Be Gone

I’ve booked an appointment with my GP on Monday to discuss the possibility of some sort of surgery on my scars. Wish me luck! The most nerve-wracking part of will be showing my arms. I might go in with my bum out to soften the blow.

Although I have scars on my bum, too, due an over-enthusiastic dog that I met when I was ten. It became intimately acquainted with my legs and arse. It looked like this:

I should have karate kicked its face off

As a result, facked fans, I have a slightly deformed looking arse! On the plus side, I got two weeks off school AND a box of Quality Street from the lollipop lady who bopped Lassie on the head with her stick.

Magic moments are when a dog is mauling you…

Two things will possibly push me to pick up the glass and pills that will send me to sleep, though- one being that my sister and her boyfriend are coming to stay tomorrow, and two being that I have to give a presentation at college and people are having trouble following my speech and train of thought. Why can’t I just record it, then come out at the end, grasping peoples’ hands then take off in a helicopter? Eh? Bloody adult education and its low budget for obnoxious stunts.  I’d have to come back anyway, but still.  I’m going to bring my dictaphone in and record the lesson because my arse memory means I tend to leave and go, “Wait, where was I?”

So, er, that’s where I am! Hiya!

Stand Up

I want to do more stand up!  I’m quite sad the shenanigans with Company Paridiso have ended.

As nervewracking as I find it, and as much as I bite my fist when I see the photos, I really enjoy it.  I like jumping around and making people laugh.  It’s especially nice to make them laugh guiltily.  And I like meeting other people who perform.  Even if I’m bollocks at it, it’s worth it for the experience.  (The experience of half a room staring blankly at me, too).  I like pushing myself to do these things.  I may be a socially anxious little sod but getting up in front of people is a good way to help such things.

I might write a little thirty minute thing and then- well, then what?  What do you do with these things?  I have no idea!  Open mic things?

This was my first ever go at it.  I have done it approximately- well, exactly, of course, unless you count me on a train- one more time.

Life In a Scar Suit

I always wear long sleeves, whatever the weather, so I don’t see my own skin a lot. But I just looked down at my arms and reeled in shock. They are at their least shocking ever, because I haven’t self harmed (apart from a few tiny-calm-down scratches during the summer’s high that didn’t even leave a mark) in such a long time. Two years ago, I posted photos of where my scars were at that point.  They are much better than that now.  But it’s not just my arms.  My face, my legs, my chest, my neck.  Everywhere.

Sometimes I struggle to remember why I did it. I often gave reasons I’d read about, rather than my own reasons, when discussing it with doctors.  I have never liked talking about it, or even acknowledging it.  I was secretive, evasive.  For the most part, I guess, it was to be calmer. I rarely self harmed when I was depressed- it was usually when I was agitated. I did it too because I hated my appearance. That was difficult to explain. Why disfigure yourself when you already feel ugly? I butchered myself. I treated my own body- the only one I will ever get, however unreliable it is, however ugly I find it- like it was a piece of meat.

I can’t imagine doing it again. The urge died in me a long time ago, I guess when I started to believe more in my own worth. I still don’t like my appearance- I don’t think I ever will- but I know people love me for more than my appearance, know my body is just a vessel. Still. I wish it were a more beautiful one. I wish I hadn’t wilfully made it uglier and that, no matter how well I am, I have that reminder to carry with me.  And, unless I continue hiding as I do, it is for other people to see, and to judge me by.  Not just strangers, and friends.  But doctors, too.  I still have to pull my sleeves up when I go to my GP.  Despite the fact I haven’t self harmed in years, and despite the fact I have never sought medical attention for it, I’m still treated as a self harmer.  Still-wrongly- seen as someone impulsive and self destructive.  I may as well have branded the words into my skin.

It is good, in a way, that my scars finally have the power to shock me, as they have shocked so many other people over the years. People have always winced and I failed to see what the fuss was about.

Now I see.

And with it is the sad, immensely sad, realisation that I am going to be living in this scar suit for the rest of my life. I will be buried in it, too.

Spending review

I can’t stay away long when there’s a spending review, can I?

Even Harry Hill is playing kick the poor these days.

