Here's the Thing

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Doctor Resolute

This seems to be the best time of day, year, month, season and so forth in which to ponder the idea of the Resolute. That is, taking the meaning derived from logic; the decided, that which one has planned, thought upon and decided is the best choice amidst them all.

I find it almost laughable that there are so many 'resolutions' plucked from mid-air for tonight only, seemingly, by so many people. Are these bold promises not by definition meant to be clear and well defined. Are they not meant to be kept beyond the close of the year in question?

I did a small search on Wiki, if for nothing else to see if there was some origin or source of this seasonal appetite towards an annual promise of self-improvement. All it could tell me was that, like the Christian Lent, it leaned towards an annual self improvement or sacrifice.

I will always hate this theme of the turn of hour being somehow marked and celebrated. How one turn of hour can be more important than another and be any more or less worthy of thought and meditation never fails to flummox me. I have lived a fair amount of my life now hour by hour, because I have been unable to cope with thinking on any more than that. Maybe that is what I dislike so much about the "New Year": It is a whole 365 days, an amalgamation of 24s that goes beyond the reaches of my limited mathematics. One hour, one day, at most a week, I can cope with. The idea of so much dispelling itself forth and the inevitable pull into it is a thing of horror.

So, when one makes said Resolution, does one really intend it for that full, huge expanse? Is this why the success rate for such promises is slim. Why many rarely make it beyond the first week?

This year, I find my mind's determination mocked by Television scheduling. In previous years I have chosen this as a precise end point. It is seen as such by many and that made it tidy and it made sense. To me there was nothing in the next day that would be any different to the last.

This year, for the first time ever, there is a second part to the Dr Who episode aired on Christmas Day. In previous years, one had had to wait a few months for this (at which point one has stopped caring so much what happens next as one can barely recall what happened to start with) so it is of little consequence. This year, this 'secondment' is on tomorrow.

It may seem a small thing to you - but it really throws a spanner in the works of my thoughts. Something that would stop my immediate action towards stepping from this mortal coil into the next just at the right time... all because of my own wish to see complete the story of David Tennan't Doctor. What could be worse than leaving something so incomplete? When I realised they were doing this, the first thing I did was went 'Oooh, more Tennant, how intriguing' the second thing I did was cry.

I am now much less Resolute. Less fixed. In short, I am flummoxed out of my own decisions by a small buffoon in the BBC who decided that as scheduling goes that made sense.

So, I wonder: How many of you make such time fixed resolutions? Do you make New Year's Resolutions? Do you stick with them for the entire year? What are your success stories? What are your failures? Has something ever come along that made you rethink them? Have you ever stopped at a different time of year and, taking a re-evaluation decided there and then to make one?

While you ponder and write your answers, I am going to find where my Dad put the bottle opener and re-learn how to use the blasted thing (I am sure they made it difficult on purpose).

I wish you success... whatever your plan may be.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Thrill the Fear

I often wonder what people's fascination with fear is. What is it that makes people go on roller-coaster's, enter the haunted-house ride at the seasonal fair/fare and read or watch ghost or horror stories. Is it the adrenaline rush? The fact that it is almost guaranteed to raise the human's heart rate and make it beat a mile a minute... at least for a while, or that it will leave those little ripples of jumpiness that keeps the adrenaline coursing through your veins. Are humans addicted to this sensation?

As far as I know, and correct me if I am wrong, humans are the only species that really goes out of its way to scare itself. Most animals are naturally twitchy, but they have to be to survive. Their senses are finely tuned to the slightest scent or sound of a predator. Human-kind however, has lived a long time in relative absence of such things. I say relative, as I am not about to remove all credibility for war or those living in places less safe than the generic UK.

Naturally, the thing that has got me thinking about this, is the annual appearance of The Return Of The Screw on BBC. I was made to study this book either in College or University, I forget which. It is a ghost-story written by Henry James and has always managed to give me the wiggins. My problem with these types of stories is that I have to see them through to the end of my mind runs away with its own imagination and that somehow always ends up worse. Perhaps that is part of the hook of ghost stories, or thrill rides. Once on them, you have to stick there to the end or you never know.

Those of you that know me well, will know that it is generally not a good idea for me to see a ghost story or anything vaguely trigery. Least of all this time of year. For those of you that do not know me, I will explain briefly.

