You & I…

Dear Son,

I’ve been trying to keep low key busy today; house work, catching up on emails & so on. I have hoped to keep myself from sinking too deep into sadness. 
I’ve actually done quite well. I had a cry in the shower, but the water washed those tears away. There was no evidence left for anyone else to see, which is like you. Gone. Without a trace.

So, I’ve taken a lot of deep breaths & whispered to myself that I’m ok.

I’m ok

I’m ok

I’m ok.

And I am. More so than I’ve ever been since I lost you. I think maybe I can try again. Perhaps, I can do this life thing. I wish I could believe that would heal me, but you’re not a wound. The pain is bittersweet. 

I’ve been wondering what my life would be like with a 16yr old. Louder, grumpier, more complicated? I’ll never know how our life would been. I do know I’d have given you my best. I’m also sure that you’re worth it. The short time I held you within me will always be worth all the rest. 

Now, you’ve got me crying again. My tears are inevitable, as is my love. Inevitable & invincible. No matter what happens there will forever be you & I. 

Love always,

Mum

I wear t-shirts…

These days weekends are for wedding shopping. This Saturday that took me to Edinburgh. There was entirely too much trekking around, but also some magic moments. I’d rule it a win. 

I was hoping for a dressy vs sloppy look. I got a little scissor happy on this t shirt as the neck line felt restrictive. I rather liked result. I am fond of contrasts & clashes so I’m pleased with this outfit. 

I was frazzled by the time these photographs were taken which may account for my lean up against a phone book pose. My hair do had also given up by this point & been benched with a bobble. Basically, I’ve looked better; hey ho.


Skirt – Glad Rags

T-Shirt – H&M

Kimono – Primark

Incidentally this skirt is the one I picked up at the Glad Rags fashion show for the insanely cheap price of £3.95. Try not to stampede them in your search for a similar bargain. 


After watching my Sis & I getting out pose on Mum decided to get in on the action. 

Bein’ green….

I have been lacking in energy lately and so have been very careful about where I use my spoons. However when the words ‘free sushi’ were uttered I was out that door. 

I donned my latest bargainous find, which unfortunately is a bit big. Thus it looks less cute than I had expected. I do love this ensemble, though. I’m hoping the skirt can be taken in to fit well. 


Top – H&M

Cardi – Monsoon

Skirt – Lindy Bop

Now, here’s the weird thing about this get up. The items I’m wearing range from a size 16 to size 22. Which just goes to show that if you take a fancy to something, you should always try it on. 

My outfit wasn’t a complete hit, but my eyeliner was super tip top. 

All I can say is I’m breathing…

PTSD is a persistent foe. You can make progress & start to think maybe, just maybe you can actually defeat this bastard, but it knows you think that. 

It’s waiting for you to relax your hyper vigilence. The moment you begin to let go of the breath you’ve been holding for 17yrs it will suck it in & grow.

Folks in your life see you gaining strength & think you’re better. There is no ‘better’.  There is managing ,

coping,

trying to live,

daring to live?

The good days can start to stack up. You can feel a safe distance from the horror, but you can never be sure. 

You can never be certain that a flashback won’t stun you like lightening. 

And stuck in that hot, white memory you could loosen your grip on the here & now.

The relative calm & safety could be shattered. Perhaps only for that instant. You could be lucky, those smells & fears could melt away. Current achievements or delights may well wash over you. It’s possible. That happens. 

You’ll make plans & take steps. But you’ll always be looking over your shoulder. The knowledge of the cruelty of your own mind will keep you rigid.

Because lightening does strike twice & thrice & ever & on.

With every thump of your heart you know you’re only one more squeeze from disaster. Where little sleep becomes none. The crazy creeps out from behind all those positive walls, it brings terror & tsunamis of grief. 

And the pills don’t work

Or Dr’s 

Or the life jacket you had to make with your bare hands. 

There is only one way to row to shore & it’s brutal. It’s hot blood dripping from your fingers; slippy yellow fat & an uncontrollable urge to cut a little deeper. 

Bleed a little more 

Wrapping up the unthinkable pain in the easy hurt of butchering yourself. 

This illness is being  awake in the night & writing so you won’t do. It’s ignoring the destructive comfort because you so desperately want this new, real life. 

And, yes, all those yous should be I’s. 

It’s my past, my pain, my ongoing battle for a future. 


Listen, I’m a really perfect song.

I’m glad all over…

On Saturday night I hit the town with my mum for some fashion fun. We had snapped up tickets for the coolest sartorial event; the Glad Rags Fashion Show.

The event showcases both what amazing stock they have a Glad Rags & how versatile thrift items can be. This year’s event had an emphasis on body positivity & embracing our differences. The models gracing the catwalk were all Glad Rags volunteers & each embodied beauty in their own way. 

The show itself was split into four sections. The first half focused on the store’s best donations. With a variety of designer names & vintage finds. My favourite was an amazing black velvet dress adorned with a sumptuous golf fan. If there was any chance of me fitting in it I would have snapped it up. 


The latter part of the evening included bespoke items upcylced by Glad Rags. This group included an amazing red body con dress which had been given new life with details cut from a vintage 70’s piece. Since I am useless I failed completely in the task of photographing it. Therefore  you will just have to take my word that it was joyous. 

