Despite having a lovely day with my brother and sister I am very aware that the beginnings of another depression are creeping up on me. As always I find myself trying to work out why it has come back. I am a dreadful scientist and although the Docs have told me time and time again that it has as much to do with a ‘chemical reaction in my brain due to a biological malfunction’ or some such thing I still look outward for the cause.
Perhaps I have been having too much fun of late, or maybe it is this cold that I can’t shake or the fact that I feel rather under pressure. I don’t know what it is but I find myself tearful and full of self loathing. My figure feels too full and my eyes too prone to water and generally it just kind of sucks.
I am trying to subscribe to the American way of being and think positive but it is hard and I am scared. My last high which started in October was pretty severe and according to my medical history and the famous law of what goes up must come down I cannot help but worry that this next low will be colossal.
The reason I acknowledge it here and now is that I do not want people to get the wrong idea about the nature of my illness. For those of you who are new to the blog I must admit that the lows can be quite significant and at times crippling to everything I do including friendships, work and life generally.
I am doing as far as I can see everything right. I am taking my tablets, getting plenty of sleep and seeing friends and family as often as I can. As well as having a new project to put my energy into I have even taken to eating healthily and having herbal teas, health supplements and warm baths. My only remaining vice, well more or less, is my temporary nicotine addiction and that will pass as it always does.
Fingers crossed I am just worrying without cause and tomorrow will be a brighter day. The shoes have helped in that those I have been wearing for the main part of the day are bright but comfortable without resorting to sweaty Ugg inspired slippers. I spent the most part of the day with my big sis who bought me them and according to her partner they were seen a few months ago on Dragons Den. Wearing them made a walk to the shops a hell of a lot easier but the outfit demanded heels and so they came out to play too although in the mood I’m in today the lower of the two seemed more appropriate.
Look out tomorrow for pictures of the pairs.
- My dress has already been criticised today by the head of Harborough police. I saw him on the streets and he said he was not overly keen on my combination of colours; the pink tights I believe were a little too garish for him. I was a little offended and thought about suggesting he focus his attentions on arresting the legging lovelies flashing their front rumps nearby but I was running a little late for work and had to go on my merry way. The dress got me into a rather uncomfortable situation later on the same day when the Liberal Democrat councillors came to call. As a sleep deprived reporter I had not even considered the political connotations of my choice and had to come clean and admit the dress was down to an overall shortage of office wear rather than an attempt to fly the colours of any clan. Today’s dress is a present from my Godmother who bought it from a shop in Harborough called Labels for Less. As I said I was a little but sleep deprived and in a rush to get ready I paired it with Kurt Geiger wedges and police officer displeasing pink tights.
There are days like today when I truly love my job. I am being sent to a selection event where I will join with four other women of character to choose this year’s carnival queen. I am still a little sulky about the fact that I was not allowed to throw my hat into the race but considering the average age of the candidate is ten years younger than myself I may well have left it a little late in life to apply.
There are seven girls from whom we have to choose and though this is an all too common phrase in such contests, the competition between them all is close. We come up with some pretty tough questions about their views on politics, their idol and the all important desert island selection test but they all come up class. There is one 13-year-old who is so eloquent she fills me with hope for all those compelled to end every sentence with “like” or “you know what I mean”. When asked who her idol would be she states Rosa Parkes and has good reason for doing so. There are girls who want to teach abroad, to study law and to perform and they are all active in the community.
Young people often get a bad deal in the press and in all honesty I often find myself frustrated by gaggling gangs of girls shrieking on buses. These girls though give you hope, they are truly little women. They are firm in their opinions and they seem to know both who they are now and who they want to be. When I was 13 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and was too busy chasing boys and falling in crush to think too much about it. The only difficulty of the evening is their insistence on wearing leggings but I guess they are young and I can only hope such choices are a phase. There is the occasional Ugg but being the professional judge I force myself not to let my prejudices affect my decision making and force myself not to give them fashion advice for their future.
It is great fun trying to decide which of these girls will be best suited to represent our town through the year and though I feel sad we can not give the crown to each of them there is only one tiara. The two girls we pick I am sure are capable. They are both confident and caring and I am sure they will do their best throughout the year to do well by the town. I feel bad for the girls who are not chosen but one of the town’s jewellers has given charm bracelets for the runners up and I hope the sparkle of the silver will go some way to ease their disappointment.
