Christmas Thoughts

I’m in Turin. Church bells ringing midnight, calling in Christmas. I just cracked a cold beer and nestled under the blankets on a sofa-bed that creaks every time I move.

My parents bought me here. Dad is renting this apartment for a short-term work contract. He’ll be moving out in a week or so. They paid for me to come and spend Christmas with them and see Turin before he goes.

This is the first Christmas I’ve had with my parents but no brother. It’s different. No partner in crime.

Turin is beautiful, historic and grand with the joins showing where history and war and modernity have built palaces, torn them down, added and removed bits according to the whims of kings and the visions of architects, the necessities of time and change. Streets are grand avenues wider than anything in London, in this city with a single Metro line. Walking through, you can feel dwarfed by the scale of the huge buildings, rising solid and ornate, ten stories high. That is, until you see the graffiti tags, the stickers on every lowered shutter. I even spotted a few posters for anarchist federation demos plastered in the grand arcades.

It’s history but not a theme park. People live here, really live here. Christmas Eve, and the centre was packed. Last minute shopping, enjoying the Christmas lights. We walked all afternoon, walked for hours just looking in windows and at buildings and statues, at a culture similar but different.

No Christmas traditions this year, apart from eating and drinking too much, and exchanging a couple of gifts. Which is, I guess, the essence of the thing. Gluttony and goodwill, a shout of drunken defiance against the long Winter nights, a warm hug to hold us until the Spring sun thaws our hibernating hearts.

I’m not going to pretend I love this season. Yule, Christmas, Winterval… it’s always been a source of anxiety as well as joy. I know some of you are suffering, while others are loving it. And many more are somewhere inbetween, fighting life’s stresses and darkness to claw out a nest of happiness and ragged tinsel, a drunken sanctuary, a holiday holy day for the holes in hearts and minds.

As I grow older, it becomes clearer how valuable, how absolutely essential it is to take time out to connect with your people, to take a moment away from the usual hurry and distractions of life to say: “You are important. You are loved. Your love gets me through the dark Winters, and I share with you alike, the warmth of my heart.”

So, from Turin, I send you my love.

Merry Christmas, buon Natale, Winter wishes, and may Spring come soon.

 

 

Christmas Thoughts

Just an Update.

I did the abseil.

It wasn’t frightening.

Sponsor me here, if you so feel. It’s for Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity.

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I was kind of hungover for abseiling, because the night before was a truly uniquely beautiful night at City-Zen One Mic. So many talented people, and I got up and did a couple of new spoken word bits. People come together to create and talk bollocks and drink and dance and it’s magic. And raised £100 for Rojava Solidarity.

 

Spent the rest of the weekend with family, which was really nice. We all live kind of far apart, so it’s great when we do get together. Stayed up way too late putting the world to rights (and I managed not to get into any terrible political arguments even though my family are not yet woke to the true necessity of anarchism).

 

These things have been good beyond measure. In between times, things have been bad beyond measure. I don’t know if I’m actually losing it. Fuck abseiling, this is the real extreme sport. The mood graph prickles like a porcupine and shoots a facefull of quills into my idiot life. Trying to hold while everything spins. I’m too dizzy to run anywhere. My hands hurt.

My fucking heart hurts.

 

 

Just an Update.

Sexy Saturday

Yes, I know it’s Monday. But I want to write about Saturday. Saturday was a good day. Though it wasn’t especially sexy, aside from my presence. Every day is sexy if I’m in it.

It was another shoot for the No Surrender video (read about the first one here), this time for the part of the story featuring only me. Aaah, attention. I drink it in like nectar. Everyone looking at me. Me, my mask, and my Emotions. Ha! Who am I kidding? I’m already terrified (as well as incredibly excited) about this being released to the world.

Carl, Brent and Jay of Evil Unicorn are indeed highly professional, and there were no technical problems or inappropriate comments at all. There was nice coffee though. Acting pro tip: When filming sleep scenes in a bed surrounded by men, defuse the awkwardness with innuendo. Also, always end the day with a drink or seven to release pent-up emotion. (And to warm up after filming the outdoor scenes.)

This filming made me really tired, because 10am-5pm is a really long workday by my standards. How do people live in real jobs? Is there something wrong with me? Even at school, back in the day, I’d end up in a state of constant tiredness. Is everyone is the world just really tired, all the time? Is that why everything’s a bit shit? You know, I might have hit on a truth about Capitalism here. But I digress.

My brother randomly popped round for a drink  night, which was surprising as he lives all the way up in Cumbria. I was well happy to see him though. This was the first time he’d met Chris as My Boyfriend, and seen where we live. Oh, and he showed us a cartoon with Nazi dinosaurs. Netflix may now become a part of my life. Goodbye, any remaining illusion of productivity!

