Introspection on a Decade

Apparently I started University 10 years ago.
Oct. 2001 was an odd time to move away from the country to a large town – the world was changing and I was 18 and that peculiar mixture of cynical and idealistic best manifested by being a teenager free to live their life how they chose.

2 years ago I wrote:
[Tuesday, 14 July 2009 at 15:59]

Having an introspective moment.

What were you doing 10 years ago? What did it feel like? Do you remember? How much have you changed as a person since then?

10 years ago: 1999- the edge of the silly number change and some parties, a pre-twin towers world.

In ’99, I sat my GCSE’s and turned 16, spent my last summer as a semi-pro showjumper, started clubbing and going to pubs on my own, turned loneliness into self-destruction, fell in love, helped make a film, came out to my friends and bought the only CD single I own – though not in that order.

So what was it like? My memory of myself at that time is that I was an arrogant fuckwit, I refused to admit there was anything I couldn’t do on my own & yet I also remember that I didn’t believe I was capable of what I was doing. I remember the sense of optimism about the possibilities of the world and the things I wanted to try – a new sense of financial and personal freedom and the beginning of clearer self-definition. But I remember the absolute certainty that my friends thought I was stupid, lazy and superfluous, crying myself to sleep every night running up to my exams and thinking it was normal and pushing myself to exhaustion to be good enough. Its odd but I don’t remember feeling miserable, just useless, and also restless and determined to get on and get experience.

How have I changed?


I never got around to really answering my own question, but as I muse on my decade in this town I can begin to look at the things I have done and achieved and the people who have passed through my life in that time.


Got a degree and a masters, and am working towards a PhD
Got a job that I haven’t been able to quit for 8years
Walked up Kilimanjaro, wandered across much of Scotland and learnt to climb (then knackered my shoulder so I can’t)
Moved 5 times and bought a house

9 Weddings: A Handfasting and civil-partnership of my own, witness for Dad & My Step-Mother, Best Man for D&J, Readings for L&A and Kitten & Mr.C and a guest at 3 more (cousins various). Also witnessed a decree absolute for a divorce.
3 Funerals: Shirley, my Aunt Maddie and Fenton, plus an extra 2 where I only went to the wake[Good to know I am still in the phase of my life where I have been to more weddings than funerals]
Tried 4 different medications and seen 3 different counsellors; helped 3 of my closest friends make the decision to get professional support and taken one person to a psych ward
Taken over 2.5 thousand pain pills!
Sat at my sister’s hospital bed as she struggled through a coma and watched her learn to speak again and finish her degree.

Mostly I have fallen in love and started to build a life…


Being Nice to Me

is a challenge.

Busy hearing the nagging whine that tells me I’m not good enough and all that stuff: You didn’t help Sleepy. He doesn’t want you interfering in his life. You are a hypocrite. You are a liar. Your supervisor is fed up with you & doesn’t want to see you til she has to. Your thesis is bollocks. You don’t look after the people you love. You are selfish. You let them down. You don’t keep in touch with people who have moved away. You aren’t there when they need you. You ruined your sister’s life, you didn’t protect her. Everyone is disappointed in you. You shouldn’t act like you know it all at work. You are ridiculously grumpy at people. you are stupid. you are a fraud. you are a waste of time and space and money…..

Its a familiar litany. Playing a little loudly today – I blame PMT which as a woman it is my right to do for another 25 years or so – but its hard to keep on doing the right thing when your mind won’t be quiet.

