Tag Archives: mental health

R U OK?

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Today is R U OK day. It’s a day where we can put borders on our profile pictures that say “R U OK?” and share statuses to prove that we’re always listening. Somewhere in that, is an attempt to dispel stigma associated with not being OK.

Most of my friends on Facebook aren’t psychologists or counsellors, so I don’t tend to write about it on social media when I’m not travelling well. I absolutely have friends that I know I can shoot a message to if I need support, and vice versa. I absolutely have friends that I know without a doubt would walk with me every step of the way to seek out help. First stop for me is generally my GP.

My GP is pretty good at helping me out when I’m not able to say that I’m OK. She’s equipped to manage that messy side of my head. And she’s able to help me get the help I need when R U OK profile pictures don’t really cut it.

I know this sounds pretty jaded. And to be honest, I’m feeling pretty jaded. I know that a lot of the LGBTQI community in Australia can’t say yes, I am OK at the moment. But who is equipped to actually help us? Not just do the whole “Sending hugs” or “Inbox me, babe” stuff, but to actually help?

Reach Out has published a resource regarding self care, and where to go for support if you need it. You’ll find it here.

It makes me very angry that already, those postal surveys have started arriving in mailboxes across Australia. You can tick yes or no. Then you post it back. And just like that, you get to make a decision regarding the lives of the community I am a part of.

Just like when I got to vote about your relationshi- oh hang on, that didn’t happen.

Just like when Howard asked us if we’d like him to change the marriage act – oh, wait, that didn’t happen either.

I’ve read lots of posts about the Church wanting to protect marriage because the Bible. They’re concerned about religious freedoms. I don’t think religious freedoms include being able to serve in a church if you’re gay, or being made to feel welcome and equal, but they do extend to being able to put money in the collection plate.

Look, I don’t agree with their argument, but I do understand how they’ve arrived at it. But I’d hoped that the overarching themes of love, grace, mercy and compassion would be resulting in a different slant on social media comment sections. Ultimately, it’s really unlikely churches are going to be forced to conduct weddings when both parties are of the same sex. It’s not like churches have a track record of respecting and accepting gay couples as equals, so why on earth would we want to celebrate our love there? I’ve particularly been impressed by the logic that drives them to say that children need a mother and father, which is helpful for single parent families; and that marriage is for creating children, which is helpful for couples who have found themselves unable to have children.

I have Christian friends who are some of the boldest supporters we have.

The No side are absolutely allowed to have their opinion and not be labelled homophobic bigots.

The Yes side are absolutely allowed to have their opinion and not be equated to paedophiles.

We’ve been put into a position where suddenly, the extreme opinions and voices have come out to play. There have been no protections on this debate up until yesterday. But it’s worth keeping in mind that every single thing you have said in this debate, you actually have to be proud that you said it when this is all over. Every comment you have made regarding another human being – you have to be OK with yourself when the dust settles.

Therefore maybe it is helpful that today is R U OK day. People die from this kind of stigma. People die because they feel alone or because they feel like there’s just no point. We have a mental health crisis in Australia – a crisis that could use all kinds of funding. In the past I’ve written about my own experience with mental health; I’ve shared how I’ve gotten through. And each time, it’s come back to the first step of going to my GP and getting help.

Because help is out there.

To Australia’s LGBTQI community, I’m sorry this is happening to us. None of us wanted this – to be made public property and to be at the heart of a huge amount of wasted funding. And in honesty, there are churches out there that really do live out the Bible, so if you are that way inclined, seek them out. If you’re not, head to your GP. Or check out the resources in the link above.

We’re a strong community.

We’re resilient.

We’ve fought when we shouldn’t have had to.

We’ve risen up with love.

We’ve stood up for love.

We have many allies.

We have people for us.

It may not be what we want, but eventually, somehow, it’ll be OK.

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Lucked Up

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I got dressed for the gym today then immediately got changed. I wanted to go to the gym but my head is so bleark at the moment. Very frustrating battle of wills occurring regularly. But I thought to myself, I won’t let it beat me – I’ll go out and finish some Christmas shopping.

Because that will help.

Doing battle with crowds.

Parking wars.

Trolleys.

Six seater strollers blocking aisles.

But I persisted.

