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.

It’s a long way to go to die.

As LP says in her song: it’s a long, long, long way to go to die.

It sure bloody is.

Because first I decided not to kill myself. I got good with my pain. Good enough that I wanted to stay. Found my reason, all that jazz. It actually took a fuck load of work, but that’s not why I’m here tonight.

After that came unexpected want. I wanted a future. A career, a path, this crazy life.

Here I am living it. Back in Uni, sights set, so close. It doesn’t even matter now if I don’t make it. This wanting has woken something in me. It was terrifying at first and I resented it. Wanting is so much harder. Quitting is always easier. Now though, my heart beats and my eyes search and I drink it all in.

I realize in all of this that unless a bus takes me out, or my heart stops from all that medication, I’m here for a long time. Not all of it will be a good time. I will smack someone if they make me see 90. Oh fate, don’t be so cruel. Just let me have it for a while.

Cos it’s a long long long way to go to die when you take your own hand out of the mix. So here I am. Standing tall. Forward focused with an overflowing tool box of therapy that’s getting me by. I’m unmedicated, on a break from therapy and on my way.

Just please, please, don’t make that road too long. This ole heart of mine couldn’t bear it. Take me mid laugh. Send me down the stairs with a cocktail in my hand. Let me interrupt a robbery and blow a kiss to a shooter as I step between his bullet and the guard. Take me fast, just freaking do it after I’ve seen this through ok?

Because I can go a long, long, long way now that I’ve seen what it’s worth. It’s everything. It’s mine. By Christ I want it.

X Bon

Nothing Compares

So in my mid thirties I finally figured out what I want to do with my life.  Spoiler alert – it’s actually not watching Netflix compulsively forever and ever. I mean, who knew?

I turned it over (and over and over as I am want to do) until finally something made sense. I’ve gone back to uni to study Community Services. By the time I’m 40 I might just be able to help peeps like me. Or peeps like you. Or just people really. I want to help, I think I can, I hope I’ve got the stones for it. Time will tell, she’s a real bitch that way.

Anyway, I’m often not ‘here’ in my blog. But I am still here and I do still give a shit.

You can find me more often waffling on in a much more casual way on my Facebook page. Sometimes I Tweet too – but mostly I just fall into the Twittersphere and come up for air hours later not really sure what I logged on for.

In the meantime I shared this on Facebook, but I think it was important.  So I’ll put it here too and I’ll see you soon.

Stay weird guys, and for fuck’s sake – please take care. Of yourselves and of each other. No one knows what we go through like we do, so reach out if you can. You might just change someone’s whole day.

Fellow black dog fighters… Nothing Compares 2 U. No matter how dark it gets, there’s no one else like you. The world does need people like us. Hold on. And if you couldn’t, I hope you know somehow that you were loved and we don’t blame you. 

I Lied and said I was Ok.

If I ever let you think this was easy, I lied.

If you look at me and think I won the war against depression, I lied.

If I gave you the impression that I’m ok, then I said it wrong. Because every morning anxiety still pries my eyes open, while depression wants them to close.

Walking into any room, any time makes my heart thud so hard I want to turn and run. It does not matter if that room is filled with loved ones or strangers. I want to run away, and I’ll feel good doing it. I like it better when I’m on my own, but I hate feeling alone. I need the people in my life so much that if they realized exactly how much, it would shock them. The people I love are my anchor. They keep me here. They make me want to stay. So if I tell you I can do this on my own, I’m lying.

BPD still wrestles with me, every day is hard. If you think I’m not holding a clamped hand over its mouth, just to hear you speak, then I’m telling it wrong. I’m straining against the claws of a monster just to make it through the day. Some days I lose. Some days it forces me to watch the world pass like everyone got a pretty invitation to stand in the sunshine, while I’m stuck behind the glass and can’t feel it’s warmth.

Some days are good days. I’m starting to be able to string more than one together at a time. I was starting to rock through an entire week…

Then Fibro came along to add her 5 cents worth to the whole mess. She is the fiercest dictator I’ve washed up against so far. She tortures so invisibly that no one can see the scars. She’s an expert in making you forget she’s got her chains around me every minute. She hides in plain sight. She sees my good days and she laughs while she takes my feet from under me.

