Category Archives: Cloudlife

Mr Fox! I Hate This Game, Sir. This Game Makes My Tongue Quite Lame, Sir.

So, for nearly twenty-one years of my life, I couldn’t say the letter ‘r’, at least, not in the context of words like ‘red’, ‘really’, ‘green’ or ‘cream’. No, it’s all ‘Where’s Wodewick’ and ‘weally gween cweam’, except with the merest hint of ‘v’ thrown in for good measure. Seriously. Fail. And my friends and housemates have all over time found this hilarious and even once made me record myself singing the rainbow song. Honestly, I sounded like a creepy Dr Who Evil Child kind of a character, which must be really scary to have as an alarm waking you up but there we go, it takes all sorts.

And then one day quite recently I worked it out, how to do it properly, so it’s neither a ‘w’ or a hard rolled ‘r’ but somewhere tidily in between, a real ‘r’, like most people manage. And it’s easy, and natural-sounding, and normal. But actually it still takes concentration, a lot of the time, to catch those ‘r’s as they approach, and make sure you say them properly. And it takes practice and when I’m tired or I’ve got a lot to say, I struggle to remember or think it important. But hey, I have to keep remembering and doing it right or I’ll never learn and my children will be just as bad at it and so it goes on.

Anyway. I was proud of myself. So I just thought I’d tell y’all. Enjoy…!

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If You Feel Like Getting A Bit Angry Today…

…read this. It’s by Janet Street Porter so it’s no surprise that it’s paragraph upon paragraph of utterly insulting, uninformed, discriminatory, ignorant and errant nonsense.

The point is though that she should not be able to get away with publishing an article like that. I mean, would she be allowed to write an article saying that, say, homosexuality was a myth? Or that it wasn’t possible to be transgendered and people should just get on with being whatever gender their body appears to be? Doesn’t just reading those last two sentences just make your toes curl with how utterly offensive that would be? So therefore how come she can publish an article in which she completely rubbishes depression?

So, what you’re going to do next is you’re going to complain to the Press Complaints Commission using their handy form, which you can find by clicking the ‘making a complaint’ box. They ask you to read a couple of things first, they don’t take long to skim and it’s worth doing, it’ll take you a couple of minutes, no more.

There’s also a Facebook group here where you might find more information on what action ends up being taken if any. Please just don’t think, ‘oh it’s Janet Street Porter it’s bound to be awful, end of’. Because yes. It’s JSP. It’s bound to be awful. But it doesn’t need to be so horrifically offensive or so freakishly delusional.

Mental illness is real. You don’t need me to tell you that, though I have, time and time again. Ask any person on the street if they know or have ever encountered someone with depression, and the vast majority will (if they’re being honest), say yes. It’s another one of those ‘my best friend is black’ things: a lot of people might think that depression is something people say they have in order to get out of doing the washing up, as we say in my family (long story), except in the case of ‘my best friend so-and-so, she really had it’. Well, so do an awful lot of other people. No-one would choose to sit around in bed staring at the wall if they didn’t have to. No-one would give themselves that label, that stigma, if it weren’t true. And it is a label and a stigma and don’t tell me it isn’t. Talk about glass ceilings.

Anyway, please write to the PCC. This is important, folks. Seriously.

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Thought

I just realised: when I’m in a bad mood I am now annoyed about it, whereas that used to be my default until more recently than I care to admit or think about it (by which I mean I don’t know when…) and so I just accepted it. I know this because I was putting on some music and decided to head back down memory lane and listen to some music I listened to a lot in late spring of last year. And I realised I chose that artist, those songs, because she complemented the mood I was in. Not that I was wallowing, just that happier music seemed a bit shallow or false or something. And now I pick music that puts a grin on my face and makes me want to dance because even if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed (literally this never happens, I gravitate, always, to the right, and end up on the brink, ready to fall out the moment I dare move. Weird) I know that I’ll be back to my old cheery self in minutes. But today, I’m strong enough to wallow. So there.

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I'm Going To Be Away All Weekend Again So…

…have some of the Notes I found on my phone.

Nine:

Rob says: “PESSAMIST: DIFFICULT IN EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

OPTOMIST: OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY DIFFICULTY”

(I love him but he can’t spell).