- Today’s dress is on loan from my good friend Kat Ingham. It is from George and is a bit gorgeous. My mother says it is her favourite dress so far which is high praise indeed. Though I hate to admit it I was a little bit worried about the evening as the judges all have to be photographed and I didn’t want to appear in my own paper looking rough. I made a lot more effort with my make up than usual and use my Chanel powder for the first time in months, a special occasion product indeed. Looking in the mirror I remember what it was like to be 13, a time when make up was for fun not for function. I remember sticking stars to my eyelids, coating my lips in cherry tinted lip-balm and trying to learn how to apply just the right amount of blush not to look like I had spent the morning on a marathon rush. I miss my teen skin but at least these days I have the luxury of using Mac rather than Rimmel.
I have crab-crawled feet-first under a bush, took a running leap to clear a babbling brook and stood still, eyes frozen with terror as two hundred men came hurtling towards me; I have spent the day at the annual Bottle Kicking contest at Hallaton.
Some of you may have heard of this sport before but for the uninitiated, a little explanation will hopefully suffice. The competition, which is believed to date back a thousand years, sees villagers from both side of the brook compete to get the bottle back to their village. The only rules are no strangling and no gouging other than that competitors may do whatsoever they wish to return each of the three ceremonial bottles, filled to the brim with ale for the champions to drink, back to their village.
When I first heard of the game, I must admit I had pictured things rather differently. I had imagined a line of largely unbalanced men queuing up in a line to kick Carling bottles off the top of a brick wall. In my head I could hear the promotional voice which would speak over the contest: “Probably the best bottles in the world.”
As it turns out the Bottle Kicking contest is hands down the best way to spend a Bank Holiday. When we arrive, we cast away our city reservations and get right in with the crowd by tagging along with the parade towards the centre of Hallaton village. We passed Medbourne on the drive down here and though i am accustomed to supporting the underdog the boy and my bestest persuaded me to side with the winners and align myself with the Hallaton men. As I am reporting from the battle field I feel it would be rather rude to take sides so in the interests of soaking up the atmosphere I decide to follow the scrum wherever it may go.
I always thought I would do quite well in a war situation. Though I am petite, I am fast, strong and sneaky and as I had been a bit of a British Bulldog champ as a child I has rather assumed I may be of use to the scrum. As it turns out I am a horrible hindrance in battle. Though I keep on trying to sneak my way into the middle, whenever the lads start to drift towards me, I scream like a girl and run away as fast as I can telling everyone in my path to run for their lives. Everywhere I look there are fallen champions who are pinching at bloodied noses, gasping for breath and doing their best to slip shoulders back into place. There is a fantastic cross-section of society at this event and everywhere I look I can see society’s barriers broken down by the united aim of getting the bottle back to base.
I am fascinated to see women in the huddle who appear tougher than the men they challenge. One girl tells me she has been punched in the ribs by a rather rude chap but assures me she managed to get her own back. Whilst looking him directly in the eye she elbowed him straight to the steriles. I am amazed at what good fun the whole day is. We chase the scrum up and down the hill, through the hedges and over the fences and only after the games are done do we find the time to rest our weary heads upon the hill. There may have been blood shed, there may have been hate, but all this was over once the bottles were brought hurtling over the hill of Hallaton’s gate.
- I have made my dress as functional as humanely possible. Though I do rather look like I have been, and I quote, “shagged through a hedge backwards” I did work quite hard on finding a look for today which was not going to make me appear too girly. The dress is another of those donated by the lovely Lara but the belt and the black top are my own. The boots I am wearing are strong, structured and most importantly of all, not slippers.
Now to the untrained eye, it may seem we had a bit of a knees up last night and the injuries shown which flatter the dress so delightfully were sustained due to the old communion wine. This would be wrong. Last night me and the girls were looking forwards to a good old girly night out. I had spent the day wearing this figure hugging, angle enhancing, darling of a dress with only a pair of knee high leather boots and a teeny tiny military style jacket to give off an air of this is honestly not the same outfit I was wearing last night. I wanted to wear it because it has been ages since I have been for a night out with the girls and I was so looking forwards to letting off a little steam and this seemed the perfect party frock in which to simmer.
