This is a ‘where I’m at’ post. Because I’m not entirely sure quite where I am, so am hoping the writing process will allow me to grasp the nettle and see my way through the fog, and all equivalent metaphorical jazz.

I need to find myself and my place and where I’m at. I need to centre myself and ground myself and get back on a solid footing, and stay there. 

I think the Manchester terror attack probably requires us all to ground and centre ourselves and work out where we’re at. There is nothing more un-grounding than atrocities happening so close to home. I know atrocities and tragedies happen all across the world, but it is human nature that the one’s closest to us will register with us and affect us the most. I do NOT usually watch the news. I do NOT want to know. I don’t like reality. I like to create my little safe internal world where I can hide under soft blankets away from anything that may harm me. I have my own difficult reality to bear.

I am just so overwhelmingly grateful though that I was not caught up in it, and nobody (I believe) that I know was caught up in it, though naturally and instinctively my thoughts are with the abusive arseholes that are my family and wondering how they are, as they are very close to Manchester. I push that thought away because it hurts.

I am grateful I have two safe and protected daughters.

I am also grateful I do not live in a city. Cities are typically where these attacks happen rather than unpopulated places [with more sheep than people] like where I live. I am grateful to be relatively sheltered. I am grateful to live in an area with extremely low crime, where I feel safe that I will not be mugged, attacked, raped, knifed or shot as I go about my daily business. Yeah sure, my PTSD makes me feel unsafe everytime I leave the house, but statistically, the probability of anything majorly freakishly awful happening here is blissfully low.

I suppose I’ve had my fill of threat and terror, but mine came from organised crime networks while I was a child. I’ve done my stint of terror. The rest of my life is due to be calm and serene. I think life owes me that. I have had my fill of challenge and terror and hardship. No more of those shenanigans please.

There is nothing awful happening to me RIGHT NOW, except from the usual unfolding of trauma and the devastating psychological effect it continues to have over my life. But at least my issues are long-standing ones, and I am not experiencing the gut wrenching grief like those at the arena who survived, but with injuries and emotional trauma wounds, and of course the grieving relatives and friends and the communities of that person who collectively shake their heads and say simply, “WHY”.

Today I am grateful to not be someone grieving the loss of their mum, dad, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, cousin, best mate, work colleague, or whoever else that lost person represents in relation to you.

I am grateful and thankful it is not me who is feeling those awful feelings. I don’t wish it on anyone. But honestly, I think ‘thank fuck me and my family and my husband have been spared.’ Those are my honest thoughts.

We don’t know what will happen in the future….Wounded people like myself, trying to heal, lgo to our therapy sessions trying to make our future lives better. All of us are trying to continually make our futures the best they can possibly be, such is our human drive to evolve and life life in greater and greater comfort and less and less discomfort. But it could all end prematurely. Mortality is on my mind very much so.

I am not down in the depths currently like those traumatised or grieving people are. I have my own grief and my own trauma however to contend with, which was never plastered over the news or social media when it occurred. It occurred in private, in secret, and still to this day has not ever heard the light of day in the media, anywhere other than my little summerSHINERY blog.

I don’t want to comb over yesterday’s therapy session in my head. I want to push all that away. I am deliberately holding back the memories that are waiting just beneath the membrane of consciousness. They intruded as I ran yesterday. Maybe they came out transported in my sweat, but either way the memories came and I have been trying to fend them off ever since. No thanks. You are NOT welcome here. Please vacate.

This morning was significant. I logged onto my other laptop (which I use just for serious writing) and I spent a few hours editing my book of memoirs; tweaking it and reading it and trying to figure out the structure and direction and make some content decisions. I need to get this book written. Blogging has to be a background thing that is secondary to the real writing that I plan to do.

I can NOT work and creatively produce at the pace I was working at a couple of months ago. I have to do it slowly and at my own steady pace. My brain is not firing on all cylinders. It is foggy (caused by the medication shift,) so my concentration is poor and I am easily confused and fatigued. Processing things happens slowly at the moment, and with conscious effort, rather than my brain sparkling like a sparkler that doesn’t require a match and never runs out of juice.

I am limited. My illness limits me. The psychiatric medication I take limits me. My past does have me in a straitjacket (for now). But I hope writing these memoirs is going to prove helpful and liberating.

The most challenging thing for me about writing a book is the relative effortfulness of the style I am working in. I am not writing in quite my usual fast, free and easy style. This is concentrated writing which has to be word and grammar/punctuation perfect. I don’t usually put those parameters on my blogging and write with lots of creative freedom. The pressure I put myself under to create something I will be proud of for years to come though, and not just five minutes, does make writing my memoirs the most challenging thing I’ve ever done writing wise. 

I am massively daunted by the enormity of the task, and know really I need to be spending a couple of hours a day on it most days a week if I am to get the thing finished my the end of this year, which is my ultimate goal. But I have to do this. It is a burning need. No more procrastination.

To inspire myself I searched on Tumblr for images about writing, journaling and reading. I was like a pig in shit looking at these pictures! They are an introvert’s DREAM!

Writing is just amazing. It is definitely one of my favourite things, and writing with fleecey blankets wrapped over your legs is the best way to write. So what if it is 20 degrees outside! Get the patio doors open like I have and feel the sensory comfort of the fleeciness, combined with the energy swarming in from the outer universe. What could be nicer than this!

Small pleasures to be savoured in a world of discomfort and hostility. Right now I need to be comfortable. I think we all do.

Enhance your comfort level with frothy coffee in your favourite mug. The smell of pen fumes, 😛 the thrill of high quality notebooks (yes, I do get thrilled by notebooks 😲), the happiness as the word count counter on Microsoft Office Word goes up with more and more words that are all true. 

I wish sometimes I could do this book on a typewriter and hear the strikes of my fingers on the keys and those alphabet adorned stampers on sticks hitting a blank page. 

OMG! getting excited and really quite aroused now (until I think of the corrector fluid etc and the lack of ability to cut and paste.) Eek!

To live is to write. Whatever bollocks and shit and trauma is going on in the world, I am ok as I have my family, my home, my garden, my coffee, my cake. I have notebooks, a laptop and a whole load of sharpies. What more could you want? This is more than enough for me.