Six:

I wonder what of the music being made now will stand the test of time:? I have a theory that by and large the music that hits the charts now from less popular genres has broken through that particular barrier so maybe they will last?

(As you might have guessed the time stamp on this one is definitively the wee hours).

Eight:

I have actually developed a minor crush on that last guy becuase he takes photos of his pets and flowers :S !

Renegade Brass Band.

(talking to H at photosoc one night. Well, writing her a note, anyway).

Four:

Some kind of emotional dive bar I crank out the same feelings like cheap spirits or piss-weak beer in seedy profligacy. Discounts and doubling up so you get twice as much cliche for your cash and could drown your wretched face in the brine spilling from my eyes.

I imagine my heart skittering across a tiled marble floor – black and white, Italian, leaving a trail of shining scarlet blood, gappy, clotted, lumps and gouts and thin translucent trails between, and the toe of your shoe as you walk away, red on brown leather, pointed, shining.

(Jenny goes all emo ‘n’ ting).

Three:

‘Course you’re not, you’re not scared of anything. Box falls out of the sky, man falls out of box, man eats fish custard!’

(The first episode of the latest series of Doctor Who. As if you didn’t know).

Ten:

“…and every time we did it, it was destroying me inside…”. X’s testimony. Sex. Guilt. Oh, help.

Five:

Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards.

Seven:

Random Man At Bus Stop: What he’s looking at is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen, yet he can’t quite believe it and however much he loves it it hurts his eyes as it – she? – and now (if I ever wasn’t) I am extrapolating wildly, from my mute seat here in this bus in the slowly waking springtime heart of the city – walks towards him. The end. The beginning. Chapter One.

(Please tell me I’m not the only one that makes up stories about the people I see waiting for buses/on trains/on other journeys?)

Two:

You are the person that I love most that I’ve ever met. Shofolk sandals, £125.

(No, I don’t know either. I think one’s a quote from what is quite unreasonably one of my favourite books, and one is, well, shoes).

The rest of my notes are excruciatingly dull, the end.

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Thank You, Lucy

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

“Been in a relationship, and all that goes with that.” – so says Lucy, and the same is true (and significant) for me too.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I think my resolutions last year were fairly similar to my resolutions for this year, and I didn’t actually keep them, but I probably was more organised and got more exercise and so on and so forth than I expected to. I also lost the weight I wanted to lose.

3. Did someone close to you give birth?

Nope…

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?

Wales – that was about it! It was beautiful though.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Well, a little more money, to be brutally honest! I would like to be consistently well and happy and I think that’s actually a possibility now.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Heavens, what a question. I don’t know. 20th June, obviously; 27th August and 12th September for their impact on my university life; 25th July for being the date upon which I gave up smoking.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?

Well, you know, I passed six of those modules! Shame about the two I failed.

9. What was your biggest failure(s)?

I’m back in the first year, so there you go. That’s been what’s miffed me most, to be honest!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, not really – other than the obvious. But fingers crossed that’s that.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Lots of pretty dresses and things. My shopping life was rather fun, it has to be said.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

A, as ever. P, though not necessarily all the time. My family for finally getting it. My head of year and tutor for their wonderful and understanding attitude.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Hrm. This isn’t a very nice question. But I’ve learnt to confront anyone whose behaviour I wasn’t best pleased with and sort out my own problems. I didn’t always behave wonderfully either and I’m still learning to take actual personal responsibility for that.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Other than rent and food, of course, I’ll go with travel and drinks and clothing and meals out, because, well, I’m interesting like that. But my new theory is that disposable income is probably best spent on having a good time with the people you like, so if all my spare money goes on getting me to places where I can be with people I like, then so be it. Thankfully this means that in term times, I don’t spend too much on non-essentials – I can walk most places I want to get to. S’all good.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I don’t know – lots of things were pretty exciting. I’m a bit like a small child when it comes to things to look forward to, I get all jumpy and giggly if I’m excited about something, even if it’s as small as meeting up for a good chat over a cup of tea. I’m the kind of person who, when on my own, can be spotted striding down the high street grinning like the cat who got the cream, beaming out at the whole world, because I’m excited or happy.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or Sadder? Happier. Unequivocably.
ii. Thinner or fatter? Thinner, thank goodness. And furthermore, no longer thinking about it really. I was fat last year though – not entirely sure how, perhaps because I got so very little exercise and when I ate, I ate – but now I’m a decent weight.
iii. Richer or Poorer? Possibly poorer, possibly about the same. Still, poor enough that the difference is immaterial.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I don’t think anything springs to mind. More work, perhaps. I just always find that time passes too quickly, and so it always seems like you haven’t done quite enough of this or that.


