Little tantrums

The heat brings with it a sartorial guessing game,

a tricky type of trivia that sits itself down on my synapses

and squashes my brain.

Playing dress up in the evenings to help stave off ill-feeling the next morning.

Planning is my greatest ally – but even then it’s not always foolproof.

One reflection glimpse sends the sufferer into a spiral

crooked, wonky, wrong parting, poor posture

a cauldron of chaos and fiery fear

dirt-ridden disarray, shame at looking a certain way

and clothes that don’t hug but rather stifle my body

clinging like skin but foreign, alien

ill-fitting except on the rarest occasions.

In summer it’s strip off time, fewer opportunities for disguise

because legs come out, shoulders bear the air upon them,

shorts cradle thighs.

Finding some thing that doesn’t light the match of disordered thinking

is near impossible. And so there’s struggle and copious online orders

to soothe and improve but it never lasts

because trick mirrors are everywhere

and my mind remains in sabotage mode.

From very high to very low

Today was a day of mammoth contrasts

when the good met the bad and then the ugly

and I found myself struggling to claw my way out of

a cylindrical hole

my feelings had pushed me into.

I think I broke part of my brain because this oxymoron was so loud

and moronic, true to its name

I think the bits of flesh couldn’t handle two juxtaposed giants

vying for my attention

I’d like to think they had equal chances but it’s clear the bad had the upper hand

the smirking winner

the bad took control and the good lay flaccid and dull

under a dreary spotlight

incredible praise met with steamrolling terror

that glides over you like you’re a wannabe pancake

making mince meat or mashed potato out of my head

an unbelievable contrast that collided against my skull

and I haven’t been able to think straight since.

Happy yawns

I never write when I’m happy

Except for now, while I’m bursting

at the seams with gratitude.

It’s overpowering

like water running through the pipes of the soul.

I sat on the carpet beneath the Christmas tree

and soaked up the flickering of the lights,

brushed the lukewarm, balmy carpet

with my fingers

and felt comfort envelop me,

cradle me,

shower me with its kisses.

Past experiences will always remain,

the future will always feel foggy,

I’ll always grapple with the present.

I may look upon it all fondly,

but that doesn’t mean I need it.

Small accidents

The thing with this illness is that it wears me like a dress, parades around with me wrapped around its waist, forces my insides to squeeze into its elastic. It wears me like its favourite suit, especially when I’ve done my makeup or my hair isn’t right.

I’m black and bruised, fluttering about in a frenzy, its favourite court jester, its clown that skips to its beat, making itself look silly, feel silly, act silly.

I need to get out. I’m dying to quit posing as one of its outfits, desperately deafening cries from inside that never make it out my mouth. I’m paying more attention to this disease than the one that’s currently plaguing the world.

Avoidance behaviours

My narrative is a series of shoulds and should nots
I shouldn’t be afraid of the things I fear
And I should be more ballsy, more ebullient
I shouldn’t need help
I should be able to untangle all of this myself
A very intricate and unforgiving
Cats cradle of “threat”
The brain is an unkind, messy, gelatinous lump
That’s ingeniously cruel
Like Hannibal Lecter.
I take myself off to parks
Remove myself from these four walls
Sip lattes I can’t afford whilst mulling over these shoulds and should nots.
At least when working, theres no space to think
No need to dwell and torture and yell
At your insides as though they were naughty children
With their Ribena-stained lips and
Mud-caked fingers.
When the day is bulging and fully occupied
Fronted by a “no vacancies” sign
There’s little time for grumbling
Everything’s poised on the edge of eruption
Full and tiring
But when the days off clump together
Like hairs in a drain
The mind starts to melt
Fog throws itself over everything
Like an invisibility cloak
Enveloping, suffocating
Darkness inflates like a balloon
It covers all the corners and climbs into crevices
It fills its boots with the pure air
And stomps away with it
There’s gorgeousness in everything
But today I am blind to it
Blind to everything except myself.

Hamster wheels

I might be a slave to capitalism
That’s what I’ve decided
These wild hours sat with a screen
And then evenings spent pumping out words
Like some verbose, defecating machine
Weekends working that hamster wheel again
The money is addicting
And the silence of not doing
Is deafening
So I’ll do and continue to do
To fill the quiet air with pennies and pounds
And stop it inflating with the cold tickle of worry
Bumbling, sore, back is bruised from the inside
Chest is tight, feet feel swollen
Convinced I’m dying in some way
(I guess we all are, in the end)
Poised to deliver, biting off more than my mouth and fingers can handle
Capitalist slave, I didn’t realise rest is rebellion.

Tired and lonely

“Oh my god, other people struggle”

that’s what you hear them say

today it’s debilitating

so was yesterday’s pub visit

and Friday’s pool palava

enough tears to sink a ship

watching Blended with Drew Barrymore

and yearning for that family

my feelings are playing musical chairs

when it stops you hear the clap of arse cheeks

sit themselves down

and with no music to dance to

they twiddle their thumbs gingerly

Christ knows if the noise goes

the fear starts

leaps to attention

like some Nazi guard

the music can’t die down

else I’ll die with it

I stepped out to Londis and squirmed

teeth chattering

mind nattering the whole way

it’s cruel to live like you shouldn’t be here

and the crying is getting old now

I’m bored

wilting like a weed

I’d like to hit somebody

and really yell with my lungs

because I haven’t done that before

(except into my pillow)

and make them burst like two water balloons.

A hazardous week

I have been knocked over this week

Like pins at a bowling alley

Kicked and thrashed

Battered against the back

Of that mysterious black bit

You can’t see behind

Throttled by failure

Plagued by faux pas

And today I am supposed to dust

Myself off and present the shiniest

Brushed aluminium version of myself

To a total stranger

Desperately seeking an escape route

A respite for this mangled brain.

Always working

Work is swallowing me whole

I’m devoured, kicking and stomping against the roof of its Victorian mouth

Stringy thoughts like syrup

Cling to colleagues and projects and deadlines

And weekends are hazy and jagged

Flooded with feelings of money earning, the grind 48 hours from now

An empty Saturday lends itself to too much time spent musing

With money churning in the background

Realising you’re a cog, small and insignificant

Working always, whether it’s at the 9 to 5

Or working on myself

Always ruminating, stalling, forgetting, planning

Sheets sodden with schedules and words

Blunt days off with no real purpose

Work thoughts pour in like post drought rain.

Outside and warm

There’s something to be said

For sitting on rattan chairs and looking up

At a tie dyed sky

The same inky blue I saw in a dress earlier

The one I added to basket but never checked out

This is a sky of another era, a time

When we rode like ghosts on American highways

Legs pressed up against the dashboard

Podcast blaring nonsense

Gently slipping into sleep

Half expecting to hit a deer

That fear every time we rounded a bend

Or you vroomed a little too callously

A cacophony of screeching, and my brain doing somersaults

Playing out the poor deer’s death

And this balmy air also smacks of times in Spain

By the sea where we built our lives

And had a fridge full of food

And money in the bank

Dusted pink sunsets trickling down to the seafront

Paellas baked fresh, inches from the seabed

Tummies content and hankering for margaritas on Friday nights

Warm all the time

Flip flops flung over shoulders

Walks down to the beach and then back to Lidl

For a feast

Work was still a drag, head filled with dread

Every fucking Sunday night

Like some stupidly mundane weekly ritual

The brain bashing, self inflicted fear and loathing in Las Palmas

I was still afflicted like I am now

But those balmy sun dappled evenings

Grinning on terraces

Stuck like insects in a treacly loveless web

Boy was it good sometimes.