I was in Big W for about 5 minutes, hunting everywhere for stockings. The kind that you wear on your legs, I’m not sure why people wear stockings, I used to wear them for school and have holes in them by recess. Anyway I needed them for a game at Cubs on Monday night. Logic told me they would be in the underwear section. Near the socks, I reasoned.

But there were no socks in the underwear section.

I was close to losing my shit when I heard a voice say “Some people are so fucking rude!”. I turned around and saw a friend of mine with her two kids, both sporting massive grins because Skunk (they’re two of my Cubs) didn’t spot them. We made plans to grab a coffee then went on to finish shopping.

It turns out that Big W now has their socks near the shoes, and the stockings are indeed with the socks.

I then met up with my friend with a coffee in tow, and promptly got shat upon by a bird.

Now, apparently this is good luck. I have a feeling that the person who deemed a head full of bird shit ‘good luck’ is also the same tool who suggested that it is good luck if it rains on your wedding day. After encouraging me to buy a lottery ticket, my friend wiped the shit out of my hair.

I drove home, returned to my funk of a mood. I don’t know what is going on in my head but it isn’t nice there at the moment.

Yesterday, beloved and I were driving somewhere, and a 4WD pulled out in front of us. In my panic and fright I wanted to get out of the car. And I was rude to my beautiful beloved. And I felt like a total bitch of a person. I apologised and bawled and tried to explain that I don’t know what’s wrong with me but something is wrong. But I don’t know what – just that horrible anxious feeling that fills my head with a sense of doom.

When we got home, beloved stopped me and said, “Instead of thinking about what is wrong, let’s say a few things that aren’t wrong: It isn’t you. You’re not wrong. You’re OK. This stuff is just external.”.

She’s the best ever.

On my way home, one of my favourite songs came on the radio. It’s kind of like a unicorn, I hear it really rarely but when I do it fills me up with hope. So I kept on driving, so that I could hear all of it. And I sang badly and loudly and just drove, swallowed up in the bath of music and splashing around in it, letting it wash away all the shit in my brain.

And it helped.

Then I went home and did the same thing, but in a shower, and removed the actual shit from my hair.

Swings and roundabouts.

Moon and More

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I shared this morning about how that pain in the arse anxiety had been lingering around this week making a nuisance of itself. I write about this kind of thing fairly openly. The reason? Because I figure if I have to battle with this kind of thing, then I can’t be the only one. So by writing about it, I am letting at least one other person know that they aren’t all alone. Makes pretty good sense to me.

We’ve had a funny old week.

I turned 38 a week ago, which we marked by getting a birthday tattoo. I’d been wanting to get this one for a long time, so it was really special to see it finally etched onto my skin:

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My mum’s signature, and a butterfly in ‘her’ colours. 

But before we did the inking, beloved and I went to a writing awards afternoon tea. I’d entered a writing competition a couple of months ago, and got an email inviting me along to the presentation to the winners. It was on my birthday so I figured, why the hell not. And beloved and I went along.

But it turned out that I totally WON! I took out first place with my piece, “Check Out”, which you can read here. Let me know what you think. The writing competition coincided with the International Day for People with Disabilities. I wrote about Aspergers.

Here’s me with cameras in my face. Awkward.

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Winner winner, chicken dinner!

The weekend was of course the Santa Run. It was awesome, and I am still really proud that I did it.

But then Monday. Then Tuesday. Then Wednesday. And now, Thursday.

And for some reason, the culmination of those days resulted in a bit of a slump, with anxiety lurking around behind me as I try to navigate my days. I don’t know what the cause is, I don’t think there is a single cause.

But there is good news.

Because after I told the lovely folks on the Facebook page that I’d been duelling with anxiety, several of them said “Same here”. And just like that, I wasn’t all alone. And it helped, enormously. Because we’re all in this together, aren’t we?

A bit of a smile to end the day upon:

Beloved and I have been doing the Elf on the Shelf thing this year. I’ll do a full post about our Elf and his adventures later in the month, but this morning I had a brilliant idea. Beloved was fast asleep after coming home from a night shift. I was boiling Christmas puddings, when it came to me: The best ever idea for our Elf. It involved a bauble from the Christmas tree, some string and a big piece of tape. I positioned him, then woke up my beloved. As she got out of bed I started singing Wrecking Ball. She gave me a look for introducing Miley Cyrus to the bedroom, but when she opened the floor she collapsed into giggles.

