Today was another BIG DAY. A day I’ve wanted to reach and not imagined getting to. Today was my last scheduled appointment with my therapist.  My last regular-appointment with a health practitioner of any sort. After two years of weekly medical-meetings this is massive this is HUGE. Perhaps I will feel the need to go back one day and that’s OK. But for now, for now, I am free. Here’s a poem to celebrate the end of one chapter and the start of the next.

The reunion of the soul and the body by WilliamBlake

The reunion of the soul and the body by William Blake

I hand over the grateful-flowers, blue buds still sheathed in green,

Smile and widen my eyes, soon those will bloom.

I turn the brass latch and click open the front door

A door of light wood and grey glass. A soft door.

I remember when I first stood on this step.

Then as now, I stood here just the same,

but then, you stood with me too.

Aloof, agonised, twisted and grim

You spoke of the future and of the past,

of logic and rhetoric.

You held my hand as I stepped inside,

curled up on my knee and soothed me with a poisoned hand.

You burrowed into my spine and clouded my brain,

You were there, not here. You were other.

The other one.

The mirror held not just me, but you too.

Over eight months, twenty weeks, as many hours and a billion words later

There is only one face that now looks back.

It’s yours and mine. Mine and yours.

I’ve made space for you. So you no longer have to fight.

You’ve come back to me and I to you.

We are one.

So now, in this moment, I know,

I am all that I can be and that is sublime.



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On Anxiety

Hard to start writing today……………….at least here….in this ‘real-writing’ place. Another label looms. Another word.


I know you. We’ve met before.

You are the space between the words, you are the unsent emails, texts and letters

You jump into my eyes and through my nose, clawing your way down my throat and over my heart.

You leap out of love filled messages, invitations, inclusions, p.l.a.n.s,

You are in email threads full of happiness and excitement

You stalk through crowded rooms and slap me in the face, so hard my nose bleeds

You stroke my hair as I sit on this sofa now. You whisper; Alone. Safe. Alone. Safe…… Alone is safe.

You make me sick. You sink  my feet into concrete shoes and pour boiling oil down my spine.

You prickle the back of my eyes till they water. You spin ice cubes in a glass. You twirl my hair and play with a silent phone just to ‘look-busy’.

You keep me in the same place. You suffocate me and spin me out till all I see is black.

Image credit: Beethy on DeviantArt

Image credit: Beethy on DeviantArt

You whisper that you are my friend, that I deserve this, that it’s better, that there’s no point that I’m not-one-of-them,

you’re wrong you’re wrong I am I know I am……….aren’t I…..where have I gone?

You snake an arm around my shoulders and the world zones out, hard lines blurr and I can’t hear what you’re saying

Frustration and Anger pale into insignificance compared to the rage I feel when I see you.

I’ve beaten you before, so I don’t know why you’re back now.

Image credit: Hito76 on Deviant Art

Image credit: Hito76 on Deviant Art

I know you’re just anxiety. I know you’re  just fear of fear. But still you are here. I know it. So why don’t you leave me alone?

You’re in every invite, every party, every event. Not in my house, not with my family. You’re slimy claws haven’t scraped in there just yet.

But everywhere else, on the bus, in a shop, at meals and friends houses you churn up my stomach and make my heart ache.

I know I’ve lost you before. I can loose you again. I can and I am.

Exposing you is a start.

Today I’ll hold on to that and let go of you.

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”  ~Pema Chödrön, from her book, "The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times."

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
~Pema Chödrön, from her book, “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times.”

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I should win an oscar

An old friend appeared last night. Someone I hoped I’d never encounter again and yet there they were. Summoned by a single word used in casual conversation, a word so simple and uncomplicated, it’s three little syllables flow together giving it an air of onomatopoeia. I like the word. It’s just a word, a beautiful one even and yet, for me it had the power last night to trigger a call to this friend. The word? Convulsion. The friend? Panic.

not calm

Appearing from thin air at the restaurant table, they gripped my throat and squeezed tight. The world closed in; convulsion, convulsion, convulsion, convulsion, convulsion, convulsion, convulsion, convulsion…. I was underwater, the glasses clinked and my eyes glazed over. Pins and needles attacked my feet and hands, sweat prickled and dripped down the back of my shirt…. and SMILE and FINE and LOOK AT PEOPLES EYES and DON’T LET ANYONE KNOW (the irony of now blogging it out) I am SO GOOD at not showing it. I should win a bloody Oscar.

