Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Day 188

It's infected. Great.

Day 187 - yesterday

Some days I think it would be better just to sleep right through until the next day and try again. Some days I wake up and know it's going to be bad, like today, and try to get back to sleep in the hope that I will wake again in a few hours to a better part of the same day. Or at least with less hours to go before I can knock myself out again.

I self harmed really badly today (10.45pm). No dressings I have will cover my now raw and weeping forearm – it’s too large an area. I'm scared this one will get infected. I'm scared about that.

I have an appointment with my CPN tomorrow to discuss my medication, but what I really need is help with my self-harming. I have never felt so angry when I have scratched before. I was blind with anger and rage and so desperate to get it out so I could look at it. And now here it is, furiously red, raw and disgusting, just like I wanted, looking back at me.

I'm scared I have just scarred myself for life. Maybe this one is too big that it will never fade, like I always hoped the rest would.

All I can think of is my wedding day and having to wear long sleeves to hide the scars. How weird is that when there is no wedding, or no groom? Why would that be the only day that this would matter? Is that because I still believe that my life will begin when I find a husband?

Fuck, I though I’d moved on from that.

I could always wear those long gloves ladies wear to balls. I could cut the fingers off to get a ring on. See, still thinking about a bloody phantom wedding. That should be the least of my worries.

Maybe I should try to get some sleep. "Why am I so goddamn obsessed with weddings?"



"Will you marry me?"

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Day 186

It's funny how one minute you can be feeling so positive and so sorted, the next you're on the (proverbial) floor, shaking and wobbling and feeling unconfident and a fraud; a fraud at being the confident one, daring to think that you are OK.

Silly, silly, me.

I had an OK day (few hours) today, apart from sleeping in late; it was after noon when I finally woke. I took a sleeping tablet last night when I knew I wasn't going to be able to get to sleep. I started going a bit funny in the head about 10.30ish or thereabouts. I was getting a bit emotional, just like I am now. I missed my mum and just wanted to cry. And then I started writing down a list of attributes the partner I would like to have would possess (I was trying to think positively – looking forward – see, trying). It was three sides of A4 long. Funny though, when you write things like:

“He will want to enjoy and share his life with me.”

“He will never scare me or call me names.”

“He will enjoy spending time with me. And sharing experiences with me.”

“He will be gentle, loving, honest, trustworthy and monogamous. He will never lie or cheat.”

…Well, not really funny, just sad. I doubt there is anyone out there, three sides of A4 loveliness long.

So, back to the wobble of this evening: After a few hours in town visiting my favourite shop Habitat, dreaming what my new home (positive affirmations and thinking) will look like, and having a coffee with my friend, I decided to tackle the problems I was having with my sister by writing her a letter. An email actually, asking for her support. Now I am freaking out that I will have upset her by saying how I feel:

“Hey ----

Just wanted to send a quick email, as I have obviously been a bit quiet since you were here and I wanted to tell you why. I'm not sure we can speak over the phone about this subject without getting into another argument, so felt I would rather write it down.

I keep getting real shocks when we end up having arguments about my depression and how you feel I am handling my recovery. I am still reeling from the talk we had at Christmas and after my reaction to our last "discussion" (I self harmed on the bus and arrived at counselling in a hysterical state) it all needs to stop. I am not strong enough at the moment to deal with such negative outbursts.

You are really aggressive when you speak to me about this and the words you use are less than pleasant and I just end up feeling attacked. As my sister I find it really difficult that you feel that you can speak to me like this - especially when you know what the likely outcome will be (me getting uncontrollably upset and usually hurting myself). I know, (well I don't actually) but I hope that where all this comes from is a place of care and concern for my safety/sanity, but it doesn't seem that way and that is really hard.

I know I blurted out something about your relationship with ------- at the end of our conversation, and I apologise for that. It is really hard to have someone yelling at you about how lazy and crap you are at handling a situation, not to lash out in return.

I find it difficult to tell you to stop when you are on a roll like you have been twice now, but I am asking you now. Please stop judging me and telling me how bad you think I am doing. It is too difficult for me to cope with and you just exacerbate the negative feelings I already have about myself.

I want us to have a good relationship and for us to be good friends as well as sisters, but you can make this really hard sometimes. I don't feel like you are on my side and you are really good at making me feel guilty about what I am doing, how I am handling things and for the help I get from --- and -----.

