Wednesday, 28 July 2010

After The Tears

I’m bored of crying now – time for some laughter and this morning, I remembered something that started me giggling, even though I was sitting on a crowded train !!

It happened quite a few years ago to my beautiful but ditzy friend, Nancy and it made me scream with laughter at the time, even though I have never been entirely convinced it’s true. It if is, it could only have happened to her. It’s to do with one of her smear tests so look away now if hearing about that is going to bother you !

So, she had spent an afternoon shopping when, on a whim, she went into her local GP centre to see if the doctor could fit her in for a smear test. She was told if she could wait twenty minutes it should be fine. After sitting there for a while, it suddenly struck her that she ought to tidy herself up, down there, and so she popped into the ladies. Of course, there was no loo roll, so she had to rummage around in her bag in search of tissues but there was nothing apart from one crumbly, screwed up offering right underneath all the junk that had been building up in there.. She used it to …ahem…sort herself out and then made her way in to the doctor’s office.

She got on the couch and the doctor started the procedure but she noticed that he and the nurse exchanged glances and she then handed him a kidney bowl into which he placed something. After it was all over and as Nancy was left to get dressed she couldn’t resist a quick peek into the bowl and there, to her horror, was ……. a first class stamp stuck to a bit of tissue!

She said she was sure she could hear them both laughing before she had even closed the door on the way out and she was mortified! She moved to a different doctor after that as she couldn’t bear the shame of facing him or the nurse ever again.

The girl is so funny! I’m crying again – this time with helpless laughter.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Tears, Tears And More Tears

I seem to have spent all my time crying recently.

On Monday, I stopped off at the supermarket after work to pick up a few bits. While I was at the checkout, one of the staff fell and gashed her arm on some broken glass. Her supervisor was practically apoplectic with panic and was screaming for an ambulance and the store first aider. The girl on the floor was white with shock as the blood was pouring out. I don’t know when I became so squeamish but I felt very faint at the whole spectacle and I actually wanted to rush out but I was in the middle of the whole packing and paying exercise. As I left, I looked at the poor girl again and she didn’t look in a good way with everyone crowding around her and suddenly I was crying. I rushed to the car and it took me a while to compose myself. I really hope she is OK.

Then on Tuesday, we all went to see Toy Story 3 as my teens were keen to see how the films they had grown up with concluded. We went with no expectations as I warned them that it was unlikely the third film could live up to the other two. How wrong was I – it was brilliant ! But towards the end, it set out to pull heartstrings and instead of a discreet tear, I was sobbing loudly …..much to the embarrassment of my children.

And then yesterday, I went to the hospital.

I really tried hard to be matter of fact about it but to no avail. I thought I was calm while I was in the waiting area which was for all outpatients. But then, this big woman came in, pushed to the front of the queue and said that she had been told to go to the wrong place where she had been waiting for ages and now she was late and she better not have missed her appointment or there would be hell to pay. The receptionist asked her nicely to wait her turn but no, she carried on shouting until she was finally booked in and told to take a seat. Then a mobile phone rang out and the Indian man who owned it answered it, admittedly quite loudly. This of course sent the crazy lady into a frenzy and she started shouting at him to turn it off as they weren’t allowed in hospital and then she delivered a monologue about how “these people” shouldn’t even be given treatment on the NHS which she had paid for all her life and suddenly others were telling her to shut up and she shouted back and you guessed it, I was crying again.

It was really embarrassing! I was trying not to which of course made it worse and I kept my head down and let my hair fall around my face as I tried to wipe away the tears without being seen but they kept coming and then I looked up and a muslim woman, in full burkha, offered me what looked like a used tissue and that kindness made me cry even more as I said no thank you and then rummaged around in my bag for my own but it was no good, I had to go to the loo to blow my nose and pull myself together.

Fortunately, almost as soon as I came back to the waiting room, I was called in to see the doctor. She was a gentle woman with a kind looking face and so of course when she asked me if I was OK, I started crying again and then there were two nurses with me making a fuss of me and getting me water and tissues and telling me that it was completely natural to be nervous but that they would be with me and everything would be OK.

After taking my history, the doctor started the procedure and explained what she was doing at every stage. I had pretty much calmed down when she suddenly said she was sorry but she needed to call in the consultant. When the nurse squeezed my hand, I could feel the tears pricking my eyes again….

