Wednesday, 5 December 2018

My Dad loves me

This is another guest post by Lyra Swann. Her first post is here
My dad loves me. 

He emails me, he wants to know how I'm doing, he cares about me, he wants me to be happy. 

He offers me advice, he offers money, he reminds me that if I need help then I can call on him. He cries when I leave.

He jokes, he uses sarcasm and play-irritation. He feigns anger for laughs. I laugh along. It's less scary that way.

I can't tell when his mood switches. Perhaps he was always angry. Perhaps he never was. His irritation is genuine now.

I put my head down. I minimise my presence, just as I did as a child. Even the wrong look used to provoke a harsh word, a smack.

I've spent my life trying to please him. And he wants to see me, to have a relationship with me. He'll be very upset if I don’t. It seems like the easiest option.

My dad loves me.

Monday, 3 December 2018

December’s traditions: guest post by Dorothy Donald

This is another guest post by Dorothy Donald

I only went and got sick, didn’t I? I have been as sick as a metaphorical dog. For a week.

And I had been doing OK at the whole juggling-gyroscopes-on-a-unicycle act that is maintaining my mental health. Now my lovely sensible routine is all disastered up and I live in a cocoon of pain and nausea in which I do two things: 1) buy more Lucozade, and 2) tell people I’m sorry but I’m not going to do that thing I promised.

This happens every bloody winter. I think my immune system hibernates.

And this, now, is the dangerous time. When I’m not quite well enough to Do All The Things again but well enough to convince myself that I should. When I start beating myself up for being flaky. When I get overwhelmed with all the stuff I’ve let slide and it becomes too much. When something in me has shifted in a way I can’t explain and everything just feels that little bit harder. When the head-fog that comes with sickness hangs back, thickens, takes on another character. When I can’t quite envisage feeling OK again.

This, now, is the dangerous time. I’m calling in reinforcements.