I’ll write about this properly when I feel less livid and thus can be more reasonable, but for now, here’s Zoe Williams at the Guardian talking utter sense about the benefits system and fraud. Continue reading

What Has Happened to Welfare

Go and read this, it’s the most eloquent and well-organised, well-researched deconstruction of the welfare state, the real cost of benefit fraud and “why Britain hates the sick”.

The Biggest, “Too Much Information” post I will ever make

Thanks for your advice on Previous, chaps!  I have made it private now, mostly because it would be the same advice from a lot of people and because I found the post a bit embarrassing to make.  I’m now slightly delirious from lack of sleep.

Now I’m going to write a post specifically to squick out the men, and to irritate people everywhere who cry, “Oh, is nothing sacred?”  I could talk about current affairs, Chilean miners, tuition fees, or my vagina.  Which one shall I pick?

I had my first cervical smear today.  This, coupled with my tutor referring to, “You young people” with her hand not extending to me, makes me feel old.   I don’t want the NHS to know I’ve had sex.  They might tell my mum.

The nurse was lovely, as almost every nurse I’ve ever met has been.  She was immediately recognisable as a somewhat-eccentric, and told me to relax by thinking I was going to, “PEEEEEEEEEEE!”, said with arms windmilling wildly.  Whipping off my kecks and climbing onto a high surface isn’t easy for a midget like me and for a ghastly moment I thought I’d have to ask her for help with my bum hanging out.   She kept telling me to relax, but her gloriously over the top way of speaking kept making me laugh.  “Deep breaths, deep breaths!” she coached, while I huffed back, “I’m trying, I keep laughing!” It was very surreal.  As was the fact that she complemented my vagina.  I look, “very healthy”, apparently.  I can’t say I’ve ever been complimented in such a manner.  I’ll take it where I find it, really.  I asked her if she ever got tired of staring up women’s vaginas.  She said she used to be a midwife then made a face when referring to babies so I assume she prefers the more sedate aspects of women’s health i.e not watching us being gutted.  But what a lovely woman.  My vagina left the surgery feeling very pleased with itself.

On the way out, I grudgingly picked up prescriptions.  Tip: it’s not a good idea to take your prescription for an antipsychotic then wide-eyedly demand, “Did you hear that?!”  What I heard was something that sounded like an air raid siren going off outside.   It was very abrupt and loud, which is why I asked in shock.  How could she not hear it?  She didn’t, so god knows.  I did the rational thing which was to run outside and examine the sky to make sure we weren’t about to be blown off the face of the earth. I’ve been hearing things recently though not sure I have been hearing things- it’s difficult to tell!  My brain noise has been a bit of a roar lately which means I catch myself gabbering away, but that helps me to pick out the relevant thoughts.  I think the hearing things is probably born out of that- I don’t feel threatened or afraid of it, nor do I think it’s anything psychotic, and thus, because I think that, it isn’t.  It means I sometimes get confused, though.

I’m mostly writing this post to take a break from staring in terror at my assignment.  It’s due tomorrow.  This study lark is so new to me, and it’s another reason I desperately need to sort out something long term with mood stabilising and why I’m feeling increasingly frustrated with what I feel is a misdiagnosis.  My sleep is all over the place which is making it impossible to get into any routine.  It’s my fault, though, I should suck it up.  But I’m behind my book writing- by quite a long chalk- and not pleased with myself.  My social worker congratulated me the other day, saying I was doing all the right things, and she was happy that even though I felt like arse and just wanted to sleep, I forced myself into doing things.  But it’s hard not to feel as though I fall short all too often.  In another sense, though, it’s exciting, to be writing a book and starting study.  But I’ve done neither before in my life.  The latter actually scares me more. It doesn’t help that the financial assessment for my course hasn’t happened yet (where the council decide whether they give me the whole money for my course, or whether I have to pay bits myself out of my DLA, because it counts as income), and thus I can’t afford to buy any books.  (I bought one, but I have more to get.  It’s expensive!)

This stuff kind of intellectually puts me in my place.  At school, I was always the best at certain subjects and coasted along on my wave of teacher adoration and fantastic grades despite being too mental to attend most of the time.  I was quite intellectually cocky.  Now I’m twenty five and completely out of practice, struggling to get into a routine and have no bloody clue what the Harvard referencing system is.  My lack of organisation is scuppering me and I need to get a grip.  If I want to be a brilliant writer/brilliant nurse/stand up who doesn’t accidentally get drunk, I need to sort it out.  And I’m not-gulp- a young person anymore, a revelation which surprised me.  And my vagina.