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Winding myself up. Silly thing. Still, too late now.


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent it at my aunt’s with my nearest and dearest and it was lovely.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?

You already know what I think about love.


23. How many one-night stands?

I didn’t have sex with any total strangers this year (or any year); however I did, I’ll admit, sleep with two friends or acquaintances when I wasn’t in fact in any kind of committed relationship, so, well, two.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Don’t know. All kinds. I’m pretty fickle.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

26. What was the best book you read?

I don’t know, many, more, lots. I discovered Ted Hughes and Jeanette Winterson (especially Written on the Body) and you definitely should too.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

“Can I cop out here and say Spotify?” – agreed, Lucy. I discovered a lot of new music and it’s probably best if I just say that I’ve got into a lot of new genres this year and damn glad I am too. Folk, funk, lots of classical stuff I’d barely known about, my life is much the richer for it all, and thank you, you know who you are.

28. What did you want and get?

Erm. I don’t know. Lots of things. Probably. Happiness and stuff. Yeah. I suppose I wanted to stop being single but to be honest I was fine with being single for a while and I’d accepted that, so ‘being in a relationship’ wasn’t something I wanted so much as a UXB (UneXpected Bonus). Not that I’m not happy not to be, far from it.

29. What did you want and not get?

To get into the second year. Fail.

30. Favourite film of this year?

Erm, I don’t know. I didn’t see all that many films to be honest and I can’t remember those I did see…!! I didn’t see many films from this year; I watched all kinds of things, especially stuff with the infamous Daniel Craig in, and I rather liked The Mother, and also Sylvia, but I wouldn’t say they were favourites as such necessarily.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My birthday? I was 20. A few days before my birthday I went out for a lovely meal with family and attendant boyfriends (that implies I have more than one; I mean we have one each. Not my parents, though, that would be weird). On my birthday, well, the day before, I went to P’s house to meet/see lots of his friends, for chilli and wine and a midnight happy birthday kiss and to be kept awake all night by the grandfather clock. And for my birthday P gave me a ticket to Towersey and I had a wonderful, wonderful time. So, yeah, a good birthday.

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I would have been happier for more of it. I had every reason to be happy, I just couldn’t be happy. Think I will be this time round though, which is the first time I’ve been able to say that and believe it for years and years and years.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

It started off a bit mad – my body as no more than a clothes horse for odd shapes and colours and combinations; now I have a lot more confidence in my body so I think I’m finally allowing my naturally good taste to flourish by usually looking quite nice and well put-together and wearing jeans that don’t have holes in. It’s got a bit less grubby; I don’t go for hoodies and sloppy jeans quite so much any more.

34. What kept you sane?
In the end, myself.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Daniel Craig. Obviously.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Climate change, the environment, sustainability, good ethics. It’s all interlinked and we’re in real trouble and no-one seems to have the first clue what can be done on the grander scale to do anything about any of these things.

37. Who do you miss?

I don’t really miss anyone as such. I’m losing touch with some friends but I think that’s mutual and it’s a shame but it’s also the way things go and when I have more time and can travel more easily then maybe I can change that but for now, I’m sorry, and I miss you, but you could make more effort too.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I met a lot of people this year. P, of course, but then I would say that. He makes me very happy. H and M for being such great friends; and I didn’t meet her this year but I only got to know her this year – my housemate H especially. Everyone else I really value I also already knew.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Finally I learnt that I have as much to recommend me as anyone else. I have every reason to have confidence in myself. And I’m not perfect. I think in those two things, as far as I’m concerned, lies the recipe for happiness.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I have no idea. I don’t really listen to songs for their lyrics any more. It was a good year. Here’s to a better one. And to all a good night.