You are my sister and I love you, but I need you to be more sensitive. I also need your support. I think I fuck up every day and am literally trying to keep breathing. It's too difficult to keep hanging on in there when you feel your own family is against you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this - if you got this far! “

Now I think I shall go and vomit with fear. And then take a sleeping tablet.

P.S. Note to self: Remember to take off mascara before getting leaky eyes because when the mascara gets in there, it stings like fuck.

Oh, and I ate three dried apricots today. And they didn't make me feel sick. Although the salad I just ate, did.

Black, yellow, black. My therapist would probably give me a round of applause for telling someone how I feel about something they have done and asking them to stop it. But I feel shitty about it, so - black.

I think I've forgotten some Birthday's.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Day 185.1

"Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird won't sing,
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring."

Repeat; a lot.

Day 185

I'm sitting here crying because I am scared. I am scred that i have to move, I am scared that i don't know what I'm doing. I'm scared of moving forward and i'm scared of fucking up - all over again.

The stupid owner of a flat I have been trying to rent has been deliberating for the past 24 hours - well more than that actually - deliberating if I am a suitable tennant to live in his property. He wanted my rent to come out of my step fathers account each month because he doesn't trust that I will pay the rent. That was the only way that he would accept me living there. My responsibility is to pay my rent to my landlord when I get it from housing, that's the deal.

Again, I am a faceless recipient of benefit that cannot be trusted.

I have been sitting on the fact that my mum and I went to see this flat on Wednesday because I didn't want to jinx it. i didn't want to talk about it incase i made it go away by daring to think i could have something i wanted. Mind you, at this moment in time I couldn't give a shit if i get it or not.

Sure, it's only a flat and there will be others, but when you can only deal with two agencies in the whole of the city - because no-one else accepts people on Housing Benefit as tennants it gets pretty limited. And like i said before I don't want to live where people get stabbed for looking at the wrong person on the street.

I should never have given up on London. i should never have given up on my job or my friends. i should have fought harder to keep going, because my friend, i tell you; this being sick thing blows.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Day 183

Over the years I have been a long time searcher of "self-help" books. Over the years I have spent vast quantities of miserable time, browsing the lonely and notoriously pathetic, “self-help” aisles in bookshops. I also spend hours searching the Internet for every self-help manual available. My Amazon wish list is about three pages long; most of which include titles that defiantly state they can and will, show me ways to transform my misshapen life.

The problem is, is that when I have actually purchased the books – I never, ever read them. No, no, they just sit piled up on an old table, mocking my lack of commitment to changing my life.

I have been in a quandary; yes, in an actual quandary, about buying the latest one. It is aptly called “Rules of Life” or something to that effect. Apparently a bestseller – so therefore all that is written in it, must be true and good or why would all those people have bought it? Anyway, both in and out of my many counselling sessions, I have constantly remarked that I need someone “just to tell me what to do” and I would do it. Well, c’mon I’m obviously shit at this whole life thing so why not let someone else make up the rules? And lo, here was a book with the rules all laid out. All neatly packaged in a peachy blue, mock croc cover, ready and willing for me to read, suck up and “do”.

I have courted it, and smoothed the cover; I have compared prices in different shops. I have pretty much read the whole thing during my ‘browsing’ time and have thought about purchasing it for, um about three days solid - until today.

I was in Borders, after accompanying my Mama who has been visiting since Monday to the train station, the pile of self-help books wobbling on my knees. I had been doing the dance of doom around the beautiful, blue book for about twenty minutes then I picked up about another six tomes and settled down to muse and peruse with purchase in mind. And then…“He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

Sitting on the squishy red armchair, I read and re-read the words; the no-nonsense, statements of truth shining like a beacon of archangel proportions. The few pages I read lifted the brain washing, self imposed, “I’m right about this” blindfold from my bleary, several-times-heartbroken eyes in seconds. In an instant, I looked at the peachy copy of “Rules of Life” that I had previously been wooing and promptly returned it back to the shelf, faster than I’ve ever been dumped in my life. I marched to ‘Please pay here’ and walked out of the shop with my new best friend in tow. I no longer needed someone else’s rules to live by – all I had to do was make up my own – surely? Who else knows me but me? Who else knows my own values and principles that could guide me through my days better than I?

Granted, there hasn’t been much evidence of this cripplingly obvious behavior to date, but when I was marching to the till, with the gospel of truth in my sweaty mitts, all I could see was that I had done everything but actually sit down and think about it. Duh.