Anyway, back to it, ARGH.  Coffee and fag.  Sleep sometime this year would be good.  If you see me dandering down the A206 naked, know that I’ve made it to day four on two hours and have stopped feeling tired.

I voted Lib Dem

And I wish I hadn’t. I hate this government.

And here’s a lovely piece of propaganda, from the BBC, of all people.  Saints and Scroungers.  About benefit claimants. Yep.

Photos from Warning: May Contain Nuts

I said I’d post some if I found them, so there’s some excellent photos here!

(I know people always insure themselves with the pre-requisite self deprecating, “Oh, I look awful!”  In my case, I genuinely do and it’s part of the reason I was so nervous. So, er, keep the boot out!)

Anyway, have a look, they’re lovely, so they are. (Said in a Norn Irish accent).

Show in Brighton contained nuts

I’ve resorted to wearing cheap false nails in order to break my nail biting habit so if there are random letters all over the place, it’s because I can barely type!

Thus ends one of the busiest weeks of my life.  I am ill and haven’t got enough money to eat for the next few weeks, but it’s worth it.

Thank you to anybody who came to the show yesterday!  The place was so packed that I wasn’t even able to watch it!  There was nowhere to sit.  So I couldn’t record it, sorry, warriet!

Unfortunately, I made three mistakes.  My first mistake was to sleep in.  I have barely been sleeping as of late because I’ve been ill, so I had a fitful three hours.  So I was stressed to buggery due to having to rush, and also late.   The second was to drink to calm my nerves (it was a proper packed out theatre, which was terrifying and unexpected!), while feeling too unwell to eat, so that two beers have the same effect on me as ten.  I’m not Lenny Bruce, I can’t just get pissed then stumble on stage and be a whirlwind of comic charisma.  I will just stumble on stage.   The third was to walk on stage without my glasses, so, ‘neath the bright lights, I couldn’t actually see my material.

As an unfortunate consequence of my own blatant idiocy, I’m not happy with how I did.  I rushed through it and had to make some bits up while leaving other bits out.   I felt a bit silly!  Other people say I was fine, but it’s good to be happy with what you do, and I wasn’t.  People laughed, though, and I hope enough of them did as to not have me just waste five minutes of everyone’s time.  Alas, I couldn’t memorise due to my oft-mentioned appalling memory. I kind of ran off then listened to what I could from backstage. I still enjoyed it, though. I really like performing and would do it again!

And with exhaustion, illness, nervousness and booze, I was also being rather irritatingly hyper and yet barely got the chance to speak to anyone.  I had to force myself to be energetic just to get through feeling like I needed to fall over.  Such factors tend to just mean I’m quite RAGH! in your face.  Whoops! I was being a bit of a knobber.

I tried not to feel too self conscious about it as I was surrounded by people with mental health problems- a bit of weirdness is acceptable.  That was a nice feeling, actually, and everyone seemed so relaxed and happy.  The audience were also lovely, there was a general nice, warm, open atmosphere. I’m glad I was involved.

I’d wish I’d been able to see it all!  The feedback has apparently been very good and outside afterwards I did get a chance to read some people’s stuff.  It was all good, especially the poetry.

I’ll ask around for videos, reviews and photos and then post them here.  For now, I have to go meet my social worker then collapse from illness.

Don’t wait to be hunted to hide- that’s always been my motto.

Oh lord, I feel like utter shite.  I spent my class this afternoon trying not to put my head into my hands and whimper softly.  Someone asked me if I had a hangover because I looked, “awful” (charming) but alas, I was in bed by midnight last night.  Which was tempered by my not sleeping the previous day, but still.  I hope I feel better by tomorrow or else I’ll have to be wheeled on then crawl into a nest I’ve constructed of felt and fluff.  I do look awful, though, and have inexplicably gained a lot of weight lately.  Ngh.  Robert and some of my friends are coming to support me- hopefully they’ll tongue bathe me in sweet lies to tell me I look radiant and gorgeous and etc.

