In a room far away.

The problem with sleeping in the whirl of a sea shell is that there’s isn’t any room for anyone else. It begets a certain type of loneliness.

Tonight this is ok. My thoughts have led me far away, somewhere I could not take you, and yet I miss it anyway.

Because I’m thinking about being in a dim lit room. The soft pink colour of a womb, holding all of us there in a moment of stillness. Outside the cars swish past and past and past. In this sequestered part of a busy city we are quiet and anonymous. I could say I miss the world outside, but it would be a lie. I am content to let it all go with a sigh and float away.

I have paid much to be here and I am not the only one hiding. Not alone with my bandage wrapped wrists and raw, red eyes. I am ready to slip away, tethered only by the voice of our guide. The room smells of sandalwood and ash. How do they do that here, I wonder, where we cannot have anything so dangerous as flame. I push the thought away but it has stirred me from my reverie. I have always been easily seduced away from things that are good for me.

Beside me on a pile of cushions lies a pink haired teen. She is thin enough to be on a different ward, but I can see she’s one of us. The chalky pink is wearing out and tells me how long she’s been here. She is new, and so lost I can still see the ache of home on her. I am about to turn my gaze away and return to the drifty musings of our meditation, when my eyes hit her feet and I am jotled.

She is wearing sparkly sliver combat boots. They shine in the gloom and my eyes sting at the sight of their grey, untidy laces. Shoe laces so long they bring me undone and my mouth goes dry. I cannot even have the ties in my yoga pants, ICU robbed me of anything longer than a bracelet. But she is here, as broken as me, her glorious boots intact.

Bitter as the bile in my throat are the visions that dance behind my scrunched eyelids. My own feet that were once encased in thick soled boots. My hair long and wild, every thought dedicated to chasing the horizon and giving it a shove. Climbing, twirling, singing through the days in my battle boots. Wearing my brokenness with pride, unknowingly undamaged. Bared teeth in a flashing grin, counting the hours by moonlit parties, passed bottles, stories told. Eating the miles behind the wheel of first cars, giddy with the freedom, the music louder than a heartbeat.

Gone now, taken from me as surely as my shoelaces. Plucked away by frowning nurses. Gone, like that old thrumming search for what’s next. Trying not to remember why I stopping looking.

Because I found it, and it took me up like the intake of a wave. Breathed me in and smashed me down. Down and down until there was no way up. Shuddering small in my weakness. Beyond their reach, surrendered here for the hope of help. Into rooms like this one.

This womb room suffocates now, I want out. I can’t have it. My choices aren’t mine now and for a while I didn’t mind. They could take everything and I only stared at the walls. Take it all away, willingly given if they’ll take me too. But I feel myself waking. And I don’t want to. Give it back to me, my blessed numbness, I’ve bloody earned it. Wanting only leads to pain. It shows me everything I lost along the way. Discarded like pieces of clothing that trail a wandering soul in the wilderness. Leaving pieces behind as their mind loses reason.

Things I want back. Like the sharp edge of the day, now unreachable. My crusading heart in pieces, the whale song around me no longer soothes. Becomes instead a lament to what might have been, if I’d been better, tried harder, won more often than I lost. What I could have become, had I not found myself here, in this room, with a pink haired girl and her beautiful boots instead.

Hiraeth

The sea calls to me, it’s true. Because it’s the only place where the other call quiets and peace crashes in.

A fear lives within, coiled deep. The eighteen year old kicking. Kick, kick, kicking. Idle as a child with a foot against a desk leg while a cloud pulls his eyes skyward. Ignored, becoming frantic like a dog left in the yard, dust settling. A howl caught in my teeth like a cough.

There’s a word for it, that homesick feeling. A heartache in your chest while you look at your family around the dinner table. Hiraeth, longing for home while sitting in the house you sweat for every week. A feeling deeper than sense and harder to explain.

Here though, I am still. Lying on the sand with my hand dug in. Cradled in the whirl of a seashell, the kicking ceases. I resist as long as I can. My eyes draw a line between the snapping red flags, hand tunnels deeper into the sand. The exquisite anticipation. Flick my gaze away as it hits the foam behind the closest wave. I know it feels like a spa, right there in the sweet spot after the crash.

