Sunday 23 August 2009

Jaffa cakes aren't biscuits...

They dunk well, but go soggy if left too long. And chocolate ends up in the tea, which isn't the point of tea. But still. Good show.

I'm planning a weekend in London soon. I've never been to London for a weekend. The thought of it both excites me and intimidates me. City life is so different to what I know and where I live. It's uncitylike here. I live next to a field. I hear the cows and sheep and cockerels that live on the farm. We don't have a train station. There are 3 very near here, but my town, such as it is, doesn't have one.

My life has never been full of trains and commuting and the hustle and bustle that goes with that life. Because I've never had a job, I've never had to get a train or a bus or drive somewhere, along with everyone else, with responsibility and tasks and meetings and deadlines. Or the like.
And because of the way depression affected me in my teens, it stunted my confidence, thus preventing me from growing into the young woman I wanted to be. And I'm still not that person, because I don't do the things I so yearn to do.
Being around lots of people isn't something I'm used to. I sometimes find it overwhelming, and it makes me feel unsure about what to do or say, if anything. But that's not to say I don't want to be in those situations.

So, the weekend in London is a huge event for me. I shall be meeting new people and seeing new places. I've been invited to a party, which promises to be immensely exciting and such fun. The next day, I'll be meeting yet more new people, when I attend a "do" in a park.

Regarding trains and the journeys, when I arrive at my destination, I see buildings higher than any in the nearby "main" town, hundreds more people than I'm used to, more noise than my ears have heard in my familiar territory of flatlands. "My" town is so small that everyone sees at least 5 people they know when they walk to the shops. There are not that many shops, admittedly. Nor that many people...

Of course, it's not unique to me, this being slightly apprehensive about new places and people. It's not the tall buildings, the unknown roads, nor even the ker-azy disco buses that put me on edge. What really concerns me... is me. My mind. My occasional inability to stop panic attacks. Why? I have no idea. Sometimes, in these unusual yet often exciting situations, I have no trouble and am so relaxed. Other times, even when "things" are OK, By that, I mean, "things" are OK. Lately, "things" have been going fairly nicely. I've been moody and tired and... well, I've been depressed. As now. At least, now as I type.

This is in no small part due to the fact that I'm a hypocrite. I admit that. For example, I love animals but I still eat them in pork, fish (it's a dead animal, so it counts), chicken, beef, et al, form. I'm not brave enough to kill an animal and gut it and pluck it or skin it. I am a hypocrite.
I have told people I know - who are on anti-depressant treatment - who have said they may stop taking their tablets, not to do so. It's not a wise decision to make. Not by oneself, anyway. But then I did that. Well done, Lu. Well. Fucking. Done. I am not, it seems, immortal. I "wobbled". I tumbled down that horrible, bumpy, tearful slope back to depressionville. Hello! Not been here for a while. Bugger. I'd rather be in London...

So, now I'm planning this huge event, this lone trip to London, when I am mid-"wobble". Is it sensible? Possibly not. But I don't really care for sensible. I am careful, but sensible is boring. It is dull. I want adventure and random fun and spontaneity; to go to London and meet my friends, to stay with them for a few hours, or overnight; to eat in cafes and walk around the roads and parks and hidden shops they are so used to, for it is all so new and exciting to me. It's uh-mazing.

That's the life I want. Not for everything to be amazing. Rather, for what I just typed to be what I can do, and not think about it; for me to do it and not study the photos of the stations and the routes I have to take so that I don't get lost; so that I can sleep easily in a friend's spare room or sofa or in a hotel room and not wake with a start that I'm not in my own bed and think OH MY GOD I must have to panic... which is utterly ridiculous. But, rational thinking has never played a part in anxiety and panic attacks. Which is sort of part of the reason they happen: they are not rational. At all. Not even minutely. They also are not harmful, physically. It's all about the depression. Even more fucking annoying.

But... I have to remember that presently, I am getting back to an evenness I so stupidly sacrificed because for a few weeks, I skipped too many tablets. That will take some more weeks for me to feel right, I suspect. Quite touchingly, I was told by a very lovely friend to "TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF". Yes, sir. *Salutes.*
I'm also very confused about my periods. They still hurt like hell but not for as long as before Mirena. They are shorter and lighter, too, but this is not what I'm used to. It's strange. My hormones still seem to be pissing about, somewhat, making me feel even more ugh.
As well as the above, there is a problem I haven't really mentioned before. It's taking its toll, still, months after I thought it'd ended. It's very difficult to cope with sometimes and I don't know what to do about it. It makes me feel physically and emotionally unwell, besides the depression. But maybe that is what's making me feel worse? Or maybe it's all of these things...?
And then, of course, all this cancer crap with The Ma. Which still doesn't seem real.

Inevitably, I feel, I am both incredibly excited and nervous (about IF I'll get anxious. DUH Lu. DUH.) about London. I think it's a wonderful city. It's not just full of some wonderful people, fascinating architecture and important history; it's the city in which a lot of my family were born and raised, where they lived and worked. That's wonderful, to me.

Bumpy, steep hills are not easy to climb. Especially when you live in the flattest area of the country and don't want to break your nails before the party. I have some particularly lovely friends who make me smile, who have kept and will keep me smiling on my dark days, whether they know it or not. Aside from my family and music, they keep me going. And in one case, she's the one who'll get me to London and together, we'll have much London fun. Like Bill and Ted.

You ready, Amanda?


  1. For someone who acknowledges how irrational panic attacks are you're looking at this in SUCH a rational way! I've no doubt you're going to love it in London and I'm pretty excited to hear how it goes :)

    Try and see it as a mid-wobble excursion that will get you OUT of the wobble and into a more confident and spontaneous time on the other side of it. I hope you have a ridiculous amount of fun! xxxx

  2. I couldn't agree more with what Lucy says and I too am also excited to hear how it goes for you. :)

    You are a very honest writer. In my early 20's, I too suffered depression so I know how it can affect your confidence and how hard it is to shake it off.


  3. I may live in a city but weirdly walk everywhere I can. I even walked 8 miles to a job for 3 months (and sometimes back!). It's great you can talk so openly about everything. I actually understand very well a lot of what you're saying. Had very similar experiences myself. Hope London goes well :)

  4. You're right about confidence, it's probably the single most important thing you need to live a happy, meaningful life. Alas it can also be very elusive.

    Being good at something or having a particular talent that the world recognises and rewards you for is in my opinion a basic human need. The world however isn't always fair, people with less talent and ability can excel with apparent ease, usually because they know how to charm and manipulate to get what they want.

    I'm drifting off topic a little, just remember that one day the world will turn for you, it's the law of averages, you can't be unhappy forever.

    It's obvious, to me anyway that you have a great deal to offer, you just need a little luck and a little success to give you that confidence boost and you will be awesome.

    I hope I'm doing the right thing putting this down in words (lack of confidence) see what I mean.

    There have been times in my life when I have been deleriously confident, high on life and successful, there have also been times of deep sadness and despair, I'm about midling just now. If I can do it so can you.

    You've got under my skin enough to compell me to do this (not easy I can assure you) there must be thousands of other people out there you can connect with in a positive way, my guess is like me they won't be sorry they let you into their lives.

    Regards Pete


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