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Friday, November 29, 2013

Two Down, One To Go

This week has been productive. I made a couple of those phone calls that were on my 'to do' list. One of them was with regards to a noise complaint from Ziggy's barking. Ziggy is now left at 5:30 in the morning with BBC Radio 4 for company. He is probably much more up on his current affairs than I am but he chooses to keep his knowledge to himself. The other phonecall was with regards to my pesky neighbours. And that is all they are, pesky. But I have been worried that my lack of real annoyance will only spur them on more and so I reported the minor incidences in the (hopefully) unlikely event that it should escalate.

The other official call I have to make is about my provisional driver's licence. I've lost the paper document. In fact, I don't ever remember having the paper document and it would have been like me to have thrown it in the bin thinking I would never need it. I struggle with these mundane tasks. Most people would do everything in their power to speed up the process of them getting their full licence. I just bumble along at a snail's pace. I'd much rather be daydreaming, laughing and writing blog posts about not doing the things I should be doing.

Oh, and there's that dreaded looming presence of Christmas round the corner. Having worked in retail for the past far too many years I have found it impossible to do my own Christmas shopping. The last place I want to be is at the shops with people shoving and pushing and grunting and farting. Fact, when people are in crowds they are more likely to fart because there are more suspects. People really lose their manners at Christmas. So when it should be the season to be be jolly, most people are walking around with a face like thunder. And it just keeps happening every year.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Zig's Big Night Out

Despite my last entry having a slight air of doom and gloom about it, writing about meant I was able to get it out of my system and move on a lot quicker. Those periods in my blog when I haven't been wwriting have been times when I tried to hold my feelings in. It never did me any good.

Since then I have been really busy, which is how I like to be. I met with a friend on Tuesday. He is a relatively new friend who I met at work and who is also training to be a counsellor. I met with a friend on Wednesday as well. An old friend who knows me inside out. On Thursday morning I spent some quality time with myself and then I had a driving lesson and my course to attend. On Friday I met with my mum for lunch and then did some shopping. I shopped like a proper girl shops and it didn't annoy me too much. Though it was rather expensive.

Later I took Ziggy round to a friend's house and I drank a few ciders and Ziggy spilt a few ciders on their carpet (these friends are my kind of people who care not much for carpets and love dogs). We all went up to the pub, Ziggy included. I couldn't leave him at home as he'd already spent a few hours by himself when I was out shopping. It's a good job he's a sociable boy because he had plenty of people fussing over him.

On Saturday I had a relaxing morning and then went out again. I knew it was going to be a late one so Ziggy stayed at mum's house. He didn't pine for me once. Too busy playing with Jess and fighting with the cat, who is much bigger than he is. Now it's Monday and I'm back to work but I have a new, better contract and a spring in my step again. I am also vaguely aware that Christmas is around the corner and I have a flat that's been badly neglected of chores so as much as I'd love to just sit here, not moving, I think I better just keep on at it. I also have forms to fill in, phone calls to make, homework to do and, even though these things make me busy, they are exactly the things that I hate doing, and so I will probably procrastinate. Hence writing this blog.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shake It Out

I have learnt that to spew some words down on a page helps me release my emotions. It stops them whirring around my brain and when I can view those thoughts and feelings in black and white I can finally let them go. I suffer from depression. It has taken me a long time to figure this disease out. And it is a disease. And there is no permanent cure. Just ways of coping. When I am happy I am positively the most wonderful person I can be. I relish in spreading joy, peace, happiness and laughter. When I am feeling depressed I am incapable of this and this leads to further feelings of hopelessness. How am I meant to feel good if I am unable to make anyone else feel good?

I find the reasons for my bouts of depression rather annoying. Lonliness, low self esteem, feelings of worthlessness and the fact that life is such a challenge at times. We work, work, work and for what? I find it hard to see why I should bother living in this sham of a world. I am totally disillusioned. Some people breeze through life. Others don't. Some of those that don't are stoical and just get on with it. I become depressed. I see no joy in the world. I am uninspired. I feel like everything's a struggle. I force myself to do as much as possible and it is exhausting. I feel guilty for the things I didn't do. The shark and the ram draw blood and bruise me. I am fragile. My eyes well up with tears when I think of the sadness inside of me. The sadness is bursting and trying to seep through every pore. People don't get it. People really don't understand a disease they can't see.