The final section was actually my favourite. Titled, Androgyny the outfits played with combining traditionally male & female pieces on all of the models. Vintage tuxedo trousers belted of corsets were to die for. A floaty Victorian dream of dress was also my bag. 


Lots of the items shown were up for grabs in a silent auction (I managed to win something amazing for a certain sister of mine), but you can still find truly gorgeous bargains in store. I also treated myself to a wee delight from the mini pop up & I can’t wait to get it on. 


I am lover of vintage & 2nd hand and Glad Rags is honestly one of my favourite spots. From badges to ballgowns they always have something wonderful. In addition they have the most amazing ethos; recycling, inclusivity & supporting small  projects. If that wasn’t enough they’re a non profit go co- operative, so not fat cats here.Seriously, just go & fall in love for yourself.
* the delicious orchard cider may have impaired by photographic skills. 
Glad Rags & Glad Cafe can be found at 1006 Pollokshaws rd in Glasgow. 

I want to be rainbow high…

On Saturday I had the pleasure of going wedding dress shopping with my beautiful sister. Bil & Mum were also in toe to admire & offer opinions. 

Wedding dress shopping is rather nice. The troublesome part is my sister looks stunning in just about every dress. Plus as soon as a veil appears I start bubbling. Luckily all spectators were in sync with regards to which dresses were contenders. The bride to be decided there is still more shopping to be done.

So, what did I wear to whitest enviroment in the world? All the colours, of course. I’ve had this rainbow delight for a couple of weeks & have been dying to get it on. It’s a super comfy maxi with the cutest crochet top. 

Dress – Simply Be

Cardi – Primark
The colours & the crochet make it feel very summery. Alas, Autumn appears to be upon us in Glasgow, but this will definitely be going in my Australia suitcase, which is in need of cool day dresses.

After shopping we had some lunch in a cosy/cool pub where Bil & I couldn’t resist messing around with the mirrors. 

Don’t patronise me…

I’m struggling to sleep tonight. My  pain got a little out of control last week & so my dr upped one of my pain meds. It was quite a big leap & my body hasn’t been behaving since.  My mood hasn’t really been behaving either. It took a dive earlier in the week for, I imagine, a combination of reasons. Perhaps feeling so bizarre, or the pain or an upcoming anniversary. Who can say?

On account of the above there have been days when even getting out of bed has been difficult. Yesterday was one those days, everything hurt & I was very foggy from the meds, but things had to be done. Bronan had to be fed. I had to return some important calls & I had to put my bin out to be emptied.  Dragging myself out of bed was a struggle, but I did it. So, up I got, flung on whatever clothes were lying on the bedroom floor, brushed my teeth & completed those tasks as best as I could. I did these not because they would lift my mood. Nor did I do them as part of an ‘action plan’. I didn’t derive any sense of achievement. They needed to be done, so I did them.


Later, I tried to write, but couldn’t concentrate for more than a minute or two. It occurred to me that I hadn’t eaten all day & perhaps something in my stomach might counteract the effect of my medications. My fridge contained some broccoli that had to be used today or it would only be fit for the bin. So, I steamed that broccoli in the micro, poured some boiling water on noodles & flung soy sauce over both. I didn’t cook because it would make me feel that I was worth taking care of. I simply used the ingredients available to feed myself in the quickest manner because otherwise, I would not eat.

I tell you these things not because they are interesting. I certainly don’t mention them because I want applause. I merely draw your attention to these mundane activities as they are the reality of day to day life.
THEY ARE NOT SELF CARE.
Mental health organisations & increasingly, just anyone are constantly spouting the merits of self-care. I am so tired of hearing this bullshit. Everything I do does not have a therapeutic purpose. Mental illness (or for that matter physical) does not define me. I am a single woman living alone. There are always tasks that need taken care of. I take each day as it comes & do as much as I can manage. That’s just survival. In that respect I am no different from anyone else. Obviously my illness can make simple jobs difficult. Things the average person may take for granted come harder to me. That doesn’t change the nature of life. I either keep living to the best of my ability or I lie down and die.

To label each chore or treat self-care is to rob me of my basic humanity. I am no longer a person, but a collection of diagnoses’. Illness becomes my defining feature. I strenuously reject that characterisation. To measure my wellbeing by how many dishes are in my sink is insulting. Similarly, to minimise serious conditions by suggesting a nice dinner will make it all better is also offensive. A cute badge with a star & I took my meds or A childish phrase is not going to brighten my day. 

I live my life as fully as possibly. I enjoy whatever I can and try my best to endure the rest. Doesn’t that sum up most people’s experience? I don’t hear anyone congratulating ‘non-mentals’ or ‘non-spoonies ‘ for continuing to exist, so why are they patronising me?

If my thoughts on this offend you, then just imagine how I feel when several times each day I am confronted with the cult of self care. If it works for you, cool, you do you. However, don’t suggest I have a bath with candles to get over terrifying flashbacks. Don’t tell me to give myself a wee treat to combat searing pain. Most of all don’t belittle me by suggesting my daily drive to survive is ‘self care’. Keep it to yourself, darling or prepare for my wrath.