Creaking Doors and Breaking Chains.

Not so long ago there was a time my anxiety gained the upper hand and prevented me getting on with things.

I was capable of being anxious about being anxious. Pretty intense interruption of ‘functioning’ followed.

I’ve been around the NHS block. Not my first anxiety rodeo.

The methods offered by the cash strapped NHS to the wobbly; as opposed to suicidal, left me wanting and in search of alternatives to mind altering drugs and waiting lists.

At that time someone asked me to consider my approaches to varying problems and brought up a metaphorical creaking door.

So, I have a door. Any door.

I could spend my days anticipating the dread I’d feel when the hinges started to creak. Weeks, months even, focused on the door above all else in anticipation of losing the control when the creak emerged,

Or,

I could forget about the door. Accept that hinges creak occasionally and trust myself to oil them as required.

It all sounds simple enough to the sane. Anxiety & perfection driven minds can experience difficulty sifting the rational from the rest of it.

Attaching fear to day to day experiences and finding justification for doing so is no way to exist. I wanted to live beyond the confines of my own thought patterns. Shake off the funk. Break those chains.

Fear is a kick-ass, evolutionary superpower. It ensures our survival or at least, enhances our chances.

The road to recovery was never going to be about becoming fearless. It was about creating and trusting alternative choices where previously only one existed.

Old habits die hard. I can still spend time imagining terrible outcomes to seemingly simple tasks but those are no longer the only thoughts or choices swirling around the inside of my skull.

Alongside the terrible outcomes are a spectrum of alternatives ranging from the opposite to the hilarious. It’s up to me which I choose to believe.

Life. Bit like the weather really.

Constantly changing and unpredictable. We’re not really in control of any of it.

When it rains, some stay indoors, some put on a jacket to venture out, some use a brolly, some splash in puddles and some just get soaked and dance in the rain.

I’ve never heard of anyone trying to stop the rain from falling.

It rains, we change a small detail, such as our attire, maybe a slight change in plans and we roll with it.

we could use the same approach for life?

The perfectionist in me protests. ‘Nope ! absolutely not. I need a heads-up on my immediate future so that I might be prepared for any eventuality’

That’s the same as always wearing my waterproofs around the house just incase I venture outside and just incase it’s raining.

As opposed to trusting myself to know I can wear my waterproof clothing at any time should the need arise, and forgetting about them, relaxing, and filling my head space with more wondrous stuff instead.

Flay me now…

…And place my skinned carcass in a freezer, begged nobody ever.

Can’t decide if I need HRT or Buffalo Bill.

When my phone rang my husband answered and I heard him say ‘Yes, she’s in the fridge, I’ll get her for you’

Because let’s face it, who takes their phone into the fridge with them?

I needed coldness. I was found draped over the salad and falling in love with the coolness of the cooked meats against my skin.

My internal thermostat is on the blink and I’m sweating in places I wasn’t aware had sweat glands.

Hot flushes in 30oC heat has me desperate enough to peel off my skin and live in the chest freezer.

I’m melting like cream left out of the freezer.

Porn for copping

New government guidelines meant me and mine were permitted inclusion in our neighbour’s “Support Bubble”

Ordinarily it may take me three and a half times the effort to understand what the hell people are talking about and as such I try to avoid people if I can but my neighbour had been having a rough time of it since the year began so we offered them an invitation to join us; in as much as being seated 2 metres away on our patio would allow, for a low key bbq.

The evening also included low key gossiping about other neighbours, banter and bangin’ tunes, you know, as you do. A form of therapy, if you like.

Copious amounts of alcohol saw the flow of easy going conversation meander along seamlessly until my neighbour mentioned they’d brought along porn for copping.

I’d made an assumption that a silent understanding between me and my neighbour existed in that they knew me and my husband just didn’t get involved in those types of key swapping parties. And anyway we were only having a quiet BBQ.

I needn’t have worried over letting them down gently or cringing at the very thought.

As soon as their words were uttered they whipped out a box of microwaveable popcorn.

They’d brought along corn for popping,

Not porn for copping.

Thank god!

I have been known to go above and beyond in an effort to help out the floundering and the weary but I have to draw a line somewhere 🙂

Sing out loud

I dare you to 🙂

picture courtesy of pexels free stuff.

I’m naturally introvert. Reserved. A loner. ‘Billie-no-mates’. My questionable social skills and not being a glad sufferer of fools puts me mostly in my own social bubble, occasionally inviting like minded souls to share my head space.

As such I try to disappear into my surroundings rather than stand out…

…unless someone pisses me off but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

My daily exercise had me on the hoof, upping my timed, fitbit, step count trying to win a ‘Work week hustle’ gallumping along a deserted track in the rain.

I like the rain, it’s uplifting & keeps others indoors.

I was exercising, pushing myself and riding the high of the moment. Feeling good about life as I passed the rugged horses in adjacent fields.

Leona Lewis started singing ‘Run’ through my headphones.

Carpe diem.

The horses weren’t overly moved by my a capella version of ‘Run’ – just stared – everyone’s a critic !

I would have crawled up my own ass should another human being have caught me singing at the universe but you can’t know how liberating it felt until you’ve tried it.

It was as satisfying as removing tight shoes after walking and wiggling and clicking ones toes.

Strangely satisfying and seriously underrated.

If, like me, you barely talk in public let alone sing,

Step out of your bubble and give it a whirl. There may be a field full of horses where you walk desperate to be unmoved.

joie de vivre

Such a refreshing change amidst the gloomy vibe of current affairs.

