What’s your name again?

Hi, I’m Samantha and earlier today I forgot my husband’s name.

OK so that makes it sound a little more dramatic than what actually happened but as an opening line I really liked it!

Jack had a fracture clinic appointment this morning so I went up to the hospital with him. We were sitting in the x-ray department waiting room, waiting for him to be called. I’m vaguely aware of names being called but none of them his… until one point where he stands up then offers me a hand up. I’m confused because I didn’t hear them call him, and tell him so. And then I slowly register that a nurse had just called ‘Jonathan Anderson’.

Oh. Right. They meant my husband. Jack’s legal name is Jonathan. It always takes me a moment to put ‘Jonathan’ and my Jack togheher. Because he’s not Jonathan to me. He’s Jack. He’s always been Jack, and he’ll always be Jack. He’s Jack to pretty much everyone – except for his late Father and his older brothers. At our wedding, I even called him Jack when I said my vows.

I suspect he’ll be poking fun at me for that for a few days to come!

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do what makes your soul shine

Lazy Sundays with Jack and Lucy are some of my favourites. The funk of mild depression I’ve been having the last few weeks has lifted and I feel like I’ve properly enjoyed myself for the first time in… a few months.

The morning was spent in bed, both sleeping and playing (details available upon request), followed by lunch out a local carvery. We ate far too much food before coming home and spending the afternoon in a blanket pile playing Cards Against Humanity. Some beers were drunk, some joints were smoked and the afternoon passed blissfully.

The munchies gave cause to some baking. Rocky Road cupcakes, currently sitting on the counter cooling. Chocolate cupcakes with a little hidden marshmallow centre. I’ll wait to decorate them when I’m a little more in control of all my faculties but the plan is chocolate buttercream icing, mini marshmallows and sprinkles.
I’ll share the recipe if anyone’s interested?

Jack and Lucy are making some dinner – we’re being very adult and having cheese omelette, baked beans and sausages because between us, that’s what we wanted. Ah the dinners of the old and inebriated!

The plan for this evening is watching some Legends Of Tomorrow and imagining a threesome with Snart & Sara but while I’m waiting for food to apear, I’m going to post a little Geek Girl Meme that I copied from somewhere on the internet but forgot to note down where from. Sorry. If I stole this from you, please let me know!

1. What is your must-have tech gadget? It has to be my phone. I can organise my life from this baby – calendar, emails, notes. I can listen to music, play games, watch tv. What can’t I do with my phone? It even makes phone calls!
2. Which house do you belong to in Hogwarts? Slytherin.
3. Who is your favorite Doctor? This is such a hard character. I have three main favourites – Jon Pertween, Tom Baker and David Tennant. I suppose if I had to pick just one, it’d be… um.. Four. Tom Baker.
4. If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be? Trying not to be very shallow and pick someone just because they’re pretty. I think General Leia Organa Solo would be an incredible woman to sit down and talk with. She’s been through so much, lost so much yet she’s still this strong, powerful, FORCE of a woman.
5. What is your gaming system of choice? I’m not a gamer.
6. If you had a super power, what would it be? Teleportation
7. What is your favorite fantasy world? The United Federation Of Planets
8. If you could be any fictional race, what would you be? a Tolkien elf
9. Star Trek or Star Wars? Yes. Don’t make me choose, I love both. I grew up with both. I love them.
10. List your top 5 geektastic movies or TV Series.Doctor Who
Star Trek
Star Wars
Marvel Cinematic Universe
DC movies/shows
11. List your top 5 favorite video games. I’m still not a gamer.

Right here’s food. Time to rearrange and dig in. Enjoy your evening!

depression

Mental health is important but it’s so widely misunderstood, and mental illness is so misrepresented. I know there have been campaigns recently about ending the stigma, about opening communication. And as Bob Hoskins would tell us – it’s good to talk.

I have personal experience with a number of conditions, namely depression, schizo-affective disorder and ADHD. I am not an expert on any of these illnesses and nor will I ever claim to be. This is purely based on my own observations and interactions with the people in my life.

I have had depressive episodes in my life. I have been depressed, generally for a period of one to three months and I generally don’t realize that’s what the problem is until I’m out the other side. Based on my current feelings of the universe hating me and desperate need to keep Jack & Lucy safe, I am most likely in the midst of one of these episodes which is undoubtedly brought on by stress and major change in life.