Heart pulling forward in my rib cage. I know, I know. Wait. Sand fleas rising, tick against me. Wait, wait. A whif off acrid cigarette smoke stings. Don’t look where the butt lands as it’s arcs, flicked from brown fingers. Run.

Toward the sea, the laugh spat out, teeth white behind cracked lips. No flinch, legs high, skipping now. Finally a wave takes my knees and I’m diving into the foam behind it. Biting cold as I rise, the whoop hidden all winter. Clear and loud here, in this place.

A strong incoming tide pushes. I dig in, turn sideways into the next wave. It’s time for under and over, a favourite since childhood. Each one inching me closer, closer, until my feet don’t scrape the sand on the intake for the next wave. Finally. Laughing now, with waves big enough to thrill, my head ducked low with a nagging, ancient fear of surfboards. Past my comfort level, almost past caring.

Turning to look, the sand castle being slapped into place beneath my children’s hands now tall. Hidden rocks through the middle. Whoever kicks this one will hurt their spiteful toes.

Their pull is stronger than an ocean. I duck low under the next one, let it thrum along my legs. Turning, arms windmilling, I make the next one take me in. A song in my heart as they lift their heads. Mummy’s back! I’m a rock star touring home.

We turn away from her, reclutance stilled by the promise of salty chips in paper. A long hot drive home, the breathless dust as we get closer. The stink of concrete rising off the driveway.

I don’t linger in the car or rest my head upon the wheel and I don’t feel homesick as I walk into the hall, our smell smacking me in the nose. I breathe in, the salt lingers and I am home.

Brine

My son has the brine of the sea on him. I can smell it as we lay curled together on the hard bed in this borrowed house. I like it here. I have laughed more this day than I have all holidays.

I like the salt in the air, the waft of it left in the well of the sink, caught in my sunscreened elbows. I like the sand too. Gritty under my feet on the floorboards. Preferable to the trudging mud of home.

I like the drive. Windows down, all of us straining to get the first glimpse of blue as we crest the hill.

I see it! I see the ocean! There mum!

My daughter’s round nosed face always turned towards it like a beacon. So much like me, her curls whipping around her face. Smiling into the breeze, with grit in her teeth.

Sometimes I wonder if it would lose its magic, this restless beast, it we lived next to it all year round. I don’t think so. The crash calls to me. I want to walk into the sucking tide, just to see where it would take me. Roar my challenge to the wind and take a running dive. I used to just swim straight out into the sea when I was young, and the water makes me feel that reckless again. As though I am all heart, not trapped in this wide, painful vessel.

I was a lion once, I tell the sea as I pace its soft fine shore.

You could be again, it replies.

Ah-hem

This happened last year and thanks to Facebook memories I’m going to share it here. Because we all need to laugh. My goal for 2019? More funny stuff here. It’s the crunchy nut topping on life.

Because no one ever remembers that they’ve got the sheets on the line until bedtime, Tevita and I find ourselves standing at the clothesline in the middle of he night.

In the darkness across the road someone gently clears their throat. A monster! I low key scream-moan, loudly demand Tevita saves me and bolt. Tevita is in the middle of saying ‘don’t worry honey, I’ll protect you. I don’t care if they see me in my jocks’ but when he turns around in the middle of this declaration I have disappeared. And no, I didn’t go back to check on him.

That’s how fast I will leave a person in the dark, in the middle of the night when I get a small fright.

Oh and if you’re wondering why yes, it turns out this fat girl CAN run when scared. Who knew?

Keep laughing peeps,

X Bon

NYE? FOMO? WTF?

I’ve been paring back on New Year’s Eve celebrations since I had kids. Not resentfully, priorities shifted as did my focus. The kids love fireworks, I love watching their delighted faces.

It used to be a night to dance and drink and fuck. But things change, we get older… life goes on. I still like those things by the way, but now I like them whenever I feel like it. Not because it’s expected. It’s all part of my issue with being told to do things as custom dictates. Christmas decorations go up on December first, they come down on New Year’s Eve. No one can even say why, it’s simply what’s done. Rubbish. So by extension I reject NYE resolutions, forced socialising and midnight kissing. Kiss at 12:01 or not at all.

This year I’m conducting an experiment. I’m deliberately doing nothing. Well, not nothing. I’ll be watching movies, eating popcorn, maybe playing board games. I’m a night owl so I might be up at midnight, I might not. What I’m interested in is will I care? How deep does my Fear Of Missing Out go?

