Are you tired of this modern world?

I deleted Facebook last night. I had music playing in bed we both loved, until hubby started watching video snippets in his news feed. I turned my music up so he put his headphones on.

Husband beside me, turned away watching video’s while I drifted and remembered days where we would hold hands and whisper into the night.

I deleted the app, felt immediately lightened by relief and danced to the toilet. Then slept like a log. To be fair husband gave me the best cuddles as the fan droned and the night swam.

This morning I slept in. I reached for my phone and turn the alarm off. Stretching gleefully I had no notifications to check. No scrolling that’s supposed to last a minute as an hour creeps by.

I went and picked up something from a craft shop. Sat and finished The Haunting of Hill House while I cross stitched a Christmas present. Then I sewed my dress for a friend’s wedding tomorrow, worked through a pile of hemming.

Returned to the couch and finished an assignment for Uni, then made pork schnitzels for family dinner.

I am not a productive person. As an introvert I need to recuperate on my days at home. Mostly I crochet, read and nap to true crime podcasts. The most surprising thing when I quit smoking was all the extra time I had. Without Facebook I had more than an extra hour or so, I had a whole day. I didn’t even miss the meme’s.

To be perfectly transparent I kept Messenger. I have very important people I chat with daily in there. I have a Uni chat where we mull over essays and keep each other up to date. International friends who are so dear to my heart I couldn’t bear them to be out of reach. I learned from my last break from Facebook (which lasted a whole lonely day) what I need to be happy and stay in touch. Depression creeps in when I’m isolated and fills up all the spaces.

So now I turn my attention to finishing my assignments for the year, whilst getting my daily word count in for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). 50,000 word draft of a novel plus assignments while stitching a Christmas present? No worries.

As always, do whatever it is that makes your days better. As my water bottle declares: Whatever Makes You Happy – just do that.

So I shall chase happiness and encourage you to do the same. Because life is so damn short. Just look at the lines upon your parents face, or the ones upon your own. Is there grey hair in your dog’s beard and have those kids shot up since last you noticed? Fast. Like a one step march through history. Remembered by some, until time catches up with them too. So fuck being remembered. Just be happy. In the long run no one even minds. They’ll watch you waltz delighted through your days and probably join in.

Be you, be happy.

Stay weird peeps.

Love Bon.

Toxic People

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I’ve learned something recently and it has freed me in ways I didn’t expect. The relief is enormous and the amusement an added bonus.

You see I have been dealing with a toxic person in my life for a couple of years now, and ceasing to care what this person thinks of me has been a long process. I’ve had to fake it until I made it. Oh boy, have I made it! The rewards are wonderful.  I realise that a lot of us have people in our lives that for one reason or another we simply cannot cut them out. Family, co-workers, friends spouses, whatever the case there are often people we simply cannot avoid. So I share this with you now, so that if you’re stuck like I was you can see that it can get better. They can’t control how you react to them. You do not have to be telling bitter stories about their cruel behavior forever.

There will come a time in your experience with a Toxic Person (TP) when they push you once too many.  When your inner voice screams ENOUGH. For me that happened and I felt the familiar heart thump of what I thought was adrenaline. That feeling of gearing up for a fight, the ‘oh shit, I’m going to have to say something’ feeling.  Only I realised that wasn’t it.  What I felt was akin to celebration. The same heart racing expectation, only this time I did nothing. I talked to my friends. I got support. I fact checked whether this person’s accusations were founded. As usual they were not. The relief washed over me like cool water.

I began to think of my TP as a spider in a jar. Striking repeatedly, yet unaware that no hits were landing.  TP became an amusing creature to watch. Fascinating, yet entirely harmless.  I even enjoyed shaking the jar from time to time. As with all insects TP became rapidly less interesting. Until finally I took the dusty jar down from the shelf and tipped it into the garden. Be gone little spider. Here’s the door slamming shut.  I won’t think of you.

So the secret of this approach actually relies on them. It makes it a little easier to cope with.  Toxic people will infiltrate and manipulate. It’s hard to get out sometimes, but you can if you let yourself see them for what they really are.  They are not magicians capable of making everyone around you agree with them.  They are nothing more than school yard bullies.  Some people will join you and see that one day. Some won’t. That’s not on you.  And yes, you do have to do some work your end. Ready yourself and neatly return their serve.  You don’t have to confront them if you don’t want to. Oh how they hate your silence more than your words! I needed to have some strong, repetitive self talk going. Here’s a few of my mantra’s:

I don’t care what you think.

I don’t care what you say about me.

I don’t like you anymore.

I can’t trust you.

If you can have this soundtrack playing in your head, the anger you feel next time they do or say something awful lessens.  The impact hurts less.  The urge to retaliate fades. Once that happens, you’ll find you are becoming free of them.  Next time you see them, that rush of emotion won’t happen.  Now it can be different if it is someone you despised from the start, the process is already half done.  But if it was someone you loved like a relative or friend, expect it to take longer. Do the work though.  You deserve to be happy and free of this person.

Unexpectedly I started to find my spider amusing.  They would say something hurtful and I would smile, causing them to stutter and redirect.  They do things and I do not pick up the phone or shoot out an angry text.  I simply laugh, maybe relate the story to my support people.  More and more often it simply slides away.  I have bag fulls of anecdotes.  As a writer they are now material when I create a despicable character. I have ‘get a load of this latest’ stories to share with my friends. Who shake their heads in horrified wonder.

