Monday, 6 April 2020

System up with the top down, got the city on lockdown.

March was by far the longest month of everyone’s life.  I was already having a shitty 2020, even before the big Coro V showed up.  David and I were unable to start IVF because some of my stupid hormone levels were too high.  That hurt, as we’d been waiting so long to begin.  Then the death of my cousin’s daughter, aged 24, Beautiful Sarah, attending her funeral in Dublin and seeing her heartbroken friends and my heartbroken family.  Then my mam was hospitalised twice whilst still in Dublin, first time with broken ribs from a fall.  I spent my last day in Dublin with her in A&E in the Mater hospital and it hurt having to leave her for the airport.  She looked so tiny and frail and scared.

Her second spell in hospital was longer and a bit more serious; she’d had a massive bowel infection and they discovered she has COPD (Chronic obstructivepulmonary disease).  It was terrifying because I couldn’t be with her, so I was calling every day.  It was the closest I’d gotten to losing her, and it probably wasn’t even THAT close.  I think it was the helplessness, I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t visit her or anything due to the sheer distance. 

On top of that, I’d had a falling out on a very public forum with a family member where I was made to feel like utter shit by a single comment.  I was on the precipice of a massive spiral down into my Dark Place.  My alter ego, Cunt Face lives there.  She’ll tell me I’m no good, she’ll tell me I’m worthless, and most crucially, she’ll tell me that if I kill myself, no one will miss me.  And although I was at the top of the spiral, she shouted loud enough that no one would miss me and that I should probably kill myself. 

I contemplated it for a day or two, I’ll be honest.  My constant misery made me hell to live with, spontaneously bursting into tears wherever I went.  I just wanted it all to stop, all my feelings needed to just fuck off. 

A phone call to my GP helped; I told her everything and she was reassuring.  The fact that by February, I’d already accumulated a years’ worth of bullshit and it had broken me.  I was worrying about fucking everything up with friends and family by being so anxious and depressed, relying on alcohol to help me through (bad idea – I potentially ruined relationships and friendships this way).

But I began to get through it, slowly but surely, the spontaneous tears stopped.  The feelings of despair began to subside.  Things were going a okay in Tara World….things were looking up….

Oh, hello Covid-19.  Let me clarify, I don’t have it but I’m terrified.  The only thing about this whole situation is that virtually everyone is in the same shitty rust covered boat, if you can take any solace from that?  We’re all now living in some weird dystopian time where we’re having to practice social distancing (some of us better than others), working from home is the norm for most people (quite how you all don’t just spend the day wanking, I’ll never know).  But no social interaction aside from with the people you’re living with (bad luck, David).  I have friends who live alone and who haven’t seen another soul for two weeks, how isolating is that?  How much must that affect your mental health?  I mean, I’m upset because I can’t visit my folks and they’re not tech savvy enough to have WhatsApp or Zoom or whatever else platform you use where you can facetime people.  But I’m lucky because they’re both still here.  People who have the big Coro V are dying alone because they can’t have visitors.  Imagine dying scared and alone…its gut wrenching to think about. 

The world is a fucked-up place right now.  Writing is useful for me to get all the crap out of my head and into my shitty little blog where I appear to be full of my own self-importance.  Well, buster, it’s my blog and I can post whatever the hell I like.  It’s heartening that in this unprecedented time that MOST people are being decent and caring, a lot are being cunts and attacking key workers or spitting at people, or just going out and about like fuck all is happening.  And those who don’t social distance, don’t get me started.  I’d love to think that when all this is done and dusted, society will be a brighter, nicer place, but the pessimist in me says it won’t.  People will go back to their own selfish ways…I hope I’m proved wrong.

Sarah Maguire
1995 - 2020
Always remembered, forever loved

Monday, 21 May 2018

*Taps microphone* "Is this thing on?"

TW: Suicide, suicidal thoughts, self harm.

Hiya - Thought I should probably write something in connection to Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.  And writing is so cathartic for me so here goes.