I knew 2020 would be the year of big changes for me. I thought they’d be self imposed, not government directed.

Today my daily exercise involved walking the dog at the same time as pushing a pram with a 9 month old grandson in it.

We took a quiet, scenic stroll passed ‘trees’ and ‘birdies’ and few ‘motorcars’ enjoying the fresh air and the tranquility of a walk in the rain.

The tranquility came from the absence of ‘lock down lollygaggers’ cluttering up the tracks and pathways on finer days. A murky sky and raindrops keep them indoors.

While appreciating having the walk all to ourselves, my grandson started his interpretation of singing.

A real joie de vivre. A song in his heart to share with the universe.

It was one of those perfect moments.

He’s much more active than verbal. But today, there it was.

From within the sounds of raindrops, birds and rustling leaves blown in tree canopies burst a joy expressed in tune by an infant.

Far too young to worry about what’s happening globally. Free and uninhibited. Singing in the rain.

It was infectious. Momentarily escaping the weight of worry and uncertainty of constantly shifting futures, it lifted my soul as only something so simple and so pure could.

scaring myself silly.

I’m easily overwhelmed by the chaos daylight can present, instead preferring the calm solitude of twilight.

until I found myself having to walk up and through this alleyway.

I’d wandered aimlessly during an evening stroll. Deep in thought. Pondering lifes big questions;

Could I cope with winning the Euromillions? Where do head lice really come from before they hitch a ride on the nearest school child? And can bears really make porridge?

If we put the porridge aside for a moment – because it’s too hot, However did the bears get approved for a mortgage on their two bed, rustic, listed family cottage set in forty acres? How exactly did Daddy & Mummy Bear ‘bring home the bacon’? (without leaving only two little pigs)

Someone or something brought my attention snapping back to the moment.

I wasn’t certain of what I’d heard or caught in my peripheral as I’d walked. I stood still looking and listening harder for evidence it wasn’t my imagination playing tricks.

In doing so I found myself at the foot of the alleyway stairs.

Two things happened in that moment.

On realising I’d have to ascend to get home again I was reminded of the misty steps from the film, The Exorcist and suddenly got religion. It was definitely the first name of god’s son I exclaimed together with a dash of Anglo Saxon.

The second thing was recalling and suddenly believing every local tall tale and spooky story I’d ever heard about the 18th century, listed dwellings either side together with the alley itself.

What was waiting for me in that dark corner halfway up on the left? Did I really want to see it up close when it stepped out and stopped me? If I’m looking left, what’s going to emerge from the right without me knowing?

My fitbit recorded my heart rate at 165 bpm after running up those steps and walking briskly in the direction of home.

Of course, it was only ever in my imagination I was under threat or doomed passing through the alley. There was nobody or no thing around that evening for miles.

Or was there?

Go bonkers instead.

If you can’t go out, go bonkers instead.

Anxiety decorated with ocd flourishes riding the mental madness of menopausal mood swings like a hot flushing Bucking Bronco champion just means my days can be infinitely more interesting than usual.

I’ve lost track of what’s what.

I often used the online news updates to guide my inner turmoil and catastrophising . It dictated my attire for a day out queueing on a supermarket carpark, worn like Samurai battle armour in the fight against the unprecedented .

That was until a breaking news story informed me that JK Rowling tweeted something controversial…

One can only assume the hundreds of thousands dead and dying, the grief of the families losing loved ones, mass unemployment and hardship isn’t as important as the view of one author.

The world has been shaken up like a snow globe but a school down south cannot be affiliated with the author’s views and so will not name a ‘house’ after her.

Wow. What a wonderful problem to have at this time. But useless information if I want to know how soon I’m going to die from a serial killing virus and to mask or not to mask.

I’ve stopped clicking on the news links. They; like many other things, can stay 2 metres away.

I may sink slowly and comfortably into madness instead. Lie back and observe my inner ponder as one would cloud formation from a sun lit grassy hillside.

Backstroking, lazily through the weird and the wonderful, the nonsensical and the ‘omg-never-admit-that-to-a-therapist’ type musings.

Escapism rocks and is by far the best therapy out there.

Ain’t nobody got time for that…

I understand the social distancing measures in place and support them wholeheartedly. I can queue outside a store with the best of them.

Side-eyeing the ‘coughers’ and wondering if it’s your common or garden asthma? bronchitis? or whether their coughing is something more sinister and silently give thanks I’m approximately twenty six feet away from them in a tyvek suit, nitrile gloves and face visor.

There is one exception to queuing I have no patience for, I’m not queuing to exit the store.

I’ve queued for twenty minutes to enter, I’ve followed the directional floor arrows and practised every courtesy I was able inside your store. You’ve sold out of the single product I entered to buy.

Your bad floor planning and lack of an ‘exit-lane’ wont persuade me to queue behind three others pushing loaded trollies to leave the store empty handed.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

There’s only so much a ‘shopper’ can tolerate in these unprecedented times, with its unprecedented guidelines for unprecedented outcomes. I’m finding my unprecedented limits to my patience.

A virus didn’t sit down and design your floor plan. Stop hiding your greed and cock-ups behind it

The Journey Begins

Hello there. 🙂

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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I’ve lived on this planet for over half a century. I have more questions than answers. I still spend most of my time trying to understand and figure stuff out.

Not always catching the jist of another’s meaning at one time left me feeling ‘less than’. Faulty. Living on the peripheral.

I still wander, mostly bewildered, through life but now enjoy and appreciate misinterpretation.