I realize I’ve been MIA a while and my blog followers deserve to know why. As of recently my condition has worsened, and I’m forced to once again rely on a wheelchair to go anywhere significant/essential. This means I need to take time out to complete the pup’s essential training so that Gizzy might retire as she’s approaching eleven and I don’t believe it’s fair for her to continue to work as an assistance dog. It feels like ten steps back and I’ve been dealing with feelings of shame and self hatred. I realize now that if I gave less of a shit, I wouldn’t have rushed myself or done too much and ended up in this position. It’s absolutely on me for not telling people to go fuck themselves with a sharpened wooden stick and I acknowledge that I have let my insecurity get the best of me.
I’ve also noticed that since my condition has begun to decline once again, I’m more susceptible to social media and the toxic environment it can create. I have no desire to engage with platforms that perpetuate a false image and is a hive of negativity and judgement. I’m going to cut myself off before the spiral goes any further, as I would an infected limb. I will begin posting poetry to this blog on a regular schedule again once I have stabilised. I may make instagram posts now and then to promote said poetry or give important updates, but I will not respond to DMs and/or comments. Those who are a part of my life outside of a few pictures taken on my best days know how to contact me if necessary.
I intend to use this time to acclimatize to my new chair, work on my anxiety surrounding it and engage with more personal development. I will continue to write poetry because despite the government assessors statement that ‘if someone can read a page of a book there is no mental illness/cognitive dysfunction’ (which they were stupid and discriminatory enough to include in their report, thus violating the equality act good job tories), it is very therapeutic for me. Poetry is a way to process and understand the things that have happened, and begin to heal.
I will be continuing my musical education, still offer the usual tarot readings given to close friends and old querents but I no longer intend to share details of my life with those outside of my inner circle. This decision has been reached with the advice of friends and loved ones who have encouraged me (rightfully so) to realize that I need to put the opinions and feelings of others aside. This includes perhaps 99% of the family I was born into, particularly my toxic, violent brother and his wife who have proven they don’t deserve to be given an inch or step onto my property.
I genuinely believe that when a person is in distress, social media is one of the most toxic and volatile environments they might be exposed to. I will honestly welcome the break. I plan to write, practice my music and continue the research I need to do as I carry on writing a biography about John Clare, his experiences in my own town and the illnesses he himself suffered with. I might even finish my own poetry collection!
I’m hoping to return to the island of dreams when lockdown eases, wheelchair or not I need to return to the beloved cabin. I need to sit on the beach I’ve known as the back of my hand since childhood and breathe the air of home in. To visit the cafe hidden on the cliff paths and visit the one lion remaining from my happier, childhood days. I will go to the chapel of St, Cecilia tucked away in Quarr Abbey as I did so many times with mum and light a candle. I will visit old friends, swim in the oceanside pool for my physio and eat good seafood.
I may make a weekly photo update on this blog but I am not sure. I am aware of the vitriol and slander aimed at the disabled online due to the current generations’ fixation with sickness as something tragically romantic, and have no desire to experience it or encourage such individuals. I am no advocate or hero, and my recovery is mine and my inner circles’ business. I may also post the odd, insomnia-induced opinion piece or stream of consciousness but having experiencing difficulties after a service user of the mental health charity I frequent decided to mimic my entire life for a diagnosis and points, I intend to be very careful about what I share moving forward.
I’d like to end this post by thanking my dad, who can be difficult as fuck but tries, my second dad who due to being almost 100 believes everyone should join the army, my closest friends. My lover, who pulls no punches and tells me when it’s time to step away and ground myself. My witch bitches, who love me no matter what and just see a wheelchair with mountain bike tyres as an excuse to once again venture into the woods. My OG rescue dog and the pup, my two tarantulas and the little tabby tiger who moved in and earned the name catsquatch, for keeping me going. For giving me an essential reason to strap on my brace and get shit done even when I’m hurting.
My satanic hipster squad, for providing a constant source of both deep debates and inane laughter. The many other violinists, musicians and teachers, writers and other lovers of all creatures I’ve connected with. My girls, who proved you can slap a cult right in the face and ruin them. My various friends in the homeless crowd who never judge another person and somehow still believe in the best of people. My OG London crowd, who will no doubt be eager to assist me in getting on and off of trains.
I’m also grateful for the smaller, intangible things: a rainbow over the abandoned asylum clock tower that was my first free climb, the fellow dog owners of the estate who provide many canine cuddles and laughs. Sunrises where the sky is on fire, a friend making me a steaming cup of coffee or pushing me up a hill, giggling in the rain. I love you all and I’m so grateful you are in my life (you all know who you are). I’m not sure if I will return to regular social media interaction even after I have pulled myself from this pit and stabilized, but the blog will remain and the poetry will go on.
I love you all, and while life is difficult right now I am still grateful for the impact each of you have made upon my life. You have changed me for the better, and I wish to continue in that vein which is why I am taking a time out. So that I may heal and return and help others.
I’ll see the rest of you on the other side, maybe.
Regret nothing, deny everything, make sure you have an airtight alibi-