Sunday, November 09, 2014


I went to see my father this afternoon
On a ward full of other men and women who knew not where they were

He recognised me
Positive step one
Smiled and asked how I was

How was the police force?
Things began unravelling
The conspiracy there on the ward, the tribunal he had attended, been arrested
Here, this is my daughter, she is a doctor and a police woman
I am due to retire soon
Shall we say prayers?

The sign of the cross
An our father, hail mary, glory be
Then bye bye

Another afternoon of crazy talk
And leaving with heart broken
Walking away from the man who was
My father

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I demand to speak to your manager!
Just when things are sooooo smooth, life goes and upsets the apple cart, the pear cart and let us not even talk about the grapes. I now stand, surrounded by a virtual fruit salad of bruised and damaged items, once destined to be finely diced and mixed. I think I'll go on sit down strike, were it not for the unappealing scent of fermenting fruit and fruit flies flocking round.

Where did it all go wrong? I muse.

I think, once more, I allowed my pesky emotional brain to be in control. And once again it has gone over the top in trying to determine my life in a quite ridiculous way. So now, in the midst of dying parents, dependent sisters and sons and mad ADHD dogs, I also have a heart trying hard not to break in two. Because that would be bad at the moment.

I lift my eyes up to the hills, where to does my help come? (to put it in Welsh)

My help comes from within, my strength from my very weakness and vulnerability. Just sit and mindfully cry. Until the tears stop and the hurt is held and comforted. Then go and ring the dying mother, tease the sad sister, play with the mad dog and stand. Stand and face life, who has no manager but you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

How do I keep from singing?

I used to love that song. Would play it, joyfully, meaning every word.
No storm will break my innermost calm
While to this rock I'm clinging...
Now no rock to cling to
Just my weak feeble puny self
With my faulty wired brain letting me down
How do I keep from crying?
My sinuses are sore from tears today
My head aches
Each time a how are you and a kind word flew my way that was it
Tap on again
And through the tears a sense of hopelessness
Will I ever get back to where I was?
A still small voice whispers through the flood
Amused, but firm, she laughs
You always do
You will sing again
And dance
be kind to yourself
Forgive yourself
Kindness will win over the tyrant brain
Let yourself live in peace once more........
How then will you keep from singing?

Friday, July 15, 2011


Finally gone back on antidepressants after two years free. The last straw was Monday when I couldn't actually stop crying in work or think my way around problems. Today I am calmer but that is probably because of the combined efforts of no work, Prozac starting and Valium last night, which I took to terminate the mother of all panic attacks. My limbic brain is in big trouble with me now, thought records litter my room but it insists on telling me I am a failure and offering me a way out, which I am not going to take.
So backwards step? No, positive one. This biological flaw of mine, present in most of my father's siblings and his father- one of the first to have ECT is a biological flaw. I can control it to a certain extent but when the pain gets too much and the feelings turn to dust, then it is not a surrender but a step forward.
This is not a failure. This is acceptence and will lead to strengthening of that inner core and defeat of that pesky limbic brain! So as the sun goes down, I focus not on the night, but on the morning that will follow, and think of the flowers lit up by the rays of the sun.....

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Deconversion five years on

Five years ago- at about this time in fact- I was driving to work after a weekend in which my mind had been racing. As I drove down the slip road onto the A48 at Cardiff Gate, there came a sudden moment of absolute clarity. I no longer believed in God. Before I doubted, vacillating between faith and terror of a world with no God in it, suddenly there I was on an empty lonely planet, in which I was merely a collection of atoms doomed one day to be no more me....

Five years on. I am still just a collection of atoms. I still yearn sometimes with sighs, sometimes with tears for those days of certainty of faith and hope, of joyful religious experiences and friends united in purpose and values. But I also rejoice in the loss of guilt and puzzlement and the gain in the simplicity in which I now see the world. I have new friends, with new common values and purposes. I have experienced life in ways that previously would have been closed to me to even contemplate. I have explored and laid down the guilt and the fear that for so many years tied me in knots of anxiety and depression and though I have not yet defeated it totally, victory is within my grasp.

Five years on and I have few regrets.
Five years on and I celebrate today as a liberation, and mourn the loss of those positives my belief was attached to, but not the loss of the belief itself.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The anger of suicide

One thing that has always struck me, as someone who has had suicidal thoughts over the years, that one of the things that prevents me from ever completing is the knowledge of what it would do to those round me. For me, therefore, the danger in losing that brake is immense.

Earlier today, I nearly lost it, through anger...and realised after that the saying that I often hear of suicide being the ultimate angry act can be so true. It is the ultimate in the last word, no one can come back and scream at you, lay guilt on you, and you go in that knowledge. "Those who drove me to this, all will finally realise the consequence of their actions."

They say that when people make up their minds finally there is a period of calm, relief, and I can identify with that too- at last you are in control and no one can take that control away.

I know I will not complete, that I am underneath one big coward and will just carry on drifting through this world as I am.
But for all that it is becoming an unbearable fantasy as a way of terminating this permanent pain that seemingly nothing else will stop. I have to fight this fantasy and not allow it to feed on my distress and avoid the danger of anger like I felt today.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blissful ignorance

Watching the Pope's visit has been a strain
It has tickled my limbic system, my emotional memories
To produce pain of loss

Once I would have been part of the throngs
And my part would have been the quiet stillness
The moments of peace and tranquillity
Where worship and silent moments
Surrounded by the hand of God
I would have knelt and been enveloped in love
In blissful gnorance of truth

No more
Once revealed, cannot be undone
Now no more
Today all I can feel is loss
And what I know
Cannot heal or mend
The emotional pain