I didn’t chose to fight these battles. I’m no angel through it all. I can be so cruel it would suck your breath out. I’m so angry I’ll scream at the sky when I run out of things to be mad about. Resentment is my poison. It shows on my face, in the holes punched through plaster, in the burned bridges I leave in my wake. It could be so much fucking worse, but that doesn’t help me on the days I want to bash my head against a wall just to make it all stop.

The damndest thing keeps happening though. I keep feeling my lips curling up at the corners, my feet keep tapping, my heart bangs and I rise again. I tell my wrong brain to shut the fuck up and carry on. I’m learning to walk without limping as Fibro rattles through my central nervous system. I tell depression to shove it, even when anxiety puts a tremor in my voice. I turn the key in the ignition with shaking hands. I keep on going.

Recovery looks different for everyone. And it’s not fixed. It changes as I do. It’s a god damned bloody spectrum, and I’ve learned to be ok with that. But if I ever told you I was ok, that it was easy, then I bloody lied. I didn’t tell my story right.

I don’t want anyone to stumble across my blog and go well look at that, we can be fixed. Because we can’t. But we CAN manage life with all this nonsense. A good life even. I can never go back to the person I was ‘before’. I can be happy. I’m facing forward with anticipation for the first time in years. But let’s none of us pretend ‘happy’ is an attainable, fixed state. Cos that simply isn’t how life works. Adjust expectations, get comfy with the new version, make peace with it. When you look at me, know how much I’ve had to fight just to be stood there, looking right back at you.

My smile is real. That part I never lied about. This world might force me to my knees more often than I’d like, but I still have no poker face. The laugh is honest, the grin pure me. My strongest feature isn’t something I expected. I thought my weapon would be humour. It’s not. The force that keeps me going is pure, bull headed stubbornness. I’m a sore loser, so whenever my ailments think they’ve got me, I’ll up-end the game board right in their face and walk on.

Every time something comes along and tells me it’s going to take something away from me, I get up and fight to take it back. I’m that plucky little kid in the school yard. You’re watching her drag herself up off the gravel, nose bleeding, to turn around and spit on her bullies. Just when you think she hasn’t got it in her, she throws sand in their eyes and runs away. I didn’t know I had this much fight in me. I’m not a brave person. I fold like a piece of paper. I hate confrontation. And it’s not because I don’t want to argue over my change, or send a crappy meal back to the chef. It’s because I’m already tired of fighting.

The point of all this work, this endless battle? I found something to fight for. I didn’t know that. I thought I had nothing left to lose. Apparently even in my rawest, most flawed moments, I won’t lose my grip on the world. I lift my bowed head, scream FUCK YOU at roaring volumes and I stay. Every blow I expect to be the last straw… somehow isn’t.

This is mine. My ruined mind and broken body. It’s Mine. This life I live is Mine. The things I seek are Mine. The people I love are somehow Mine too. So maybe I’m not that brave little girl wrestling with her bullies. Maybe I’ve had enough. Maybe I’m also that stubborn, tantrum chucking little shit in the supermarket. Jumping up and down, turning heads, shamelessly screaming MINE, MINE, MINE!

So yeah, I lied. I let you think I wasn’t completely broken by all of this. I showed you the days I found my reason to stay alive, and I hid under the covers on the days when I couldn’t. Some days I rally do want it all to stop.

And yet.

The world keeps spinning, and I keep spinning with it. I will fight, fall down, get up and do it all again. One day if you look over your shoulder and I’m not there, at least you will know that I never give up. I gave until I had nothing left. I fought for every day I had here. I tried.

Stay weird peeps, stay here.

X Bon

Stay You

Lately, I’ve realised that trying to be a grown-up has made me shrink again.  I’ve been thinking smaller, and my voice has quietened.  Which might be why I haven’t been here much. I’ve been aiming for an easier version of myself.  Easier for other’s to get along with anyway.  And I for one don’t think that’s actually what adulthood is all about.

I’m tired of being reasonable and responsible.  I’m tired of having to smile in grocery lines just to prove that peeps like me can be kind. I’ve exhausted myself, trying to keep my freak on a leash.  I am so sick of representing the nice side of weirdness.  It’s making me cranky.  I’m becoming intolerable – to myself. For once I wanna tap into my moody teen bitch and bring her forth to get people to back up off me for a bit.