Speaking of my class, though, I have a question.

How do I hide that I have am mentally interesting from everybody?  My tutor knows that I did have mental health problems.  But part of me doesn’t even want to apply for the disabled students’ allowance that would give me support through wish of it not being an issue at all.  I will, though, as I am aware I will need the support and am liable to try and take on too much.

“You’re reinforcing stigma! Why are you ashamed of this?” I hear some of you cry.  It’s not shame- well, it is, a bit of my spectacular failure to even get eight GCSEs- it’s just that, y’know, after a little while, you get sick of being treated oddly by people because of it.  It happened to me in school, when I wasn’t a diagnosed mental, just a very obvious one.  It happened in work, too, when I wasn’t being treated yet and was quite clearly off my rocker some of the time.  I just don’t want to deal with it.  I don’t want people to treat me differently- even if they aren’t aware they’re doing it.

It happened, briefly, on Thursday.  Most people in my class have full time jobs and are parents.  Outside, having a fag, the inevitable question, “What do you do?” came up.  I answer this now with, “I’m a writer”, because answering, “I’m on benefits”, “Oh, are you looking for work?”, “Er, not yet” just doesn’t cut it.  And saying I’m writer- though true but not a full time job- avoids that.  When someone asked, “Who do you write for?” I mentioned the BBC and One in Four magazine.  She, for some reason, presumably because she’s worked in the health service, knew what it was.  She didn’t tell me this this enthusiastically, in fact, it was with outright distaste.  I don’t know if she just doesn’t like the magazine, or if she had twigged that I was one of the mentals who wrote it.  The conversation pretty much ended there.

I may just be being paranoid and oversensitive, but it’s nothing I want to deal with.  I feel guilty for it, but I don’t have to be an advocate all the time.  With my course, I just want to put my head down and get on with it.  I know I’ve made myself fairly visible in the mental health movement.  I’m happy with that and willing.  That movement, I always think, is aimed more at people who have mental health problems than not.  Some of those, “not” have a good perspective on them.  Some of those, “not”, don’t. I want to help change the perception of people with mental illness- but I don’t want to feel I have to do it on my access course, y’know?  I WANNA BEH MEH!  If I manage to be well as can be, why should I mention it?

The reason I’m asking is because of our career development module.  We have to talk about, “who we are, where we’ve been” and our barriers to education and things formally.  It’s our life story, really.  Where I’ve been encompasses mental health services and trying to piece my brain back together, and my barriers to education and employment were that I became unwell.  What do I say?  I don’t want people to know my whole history.  (They can do that when my book comes out- if I ever finish writing it! Ahahah).

I’m also terrified of becoming ill.  I’m not that chirpy at the moment but I’m just dealing with it and trying not to let it affect things so much.  I try to act quickly if my mood starts wobbling.  I control them- largely- via sleep.  Simply put- too much sleep makes me depressed, too little makes me high.  I do have periods of normal mood and most of this year- until I hit May- I was just mildly depressed, and that was largely due to tiredness from medication.  (Snipped for the people who are interested in reading on and out of sympathy for people who do not).

When my mood became too high, I agreed to take antipsychotics for a while to calm me down.  It took a while for that to work as it was only helping me sleep but as soon as I woke up, I’d begin to shake and my mood was still high.  Then a crash followed, and I took antidepressants (which I have lost, and have forgotten to ring and get a prescription for which might account for why I’m not feeling good again.  I found them quite activating and have felt noticeably more sluggish and down in the past week and a half of not taking them.  Could just be placebo, but I have absolutely no reason whatsoever to be down) and 200mg of Seroquel to help me sleep.  But it makes me sleep too much, so I end up depriving myself for a while to kick my mood up- then, inevitably, I have to take it again at some point to bring it down, and thus sleep again.

This works okay, but it’s untenable for the long term because it’s impossible to keep a routine like that.  I simply don’t sleep for seven hours on Seroquel, I will sleep for a minimum of twelve, and it’s impossible to wake me up.  When I do wake up, I feel drugged, even on fairly low doses because I’m a midge. I almost have to write off a day to do it, and thus it is tempting to just not sleep.  I function very well without sleep- I tend to become more and more awake, and therein lies the problem, it’s a shortcut to hypomania, I have to be talked in to sleeping, and have to take something to make me sleep.

