Swear Upon’t

IMG_2405So guess what? No go on, guess?



Not even close.

Oh ok I’ll tell you. The day after having a tooth extraction a person’s face REALLY FUCKING HURTS!

Who knew? You did? Well why didn’t you tell me you swine? But it’s going to be fine, I’m going to channel the spirit of Woodstock and bend the universe to my own will. No more rain. No more rain. Gah! Face still really fucking hurts. And now it’s raining too.

It’s cold out. I won’t get mine out later. But I have had to come out into the cold. Sort of the opposite of Richard Burton. Actually it turns out I didn’t have to come out into the cold, sort of the opposite of Richard Burton at all as the errands I wanted to do can’t be done. Not if I don’t bring the necessary paperwork and whatnot. Which I didn’t. I’d be a terrible spy. Sort of the opposite of Richard Burton.

I am taking refuge in a cafe. There is warm in here. My face prefers warm. It prefers warm even when it isn’t really fucking hurting.

I swear a lot. I’m a swearer. So fucking what?

(Sorry Mum)

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Hard Pegs Of Cream

IMG_2395Are there people in the world who enjoy a visit to the dentist? Even when it’s just a routine check-up there is always a nagging concern that the man or woman in the mask may tap at your teeth for a moment or two before saying “Well they’re okay but the gums have to come out.”

Having had to have a lot of work done in my early twenties, including extractions and nasty root canal fiddlings, I’ve never quite become an adult about my visits to the dentist. I go – if those formative years taught me anything it is that a man who has a past history of caning cheap amphetamines and who still likes sugary foodstuffs can never afford to take the health of his teeth for granted. But I always go with a sense of foreboding.

Today’s foreboding was accurate but I knew it would be from the pain levels I’ve felt the past few days. Extraction time. Fortunately what has been removed is the small, mostly dead root of a tooth already largely killed off by my aforementioned history of speed freakery. Still, it’s not that it doesn’t hurt when a small root is removed from your jawline. It DOES hurt. It hurts many. And plenty.

And yet it hurts less than the ouching great fuckery of pain I’ve been suffering this week. I write this while anaesthetic is in my system so when it wears off the crying and the wailing and the gnashing of…oh not quite so many teeth might begin. It’s not bleeding which, if I remember correctly from way back when, is a good sign this quickly. Tomorrow I get the bonus joy of sluicing round my mouth with salt water three times a day. Gosh, you’re really spoiling me with the after extraction treats, Mr Dental Man. He was a man, by the way. Or she had an extremely plush beard and a very deep voice.

None of this is as important as the Westminster stupidity yesterday nor is it the worst medical experience anybody will undergo today. I’m just venting. You knew that though, right? Great. No homework for you today.

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It’s A Wide World

IMG_2394Toothache. It would be polite of toothache to just affect the teeth, right. But oh no, it’s a defiant bastard and seeps into the skull, the ears, the sinuses and ruins sleep for the whole world. Well, for me and that makes it seem like the whole world has gone to shit because I’m totally self-obsessed when I have toothache.

I’m aware that other things are happening in the world, things of more import and gravity than my raging tooth pain. Some kind of insanity happened at Westminster today that was nothing to do with politics and everything to do with a person of murderous intent acting like human life has no meaning. Thoughts and prayers, people, thoughts and prayers.

I’m also aware of the things in life I have cause to be grateful for: friendships, connections, support, a roof above my head and about two thirds of my health on a good day. And, of course, family. This weekend, if a trip to the dentist sorts my tooth out tomorrow, I shall be spending some time with my brother and my mum which will be good. We’ve not all three been together for quite a while now. And today I saw my son and we booked our trip to Dublin which will be three days and two nights in July.

So really the whole world hasn’t gone to shit, not for me. I’m just exhausted from pain and a sleepless night but can count blessings too. Plus the therapy guy phoned me today to say they’ve already had a meeting and they’ve decided to bump me up to next level therapy straight away. This will mean a wait and then another introductory session but at least it’s moved pretty swiftly from Monday.

Did you look up ‘didactic’ yet?

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Being Very UnDude

IMG_2387Tuesday. As good a day as any for being miserable I suppose. Yesterday’s events concerning further therapeutic delay may lead to more successful and suitable results in the long run but my short term emotional reaction is to plunge into the kind of despondency I was feeling last November when this latest round of assessments began.

My mood is not being helped by a storming toothache. Yup, I did eat too much candy in America and on my return. Yes, I do know sugar is a bastard. No, I doubt I’ll ever fully conquer this last lingering addiction. Fuck’s sake, most folk have vices like dogs have fleas; I just have this and killing traffic wardens. Can’t you let a man have some simple pleasures in life?

Guess I can’t be that depressed if I can make jokes, eh? Wrong. You don’t know much about human psychology, do you? Black or gallows humour serves a darker purpose than the sort that makes us all connect and roll about in giggling fits. It’s a defence mechanism, okay? It puts a tiny, paper-thin layer between me and the shit that is threatening to fully engulf me today. Didactic? Yes, I’ll grant you that one unless you have to look the word up in which case it sort of proves my point.

Tuesday, then, grumpy, miserable fucker day. Oh and merry equinox to you too.

