Lady December

I’m still suffering oral pain. Two weeks after the original tooth filling, this is now about what was, in the words of the dentist, a ‘very large hole’ in my mouth. Emergency dentistry has been secured, new painkillers bought. I’m getting quite good at dealing with this shit, and honestly there was a part of me that was prepared for this going south, considering how much pain that filling first caused.

We have a new thermometer now, so I can confirm that feeling hot isn’t just a menopausal thing. There are more drugs in the house too. Sure, sometimes you can’t predict what will happen, but for all the other times… you can be better prepared. Of course you can.ย That’s where things have fallen down previously, but not any more. I’m all over this. Things get fixed, sorted, then stay that way.

Yoga’s gonna start again in this room, ten minutes a day.ย It will help to get my brain in a better place, and with body flexibility. There needs to be variation and not just pushing hard physically. To recover properly going forward, the balance will require some adjustment, so we’ll start here and see if everything else can be fitted around the idea of little and often.

Right now, however, I could murder a cuppa.

King James

History will remember today for many reasons. I will remember it for the large chunk of tooth-related detritus that caused a minor panic, my daughter finally grasping the value of organisation, and my son being back for about an hour before he disappeared off travelling. After that, what can be salvaged from the day will be, I’m getting my back shave redone for mental health reasons and then ALL THE SLEEP.

There’s a GIF for today.


Let’s move the arrow on my Change Process diagram and get started on other stuff.

Warning you now, I’m taking the wheels off this thing and then we disassemble the whole fucking lot before building something different, then better.

Someone hand me a spanner.

Levi Stubbs Tears

Then I came home, really looking forward to the caramel chocolate I’d hidden in the fridge for emotional emergencies, only to find my eldest had eaten the lot. Then I cried because I was sad.

There’s a lot of work still to do.


I could write tens of thousands of words today about how awful the World is right now, and all of them would be redundant. Other commentators do this job so much better than I’d ever manage: some need a run up, a few are articulate enough with language toย  make me cry. The very smart indeed can say more in thirteen words than you’ll ever successfully produce in a lifetime: then you know it is time to stop talking and start listening.ย 

Angry white men are the enemy. Not all of them, just those who decide that the future involves removing anybody else not agreeing with their world view. Every single issue that’s ever caused me physical and mental strife, from a personal perspective, has been caused by an angry white man. No other group is as consistently capable of destroying the world around them. Only that particular combination of variables is in turn so sensitive and violent. Nothing else comes close.


The fragility of the male ego is much joked about but comes with the most brutal of coda. If you can break my arm with a well placed attack, destroy my will with a series of increasingly obsessive demands, ruin my respectability by calling me the villain… whenย  you are the person in the position of power, truth is no longer relevant. If your idea of equality is based on you as priority, what’s ever likely to change?

Then, there’ll be those men reading this who’ll assume because they’re angry about something completely unrelated to the point I’m makingย I’m still talking about them, because I said the words ‘angry white men are the enemy.’ย That’s the problem. You’re not listening, and all you see is the indignation directed at your sex and not the fact that it’s related to a specific subset of your kind. Lots of you need to stop talking. Lots of you need to stop pretending.

Really, we can see you and you’re not fooling anyone.


The commentators who rant and rave at injustices done to them, happening around them, and clearly affecting those who listen to them but not actually making any kind of change to their environmentsย are the worst kind of passive anger. I see you, indignant that you’ve had injustice wrought upon you, but are you doing anything to change that other than complain you’ve been caught up in the chaos? Nope.ย 

Then there are those quite clearly milking other people’s outrage to generate their own views and interest in their work, but with no actual solutions to the problems. Instead, everybody sits and jokes about how kooky and weird they are, how terrible the World has become and how the best way to deal with it all is to post pictures of cats in baskets. I appreciate the sentiment, guys, but honestly you’re not helping anyone.

Most importantly, you remain part of the disease.


Trying to explain pain to someone is the most subjective of experiences. It is a feeling, and therefore everybody will encounter a differing range of experience. Anger is quite close in the range, I’d say, to pain, and nobody worth their compassion would argue with someone who states that their anger is both painful and disruptive. Writing about anger is a world away from actual sensation.

Being angry online is just as dangerous as doing it in reality. Inciting hatred, encouraging hurt, pushing agendas that encourage the idea that other people are somehow less worthy. Allowing these people the means to speak without regulation, supervision, proper restrictions… this is plain wrong. It is white men running tech companies, overseeing social media platforms, allowing this hatred to spread unchecked, that has bought us to this point.