This is especially a problem for loved ones who can feel like nothing they do is good enough because they can't take away the hurt for you. Everyone involved is, in a way, powerless. Until you remember that you have the strength and the ability to regain the power of your feelings. Sometimes, though, even this is too hard.

So, I muddle on. And, recently, I've learnt ways to help myself. These are only small things but even the small things can make a bit of a difference. I have learnt better how to release some of my sadness without it being etched all over my face. I smile at everyone because when they smile back it takes a little bit of the edge off. I have also learnt to not let these periods of sadness completely envelope me. The sadness is there but it's not the only thing that's there. A tiny shred of hope forever remains. A tiny shred of hope that I fought hard to get and am not going to give up so easily. This is what really gets me through the sad times. I know they'll pass because everything does.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cooking Red Thai Curry With The Howling Wolf

Yesterday in class we were talking about our 'inner critic'. This is the voice in our head that tells us we are not good enough or we should be doing this and not doing that. The tutor then produced four small boxes of animal figures and asked us to pick animals that signified our inner critic. I was in my element. It is exactly these kind of creative exercises that gets me excited. She then asked us to pick an animal that signified the 'victim' part of ourselves. So, for my inner critic I picked out a ram and a shark. I chose the ram as I see it headbutting a wall incessantly and not giving up, which is what my inner critic is like. I also picked a shark because the attacks from my inner critic are so vicious and nasty. I chose a meercat to represent my victim. At first I thought I was choosing the meercat because I like them so much but when I thought about how the meercat acts I realised that is how my victim feels when it's being attacked. Meercats are always on the lookout. They are anxious and skittish. After we discussed the animals we'd chosen and why we'd chosen them we took a tea break. When we came back our tutor asked us to then choose an animal to represent our 'adult' voice. An animal that could challenge our critic and protect our victim. I had already spied the wolf in the box earlier and I knew it was my 'adult' side. There were two wolves though and I chose the howling wolf.

I explained to the class that I chose the wolf because the noise of it's howling would drown out the noise of the inner critics voice. The tutor then asked me what howling meant to me. I said that although it's traditionally linked to insanity I view howling as a sign of freedom. Or, as a release of something painful. There will always be an intrinsic link between the moon and insanity. But if you read Paulo Coelho's book Veronica Decides To Die you are faced with the question, is it really the people locked up in asylums who are the mental ones, or is it the rest of society who live by a rigid set of codes and practices that are crazy? People fear the unknown. Lunatics leap into the unknown. Nobody's right or wrong we're all just different but we all deserve the same respect. I think I should probably end this topic now before I go full force into a sociological discussion about the stigma of mental illness. Keep that one for another day!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wind Wars

There's a storm brewing outside. The North, South, East and West winds are battling it out. There's a storm brewing inside too. Ziggy and Jess spent all night wrestling with each other. They had a good sleep and dutifully resumed their war this morning. This is great. It means Ziggy will be totally exhausted all day today and most of tomorrow. I would love for him to have company all the time but I think I'm better getting used to having one dog before I rush out and get another.

I've been coming out to stay at mum's on a Wednesday night for a few weeks now. Ziggy gets to play with Jess and learn some manners off Judy. I get a home cooked meal. Everyone's a winner! Tonight I'm going to attempt to cook a Thai red curry. I used to cook yellow curries for mum and Bert when I lived here. No two ever tasted the same because I never followed the same recipe. I remember asking Gift, the Thai lady who owned the bar we used to drink at, what ingredients I needed to make a yellow curry. Her English wasn't great and she was so keen and eager to help me she asked a friend to go on their bicycle to buy one of the ingredients she didn't know the name of so she could show me what it was.

I have a very busy day ahead of me. My youngest niece will be here soon demanding stories and burlies. Then I've to go back home to get ready for my driving lesson and class. It's a good ob I'm off work tomorrow as well.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

This Time Last Year

Sometimes I struggle to think of a topic to write about. I could blog for hours about work but I'd have to censor out the really interesting stuff. I'm even running out of stuff to say about Ziggy. He's just lying here waiting patiently for a walk. This is progress as, normally, when I'm trying to write on the laptop Ziggy is trying to bite my fingers off. It's a fine day for a walk. Cool, crisp and sunny. I could write about my counselling course but, again, I'd be censoring a lot out. So it's times like these I need little a inspiration.