As Harborough’s restaurants were all either fully booked, overpriced or closed for business I decided to cook the girls a three course meal and after the giant decided to take all the food in the fridge to the land of the poets I had no choice but to take a trip to the shops in my sparkling sequinned skin-tight number. Though the frock is hardly supermarket sensible, I was still left feeling a little upset and frankly at times somewhat disturbed by the bitchy looks and all too obvious glances of grandfather aged men at my frock.
I somehow managed to get the goods, cook the meal and even remembered not to leave the wine in the freezer all whilst wiggling around with minimal room for movement. Me and the girls had a great time getting ready; painting our nails, adding on a bit of sparkle and discussing the prospects of meeting eligible men in the Markets. Though I am not single I am a bit of a romantic and love playing at being an honorary single girl whenever I am out with my bachelorette buddies. Obviously I can not join in with any of the actual flirting but it is still rather good fun casing out the joint for suitable single men of a certain age. I am a terrible match-maker, completely unsubtle in my efforts but I do a great job of setting up mutual friends and at least one of these matches has ended in marriage.
As is the way with all good friends, what goes on tour stays on tour, but what I can say is we had a brilliant night out. It has been years since I have been to Club Enigma but I was desperate for a dance and being the only club in our compact city we drifted towards its doors as the time ticked on. At first it was amazing; they played Don’t Stop Believing from Glee and with the dance floor all to ourselves we performed the kind of choreography only a true musical fan can – see photos above.
Unfortunately about an hour after this happy hoe down there was an announcement from above about a monster munch party. Assuming there had been an error me and the girls continued with our groove until all of a sudden, beefy flavoured crisps, shot out from a canon above, began to rain down on us covering in wheat based high calorie snacks in an unprecedented and frankly foolish assault. Now I know I am rather past my prime, and that I am not necessarily down with the kids, but I fail to see how such craziness is in any way cool. The whole place stank of beef and there was crisp crumbs everywhere; in our hair, on the dance floor, even on our lovely dresses. There were even crisp crumbs on my eyelashes when I woke the next morning. Feeling a little “too old for this £$%”" me and my girls went upstairs to sit back, have a drink and watch the madness unfold. Unfortunately on the way up the stairs as I stepped off a poorly placed mat, my poor shoe connected with a murderous combination of crisp crumbs and sticky al-co-pops. I slipped dramatically, seeming to hang momentarily in the air before falling back on to my cranium, bashing my hip, elbow, wrist and thigh. As well as being utterly humiliating I was also extremely upset as I had even more crisps on my outfit and felt like a total fool as well as being in a quite horrific amount of pain. I dusted myself off and behaving like a wounded warrior, shrugged off the kind assistance of the bouncer who offered me a medic and stumbled upstairs starry eyed to the bathroom above where I burst into tears as my friend trying not to giggle did her best to soothe me.
I felt extremely sorry for myself and after a short time and another slip, this time on the dance floor itself we decided to call it a night. Though I tried to keep a brave face, after a rather tipsy discussion about the blame there is a claim commercial and a deliciously distracting desert of Chocolate cheesecake GU which helped get my levels up, my friend and I decided to document the evidence – again see photos above, particularly knee and cranium bumps.
In spite of all the medical drama and the poor product placement we did all have a really very fun night. Though I wish the frock had a little more padding it was great to wear and gave me a real confidence boost. In spite of the supermarket glares, I felt really great wearing it; for the first time in months I actually felt happy with my figure and though tomorrow will probably be another day of body loathing at this moment in time I feel happy with my figure, battered, bruised and covered in wheat based snacks though it might well be.
- Today’s dress is from HP. A friend of my sister from her University days she is an absolute legend who is a great surfer and good craic to go clubbing with. She is a business whiz, can drive a motorbike and is also the mother of two very lovely little girls. A supporter of the blog from the beginning, H has harangued her friends to find dresses for the project and shares the posts with her friends through her own Facebook wall. She once posted a very nice note about how reading the blog had replaced Farmville as a form of entertainment for when she has to get up in the night to care for the kids. It is because of this that I do make an effort to get something up on the site every day even if it is just a few photos. She kindly donated the dress a few weeks ago but I have been saving it for a special occasion like tonight. It was originally from Hennes and has to be worn without a bra which was frankly quite liberating if a little bit ris risky during the dancing.
