Episode 2-98 – Check, Please 

I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. It’s after midnight, I’m exhausted but there’s something gnawing at me. There’s something I need to do, read, watch, feel – I don’t know what it is – but I don’t think I’ll be able to switch off till I’ve done, read, watched or felt it. 

There’s a security alarm going off. There’s always an alarm going off around here. It’s easy to forget we’re so close to the city centre with the village feel of the place but the squawking alarms are a regular reminder. 

I’ve tried reading but my book, Suite Française, while beautifully descriptive is slow moving and I need something action packed. I’m listening to Gone Girl on audiobook but it’s long and a bit self indulgent in its hints and with fourteen hours left to go, I’m eager to get to the point of revelation as to where Amy Elliot-Dunne has gone. 

I can’t listen to The Archers as there’s something up with the BBC iPlayer here, either in Ireland or specifically, here, on my iPhone. The Archers is my guilty pleasure, other people secretly love Neil Diamond or One Direction or Nationwide, but me, I privately long to live in Ambridge where bunting is stolen and ex-pro rugby players come to farm geese. 

Everyone is in bed so I have nobody to talk to. I’m lonely. I admit it. Today, I’ve been lonely. Even though I’d probably have no words for anybody. 

The alarm has finally stopped. Please don’t start again. It’s only when an alarm stops that you realise how grating the sound was, how it was eating away at your brain and making you irritable. 

It was only when I talked about The Thing That Happened, well, the impact it’s had on me and my relationships, that I began to realise that it had an impact. Maybe when I can finally turn off the sirens in my head I’ll realise the extent of the damage and learn how to avoid setting it off again. That’s if I can ever switch it off. 

Now I’m worrying that the RCC won’t have a slot for me. She said they need to assess if it’s the right place for me. If it isn’t, then where is? Do I just go on? Work on it myself? Or sweep it under my mental carpet? 

I’d love if there was some sort of interactive real time map that allowed you to pin yourself on it when you can’t sleep with anxiety, insomnia or whatever and it would match you and let you connect with other sufferers to comfort each other or play online draughts or something. Maybe swap photos of your dogs or tips on getting to sleep. Take photos from your window: this is what’s happening on my street right now. The house down the road is for sale for x amount, what are house prices like there? This is what’s in my fridge right now, what should I eat? Imagine the basket case friendships and romances that could be struck up. “Well, son, your mother and I met online discussing the merits of psychiatric medication versus the mindfulness movement one night in May. She was a recovering self harmer who loathed all men and I was trying to break my addiction to taxidermy”. 

How do people stay up late? I mean, I’m up late but I’ve been in my PJs for hours and I’m on my bed. (I can never understand why we say “in” bed: it’s not like there’s a hatch we open, climb into our mattress and sleep “in” it.) How are people out at this hour on a Wednesday night? Did I used to do that? Go out? Surely not midweek? 

I had plans to be “out” tonight. I thought I’d be ready for some glamour, or at least some lipstick and low wedge heels. I used to be able to wear really high heels to school, now the soles of my feet bleed blister fluid if I even gaze longingly at any shoe over an inch and a half. Give me Converse or flip flops any day. I’m old, and I’m boring. 

Alas, the person whom I had hoped could help with ending my day on the other end of the spectrum to which it began was unable to do so. Which is fairly predictable so here I am, not out, and truth be told, relieved not to be for “out” is not a place in which I am yet comfortable. 

Socialising is still not a goer for me. I’ve only realised that fully today. I’ve managed a few family gatherings; the odd cup of tea, usually at my own house; a cinema trip with Elsadaughter  but even a Sunday early dinner with My Lady and my kid a few weeks back filled me with unease: let’s have dessert at home; I’m ok for tea thanks; check, please.

 I know I’ve cut myself off from people but only because I don’t want them to think I’m rude when I zone out when they’re telling me something. I run out of words or concentration. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with them, I just can’t keep my good face on my head for long enough. That’s why I’m so useless at talking on the phone too, I can text or email but ask me to communicate verbally for more than thirty seconds and I’m a socially awkward recluse. 

Today has felt like I haven’t got anywhere. My little comfort zone is fine, I’m functioning fairly contentedly in it, but when I have to step outside that I’m a lost little girl, afraid of the big bad world. How do I get back to fully functioning adult with a job and a social life? The thoughts of cracking this shell fills me with dread, the kind of dread that made me puke this morning. 

Dotty 💋

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