But because my diagnosis is now (recovered) borderline personality disorder and I don’t have a psychiatrist, there’s no quick intervention for when my moods become screwy.  It isn’t treated with medication, and the psychiatrist writing my Seroquel prescription mostly did so to keep my social worker happy, as she strongly disagrees with his assessment of me as borderline, and had thought during the summer I had hit a manic episode and wanted something to immediately bring me down as I had refused crisis team support and asked Robert to refuse it, too.  So, there isn’t anyone I can ring and go, “Achtung! I need some advice/medication to knock this on the head and take long term”, as I don’t have a doctor who thinks I have a mood disorder.  Robert disagrees with him, too, so he has nowhere to go and ask for help, either.  I’m keeping a mood journal and asking for his input, which is pretty much the best I can do right now, along with being careful not to take on too much or thinking I can.  There’s no doctor anyway- that one has gone onto a new job, and the CMHT is so overstretched that it’s difficult to get an appointment with the new doctor, and I don’t think I really need one right now anyway.

So, in that way, I use my own methods to control them, and long term, they’re not fantastic ones.  Therapy ain’t going to help, because- and no, this isn’t part of Bloggers’ Borderline Denial 2010- my moods really aren’t much to do with what happens in my life, or my past, and the mood coping mechanisms they’d teach me are things I already employ myself.  I don’t think I’d even be referred for therapy.  I had CBT (which was to treat body dysmorphic disorder) and some psychotherapy, but the latter ended in the assessment stage because both me and the therapist didn’t really think there was much to talk about and I was managing alright.

So, what to do?  Any advice?  There is obviously the huge problem that my name is all over the internet connected to mental health, but I don’t think I’d be Googled, and if I was, well, their fault for being nosey!  Like I said, I don’t mind being visible, I just don’t want to feel I *have* to discuss it with anyone on my course unless they bought it up first.

I’ve also started a blog to chronicle my progress on the course.  We were advised to do this (the whole career development module is about self reflection), and it’s mostly for my benefit due to a poor memory, but if students and nurses fancy chipping in, feel free.  I haven’t written in it yet.  It’s here: It’s going to be solely about school, study and etc, because I’d like to keep it off here and off my (currently down) main blog for my own purposes and because I can’t imagine most people would want to read about my struggles with time management and organisational skills.

Now I’m off to bed!

Me bibbling in the Guardian today about Warning: May Contain Nuts and comedy

You’re going to kill me- it’s another plug! And it’s sponsored by Pepsi Max. Maximum taste, maximum chlorine.

There is an article about Warning: May Contain Nuts in G2 today, which is online. It is here!  It talks a bit about mental illness and comedy and the show in Brighton on Sunday.  I conducted the interview over the phone after almost two days without sleep, covered in farty rain.  So I’m pleased my words were coherent and there isn’t just three paragraphs of, “….hang on, let me light this cigarette.  Ooh, what’s that?”  That’s my big face there, the picture I send if anyone asks me for one because I don’t mind it.  I look as though I’m being crushed to death by Barney the Dinosaur.

The comments so far seem to be rational and intelligent, not, as I had feared, no comment at all, or people pushing in to criticise anybody with mental health problems daring to raise their drooling head above the parapet to speak of them.  Much of the people doing this event are (I assume, given the last one) people who have been in services and who have suffered through the social isolation and general, “Oh, it’s you” shame of living with mental illness.  The Being Alone, the fossilising of your phone, the turned-away-head when dropping the, “So, I was talking to Jesus…” clanger.  And it is good to talk, without judgement.  Good to laugh, which is liberating,  uniting.  To laugh guiltily, or in recognition.  I write things here that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face because I know they’d slowly back away.  And it is important- for me, at least- to have that space where I can be, frankly, inappropriate.  The piece in the article about the Homepride man makes me smile, even now.  My memory of that time is shot- I can’t remember if it was before I went to hospital and started medication and things, or after.  But he was very friendly.  He floated in a semi circle above my head.  It was during a period when a lot of things like that were going on.  (Like being stalked by Danny John Jules, taping my front door shut with duct tape and thinking I was being followed and poisoned while having to be dragged into the house often because I kept hitting on people in the street.  Happy, happy times).

