Leaking Intellect (An Alphabet Story)

"Another day, another dollar". What a stupid mantra, I say looking at the aged animation on the wall.
Bloody stupid job, I despised the job, I could feel my I.Q. lower each day.
"Customer service: there is no traffic jam on the extra mile"
Do they really expect people to buy in to this crap?
Easy money is how my colleagues describe this job.
Few of them knew the real reason I'm here.
Getting in to position and setting up, simple enough, but I'm annoyed that I have to be here early to do this.
Here I am, ten minutes before my shift officially starts, hunting for a chair and loading programs.
I can't believe that I have to skip my last smoke for four hours to come in and play musical chairs, snatching one whilst someone's away.
Joke! That's what it is. A fecking joke.
Keeping a simple thing like a chair should be easier, surely you'd notice someone leave with one? So why were there less chairs then desks?

Looking at the clock in the corner of my monitor, I feel my heart sink a little deeper.
My ears tingle and pop, I wonder if its my sanity or simply my intellect leaking out.
Normally, I'm fairly laid back, pretty chilled, but this place just raises my blood pressure.
Ok here goes, 10 o'clock, "good morning, you are speaking to James, how may I help?"
Pausing for the response, I'm already gone, auto-pilot has taken over.
Questions and demands bat between us like a ball.
Relief as the dead tone rings in my ear, although it lasts milliseconds before being replaced by the beep of an incoming call.
Sincerity, as false and sugary as a McDonald's donut, scrapes my throat as it's forced out.
Tortuously I take call after excruciating call, feeling like a mother of a newborn on maternity leave. I want to stand up and scream "G*ddamn it. I need an intelligent conversation!"
Uninterestedly the hours tick by. My ears leaking my brains.
Various faces around me all display the same tell tale, defeated smiles.
Wondering how the ones that are genuinely smiling do it, perplexes me, I must ask.
Xoanon and other perverse objet d’art clutter desks.
Youth turns into old age seamlessly.
Zapping energy and intelligence in equal measure.

Results are in...

I received my letter from the hospital today, following last weeks' scan and blood tests.
My baby has an estimated individual risk of 1 in 65716.
Very low, and weirdly specific!

Obviously, I am pleased with the results, but it did make me question whether I should have had the test in the first place. I don't feel I would have changed anything because of the result. So was it worth having?

I guess because it was not an intrusive test, I had nothing to lose, but if it came back I needed further testing, would I have risked the (minimal) chance of miscarriage? 
But hindsight is a great thing, if the test results had been different, would I even be having this thought process.

Suicide is NOT selfish

I really am pissed off with the 'suicide is selfish' train of thought.

Really? How many of you would even know if your so called friends were considering it?
And if you did, then what?

It is not a selfish, nor brave act, but it does take strength. And not just literally.

There is a great video on the website Ruby Wax has recently launched, http://www.blackdogtribe.com about shame. A freebie many sufferers of mental health problems get thrown in. 

I hope that people who say things like 'suicide is selfish' and 's/he could have just got help' never have to understand how difficult mental health issues are. When you feel like you don't have anything to live for it is a challenge to just make it through the day. Sometimes fighting those thoughts takes too much effort and strength. 

This isn't intended as a 'I know all about people's state of minds' post, it's just a rant, a personal one. 
Many sufferers of mental health issues say each bout is different, each day can be different. I don't know my own demons well enough to consider them a battle won, let alone comment on anyone elses.

But having been at a stage where I wanted to take my own life, I know that every day is a struggle for some. Someone who attempts to take their own life because they don't feel they live up to the world's expectations of them, or even just their own, and is 'saved' by whatever reason, is not going to be helped by being told they are selfish. Throwing that in is like adding petrol to a burning fire.

And do you know what? It isn't always that easy to pick up the phone to talk to stranger, sometimes what you really need is a friend. 

So if I ring you, as a friend, feeling suicidal, I really hope you won't tell me I am selfish...

RIP Gary Speed

I was saddened today to hear of the passing of a true footballing hero, Gary Speed.

As a Leeds player he was instrumental in the First Division Champions title.
He played with passion and gave 100% regardless of which team he played for. 

I am pleased that my timeline on twitter is full of great memories and condolences. I know how easy some people find these times to try to be 'funny' or just post obnoxious messages, so thank you. 
It does show how well respected Speed was.

I was fortunate enough to meet Gary on several occasions and he was always a true gentleman. 
I am truly honoured to have met him and humbled to have been in his company.

I don't know why Gary lost his life, nor do I think it is for anyone to speculate. 
When someone takes their life, it's tragic for all those affected.

This document:

Twitter and social media guidelines for discussing suicide

was tweeted by Darren @MyLifeInLeeds earlier.

It makes interesting reading and I think most of it should be used in every day life.


Suicide is not a crime in the UK.  

People do not 'commit suicide'; they take their own lives.


My thoughts are with his family and friends at this terrible time. 

RIP Gary x


Seeing baby for first time

Today I had my first pregnancy scan. I finally got to see my baby for the first time.
My friend was able to come with me, and I was glad. I am not sure I would have contained my emotions otherwise!

I have a cold and keep coughing and sneezing. This in itself is no major problem, but I needed to drink a litre of water and keep it there for at least an hour before my scan! I kept imagining all sorts of comedy errors. F (my great friend) also did her best to create one by making me laugh. 

I was really nervous, although excited to see the baby for the first time. We got into the suite and the sonographer quickly got down to business. No sooner than I had lied back, she pointed to the screen and said 'there's the baby's heartbeat'. 