Today has been a sad day for footwear. Back when I was a a 23-year-old with the world at my feet and a job as an events manager which paid a tidy little sum my main outgoing other than restaurant bills and bar tabs was shoes, I was obsessed with them. For the first time in my life since I was 18 I was totally debt free. Out of my monthly salary after all bills were paid I still had an indecent amount left over to spend on myself. Though I smoked and had a fondness for Marks & Spencer sushi and sausage and onion cobs every Friday when I was too hangover to use the phone, I had no children, no mortgage and no monthly car insurance or pension payments. I was young, free, practically single and absolutely loving the independence of it all.
The boy was living a hand to mouth existence as he was still studying for his music degree but I was free to fund our outings and as one of the girlfriend of Manchester’s hardest working band I got to play the part nearly every weekend; we would all hangout backstage drinking down the riders, dragging on rolled up cigarettes and generally just hanging out feeling ever so slightly like the cool kids.
At the time I guess I knew the life we were living would not last forever. I was having a hell of a good time but work was taking its toll on my health and I’d dropped down to my smallest size since I’d had a minor eating disorder back when I was 18. I remember looking at my bank statement and feeling sad at how little I had to show for all the brilliant nights out and evenings just spent drinking red wine round a rickety table listening to music and playing cards in between musing upon our dreams for the future.
Other than Sylvanian Families I had never really felt the desire to collect anything. My sisters had their key-rings, their badges and even at one stage their dice and my brother had the monopoly on every phase and craze out there including Thomas The Tank Engines, Thunderbirds, Power Rangers and even at one stage care bears which was extraordinarily cute. It was when I realised I was spending much of my money on momentary pleasure products that I decided to start a collection and as I had no particular interest at the time in tea cups I decided I would collect shoes. As my regular readers know I am a slave to Kurt Geiger. The shoes they make are so well balanced you can stamp around in a pair of stilettos for sixteen hours straight without feeling an ache. They are creative, original and considering how well they last lusciously priced.
This then brings us to today’s dilemma. There is a man in Market Harborough, his name is Andy but I have always known him as the saviour of shoes. Many times I have brought him a forlorn pair at the end of their life and he has carefully restored them to beauty. One time he managed to restore my red or dead spike heeled stiletto ankle boots to spanking brand new in spite of me having ground the five inch heel to a mere three inches after a weekend in Liverpool visiting a friend where we danced till we dropped to sleep in his dorm just before dawn. Today Andy very kindly explained to me there was sadly nothing he could do for two of my favourite pairs.
One of them was the first pair of pricey shoes I had ever purchased. Brought in my lunch break from Berties at Kendall they were soft white leather with five inch thick wooden heels. Generally I believe white shoes should be saved till ones wedding day and even then they should be hidden and if possible cream but these were divine. Unfortunately as I tend to run in heels as well as walk whilst racing to get the bus back to see the boy after an after work drink my heel snapped on Deansgate. It was humiliating and I actually sat down and cried. I hadn’t even had any hooch but I was just so sad for my poor innocent shoe. Andy said it could be saved in an expensive operation but the job would have to be sourced out and the operators may well break the wood in the process.
The other pair are of the Kurt Geiger variety. I bought them foolishly after getting made redundant from Webb PR a month before Christmas. I was a little heart broken about losing the job and in a fine example of someone who had temporarily given leave to their senses and indeed their financial situation I sneaked away on a Christmas shopping trip with the boy, and bought three pairs of shoes in the sale. Admittedly they should have cost £400 and came to just £120 but still I had just been made redundant and with no job on the horizon it was a foolish mistake. I guess I have never regretted it because today, 15 months after the fact, I still have the shoes and they are still stunning. Unfortunately one of them, a pair of mustard yellow t-bar three inch heels was mortally injured back in May. I was chasing a story at the time and as I tore down the road the pin snapped and I had to traipse around on tippy toes the rest of the day. Andy says there is no hope for them and though I know I should consign them to the bin they are just too lovely, perhaps at some time in the future there will be better technology for such injured shoes? I live in hope.
- Today’s dress is from the wonderful Rebecca Allison. She sent this in a lovely package from the states and as well as a pair of earrings there was a beautifully written letter. I realise the dress comes up a little short on me but I hope you will not take too much of a hump at me modifying it for the workplace by pairing it with the skin tight Lycra number from Zara sent by the lovely Clara, believe me it is to protect your eyes from a legging lovely sight. Again if you do get the chance take a little look at her website. It is a fabulous way to start ones day and has given me goosebumps in the past with the sheer poetry of her posts. http://solsticetosolsticetosolstice.tumblr.com/
This post has been difficult to put together, not because I have too few friends but because I am blessed to have so many. The only way I could think of to prevent this post turning into another never-ending essay was to try to decide which of my wonderful friends I would choose as bridesmaids if I was ever to get married. Although I am sure this list will put the fear of God into my parents financial five-year plan I couldn’t help but include so many and would have included more if I had not been trying to stop this post becoming a bore. Here in no particular order, other than the first who will always be my best friend, are the women in my life who have moved me to tears with their kindness, their generosity, their jokes and anecdotes and by always being there to clasp my hand tightly when everything around us has been falling apart.