Via Brandi Lynn

Via Brandi Lynn

Look at the phone…what to do what to do what to do help help help………..oh god don’t cry……..leave me alone! And breath, just go to that famous place of sanctuary where every-woman heads in moments of crisis the safety zone of THE TOILET! But horror…it’s tiny and subzero and has no phone reception so unless I want to freeze to death I have to return. Can’t leave food is here. Don’t want to leave. What’s that? Can’t follow the conversation, feel sick. Time seems to stand still. Mr. Panic locks my spine in place and keeps my eyelids open. Subtly look at the time………try and breath….. was that a joke? laugh just incase……………………..

via Mary Williams

via Mary Williams

In a crowded room full of love, laughter, inclusion and friendship Mr.Panic makes me feel like a penguin in the Sahara Desert; lonely, hot and ridiculous! The bill is done and I summon my knight-in-shining-white-suzuki-ignis. It was raining which seemed appropriate as on entering the car I then proceed to do my bit to increase flooding in the UK. I sob until Mr Panic is forced to abandon his flood defences and flee for the hills….

by leannskach on Flickr

by leannskach on Flickr

There was a time I knew him very well. A time before I’d met Mr. Pain. I’m sure they’re buddies Pain & Panic. I’ve beaten Mr. Panic before. So this time I know I can again. He caught me off guard that’s all…I hoped he’d gone but perhaps he’s always there, camped by my ears, ready to jump in.

Via Esther Smith

Via Esther Smith

For now I simply want to feel the gratitude for this new day, for my knight-in-shining-white-suzuki-ignis whose patience knows no bounds and for all the other  people who know Mr.Panic too; I feel you, I really do.

Now I'm off to meditate

Now I’m off to meditate

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Bend my mind and break my heart

And then the world turns inside out again and my now familiar ache creeps up into pain and further along my arm as I reach for pills, to my head, in my heart and pours out of my eyes. I am still learning to predict pain, to try to catch it before it erupts. I want to morph my managing into a seamless part of my life, like brushing my teeth, like breathing, that’s my goal. Seamless…… easy…



Sometimes, I think wouldn’t it just be easier is life was predictable?! Then I could KNOW with CERTAINTY when stress triggers where coming up, I could formulate my battle plan, organise my troops, go into mediation-shut-down. If I could KNOW 100% every single second of every day planned out what was going to happen then I’d have my shit together MAN! No surprises. No Pain……but no LIFE too. Real life, living, isn’t like that. Thank god it’s not. That would be D.U.L.L!

There are several things I’ve learnt about living recently;

  1. Absolutely nothing in this world is infinite. That is a fact. We can fight it all we like but it’s true.
  2. We will never fully understand each other. We can empathise, sure, but we cannot know how others really think, see and feel. Ever.
  3. As adults we alone are responsible for our own well-being. Ultimately no one is going to look after you except you. No one can.

Living entails being in constant flux, each millisecond different from the last and each with the potential to totally change your life as you know it. I realise now that this fact terrifies me. Something in me has got hard-wired to the dread, to the worst. In the quiet times, the space between spaces, I daydream of death and pain, of loss and disaster. I pull out of it with distractions, with food, with phone calls and internet searches. Today, I was so scared I couldn’t face it, my hand stalled on my journal, I couldn’t practice, even the yoga matt was hard to unroll…

not alone


I see now perhaps that what terrifies me most is fear itself. I am frightened of being frightened. With fear comes stress and with stress, pain and with pain, fear and round and round it goes. I know there are ways to break this cycle. I know CBT is a good place to start.

fear cycle

credit: Dr Claire Weekes

I want the world to know that I can handle what it has to throw at me. Bring it on. Bend my mind and break my heart. I’m ready. I choose to live and try my best to find silver linings, the good stories, the hope and the Love.



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