She is all warm heart against my cold soul.
As beautiful as any star,
worth worshipping and exploring.
The way she fits against me
as we watch stars flit through the constellations,
the milky way fading in and out of our vision
The way she fits around me
as we lie and talk
about the fundamentals that cause
the compatibilities of our cores
She is all warm heart against my cold soul.
Sometimes depression is just being unable to move. Just wherever you are being unable to even curl into a ball and cry until you can again. Sometimes it’s that inability to stop cry. Just crying and crying and crying, stopping and starting over and over until you stop for good or there just isn’t anything else left in you.
Sometimes it’s panic, panic over your own depression. A pain in your chest that won’t dissipate regardless of how many painkillers you swallow.
Sometimes it’s taking on a project, any project, every project, none of which you’ll finish – you never do finish projects you start when you’re depressed and sometimes the evidence of depression are half started physical or digital things, spread across your life.
Sometimes it’s just sleep. Sleep and sleep and sleep.
Sometimes it’s burying yourself so deep into another world, that you weren’t sure you ever really left, let alone get out again.
I’ve done all of these. I’m going through most of these this week. Sleep and crying and unmovable and doing everything and diving into fandom and tumblr and fanfic like I never stopped and ignoring everything permanent I have tried to create for myself while being well.
Sometimes it’s a million other things.
Sometimes it’s something you can’t change. Sometimes it’s just the medication. Sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes it’s cutting and self harm and hurting yourself because god damn it’s all there is.
Sometimes it’s death.
I’m not that far along. Won’t get that far along. Though I feel like I’m going to feel a little darker before the bout is done and I am…me again.
The first time I wrote something it felt like finding home, finding my place in the world. I don’t meant the stories I wrote when I was six, or the newspaper I made up when I was ten and wanted to be Lois Lane – I mean the time I wrote that first poem and when I first started writing that first story when I was 17. That made all the difference to me, that’s when I became a writer within my core and found a place that I could be safe, hide, have hope, be myself.
Be someone else.
When I was 17, life was pretty crap, so being someone else, being somewhere else, was a wonderful thing for me. It meant every horrible thing in the world, in my immediate world was forgotten as I put pen to paper. Every scrap of ink made me feel better. Even if it was a bad poem (so many bad poems) or a story that was effectively just about me enjoying a better life, or being a better person, writing it down made all the difference. I could’ve just stuck to daydreaming like every other teenager, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. I had to write down every word, every scenario, every rhyme.
I had my first idea for a novel back then, one that had changed somewhat over the years, but is still something I would like to finished, even though I’m not 32 and I started it a long time ago now. The characters, the plot, the story, they all remain, they’re mostly the same in fact. All that is different is me. The writer and the way I am writing those characters and their story.
The first time I wrote a blog, it just added to that feeling of safety. Of home. People read my words. I made friends, people I could actually talk to and help me deal with all the crap I was going through having left home and with declining mental health.
Writing is home. Whether is being in the clouds or in the form or in the rant about the world. Writing is where my soul lives and is complete and has been now since I was 17. Whether or not I am what someone would consider successful is not important. Success is not important. The words, the worlds, they’re what’s important to me.
To my soul.
Day 169 – “Blog City ~ Every Blogger’s Paradise“
The last time I saw my Uncle Andrew was when I was 14. A long time ago now, 16 years, but I remember it well enough. Well enough to have made an impact. My uncle Andrew, or Jacko (his surname was Jackson), was the baby of the family, the youngest of seven brothers and sisters (half and step) and grew up with an alcoholic gambler for a dad and a violent gambler for a mother. But he had my mum looking out for him from the moment he was born to the moment he died of a heroin overdose.
When he was a baby, my mum was 17 and thinking about joining the navy. She wanted to fly helicopters and jets and get the hell out of a very bad situation. She had left school at 15 to work and support her younger brothers and sisters (she was the eldest) and joining the Navy was the way out.
Except it meant leaving behind all those kids.
So instead she got married to my dad, moved out, took two of them with her when they were a little older – two of my aunts.
He wasn’t always an addict. For a long time he was just a guy. He had a girlfriend and a dog for a while They had two kids – Christopher and Andrew. He and his boyfriend John were our main babysitters when mum was working nights for a long time. Then, then I don’t know what happened really, a lot of those old memories are missing. In my mind it goes from Uncle Andrew the babysitter to Uncle Andrew the heroin addict. There’s no transitional memories.
The last time I saw him, I was 14, my sister 11, and he’d already been in and out of prison for mostly theft related offences. Stealing from the shops in Coventry City Centre. Later he would steal to order or steal to get caught and take a break from the heroin while in jail for a little while. At this point, he was drinking too. We went to his council flat in the city, a few rows down from where my great grandma lived, we’d been to see her too. A little old Geordie woman who had lived in Coventry for over sixty years but had never lost her accent and had the best stories. Except he wasn’t allowed to go and see her any more. Not since he’d threatened her neighbours after she said they’d upset her over something trivial. So he was a few houses away from his grandmother but unable to see her, and really, probably didn’t even realise any more.
