Why I Haven’t Posted in a While / Love doesn’t cure everything….

Love doesn’t cure depression.

I’ve tried the application of Love as a band aid, as a plaster, a quick solution to paper over the cracks. It’s in the busy-ness of a weekend I have organised to silence the bells inside my own head and heart, under the pretence of a birthday, a reunion, a wedding, an anything at all. I came away from these with the knowledge not that I was loved, but that its exhausting to be happy and smile at people when inside you are screaming and breaking and struggling to breath. That when you look for love, you trust the wrong friends, friends who you have known you for years and seen you at your worst and best. They will be the ones who don’t tell you they have girlfriends, lovers, lives, that hand you their guilt and ask you to carry it for them, who don’t listen to what you are really asking them for. A sigh, a kiss, is really a scream, a notification that ‘I need help’, that a one night stand or a fling is not asking for a relationship but a pillar to hold onto in the middle of the night.

People don’t listen, people don’t see.

Nights are darker when you have your own personal rain-clouds. The stars don’t even light. And when a solid day has passed and all the people you hope to hear from don’t even text a funny joke, you cry and you cry and you cry, and you become thankful that the stars aren’t here to bear witness. Because they hold nights like this forever within them, and you will never see starlight in the same way, never see a field washed in silver without feeling metal between your fingers. Tasting medicine in the back of your throat. Remembering lessons hard learned – how to do it better, that if you swallow too much too quickly you will vomit it all out and sob, sob, sob, realising you failed even at this.

Depression is when the easiest way to stop the cycle is to fall asleep and disappear. To buy a ticket on a train that races behind the dawn, and ask for it to stop only when it reaches a city where the lights never come on. When you check the weather and think you could go outside and fall asleep and you wouldn’t even realise you never woke up. How easy it would be, how calm, how quiet. When you have to scrabble in the dirt for reasons not too, and it can be something simple that stops that forward rush. I cannot choose the right scarf, the right shoes, which beach to lie upon. And here I am again, sat behind my closed door and crying. I should be thankful. I never am.

Love is not a reason not to give into the pull in my stomach that urges me on to the cliff-top. Love is what put me here. The wrong man, wrong job, wrong city, wrong medicine, wrong medication, wrong genetic make-up, wrong hormone levels. Love only works when it is a two way thing. I have loved, so many people, so many things that never felt the same, never warmed to my particular traits. I have loved friends who walked away one day with no explanation. Friends who never rang me first. Friends who only ever came to me when I could offer them something they needed. Friends who weren’t friends. Family who never wanted me and didn’t try to hide it. Walking into a house and having nowhere to sleep at Christmas, being the one forever being made to sleep in a temporary bed in a temporary space – neon signs that said I didn’t belong here.

I sit here now and I know later, in a day, a week, an hour, I will try again to make this all stop in a most permanent fashion. God I hope it works.

I know no-one I know realises this blog exists, and so this is safe to post. If it is a goodbye or a cry for help, I don’t really know. It is something of the two.


Murderous charity.

Today I accidentally rang a murderer.

Yes I had a similar reaction.  His wife was lovely. She spoke softly and with a countenance that was completely at odds with the news she delivered. Its not every day that you ring the supporter of a conservation charity to hear  something that chills you.

‘He isn’t available…may I ask who is calling?’

‘Oh yes he loves your magazines. I take them to him when I visit, he says it is almost like being outside again. You see he’s in prison, so there’s that.  It was a Chinese girl you see, they had an argument and he hit her with the car.’

‘The pictures make him smile’.

As much as I hate to admit it, I very nearly hung up. Have you ever had the feeling that cement has been poured into your bloodstream? That is the only way I can think to describe it. Everything stopped working. My fingers would not click. My lips would not form syllables. Breathing shuddered. Then I informed her it was lovely to hear and we will make a note on the record. I hung up and opted out of further contact. I logged my phone and walked to the toilet. I threw up into that white bowl and tried to work out just why this freaked me out so badly.

My job is generally safe and sanitised. The most you will hear is abuse about your audacity, or the fact that the charity is not doing what the supporter wishes. Occasionally you get incidents of blistering stupidity or stunningly racist remarks, but these are often from people who just don’t realise that ‘darkie kid’ is perhaps not the best term for an African child, or that ‘those slopes in Fucky-whatsit’ is a less than honourable way to refer to people still recovering from nuclear abandonment. Actual evil, malicious people are rarities. And this wasn’t even aimed at me.  Consolidating the two sides of this person, the man who I looked up at home and discovered to have run a girl over twice because of a spat and a mild mannered charity giver who at one point must have cared about the world he was in…that is just such a strain. I wanted to revoke his right to sponsor us.