Katharine Ryland – Whilst I was at university myself and Katherine lost touch for some time. It was inevitable in a way, although we had been the best of friends since we were 13 we both had such busy lives and it was hard to find the time to stay in touch. If I’m honest I always felt it was my fault that we’d drifted apart, she had started going out with a guy who I struggled to get on with and though I tried to hide it I’m sure she sensed it and ultimately I’m sure it effected our friendship. In spite of this we still saw each other from time to time and on my twenty-first-birthday she called me up to tell me she was pregnant. I was delighted for her but I still had another year of study up North and it wasn’t until I moved back home that we got properly back in touch.
We went out with her beautiful baby boy to Cafe Bruxelles and ended up having such a great day that I remember feeling really rather sad about all I had missed sharing with her and I made a decision to make more of an effort to get on with her partner; she was too good a friend to lose and after all she loved him and he made her happy so how could I not.
Not long after this lunch she got engaged and I was so pleased I got to share in her happiness when she told me her news. A few months later whilst out on a girls night in Leicester she turned to me and asked if I wanted to be her maid of honour. I can honestly say that even if I ever get engaged this will remain the happiest moment in my life; we had made a promise to one another when we were 16 in a bar in Lanzarote over a jug of sangria to be each other’s bridesmaids. I had assumed when she got engaged that she might ask someone else to take the job as we had been out of touch for so long so when she asked me I was ridiculously happy.
Although my dress ended up being made by her mother, when we first went shopping to find a dress I could wear she assured me I could pick anyone I wanted and whilst we were in the shop she tried on the dress she had chosen and I started to cry like a child at how beautiful she looked. The night before the wedding I stayed the night at her parents house and we shared her bed together as we had done years ago when we were kids. In the morning I helped her with her make up and getting dressed and did my best to soothe her little boy when he had a tantrum minutes before we were due to leave because he wanted to try on Mummy’s veil. There is a picture of the two of us arm in arm leaving the church and it looks as though we have just emerged from a civil ceremony and still cracks me up when I see it. She made a beautiful bride and I was inspired to give a speech after her husband and father had said their piece about what a wonderful woman she was and how truly lucky her husband was to have her by his side.
We have always shared everything with one another, although to begin with as an only child she did struggle with the concept of sharing clothing. We once had a massive fall out because she refused to let me wear her top as she was convinced I was going to stretch it. There was no secrecy or privacy between us when we were younger; after we got badly burnt on an overcast day in Devon after falling asleep together on the beach we got home and had to rub after-sun into each others ridiculous tan lines. As we soothed each others skin with aloe vera and very gentle application we were simultaneously cracking up with laughter at how silly we both looked.
We found the results of all our exams together and when we were on holiday in Lanzarote we crammed into a telephone booth on the sea-walk of Lanzarote giggling in disbelief at the amount of As Katherine had got. We also helped each other through the dark days; through heartbreak and troubles at home. It was Katherine who held my hand on the way back to my home after my parents had rung hers to ask if they could bring me home straight away because my sister had gone downhill fast and the doctors were concerned that she wasn’t going to make it through the night. She is hilarious, intelligent and caring and even with a baby boy to care for she did so well in her degree that when she graduated she had two jobs waiting for her. I will always be pleased we got back in touch, my life would be nowhere near as fun without her. I will save sharing some of my favourite memories of our friendship as she has asked if she can write a post about her three favourite memories of us but I imagine they might include the time I went skinny dipping with my sister on my sweet sixteenth in Eastbourne at midnight. Other than my sister it will be Katherine who I will tell if I ever find myself knocked up and it will be her who I will want by my side on the day of my wedding.
