Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Tears for Paris

I don’t know if I have the right to feel how I am feeling.  I was there, yes, but not close to where the attacks took place.  We were in Les Halles when everything kicked off.  In an Irish pub (story of my life) I got a BBC news alert telling me there had been a shooting in Paris.  David and I sort of shrugged it off as maybe a lone gunman or whatever.  We even joked that no-one would be in touch to see if we were okay cos it was Friday night and everyone was out getting wrecked.  Watching the Ireland/Bosnia match (terrible fog, even worse game), I went to post on Facebook that the owner had given me free Guinness due to my Irish heritage only to discover  my phone had died.  I thought nothing of it, happens all the time.  I sat and watched the game, eating my Taytos and drinking my Guinness.  David was watching the France/Germany game.  We had a bit of an argument about stopping out for ‘just one more’ (those who know me know full well it’s never ‘just one more’).  David wanted to go back nearer to our hotel in Montrouge as we weren’t too familiar with the centre of Paris he’d feel safer nearer to where we were staying.  We got the Metro and popped into a restaurant/café/bar nearer to our hotel for a last drink.  Both phones were now dead, so we had to resort to talking to one another… Imagine that.
Glancing at the TV in the bar, the news was on.  Everything looked a hell of a lot worse that we could have imagined, there were scenes from the France/Germany game, and a number that seemed to be rising all the time.  We drank up as quickly as we could, and briskly walked back to the hotel, passing several police cars and ambulances, their sirens wailing in the dark night.  We arrived to the hotel, plugged in our phones where they both promptly exploded with texts, emails, Facebook messages and voicemails, one in particular from my mother sounding severely distressed shouting in the background to my dad ‘She isn’t picking up her phone…’  We checked the BBC news website to see the full atrocity that had been committed in Paris that night, people out celebrating, just having a Friday out at a restaurant or a football match, or a gig attacked for no good reason.  Murder and rampage; Panic on the streets of Paris.  Obviously we got in touch with everyone and let them know we were okay.  Hundreds of people, people I don’t even know that well, just concerned that we were alive and safe.  It was overwhelming and we felt guilty for having that little joke earlier on.  I spoke to my dad and I’ve never heard so much relief in a single person’s voice.  Turns out he, along with Tom and Fran and others had phoned the bar we had been at to check we were okay.  We watched the French news in complete shock.  There was a state of emergency in France.  We were due to travel home on Saturday, what if we couldn’t? 
Well, as you all know, we got back safe and sound having spent the ENTIRE day at Charles De Gaulle airport (just as boring as you think it would be).  We’d intended spending our last day in Paris seeing things we hadn’t seen like the Arc de Triomphe and walking down the Champs-Élysées but it seemed safer to just go straight to CDG.  An uneventful tube ride from Heathrow to Euston and then a cab from Coventry station to Pie Bash and things seemed right and okay with the world again.  But I think that with the adrenaline of getting out of Paris and back home to Coventry had got me through, because on Sunday evening, the tears started and they’ve been on and off ever since.
The tears are a mixture of sadness, fear, rage and guilt.  Sadness because of the sheer loss of human life and devastation to so many families and to Paris herself; the fear has literally just hit me over the past few days; anger manifests itself in the question of why the fuck did these cunts think it was okay to attack and kill innocents?  And the guilt?  The guilt is that I lived but many others didn’t.  There should be 129 more living breathing beautiful humans on this planet but there aren’t because murderous cunts stole their lives.
It’s been odd seeing the reactions to what happened in Paris on Friday 13th: such sympathy and solidarity with the French populous, the simple act of changing one’s Facebook profile picture so it is the colour of the tricolore has been derided by many as slacktivism but fuck that, people have a fucking choice to change their FB photo just like those who didn’t change theirs (myself included) also had that choice.  It’s a sign of solidarity so take your derision and shove it right up your arse.  I am also very much aware of other atrocities that took and continue to take place and I am able to feel sadness for all of those things.  I am expressing myself about Paris because I was there, so it kinda hit me a little harder.
I’m not entirely sure what the point of this blog piece is, truth be told.  Probably catharsis, most likely.  I started back at work today and was dreading it because I was expecting the third degree about the whole thing; I was in tears last night when I was trying to go to sleep because I didn’t want to have to talk about it to anyone at work.  Thankfully, save for one person*, they’ve all been fine when I said I didn’t want to talk about.
I just can’t help but feel though that it isn’t right for me to cry, to have this grief or whatever it is.  I wasn’t directly affected, other than being in the city when it happened… I don’t know… I didn’t lose anyone, I didn’t get shot at, I wasn’t near an explosion… why do I feel this way?  It can’t just be because I’m a caring individual, David is a caring person and he hasn’t reacted this way… it’s caused me to take a break from one of my volunteering posts because if I’m in this state, I can’t think about being there for someone else completely.
This is the end…I’ve sort of tailed off… my mind isn’t in its usual (just about) working order.  Oh, and may thanks to Carl for the call this morning…I’m sorry you had to hear me cry.
*Me: I don’t want to talk about it
Them: Oh why, how close were you to it all?
Me: Not that close but…Excuse me *rushes to bathroom to cry*

Monday, 10 August 2015

Hello blogger, my old friend

Hi.  Me again.  I know I only ever write when I’m upset or something catastrophic has happened to me and for that I’m sorry, but I’ve got to get this out.

