Hello lovely readers (if you’re still out there after a month of silence).
It’s that point in the evening when the sun drops low enough to sit on next door’s roof. If I’m sat on the sofa, working – which I am, and have been all bloody day – the light blinds me for about five minutes. It is very pleasant to be wilfully dazzled. Seems like the time to crack open some cider.
For the purposes of this weekend, I have renamed cider ‘Don’t Care Juice’.
I’m also binge watching/listening to Midsomer Murders and realising that Tom Barnaby is a bit of an arse and Troy is homophobic. So that’s fun.
It’s probably obvious from the writing that I’m sort of writing my way into this particular post. If I were a Good Blogger, I’d edit the crap at the start out, but I’m not, so you get the vaguely proofread, not-cut-at-all version. And probably don’t get past the first three paragraphs. And I’m sort of hoping that’ll be the case because the next little lot is slightly more than I’m usually comfortable sharing.
I went off-grid for a while after the trip to London. It was a good weekend, but overwhelming. A privilege to listen to so many talented poets in one room, and to meet Isobel Rogers who is as sharp and charming in person as she is on twitter, and to meet Dr Todd Swift. I didn’t read, though, because of a slight anxiety attack that ended with me backing out and throwing up in the loo during the interval. Fun times.
I got a train home earlier than planned and sat there feeling like the biggest fool in the world and trying not to cry. And then a girl sat next to me, also near tears, having confused train platforms and ended up on entirely the wrong train. We ended up sharing a packet of tissues and chatting to each other. She was Chinese, studying 3D design (specialising in furniture design) at one of the London unis, and this was her first trip out of the city on her own. I reassured her that the ticket inspector wouldn’t charge her for the incorrect journey and in the event the ticket bloke was one of the nicest I’ve ever met, telling her that two other people had had the same problem with a sudden platform change, writing her a pass, telling her all the times and writing them down. Total sweetheart. People can be so lovely. It was a nice journey, in the end.
But that was the beginning of a bad week that may have been a bug or, if I’m honest, may have been a bad mental state manifesting physically. I dropped out of social media and life for a while (with continued apologies to people I cancelled on and haven’t yet rearranged to see). The sort of usual lonely time that comes with it, where I was half relieved that people left me alone, and half angry that no one in my family noticed my absence from phone or internet or checked up on me.
I was told by my Dr during my last bout of depression that I needed to treat it as a recurring illness, and not let it define me. That I’d learn to recognise the signs and look for help when I needed it and live a normal life – and this month I’m keeping that in mind.
I know, from past experience, that there’s a narrow window of time and feeling between being able to cope and improve on my own (and so not needing or wanting help), and being so sunk that I can’t bring myself to get help and I can’t cope on my own. I think I had a mini-dip, and that week was the worst of it. I’m on the up at the moment. I can identify things in my life that I can do to pick up a bit. I can recognise the things that I’m just not doing because I get too anxious to deal with them (and that’s stupid things like sending an email or cleaning the bathroom). I know that a lot of what I’m feeling is a result of people I love going through very tough times (the number of people has grown in the past months as well) and I’m scared for them and not able to help at all. I know I can’t cope with that AND the more worldwide crap at the same time, which is why I backed away from social media.
And I’m keeping an eye on the slightly scary closeness of that narrow window and getting on with things in the meantime.
So yeah, apologies – this wasn’t a cheerful update particularly, or very news filled. Just thought I’d be honest about where things are at and why I’m not updating much at the moment, and why I might be slow to reply to any messages.