After all, call me prejudiced, but why the hell should he be given even the simulation of freedom? Blue skies and whispering glades are not there to be used as an escape from a grey box you put yourself in. Do not paper the insides of your mind with pleasantries you get from people who don’t know what you are.  I sicken  at the thought that his wife will on her next visit, mention the fact a nice young girl rang up and thanked him for his support, that she is glad to hear he enjoys the magazine, that the charity is thankful for his support.

I feel  grubby.

Later I was sat in the pub with friends. I considered telling them and asking their opinion, to judge whether their reactions were as visceral as mine were.  I refrained however – my gut reaction seems too big too overblown and the fear of them judging me for my own reading of the situation stopped me. So I will keep it here and try to forget the day I judged a man I didn’t know by his crime and actions, and found him on balance, wanting.

Post Break up Blues

When you break up with someone, and finally accept you are no longer an item, together, coupled – when that moment of dreaded realisation hits, how exactly does one go about quantifying whether or not the relation ship was a good one? What parameters, what possible scale could possibly do justice to the feelings and moments you want to preserve and evaluate? Perhaps some of us judge the quality by how many souvenirs are left to place in a shoebox stained with tears – dried flowers, a resteraunt menu, a tester strip of his signature scent. Others may feel that if anything is kept it means it is not over, that to keep these scraps of a life in a box only means you are waiting to revisit them, to draw out the pain. However, what if you have nothing to keep? No scraps of paper or ephemeral tat to immortalise this partition, this severance?

So many people, male and female, these days seem to judge a relationship purely on its length.Were they there for a few weeks? Not that important then. A few months? Semi- realistic, almost meant something. A year? That’s a real relationship. However what if the flame that burnt brighter for a shorter time meant more than a protracted slow yet comfortable relationship? I am thinking this, as you have probably imagined, as I have just had the ‘good friends’ chat with a boyfriend of three months. Not partner, he never reached those dizzying plains of togetherness. But boyfriend, yes that covers it. I am not going to name him, he is a private person who prefers the non digitization of his life – so I can only hope he forgives me for using him as the catalyst to this ponderence.

I have known him in total for six months, roughly, been together for half of that. So a three-month relationship – met online, met in person, and yes I tumbled him into bed on the first night – don’t judge me, he was (and still is) a handsome, sweet and amazing man. At first I thought he was perfect (in a quiet whisper in the dead of night I may still admit it) , we shared the same tastes in food, movies, music, people and drinking. And it was all happy. All good. He told me he loved me – I didn’t respond in kind (I wish I had, it may have meant things turned out differently). And then in the space of a weekend it changed, he wanted just friends, we fought I acted like an idiot, secrets were revealed and accusations flung – and it was all over. We are however, good friends, who have seen each other naked.

So how do I class this three-month relationship? Some of my friends call it a fling. Some call it a relationship. Some say bad. Others good. I have come to the way of thinking however it is not the quantity but the quality that I judge this on. And it was great. We laughed, a lot, about everything – even the awkward things. Spent fantastic nights getting drunk in pricey cocktail bars we could not afford. He introduced me to new and exciting music and films – and some disturbing new photographers. He made me drink wheat beers and port with my Stilton. I had never before tried port. Bless him he tried, but I just didn’t like it.I may not have much to put away in that box, but what I do have means a lot.  A Molten Brown handwash, a toothbrush, a cinema ticket stub, a CD. They do perhaps mean more than that which I gleaned from a four-year extravagance of a relationship. In the fullness of time we may lose contact, he may meet someone who is uncomfortable with me, I may move abroad, life happens. I hope not though – I feel he has more to offer, to teach me that I havent yet touched upon and so for now, selfishly perhaps, I want him to stay a part of my life even if not as involved.

This has given me pause in the way I approach relationships however. They are all worth something – just because they do not end in the way you wish them too does not make them any less amazing. Some people enter your life in one role, but are destined to continue in another. Friends become lovers, lovers become the best of friends, enemies become partners, teachers become colleagues. Who knows, he may yet have a very important role to play. It just isn’t the one I originally had mapped for him.