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Cloudlife

I have just written what I hope is the last ever entry on Cloudlife. I don’t know why I’m saying this here because actually, what I feel more than anything now is that there is no reason now for anyone to need to know about any of it. Yes, I was depressed, and yes, it had huge ramifications, which you can read about if you like. But there are now very few areas of my life in which any of that is still relevant. I have days like anyone else when I feel a little inadequate, but I know how to talk myself back into the good mood I’ve been in recently. I can’t say for certain yet whether any of this will stick but I fervently believe that it will, if only because I now have what I believe are the mental ‘tools’, if you like, to continue being OK, and I’ve learnt that being happy isn’t always a passive thing. I have also managed to understand why and how I ended up how I did, and how none of that is at all relevant to who I am now and in the future.

I say ‘very few’ areas of my life in which that is still relevant. I still think I need this time to myself, on my own, to be a strong and independent woman. There are still ways in which I lack the self-belief I should probably have. I am, as ever, a work in progress. But something like redecorating a house – the new curtains are up, the floorboards are varnished, the rugs and furniture replaced, the only things that change now will be the finishing touches – where the pictures are hung, the flowers in the vase, the covers on the beds.

I merely thought you should all know, in case you were curious to see, in one (mammoth) entry, how it all ends – and how it all begins.

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Very, Very Simply…

…this is what has happened to me in the last few days.

Friday:  I got up. I put on the radio. I rang my parents. I procrastinated. I got on the train. I sat on the train reading my book. Reading my book. Reading my book. I bought a coffee at my change when I realised I was getting off exactly the same train as I would have got off en route to see P only a week ago. This made me a bit sad so I bought coffee and read more. And read more. And sat on a train, still reading, not looking at the view, not looking at the view, England is too beautiful. My mother met me off the train having had a minor crash of the sort one has in carparks which really cannot wedge in that sheer volume of traffic you get off the major cross country commuter train at that time of day. We got home, we cooked, and I felt pretty tearful but OK. Being at home was difficult and I thought this was all to do with the fact that (of course) this is a world that P had actually inhabited on a fairly regular basis and I had memories of him doing so, so up to a point he was everywhere if I looked carefully enough, so I tried not to look. And I watched telly and went to bed and woke up early (Saturday:) and feeling very tearful and fragile so I climbed into my parents bed for tea and talking before we got ready to go out for a walk and yes, before we left, I threw up again, but it was already becoming obvious that however I was feeling had almost nothing to do with P, not really, though I still thought it did (and yes of course I still miss him but as you will soon see I can’t even think about that now because this is time in which I really need to focus on myself. I have a goal and a plan and a lot of elastoplasts to rip off).

Got to the town of Riverford (obviously it isn’t called that but it’ll do for a pseudonym). It’s one of those villages typical of my county and of middle England, all weird little delis selling expensive organic bread and strange relishes made from unexpected vegetables, clothes selling nothing but hemp baby clothes or chinoiserie-style lamps, tea shops, and so on, with churches and pubs scattered with a liberal hand between houses cute as buttons in brick, flint, sugary coloured paint and stone [thatch as appropriate]. Full of insanely posh people in wellies and drapey clothes, or elderly ladies in prim tweed skirt suits and alarming updos, and featuring, this saturday, of course, a Craft Fayre. And everything about it physically hurt. Too beautiful, too saccharine, too sweet, too chocolate-box. Normally I’d just laugh at it but today everything was so bloody lovely that I couldn’t deal with it. I cried at trees, babies, tea, coffee, cake, old women – or rather, wanted to. I spent hte whole morning in an agony of pent up emotion which I couldn’t place or understand, feeling like the problem was mainly that I felt out of place in the life I was living and I wanted to be mid-forties, now, happy and settled in my body and my life with children and a stunning garden and a tendency to bake cakes just because someone was going to pop round for tea later. Bored already of being twenty. I want to be cool and middle aged and still go to Towersey and things, I want to have the most intriguing, relaxed garden, bizarre hobbies, and just be content and comfortably, endearingly eccentric, with sons and daughters that beautiful, interesting people would fall in love with. And I thought that that was what was upsetting me, that I can’t have that dream, not like that, not yet, and that I’m terrified now I’m single again that I’ll never find anyone else (nonsense, but…). And I thought that that was what was getting me down, just a really odd sideshoot of breaking up with P, the panicked awful thought that I might never find anyone ever again. And that wasn’t it at all.