I have been reading “He's Just Not That Into You” at every available spare moment today and when I haven’t been laughing my head off, coins have been dropping all over the ship. I think I might have a date with the charity shop and a large bag of unused books tomorrow. But this one I might actually read the whole way through, and then re-read it over and over again until it sinks in and sticks.

I get it – the ex, the ex, ex, the exes before them, they just weren’t that into me. The newsflash is hilarious, possibly tragic but actually, rather simple.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Day 179

Today I had a date with God. Well, I had a date with a Baptism, and God would be there, and I would be in his ‘house’, so I concluded it amounted to the same thing.

Thoughts that ran through my head this morning as I made ready to try to get out of my house for my first ‘serious’ public function in, well, a long time: Would it be ‘cool’ with God if I turned up without showering? Would it also be acceptable to turn up aided and abetted by my true and reliable friend, Diazepam? I kept thinking about an old colleague of mine that said one must bathe before prayer or it was some kind of mortal sin that him upstairs would frown upon. I did both, and met with no lightening bolts.

I wore black, accessorised by clean plasters, which I was not entirely convinced was appropriate for a Baptism, but when others in the congregation wore jeans, (JEANS – in church!) I thought I did pretty damn well.

The minister’s sermon focused on “Munro Bagging” and all I heard was "tea bagging". Could God hear what I was thinking? If so…'hell' and 'hand basket' sprang to mind. Then my friend swore, in church, so we decided it was a given, we were both going straight there.

The beautiful pixie baby that was the guest of honour did beautifully. She promptly fell asleep just as she arrived at the Baptismal font and awoke abruptly with water being poured over her head. And then I panicked. I really did. I panicked that she was being covered in holy water, holy water that I had only ever come across in vampire slayings, a la Buffy and when he signed the mark of the cross on her forehead I nearly passed out. I wanted to rip my good friend’s child out of his arms – what if it changed her in some way? What if promising her to God meant she was no longer ours?

I spent the rest of the afternoon cuddling her, and my fears were assuaged. She was still the same, adorable pixie baby, chewing the hem of her Christening gown. I should stop watching films like "Rosemary’s Baby". They are not helpful in the quest for good in the face of evil.

My “good friends” are “the friends that went away that came back”. I think the latter pseudonym is no longer appropriate as they have been nothing but available since their return. I am also beginning to understand that life does indeed get in the way of things. Just because I was trying to end a life (mine) they were trying to bring a life into this world and as I now suspect this is a feat of equal difficulty.

One of the other kids that was at the house afterwards asked what I did to my hand. “My Mum has a new kitten” (“I walked into a door”…). She showed me a similar plaster on her hand and said: “I burnt my hand on my straightening iron and it got infected.” I might try that next time.

I think I buried a (possibly) selfish hatchet today. I also coped in a confined space with lots of people. Lots of people that enquired about what I’d been up to since they’d last seen me. My answers focused mainly on “writing”. Well, I am aren't I? See...words.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Day 177 - yesterday

"I don't want to get better", there I said it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Day 176

No.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Day 175.2

I self harmed, ON A BUS. Full of people.

Day 175.1

Oh, and yes...black. Actually, blacker than black. What is more black than black. Nothing? Can I have a sticker that denotes a day spent dipping a toe into the most terrifying abyss? In, out, in, out. In.

Beyond black.

Day 175

Walked into my counselling appointment at the Mental Centre today with blood all over my hands and under my nails. I had self harmed quite badly on the bus on the way to my appointment after a blow out with my sister.

I burst into tears on arrival and was ushered into the exam room by a nurse, who kept calling me Rose.

"I just need to wash my hands. I just need to wash my hands", "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry" was all I could say.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Day 173

I got up early after about 3 hours sleep.

I managed to eat some breakfast and afterwards I fell asleep while waiting for a delivery, waking again at noon.

I ate lunch at lunchtime, a first in almost a year. I had to force myself to eat (salad).

I went to the library, avoided fines, went to the coffee shop and then picked up a couple of DVD's. I walked the long way round in a vain attempt to cover some distance today at least.

I watched a DVD then started to clean up the flat. My sister is flying in tomorrow morning and coming straight here from the airport.

I started panicking around 4pm. I swallowed some diazepam, and tried to fend off the impending doom that promised to bulldoze any form of productivity.