So you see dear readers, my toxic person is only a byline in a story.  A sidenote.  Someone may ask ‘how did it go with such and such there today?’. It went fine.  I snorted my tea laughing, and let them think it was because they were funny. I stopped talking to them and found something better to do.

Their power over me is gone.  They might enjoy my silence for a time… until they need something from me again.  But I won’t be there to ask. I won’t answer that call.  If somehow the question comes to me, I will say No.  It took a while, but I’m really good at that part now.

Before I go, I should emphasize how important that word is. No becomes a tool, and then a way of life.  You might feel like you have to help them, maybe you care about their partner, or their children or whatever the case may be. Trust me, they will find someone else, or they will angrily cope just fine on their own. Never think that a TP is alone. They want you to think that, but they are expert manipulators and will always find someone else.  They might even use you to do it, start saying things like ‘oh they let me down so badly and now I’m in a tight jam with no support’… etc. Rest assured, they will always find a way.

So walk away. Conscience clear.  Go step into the sunshine. Learn from the experience so it doesn’t happen again. Be free.

And as always, stay weird peeps.

Love Bon.

xoxo

**NB: this advice is not suitable for abusive relationships. Domestic violence is very dangerous and outside my realm of experience.  Seek urgent help if you or someone you know is experiencing this.

Down and Up

It’s been a rough week. Fibro is kicking my butt cos apparently it hates any sort of weather change… and it chucks the biggest tantrum if that weather change is Winter!

But it’s been good to go down. Because then I know I can and I WILL come back up again. Even if it’s tough and really sucky and it makes me literally cry… I have to know I will come out of it.

This is not going to be a long winded post, cos frankly I don’t have the wind for it! It’s just a post about a shitty couple of weeks. It’s about knowing it’s ok not to be ok. And not just because that’s a really catchy phrase. Because it’s true.

So, I’ve been properly down for 3 days straight, which isn’t that long physically, but Ive been feeling it loom for a couple of weeks… and that plays havoc with me mentally. Because when my body says ‘lie down and don’t move’! And my brain says ‘shhhhh you’re so tired you can’t speak English, time to sleep’…. it’s really fucking tempting to give in and let lovely lovely depression take the wheel. Because if the Black Dog takes over, I promise you I will sleeep. For daaaaays. And probably enjoy it.

BUT getting that beast leashed again is too damn hard.

So I get up. I feel out my bones and ask them if it’s a dancing morning. It is! Oh hells yeah!

I grab my big arse head phones. The ones that mean I can’t even hear my own pulse or breath.

I make my bed as I get my feet under me and start to pump up the music.

I listen to three songs.

1: We’re Killing Strangers by Marilyn Manson

Because it has a wicked fucken beat and he can soothe the angry beast. I can’t dance for shit, but I do anyway. And my body doesn’t move the way I’d like it to… so I’ve taken to doing a sort of interpretive dance. It uses all my muscles, it’s bang on the beat and it feels really good. I may look like an electrocuted pidgeon, but I feel as powerful and Childish Gambino.

2: Better Son/ Daughter by Rilo Kiley

Ohhhhh yeahhhh. Let’s bring it down, take it in and streeeeetch it out! This song gets under my skin in the best way. From the outside this sounds like yoga. I LOVE yoga, but again my body dictates what we do today. I’m cool with it, you silly old thing. So I take this bod o’ mine through a heavily restricted/personalized stretch sesh. And it feels gooooood. Take that OT, I AM doing what you suggested! Just… in my own way. Gold star!

3: Why Can’t I Touch It? By Buzzcocks

This one means it’s time to get up before I fall asleep on the floor. Get my inner, slightly less spry, Punk Bitch up and moving. Put the kettle on. Help my very old cat Nev through his morning routine.

I have to act like an adoring butler during this, or he gets offended and won’t eat. And I have to keep the other cats away from his food without making it look like I am. Oh, and give him privacy but be ready to open the door because after food comes the enormous need to evacuate… I won’t go into detail. Let’s just say we both regret it if I’m not paying attention.

I move through the house while the kettle makes it’s racket, just checking everything is ok, cos I’m gonna crash out in 5, 4, 3…

I make my cuppa. Tea should be made in calmness. I settle for raging loud mindfulness. I do it while I boogie to whatever comes next on my headphones. Then I sit. One must have 15 minutes to sit with a cuppa. Which is drunk black in case the sitting takes a bit longer and I need to nuke it hot again. Or drink it cold. Whichever.

And now I plan my day. My neck is saying NO MORE GIANT HEADPHONES! My heart wants to run and run. My aching body and says Calm Down. So we’ll get dressed, this oddball team of broken brain, bad ass chic and failing body. I’ll get us under the heated blanket. Bark up the laptop and do… something.

Or read.

Or watch Netflix.

Or wander around in the internet for a while, hug the cats, wait for the pain to fade.

Cos it’ll fade. If I’m careful, patient and work on not going crazy while I wait, it will bugger off long enough for me to walk the dogs. Or go to a market. Or whatever. Just be a big, pink haired weirdo outside in the world for a bit.

Not today. Maybe tomorrow. You all know how I feel about tomorrow… 🎶 🌞

Do you have Annie singing in your head yet? Has she done that bit where she says… The sun’ll come out… tomorrow? It’s so good. Oh, ready for my favourite part… You’re always a daaaaayyy awaaaayyyyy!!!!!!!

Hope you have that stuck in your head now. You’re very welcome.

Hoo – roo peeps,

Stay Weird,

X Bon