SUMMER GOES TO PARLIAMENT

Yesterday the Yahoo email fairy sprinkled sparkle over my otherwise pants day. I didn’t write about this yesterday because I was SO EXCITED I actually felt SICK.

It was an email from the media dept. of Mind charity in Londoninium town.

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I’m a media volunteer for them WHICH I LOVE, and yesterday there was an invitation that arrived in my inbox to go to parliament to chat all things mental health with important policy makers.

Yes parliament.

‘EXSQUEEZE ME?!’

Reading the message was like one of those (un-drug induced) trips I sometimes get when life overwhelms and stimulates me in ever so very exciting ways.

I was in a foul mood when I first read it….. I allowed a few moments to let the message absorb, then I casually called to my hubby who was in the next room,

“Is it ok if I go to parliament next month to meet some MPs at Westminster?”

imagine distant sound of snorting laughter emenating from the kitchen………

“No honestly, I mean it”, I confirmed with inwardly surprised sincerity.

Wow!

Being a media volunteer for a national UK charity like Mind is a great opportunity which I absolutely leapt at when it was first suggested to me. I have done radio. I have done a regional news piece. I have written various stuff for Mind which has been published, and it has all been hugely personally rewarding, but this takes the proverbial biscuit as being an opportunity that is quite unique and quite fab :)

I imagine this will only happen once in my lifetime. It’ll be one of those ‘pinch me’ moments.

Let me start from the outset by admitting I don’t like politicians, en masse anyway, nor do I get very at all involved in politics. I am not particularly interested in politics and I never read articles or newspapers by choice. My politically aware blogger friend Anna from THE DAILY ANNAGRAM tells me I MUST start being interested in politics because politics is totes important. Maybe this is the universe sending a sign to me that she’s absolutely right. I purposefully bowed out of the recent election debate and made no comment on social media. I politically opted out fully. I didn’t even vote, LEGASP!  But I will NOT be opting out of this chance to have my views heard as part of an important campaign. I can’t say anymore about it at this stage…confidentiality and all that jazz.

The reason I take no interest in politics generally I guess is I feel I have no personal influence over it, therefore why bother. (Before you think the obvious, I know voting in elections and refendums is showing influence, to an extent, but when all my area of Blighty votes blue in huge swathes, what use will any alternate vote I make actually have on end outcomes?) That’s my view, so I didn’t vote, but that is in the past now and by the 9th June I’d already moved on lol.

This opportunity is completely different to me though. I feel so proud that I was asked to be there in the first place. I didn’t ask for this. It was offered to me on a platter, and I feel so hugely grateful as I know there are so many people who would wish to be doing this in my place. I want to make sure I don’t waste this opportunity, because it’s really important.

The cynics will predict in advance that the visit to Westminster will be a waste of time and it’s all a bollocksy show for the media so the politicians are seen to be listening to real people with mental health living on da streets but actually have no intention of adapting their policies. I do get why people might think that, and the only reason I typed that thought in this blog is I’d already fleetingly had it myself blushesso I get it, but I personally am choosing to remain optimistic that good and beneficial outcomes WILL come from it. That’s my plan and my goal and my aim.

Getting the itinerary on the day was so exciting. It all sounds very London-ish and political and proper and important. I said I’d be happy to schmooze with the parliamentarians and the press which is quite bonkers but LUSH.

Incidentally, I didn’t even know parliamentarian was a word, but apparently it is as the Mind person used it in an email. It means politicians in plural, like a gaggle of geese or a pride of lions.

I can’t wait to be thrown in with the parliamentarians in their den.

Apart from the travelling I am quite nervous what to wear, which admittedly is shallow, but I know I’ll be photographed by the press (shaking hands with the politicians presumably, or spilling glasses of westminster tap water over them if I don’t like their policies??). I dunno. It’s all a bit bonkers and hard to imagine, as I always struggle imagining doing things I have never done before. I know I shouldn’t be stressed about travelling and clothing and it is really what I say and the talky bit that matters, but I’m fairly confident with strangers and I’m sure I’ll be able to successfully wing it as winging it is my speciality.

I have never been alone on the train to Londinium. That is a big thing for me. I have only actually been to London twice in my life, one when I was in single digits wearing ribbons in my hair, and one for a surprise star wars exhibition at the barbican which was a birthday treat for the hubby, except the only true surprise was he had to pay for it himself ;)

So London town will be a new experience for this country girl with her PTSD crowd-fearing tendencies.

I am being met by a Mind charity person at the station to be escorted to Westminster on the tube, as I did NOT trust myself to find my way there unaccompanied.