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So, you know. Life. It goes up and down. In and out. But we’re not alone. There’s always someone to talk to, be it a friend or a doctor or a relative or a pet or your reflection. They’re all valid resources. And days are temporary, there’s another one on the way. And in the meantime, there are always elves.

Mental Health Month: Ivy Pearl Roses

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Beloved and I drive past the local cemetery several times a week.

I often try to catch a glimpse of the rabbits that swarm to the cemetery for some vampire-like zombie reasons, I’m sure. But this week, just yesterday, I caught a glimpse of a name on a tombstone.

Ivy Pearl Roses

The name made me smile. I disappeared into an imaginary world where dear Ivy Pearl had parents who were early onset hippies, deciding that they would bestow upon their daughter the name of living things, natural things, in the hope that as she grew up she would value the natural world and the beauty that is in it, the restorative nature of life and the like. That Ivy Pearl grew into a woman who spearheaded the equal education of women and girls, a woman who had several dogs and a garden and spent her days writing stern letters to the editor and toddling to the local postbox, licking the stamp and shoving it into place with a thumb that had a nail full of dirt from her garden.

Ivy Pearl Roses.

Not just one rose, but plural. I’ve heard the surname Rose many times, and went to primary school with a beautiful local family of that name. But I’d never heard the surname Roses before. Ivy Pearl was a woman born into an abundance of beauty and buds and growth and fragrance. Her name alone was a three stage reminder of the important things in life: To grow in all circumstances; to remember that even a grain of sand can make a difference; to encourage boundaries and respect, lest you feel the pinch of thorns.

The thing is that Ivy Pearl Roses was transcribed upon an old tombstone. She didn’t appear in the cemetery recently. In reality, I’ve probably driven straight past her a million times, unable to see her name because I’d been trying desperately to spot the zombie rabbits.

There’s this irony that exists in mental health, and being as it is Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m going to share it with you.

You can be going great guns for days. Inspirational as all fuck. You can be fighting and working steadily in your wellness, strong, brave, bold, consistent. And then, life. And then, people. And then, change. And then disappointment. It doesn’t matter what your Achilles heel might be when it comes to your mental health. For a while it literally was my Achilles (which has recovered beautifully, by the way). But eventually, things can start to get harder to navigate. Your world might crumble a little bit. Your brain kicks into overdrive. Tears. Tiredness. It gets hard to form sentences. Hard to concentrate. Hard to wake up. Hard to sleep.

What gets me is that it is unreasonable to expect that life is always going to be a course of sheer inspiration and joy. You don’t get told this when you are trying to recover from mental illness. Instead you learn to measure your wellness by how you feel, instead of how you manage. The reality is that you are going to feel sad if bad stuff happens – and happen, it will. But that doesn’t mean your recovery is over, or regressing. It a side effect of engaging in life. And in my mind, engaging in life is the goal of recovery.

What does this have to do with Ivy Pearl Roses?

That’s easy. Her name is a beautiful reminder of life.

Grow in all circumstances. Remember that even a grain of sand can make a difference. Encourage boundaries and respect, lest you feel the pinch of thorns.

In the Jar

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Well hello! It has been AGES since I wrote a post on the blog. I could regale you with the list of reasons justifying my absence, but the quick version is that things went shitty, then started to get better. My head went along for the ride and thankfully things are looking good – or at least, I am dealing with them better.

While I was away, different bits and pieces happened. Scouty scored a spider bite to the bum, and beloved had her first ever showcase with her designs. I’m not sure why those two things are paired in my mind. But let us just enjoy the strange side by side resting of those events for a moment.

Hmm.

Anyway anyway, I was visiting my sister and my furry nephew, and I came home with this:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

It used to be my Nan’s, this sunflower jar. My nan was and is one of my best people, so I love that this jar is residing in my home. I popped it on my bedside table, promising that I would find a place for it later.

And to be honest, I am not really sure what came over me.

But a few days later, when beloved still hadn’t noticed it, I picked it up and showed her.

She asked what it is.

And for some reason, my brain said to itself, “Let’s just leave one little letter off the answer, ok?” and I agreed.

I replied with, “It’s Nan!”

Beloved (freezes): What did you say?

Me: It’s Nan.

Beloved: Um, you’re going to need to find a new place for your Nan’s ashes to go. Not in the bedroom.