It's only me.  I realise I've been pretty quiet here lately.  A lot of stuff has happened in my life and subsequently, my mental health has taken a massive battering.

Firstly I quit my job, partially due to anxiety and depression and being unable to cope in that environment anymore. Subsequently, I also quit doing my radio show which has broken my heart completely but ultimately it's the right thing for me to do for me.

And my beloved auntie Marie died on 30 April.  It was expected but it didn't make it any less sad when she died.  You might remember her from some of my blog posts here (sorry, that was terribly Troy McLure, wasn't it?)  She was so well loved and will be missed by almost everyone who knew her.  She was buried on what would have been her 80th birthday.  

My recent mental health battering really affected me terribly, I self harmed and had contemplated suicide...I didn't want to die, just for everything to stop and for the anxiety and depressive thoughts to cease.  

Suicide has been talked about quite a bit recently, due to an incredibly moving and powerful storyline in Coronation Street which saw Aiden Connor to take his own life.  The reactions of the neighbourhood, his family and friends was so well observed - the denial, the cries of 'selfish' and 'coward' - and the acting has been absolutely outstanding, particularly Richard Hawley (not THAT one) who plays Johnny, Aiden's devastated father.

I was asked why I would put myself through watching, given the horrible few months I've had; I think some of it was to see how it was handled (they worked with CALM and The Samaritans to get it right), but I think the main part was to try to get myself out of that mind set - to see how those chara
cters reacted to Aiden taking his life, is that how my friends and family would react?  And I know how messed up that is but now I've written it down, it's out there and it's probably the main reason I watched it.  I was able to snap myself out of the suicidal thoughts and the thoughts of harm, but I'm still depressed and suffering with massive anxiety.  I was so down, I didn't even look forward to my birthday, and as a lot of you know, I LOVE having about a billion birthday parties.  I spent my birthday with my gorgeous parents wandering around Nuneaton, trying to buy shoes for my auntie's funeral.  Got an ice cream out of it though.

I'm not working now (I'm technically a House Wife) I'm alone more with my thoughts, and I'm trying my best to distract myself.  It's so easy to wallow and sink, but I need to swim up and keep going.  I am good enough, I will get another job, I have the love and support of my wonderful husband and family, and friends.

Basically, this is just a catch up of my life recently (it wasn't all doom and gloom, David and I had an absolutely incredible holiday in Croatia where we befriended about a billion cats).  I think I just wanted to let y'all know what's been going on and to remind you that it's okay to not be okay.  It's okay to be emotional, toxic masculinity is so prevalent in our society that men in particular feel they need to 'Man Up' (a dreadful phrase). Cry, scream, wail, talk to someone, please.  No-one else can play your part, you're a unique and beautiful being.  You absolutely deserve your place here on this planet.  Please never feel you don't.

Friday, 2 February 2018


I have to eat a sausage roll today and I'm freaking right the fuck out.

Frequent readers of this blog will probably know (because I don’t stop banging on about it), since my weight loss surgery, I’ve developed a fear of some foods.  I’m seeing a psychologist and things have been going great, until now.  My anxiety is increasing with the thought of having to eat this pissing sausage roll… and I know how much of a hardship it sounds, I’ve already had people say ‘I’ll do it for you’, and yes it does make me smile the 93rd time I hear it, part of me is thinking ‘if you could please, that’d be ace.’

I’ve been rather jolly and joking about the fact that I am having to eat a sausage roll in a medical setting, but as the day draws closer, I’m not finding it quite so funny

My psychologist and me are working using something called Graded Exposure Therapy (minds OUT of the gutter please).  So far we’ve ranked the foods I’m scared of hierarchically with the most feared (bread/pizza/doughnuts) at the top of the list and the least feared (pastry) at the bottom and all the stages (fruit/veg, rice, pasta etc.) in between.  I’d been so blasé with the psychologist about it, I thought I’d be fine, but now as the day draws ever near (I’d convinced myself it was actually NEXT Friday) the familiar anxiety beats kick in; racing thoughts, palpitations, inability to sit still, fidgeting.  They’re not as pronounced as they once were, and if I can’t sleep, my brain STILL makes me recite the cooking in prison scene from Goodfellas.  So we’ll see what 2pm holds, I guess.