AC: When me and the boy first got together i always felt a little lonely when I was round at his house. he lived with six other guys, nearly all of who had long-standing girlfriends and I felt a bit of a spare wheel. The one girl who I immediately clicked with however was Anna. She had dreams of being a musical theatre star and although she enjoyed singing as much as me, people actually enjoyed it when she sang. This shared love of singing and a tendency to live our lives in a rather dramatic way means we have spent many a taxi ride home singing away even when the boys beg us to stop. When I met her I remember speaking about her with one of my friends and concluding that she was a natural beauty and that we were actually really rather jealous of her perfectly shaped eyebrows, white teeth and dancers figure. In the early days of our friendship I was rather worried that I might be a bit much for her, when I bumped into her in the library one day and started talking at her at a mile a minute about dissertations and exams and nights out I had been planning she appeared to be somewhat terrified. We became firm friends however after the boys moved to a smaller house and I think it may have helped that I opened my entire wardrobe to her and did my very best to put aside my reservations about vegetarians and would happily make her hippy friendly food whenever we had a dinner party.
The time I realised I had a friend for life was when she agreed to join me in getting dressed up as a witch to go and queue outside Waterstones for the release of the last Harry Potter book in the series. There are few friends who will partake in this kind of humiliation just to keep someone company but Anna came with me in spite of never having read any of the books. We spent the next fortnight driving the boys mad by shutting ourselves away in one of their rooms and banning them entry until we had read at least another four chapters. I think it was whilst we were lying on a bed repeating lines to one another which made us giggle that I realised I had got myself a friend for life who felt as much like a sister as my own blood.
Anna is one of those rare friends who will be by your side even when you have done everything in your power to try to hide away from the world. Three nights after I’d had a nervous breakdown and ended up in hospital I went to the launch of the boy’s first single. I was only able to do so because I had Anna with me the whole time, holding my hand reminding me that I wasn’t crazy and that everything was going to be OK even if it didn’t feel that way at the time. She is able to make me laugh at life events which are otherwise tragic and when me and the boy were having a heap of troubles last year it was Anna who held me whilst I cried my heart out over loss and love still to raw to share. We have both followed our dreams in life and I am sure I would not have had the guts to carry on going for mine if I hadn’t had her for inspiration. She never once gave up on her dream of playing a role in a musical and now she is touring the country playing the part of Neil Sedaka’s wife in the hit play, Laughter In The Rain. She is my Scrabble companion and the only one who is sweet enough not to tell me how dreadful a singer I really am.
In spite of my efforts not to make this an essay I have noticed that all to quickly the word count has crept us and so I will save the other five for another day, I promise you they are worth the space.
- Today’s dress has been donated by my Auntie Bridgeen. It was originally from Primark and thankfully has a slip to preserve my modesty. Katharine and my friend Monica took the photos and the reason I am cracking up in them is because Monica has just told me that I am in trouble with someone because of something I have said on the blog. The gingerbread man was made by Katherine’s son. Katherine gifted me another dress to wear whilst I was at her house, proof indeed that her issues with sharing have been resolved.
Sometimes I can be a total eejot. On Thursday before I headed up to Manchester I had a choice to make which would have a direct impact on my health. For months now I have been having somewhat heated disputes with some of the lovely ladies at Harborough Medical Centre. Many of them seem to struggle with the idea that when one is on a weekly repeat prescription the prescription will be repeated every week. Time after time I have gone down to collect the little green slip to be told that it hasn’t been processed. When I ask why the usual response they give is that they didn’t process it as it had already been done the week before. The whole thing exasperates me as if I miss even a day’s tablet it can leave me in a bit of a pickle. The tablets have a very short life cycle so to go a day without them is dangerous because you can be visited by rather unpleasant side effects which can include nausea, insomnia, increased irritability and of course my personal favourite suicidal thoughts.
It is because I am afraid of these side effects ever returning that I try to make sure I keep on top of my prescriptions. When I discovered earlier this week then that my consultant had forgotten to write me up a prescription for the changes she had made to my tablets I quickly got on the phone to try to ensure it was sorted out before I had to travel up North the next day. Once again the receptionist assured me they could get it ready for the next day provided I rang through to my consultants office to ask them to send the instruction over by fax. After all this faffing about the next day when I called up the surgery to be told the prescription had not been processed I lost it just a little bit especially when she informed me in the most patronising voice possible that she would do what she could but it couldn’t be hurried and after all “haven’t we had this problem before.” Luckily I managed to bite down on my lip before I came out and told her that of course we have had this problem before because you are seemingly incapable of following basic instructions and choose to either lose my prescription or just ignore it as though it were a particularly unpleasant coloured post it note. After nearly drawing blood whilst praying for patience I asked if she might possibly be able to tell me when my medication which I depended on for clarity of thought might be ready. As the answer was as vague as I had come to expect we did not part on the best of terms and after deciding that I was not prepared to put my life on hold every week whilst waiting for a green slip I set off in a tiny temper to Leicester and it wasn’t until today that I remembered I hadn’t taken an anti-depressant for two days and had even missed my mood stabiliser the night before.