Me (picking up the jar and popping it open): Why? It’s not like they’re going to spill or leap out at you.

Beloved: PUT THE LID BACK ON! PUT THE FUCKING LID BACK ON!

Me (Laughing hysterically. Segues into a pretend coughing fit. The jar, which is open, is fumbled, fumbled, fumbled…)

Beloved: FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!

Me: It’s empty darling.

Beloved (continues panicking).

Me (changes jarmie pants and tries to stop laughing).

Admit it. You’ve missed the blog.

I’ll try to blog more regularly, now that the sun is shining again.

When was the last time you wet yourself laughing?

The Granite Block

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This post is the result of much thought. And I know this could be a risky post. Not because of the content, but because I know I am writing to some people who might read it and decide I am having a go at them. I assure you, I am not. I’m really not.

I also want to say that I have friends who are Christians, whom I love. The very vast majority of them have continued to treat me exactly the same way as they did before I came out. And even though there are disagreements regarding marriage equality, we are adult enough to accept that people have different viewpoints. We remember in our hearts that we are human and that our history and the value we see in each other is reason enough to continue our friendship, regardless of differences.

And it’s because I know that you love me, that I want to bring this up:

Those posts you share, full of “buts” – they are doing a huge amount of damage.

I imagine that we all have this big block of granite, which represents our faith – in ourselves, in the god of our understanding, in people, in faith itself. When I was gathering up the courage to come out, I looked at my block of granite. I considered the people who I knew could be offended by what I had been puzzling about for years. I considered my understanding of the Bible, of the god I believed in. And in confidence in these things, I spoke those words: “I think I might be a little bit gay”.

For the most part, there was unending support. And when the US announced marriage equality this week, I loved the surprise of seeing Christian allies with their rainbow-tinted profile pictures. I was so proud of them, knowing all too well what they were risking in doing so.

Image by The Naughty Corner, and by that app thing that put a rainbow over your profile picture.

Image by The Naughty Corner, and by that app thing that put a rainbow over your profile picture.

But this announcement from the USA also saw an increase in those “but” posts.

Posts that share content that compares marriage equality to paedophilia, followed with a “but I am not judging you”. Posts that are prefaced with a “This is what I believe but I love everyone”.

That word.

But.

Now, back to that block of granite. I want you to consider what it is like, from this side of things. Having questioned your sexuality for most of your life. Knowing that being true to yourself risked rejection. Violence. Threats. Hatred. Having to consider and double consider what you say and where you say it and who you say it to. Usually, mental health issues, including anxiety, suicidal ideation, depression, self harm and so on. I’m not saying these are unique to the gay community – in fact, most Christians I know experience exactly the same thing with their faith.

This if nothing else should unite us.

When I first came out, trusting in my granite block, that first rejection was like a chisel rested on the granite and was hit by a mallet. And just like that, a chip was knocked away. I’ve been out for almost 5 years now. And that block of granite has changed shape significantly. In this last week, it has taken some almighty blows. But, but, but. Chip, chip, chip.

I could talk to the people who have shared this stuff individually. But I know that I can’t be the only one experiencing this. And also, perhaps stupidly, I don’t want to hurt them.

I could try to glue those chips back onto my granite block, and not let their well meaning daggers stab me too deeply. But I bet you’d still see the cracks on my granite block, wouldn’t you.

Source: freedomtomarry.org

Source: freedomtomarry.org

I expect that what is left is to either give up on my granite block, or write something that tries to explain what it is like, in the hopes that these words offer comfort to other people going through the same thing.

So here goes:

I love the Christian authors who publish articles, but I don’t love that you are flat out mean. I love the Christian artists that create pictures depicting their beliefs, but I don’t love that you are ignorant and cruel in your captions and assumptions. I love the Christian bloggers who are safe to share their faith without fear of persecution, but I really dislike being persecuted.

I love my Christian friends who share their “but” posts, but I wish you could understand the hurt it creates. Just like, I am sure, my rainbow picture hurts you. Just like my orientation hurts your faith. I get it. I really do. But please, before you hit “share”, consider the impact those words are going to have on all people.

Because really, what we are disagreeing on, is love.

And in the world we have in 2015, to disagree on love is a tragedy.

