleep you are puzzled; as puzzled as you are awake. Puzzled by me.
The fascination can never fade. I can never explain the fears, the magic, I envisage before I open myself wide.
Am I safe here? A question that will never be answered.
For each day you tell me, show me, prove to me, all that I am.
I know too well of this trust. So I unfailingly fall then pull away…… it hurts you as my eyes freeze, pull away and stare at the magic in which we live, but dare not look your way.
Am I safe here? Remains unanswered but your puzzled brow reassures me of your truth.
Not a poem as such but something that came to me one night.