I often feel really flat when I feel left out. I don’t like to miss out, despite being a bit of an introvert. I get low when I see newsfeeds full of happy evenings, wild parties, everyone having the time of their lives while I sit alone in bitterness, staring at my phone.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. I can live up to my word. Put my money where my mouth is. I always say do what ever makes you happy and stuff the rest. So I shall. Do I feel up to a big night? Not really. Even if I wanted to go to a club (shudder) Fibro would turn that into a sensory overload nightmare. I want a quiet night in, I will have a quiet night in and I’ll see if any FOMO kicks in.

Wish me luck!

And have a wonderful night doing whatever the heck you want.

Stay weird peeps,

X Bon.

** Update: two days later.

I did stay up until midnight to make sure the dogs were ok with the fireworks. They were. So was I! Movie night, a gut full of popcorn, in bed with a new book by 12:30. Happy as a clam and no FOMO in sight. Win!

It Comes Back

The thing about depression is that no matter how much work you put in, how far you come, it will come back.

I’ve felt it sucking at me again these past days. Felt it dragging at the corners of my mind. I woke up today and there it was. I am also in the grip of a Fibro flare. For those lucky enough not to know what that is, it basically means my entire body is in pain for no damn reason. Are they connected? Hell yeah.

Depression is a little parasite. She waits for something else to bring me down and there she is. Right on my life line, sucking all the feelings away.

Until I am not happy, or sad. I’m back in the grey wasteland of nothing. Everything is leached of joy. I am flattened. I am nothing. But I refuse. Im in a desert leached of all emotion. But I ain’t stuck here.

So I go to work. This is my job after all, keeping the Bonnie Bot alive. I watch my favourite shows. I reach out to my friends who get it. I tell husband. I get good with being sick. I do the things I like doing. I go through the motions. In my case, if I succumb and just lie down, I will get worse.

I start being kind to myself. I bring my best self talk forward. C’mon Bon, you know the drill. Are you safe? Do you need help? Is this manageable?

I take steps. If I want to get better I have to fight for it. I feed my face with good food. Listen to good music. Do things that make me feel… something. Hide the sharps. Put the razors away. Bury my face in my dogs neck and just hold on.

This is the price I pay to be me. My brain gives me creativity, it makes me different, intuitive, imaginative. And sometimes, it tries to kill me. Everything is a balance I guess. I still like being me. But the tax is bitch.

So I will hang on. I will hug my children and breathe them in. I will rest my head on husband’s shoulder. I will wait for it to pass. Hold on Bon, just hold on. Wait for the times to get better. Have faith that they will.

I will stay. I will not let this be the end of me. Because brain, you dear, fucked up mess, the times they are a changing. My smile will come back before you kill me. Just watch.

Stay weird peeps. Just stay.

X Bon

Lost On You

(These are old feel an old note… but it has to go somewhere right? Cos I don’t want anymore).

I’ve tried to tell you a thousand times.

What it feels like to wake up disappointed that you’ve woken up.

To hate the new Spring sunshine on your skin.

To watch your child laugh and feel it echo through your empty heart.

To see the smile on your lovers face and feel exactly nothing in response.

How it feels to already be dead inside and how it hurts to pretend.

What it’s like to keep on struggling because people need you, want you, beg you to stay. How that doesn’t feel like love, it feels like a life sentence.

I’ve talked to you until I’m blue in the face, and your resistance to what I’m saying just makes it harder to stay.

I’ve showed you my scars, begged you to see. You turn my arm over, pull my sleeves down and shutter your own eyes to my pain.

I don’t want to be here.

You made me promise to stay.

So here I am. You’ve moved on because everything is fine now.

I’m sinking in the dark, treading water while you work on the future.

I could show you all the things I’ve done, all the work I’ve put in. To be standing here next to you, while you get busy. You turn you head to your phone and I’m standing here alone.

I give when I can. I take what I need. I write it down and bleed it out. I’m losing more than winning these days. I’m half way gone already.

I never wanted to be this way. I didn’t get to chose. It kills me that the only thing I can feel in this black void is anger.

I’m screaming at the night sky, my head ripped back in a full throated roar. You think I’m just looking at the stars.

I could tell you all these things.

But you can’t feel what I feel.

And so my words

Are lost on you.