So I think for a while I’m gonna get loud again.  I’m going to take up space and not apologise for it. I’m not going to smile on the days I don’t bloody feel like it.  I’m not going to waste any more of my time making other people feel ok about who I am.  Because no matter how ‘nice’ I dress, how much I cover up my tatts or god forbid, take my piercings out, I’m still me.  I’m still the awkward chick whose foot lives in her mouth.  Who laughs at the wrong time and sings off key. I’m tired of fighting my nature, just to be accepted by people I don’t even care about.  So the mum jeans are going to the op shop, the hats and scarves that cover up this head of mine are going in the bin. In fact, everything I’ve ever brought and keep for the days I have to look the part is all going.  Because I am the part.  I’m me, in all my weirdo wonderfullness.  So to the people who don’t want to be anywhere near it… please take yourself calmly to the nearest exit. It’s ok if you don’t like me, there’s no accounting for taste. But do shush on your way out, keep the hate inside and let it poison only you.

I’ve spent a long time making myself stronger, braver, truer. After all that work  I just can’t fit back into the box anymore.  So despite going back to uni, learning new skills and aiming for a whole new career… you can bet I’ll be showing up to job interviews as myself.  Who knows? The world might just be ready for me now.

I guess in a nutshell it comes down to that old saying: Always, always be yourself.  You may as well, becuase you’re not cut out to be anybody else.

Stay weird peeps,

X Bon

prove yourself

 

Me and My Shadow

It’s funny how a dog becomes a best friend in a way no one else really can. And yes, this is coming from a self confessed cat lady. I know I’ve mentioned Crowley here a little bit, but I wanted to introduce her properly, in all her wonderful-ness.

When I had to say goodbye to my little old Bam Bam my heart broke. She’d been my girl for 14 years. The first dog I owned as a grown up. My very best baby girl.

I knew I would need another dog. I’m not the type to grieve alone and lonely. We had little dog Nikki with us still, but she’s not ‘mine’ the way Bam was. Nikki is a little ball of rescued nervous ticks. She’s sweet and stubborn and as good a version of herself as she’s ever going to be. But in her heart of hearts, Nikki belongs to herself. She’s loves us is her own way. I’m sure she appreciates being warm and loved and taken care of. But she has no ‘mum’ so to speak.

And so the search began. We always prefer to adopt. I sent in applications. I wasn’t too fussy per se. I wanted someone smart, funny, trainable and loving. Someone who needed me as much as I needed them. But my applications came back no, no, no. No one really trusted little old Nik to be a good role model for a working dog pup. I have a big old soft sport for working dogs. Border Collie’s preferably. To me they’ve always been the people pleasers. The dogs most keen to be in mix of family life, but still have a primary ‘boss’. I wanted a heart dog again.

Because somewhere between me getting sick with Fibro and Bam Bam starting to decline from heart failure I realized I would need someone to be with me the way she always was. Someone who would still want to be right next to me on days when I couldn’t manage to fight through the pain and get up. Someone who wanted to be with me on the down days, as well as the better, more active walk-in-the-bush days.

Enter Crowley. Found for me by a dear family friend. She was a special pup, and her rescuer wanted the very best fit for her. I held my breath, said yes and hoped like hell they liked me enough to trust me with her. They did! We drove over, anxiously hopeful, to meet her. She was immediately delightful. Running around a farm, trying to get the cat to play with her, cheeky in a sweet, dorky, big footed way that made my heart say YES so loudly I’m pretty sure she heard it.

She kissed my kids and sat cuddled in my lap all the way home. She likes her daddy, adores ‘her’ kids… but she loves mumma most. I don’t want to go overboard, but she’s so much more than I hoped. She’s mine and I am hers and she made the loss of Bam Bam easier to bear. She lies on my legs through every panic attack. She greets every human with love and kisses. She looks at the cats the same way a dorky younger sister does her aloof older siblings and just wishes they would pay attention to her. She greets Dad after work like a hero returning from abroad. She’s so gentle and caring towards Nikki. She worries over her and helps keep her warm by snuggling up in the same bed. Especially now as Nik recovers from surgery and a cancer scare.

Crowley is a perfect match. Somehow the right dog found her way to me and I am grateful every day. I will live up to all her expectations. I will train her well and return her love ten fold. She’s my shadow, my soul dog, my gift. If she’s watching I like to think Bam Bam would be happy for me. She knows I will always love her, and in true baby girl style, she’s probably very happy I’m not lonesome anymore.

Thank god for ‘man’s’ best friend eh?!

X Bon