So, I cleaned and cried.

Tonight I spoke to my mum, more honestly than I have done in weeks. I have been trying to 'cope' on my own for the last few months, but this move, this massive interruption to my (relative) comfort zone has thrown me. Completely. I was trying so hard not to bother her, I wanted to be able to sort this out by myself. But I am so scared. I want to pound my head to shake the shit loose. I want the dark thoughts to go away and I want my life back. I feel utterly lost; no, more than that, I feel like I am in a perpetual nightmare and can't wake up. Or living in a virtual coma where I can't speak or make sense of anything and I can't tell anyone what I need, because I don't know what that is. Where only my eyes work and they are moving wildly around inside their frozen sockets, trying to make someone notice. Trying to tell them that there is still someone in here, even though I don't know who she is. I am trapped. Maybe my eyes are closed after all?

I. Who is I?

Today was black.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Day 172.1

I can eat salad. I am so excited. I can eat a big bowl of salad. And I like it.

I can't eat chicory leaves, or iceberg lettuce, or plain old garden lettuce but I can eat romaine. I can also eat Parmesan, little bits of chicken breast or teeny bits of bacon. Avocado, if it is cut up very small and Caesar dressing.

I can eat salad.

I can also drink juice if it is diluted and tastes like mangoes.

Oooh, and poached eggs. As long as they are on salad. As long as they are on salad. Who would have thought the humble lettuce leaf could bring so much joy? Of course in this bleak, mid-winter who would think of eating salad? And then it came to me; cold, green leaves = nice.

Hurrah for the salad. Everyone, eat salad!

I went shopping in Asda today, for two hours. I have a 'thing' with supermarkets, as long as they are cheap and have a good mix of clothes, books, DVD's, magazines, food, homewears and toiletries. I love it when you can find beautiful things in crappy places. I took my little bag of saved up coins from by cat bank, put it in one of those coin sorter machines, and got free (I know) stuff back. Love it. I got four, plain, plain, plain dinner plates for £2. Plain is very good at the moment because colourful things are winding me up. I think I was Amish in another life. I would quite like to be Amish sometimes. Sometimes Catholic…

I also bought strawberries; because I read somewhere you should eat strawberries. So, tomorrow morning I am going to try and eat strawberries for breakfast. I thought that might be a good time for eating strawberries. What did slightly disturb me was the fact that the strawberries came in a heart shaped punnet, and you know why that is.

Please note: I am not normally a fussy eater. I usually eat everything. I was brought up to eat everything on my plate – even if you didn’t like it. I can only assume depression/stress/medication makes you like food less. And smells. And people. And going outside. And life, in general.

But who cares? I can eat salad. I am also quite enjoying the writing today; just don’t tell, “You know who”.

Yellow today. Today was yellow. Probably should have been green because of the romaine...geddit? Romaine, lettuce, green?

Day 172

I was thinking I might like to go to church.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Day 171

I have a cushion on my head. I’m not entirely sure why or when I put it there. Obviously my deportment skills need some attention. It kind of keeps your head warm in an exotic fashion. It is also quite comforting. I might tie it on with an attractive length of garden twine. Or maybe a ribbon would cause less chaffing under the chin?

Not much to report really, but as “she” (the blog) keeps making me feel guilty about not recording my every (bowel) movement, (as I promised myself I would) I am going to endeavour to make more of an effort. Must try harder to keep journal, must try harder to keep journal…etc, etc, etc.

So…I slept ‘till 11am, watched some “Alias”, had a tiny, weenie croissant thingy and a cup of tea. Smoked a billion fags (yes the whole anti stimulant, eating thing is going very well, thankyouverymuch) and then started cleaning the house.

I got an extension on my lease yesterday, so I’m here for another two months, therefore I figured I should make it at least look habitable for the duration. Then I am going to take photos of the clean and tidy flat for posterity, because I shall never again live in such a lovely place.

Met my mate in town at 5pm, (it is still daylight at 5pm now – how depressing, no cover of darkness left) and had a nice coffee and a chat and then snuck off home. I was supposed to be going to an opening tonight but I developed shyness. Mainly because I have large, white dressings on both hands after a bout of painful scratching on Thursday night and feel like a freak. A shuffling, hands in pockets, chin-tucked-into-a-massive-jumper, eyes down, freak. And talking is not on my list of priorities at the moment. Or people.