Sexy Saturday

It’s a whole new year, and I’m still here

Well. I did it. I’m still alive. Christmas and New Year were actually excellent. I gave people some homemade gifts and cards, and even managed to make Christmas scented candles which burned properly. So, I think I managed to fulfill the promises of my last post. I even managed to not be an asshole, most of the time. I think. Except for that one time. But mostly things were good; we didn’t let our issues get in the way of having a good time.

Christmas was a family thing, spent at home with parents and brother. It’s not too often these days that we spend that amount of time together, so it was really nice. We did the usual festive stuff, eating, drinking, and persuading the drunk parents to play Cards Against Humanity. That was disturbingly hilarious, and my dad is disturbingly good at that game!

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Bro, me, fairylights, tree.

After Christmas, I basically slept until New Years Eve, then went to London. I always love seeing my friends down there, and it had been a while since we last got together. I stayed on my lovely boat-buddy’s new boat! We went to a stupidly overpriced hippy-infested all-night gig, because the bands were great and the venue is love. T-Chances in Tottenham is a place where I’ve spent a lot of time, and it’s always good to go back and say hi. It was also good to dance all night and drink fizzy wine in the carpark and sing Auld Lang Syne hand in hand with beloved friends.

Of course, after all that I felt terrible, and I still have a cough because apparently going outside is just too much for my poor feeble body. But hey, it was worth it. As I’ll be going into in my next post, hopefully in 2016 I will become less weak, and maybe even (quelle horreur!) less drunk.

 

 

It’s a whole new year, and I’m still here

On being a problem

Trigger warning: Self harm scar pics, mental illness discussion, eating disorders, general depressing shit really. 

I am pretty out and proud about the fact I have a mental illness diagnosis. The validity of that diagnosis, I could debate for days, but as things stand, I have Borderline and Depressive Personality Disorders. I also have hella social anxiety or you could call it Avoidant Personality Disorder, I don’t know. The whole diagnosis thing is fuzzy and vague and controversial.

What I do know though, is that I fucking struggle. I’m guessing/hoping that most people don’t have all the fucked up thought processes, bad habits, and maladaptive coping mechanisms I do. If you do though, props to you for making it this far while putting up with this bullshit.

I used to self harm. In my teen years, I made a good mess. It was the only way I could figure out to calm the overwhelming negative emotions that overtook me.

 

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My beautiful arm. Most people are actually decent human beings about my scars. 
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I’ve long since come to terms with my scars, but when it come  to employment and other people who are socially ‘above’ me, I know I am very much judged. 

I stopped self harming. I had some therapy, but mostly I did it by myself. Because I found that starving was better.

When it came to the eating disorder, the therapy was more important. I had weekly appointments with a mental health nurse who seemed real cool. It seemed like she actually understood me. She was pretty young and generally nice. Though she told me the real disgusting truths about eating disorders. About the horrible results you can get from fucking with your body so hard. I thought I was doing OK, but one week I fucked up and lost too much weight. This nurse who I thought was my ally, threatened to send me to hospital, get me sectioned where ‘they could do what they wanted to me’, and I caved. I ate and ate and never looked back. I ate myself into an amazing bulimia. The cure was worse than the disease. But I quit that as well, with no help from anyone. Except maybe my mum. My mum is the unsung hero in all this bullshit.

 

My Good Weight
Me at a low weight (<100lbs?) and standing on freezing concrete barefoot because I wanted to look dramatic or something. I was a stupid teenager. Sorry any teen readers, but seriously, it will get better, you will get through it.

 

I don’t cut or burn or poison myself anymore. I don’t starve or purge. I don’t attempt suicide.

I still think about this shit, but… I don’t do it. I just make myself not do it. Every single day for years I have thought about hurting myself and I haven’t done it. Suicidal thoughts haunt me against my will. The reason I can’t think clearly is probably because I am suffering decision fatigue after 90 times a day deciding to not die.

I know that people wonder why I haven’t done better with my life, why I haven’t achieved more. Well, sometimes just fighting myself for the right to stay alive is a full time job. I know nobody will pay me, but that’s the harsh truth. Mental illness has a real impact on my life, and it isn’t something that can be cured by exercise and healthy eating.

Believe me, I tried. Vodka works better. My official therapy starts at the beginning of next year, and a large part of it is teaching coping mechanisms that aren’t massively self destructive. I’ve written about it before, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and I do have real hope that this will give me a real chance.

Until then, leave me the fuck alone.

(This post prompted by my dad deciding that we need to have a talk tomorrow about my ‘future career’ and my ‘habits and lifestyle’. My career is writing this blog, and my habits and lifestyle are ‘not committing suicide’. Is that not sufficient? Can I not even have peace until January?)