I hit 36 in May of this year.  I’m getting on (in dog years, I’d be dead).  As every media outlet seems to delight in telling me, I’m not getting any younger, so I should probably start a family or something.  Well dear readers, I’ve tried (not like the Immaculate Conception, obvs) actually, I should probably say WE’VE tried, and nothing is happening.  And it’s probably all my fault.

I’m morbidly obese, according to the BMI scale.  And I’m shocking trying to do anything about it.  Sure, we both try to eat healthier, but as with everything, that falls off during the month until we’re just eating junk and crap and getting takeaways instead of cooking.  And each time, I beat myself up, each time, I fall back there.  And I’m not an emotional eater; if anything I’m an emotional starver.

To add to things, I can’t exercise at the moment due to a stupid trip down the stairs that’s fucked my hip up (I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a man jam a steroid injection into my hip joint – but I don’t know when that’s going to happen – could be a fortnight, could be November).  So my movements are very restricted, walking can be agony at times, so treadmill running (which I actually enjoy) is way out of the question.

So being a fatty isn’t conducive to conception, it certainly also means that IVF isn’t an option either.  I’m so desperate to lose weight AND have a child that it’s all I can think about.  If I wasn’t such a great big fucking fat mess, then we’d be swimming in kids now, probably.  I’ve even enquired about a gastric bypass so that I can’t eat the world.  My circle of close friends, bar one, have at least one child.  I’ve jokingly said to my friend who has four that should she pop out another, could she just let me have it instead?  It’s easy to try to laugh it off; it isn’t so easy to hide the pain and the tears regarding a situation that is ultimately probably my own making.

I know I probably shouldn’t be whinging on about how I’m fat, I’m well aware it’s my own fault, it’s just losing weight isn’t easy, especially when you suffer with depression, low self-esteem and that nagging feeling that you’re an embarrassment to your friends and loved ones due to your size.  I grew up with the mind-set that fat cannot be attractive, although there are hundreds of THOUSANDS of exceptions to this rule.  I found myself perusing ‘pro ana’ sites as I browsed for which VLCD was best.  And that frightens me, but then again,  I’ve felt like a failure for not being able to develop an eating disorder for fucks sake – how screwed in the head am I?  Like that is how any normal person thinks.  I’ve downloaded a ‘virtual gastric band’ hypnosis app, knowing that it’ll just be mumbo jumbo bollocks and won’t help me a jot (still going to try though, I have to). 

I suppose this is heading, ultimately, to the fact that I am just terrified that I am never going to have a child of my own, I’m never going to give birth, hold nine months’ worth of work, blood, cells, love; nine months’ worth of David and me mixed together into a teeny tiny mewling pink ball of new human.  I know there’s adoption which is something that we’ve discussed in the past, but to me, right at this moment in time, I want to feel how being pregnant feels, the tiredness, the puke, the ankle swelling, the constant need for weeing, the contractions, all of it.

If I start dieting now, I don’t know how long it will take for me to get to a weight where I can actually realistically conceive, assisted or not.  I’m scared I’ll be too old; I’ll be 40 or over.  But Christ knows, I have to do it, I have to try.

Try harder, you stupid critter.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Drama Llama Ding Dong

Friday’s little drama of me having run out of antidepressants and then bleating on about it on Facebook made me think I was pretty much just a show off.  We all know if someone posts a ‘woe is me’ Facebook post, it more often than not elicits responses from your lovely chums that are jokingly referred to as ‘u ok hun?’ replies.  The genuine feelings of care, compassion and worry are there but on the other hand, the original poster could be fishing for these responses and so will post further drama about their lives.  This was genuinely not what I had in mind, and in fact, it was sheer desperation and frustration that I posted my status.  What overwhelmed me was not only the amount of people who responded with love and care (you’re all marvellous), but the amount of my lovely FB chums that have or have had experiences of antidepressants/mental health issues.

It now no longer seems taboo to discuss if you’re feeling a bit shitty but you can’t explain why, or that you want to die so as not to be a burden to others (both experiences I’ve had in the past).  Depression and anxiety seems to be much more accepted nowadays.  There’s a storyline in Coronation Street at the moment where Steve McDonald has been suffering with depression and not told anyone about it.  Discussing it with a close friend who also suffers on and off with depression, he said that the way it is being handled is pretty much spot on.  I’ve seen a lot of tweets supporting the storyline and how depression is being portrayed, some from folk who suffer it but some from charities such as MIND. 

A lot of people simply can’t cope at the prospect of having to get up and go out to work, or just leave the house in general.  When I suffered my last severe bout of depression, it was traumatic moving from the sofa – nothing could hurt me there… I could sit under a duvet, with a cat (usually Lilith) on my lap, sobbing, drinking tea and watching trash TV.  That was my safe place, and it still is to some extent.

To think that so many of my friends have been through something very similar is really quite upsetting, when I think about it… I mean, it’s great that you’re all powering through with or without medication but for you to have been so low down that you didn’t know where to turn to next genuinely pains me. 

I accept my depression is part of who I am; there’s no use trying to think otherwise.  I can’t bottle it up anymore, that way madness, pain and possibly suicide lies.

Basically, thank you everyone.  Thank you for accepting me as I am, with my black moods and my good days.  Thank you all for the support you offered me from Friday last week and over the weekend, the phone calls, the texts, the FB messages.  It’s nice to know I mean a lot to so many; and you all mean a lot to me.