Who Are They?

the flat next door – at number 18 –

has been empty for some time  

and we had given up thinking that anybody was going to move in –

until they arrived –

in a small blue car – a pair of dice dangling in the windscreen  

with two garden chairs they pulled from the back seats

  which they left on the patio

and then their belongings in binbags

          which they piled onto the grass

until the car boot was empty –

we use the curtain for cover – through the window

trying to get a glimpse –

are they young – a couple – married –

do they play music at a loud volume at Midnight?

we’ll have to see.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Kate (C)

A sweary brain dump on anxiety and counselling

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Hello

 
My counselling finished. I cannot afford it. After a year and however many months of trying to access help, I got it – from a women’s centre close to where I live. It has been 8 months, I think, of one session a week. I feel lost, to be honest. The decision was taken out of my hands. After last month’s depression and feeling lonely, I don’t think not having anyone to talk to is useful. It is shit. I am freaking out at being told I can start up again when I like but will be given a different counsellor depending on availability. I am sick of telling my story repeatedly to professionals. Especially when I’m like ‘oh, it’s fine!’ and they’re like, ‘that must have been tough for you,’ so I don’t like the thought of entrusting another person with my past. I know I’m no-one special and my experiences are not unique, it isn’t that a big deal.

 
I feel like I have opened all these wounds from the past and the memories are overwhelming at times. I haven’t figured out how to deal with them. I just feel shit about them.

 
My anxiety feels through the roof at the moment. I’m thinking about appointments I need to make after lockdown and even supermarket trips have an added layer of anxiety because of social distancing. It makes me feel like shit when you are in the supermarket and waiting for a person to finish picking up what they are getting from the shelf and they deliberate and change their mind and after three minutes I realise they have no idea I am there, waiting for them to move. Coughing doesn’t sound like a good idea to do now and I lose my voice in social environments, so after looking stupid, I go and get something else and come back when it’s free. It’s a worry I have, that I have no presence, that people seem to not notice me. It makes me think am I dead, am I invisible, is there something wrong with me?

 
No, people are knobheads, Kate.

 
The anxiety pisses me off. I have always had it and thought I was used to it and I actually realise it’s isolating and people are writing what they are going to do when they get out of lockdown and seeing friends and going to the beach and whatever. I’m writing stuff like see the doctor, go to the dentist, etc. because I haven’t in so long because anxiety is like ‘bitch, please. You really think you could do that without fucking up. Stay in your lane,’

 
Anxiety about my health is huge. I don’t think people appreciate what it takes, to phone to get an appointment and then building yourself up to go to the appointment. You’re thinking about what to wear, the bus, should I walk, the weather, what will happen in the appointment, what will I say, will I be taken seriously, will I be waiting long, do they have a toilet in the surgery, will they ask me to use the self-service machine I’ve never used before to weigh myself and get my height, will the receptionist be nice, will I be able to speak, will I make a fool of myself, what if I’m late, what if the doctor thinks I’m wasting their time, will they even look up from their computer at me, will I get a chance to speak my mind, what if I break the chair, will the surgery be busy, will everyone stare at me, what if the doctor doesn’t do anything, what if the doctor fobs me off, what if they give me medication and I have to tell them I cannot afford it and no, I’m not on benefits so I cant be exempt from charges, what if I don’t know the right stop to get off the bus, what if it rains, do I need an umbrella, which coat do I wear, will I get too hot, should I take a drink, should I take snacks, what am I going to do after, I’m going to have to walk past the railway tracks, it’s too loud, too many people –

 
You get the idea. Time becomes irrelevant. The appointment takes up every waking minute of every day leading up to it. I try and stay busy and distracted but it’s hard. I wish I could take my head off at times.

 
I know it’s ridiculous. I know if I could snap my fingers and not worry and be anxious, I would but I seemingly cannot. It’s the way I live. Every part of my life involves thinking too hard about it and I am in my comfort zone and when I dare try to do something new, anxiety pulls me in. It wants to save me from looking stupid and being rejected. It’s a nice thing of it to do, but it’s a hinderance, rather than a help. I realise that. Counselling has been one step out of the comfort zone, and it was positive. It was one day a week I left home and had a purpose. I was consistently going, my routine changed. Because it’s difficult for me to leave the flat without a goal, I need a reason to go out and other than shopping, visit to the public library, I got nothing. I have no-one to help me with that. I think a person could be of help. I have my boyfriend but, you know. He’s probably suffered as well. He’s outgoing but now he doesn’t do much either.