I am fortunate. I am surrounded by those who are not as fortunate. I watch my girlfriend doing battle with her mind everyday; every single day for the last 8 years she gets up and fights. I am awed by her strength, by her will to survive, her will to live.

For most, depression is a chronic condition. It is something that you live with daily. There are times when it flares up and overwhelms you. And there are times when you’re fairly functional. You can have depression and be happy at the same time. You can have depression and no one know it.

Depression isn’t just being sad. Obviously, it encompasses that, but it includes so much more. Your body slows down while the brain monkeys get to work feeding you lies and pressing all the buttons that fill you with fear and sadness and loneliness and anxiety. Depression is a hole that gets darker the deeper you fall into it. It strangles your view of the world outside as well as your view of who you really are.

Don’t expect people with depression to be able to reach out for help when it gets really bad. They can’t.

Instead, it is our responsibility, our societal contract if you will, to be the ones to check in with those we love, to not let them skate by with “I’m fine” when you know they aren’t. It doesn’t have to be a lot of work. Just reach out, remind them of your love, that you care that they exist, that you are glad they are alive and in your life. Don’t expect them to just get better, just get over it, move on, be happy, etc. It really isn’t something they can control.

For most, there is no “reason” that they are depressed, other than their brain chemistry. So put down all the platitudes and inspiration quotes. Stop assuming that if you leave them alone for a few weeks, they’ll be all better the next time you see them. Let go of the idea that all they need is a little sunshine or a walk in the woods or a day at the beach or a night out with friends. None of those things fix brain chemistry.

Do reach out to them, especially if their pattern of behaviour changes or they go radio silent unexpectedly. Don’t judge how they look (many folks with depression can not do the simple tasks of showering, brushing hair, getting dressed, etc) or the shape of their house (if they can’t clean themselves, they likely can’t clean their house). Do come over and sit with them, yes, even in the mess. Talk to them and keep talking….TO them, not AT them. Get them talking, GENTLY. Make them a meal. Help them clean (don’t do it for them, that will just reinforce what the brain monkeys are telling them about how worthless they are). Offer to take them to see a doctor. Offer to go get their meds refilled.

Above all, just check the judgemental ableist attitude at the door. And love. Love deeply, warmly and without condition.

a series of unfortuante events

If I was a superstitous woman, I’d probably be starting to think that our move this summer, our new house and my new job were cursed. I’m not at all and I don’t believe in that kind of thing but that’s still not stopping me from half wanting to pack us back up to Bangor – the old house hasn’t sold yet, so… it’s theoretically feasible.

It feels like since I accepted this job, everything has gone wrong. I broke my leg, Lucy had a stay in hospital and now Jack’s broken his wrist and suffered a concussion.

We were out walking the dogs yesterday morning, one of them pulled on the lead. Jack pulled back and his foot slipped on a wet leaf. He went down and automatically went to put his hand out to break his fall but it didn’t work, he twisted on it and smacked his head on the ground hard enough to knock himself out. He spent yesterday and last night in hospital, I fell apart a little but I got to bring him home this afternoon. He’s conked out on the couch next to me – it seems neither of us slept very well last night. I probably should have taken a sleeping pill when Lucy took one.

Logically, I know it has nothing to do with moving. That none of it has. Not even the hurricane blustering around us. We’re not that important in the scheme of things. It’s all just been some terrible luck.

Logically, I know that people slip over and land awkwardly all the time. I know that as the body ages, bones break more easily. I’m relieved that the hospital took the time to properly do obs on Jack and kept him in because he had a brain injury and he’s not getting any younger. I’ve got him home, he’s going to be ok. He is ok.

Logically, I know that Lucy has a number of chronic mental health conditions which lead to stays in hospital. This happens on a number of ocassions and moving is stressful no matter how much we tried to cushion the experience for her. We were half-expecting it to happen, although it doesn’t make it any easier. It’s part of her illness, one we all know.