Hands

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I found this today:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

It’s a little plastic hand. It’s kind of bluey green, and has weaponry built into it. I guess they shoot lasers or act to disembowel enemies, or maybe open tins or remove corks from bottles or pick two nostrils at once or take down jets – no not jets, PTERODACTYLS – as they swoop through imaginations and attack, attack, ATTACK!

Just the hand. No other part of this toy. Just the hand.

It was in the backyard and I picked it up, the hand not the backyard, and put it in my pocket so I could look at it closer later. I took a photo of it and looked closer and I noticed a few things.

I noticed that the shadow that the hand casts makes my thumb nail look slightly yellow.

I noticed that my skin on my index finger is almost finished healing. I’d accidentally stabbed myself with a knife while cooking dinner a couple of weeks ago, and then last week I thought the result scab was a splinter so I spent a solid ten minutes digging and squeezing until I popped out the splinter. It wasn’t until I saw the resulting hole that I remembered stabbing myself with the knife. It was lasagne that I was cooking, at my sister’s, and it was awesome.

I noticed that my fingers are really quite dirty, and dry. I’d been in the backyard when I found that hand. You see, I decided to test myself today. I was feeling OK. Our backyard is relatively small. I spoke to my beloved about it, and then I got behind the lawn mower and slowly pushed it back and forwards, over the grass and the sneaky dog poo that evaded the scooper, the random leaves and the carcasses of tennis balls long deceased. Back and forwards. Across the yard. Back again. It took me probably three times as long as it used to. But I did it.

It was when I was pulling out the longer weeds that I found the hand.

Which is why my hands were dirty.

And now the backyard is mowed and I’ve had a shower and been on the nebuliser and now I am sitting, completely buggered. The cold of the day is settling in, which draws out the whoop in my cough.

But there is life in my hands. And I am using it to tell you about the hand that I found:

I found a hand!

And I know this is a strange post. That I’ve not really said a lot, or changed the blogging world, or offered insight or used hindsight or longed for foresight. It’s just been about right now. This moment in this time in this world, in this body that I am in. And it’s an unwell body at the moment. And for today, I’ve accepted that.

No wanting to do. No wishing I could.

Just being here. In this skin.

Finding hands.

The Nice Day

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Today, the sun came back.

We don’t throw the ball in the rain. Or the discs. This was the face that greeted me as the sun shone down this morning:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

After a couple of days of rain, the sun was most welcome. Beloved and I decided to load the dogs into the car and visit a different park, reasoning that they’d enjoy a change. Besides, Scouty LOVES the car. We kind of forgot that Harry and Zelda hate the car. With a passion. But they LOVE the park, so we hoped it would work.

It didn’t.

Scouty burst her way into the car, and waited while the little ones got organised. Harry and Zel saw their leads and were full of excitement. We popped Harry in his harness and while I settled Zel, Harry got out of his harness. Harry went back in the harness, and Zel got out of the car. Zel got back into the car, the car started, and chaos abounded.

We travelled maybe 100 metres before it was obvious this was just not going to work.

We decided to take Harry and Zel home, but when we pulled up Scouty threw a tanty. She wanted the car, damn it. Offload Harry and Zel, back into the car, off to the park. Happy Scout.

We threw the disc, Scouty ran and jumped and played for maybe ten minutes. Then she tried to climb up my legs, decided she’d had enough, and went back to the car.

In future, we’ll stick with the park across the road.

After this, beloved and I went to the Foreshore. Newcastle is so beautiful, even though the council seems hell bent on destroying it with exorbitant parking fees and the killing off of the rail network.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

It’s been a nice day, a simple day, a sunny day, a beautiful day.

Tomorrow is the Glass Awakenings exhibition. Are you coming? Have you entered the competition? It closes tomorrow!

How did you spend today?

Things to make me smile

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After accidentally offering a full frontal flash to an innocent bystander in the quest for relaxation, my second pamper session occurred yesterday. I had a pedicure. My friend Mrs Cuppy gifted this to me for my birthday, and I finally got to use the voucher yesterday.

Upon receiving the gift, I immediately set about growing the heck out of my toenails. Here is the before photo:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Now, Mrs Cuppy had been very specific. I was to get my nails PAINTED. I immediately repelled at the very thought, then I decided to take Mrs Cuppy up on the challenge. Not only would I get my nails painted, I would select the brightest, most girly colour that they had in the place. I snickered away to myself at the cleverness of the idea. For some reason I saw this as beating Mrs Cuppy at her own game, obviously forgetting that any nail polish was actually conceding defeat.