In other news, I’ve been back at work now for three weeks (two weeks of half days, almost one of full) and I’ve gotten on okay (other than a bit of a blip last week when on top of all the changes made in my absence –staff changes, management changes etc. – I had a bit of a kick off and almost left because of another change that they dropped on me).  It’s good to be back in a routine, to have something to get up and go out for.  My colleagues have all been brilliant too, trying to compliment me on my weight loss (I don’t take compliments well so I try to fire back a self-derogatory remark because it’s an automatic defence mechanism I’ve developed over my life), asking how I’m getting on and genuinely giving a shit about me and the state of my mental health which is extremely encouraging.  Some people are scared to discuss mental health at work, but I absolutely advocate it.  A simple ‘How are you feeling?’ or ‘Are you okay?’ could make the world of difference.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Return of the Twat

So gang, that's more sitting in my pyjamas all day, lusting over Gordon Ramsay or getting enraged at Jeremy return to work is IMMINENT.

Readers of this blog will know that following my gastric sleeve surgery, my brain went a bit (well, a LOT) wrong and I effectively had a bit of a breakdown.  I've been off work since July 2017, moping, crying, not being able to eat etc.  I cried out for psychological input and thankfully I am now receiving some therapy from one of the bariatric psychologists at the hospital.  We're still tinkering and working on the plan that will hopefully rid me of my phobias surrounding food and vomiting, and we're also going to do work on my anxiety.

Blogging has really helped me through this period in my life.  I genuinely hadn't expected to have a meltdown surrounding my surgery, didn't even consider it, let alone develop food phobias that have effectively put me on the eating disorders spectrum (according to my GP anyway).

I'm always very honest and open in my blog; I wear my heart on my sleeve and (just to use another old cliche) my life is pretty much an open book.  I had to blog for the sake of my sanity.  It's cathartic for me to do so.

But, yes, back to work on Friday 12 Jan.  It's a phased return so I should be back to full duties the first week of February or so.  Of course I'm anxious about going back, the team has changed significantly (three members of staff resigned, one was dismissed), leaving the office resembling the Mary Celeste.  But one thing I know I can do is to only do the work I can, I shan't be stressing myself out about work because that way another breakdown lies.  I've learned to leave work at work (and I know I'm lucky to be in a position where I can do just that).  I have to look out for ME now, I'm quite good at neglecting me and focussing on others or other things, but if I don't look out for me now, then who else will?  That isn't to say that the support I've received over these six months hasn't been phenomenal with special thanks going to David, my mam and the rest of the family and of course my friends.  But I know the signs of my mental health going down and so I must keep an eye on that and I'm the best person to do that (I think anyway).

To assist my return to work, I've written an email to my manager and asked her to disseminate it to the department.  Essentially it's a polite request that folk don't ask me about my surgery or how much weight I've lost (yes, I know I've been blogging about it, but that's different in so far as the readers of this blog won't be all up in my grill asking me if I can't eat cakes anymore or why I'm frightened of pasta).  If I want people to know, I'll tell them.  This is purely an exercise in self preservation.

I'm so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life (in my real life and the internet world) who have been so caring and although I realise my fears surrounding food and vomiting are difficult to understand, thanks for not being dicks about it.  You've all showed me some support in some way or another and that means the absolute world to me. 

I'll continue blogging about stuff, especially as my BMI is low enough for us to begin IVF (have to wait til May for another appointment and there'll be discussion surrounding whether my innards have healed well enough etc.) but I'm actually quite hopeful, and I try to not be hopeful for anything because I tend to get let down (eternal pessimist, just call me Eeyore) but maybe this will be a Good Year.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Tara Court is feeling (slightly) better.

Oh hi.

I thought I've not filled people's FB and Twitter timelines with my banging on about mental health, weight loss, fertility problems and other such matters, so you lucky people, I'm doing a blog.