There will be shit loads of people there because London is a city. GASP.

A fucking big and busy one.

DOUBLE GASP.

Heavily populated by southerners

faints

With any luck this coast dwelling peace-loving northerner will get on OK and have a brilliant day; one to remember :) That’s the plan.

summerSHINES©

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If anyone feels generous and like they’d like to donate (any amount) to my local Mind charity, here is the link to my JustGiving page for Tyneside and Northumberland Mind….HERE :) x

 

 

 

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WHEN YOU ARE THE DARKNESS

What to do when you are the darkness? 

Do you rid the world of your darkness…..

By removing yourself?

Separation of the bond between person and the glue of society.

Stickiness un-peeled.

Strings in the orchestra reveal the emotion of the composer.

Do you hear the sad song I play and wrote? That’s my music.

Do the haunting strains of my music move you as much as they move me?

Are you in tears as I am?

Whose tears will dry first?

Yours or mine?

Funeral bells on a rainy day.

Hells bells. (Not a figure of speech, my ears have already heard them.)

A little girl.

Threaded pieces of purity pierced by the harsh end point of the wiriest wire.

Her poetry is sure dark.

Only I know what this means.

That’s the beauty of poetry.

The bloggers right to sound her voice.

I can cry over these cyber pages if I want to.

If it’s too much for you, look away now.

I knew this was too much for you.

I knew I am too much to stomach.

Indigest me.

Rejection. Despair. Tears.

Heart aches.

Soul shakes and shivers.

Bones barely formed.

Born to be delivered..……into this?

Are you kidding me?

I’d rather be the one in pieces threaded on the pointed end of the wire.

What if you’re the darkness and you lose your lighthouses?

What if everyone of those light houses switches off in unison?

Unilluminated.

Once again in the dark.

Always that way.

For the darkness is you.

SummerSHINES 


BPD: ESCAPE TO THE RAINBOW

The grounding process begins. I’m digging deep and securing my emotional roots again. Today has been blissfully easy and private. I have happily hidden, barring a few conversations with selected people of lushness. I needed that after two very special but also stimulating days with my bestie mate.

Escapism and grounding seem, on first appearance, to be goals that oppose one another, but to me, being a head-ish person who lives with my head up in the clouds and balancing on the top rung of the very tallest ladder, my emotional grounding comes via escape.

I’m an escapologist and a distractor. I’m someone who pursues goals in life like my life depends on it, and that’s because it does. Forward motion is my kind of motion. Back slides are to be avoided, or if they happen, I try and keep them brief, then I set the wheels in motion for the next BIG thing. I MUST keep moving forward.

I did something useful today, which I needed to do after the utter shitness of yesterday and the melancholic depressive suicidal hangover type phenomenon I was experiencing. I have put myself forward to do mental health talks to sixth form students about my mental health story. OUCH. That’s quite a bold move isn’t it! Yup. Quite scary and quite responsible and quite adult and very VERY crucially important. I want to feel like an important adult, instead of a struggling and floundering 35 year old child, and how I do that is by contributing positively in my community, via fundraising and speaking about mental health. I actively want to destigmatise mental health, and am more than happy to put my face forward as being someone who openly struggles with life with mental health disorders, because that is the only way young people will learn it is #OKTOSAY how they feel.

I’m wondering what the point is in exclusively trying to adjust adult attitudes. Adults think what they want to think about mental health and stigma is rife. Teenagers however are the adults of the future. They are the ones I want to get in there to speak to. After all, the older generation with the quaint/CRAP/insensitive attitudes and limited understanding of mental health will all eventually die off won’t they! They can take their mental health stigmatised attitudes of insensitive bullshittery to their graves. That is their choice and not my concern. I want to speak to the young people and influence them. Their minds are open and ready to learn and absorb good messages. I want to help people and make a positive difference to the lives of others and paint my summerSHINES mental health rainbow with a broad bristled brush, touching the inner worlds of many.

That is my escape. I think of death often. “You don’t want to die, you just want to escape” said my psychologist in last weeks suicidal-themed sesh. I replied that I very much DID want to die, but given that I can’t, I have to find some ingenious ways to creatively escape. As well as the positive things I try and do in my life that are constructive and make a meaningful contribution, I also like to escape in my head and into an alternate world where fantasy improves reality.

This morning I walked the dogs as usual with the usual view I have across to the sea, but I had an unusual thought. I felt strange, almost psychotic, but not, because I knew what I was seeing I wasn’t actually physically seeing. I was merely using my vivid fantastical imagination to improve reality and turn my inner shit into sparkly sunshine.