We pulled up and walked in and there was smoke coming from the kitchen. Black smoke. But there was no smoke alarm and my uncle was asleep on the sofa in front of the day time tv shows. My mum ran in found he’d forgotten some toast in the grill. She woke him up and asked him where his gas fire was gone.
In the living room, where the little rectangle fire would’ve been was just a bright patch of white paint and some pipes. Next to that a half empty bottle of vodka, an old sofa.
He’d sold most of his things, including the gas fire which had been attached the wall and actually belonged to the council because they owned the house. Except Jacko had needed the money. My mum didn’t asked what for. We all knew. He looked awful, thin and pale, his tiger tattoo stretched too far over his neck. I hadn’t really even thought about it back then but this was what addiction looked like, manifested in my uncle, a lovely man I adored, despite that addiction.
He gave us some presents, over due from Christmas he said, but I didn’t remember him ever getting us presents before, and it didn’t really matter. He gave my sister some trainers, and I got a necklace – a bronze cameo style pendent with a fine cross stitch of some flowers in it, on a long chain.
We didn’t ask where it came from.
When we left, after hugs and my mum talking to him about some things, serious things, we sat in the car for a bit before pulling away. We were driving back to Wales, 140 miles away, a long drive with this hanging over us. I wanted to cry. I imagine my mother wanted to cry too. We didn’t. Then we left, and that was the last time I saw him until he died when I was around 23. Of a heroin overdose. While he was in rehab.
The thing is, despite the stealing to order, the prison, the time he stole my mums care and crashed into three of the neighbours cars writing them all off, the heroin and alcohol and all those years my dad refused to talk about him, let alone to him (over some stolen socks of all things), he was a wonderful man. He hopes, towards the end, of reconciling his relationship with his kids, but never got the chance. He never met his granddaughter. He was and is my first thought when I think about how homosexuality was always accepted in my family, in my household. He was the norm and made me feel normal, years later, when I was trying to reconcile my own feelings. He was funny and creative. I have a quilt my mother made with fabric he designed and printed while in prison. I still have the necklace he gave me on that last visit.
It hurt my mum the most I think. And her two sisters. His parents were long dead when he passed. His children barely knew him. But he and his sisters were almost like triplets. And my mum stuck by him, always, regardless of what happened, even when everyone else gave up on him, or had to walk away for their own mental well being (for which Jacko never blamed them and neither do I).
I miss him. I never got the chance to enjoy his company as an adult. Or enjoy the sober Uncle Andrew again. The last time I saw him, that wasn’t him. That was the addiction. And that’s one of the few things in this life I will regret.
Prompt from – “Blog City ~ Every Blogger’s Paradise” Day 168 – The Last Time I…
Here is the night
drafted and cut
the black before dawn
into a piece for you to wear.
Here is the night
adorned with silver stars
slipped around your neck
for all to see
shining through the thickest
of clouds and lights on the ground.
Here is the night,
precious and silent
hold on tightly
case it should
slip away into space.
Penguin from Chester Zoo. Available on Red Bubble.
I’m trying to find a job.
There’s more people than jobs – there’s always more people than jobs – but when you live in the middle of no where there are even less jobs but no less people. We’re just more spread out and it’s harder to get around. It’s really frustrating.
More so because I want to work so badly. Not because I’m skint – well, not just because I’m skint – and not because I’m bored. I want to work because I can work. Sounds simple, but I haven’t been able to work for so long being able to do so is such progress for me that I want to be working again, want to be contributing to society and helping people in whatever way I can.
Even if it’s just through a lot of typing and some photocopying.
Preferably through a lot of typing and some photocopying. I really am more suited for administrative work.
I find the whole process incredibly anxiety inducing, I won’t lie, but now I can handle that anxiety. Deal with that anxiety. Quash it. Ignore it. Use it.
A year, two years, five years ago an interview would’ve caused a panic attack. Longer ago said panic attack would have had me self harming. I’ve come a really long way and would like to be back in an office somewhere, working because that’s the next step to improving my life. Our life.
Someone out there is going to give me the opportunity to get back into full time work. I know that. It’ll take a while though.
This is more of a ramble than anything else as I scour endless jobs listings. There was supposed to be a whole point about filling in forms and noting down that you’re disabled and have mental health problems but I don’t quite have it in me to to write about it this weekend. Can’t find the words. Anyway I’m filling in an average of two forms a day. Something like that. I’ve had one interview. Got turned down for that and another job but I don’t feel overly despondent about it or anything. Which is nice. I know I can only do so much to convince people I am the best choice for any given job. I’m not very good at just coming out and saying it, and I think it probably sounds arrogant to do so and the people looking to hire someone have no reason to believe me beyond my word and my CV.