After asking for it in August 2017, I FINALLY got my bariatric psychology appointment through and it took place on Tuesday 5 Dec.  It went pretty well, with me opening up about my food phobias and my fear of vomiting, how I'm perceived by others (especially when I'm out or when I eventually go back to work), and my fear that I've begun drinking too much.

The psychologist sat and listened, didn't judge (obviously) and suggested that I see him again in two weeks so we can begin to formulate a plan of action which will include graduated exposure therapy (I know, the title of it sounds a bit seaside postcard).  I came away relatively happy.

Prior to seeing him, I saw the occupational health psychologist, who also sat and listened and didn't judge and was supposed to pass her notes on me to the new guy but must have forgotten to.  Obviously, her input is to assist in a return to work.  I'd said from the very beginning that all I wanted was to talk to someone in the bariatric service; a specialised psychologist who understands why people develop food phobias, why people don't eat until the hunger is gnawing at them, why people promise that they'll have some food when they've finished doing a long task (p.s. those things relate to me, though that last one is a new one that I want to get sorted out ASAP).

So I saw my GP today and she has suggested that my phased return to work take place in January, following my second appointment with the psychologist; that way, if something freaks me out in the next session or stays with me and I can't process it, I have time over the Christmas period to work through it and process it without being thrown back into work.  I'm happy with that.

Also of note, is that we had a fertility appointment the other week which was fairly positive.  My BMI needs to be 35 or below before they begin treatment and I'm pretty much there.  What with having abdominal surgery though, they can't actually do anything until maybe a year post surgery which will take us to July.  My insides need to heal.  I'm very aware of my age and so was the consultant who said that a) we're already funded for a round of IVF and b) he'll bring out case up with the head of department because our case is such a rare one.  We have another appointment in May and I guess we'll find out what's going to happen then.  I initially felt positive following that appointment, but I'm a natural pessimist so we'll have to see what happens.

My sleep pattern is still way off, with lying awake for hours trying to nod off whilst simultaneously reciting the whole of Goodfellas in my head (it's not as much fun as it sounds), but all in all, I am feeling better, more positive...relatively happy with my weight loss (the dietician keeps telling me I'm doing brilliantly but I think I could have and should have lost more...). 

My folks are concerned that I'm losing weight too quickly, but as I explained, post surgery is when the weight falls off because you have to get used to new eating patterns and habits (something I haven't really done yet - but I will).  My hair loss continues to concern me to the point where I've considered shaving it all off for a charity and beginning again.  People tell me that they can't see a difference, but I can feel a difference and when I wash my hair and handfuls of my hair comes out, it makes me feel like shit.  I KNOW it'll grow back, but my hair is the thing that defines me, I really wish it wasn't falling out.

And there I go, starting a blog fairly positively, and finishing on a negative.  Typical me, I guess.  

TL:DR; I'm doing better now, thanks.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


I've just come back from a much needed break away with my parents and my niece, Gabby.  My folks thought I could do with the break, so they booked us to go to Amsterdam (comments about weed and sex workers are not welcome).

I felt guilty going away, I mean I'm still off sick from work with mental health issues (and issues surrounding food). I felt worried for what people would think when they saw my Facebook updates and photos.  There are a few snapshots where I look happy and you wouldn't guess that I'm battling with low self esteem, self hatred and depression.  Speaking to a friend, I confided my worries but I also said that snapshots are just that, a snap, a moment in time and I'm great
at faking a smile.
Faking it?

I take and post a lot of selfies, my reason for this is that I can control how I look, if my smile looks okay, my usually tend to be close mouthed because when I smile with my teeth, my top lip disappears and I look even more ridiculous.  And I tend to just post my face because, even though I am losing weight (too slowly for my liking, and I'm still convinced I'm not losing enough despite having been told that my weight loss is fine and in fact ahead of where I should be) I don't want people seeing the mess that I am.