And we set off for our walk, and then my mother pointed out how I’m always negative about everything – myself, the things around me, everything. I reject potential new ideas and solutions out of hand. And suddenly it hit home that yes I am constantly negative and with that realisation came billions of other realisations, flooding in and in and in – I wasn’t especially ugly or geeky or weird at school and it wasn’t my fault so much as the fault of everyone and everything around me that I was so ostracised. The fact that I may have been like that then doesn’t need to have any bearing on who or how I am now. I am beautiful and funny and clever and good company and wonderful and actually some day I might feel it as well as know it. If you say to someone, are you free, let’s go and get a drink/lunch/coffee, they will almost certainly say ‘yes’ or if not yes ‘I’m not around now, but what about tomorrow’. People want other people around. People are all on the look out for new friendships and will welcome those new friendships where they’re offered and where they work. The world needn’t be such a lonely place as I think it is, and the people who really care for me aren’t going to stop doing so just because I live a few miles away or because we don’t have the time to see so much of one another any more. Life doesn’t need to be like this. And so on, and so on. I can hardly remember even a tenth of what I came out with, halfway across a field near Riverford, in floods of tears, with my parents. And I felt something finally shift in my head, something I can’t yet put my finger on. I must have cried for hours and I am terrified about what this means and I spent most of Sunday crying as well. I am terrified about what happens next, about how I’ll cope and how long it’ll take before I feel better again. Then we went home and ate and watched telly and so on.

Sunday: I woke up hideously early but managed to get back to sleep. I spent the morning and most of the afternoon crying as well. Spoke to my aunt about how to find a counsellor and what to do from here and concluded the best thing to do is to stay put at home for now and hopefully return to Uni Town in a week or so. I’m not suspending my studies – hope is I can get back into lectures in, like I say, a week or two, and that before then I can do enough work to know what’s actually going on. I feel that I can do this, but I’m not sure what to expect or how long it’s going to take me to get from this complete unravelment and near inability to be left alone for long or really to leave the safety of my house and parents, to functioning and ‘OK’. Supportive texts from a number of people – housemate J, A – my wonderful cell-leader from Church, longest friend R, and P, with various degrees of understanding.

Monday: currently writing this from my father’s office at work. He’s out for the day in London and my mother works in the office next door. But, oh no, he’s back. Draft saved.

Tuesday: The rest of Monday was OK actually and I ended up spending the evening in on my own, watching telly, which was fine. Mornings are still hellish, of course, and I don’t suppose I’ll be able to eat until a late lunch. First of all I’m going to talk to the counsellor I found in Sheffield, over the phone, and in case I end up here for longer than expected I’ve found a couple of counsellors here to try out and I’ll hopefully have fixed on a potential counsellor today who would be able to see me on a regular basis if I needed it. I feel, today and yesterday, far more likely to be OK soon, and I’ve realised with the help of a number of people that a) I am not mad and this is in no way unusual, plenty of people have a bit of a Moment like this and it’s actually rational and normal, albeit a little extreme and b) it’s not helpful to think of myself as mad (because you start thinking ‘oh no I have so many issues! How will I ever be OK?!’ and that in itself pushes you over the edge a bit as I found over the weekend). I’ve started taking myself apart and am now putting myself back together again and I need a bit of help to do so but I am not ill, or delicate, or anything. I am just perfectly well and sane and things, thank you, and soon I’ll be so bloody competent you won’t know what’s hit you. But right now I’m a bit fragile, emerging from some kind of chrysalis, wait to insult me until my wings have dried, thanks ever so much!

Just so you know.

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So, Here We Go.

I wrote this title a few days ago and now have no idea what I originally intended to write. Anyway. A better day again today, and I feel like I’m getting the ground under my feet. I’m still not in a position to say much of interest or wit.

But today I have eaten two satsumas for breakfast, and I had lunch too, and I may even have supper. I weigh less than I have in years and I have the presence of mind to feel pleased about that however much I know that I’ve lost it in a stupid way (a few weeks of utter silliness, and then the shock of a break-up which to be fair left me with no choice about the not-eating thing whatsoever).