They were streaming down my face by the time the consultant came in. He had a look and then said that they were a bit worried about an area behind the neck of the womb which they couldn’t see as clearly and so he was going to take a biopsy. He warned that it could be uncomfortable and asked if I wanted a local anaesthetic but said that if I could bear it, he could do it very quickly without. Stupidly I agreed and oh bloody hell it was painful and whatsmore he decided to take THREE bits out of me !! But as they had already seen the tears I decided to just let all pride go out the window and cry like a baby. I mean proper bawling.

I thought I was OK today but I’ve just half-watched that Panorama programme about some undercover filming in a vets’ practice where the animals were treated really cruelly and that has set me off for the night.

My family have fled to safe areas in the house and I am writing this in paroxysms of spluttering sobs. I might never stop.

Bloody pathetic !

Monday, 19 July 2010

Not Dead….Yet !

So I’m still here but I have to say, it’s been a weird week !

Those enduring thoughts of imminent death stayed with me for a couple of days and in that time everything seemed extremely heightened. I suddenly seemed to notice everything.

- how captivating the flowers are in our garden, especially the roses on the pergola. This is the second bloom of the year and it is spectacular. The heads are enormous and the blood red petals are so soft and velvety. My favourite place to sit at the moment is on the swing underneath them in the morning and evening as they pump out their heady, divine fragrance
- the lavender at the back of the garden also looks stunning and smells heavenly
- lying in bed first thing in the morning whilst still dreamy and listening to the birds singing. I have never noticed before just what a rapturous sound it is
- looking up at the sky which has been particularly blue recently, while stretched out on the grass and imagining I’m floating up. It’s such a sublime feeling
- it seems that everything I eat, especially all this luscious, ripe fruit that is around at the moment, is just scrumptious. On Wednesday, my cherubic, angelic son made me a simple hot baked potato with lashings of butter and grated cheese and it tasted like food from the gods - blissful

I spoke to my therapist about the whole experience and he thinks it’s all rather strange. He said he would have been concerned if it was something I was longing for or seriously anxious about but as I’m not, he’s unsure what it could be. I asked him if he thought, as some readers have commented, that it might be death of the old self as I resolve various situations in my life and he conceded it could be. He said that he thought I had come a long way since we started, which I don’t think he’s said before.

We talked about my faith and beliefs and my attitude towards death (which has never been one of fear) and he also asked me if I had ever had any psychic experiences. When I started laughing, he wanted to know why I was so amused. I can never really make him out. Did he ask me that because it’s something he believes in or was he just checking if I really am in need of serious psychiatric help?

I asked him if he thought I was mad and he said it was a word he didn’t like and then a discussion followed on why what he thought of me should be so important and I got very confused in my answer. The only thing he gave away was that he did think after all this time that I was still trying to be very “alluring” in our sessions in order to make right the things that come out that I don’t like about myself. I told him I wasn’t trying and that I was naturally adorable and he rolled his eyes but I saw it – there was a hint of a smile !!!

I came away from him on Thursday evening feeling better. And I went to sleep without wondering if I would wake up. Friday morning felt more normal again and not so dreamlike and over the weekend, those feelings pretty much disappeared and all should have been well.

But then, late this morning, while I was at work, I got a call from my doctor.

He said that the long-overdue smear test that I finally went for last week had shown some serious abnormalities and that he had arranged for me to go into hospital for a colposcopy examination on Wednesday morning. I said I needed to check my diary in case I had any meetings and he just said very briskly that he strongly recommended I made the appointment a priority.

That sort of urgent language is worrying. So much for laughing at the idea of being psychic……

I put the phone down and cried.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

This Could Be It

Apologies in advance for being morbid but I felt I had to get this one down. You see, over the last couple of days I have had a strong feeling that ….. I am going to die.

It’s not fear or panic or anxiety – not even the depression that has plagued me for the last year or so. This is just a simple belief that has suddenly come about that I only have a few days left.

It’s so bizarre. I go to sleep actually wondering if I will wake up. I’ve even left a note in my bedroom drawer listing bank details and where everything is in case anything does happen.

I’m sure it will pass but it has never happened to me before. Obviously I haven’t said anything to anyone but I may have to share this one with the therapist later in the week - it will only serve to further his opinion that I really am a total fruitcake!