On being a problem

Morbid Crafts and a Dental Update. Toothy grins all round!

A couple of months ago, (among other things), I promised to visit the dentist.

I did that. As predicted, it was Not Fun. I’ve had two fillings since.Two of my teeth are now 50% metal. It was that bad. The dentists looked very sad about the state of my teeth, even bringing their colleagues in to observe and wonder at how my teeth got so fucked up. I’m only 26. I didn’t do that much crack, but I have spent a large proportion of my diet on sweets (pure candy, no chocolate or fat to get in the way of the sugar), cheap cider and wine. These together must be able to liquefy enamel in seconds. That, and crashing out wasted without cleaning my teeth, staying out on sessions long enough to bypass the recommended twice daily brushing, have done for my dental work. The long-since cured bulimia probably went a long way towards the acid erosion, and also left me with a nice case of GERD which has flooded my teeth with even more acid. I have spent a lot of time puking. Now I’m paying the price, with my translucent, carious, crumbling teeth.

What really spurred me on to get my teeth sorted was that a chunk fell off my premolar. I was just eating a blue raspberry BonBon (see, told you I have a tooth-friendly diet), there was a strange crunching sensation, and I was spitting out a chunk of enamel. I had to live with a jagged hole in my tooth for a few days, waiting for a dentist appointment to become available. It was unpleasant. The jagged edges cut my tongue, and having a foul pit of decay in the centre of your tooth actually tastes pretty bad.

This is how my lovely NHS dentists fixed up my tooth.

A tooth constructed mostly of amalgam filling
Cyborg tooth

So, now I had a piece of my tooth just lying around. I also had a pack of plain silver earring posts. (Link there to get some for hella cheap on ebay, just in case this post inspires you to do some weird gross craft. Or even some nice craft. Don’t let me bring you down.)

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All you need to make any kind of earrings is silver plated posts and Loctite. Loctite is the best glue, it will not let you down.

……

And so, the denoument. The tooth earring. It has power. It has decay. It has a subtle aesthetic, probably wouldn’t draw attention unless you ran around screaming that you were wearing your own decaying bodily matter as jewellery.

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I feel there is plenty power to be had in keeping your own body bits close. 1. It prevents evil voodooists using them against you, and 2. It’s keeping it all close to home. What could be more emotionally and psychically meaningful than a tooth that took me what, five years to grow? That’s some attachment. There’s energy stored up in there.

And believe me, there is also a great deal of rage directed at my pathetic failure of a tooth. It’s not even just that tooth. It’s been 2 years since I got the all-clear from a previous dentist, and in that time my teeth have basically dissolved. They’re all weak and pathetic. I have yet another dental appoinment this week, for yet another filling. 3 fillings in 3 weeks. I’m just glad I don’t generally find them painful. The root canal was a walk in the park. But it is all getting rather repetetive.

If things don’t improve, I’m going this direction: VAMPIRE GRILLZIf Marilyn Manson can do it, why can't I? Gotta hide my busted teeth somehow.

If Marilyn Manson can do it, why can’t I? Gotta hide my busted teeth somehow.

Morbid Crafts and a Dental Update. Toothy grins all round!

Still Ill

And yes, the Hatful of Hollow version is, and always will be better.

I’m not as ill as I was. I spent a day or two actually in bed, and a day on the sofa, unable to do stuff. I’ve now regained maybe 70% of lung volume? If I breathe too deeply it makes a gross crunching sound. I’m really displeased by this. I thought I would be better by now and I’m bored. Today I went outside for the first time in five days because I had actually started going insane. I went to the shop and bought a wine, because maybe that is the true cure.

Thankfully these aren’t the antibiotics that kill you if you drink any alcohol with them. Or make you instantly drunk and then vomit everywhere. If I ever get prescribed them, I actually quit. Quit what? Everything. Alcohol. Medicine. Humanity. Life itself.

I actually have stuff to be doing. I have a poetry gig. I’ve got two ten minute sets at this event.

I AM NOT PREPARED AND I AM NOT OK.

Also I was meant to be writing a novel this month I think.

And some other stuff. Like, stuff healthy people do, while they breathe and laugh and have lives.

I was meant to go to the annual Halloween rave/riot and to my friend’s party and I even missed out on a Calais refugee aid co-ordination meeting. I am missing EVERYTHING. And you should all be glad of that, because my cough sounds really disgusting and you don’t want to hear it. I don’t know if I’m contagious. Just going to wait and see if my family all get horrifically sick within the next few days. If they do, I’m going to be the absolutely most hated person in this house. I am the plague bringer. I brang you a plague. Enjoy it!

Still Ill