I want to go out running. I have a number of things I want to join – in terms of societies and music groups and volunteering things and so on.

And furthermore, I am right now, as we speak, sitting down on my own in J’s room (admittedly not mine but that’s because I live in the attic and it’s nice to know that life is going on around me even if I’m not currently taking part in it). I am on my own, writing, thinking, and that’s a huge improvement. Yesterday I couldn’t be alone – surrounded by people but not talking to them was OK although not brilliant, but now here I am all alone and feeling utterly fine.

What’s more, I want to go shopping for shoes. Specifically the feistiest, gutsiest, most beautiful ankle boots that ever lived, to be worn with thick tights and dresses and possibly big socks as well, to be danced in, to make my legs look good by the contrast, and to make me happy. That and a new pair of Very Silly High Heels. I know I don’t have the money, but to be fair I’ve hardly spent any money recently on food or on going out or anything and I’ve been back in UniTown for over a fortnight and I haven’t yet bought anything I can wear so this definitely needs to be rectified before I get committed to some kind of institution – not-having-bought-anything is incredibly out of character as you may have already realised. (Statistical Snippet From The Summer – I may have bought over £500-worth of clothing and footwear since exams in June *shifty whistle*).

I am doing other sensible things, too. To be utterly honest as I always am, this involves setting up therapy with a private counsellor who has the sort of no-nonsense approach (I think she does, I got that impression, anyway) that should really help me. And I have The Horrible Book to work through, wot the doc gave me, Overcoming Low Self-Esteem (I think that’s its name) which burns my fingers when I touch it (or rather, more importantly it burns my very soul…) but I think once it’s taken me apart a bit it might put me back together. Or rather, I will do all of those things with the help of that book, and my counsellor, and my doctor, and my family, and my friends, and just you fucking wait. I want to show you. And you, and you, and you, you, you. I will be unstoppable.

Right now, though, I need to go and distract myself from myself before I do something horrific – like burst into tears. These last few days, everyone I know has probably seen or heard me cry, and that’s not good, before that, no-one had seen me cry in years bar P, once, and my family, a while back when I hit my head on a ceiling-corner very hard (attic gable-window angle, you know the things, they’re the very devil, of course I cried then, but other than that, not so much. I sometimes might end up crying on my own but no-one ever sees me do it and that’s all changed lately. Fun).

Anyway, there you go. A bit of a crazy whirlwind tour through the more rational bits of my current mindset. Promise you, things here will get more interesting in a bit.

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Just So You Know

I thought (some day) that we’d be simple together. I thought it would work. But apparently not right now. You’re not in the right place, nor am I. Before we can even think about being there for anyone else, we have to be able to be ourselves, sorted, and right now we just can’t do that. I really miss you, but I understand, and the only way, now, is up.

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Chicken Soup; Tidy Home, Tidy Mind; Man Up.

Woke up hideously early in the morning; read for a while, then tidied the kitchen until it gleamed. Sadly we don’t own a mop or a broom so shoes are still de rigeur, and there’s no recycling or glass bins yet so there are bottles, boxes and assorted plastic items in a heap by the back door, mixed in with pegs and shopping bags. But it’s not unhygienic, and it’s not impossible to work in, and that’s something.

Now I’m going to tidy my room and it’s going to be beautiful. Not a wire or a greying pair of knickers drying over a drawer handle to be seen, promise. There will be a box of things to go home, and space for a load of new things to come up. Then I’m going to fill in a few more forms, and I’m going to go to the post, and I’m going to go into town, and I’m going to buy a finally-I-got-my-loan treat for under a tenner (I’m thinking new knickers, always fun), and I’m going to get on a train and listen to something mellow and knit. Then I’m going to get off the train and have a wonderful weekend.

You see, I’ve decided that the best way to be OK is to make myself be OK. I am pretty and worthwhile and I can do the washing up, see? I am intelligent and interesting and I can break hearts if I want to. I can impress parents, sometimes. I can befriend random strangers at pubs and parties and on buses. I can knit. I am going to garden things. I go to lectures and I read books and I live and I’m trying to get a job. And the people in my life are there because they want to be, and because I want them to be, because if they didn’t want to be, they wouldn’t be. That is how the world works.

The doctor prescribed me a book.

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