These people say they’re listening, but so totally aren’t.

If you can’t say anything helpful today, please shut up. Just don’t say anything. LISTEN.ย Try and understand the bigger issues. Offer love and support, not empty promises. Find the people who will teach you how to be better, and listen to them. These individuals are your future, not angry white men trying desperately to avoid being cited as accessories to the fact.

Stop talking shite and START LISTENING.

The Name of the Game

[Sensitive men may wish to look away now.]

The menopause has effectively redefined who I am over the last couple of years. Sure, the same basic person remains that started the journey from periods that would effectively keep me housebound in the last months before they stopped, so much blood loss that I’d occasionally faint. Now, there’s a lot of things that are different, and a fair few things that are missed. One thing most definitely isn’t.

Anger was, for me, very much hormonally-based. Having lost most, if not all of that white hot reaction is really a bonus for everybody concerned. Sure, I’ll still let stuff get to me but now, it is far less incendiary. What does remain is a remarkable amount of sorrow: tears are a problem, and can often happen with complete unexpectedness. However, that too is beginning to be tempered. Tiredness is the key: making sure I’m getting enough hours rest every night has become an overriding priority.


If I sleep well, the World pretty much resets to normal around that. Protracted periods of exhaustion mean memory issues, irritation and an inability to effectively communicate. This is normal for most of the world regardless, I just turned up at this point late to the party and am beginning to grasp what a more mellow, laid back version of reality can mean for existence. Becoming hormone free is, in that regard, the best thing that’s happened for decades. I am dictated to by my body no longer.

What this does force however is a different way of thinking about the business of everyday life. Some skills are needing to be re-learnt from scratch.ย The benefit of routine and goal-setting have become more significant than ever before, because it is this that allows me to maintain sanctity of both body and mind. Starting my exercise programme when I did, in that regard, may end up the most important gift that was ever self- given.


Exercise is the drug that nobody can prescribe that means the withdrawal from hormone dependency is minimised. It’s also impetus and focus all rolled into one. I have goals and objectives that are set and defined purely on my terms that are not dependant on winning a contest or being popular in a peer group. It is the personal nirvana that defines increasing areas of existence. I don’t need group events to show my ability or skill, just myself. I am the arbiter of this destiny alone.

However, some days it is a wade through neck-high treacle. Yesterday was one of those. Today, with a decent night’s kip and revelation over an injury, everything is indeed considerably brighter than it was. Sure, the rejection and occasional inertia will get me down, because if it didn’t I wouldn’t be me. Today, however, they don’t matter.

All that is of consequence is the motion forward.

Reality Bites

New month, time for some changes.


Yesterday was hugely disappointing. The people who care, as always, did their best work. You guys are just so lovely: Brad, Joar, Jesse, Liz, Rev, Drifter, Scarlett… and anybody else who has taken time to read my stuff, acknowledging they were ACTUALLY LISTENING. That’s the thing with social media, how it is supposed to work. If someone is really struggling, assuming they’re simply doing it for attention? Nope.

Did I ever tell you the story about the gaming influencer who DM-d me when I started talking about mental health issues because they didn’t believe me? The assumption was this was just bandwagon jumping. I see they’re still using shortcomings to grow their brand, and it seems to work well… but knowing more and more ‘truth’ over time makes it easier to come to sensible conclusions, and to stop wasting my time on them.

Nobody needs friends like that in their lives ever, yet people still continue to engage regardless.


I thought briefly about a massive unfollow binge to clear everything out of my life that was causing stress, before realising too many people would be missed. Instead, muting certain words and phrases means the conversations still go on, but without me involved. Making things harder is not what is required. However, believe it or not, I’m not here to garner offers of help or support, although they are appreciated greatly.

The straw that broke me yesterday was balanced on a pile of ideas mistakenly labelled by those who think everybody with a mental health issue talking about that in a public space represents some kind of cry for help or reassurance.ย It’s like getting annoyed when your neighbour bought a better car, or appears to be more popular in the neighbourhood.

Don’t be jealous or annoyed, be grateful it’s not you. This is always been existence: social media simply shows cracks far more obviously than was ever the case.


It becomes really easy to see the people who aren’t being considerate or thoughtful, still trying to shove their agendas through, making it about their needs above all else. When you ask for respect, to be listened to is a perfect reward. Nobody’s gonna ask you to crowdfund me, don’t panic, all of this is under control, but there will be a point where I’ll start making stuff and you can decide whether to buy it or not.