Logically, I know I fell down the stairs because I was carrying too much, wasn’t paying attention and having an argument heated discussion with a colleague. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Logic, however, plays no part in my current status of hysterical woman wanting to wrap up her family and keep them safe.

they’re out there…somewhere…maybe…

I came home from work this evening to find Jack and Lucy watching War Of The Worlds. I’m all for a good science-fiction movie, I do enjoy stories of alien invasions and I’ve been half wanting to watch the film for many years. I’m just not sure I can sit through several hours of Tom Cruise. So instead I’m hiding in my office and listening to Jeff Wayne’s musical version.

On the Tom Cruise note, I used to be a fan, back in the late 80s/early 90s. I have many fond memories of watching the likes of Cocktail, Top Guns, Days Of Thunder, A Few Good Men. Jack loves his Mission Impossible movies. But that was before the utter craziness of his Scientology ways. Have you ever actually read about this cult? Jesus, the fuck…? People believe this shit? I mean, the idea of reincarnation is fine, and the whole working towards spiritual and educational enlightenment is fair enough. But Xenu? The galatic tyrant who apparently stacked up billions of frozen bodies and then blew them up with H-bombs, for reasons known only to His Galatic Mightyness? And, by the way, it’s the souls of those dead shmucks sticking to our bodies that causes mental disorders and diseases and shit. Yeah, who knew? Weird fucking shit, I’m telling you

But I digress. The War of the Worlds. So anyway, It’s on Spotify and I’m trying to recall if I’ve ever listened to it properly before. I don’t think I have, not in it’s entirety. It’s… interesting, certainly. Very prog-rock. And I do love the orchestral bits. Dun-dun-DUN! Most of the songs are fairly average, although I’ve always liked Forever Autumn. Never actually knew it was from this.

Dream a little dream of me

I’ve never been one for nightmares or bad dreams. I’ve never even really remembered my dreams, I have fuzzy recollections in the morning but never anything vivid or memorable.

I went through a phase of fairly bad nightmares in my early teens after my mother died but I suppose that’s to be expected, all things considered.

Last night though my sleep was haunted by nightmares. I can’t recall anything specific other than a feeling of fear and panic, lots of running and being chased. I slept terribly because of it, and am feeling quite sluggish today.

My husband has been teasing me about it – says I’m not allowed to watch any more horror film. We went to see IT last night and I’m not completely convinced the film was to blame. Maybe it was and combined with the stress of the last couple of months.
IT was a bloody brilliant film though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was delightfully creepy. I’m also left wondering if we have the book. I’m not even sure we have any Stephen King

Then again he was also awake with me at 4 am and cuddling me back to sleep. That was the only time I woke him up, thankfully. And he did let me sleep in this morning while he and our girlfriend went to the supermarket.

They’ve just got back and I’m enjoying a breakfast of peach slces and yoghurt, with a mug of coffee. It’s making me start to feel a little more human, thank god.

Today we are working on turning one of the rooms into a ‘library’ of sorts. We’ve decorated it and got carpets in. Today will be mostly about putting up bookshelves and getting the books up. Monday the couch and chairs are due to be delivered.

Happy Anniversary, Jack!

Today is my 13th wedding annivesary. 13 years ago I said, through tears and smiles, “I do” to my love . I first met him in 1997, we were introduced by a mutual friend, and he stole my heart with one smile. It wasn’t love at first sight but it was definitely lust. It took 7 years to get to the wedding and I love him just as much, if not more, than I did all those years ago.
I’m such a soppy heart but… I do love him.

My presents to him, as I mentioned the other day were a pair of silver lace chantilly cufflinks, a pair of flashing shoelaces and a vibrating prostate massager.
Amusingly, he got me a beautiful necklace from the same collection – a silver lace chantilly pendant. And some lacy negligee.
Lucy got us these beautiful black lace candle holders, she got me a pair of silver and lace earrings, and Jack a pair of new workboots.
Jack’s son has booked me and Jack a weekend-break away in Nottingham which is famous for its lace.

Early this evening Jack and I are going out for a meal where he has promised to wear a suit and his new cufflinks. Then later tonight I suspect much fun with new toys for the three of us.

It almost makes up not being able to get down to Cardiff this afternoon to see my Blue and Blacks play the Carmarthen Quins. Instead, because the DVD jumped out at me when we were packing them, we’re curled up watching CSI: Las Vegas. All the way back to season one with my love for Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle. It’s pretty dated now but still very enjoyable. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon at all.