For a place and for a time.

Maybe it’s because tomorrow I have my first exam since my GCSEs.

And I feel clueless and like I’m fifteen again.

[Only that time, I was too ill for school, I was right to be nervous and afraid of my exams.  I came back that day to quietness.  God knows what was happening to me.  Ten years later and I still don’t know.  I managed a few months, here and there, once got applause when I came in, 90 minutes late, but I did. I took a proud bow.  By that time they had stopped chastising me, and my name no longer adorned most columns of the school’s late book in the secretary’s office.  I didn’t need notes from my mum anymore. Just showing up once in a while was good enough.  Eventually, everybody stops asking.  You hear from the lower forms you’ve slipped into mythology without even realising it].

And it’s too quiet here, in my adult life, with my dad dead now and my mum very quiet on the phone.  I miss the sound of them fighting.

Upstairs’ television blaring down fills me with nostalgia. Except it used to be downstairs blaring up.

Exams were the times when there was hot tea on the fire place in the morning.

I know I have family here in London.  Robert and the cats are my family, too.

Robert introduced me to his grandparents over the weekend.  I was in a family photo, looking more adult than I have ever done.  I want to introduce him to my granny, she’s the only one left.  And she’s brilliant.  At daddy’s funeral, at his graveside, she asked me if I believed in god.  I told her honestly no.  She told me she didn’t either but she hoped there was a hell so Iain Paisley would burn in it.

I know I tell that story a lot, but it says all you need to know about my granny.  That, and when I went to hospital a year or two ago, we traipsed the ward with our cold coffee to visit her in intensive care after a major operation.  She wasn’t there; we thought the worst.  We had tears ready to ambush the poor nurse.  But she’d been moved- two days in, not weeks- to the normal ward, and was sitting up.

But I miss my mum and my brother and sisters.

I haven’t seen them in ages because I couldn’t get home for Christmas.  How can Belfast feel like the other side of the world sometimes?  How can fifteen seem so present when there is nothing in my earthly possession but my nervousness and faulting memory that is from the years?

I miss my dad.  I miss his grave, and like missing him when he was alive, I’m afraid to go home and see it in case its in an even worse state than when I saw it last.

I'm the wreck here! Face sponsored by Olanzapine.

I miss home!

Tender and tired.  Goodnight.

Body dysmorphic disorder- the only ex I hate

I received an email a few days ago asking me why I never mention body dysmorphia these days. (This reader also has body dysmorphia and wrote that she liked this blog because there’s not a lot out there about it).  And I realised I did rather abruptly stop talking about it.

Well!  There’s a few reasons for that.

The first one is that I have never liked to discuss it as I just felt vain.  It’s also a very boring topic, your looks.   The times I talked about it most were when I was going through CBT, with body dysmorphic disorder being the diagnosis that led me there.

The second and most important reason it doesn’t feature largely on this blog is because it no longer features largely in my thoughts.  I don’t have body dysmorphic disorder any more.  The rituals are gone, as is the overwhelming anxiety.  So I consider that one dusted.

So, in this entry I’m going to talk about why that is, and what helped me.

This got long…

Continue reading


“Oh dear”, I thought.  “I spent three days asleep.  I keep bursting into tears for no reason.  Every time Robert opens his mouth, every time I open my inbox, every time I pick up the phone, read a sentence, watch an advert, I think they’re criticising me.  And why wouldn’t they?  I’m so crap.  I’m so stupid and ugly and hideous.  No wonder I didn’t get accepted to King’s.  No wonder everyone hates me.  I just want to eat.  I just want to eat chicken and chocolate and go back to bed in my pyjamas.  I stink like shit.  I haven’t washed in days.  I can’t face doing any of my work.  I have no energy.

Am I getting depressed again?  But there’s no reason to be depressed.  And that’s always a bad sign.  Oh shit, oh bollocks.  Not again.  I can’t do this again”.

Then a day later, curled in the foetal position, a powerful pulse of pain.  I reached for the painkillers and cancelled the evening.  And then I realised.  I’m not depressed.  It’s just, y’know.