That’s not far off now, and when it does happen you will not be judged on the ability to put hand in pocket.ย I won’t judge you at all, for what its worth, but if you’ve made me incandescently angry in the last month or so with a singular ability to misjudge what counts as understanding and support, don’t be surprised if we just stop talking after a while. Now is the moment where the best stuff gets carried forward and everything else gets left behind.


So many people looked like they cared. I’m such a fucking idiot, in that regard, only myself to blame. So, now it is time to pick up the pieces, wait for my therapy appointment to roll around and start again. During this reconstruction period I’ll try and keep navel contemplation to a minimum, focusing instead on pouring the surfeit of angst into fiction.

If you’re reading here in 28 days from now, I guarantee that a lot of things will have altered for good.


DAY 3:ย I’m aย  recovering addict, trying my best not to sound like an evangelist. It’s a tough ask, some days, especially when the weight of evidence shows how gullible I was. Companies are to blame for feeding addiction, and in due course one can only hope common sense will prevail… but don’t bet on that. However, if as individuals we are unable to discern truth in our own shortcomings and failings, all is lost.

This, in a certain light, utterly is confirmation bias at work. Someone else (as a result of my flagrant disregard of The Community) is already indignantly decrying this attack on freedom of choice, and that’s absolutely fine. However, if you continue to throw money at companies whose entire modus operandi is to get you to do just that, stop complaining they don’t cater to your tastes. That’s when you take your money away and go elsewhere. No really, that’s how it should work.

If it doesn’t…? Who has the problem here, exactly?

I do love my gaming friends. Some have moved on, others staunchly remain wedded to their MMO’s of choice and all of them wear gaming as a badge of honour. It is how you know if someone’s gonna grasp your point of view or not: meeting gamers makes a ton of metaphors applicable in any conversation. It’s the difference between awkward and relaxed, almost instantly.

Currently I have a History of the Internetย poetry collection under submission and once it is summarily rejected (because half the references will be lost on people judging) I will go about getting it published myself.ย This is what I am. Like it or not, good or bad, there is never the means to separate gamer from woman. It’s why indignation rises over cheap stereotyping, that this same stupid, pointless rhetoric hasn’t gone away for the 40 years I’ve played.

This whole ridiculous argument isn’t about women being good at games, it’s about women being good at ANYTHING and part of me wants that association to be 360 No Scoped back into the 8 bit age. I don’t fucking care how good or bad I am, I deserve the right to play unchallenged.

This is a fundamental problem with Humanity that really should have been fixed by now.

Rejecting a space which is specifically designated as one in which performers may do as they wish is artistically limiting, Kanye.

You need to listen to more people, mate.

One Better Day

Number of Days Since a Debilitating Mental Episode : TWO

The menopause has thrown up an interesting development in terms of mental faculties: the distance down holes has increased in the last few months.ย To place this in the simplest terms possible, this translates to panic, anxiety and mental shutdown on a scale I have not previously experienced, enough to often bring me to my knees. The last couple of weeks since the holiday have then involved me attempting to not only adjust to this shift, but drag up a lot of pretty painful and emotionally difficult emotions to put into poetry.

This has been a pretty perfect shit-storm of my own creation, but is now beginning to offer some interesting new directions forward. It’s the mental equivalent of taking years of carefully organised notes and references to everything and setting fire to them, before flooding the entire storage area, then expecting to carry on with recall as if nothing happened. There are going to be consequences to all of this, and this will be me, trying to reintroduce order into what was, for a while, total chaos.


I’m telling you this now for several reasons. The main one is that, in the weeks that follow, there will be a palpable effort to translate into words what it is like inside my head, in the vain hope that a) people might read it and b) then understand what its like to have to deal with this kind of shit on a daily basis. No, it’s not going to be used as an excuse, or a ‘you have to be nice, I’m broken’ stick for me to poke you with. I’m not expecting sympathy, but understanding would be helpful.

If there’s a lack of that, then there needs to be work on my explanation skills.


I am immensely lost, and quite lonely right now. This is, it is now apparent, not going to be fixed by following more people on Social media or finding new hobbies or things to do. The loneliness is undoubtedly a result of being unable to communicate in a manner that allows brain to feel wanted. Having grasped that revelation over a period of several weeks, dealing with it is not an overnight task. It has to involve a reassessment of how life gets done, and what is written. That starts today.