The holiday was wonderful, and a lot of those smiles in my photographs are genuine, but they're just a snapshot where it looks like I haven't a care in the world, where I'm not concerned with what I can and can't eat (what's SAFE in my mind for me to eat and not eat), where I don't feel like an enormous whale, an embarrassment for my family and friends to be seen with...
Yes, I am scared of bread.

I'm still awaiting a psychology appointment through the bariatric service (thanks Tory bastards).  I still need help, discussing with my GP my food phobia, when I said something about not technically
being an eating disorder, she said that there's a spectrum of eating disorders and I'm on there... Great.  Imagine you went from not caring what you put in your mouth to having to check everything, to look at the protein content of everything, so I eat virtually the same things (nuts, hummus, cracker breads, king prawns, eggs, mash)  - these are my 'Safe Foods'.

I'm hanging in there, still not sleeping brilliantly, lying in bed because there's no reason to get up, same with showering...I know that's disgusting but I'm still pretty much 'Meh, what's the point'. Thanks depression, you wanker.

I know my friends and family are all supportive and love me, and I know that when I write blog posts like this, I upset them.  I'm sorry for that, I have to write down my thoughts and feelings, it helps me and God knows I need all the help I can get.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Today's Forecast Calls for Blue Skies

Hi, me again. It's been almost two months since my weight loss surgery, so I thought I'd
update you all on how I've been getting on.

It hasn't been all plain sailing as I alluded to in my previous post.  Physically it's been tough with delightful things such as constipation and crippling pain from that, but's been, and is continuing to be, absolute hell.

I mentioned in my last blog that I didn't think I was losing as much weight as I should be; that has continued along with some new issues.  I've developed a food phobia (which is as lovely as you'd expect) coupled with a newly found fear of vomiting (if you eat too quickly or don't chew the food enough, this makes you sick.) 

So I'm scared to eat 'new' things (things I was eating before the surgery).  I have established things that I eat but I'm literally just sticking to Weetabix, beans, cheese, tuna and potatoes.  And not a great deal of any of those things.  I'm scared I'm not eating enough, but then I know if I eat too much, I'll get a pain in my chest or stretch my sleeve, which I really don't want to happen).

I'd been passing the surgery off as no biggie, because it wasn't open surgery, it was being done via a laparoscopy.  I genuinely, somewhat naïvely, didn't think it was going to be as big a deal as it was.  I mean, I was only having 75% of my stomach removed... how hard could it be?? What an idiot I am.  I'm sort of coming to terms with the fact it WAS actually major surgery. 

I've been dealing with feeling like I've made a massive mistake, due to the pain my body and brain have been and are still going through.  Can't go back though, they can't rebuild me...maybe they could shove a load of sausage casings back in and see how that goes...

So I'm trying to cope with that, on top of feelings of utter misery and inflicting misery on David and my family and friends.  I'm no fun to be around, I'm generally usually down, crying at the drop of a hat, and my old arch nemesis of Low Self Esteem is popping her head in, telling me that I'm failing at weight loss, how I'm pretty much a failure in life anyway because I can't have children and that how that even if I get to the desired weight for IVF, it won't work because I don't deserve it.  I don't deserve to be happy, I don't deserve to have a child.  She tells me that David will probably leave me when the IVF fails because I can't do anything right in life.  Happy cheery stuff like that.

I've told one of the bariatric nurses my concerns, and she's referred me to psychology...but I don't know when I'll get an appointment (cut backs to mental health services, thanks you Tory cunts).  I know I need help, I've identified my problems, I've told my GP and she was going to try to expedite my psychology appointment.  Speaking to my GP helped a bit, she signed me off for another four weeks, so we'll see how that all goes.  I've had to up my antidepressants again (as a sort of a sticking plaster until my psych appointment).

I'm so lucky to have David and my family and all my friends...and even the cats - Aslan is an excellent nurse (well okay maybe not but he's always good for cuddles).  And writing helps me out a lot.  I know a lot of this might seem extreme but I have to be honest about how I've been feeling since surgery.

I'll get there, I know I will.  I'm loved and adored and well cared for.  And I'll be a mother one day, I know this too.  I just need to see more blue skies than grey.