My Friday counsellor noted interest in getting to know the defiant side of me that keeps sticking out at various intervals. She (the defiant side) is definitely about because everything is pissing me off. Expectations are the worst. Constantly feeling like people are expecting you to do something or be something. It all pisses me off, and all I can think is “WHY?” Why – everything. I just don’t get it. I don’t get the point of it all. Again.

I keep scaring myself silly with dreamlike fantasies of dragging knives up my arms or stabbing myself in the head and after watching the rather disturbing Panorama programme that was on the other night about the scary things that anti depressants can do to a body, I am flipping out about taking my medication. What if it makes things worse? What if it has already made things worse? Much easier to blame the medication than think that these thoughts are actually mine. Oooh, dejavu.

This must be very dull, I do apologise. Maybe I shall develop a doppelganger who is much more interesting and write about her instead. Maybe she shall be an International Woman of Mystery.

I heard my lousy drunkard neighbours shagging last night. It was h-o-r-r-i-f-i-c. And the resident dog has been barking solidly for the last week. Maybe everyone is lying dead in my block and that was the groaning I heard last night - not shagging but murder; and maybe the dog is barking to alert me to the fact that his owner is lying dead in a pool of her own vomit? Oh dear Lord.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Day 170

Those receiving benefit have a bad name. We all get lumped into the same untrustworthy bundle. Junkies, mentalists and the disabled…all mushed up together, regardless of circumstance.

I remember, when I was at my town’s local college before doing my degree, we “artists” were on a remote campus away from the main college; a gripe my lecturers always took as a personal snub from the board of education. We had crap facilities and were never taken seriously. We were later joined in our annexe, by a group of disabled students with severe mental health problems. While we were there, being tragic in our paint-splattered dungarees, taking ourselves way to seriously and self-harming because it was the “done thing”, they were being found trying to have sex with each other in the craft cupboard. Apparently the college sponsors didn’t like having such things so openly on view on the main campus. Best save the good seats for the employable. Non?

Today I found myself, back in the annexe with the others. I have looked at and called pretty much every letting agency in the city this week, trying to find myself a new home, but 'Housing' and 'Benefit' are dirty words and agencies and landlords alike don’t want to know. The nice areas are a no-no for the unemployed, sick or disabled so you have to be prepared to live in the areas where your head gets bottled of an evening and your cat gets a firework shoved up its arse if you dare to let it out. You have to want to live in flats where the close windows are all smashed in, where people lean on your buzzer all night long because their dealer won’t answer and they want in.

I sat outside a flat I was hoping to view today with the agent telling me I was an “unacceptable” tenant because I am currently on benefit and that she wouldn’t let me see the property I had previously been told I was entirely suitable for. Apparently the landlord had once had a tenant who was on benefit that didn’t pay their rent, so never again would a person receiving benefit darken his doorstep. It doesn’t matter that I have references coming out of my ears, or that I pay my rent every month, on time and have done so for the last 10 years. Or that I leave flats I vacate on excellent terms with my landlords. Or leave the flats immaculate before I leave. No, no, Sir, just because you have always done the right thing, you prissy little kiss-ass, that doesn’t matter at all because if you receive benefit you are untrustworthy scum, “just like the rest of them.”

Apparently it is too much to ask for a mattress without cum stains on it. And even if I do find somewhere, cum stains or not, my Mummy and Daddy have to write the landlord a letter, telling them they promise to pay the rent if I turn out to be the low-life, rent dodger they expected me to be.

Today I was made to feel dirty, irresponsible and untrustworthy and above all un-house-able. And then I cried.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

derit gnikcuf os ma i

Day 6745765076576287664

"You're kidding, right?"

"What?"

"Shut up!"

"You are really annoying me."

"Fuck-wit"

(One side of a conversation I am having with my blog at this particular moment in time. Oh, and that would be my side - her's was too annoying to type. And, "she" is a "she" because "she" is being a TOTAL bitch right now.)

"Piss off"

"I mean it"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Day...

I’m waiting.

For oh, so many things. But this morning, I am waiting for my groceries to be delivered. It took all the willpower in the world and about two hours to get online yesterday and make a list of things I could eat. Or thought I might want to eat over the next two weeks.

It is a well known, but perhaps understated fact that a diet of stimulants: sugar, caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol, increase anxiety. I have been told on many occasions to cut it out to help the panic attacks but felt I couldn’t cope without the artificial uppers to get me vertical. However, I am rarely vertical these days, so I figured, what would it hurt?