Never been so grateful to be doubled up in agony.  I was getting worried.  I have become hyper-vigilant to my moods.  I’m constantly waiting for another episode of something to knock me on my arse into the dust.    I sometimes forget I’m the type of woman who gets down and emotional and thinks plants are calling her fat when I’m Y’KNOW.

Today I feel normal again.  And I view my five days of bursting into tears at Andrex ads like a little bit of a holiday.  This is why I missed my periods when they stopped dead from stress.  I remember when I wasn’t using tampons but I was using Lithium and listening to women moan about PMS.  I felt a sense of grief at how natural and how uncomplicated that was.  There is something so wonderfully ordinary, something that makes me feel part of the human race, about being a woman on her period.

But there are no jaffa cakes left.

FAKE EDIT: I’m aware some of you will read this and roll your eyes.  Please feel free to discuss CHICKEN, JAFFA CAKES or FEMINISM in the comments instead.

Rethink podcast: mental health and social networking

A while ago I was involved in a podcast with Rethink on the topic of social networking. I wrote a bit about it here.  All the swearing has been edited out so now you can listen to it!  Links below.

If you are still feeling charitable, please go to the podcast on the iTunes store and give it 5 stars. Then send the link to your friends and ask them to do the same. This is really important, because if we get more than 20 ratings, we could become the highest-rated mental health podcast on iTunes – which will help us make the case for Rethink investing in and producing more podcasts, including items more directly focused on helping people affected by mental illness.

Direct link to iTunes

  1. · – share and enjoy.

It is also on the main Rethink site here:


Thank you!

Life is unfair, kill yourself or get over it

Privated last post, I think I have enough comments now.  Few months to decide.  Realistically, I feel I’m going to have to push ahead with this year.  A large part of me just really wants to get started, I spend so much time reading student nurse forums and feeling jealous.  My non-realistic side is saying, “Follow the dream!  The insanely competitive dream!” From people “in the know” (nurses, lecturers), I’ve been very strongly advised to go this year due to intake cuts next year.  So who knows!  Either way I can’t mope and wah about it.   Continue reading


Edited this post, I think I have enough comments now.  Few months to decide.  Realistically, I feel I’m going to push ahead with this year.  A large part of me just really wants to get started, I spend so much time reading student nurse forums and feeling jealous.  My non-realistic side is saying, “Follow the dream!  The insanely competitive dream!” From people “in the know” (nurses, lecturers), I’ve been very strongly advised to go this year due to intake cuts next year.  So who knows.  I’ve spent the past four days asleep so I think I’m a little bit down anyway and it’s clouding my judgement a little.

If I’m being really, painfully honest, I just hoped to feel all excited about it all, and I’m not. This is a once in a lifetime thing, really.  After fucking up my education so badly the first time around, I never imagined I’d even get to university. I’d allowed myself to hope I’d get to the place I was so desperate to go to. Then I messed up my interview!  Whoops.  I’d hoped I’d be all happy and celebratory when I got my (just the one for now) offer.  I really wanted to be, I tried to be.  I wasn’t, that’s passed, and there it is, all gone.  I think I am just disappointed about that, almost above all else.  I wanted another go at it so I was excited instead of anxious and worried (at the moment I cry almost every time I think about it all).  I wanted to feel proud of myself, like I’d achieved something, but I don’t feel that way.  That’s my own fault, though, that’s my own ridiculously high standards that I set for myself.  I have a perfectionist streak a mile wide, and I am competitive, as much as I don’t like to admit to it sometimes.  But yeah, it’s just a moment in time, it doesn’t matter.  Future does, so, suck it up, eh?

I don’t have my certificates yet, so I may end up with nothing, which would be hilarious.

Thanks for the advice, chaps. x

Whoops, I’m fine!

I made an old post (October 2008, so very old) about an overdose public because somebody emailed me remembering that they’d read it and wanted to again.  For some reason, it always publicises on Twitter or emails people when I change the post status.   Because of this, it looks like a recent post if you don’t check the date.  Likewise, it means that sometimes you’ll see a link on Twitter or Facebook to a non-existent post- that’s usually me accidentally publishing an old post that I didn’t mean to.

So, just to reassure people- I am, in fact, completely fine!  Thank you for your well-wishing, but I haven’t taken an overdose or been to hospital.  Well, I have, but not in two and a half years and I’d really be milking it by now.


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