It’s been a while, sorry for not updating! Since I keep this blog mostly specific to mental health, I have very little to say. Well, a lot to say on the news, but find it too depressing to write about at the moment.
So, a quick update, then.
I continue to be fine, stable and happy. The only mental health related-ness is coming off Seroquel (trying again!) but this time I have gotten down to 25mg, hooray! I’ve been titrating up Lamictal at the same time (200mg right now), and it seems to be helping. The last time I tried to come off Seroquel I became quite wobbly, so hopefully the Lamictal is helping that.
I’m off university at the moment in my first and last summer break. I had lofty ideas of spending my time exploring the summer, writing, learning the guitar etc, but what I have actually done is smoke in my pants, watch crap, read Cracked a lot and almost chilled myself on the amount of cold beers I have sucked down. And I’m not complaining- the past year has been intensely stressful and busy. Coming off placement I was emotionally and physically exhausted. Shattering 5am starts most days, two 3000 essays to do at the same time and being in an intense environment, being evaluated by staff, being evaluated by patients, listening, listening, listening. I am enjoying the silence. This is a restorative nothingness, and in any case, I’m back in a month.
I’m getting married in 3 weeks, which I can’t quite believe. I had my hen night two weeks ago. I talked Robert into having a stag night, too.
The day started with me lying and waking up my brother and fella and saying we had to go to Peckham for groceries. My hen night (organised by my big sister) was starting with food in the flat, so this was plausible.
An hour beforehand, I sneaked outside with a tent to his waiting friend then went back in and feigned indifference about Peckham, making him get his shoes on. I told him to have a cup of tea and we’d head. No urgency.
We walked up the road, holding hands, with my little brother who had a camera in his pocket. Suddenly, from a white van, four men in balaclavas kick open the doors and run at us. “You’re coming with us!” they shouted at him and grabbed him by the legs. They gestured to my brother and said he was coming, too. So Robert was bundled into the back of the van- doors slam, they sped off.
I went home, thinking, “Ah, what larks!” After a half an hour or so, while I washing my hair, there was a knock at the door. It was the police. They had been around all the other flats already. They asked me if I had witnessed an, “incident”.
It turns out half of our estate rang the police. 10 different phone calls. I had no idea why we were stupid enough not to anticipate this.
10 different police officers. One at the door who I had to take down and explain what had happened. A sargeant, a DCI, the kidnapping unit involved. A white van had been reported stolen, they put two and two together. Luckily, I’d taken a few photos on my phone so a) proved I had witnessed what was a stag night joke and b) had the registration.
They’d blasted God Save the Queen in his ears while gagged and blindfolded then got the coach to Bournemouth, so they could go camp on the beach. There was talk of getting the Bournemouth police involved at the other end but luckily, two phone calls later (one to Steve, who was the coordinated kidnapper, one to Robert, the, “victim”, as they called him) they believed me and relaxed. The whole road was cordoned off. The angry police officer talked about charging them with wasting police time- but they didn’t call the police. The sargent said worse things happen on a stag night and that she’d be expecting her invite in the post. All in all, I spent an hour, in front of half the flats on my estate, in a towel, explaining what happened.
Half an hour later, there was a knock at the door. And the DCI handed me this:
So, good start to the day! I’m not sure four men in balaclavas bundling someone into a van would have been forgiven in Belfast.
Hen night was proper girly stuff. My sister went mad overboard and made bags for people. Sashes, t-shirts with our names, cocktail glasses, banners on the door. I felt like a dick to start with (I had a tiara with a veil) but I got into it, especially when we all walked outside and the children who live on my estate who were playing in the park started clapping and shouting, “Happy wedding day!” (I corrected them). And next door’s child came and asked for balloons, which we gave her.
On the bus, people were shouting congratulations and well-wishing, and it felt lovely. I hope it feels equally lovely when we pile on the 345 on my wedding day, since we can’t afford any transport but London buses. (I will be arriving resplendent in a taxi).
We went bowling, were we met my friend who had made up more bags with samples of stuff- perfumes, make up, sweets and booze (and fancy knickers for me). Then got pished, ate, did karaoke and danced, and had my mother in law to be getting me hammered on whiskey.
While we were doing this, my fiance was burning a 2ft tall papier mache effigy of a penis which his friend made him. Apparently it was to symbolise his commitment to me. The penis had crude drawings of naked women on it.
Anyway, this has made me realise the importance- whether internalised or societal, or both- of ritual. I now properly feel as though I’m getting married, it is really happening, and so does he. Giving notice today made it even more real.
Tomorrow I’m returning to the beach where Robert had his stag night and camping there. After this weekend, he’s working solidly for a week. The next week is the week before the wedding, which will be ridiculously busy. And the week, it’s the wedding, the honeymoon and then back to life. Only, I’ll be a wife. How weird.