Anyway, just thought I'd mention it. If there are no further posts from me, you’ll know I was right !!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Remember Matt??

Yesterday, when I logged on, I was very surprised to see an email waiting for me from Matt.

I haven’t heard from him since that cold day back in February when we met in a bar and I told him that I didn’t want to see him anymore and his response was less than pleasant. Since then, I have done a very good job at putting him out of my mind. I’ll admit it hasn’t been easy but I can honestly say that in the last month or so, I have hardly thought of him at all.

I nearly didn’t open the email but of course, curiosity got the better of me. Here’s what he had to say:

Hey there, it's been ages since I've been in touch I know, so have decided to rectify the situation! How the hell are you? Work still busy?

I suspect you are still looking super amazing, and with the sun out all the time at the moment, I bet you are driving the guys in the office wild with your summer wardrobe!

Trust you are still singing. I’ve decided to give it a miss for a while but I'll be along to help out at the shows if I’m still needed.

Hope the family are cool, anyway, curious to hear how you are. I think I'm just about holding up without you, but I better not go down that road or you’ll tell me off again, so I'll say ta ra!

What the hell is that about?? What is the point of this email??

I sat for ages looking at the screen trying to come up with a suitable reply that conveyed a friendly tone but nothing that suggested any desire to return to how things were. But then realised that actually, I think he’s a tosser and I don’t see why I should try and be friendly because I don’t want to get drawn back into his stupid games.

So, I deleted it !

Saturday, 3 July 2010

To Blog Or Not To Blog

A little while ago, when I was waiting for my daughter at the dentist, I read an article that has been playing on my mind ever since.

Basically it was a piece by someone who was clearly irritated by the whole social networking trend. It was a witty piece where he gave his views on Twitter and Facebook which I suppose I share to an extent as I’m not involved with either. But then he moved on to the blogging community which he said was a complete and utter waste of time.

He questioned exactly what sort of person feels the need to share information with the world in a blog and then he went on to answer by saying it was losers who clearly have a lack of identity because they need to share who they are. He said it comes from living in a very narcissistic age where unless people recognise you, you cease to exist and that in the real world, they were probably very uninteresting people. Blogging, he said, was a way of making sure you are connected to someone and that most bloggers are they types who secretly wish they had the guts to be on Big Brother.

I was a bit miffed. Maybe because I recognised something in what was written but not totally.

Why do I write a blog? Why do I record such detail which, if discovered and traced back to me could, no probably would, destroy the family life I have?? Is it to do with a lack if identity?? I don’t think so. I think it’s more about feeling safe enough to show a part of me that I don’t have the freedom to do in my everyday life. But why do I need to do that? Is it narcissm to want to document who I am for public consumption?

I may admit to dipping in to Big Brother from time to time and imagining how I would deal with various situations in that house but I certainly have no desire to be on that or any other reality show. I’m not that much of a wannabe but if I’m honest, I suppose deep down I wish I was a someone. Maybe that’s why I was the first to encourage my daughter when she showed a clear talent and desire to perform. I’ve done my motherly duty in warning her that she is entering a cut-throat industry where few make it but I also feel I owe it to her to encourage her dreams. And of course if she does make it, I’ll be a “someone” through her…..

However, I have taken that article quite personally as it demeans and mocks my need to blog.

It’s been nearly two years since I started this online diary and I believe that writing it has really helped to improve my emotional wellbeing. I’ve always known from when I used to keep a handwritten journal that the act of writing allows you to explore your inner self in a deep and intimate way. My blog has become my place to document and then examine the situations I find myself in, confront my fears and work out how to get on top of my emotions. Together with comments (positive and negative) from those who have followed my journey and those that drop by, it has become a great sounding board.Those comments have also been useful for seeing more positive aspects of myself and this has been especially useful in battling my recent almost overwhelming feelings of depression.

I read all sorts of blogs. Ones like mine that are quite personal, ones that invite discussion, records of parenthood, ones that contain the most amazing photos. There are no rules but each one satisfies the writer ….and me, the reader.

For me reflective writing is immensely therapeutic for lots of reasons - self improvement, a way to vent fear, anger, humour or depression, and a way to learn new perspectives.

So I don’t care what that bloke said, I’m not going to give it up any time soon.