Episode 129 • Scrooge?


Law & Order SVU is on. I like the show, sometimes it gets to me but what gets to me more is wondering if everyone is thinking it’s getting to me: giving me the side eye in case they should switch channels. This used to happen, in our house, when I was growing up – growing up after THE Thing That Happened, that is : a cough; an uncomfortable shift in the armchair; “Anyone want tea?”; a quick flick of the remote to something predictably innocuous.

In this episode, the victim is comforting her mother.

My knees hurt. I took a Hot Yoga class today and it was A. hot and B. tough.

I’ve never done hot yoga before; in fact, I’m pretty new to the yoga warrior tribe. I joked with my friend Tom Hiddleston (not the real one, more’s the pity, although my doppleganger buddy is pretty awesome) that I was going to go vegan. I was eating a lamb burger at the time.

The best money I have spent in the last few months (money that I don’t really have) is on membership of David Lloyd’s Riverview Club. I’ve been doing lots of classes – everything from Body Attack to Core & Stability and I’m starting to notice the difference both in how I look and how I feel. It’s an empowering sensation to see your body getting stronger, to be able to lift heavier in Body Pump and to be able to transition from plank into Up Dog without collapsing to your knees first. I’m also not intently focussed on avoiding my blobby reflection in the omniscient mirrors of the studios. Taking an hour or two out from family, phones, worries and the outside world cannot be underestimated in its benefits for mental health. It’s not like this is some new revelation, it’s just common sense.

My knees are feeling all the working out though. One of these days, I’ll find myself completely unable to undo myself from a twisted triangle with my joints locked into a screaming bubble of agony.

Yesterday was a good day, today was a good day. Last night was a good night.


A lot can change in three days when you’re this fucked up 

I’ve been trying to find time to write all week. Or maybe I just didn’t want to face the fact that I’m unravelling.

I love Christmas, usually. But this year I want it to be over. I feel it’s not for me, it’s for everyone else, just not for me.

I don’t deserve Christmas. I haven’t earned Christmas. I’m not good enough for Christmas.

Of course, the expense of it doesn’t help. I read Patrick Kavanagh’s “A Christmas Childhood” again today and I felt the longing for a frosty solitude where nobody expected me to be happily festive: bustling about buying gifts and planning meals. The truth is I want to crawl up and forget about it all. I don’t know how I’m going to match my ex’s share of Scandi’s Christmas present. Everyone else will get homemade presents, that’s if I can find the energy to plan and make anything. Every penny that comes in between now and the end of December has to go to rent. I’ll be using my dad’s debit card to top up the electric meter. I don’t care about Christmas dinner or cakes or puddings or traditions. I have nothing of interest or Christmas cheer to say to my family and what do I say to my friends when we meet up for our annual reunion? I’ll be ashamed to face them being the messy fuck up that I am knowing that they’ve done it all right.

I see Christmas parties every night in my village; I see shop windows adorned with the joy of the season; I see families cosying up in their lovely homes filled with children’s laughter and blazing fires. And my eyes glaze over with loneliness: I am other. I am alone and I am lonely.

My daughter has had such a year of me and my shit and I can’t even give her a decent Christmas. I tried really hard to get into the spirit of things by decorating the house, warming up with an Irish Thanksgiving and embarking on our little traditions like “Rate the Tree’ as we drive around nice neighbourhoods stalking out beautifully Christmassed houses. But my heart’s not in it because I am so lonely. I am so alone.

I hate how ungrateful I am. How can I be so selfish to sit crying in my warm bed typing on a cool MacBook, my child healthy,  to think that I’m alone and struggling? How can I be this…entitled?

I never thought I’d hate Christmas, but this year I do.



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