It started with the sight of a field of wheat, bleached in colour due to the atmospheric weather conditions earlier this morning. An expanse of pale toned crops meeting the steely grey sea, meeting the luminous sky. My eye fell on a grey smudge in the sky, representing a shower of rain falling out to sea. I love how living by the sea gives a sense of perspective. The puffins out there in their nesting colonies on the Farne islands would be getting a natural soaking, which I could easily imagine happening in my mind’s eye, yet I was inland, gazing out, bone dry and protected.

“What a brilliant metaphor for Borderline Personality Disorder” I said to myself in my head.

Today, on my walk, I could see the rain clouds and the blur of rain falling from them from afar. But yesterday, I was a puffin on the Farnes, getting DRENCHED in an all-day shower of emotion. I could not see dry land, nor could I imagine ever being dry again.

When I am suicidal, I think I will ALWAYS feel suicidal.

When I am happy, I think the happiness is forever too, though not with such conviction as the reverse. Imagining things could get worse, is far easier than imagining things ever getting better.

Today I had perspective. I visualised how yesterday I was rained on by a grey expanse of bitingly cold rain. Today I knew I was dry, and I felt relieved. I realised that someone out there today, well actually THOUSANDS (MILLIONS even?) are having their rain shower of epic crapness today while I am protected and dry. I felt thankful. I wished BPD allowed the benefit of an outer perspective to know my feelings will change and the storms will pass. but when there are so many storms daily, I get sick of being wet :(

Get wet. Dry off. Get wet again. It’s called living, except with BPD its more intense and vastly speeded up.

I wondered what my antidote could be next time I’m getting rained on like those puffins out to sea. What can I visualise?……This is what came to my mind.

I have a specific tree I walk under, which grows by the side of the country lane I walk along. I call it the pixie hollow tree, because I have watched Disney’s Tinkerbell FAR too many times with my girls. It looked like aa usual tree at first glance, but then I thought if I set my imagination to work I could make walking under that tree a different experience. What if the tree was producing golden mental health pixie dust that made everything all BADASS and SPARKLY and SHIMMERY? Yeah…..I like that idea :) And then what about if there is a waterfall cascading down off the top branch? except the water is rainbow coloured water, and every individual stripe of colour fixes one particular genre of mental health symptomology?!!! YAAY! I like that idea too! Red sorts out anger, orange- frustration, yellow- anxiety, pink- self-hate, green- negative comparisons, blue- depression, indigo-low self-esteem, violet-suicidality. Awesomeness!!

I was busy grinning inanely to myself when I spotted the Yorkshire couple in the distance (so named because they are a couple from Yorkshire). They were walking their dogs in the same direction as me but further up the road, and I thought that familiar sight I see could be jazzed up even more too to make it something beautifully escapist, so I turned the walking dogs into magical galloping unicorns with rainbow manes and imagined them becoming airborne and flying into the clouds, exactly where I wanted to be.

And then I thought…. maybe I am still hungover and sleep-deprived and need some strong coffee. :P

summerSHINES©

HOME AT SEA

I’m a cerebral person who very much lives in my head, rather than on terra firma. Of all the characteristics of my very weird quirky personality, one word I simply cannot apply is the adjective “grounded”. I am absolutely as ungrounded as you can possibly get, but I’m working on it, I promise.

I am a head person- some might say a good old fashioned day-dreamer. I’m a gemini- an air sign. I’m an intellectual type; a philosophiser, a passionate ranter and analyser, a deep thinker, a planner, a busy bee with a busy mind that never stops. I am not especially practical or adept with my hands. I am far better when I exercise my brain rather than my body (although I do like to run, and can just about manage to do that in straight lines without falling over). But generally I feel like I very much spend my life suspended a few feet off the ground in a parallel universe that is very unlike most humans, which is why I label them “humans” or sometimes “humanoids”, as though I am a scientist studying them from great distance.

I guess technically you can call me human, but not an average, typical, or usual one. Yeah yeah before you shout at me I know there is no such thing as a typical, average or “normal” human, we are all unique etc. Just some of us are more unique than others, and that my friend is FACT.

I don’t get you and you don’t get me, and that’s ok.

I’m still part of the human race, just not in a typical way. I guess you could say, I’m here, but not fully here. I live out my existence in a trauma-generated dissociated bubble-wrapped bubble much of the time, mentally avoiding the bad stuff by staying in my head. I can’t help it- it’s who I am and how I’ve learned to cope with this brutally beautiful thing called ‘living’.