I mentioned in the article that I had been concerned it would be a care in the community affair.  Wheeling out the schizophrenics and patting them blithely on the head, shoving a microphone into their hand and waiting for the quasi-embarrassed applause to follow.  That it would be tokenistic.  I worried that these kinds of events would just deepen the divide between, “Normal” people and “people with mental illness”.  Whereas these things do have value, I think they can backfire a bit. For that reason, I almost didn’t get involved in it.  (My involvement came via and email and my thinking, “Oh, that’ll be fun and get me out of the house”.  Then turning up on the day realising I had misunderstood what I was supposed to do and frantically rewriting the entire thing on the computer in reception).

But at the Reading gig, I was surprised (and more fool me- who’s being stigmatising now?) at the quality of the performances.   Very quickly you forgot that this was an event that had the basis of speaking about mental illness.  It was just funny, charming, interesting.  There was music and singing, stories and jokes.  It was, really, just a good night out. Especially so after I had swam half an hour in wine.  Robert had worried he would feel out of place and awkward being someone who has never experienced any mental health problems, but he enjoyed himself, too.  Like I said, I don’t think mental illness is anything out of the ordinary.  My experiences are not particularly extreme, but they could happen to anybody, and, indeed, do.

Some people I’ve spoken to about this have said,  “You can’t laugh at that! It’s horrible! Mental illness is a terrible thing.  You can’t make jokes about suicide”.  In a way, I can see their point.  Laughter could be seen as trivialising the destruction it can wreak (personally, I think stupid t-shirts, mousepads and stars referring to themselves as, “a bit bipolar” infuriatingly trivialise it- reduce it to a fashion accessory).  It’s not funny. Some people never get better, and some people die. (And some people who make jokes about it have been at the point where not recovering and dying seemed like the way to go). And it’s important to remember that.

People don’t, though.  People don’t remember it, don’t discuss it, don’t talk about it.  I have never in my life seen a bouquet of flowers awaiting someone in the office after a spell in a psychiatric hospital in the way that they would be stinking out the air ducts and causing hayfever sufferers to be loading up on the AK-47s and list of addresses with someone who was in hospital for an operation or recovering from an accident.  You just don’t talk about it.  There are many noble campaigns to reduce the stigma around mental illness, but their nobility in themselves can be counter-productive.  It can come across as too worthy.  Worthiness is hushed and reverent.  Making jokes is at least properly confronting these things.  Not just the ideas, but the experiences.  What’s it like to try and kill yourself and fall into a coma?  Ask Mackenzie Taylor, he’ll tell you.  In a funny way, but there you go.  Now you know.  What’s it like to wander down a motorway trying to raise an army, thinking you’re King Arthur?  Ask Danny. What’s it like to be in hospital?  What’s it like to be depressed?  What’s it like to be manic?  What does a panic attack feel like? Would most people ever ask?  Wouldn’t they be too afraid to?

Anyway, I hope you like it, and come along on Sunday if you can. I’m terrified!  Hopefully I’ll be funny.  The downside is that I didn’t even save the piece I performed last time.  Just printed it out and bolted, giving the computer back to the bemused woman at reception.   Reading the article, I wish I had called my blog something- anything!- else!  With the shenanigans in April, I feel as though I could be done under the trades descriptions act.  Ah well!  Thanks for reading.  And thanks for Reading, God.  It makes Luton feel better about itself.

PS: For all the agoraphobes out there who think such a thing sounds like something they’d have liked to be at, I’ll bring my dictaphone and stick it online for yer.

PPS:  Oh, er, last plug.  I’ll be talking about this event on BBC Radio Sussex tomorrow at 9.15pm and trying not to say fuck.

Little Ease by White Witches

Another plugging post here, many apologies, but it is my blog, after all!

White Witches are an excellent band, and my boyfriend is excellent at being a total eejit.  So here are their powers combined, with White Witches, “Little Ease” and Robert Wolfgang Moneypenny, revolutionary hero of South London. In the last five seconds, you can hear me laughing at him walking mostly naked down Liverpool Street at 5am.