There will still be observations and ruminations, but no longer will there be the belief that lying to myself is acceptable. Accepting someone for what they are, good and bad, is a tough ask. The new wave of honesty that’s been employed in certain spaces has already had an effect, and knowing that is where all of this deconstruction began. I am, literally and metaphorically relearning some pretty basic stuff, and the consequences are quite staggering. You’re never too old to readjust existence, just too scared.

Sometimes, you just have to do the hard shit and hurt.

Your Cheating Heart

The national side progressed easily into the last sixteen of the World Cup last night, but they didn’t do it properly. There were no magnificent scenes of victory. Nobody punched the air, except the Belgiums. A newspaper this morning calls this a ‘basic misreading of hypotheticals’ like that phrase means anything to begin with. A manager, for the first time ever, looked at the game after the one they’d be playing and made decisions based on a long-term outlook. Football fans can’t look past the next game, we all know that. If you’re not living in the moment, you’re dead inside.

There is a fundamental problem here that needs to be addressed.

I had a conversation with my daughter on the way to school this morning about how the fine art of thinking about shit is being lost. In the clamour to be noticed in a World that increasingly values the cheap gag or the funny meme above actual facts and logic, a valuable resource is being squandered. My opinion on last night’s game is valid, but as I am not Gareth Southgate how the fuck do I know what his plan is?ย I have no right to question his tactical decision making now, I don’t get paid to be England manager, yet millions of fans like me feel they somehow now have a voice, because Social media gives them a stage.ย We stop thinking, and start ranting, and then everything goes Pete Tong.


Some would argue it is just easier to get other people to think for you. That’s why we have websites like, who use SCIENCE to tell you that you can save money and feel awesome (no hang on, that’s the other lot). Except, if all you do is compare figures and don’t look at the ethical backgrounds of companies, is this saving worth the effort? So what if I can recoup ยฃ1000 a year? There are far better financial decisions to be made than this that most people don’t want to think about because they won’t consider their own unique circumstances. Having a website tell you to save is all well and good, listening to an ‘expert’ pontificate on what’s best is great… but what if that advice is potentially more harmful than good…?

I didn’t know the possible consequences of a Keto diet when I began it, until my gallbladder finally gave up the ghost and I was forced into surgery to remove it. When I watch people expound on my Social media of the benefits of fat bombs, there’s still a chill that runs through me. My body could have given up at any point, but had I taken better steps to read through possible consequences, a lot of fear and heartache might yet have been avoided. When someone else tells you X has changed their life,ย just blindly copying them may have its own consequences to shoulder. Thinking through options remains a better bet than simply chopping and changing when someone else tells you ‘this is a good idea.’


As less people think and just do whatever the fuck they want, the danger of disaster becomes all the more apparent. Handing over decision making to automation will not give us an easier life if our ability to think independently and critically is compromised. Giving people platforms to pronounce opinion has always been fraught with potential disaster, but if these people simply spew hate and anger from LEFT AND RIGHT, nobody wins. Sure, you can get angry, but if you let your hatred colour and pollute everything? There will be consequences.

It is then that we all need someone to cut through the bullshit and say the things we’re all too scared to speak aloud.

Lots of you people genuinely frighten me. If you don’t think Piers Morgan’s a twat, it’s also highly unlikely we’ll have much to say of any value to each other.

The exit is that way —>

Bang Bang


This morning, getting in from the School Run, I needed an iPad cable. Finding one, I then attempted to exit the front room, tripped over my feet and fell.ย This happens all the time, and normally all that is affected is my dignity and a shin/knee. This time I fell really hard taking all the impact on my left elbow and wrist. I knew summat was up when the lower half of my arm refused to operate, and then it was a case of deciding what happened next. A&E is 10 minutes walk away, but I was pretty confident nothing was broken. So, I called my Physio, and within an hour someone had established the extent of my injuries is bruising as of right now.

After that, I have a treatment plan, list of exercises to do, and instructions on how I reduce the swelling. It will be at least 72 hours before I can drive, which is a bit of an issue with acting as daughter’s taxi service. Today my son was a hero and took me to get her by bus, and I’ve arranged the last two days of pickups without issue. The only problem for her is a bit of an early start tomorrow and Thursday, but as Friday is Easter? We can sort this.ย The biggest hurt for me is that I’ll not be lifting for at least two weeks, possibly longer. It will depend on what damage emerges once the swelling’s gone, and that will be at least a week :/

Yes, there have been a lot of tears today. But as I can still type, albeit with care and both hands? I’ll cope.