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EXPLOITS OF THE VOLEQUEEN

On Being Creative, A Mother & Bipolar

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writingforhealing

Meds.

Sometimes, I come off my meds and it can be for varying reasons. But the one that never changes is my visceral need to ‘feel’.  My medication is wonderful stuff.  It keeps me from being actively suicidal or embarking on high-risk behaviour (you know, the fun stuff).  It keeps me fat.  It keeps me flat. It keeps me slow.

So sometimes, I stop taking them to feel again and this is what it’s like.  This jagged, blunted cycle that I am for the rest of my days and nights.  Dedicated to all of you who know what even some of this feels like. xuntitled-crazy

Stopped.

The butterflies stopped visiting the meadow

the year your light went out.

Daffodils were joyless and sadness

weighed down the Barn owl’s flight.

The sun struggled to do it’s yellow best,

The moon simmered in shock.

One hundred fireworks refused to shower the night sky

with colour, rain was colder and stung my face red.

Traffic became exhausted and biscuits stale.

My coffee, cold and clingy.

 

Peacocks screamed your name that night

Tossing it to-and-fro with wretched joy.

And now I sit, vodka-eyed, watching the walls cry,

my shale grey grief decorating the room like

broken fingernails.

Long Way Home

I’m finding it very hard to get ‘home’ today and feeling rootless and disengaged from the world.  My writing seems mediocre and half-baked so just a poem today.

About trying to get back to *that* place.

 

Long Way Home

 

It’s a long way home

To the cats, the barns, the belfry’s

Rape-seed gorges and ever-distant voices

To the dusty halls and houses

And you.

It’s a long way home

To the view of saffron from our tiny hill

A message in damson, the Fishers regal bill

And to the total, utter thrill

that’s you.

Bales and dragonflies plus twice-kissed wine

Seeds, pollen and nothing that was ever mine

Picture-books bulging in pockets

For nostalgia raids

And my particular addiction withering with

each day for you.

It’s a long way home

To a creamy moon & shell-pink yarrow

Names that entangle tongues, the roar of salt & shadow

To the love, the hate, the marrow

Of you.

I Will Not Be That Woman

 

 

Not today.

Even when the Isar

rolls so cool and deep

and I could wade and

wade ’til sleep.

 

Not today.

When I have the tablets

in a drawer

in a box

winking chalkily at me.

 

Not today.

When the church tower soars

and it’s bells toll out

a seductive beat

for me to fly to.

 

Not today.

for me the oven,

the blade and bath.

I shall not meet

Sylvia by God’s

own hearth,

 

Today,

I leave a legacy

of love, of life,

not regret and guilt

for my bairns to

doubt.

Proud Yesterday, Numb Today.

This is what writers do.  We write about everything that affects us.  I wasn’t sure whether I would write today.  I feel numb, actually.

The irony is that these horrific events bring us together.  Social media is awash with hashtagging and rumours.  Some take it as an opportunity for political agenda, others are shouting that they are Muslims, not Isis terrorists.  Only the very stupid or very damaged could believe that, but some do.

But most of us are trying to heal Paris and give comfort to its citizens and ourselves by writing or sharing.  It may seem silly, it probably is, but at least ‘Paris’ knows that most of the world are thinking of them.  I hope that gives some comfort.  I know it did when I lived in London in 2005 although social media wasn’t as prevalent then.

The world keeps turning, the love keeps coming and haters are always going to hate.

Bless you! Paris, Beirut and us all x

On Writing the Illness out.

I’m not really a horror writer, I keep telling myself this but actually the themes in all my writing are very dark. It’s odd because I am actually an optimist and quite a sunny character but all my life I’ve battled with mental illness and that is what contributes to the pitchy flavour to my writing. My contribution to the anthology, Gifts from the Dark, is about a woman trying to escape her husband and brother who she is absolutely convinced will separate her from her child.

I wrote ‘Flight’ in hospital, two days after an emergency caesarean when I nearly died. This experience with near-death was terrifying and also completely fascinating. I was currently off many of my psych meds during pregnancy (amitriptyline and lamictal for bi polar) and I think my mind began to implode because of the stress. I had a baby in the NNU and an eight year old who was distraught at his mother being so ill (he had overheard us discussing my brush with Mr Mayhem). The paranoia began to take hold pretty quickly

My husband and brother came up with an idea to take our son to Canada for a little holiday, so I could recover and we could get used to having a newborn. On paper, this was a lovely idea but not one I would have considered even without the paranoia.   Having my children around me has always been one of the most healing things I can be granted.In my paranoid mind, they wanted to section me, take my children and lock me up for an eternity. I could hear whispers in the corridor and obsessed about clandestine phone calls. I called my best friend and asked her to hide us.  I started to hide food for the journey and cashed out my credit card at the hospital ATM in secret.

Most importantly,  I knew I had to get the psych team on side and so I requested a meeting.

Can you imagine what it’s like to know you are absolutely off your rocker but incapable of doing anything about it?

Can you imagine trying to convince a psych team that you are not in fact, mad? That you know it sounds totally paranoid and ridiculous but you honestly believed your family were going to try to section you?

Can you imagine what it is like to think that you will never see your children again?

I wrote the first part hooked up to a catheter and a drip combining antibiotics and painkillers. I wrote the second part without the catheter but dragging the IVU with me as I limped down to the NNU and my new baby, Georgie.

It was a dark and terrible time and I hope the story reflects that. Thankfully, the reality was different.

But I still wonder sometimes if I would have ever got Teddy back? Because even though it is fiction – there is some reality in there.

And I have never underestimated what people are capable of.  Particularly family.

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