I feel particularly idiotic because it is only a few days ago now that I was lecturing a friend who came off her anti depressant without first consulting with her doctor. After booking her two appointments, one with the doctor and one with the hairdresser; she had been so low since she came off them that she couldn’t be bothered to wash her hair; I tried to find out why it was she had gone cold turkey all of a sudden. It turned out that the tablets the doctor had put her on had left her feeling disconnected and as she had been prescribed them by a doctor who was not her own GP she had not felt confident enough to ask him about side effects. I felt so angry because I have been prescribed similar pills in the past without being given any details about probable side effects and when one’s head starts to feel as though it is lined with cotton wool it can be a fairly frightening experience. After she went to the doctors and saw her GP they both decided together that counselling rather than citalopram is the answer. What is annoying about this scenario is that had the doctor in question advised she spoke first to her own personal GP she could have avoided four weeks of fuzzy headedness and the inevitable low which occurs when one comes off of anti depressants suddenly. Talking of which…
I am annoyed at myself for not sorting things out sooner and for not going to the drop in clinic yesterday before the side effects of stopping got going. When I saw my consultant on Monday she decided that in spite of the icky side effects I have experienced with increased tiredness and sickness she still wanted us to increase the dosage to its optimum level; because of this when I came off the stabiliser suddenly as I did yesterday I am left dizzy and feeling as sick as a dog. I manage to pull myself together enough to admit to the boy that I have neglected to keep on top of my tablets and he kindly agrees to come into town with me to act as a buffer against the Saturday traffic. Unfortunately with my heightened sense of smell I notice every unpleasantness in town, be it the smell of sweaty Ugg clad feet or the second-hand smoke which seems to be spat out of every second person we pass. In the end I have to clutch my hand to my mouth and run through the Arndale to the safety of the clinic where a sterile room free of odour awaits. The doctor kindly sorts me out enough drugs for the weekend but I am still sick and end up chewing down a pack of anti nausea tablets to keep my gag reflexes at bay.
I am always thankful that we are blessed in our country with the NHS but there are so many silly rules and regulations for the staff to follow that I often think there is little time left for them to treat the patient. My friend was prescribed her medication in a consultation which lasted less than five minutes, all she needs is someone to talk to and yet there is such a massive waiting list for counselling that she has been advised to seek the services of a free provider or to pay for it herself privately. The underfunding of the mental health services is crazy when one considers that mental illness costs the government a fortune in benefits and statutory sick payments. Surely if more was spent on it in the first place many people would never have to take as much time away from work and may not even need to be treated for such extended periods of time. If doctors had more time to give to their patients or if there were more trained counsellors employed by the NHS I am sure that a lot of people would not even have to turn to tablets as a quick fix. Tablets can help but they are only ever a temporary solution, if the GP neglects to find out the cause of the suffering it may never get solved and as soon as the tablets are gone the black dog will rear its ugly head once again. Saying that if you neglect to take them or come off them unexpectedly you will get a rocky ride so it is best to discuss it with your doctor first. Throwing up and falling over on a Saturday night may be acceptable behaviour in someone who has been on a bender but when you have been free of alcohol for weeks and are suffering because you were too stubborn to wait for your tablets you really only have yourself to blame.
- Today’s dress is on loan from Monica Kenny. Apparently it is meant to be a top but knowing as she does my love of leg revealing dresses she thought it would make quite a nice frock. I am loving the pink tights and care not whether it makes the dress look taccy. The shoes as is often the case are Kurt Geiger and the photo was taken outside in the garden with the use of the tree and our first flower of the year in the boy’s back garden. There was a fox hiding in the brambles behind us but he scampered soon after seeing my scary pink pins. I had a few wardrobe malfunctions whilst doing a gig review at Fuel but luckily I was facing the band and not the audience so casualties were kept to a minimum.