I am not rooted to anything. I change like a chameleon in mood, personality and identity almost all the time, so it’s hard to decipher the real me I guess, and it is fair to say there are many ‘summers’ [as well as autumns, springs and winters.]

But despite this, I don’t feel lost at sea. I actually feel at very at home at sea.

I have made the sea my literal and figurative home. I moved to the coastal place I live now five years ago, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did. It is PARADISE here, no exaggeration. Absolute paradise.

There is nothing about the area I don’t like, [except for it’s worrying shortage of TKmaxx stores but I am lobbying for that change, I assure you] ;)

I may not be grounded, but I am fully at home, at sea; by the sea, beside the seaside, beside the sea.

I am espesh. excited today about where I live, as I will be showing one of my best friends where I live for the very first time. Although she is one of my closest and most valued friends, I have only known her less than two years. It was totally love at first sight (online, in a completely non-lesbo way blushes) and I want her to love where I call home as much as I do.

Maybe grounding is not possible for me. Maybe I will continue to live with my head in the clouds always, but you know what?…that’s okay. It is really okay, because these are Northumbrian clouds, and Northumbrian clouds are the unequivocal unrivalled best.

Everything here is BEAUTIFUL, NATURAL, RUGGED, UNSPOILT, STUNNING, WILD, just plain GORGE.

The sea water is clear as the finest iridescent crystal, and the hue of the water changes not only daily but constantly, from the greyest of slate to the royalist of blue to the pakest shade of turquoise to the ‘sky meets the sea undiscernible horizon’ type blue. The sparkles glisten on the surface of the water as the sun’s rays illuminate the vast watery salty expanses. Visually, the sea resembles a watery meadow saturated by a vast sprinkling of scattered diamonds. It puts on it’s spectacle for me and the other lucky buggers who live or visit here every day of my existence. What price can you put on that?

It is all free of charge, if only you can work out the small details like finding work and a home (which is exactly what we did after a glorious holiday here where we discovered Northumberland’s beauty for the very first time).

We made this beautiful dream become our daily reality, and we appreciate what we did every single day since we moved here.

Even on my lowest suicidal days, I contemplate how hard it would be to wrench myself away from Northumberland. It is the place my soul feels safe. It is the place where I have friends and my children have friends and go to school and will grow up and evolve into beautiful adult humans. It’s also the place where much significant life content has already played out and happened.

Every morning, whatever the weather, I am on that castle decorated beach with my dog, running in the widest of sweeping circles scampering across the sand and the rocks and splashing in the water with excitement. The dog does that too :D

I love my home in all weathers, in all seasons, at all times of day, every day, every hour. I did not know it was possible to LOVE a place so much, but I genuinely honestly DO.

This is true love. I am attached to this place. It’s my soul home.

I will be so proud to take my beautiful, precious (and fellow bonkers creature) and show her the sights. I will be breathing the same fresh air as her, instead of the smog of London which she is accustomed to. She can see it through through her own eyes and I can proudly show her the gem which I made home.

My home is here. My love for my home environment is everlasting and well worth staying alive for. I will get to share it today and tomorrow with her while she visits. What could be nicer than that.

summerSHINES©

 

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UNICORN sparkle *

I’m high. I’m low.

I’m fast. I’m slow.

I soar, then I’m grounded and stuck fast.

Free as a bird, until the cage door clinks shut.

Sociable butterfly meets reclusive hermit.

Introvert who can extrovert like the best of them on red letter occasions.

Sure, I’ll help support you….. wait, this is TOO much.

Hope evaporates. Storm clouds build.

Lost at sea, till I catch a glimpse of that paradise island. There I’ll stay, right?

….wrong.

Sunshine, showers. Snow, wind, and rain. Have had many more than just one mood tsnami or hurricane.

Rollercoaster shuts down for the night but I’m left upside down, suspended, blood rushing to my head. Getting cold and feeling heavy. Where are the fucking engineers, and how long must I stay hanging uncomfortably here?

I numb it out, then I begin to hate the numbness so make myself FEEL by any means possible.

The rescuers are here. I BLOODY LOVE YOU, for you make my life easier and what is life for, if it is not to make it easier?

(Except for the people that enter your life and proceed to make it FUCKING SHIT.)

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I feel everything, or nothing.

I care fully, or entirely absently.

I appreciate you, or I can live without you, easy.

Flippant tosses of shiny copper coins, except I’m not the source of the flipping. Borderline Personality Disorder is.

BPD underlines everything, manipulates everything; manipulates me- more specifically contorting me into this crazy mess of utter confused contradictions and extremes I describe.