So it was a bit of a let down really, when I put two and two together and went home with these toes:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Why, yes. That is a particularly fluorescent shade of pink.

But you know what? I kind of like it. In fact, Mrs Cuppy has now challenged me to have a monthly pedi. I’m going to convince her to take part in this with me, she doesn’t know it yet. But it’s coming.

Anyway, the gloom that was swallowing me up earlier this week has started to lift. Mainly because I’ve forced myself to get into doing things that make me feel good. Massage, hydro, pedi, time with friends last night – all totally worth it, and all reminding me that in turn, I’m worth it.

Today’s dose of special? Well… a trip to the dentist. But wait, it’s OK, I got to suck on happy gas. Then I came home and my beloved and I played with our fur babies. Check out the joy on Harry’s face, the smugness on Zelda’s and the focus on Scouty’s!

Spot the disc... it's above her head, just higher than the washing. Image by The Naughty Corner

Spot the disc… it’s above her head, just higher than the washing. Image by The Naughty Corner

I have conquered you, squeaky toy. Image by The Naughty Corner

I have conquered you, squeaky toy. Image by The Naughty Corner

JOY! Image by The Naughty Corner

JOY! Image by The Naughty Corner

That’s about it, really. I’ve said it before: Life is good. Maybe shitty times are there to remind us of that.

The problem with pain

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Here I am in the New Year. Fresh starts and new beginnings and goals and hope and all that stuff. And I’m starting the year as one of the “lucky” people: I have a home, I have friends, I have family; I have excess of everything I need.

But it’s day 5 of 2015, and I am already feeling like it’s just all too hard.

Pain.

Not the reconstructed ankle – that is amazingly good. In fact, I’ve been tracking down fun runs and training guides and bothering my physio to teach me to run again.

But the thing is, in the last few months my left Achilles has completely lost the plot. It’s swollen and scarred and shooting flames of pain and discouragement up my leg like there’s no tomorrow. And when it is doing a particularly enthusiastic job of this, I almost wish there was no tomorrow. No, I’m not a suicide risk. But if you have ever lived with pain, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s a constant reminder that I still have a bloody long way to go.

It’s a stab in the guts that sends the very clear message that even though my ankle is recovering beautifully, I still can’t do what I aimed to be doing. After seven years, this is beyond a blow. I’ve done the waiting. I’ve done the surgery. I’ve done the recovery. I’m doing the physio. And it is still not enough. Basically, I’m walking around feeling a bit like this:

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I want to be all inspirational and shit, and tell you how I’m fighting it and offer a list of search-engine friendly hints and tips for managing pain – but I’ve got nothing.

The other element to this, though, is the way the pain and resulting lack of sleep makes me behave, and react.

I’m a fucking turd.

I’m cranky and I’m short with people and I’m anti-social. I want to avoid stuff that makes it worse, but I have a blatant inability to say no. I’m also stupidly stubborn, which is why there’s a roast in the slow cooker.

The problem is, I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be that cranky, limping, growly, avoidant person. I’ve worked my arse off to be where I am now, and everything is still, still impossibly hard. I wanted to be running. I wanted to be booking fun runs, not just admiring them from afar. But here I am. On the couch.

I just did a dash to the pharmacy and pelted the pharmacist with tears and words and limps and questions. He sent me home with a cream that is really poorly spelled, but apparently good for this kind of thing. I’m putting my hope and faith and trust into a cream that is grammatically incorrect. It’s a quandry, one my anal little brain has to get around.

I’ve been keeping busy:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

And I am trying to do the right things. It’s just such a fucking blow, especially at this stage in my recovery with my ankle.

Solutions? Well, my GP is throwing ideas and approaches at me. But it comes down to something I don’t feel like I have a lot of: time. Because this pain is ludicrous. Because I’m quickly becoming a horrible person. Because I’m rapidly giving up.

So to distract myself, I keep hooking. I throw endless tennis balls. I drink coffee and try really hard to not be a turd.

I do have one good story to kick you off for the year: I was having a merry wee on the loo the other day, and as is my habit, I was singing enthusiastically to myself. I turned my head slightly to the left, and locked eyes with our neighbour. I pretended not to see him and tilted myself forward and scrubbed the vanity.

Time and place, friends. Time and place.

How’s your new year going so far?