And, er, a mental health tangent to keep this post relevant-ish…

I’m back in London tomorrow, though currently in my best friend’s bedroom, stinking of tea tree oil. It was nice to see my family, who are going through a rough patch. I’m not great at comforting people, so I just let my brother play on my laptop and fed him. Feeding people works. I’m an Irish-Jew (minus the Jew). I get nervous if I suspect someone isn’t fed. When I was a child, my granny would thrust three plates of sandwiches and a Kimberly Mikado on us before we even sat down. That, I think, is the way things should be. I watched a shite Mark Dolan documentary called, “World’s Fattest Family” in which he went to fat peoples’ houses and called them fat and mocked their diets. He went to Tonga, which has a large proportion of fat people, poverty and umemployment. The family fed him their food (a lot of, URGH! things like goat’s fat, largely imported from New Zealand, and basically the dregs and unwanted offcuts of their food) and he moaned and refused to eat it. I wanted to kick my way through the TV screen and smack him. I can’t imagine such disrespect. It was their way of making him welcome. And so it should be.

ANYWAY! Clever little diversion there so I didn’t discuss my family’s business.

I feel and have felt rather irritable and low, which I’m not sure is because I forgot to bring Citalopram, or something else (not sure what, don’t feel really irritable at anything, and nothing in my life is annoying me, I am aware I actually have a rather lovely life, abject terror at oncoming benefit rules aside). I doubt it is the citalopram, as I’ve only been on it a few weeks. Maybe it is just the weather. It’s farty, grey and miserly. Tightfisted sky dropping only crumbs of rain. Who knows! Citalopram was certainly being helpful, even if it was making me a little bit buzzy. Though it could be a bit of the old placebo effect at work there, and depriving myself of sleep until I have to take Seroquel helps.

I saw my honorary nephew, too. I was a bit worried about that, giving my little issues with babies right now. I didn’t want to shove him into my bag then flee down the hill. But it was great. He’s an actual human now. He can hold his own head up, he smiles, he is delighted by everything. I gave him his bottle and he played with my chin, pausing occasionally to stare in abject awe at the lamp. I tickled him and he laughed and my ovaries whimpered.

This week is busy, which is relieving. Keeping busy is good for me. I’m looking forward to seeing my London family (Robert, the cats).

Warning: May Contain Nuts in Brighton, 10th October at 4pm

To mark World Mental Health Day…


Should you wish to come along! I shall be in my dignity pants once more.

@Nadine Dorries

Lots of people have come up with more eloquent responses to this:

I will post my article in Iain Dale’s book shortly, with his permission. In the article, in which I very clearly define the reasons why MPs should not blog or Twitter (yes, I know ) I mention someone who has posted 22,000 tweets in four months.
Today, someone has emailed my office with the details of a political/personal Tweeter who has posted 35,000 tweets in a similar amount of time.
I’m going to have to set up a Twitter account again so that I can check this out for myself!… Not.
Is there such a thing as Twitter addiction? How can anyone live a normal life who can do that? Surely these people cannot be in employment because if they are, how can they work? if they aren’t then it’s time they got a job which involves being sat at a key board because there’s nothing much up with their fingers, brain or attention span!!
I wonder if very soon someone is going to identify a Twitter syndrome and we get to read about people who have become compulsive Tweeters. Will we hear stories of people who Tweet, oh I don’t know, say 50 times a day and need to go into re-hab?
I will put money on that being a Daily Mail story one day. In the meantime, do you know of anyone else who has Tweeted more than 35,000 times in less than six months? If so, email my office and let me know. Or, better still, if it’s someone you know is on benefits, contact the DWP.”

It’s a storm in an eggcup, but it’s not far off the kindly views held by many, including, it seems, ATOS.  Which is why people who are coming up for ESA appeals are bringing suicide kits with them and fearing homelessness and fucking ruin for what is pocket money for people like you.

I could have written that tweeting and working aren’t the same thing: just ask many an irate boss. Or that, as a blogger on benefits with mental health problems, writing here has actively helped me to get better.  Or that without the internet, there are times in which my human interaction would be largely limited to Robert, my cats and my social worker.

But I can’t be bothered because, honest to dogs, you get so sick of having to fight your corner. So, in summary:

Go fuck yourself!

Lots of love,


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