BPD is the three letter diagnostic label that draws all these contrasting coloured threads together. It weaves together the blackest black with the whitest white and the most intensely saturated and vivid colours of the rainbow ,creating a mess that people point and stare at.

People live vicariously through my extremes. Believe me, I’m extreme.

I’m not pastel in hue, I’m florescent and day glow and garish.

I’m effervescently alive, then I’m soon drowning again in suicidal fantasies and imagining blood and the energetic charge I call “pain” bleeding out all over.

Self-injury kills the bit of you that wants you to kill yourself, and shuts it up for a little bit.

I emotionally bleed. I witness the figurative pools of blood dried up and brown the morning after.

There’s no pill for dodgy emotionally driven mistakes that DON’T involve intercourse.

Then comes the mop up operation; like the whole post-party beer bottle napkin and half eaten canapes on greasy dish collection process.

It’s messy. I get to work tidying it up.

My memory. OUCH. The contents HURT. Cleaning that mess up pricks my fingers.

BANG goes the environmental trigger designed to send me into a backwards spin.

Like a toddler hellbent on exploring their environment with reckless abandon, my eye gaze falls onto yet another emotional spillage I made that makes the desperate clutches of kitchen roll soggy and heavy. So what if it’s 4-ply premium brand? My emotional spillages are MESSY. Even Waitrose kitchen roll won’t soak this up.

I’m everything, until I’m nothing.

I’m somebody, until once again I am nobody.

I’m hidden, then I’m brutally and painfully exposed. The self-consciousness alarm sounds loud enough to wake a small village……..

BBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP sounds the PTSD siren. This thing that is happening now, is DANGEROUS. Be on guard!

Pupils dilate. Adrenaline and cortisol pumped. Blood pressure increases in the time taken to blink a solitary ‘I’ve seen too much in my lifetime’ weary eye.

I CAN’T SEE! I’m blind. I am fucking BLIND people, don’t you understand this?

I can’t see. I can’t move. I can’t speak. I’m immobilised. Emotion BLINDS me. It isn’t funny guys, untie this blindfold and let me SEE again.

My throat is hoarse. My eyelids droop. My head hurts and sways and wobbles without it even making any objective motion at all.

“It’s all in her head” taunts the bully in my head.

My head perceives lots of things, until the sensory processing factory closes down production.

White noise. Only quiet crackling to disturb the peace that the noise destroys.

I’m disoriented. The fog is THICK. But don’t fret, I’ll float up high in my bubbly mint aero balloon.

Dissociation will save me from myself.

I am cute little kittens and playful meerkats and a tiger with a huge empowered ROAR, and a nervous gazelle and a rainbow-striped zebra and a majestic galloping wild horse and a slow snail and a hiding turtle and a pricky hedgehog ALL IN ONE day glo PERSONALITY.

I am everything and alive, until I am n.o.t.h.i.n.g and I am imagining myself in an un-breathing state.

Is this all a dream?

I am thinking I want to die, wishing I could, while also relieved that back then (those three failed attempts, that I didn’t). I am scared of terminal illlness and what death will feel like and what will happen after I die to things like my soul, while also trying to treasure every moment of being here for my beautiful children.

I’m a Mum. I’m also a once-abused and neglected child.

I’m a Mum, and was once a trophy daughter.

I was once a sister and a neice and an auntie and a grandchild.

I am always my husband’s wife. We grew up together and will share our life together.

Except, despite the security of this loving partnership with my soulmate I’m just me.

Alone.

With lots of people.

Feeling cared for, while also feeling unloved.

I am attached AND detached.

I am switched ON and switched OFF.

I am HURTING like mad, but also too tired to express it.

I am full on, AS WELL AS sometimes the most watery of ‘I like to blend in like wallpaper watercolours’.

I am a Turner painting AND a Jackson Pollock.

I am obsessed with flamingos and like how they stand perched with only one foot in the shit….. That is what I want to be, just one foot in the shit and one foot held at a jaunty “I AM SO TOTALLY IN CONTROL OF MY EMOTIONS” angle.

I will fish for validation, yet be unfulfilled and empty after the feast has ended.

Praise is nice, for 2 minutes, till the trace of it fades as if it were never there.

I love chinese more than indian. I love pizza more than pasta. I love a creamy risotto more than a salad of rabbit food rocket. Forget the salsa. I AM THE SALSA!

This is my journey of exploration into my personality and a hint of life with BPD/PTSD.

Are you confused and baffled???

So the actual fuck am I!

summerSHINES©

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