Relaxing in shark-infested waters

Mental health’s a bitch. When I think it’s getting better, when I think I’m having a great week and there’s been no time warps or sci-fi twists in my head, I fall down the rabbit hole again. Then nothing, no meditation, breathing exercises, masses or Buddhist chants can save me.

Except little white pills, which i keep in my purse, sometimes just to feel safe, and loved.

‘Are you anxious?’ They ask. ‘Or have you been crying a lot lately?’ ‘Are you seeing or hearing things which aren’t there?’ It doesn’t boil down to a single symptom, more like a clusterfuck of anxiety, depression and occasional lashings of psychosis. In my head, I live on Planet Mars, but in reality i have to mingle and make small talk with earthlings. And when I do meet another Mars-men, I run. Reflections in the mirror are always scary.

Relax, everyone says. That’s like telling someone standing on the edge of a cliff to relax. It’s impossible for someone not on the cliff to understand the sheer laughability of relaxing when the drop is so sheer, so absolute. If you’re swimming with sharks, you panic. It’s impossible, without some phamaceutical help, to relax in shark-infested waters.

And that’s what i feel like, today, relaxing in shark-infested waters. Doped up on painkillers because of cramps, i feel a weird, and false, sense of peace, the kind of peace that sedatives enforce on panicky patients mid-battle. Outside there is birdsong. Inside my heard there’s also birdsong, along with a million other things which should not be there. I turn on the music player and I listen to Haim sainging ‘Days gone by’, and I feel like crying, but then the weird peace comes in and rescues me, so i stop mid-tears and I instead turn drowsily to the window, and wonder:

‘This could’ve been such a brilliant summer.’

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Golden are the ties of friendship

My friends, in no particular order

1. She’s on her way up, I’m on my way down. The perfect meeting point between our trajectories is Zara, where we stock up on cheap belts and cheap jewellery, and slightly more expensive coats.

2. She’s been around for ages, she only does small talk, and sometimes I wonder what’s in it for me.

3. She loved me. Enough said.Past tense, though.Broken are the ties of friendship

4. I thought I loved her. Crazy fun to hang around with, and lethal fun at that.

5.We love to read and think of England when we sleep. (when i’m not troubled by the Motherland, that is)

6. She is both several steps behind and several leagues ahead of me. Spiritually, financially, romantically.

7.The new best friend I suspect wouldn’t last – talks that cut a little too deep, and wine that goes down easy.

8. The old best friend who I suspect will never go away – summer camps, ‘girl talk’ and baking lemon cakes while it rains.

9. The one who makes me feel better about myself. By doing worse than me.

10. An honorary spot for all the guys who I thought were kinda friends, until I realized that they were more interested in fucking (i was fuckable then). And no, there’s been no guys since I got a bit ill and off, because of the fuckability issue, obviously.

Conclusion: I’m a cynic, and therefore spiritually friendless even when I am surrounded by friends. Unless they happen to be bigger cynics than me.