 
It’s frustrating because I nailed it late last year. Went out at least 5 days out of 7 and when my boyfriend and I went on holiday, we went out every day. I might have a good couple of days while on holiday and then I want to stay in the hotel room and not leave. It’s a positive we have been on holidays. It hasn’t been easy. Going to the shop to book the holiday, going to Primark to buy holiday clothes, packing literally everything in case we have burglars while we’re away, the travel to the airport, then navigating the airport, security, hours to kill, queues to buy an overpriced newspaper and bottle of water, delays, boarding, the transport to the plane, getting onto the plane, off the plane is horrendous and then queues to get through the airport, toilets, finding our luggage, transfer to the hotel is awful, check in, finding our room, food control issues so must first go the supermarket and buy supplies, restaurants, the beach, public toilets, body image problems – the list is endless and I do shut down. My boyfriend knows I’m not there at all and knows not to ask, just get me through the airport, onto the plane and to the hotel.

 

No-wonder I get burnout.

 
I tried to find positives here. I’m trying, which is good.
Thanks for reading, Drop a comment if I said anything that made sense to you.


 

Masquerade by Cyrus Parker.

Every poem in Masquerade by Cyrus Parker I want to put my arms around and embrace. As somebody still discovering their identity I can relate all too well to Parker’s words. I enjoyed this book more than their first book, as I felt I could relate to the poems more.

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Fixer-upper

self-confidence is built in layers,
the same way a house begins

with bare bones before becoming a home:
and just as each house has its own layout,

there isn’t only one set of blueprints,
one right way to build self-confidence.

sometimes it starts from the inside out
as one learns to love themselves, and

sometimes it starts from the outside in
as one projects the person they hope to be.

sometimes, you have to tear everything
down and start over from the ground up.


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I just want to be at home in my own skin. A poem.

I just want to be at home in my own skin

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

So unhappy with yourself //
you spend your time picking at me with your mouth //
sighs that indicate to me //
you are dissatisfied //
with the clothes i wear //
the noise i make in stacking baking tins //
the objects i keep //
sentimental value you do not appreciate //

even with all my sensitivities //

i know this is not my fault //

i feel caged in your criticism //
but i am not wearing short skirts and lipstick for you //
or asking for your approval anymore //
i am doing them for me //

NOTES

I shared my poem Why Would I Want to Follow the Lives of Famous People? with you on this blog last week and the response was good, so here is another poem from the yet to be finished, or yet to be titled, writing project I am working on. A memoir based on my health experiences with depression and anxiety.


Want more poetry? Try Here comes the Sun

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My Thoughts on The Day is Ready for you by Alison Malee

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Title: The Day is Ready for you

Author: Alison Malee

Genre: Poetry

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Waterstones

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I had mixed feelings on The Day is Ready for you, the second collection of poetry by Alison Malee. When I first read the book I struggled to connect with the poems, on the second reading I begun to appreciate the way in which Malee constructs her sentences. She writes with lowercase letters, as well as with the lines spaced, so it felt more intimate. It was that intimacy that made me start to connect with the poems, and enjoy the book. There was a feeling in the poetry of alienation, of not belonging. The questions Malee was asking based on the environment, and the experiences, of the narrator. The love poems gave me the sense the narrator believes love is for the few, and that they don’t believe they are one of those few. I liked the writing was whimsical too at some points, and I liked a lot of the metaphors that were used. I loved the title of this book too, which I interpreted as The Day is Ready for you: You are Ready for the Day.

Concept: we are becoming dull with age
I tell you about the raspberries and you tell me
We are too old to believe in magic

I ask, is it growing up that leaves us empty?

A good, decent sized, poetry collection that will give you nuggets of wonder, and goosebumps, and joy, and nostalgia.


Did you know?

The Day is Ready for you is published by Andrews McMeel Publishing. They have also published poetry by Lang Leav, Amanda Lovelace and Alicia Cook.

Alison Malee has written another book, titled This is the Journey.