I keep my blog for several reasons. At first my mum nagged me to start one just like she nagged me to get on facebook and just like she told me she was buying me a mobile phone for Christmas when I went to uni. She's always nagging me to keep up with modern life. Should it not be the other way around? Now I've been blogging for 6 years I find it useful referring back to the archives to remind me of when things happened.

So, for inspiration for this particular post I wondered what I was up to this day last year. I can't say for sure because I'd stopped writing my blog on the 27th October but, at a guess, I'd say I was sitting in this very flat, freezing my balls off, and writing furiously while Polly lay under the sofa and Meka had an evergrowing tumour on her chest. I can't remember the exact date that Rocky died but it was probably in and around this time last year. I didn't blog about it because I was doing my own personal writing at the time.

So then I checked two years ago and I was living with Jakers and very proud that I had a second niece to love and adore. Three years ago I was content living in the town rather than the country. I was also obsessing about scented candles. Nothing much has changed there really. Four years ago I had a rather perturbing experience with a can of soup that I wish I hadn't reminded myself about. This post also shows a tiny picture of Freddy sitting on a set of scales, for why I don't know. Five years ago I had a day out at the Zoo that made me decide I was going to study a degree in Social Work. Well that clerly didn't materialise. Probably for the best. Six years ago today I was due to fly back home from Thailand. Not through choice but because I had to. I met with my friends for dinner in Bangkok a few hours before my flight and was told something that made me stay. It was one of the strangest feelings in the world driving back that night to Lop Buri in a taxi with Brad and Tara. I had no job, no apartment and very little money. But I had friends. Seven years ago I obviously hadn't much going on as I dedicated a whole blog post to Harry ze Cat. He was adorable though. Eight years ago mum and Bert had just moved into the house. I had just started working in Next and McSquirter was the very annoying hero of the day.

And as for 10 years ago? I don't know. I was a young buck then drinking and smoking all my brain cells away. I couldn't possibly remember. Which is maybe a good thing for this post is long enough as it is and Ziggy is ready for his walk.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Waiting For Take Off

I noticed whenever Ziggy and I went for a walk along the river path today that he has started to cock his leg and mark his territory. This means my wee puppy is making the transition into doghood. He no longer pees like a girl. People ask me how old he is and I keep saying 6 months though I've been saying that for a few months now. I've just checked his records and he was born on the 1st June so he's actually only 5 months now. He's still a baby!

I found myself daydreaming in work about setting off on an adventure again. I had just imagined myself in some warm country with a backpack on my bag, thinking to myself it would be easy because I'm used to it, and then I remembered I had a dog. All of a sudden I am tied down to the one place. This realisation is strange for me. Part of me wishes I could up sticks and leave but I could never leave Ziggy behind. So I might just have to run the rat race a while longer or find some way of travelling the world with Ziggy in tow. Which I think he'd love.

I'm starting to realise how short life is. There's so much I want to do and yet days just roll by. But I'm getting there. I am doing the course that I thought about doing for 5 years and I'm learning to drive even though it's taking forever. I'm just waiting for the rocket to take off. Ziggy's waiting for his call from Major Tom.

Friday, November 01, 2013

They Need Never Know

I started to write my blog again because I was getting to a stage where I wanted to take my writing seriously. Not my blog writing. It is basically a glorified diary. Though I don't mean to sell it short. I truly believe that I will become the best writer I can be by exploring all the different types of writing. I need this wee blog just to keep me in the way of things.

It's amazing how easily the creativity can be sucked from you. Sometimes in my life a bout of depression will help me tap into some of my creative resources but I believe that it's happiness that sustains it. I thought I was happy this past wee while but I realise my heart has not been singing quite as sweetly as it could.

I won't go into details of my feelings. Sometimes it's right and sometimes it's not. Life is never what I expect it to be. I am getting used to that now. But I am getting stronger and better equipped to deal with these events that turn my whole world upside down. Nothing will break me because I've already been broken before and I was fixed by the only person who could fix me. Myself.

Right now I'm looking for someone to illustrate my book "Freddy and the Fox". I want to bring this story alive so that I can, one day, read it to my children. And when they say to me "wow, Freddy is the most amazing cat ever" I will smile and say "yes, yes he is" even though I know that Freddy is actually a big fat, useless, bullying ginger bastard. The kids need never know.