She told me that she needed to get some measurements then would show me. I was having a combined screening test, which is the usual dating scan plus measuring the nuchal fold for Downs syndrome and other problems. She was quiet for some time, then asked me to cough in the hope of the baby moving, because she could not get the nuchal fold measurement. 
Unfortunately, she could not get it. She asked me to go to the toilet and remove some of the fluid, but not all. Again she went back to trying. It was very painful, due to my weight, she had to push hard to get measurement. Still baby was playing shy or just awkward. 

She asked me to wait outside whilst she saw the next patient. Outside I started to panic something was wrong. If F wasn't there I would probably have run!  

I went back in and after some more digging around, the sonographer finally got it.

And then she turned the screen to me and my friend. She pointed out the arms, legs, etc. To be honest, I was not really listening, I was feeling quite tender and painful. She told us everything is normal and matched my dates exactly. 

I had some bloods taken, saw another doctor, and made more appointments. It has been quite a challenging, long day!

But here s/he is...

Game of War (An Alphabet Story)

"Armed. Locked, loaded, and ready to roll."
"Brilliant" I mu
ttered, going into a war zone with an idiot!
"Captain, there's movement"
Doug, my right hand man, called me over.
Eye in position, I could see the target through the lens.
"Fugitive appears to be armed", Doug advised.

Glaringly obvious, I presumed she would be.
Highly unlikely she would lead us to her and not be prepared for the chaos that would ensue.
I called the men in, "This is not a training exercise, target is armed, shoot to k..."
Jingling to life, a mobile phone with the latest annoying animal soundtrack, interrupted my speech.
Kneeling by the ammunition was the idiot from earlier, he looked at the screen and catching my eye, said "women" with a wink.
Losing my composure, "turn that damn thing off. Now!" I snapped.
Managing a military operation requires skill, determination and a strong command.
"Now!" I demanded as the bloody thing screeched again.
Over at the window at the window, something caught Doug's eye.
Pausing, he positioned the zoom on the target.
Questioning Doug was something I learnt not to do; if it was important, he let you know.
Rallying the rest of the men, I advised them  to be prepared, be ready to fire.
Still looking, Doug mumbled to me this was starting to look like a suicide mission.
"Target has four armed guards, marking the perimeter, six inside and enough ammo to take down James Bond!"
Unusual for Doug to be so animated, he was the more studious of the group, a genius with technology but lacking in social skills.
Vast amounts of ammunition was available to us too.
Wondering what had riled Doug, I swapped positions with him so I was looking at the target
Xerosis took hold of my eyes and mouth, as I stood aghast at the scale of her preparation.
You know what to do men. Take her down. Fire at will...”
Zac. Zac, it’s time to come in now.” Mother shouted, ending today’s games.

Sad and lonely

My friend who has agreed to be my birthing partner has had a bad time recently and needs to attend to some family matters. I am grateful for all she has done, especially as she has a lot going on. However, it does mean she can't come to my first pregnancy scan with me.

I told my support worker and she offered to come. I told her I will be fine, I had better get used to doing things alone. It really makes me feel sad and alone, or rather it reminds me. If I can't get a friend to go with me, then I sure as hell aren't taking a mental health worker! 

I'm scared senseless to be honest, but I have got an appointment with a consultant after, so maybe able to get some helpful hints to deal with this bloody backache. 

I had a row with some silly worker at DWP. Again. Got so stressed I ended up throwing up. Several times. Went to clean it up, added a bit more. Ended up bleaching my carpet! Now the smell of bleach is making me feel sick. Yay! Great day.

Really really shitty day

I had a really shitty day yesterday. 

I went to Mind in the morning for a Mindfulness and Meditation course and then to therapy in the afternoon. I just ended up wound up. 

I got a message on Facebook that everyone seems to know I'm pregnant now. I am really annoyed as I didn't want to tell some people and ended up feeling forced in to it. 

I text my brother to tell him, I don't want him to find out from seeing someone post a message about it on a social networking site. 

I feel rubbish physically, my back is killing, I'm being sick. I really am not blooming. 
I was so fed up and upset I cried for about 3 hours, full on wailing sobs. Got myself even more worked up as I couldn't even cry about it without throwing up.

Think just everything got to me. Oh and I ended up smoking 10 cigarettes, so that made me feel even more crap. I don't think I could feel any worse... 

Lil Monster?

Is having a Midwife appointment on Halloween a premonition or just coincidence?

This was my second pregnancy appointment with the Midwife team, although my first proper assessment appointment. I was warned on Netmums to be be prepared to be barraged by a million questions.

The Midwife who made the appointment didn't book me in at her end, just on my paperwork. So after 30 minute wait, I end up with her assistant asking me questions  and  form filling. 

She asked me if I'd decided which type of scan I wanted, I said no as I had some questions, she just cut me off saying she needed to know then. I said well if you could just answer my questions...
She snapped at me and said didn't I read the book? I said yes but a) my heads all over the place and b) I have mental health issues that affect my memory and concentration.
Her response, 'well can't you talk it through with baby dad?' 
Well no actually, because he's a **** and I doubt he could answer my questions anyway.

Midwife took blood pressure twice because it was raised. Really?! 
I hate having my blood pressure taken, I would rather give blood. I just don't like that feeling when it is really tight around your arm. I'd never make a good junkie.

I had lots of bloods taken. I asked what they were testing for again, again didn't you read that bit of the book?!

I was told I was been referred to a consultant because of my back problems and that it might affect whether I can carry to term or have an epidural.

I met a friend afterwards and if it hadn't been for her, I would have come home and cried! I felt that crap.

My GP checked my blood pressure this morning, perfectly fine, thank you.