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The Waiting Game Sucks, Let’s Play Hungry Hungry Hippos

IMG_2384Well that escalated quickly.

I knew going in to today’s therapy session that I was more heavily burdened by my stupid crap than I was last week because I’d spent the weekend wading thigh high in it all trying to work out what is ok, what is reasonably well managed and what still creates problems for me. I wasn’t expecting miracle resolutions in an hour which is just as well because my therapist wants to take a step back again and consult with colleagues to make sure his kind of help is exactly what is required for me.

He’s not passing the buck or trying to give someone else a hot potato (oh yay, cliches, I must be mentally tired) but genuinely wants to ensure that the work he has in mind is the most suitable route through the stuff he and I are now both painfully aware of as being my shit.

So in one sense I feel I am getting the right sort of response from the mental health services as they try to work out the best possible way forward for me but in another sense I feel like I’ve taken a step backwards today and have to hang on while the new consultation process takes place. I am lucky in that I can go see my GP and talk with her in the interim, even if just for a few minutes to check in and clarify that I’m coping ok while waiting. I know my processes well enough to understand if my risk factors have just increased and, despite deflation and frustration, they haven’t.

But hey ho, this fucking stuff is complex and tiresome, isn’t it? Or is it me that’s complex and tiresome? Quite probably, which is why they’re needing to take extra time to find the best way of helping me. I was frequently referred to by one teacher at school as a problem child. Looks like the cap still fits. (And another cliche.)

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Knowing How Way Leads On To Way

IMG_2378Today I am tired and I am feeling quite low. I hope when you read that words that you don’t think “Oh dear, another whinging blog post from some middle aged tit who needs to check his privilege.” It’s possible I do need to check my privilege and maybe I am whinging but I don’t make these thoughts public in order to garner sympathy or stimulate internet annoyance, it is a cathartic process, an extension of the much more personal accounts of my inner workings I keep in my private diary.

Yes, I write more personal things than I do here. I’ve been told in the past that I’m very revealing, that I’m open in my blog. Perhaps I am but everybody has a different line in the sand when it comes to that which they wish to remain private and that they are content to make public. I’m a writer, we tend to plough our own lives for material. We also tend to embellish, alter details to suit the cause of a good story and sometimes tell downright lies for dramatic effect. Blogging is somewhere in between the private diary and the fictionalised work I do when my brain decides to be focused enough.

Of course, you don’t really care about any of these details, do you, random internet strange reading (or ignoring) the frenetic dribbling of another random internet stranger? Perhaps one reason I am fairly open in my blog is that I know those who are likely to consider me a whinger will sod off to a different, non-whinging part of the web, one which conforms to their own style of echo-chamber thinking. Wave bye bye to the nice people, Steve. You’re not writing for them. They wear weird shoes anyway.

So, today I am tired and I am feeling quite low. I have a second therapy session in an hour which will be a good place to explore some of these feelings if relevant but which is also partly behind the low feelings. I’ve spent the weekend mulling over some of the things that I’d like to address in these sessions which in turn has meant recognising the complexity and depth of some of the issues I am not always capable of coping with. At present it all seems to weigh me down, pull me backwards and preclude the possibility of satisfactory change. I have, however, felt such negative emotions prior to previous therapy and have generally been proven wrong, have usually found there are some changes and benefits springing up from the therapeutic work.

It is work, though. It’s not a walk in the park, it’s more a disorienting stumble through dark and confusing forest paths. Which is why it’s good to do this sort of thing with a guide. If nothing else it is someone to talk to in the dark, someone who might have a flashlight and who may know some of the pathways a little better than me.

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That’s My Fun Day

17430825_1600959626600634_1015774127_oAll the upheaval of my ‘minor’ furniture rearrangement is over. Aside from a small table top’s worth of paperwork and miscellaneous detritus that somehow seems important for me to keep, everything else now has a place to be. Last night I chilled out on my sofa just like I imagined I might when I first pictured moving things around almost a week ago. Yay, it works.

I knew the sofa worked as a sofa already. I’m not that stupid. I’ve been here four and a half years, of course I’ve checked the functionality of my sofa before now. The rearrangement works. There is plenty of free floor space now for me to do something I’ve been telling myself I’ll do for about three years – learn Tai Chi off that internet so that I can do some very gentle exercise without making things worse for my useless abdominal muscles.

Or I won’t. I’m evidently good at putting things off. And I am already embracing quite a bit of change at the moment so overloading myself with the new isn’t necessarily smart.

The first person to see the effect of all this moving around of stuff today was my dear friend Olly. He came over prior to us heading for The Double Locks for a quiet Sunday lunch by the river. Great setting, great company and so good to catch up with the very best of many friends I made in my time at university.

Now that my therapy has begun it seems a tad ironic that since November when I first approached my doctor about the downturn in my mental health I have done quite a lot of work myself on trying to discover what the issues are and how I generally respond to them. Not that this makes therapy redundant; if anything it means I’m more likely to benefit from these upcoming sessions than if I’d only spend the last few months with my head up my arse.

Yes, some of that time I HAVE had my head up my arse. It smells bad there and isn’t the best way to move forward but these things happen when you’re a part-time contortionist.

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