However, made it to the Dr.,talked a little about how i’m doing and meds. The guy i saw today isn’t really happy to see me taking my pain meds and wants to fiddle with the head drugs too. [It’d be nice not to have the naproxen but last time I stopped taking it I could barely move, even taking it I am still in pain most of the time, otoh I hate having it in the house cos I don’t trust myself not to od] Anyhow gonna wean myself off the fluoxetine for good I hope (though taking it every other day for a week is going to be a challenge to remember!) and up my dose of mirtazapine which will hopefully sort my sleeping pattern. I was used to taking an hour or so to fall asleep and sleeping a few hours at a time, waking regularly etc until the mirtazapine zapped me into 8hr rest – it was fantastic and now those effects are wearing off I really miss it.
Anyhow actually managing to talk about this to the Dr is me trying to take care of myself. Didn’t manage thesis today but did do a bit of reading [ex-supervisor’s thesis].
Also went to the wake and chatted with various (not sure I’m old enough to only be catching up with people at funerals already), went up to the psych ward but Sleepy didn’t want to see me, so I had a bit of a cry and a nap and then fessed up to B about my arms. I never stop feeling guilty about it – if only it wasn’t so damn good at easing the tension. I don’t heal as well as I used to. Need to be more careful.

So mostly just working on taking care of myself and screw the rest of it cos this is hard enough.


Ok Dr tomorrow (again. already.) What do I need to do?

More Meds – most importantly Mirtazapine & Naproxen
Talk about Peak Flow Diary?
Weight Gain?
My Arms?

Nah I guess its another day where I’ll just nod and smile and pick up my pills.

Big Steve’s Funeral too – but I’ll skip the crematorium and just go to drinks afterwards and sympathise with people who liked the man
Then up to see Sleepy in hospital

Ah such a rock n roll life!

A Catch Up


So um I’ve been a bit vague in my last couple of posts whilst real life got in the way. Sorry about that. So what is there that you actually ought to/might want to hear about? I wrote a list a week ago and have been on holiday since but I have to say that all sounds pretty trivial.


I think the key point I wanted to put across a couple of weeks ago was about funerals. As you may have gathered I went to my aunt’s funeral – which was a difficult affair – and also talked to a couple of other people about funerals they had been to in that week. (Have you ever noticed that it these things seem to come in clusters? 2011 not the best year on the people staying alive front) I don’t think I have come to any real conclusions about what makes a good funeral or even what to expect from one and certainly I have been reminded how much the funeral is about the survivors expressing/feeling sorry for themselves (Don’t get me wrong that is a very important thing – its just that it has so little to do with the dead person it can be jarring). It would be fair to say that more than I expected it to Maddie’s funeral stirred up unpleasant memories of my own mother’s but also that I have had a chance to feel how lucky I am, even just for the experience that allows me to deal with such things.

Ok – Skip to Holiday.

I actually got W to agree to come away and not be in contact with smother for a whole week – I think she regrets it slightly now smother is being so cold and hurtful but it was worth that and besides no work for a whole week, not even answering emails. The holiday was not everyone’s idea of fun; apart from anything else we were staying with my parents. In some ways this is a real boon, my father has a very reliable credit card and he had is car there which allowed more freedom than we would have had alone. Plus he paid for the accommodation and the bulk of the food and beverage. On the other hand, we had enforced socialising and other people’s timetables to work and he snores.

Its not the same as getting true personal alone time with one’s partner but we had the opportunity to do things we wouldn’t normally be able to. I hope that the experience encourages W to believe she can break free and explore new things. I also hope she experiments with cooking ideas based on the different things we ate and that some day we will go back to the beautiful city of Budapest and see more of the things that fascinate many museums and churches to go to…

Next up on my list of things to include is a brief alcoholic run down of the last few weeks but that will have to wait til later.



I would absolutely definitely love to be dedicated enough to write coherently right about now – but I’m a touch too drunk. So have a list of things I need to be reminded to write about instead.

  • Maddie’s Funeral
  • Funerals in general
  • Failing to cope with people
  • New Brewery Fun
  • Pub Beer Festivals
  • Going on Holiday

The short version of my week goes like this. I built decking with the help of a friend, then my parents came to stay and we went to my aunts funeral; I had a small nervous breakdown,I didn’t finish with my Phd books, I went to work; a regular in the pub released his first commercial beer, I drank gin from a teapot and then went to a mini beer festival. Tomorrow W & I fly to Hungary.

Burble burble woop