I haven’t had a drink for months. I miss that crazy, slack jawed effect that too many Jack and Coke’s has on me, but it limits the affects of the old anti depressants, and with the heady concoction of pharmaceuticals that I consume on a daily basis, I am too scared that one day I will be found, cold and grey, in a pool of my own vomit. I do wonder if the warnings that come from my dear stepfather and retired GP are merely scare tactics? But do you know what? I’m not prepared to gamble.

Tomorrow/tonight the “detoxing” begins. If I can get that amount of food into my mouth. I eat too little, (hence the constant sleeping) which is hilarious, considering my current girth. I’m sure they (the professionals) think I am lying when I say that I hardly eat. But then again they are the ones that keep telling me it’s not the medication. Who to believe…?

So, yes…waiting. I haven’t felt like talking since I went away to my Mum’s, which is why I haven’t written for a few days now. Writing at times is just like talking, especially when you live silently and sometimes I just don’t want to let anyone in. Sometimes it’s as simple as needing the space to gather my thoughts, just like anyone else.

This is the last five days in a nutshell…

Friday: I got on the train at 10.10am. With my hamster in my bag. That in it’s self deserves a round of applause, at least? Not the hamster part, but the fact that I got on a train, on my own - fully aware that I was going to be trapped on it, alone, for three-and-a-bit hours. And I didn’t die. I sat there with my laptop watching back-to-back episodes of “Alias”, much to the delight of the woman sitting next to me. I’m sure she must have wondered what the hell I was up to as every time she glanced at the silent screen, she caught glimpses of what could only be described, by an unsuspecting observer, as the beginnings of either soft porn or Guantanamo-style interrogation. I, on the other hand was Sidney Bristow in the flesh. Kick-ass, devious, criminal mind fighter.

When I got to my Mum’s I was thrown head first into normality, which for the untrained was agonising. A completely physical reaction of whooping, swirling angst as my body tried to recalibrate. Talking, eating and being around others for the next five days.

Saturday: I ran errands. Just like I used to. At home, I cannot do my own errands, yet there I was, list in hand, preparing to go into the village to pick up bits and pieces for a Burn’s night spectacular and my Mum’s birthday. Back at home, I sleep instead of doing things, but what would I have said to them? “I’m sorry I can’t help out, I have to sleep now”. My every day excuses that I use with myself don’t fit into the real world.

A small aside: My body has developed a rather spectacular anti-coping device, which comes in the form of complete and utter shut down. Without warning I am suddenly so physically tired that I have to sleep, wherever I am. It (the body) takes over. I have zero control. My tongue becomes too big for my mouth and I start slurring like I’ve had a thousand Alco-pops. My body becomes a lead sausage and my eyes roll. It is a thing of great beauty.

So, I battle hard to keep going, I smoke a thousand fags, one after the other, I drink strong tea, I stand outside in the gale like winds, and then I walk. One foot in front of the other. I keep walking, until I get to town and manage to purchase the Haggis in the stomach lining. “It cannot be in plastic”. I get the candles, the balloons; the weird tray from the charity shop for the beast to sit upon before my (step) father recites poems above its head and then menacingly slashes it with a knife that has been stuffed down his knee-sock all evening. I get the papers and mouse water bottle and then my father calls me up and asks if I want a lift home.

So I go home and stop fighting the sleep.

Sunday: My Mum’s 59th birthday. I am having a very physical reaction to yesterday’s feat of gargantuan proportions and my body does not want to co-operate. I take my vitamins; I take Diazepam. I drink very strong espresso. I pace and mutter, and then we go out to lunch. Food in front of me and very noisy children beside.

We come home, I am overcome and I sleep.

I get up and we have Birthday cake and I have a mouthful of champagne, which I am completely convinced, made me drunk.

I slept again. “Happy Birthday Mama.”

Monday: Wobble, crash, sleep. Oh and mum bought me a whistle, which I then proceeded to 'snake charm' her with all the way home in the car. I'm sure she loved every second.

Tuesday: I came home. On the train. On my own. (Again, with my small charge in the bag). The train was noisy and full of rambunctious twenty year olds drinking Strongbow. The lights were on because it was after 4pm and they were bright and hurt my eyes. I was hungry and tired and hated every second. But…I did it, and I’m not dead.