As a part of my depression and social anxiety, I have occasional psychosis. That is, I see things that others do not. Things which are not there... mostly, people, reapers (yep, cloaked, dark... no scvive though) and things I have come to describe as ghosts and monsters. Of course, there are always at least two schools of thought with such things: Those of you that will accept I have occasions of psychosis or hallucinations (they are diagnosed as dissociative hallucinations - do not ask me what that means though, as I have no idea) and those that believe they really are ghosts, daemons and monsters. There is of course the third type that thinks I only mention such things for attention... but we won't rant about those right now. Suffice to say I am on medicine that for the most part removes a lot of the psychosis and I am much more able to go through day to day life without 'seeing things'.

Seeing a ghost story, however, is barely conducive to avoiding triggery subjects. I get triggered by such things as they make me skittish and more wary of what is around me. My 'hallucinations' take place when I am at my most tired, stressed or anxious and are fixated around people that have been somehow distorted, stolen or taken over. As though the line between life and death becomes blurred and I see what goes between.

So, if humans are addicted to adrenalin, and to the rush of such tales and stories. If it is such a good thing to be scared - when does that become bad? When is it that adrenalin, that thing which is designed as a fight or flight mechanism is really truly telling you to run.

and how can my system mix the two up over things that to others do not exist - and I know this, as I have asked people in the past.

There were a few times in November and December when I would have quite happily have fled from the bus or the train, if doing so was not so frankly dangerous, both being moving vehicles and it by that point being dark out, because to my mind, the people on them were dangerous and evil. They brought terror to me. Not just the general thrill that is got from a roller coaster, actual sheer terror that had my heart racing, hands shaking, body inches from a panic attack and tears in my eyes.

Not that anyone ever asked if I was okay.

It does make me wonder where that line is though. Who defines where the thrill and where the terror lies and how individual are those lines? Does everyone react in the same way to the same things - has anyone ever tested it, on a roller-coaster for example, or with a (decent) scary film?

I also wonder what your thoughts and experiences are: Are you a believer in ghosts? A staunch, all sightings are hallucinogenic of one form or another? A believer in God and the mysterious 'as it should be-ness' of his work?

Do you thrill seek? Do you hunt out those movies, games, rides? Do you run from them, preferring to watch something else and remain in some level of relative safety? Have you ever shifted from one to the other? Have you ever regretted it? Or are you addicted to it?

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Family Roundup

As much as I may complain about the Season. I do like the chance to see my family - and its many members.

I have over the last few days seen most of them. I say most, as there is a whole segment of the family that I do not talk to, or do not know. That, and I am see the remainder of those I do talk to, know and love today. We are going for Dinner with my Cousin, Cheryl, Gary - her husband and her little baby (my niece) Gracie... who declared herself able to walk at my Sister's wedding in November.

We will be going as: Mum, Dad, Great Aunt and me. Met en route by my Aunt (Dad's Sister) and Uncle.

In other words, it will be Christmas day all over again, just with one set of Cousin and family swapped for another.

This mass-family meet and greet has been intersected by the Shopping Spree that is boxing day. My sister kicks up a fuss and sulks if I refuse to go to Bluewater with her and her Husband. So, we went and shopped yesterday and I now own a new pair of Trail running trainers for those days when the ground is more slippy. I am also a fair amount less rich.

I have, in all of this, decided that Socialising - as good as it promises to be - is still tiring, stressful and evil. By which I mean, due to all the long days and weariness of it all, I have now got a cold.

Colds in me mean lots of sleep is needed, I generally like to be left alone and hate people yelling across rooms at each other... which, sadly, my family does a lot.

Aaah well. We have a couple of hours before the trek to see my cousin, so I can have plenty of coffee and cold medicines and hope I can get through without becoming my usual anti-social and grumpy self....

I may take a book and pair of headphones with me... just incase.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve: Mad rush to tidy for Santa?

Christmas in my house, tends to mean the house has to be spick and span.

This is my sister's fault. She comes to visit on Boxing Day (having seen us at my Aunt's) and my Great Aunt is also coming to stay... it is as if either of them may somehow judge my parents for the house not looking like no-one has been using it.

It it is Christmas Eve today and my parents have been charging around the house with hoover and duster ensuring everything is cleaner than a whistle. At one point they asked to borrow my heater/air-con thing (huuge massive thing). I agreed begrudgingly and begun to clear the fairly large pile of crap that it was behind. Dad then declared they would not need it, as it is not a de-humidifier and what they wanted was to take some of the dampness out of the room.

Now, it may be worth knowing I am a bit of an all or nothing person at times. I was not planning on tidying my room until after Christmas. However, I had started now - So spent the remainder of the day clearing my room.

I went downstairs at dinner time to eat with my parents, where Mum asked if I was 'tidying for Santa'... I no longer believe in Santa. In fact, I am the one that contacted NSPCC to get a letter sent 'from Santa' to my Mum... and I am the one that has done her stocking. That, and Santa never comes into my room, growing up, the stocking was always left just outside our bedroom doors... so, why the frak would I use that as a reason for tidying.

It was more of a: well, I have started to shift the crap, I may as well shift it all.

Anyway, point of all of this ramble is to declare that for the first time in probably about four or five months: I have a bedroom floor. Be proud.

It is done now. So, I can begin the festivities and wish you all a wonderful sleep tonight and a fantabulous day tomorrow (Christmas Day my time).

Now, can I afford to risk a coffee......

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


I really hate this time of year.

The weather is shite, my lack of working ears mean I fall over all the time as the ground is icy. It being cold means my sugars go all over the place, so I feel tired and lethargic... and all of my usual escapism's just stop working or are completely impractical (i.e jogging, see above inability to walk).

Add that to the fact that this is a time of year when everyone is stressed and yet meant to be the most sociable they will ever be in the year. My entire family gets together and everything is meant to be sunshine and daisies when I barely get through 30 minutes without wanting to run away and cry.

There is an insistence on buying presents that are always either too much or not enough to give to said person.

I am not a bah humbug person... honestly, I love seeing my family and I like making others happy, so buying them gifts to make them smile is a good thing.

I just hate that it is the middle of winter when half of my thoughts are leaning towards jumping of Monument Bridge. It is everything crammed together all at once. People shop as though the shops will never be open again (when in fact they are closed for all of two days) and you wonder why my social anxiety hits the roof and I want to just curl up in my room and never come out again.

I am so anxious my heart is in near constant palpitations and my chest-tightens. I am shaky and tense - but too tired to have that tension released.

If last year is anything to go by, I will barely make it through Christmas without cracking. New Year I am worst with, who wants the thought of going through it all over again, like some broken record. I have things that are being planned for the year ahead... but my brain has trouble seeing past the end of this year... It is part of my illness, I have trouble with time. I get a mental block where anything past x date is too hard for me to conceive.

It is a black void. A nothingness.

I do not want to end up in Hospital again (and if I do, I want to be on a proper ward and not just lumped on a random one and left for four days like last time as they have no space)... but I can only put on a shield for so much to face everyone before I crack.

This year feels worse. There is less time to relax. This evening we see my Uncle. Tomorrow we are seeing someone else. Christmas day we see a whole mass of family. Boxing day is with my Sister & husband, day after my Cousin and her family and baby et al... then it is New Year.

Gah! *heads desk*

I had a dream last night that I made it through it all and the first day back at work the Reaper was with me the entire day and said "You know we are going" Just as I got off the bus at Monument. My meds seem to squash them so much during the day - but they can't stop my dreams, it seems.

Part of me is going: 'Have a good time, be cheery, be better, make an effort and stop being so damn miserable!' and the other half really just wants to give up. I am so conflicted I am spending half of my time hidden in my room crying and wondering why we have to go through with it and when I will be able to breath properly in town again.

If this is the most medication and coping mechanisms can do for me... I am not sure I want another year feeling like this. If the Drs can't do anything else and this is the best we can get -- - Is this what we have been fighting for? Because I am not sure it is worth it.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

A start

They say everyone has to start somewhere. I know a lot of people like to consider New Year, their turning point. Their clean slate and refresh with promises to themselves of what they will do better to make this New Year somehow different from the last.

I am not a believer in the New Year. Frankly, I hate it so much it has put me in Hospital more than once. The last time would have been last January - So, it is fairly easy to see why I do not relish the thought of this one now approaching.

Its approach is, however, inevitable and it has got me thinking. Where do we consider our starts and finishes? At what stages in our life and passage through time and existence do we stop and think about what had gone before and what is yet to come.

I am a depressive by diagnosis. One of the main issues that comes with that is a distortion on the perception of time - That which has been can become flawed and mangled by the minds inability to filter correctly and that which is yet to come is filled with fear and negativity. So, what do we see in this Start? Is it a renewal of faith, a promise to make changes, or just a sheer determination?

In my case - It can be nothing more than determination. I come from a family of stubborn people and strongly believe it is this alone that keeps me going, keeps me alive. This is a start, not just for this blog... but for my newest attempt at fighting my own disease and in doing so, reaching forward across that large expanse of time ahead. In a hope of finding something that feels secure, stable and mine.

I hope you can join me on this path - A search for lost time.