Wednesday, March 15, 2006


It seems to always happen this way. Or similar.

Yesterday morning I woke up and was hit by a train. This morning I woke up and was not. I didn't feel that much had changed, only that I was not hit by a train.

Last night I went home and was greeted by my flatmates smoking out of the window. I was greeted by a lovely package from Kelly (on whose blog I was awarded the prize for the Best Shit Self-Portrait) (I am, for some reason, not able to create the link in the text, but she is on my links bit). The package contained the following:

1 certificate, lovingly drawn in lovely felt-tip pen, with my name on it
1 fluffy squirrel keyring
1 little yellow comb-and-mirror case in the shape of a monkey's face
2 balloons (which are being saved for a special occasion, although waking up without being hit by a train in the first ten seconds is pretty damned special, I can tell you)
1 set of very very cool stickers

There was also a little note from Kelly. I stared at that for a while, because I feel like Kelly is my friend although we have never met, and it was strange to see the first proper tangible evidence that she is a real person who writes with felt-tip pens. Not that I doubted you or your status as a real, not-exclusively-virtual human being, Kelly, but it was bizarre, and through the fug of my train wreck I found it slightly exhilirating.

I set about sticking the stickers all over my diary (which, in true Douglas Adams-geek style, has the words DON'T PANIC written in large, friendly letters on a sticker on the front). I now have the following on my diary:

2 cakes
2 ice lollies
1 doughnut
1 whale
2 small round colourful... things

Also I got a bit keen and put the following on my phone:

1 red stripey thing
1 pink starfish
1 fish
1 cake
2 things which look for all the world like sushi

This took me about half an hour of concentration.

My lovely flatmates were lovely, both of them having read my blog and therefore knowing that I was somewhat delicate. Not that they're not lovely on normal, non-trainwreck sorts of days, but they were so lovely. There were chips and dips, that sort of lovely.

I was feeling frustrated and despairing. A bizarre and confusing mix between boiling fury and corpse-like apathy. I sat there, feeling like I couldn't move, like I was seeping into the armchair and disappearing. I felt that I had to move, to get up, to do something, to prove to myself that I was not dying.

So I went running.

This disconcerted Bec greatly, who was heard to wail "But I thought we had an agreement! This is a creative house! We don't do sport..(sob)".

However, I put on trainers and a tracksuit and, with a cursory glance at an A-Z, launched myself out into the dark, rain-whipped night.

As I ran along the road up to Clapham Common and felt the rain streaming across my forehead and cheeks I began to feel better. I concentrated on my steps, I felt myself relaxing slightly. I have always loved running, the feeling of solitude and singular ambition. Of cheering myself on as I regulate my breathing, of setting my own rules and goals. The pounding of uphills, the exhilirating picking up of speed of the downs.

I ran and ran. I bounded across roads, lengthening my strides as I whipped my head around looking for traffic.

I ran around Clapham Common a bit, and then decided to head back. It was, I estimated, about 5km if I did that. Threeish miles seemed a good start for someone who hasn't done a scrap of exercise since September.

Of course I got lost. I suddenly found myself in Brixton, having run past factories and shuttered shops, still in the driving rain. I picked up speed as I began to feel a little vulnerable passing open spaces and unlit yards. I reached the Tesco in Brixton and relaxed slightly, carrying on, around the corner, past Brixton tube, up and back towards home.

Pounding agressively up the street from Brixton I quickened my pace again. This is something I always did when I used to run, sprinted the last bit, feeling my lungs tearing in my chest, breathing so violently that it comes out as words, as exhilirated, powerful groans. Imagining my legs to be covering miles with each step, racing, flying towards the finish.

I arrived at home, where I stood at the gate, bent double and shaking from the exertion.

For a while I sat on the sofa, drinking water and cooling down. I looked at the map and worked out that I had run about six miles.

Later we ate dinner, lovely fajita/enchiladas/I don't know what but they were lovely.

I felt empowered, then. I felt suddenly able to express what it is that has been getting me so very, very down.

"Go on" said Bec. "Tell me."

I am angry, I said. I am angry that I feel insecure. I am angry that I have to trust in something I don't understand. I hate myself for feeling insecure, because if I was a normal person I could control it, I could make put it to the back of my mind. I hate myself for reacting to insecurity like this.
I hate that I compare myself to people I do not aspire to be and covert things I do not want. I hate that I have to justify myself to myself every day. I hate that these feelings make me want to do things that other people don't understand, that unnerve people and makes them think less of me. I hate that I care that people think less of me. I hate that, for all my assertive confidence, I still feel like I want to change myself for other people. I do not want to and will not change for anyone. I wish it wasn't even a choice. I wish that I was perfect. I hate that I am not perfect.

This, obviously, is paraphrasing. I probably mumbled something about not having pretty enough shoes or something.

I feel better today. I have had communication from he who please I hope hasn't found this blog, and he has implied in a male sort of a way that he wasn't too freaked out my my confessions of mentalness.

I also feel generally better. My legs are slightly stiff but generally fine. I am going to go running again perhaps tonight or tomorrow. I am also booking an appointment with a cognitive behavioural therapist, so I can know what to do when the train hits again.

Thanks for the emails, and for the comments. It helped. Of course, they always help. Thanks Kelly, for the parcel.

Thanks to Brixton, for not killing me as I ill-advisedly ran in you last night.

Thanks to my own, private universe where I do not have to face any sort of total perspective. Where I can practice being whoever I want to be.


Anonymous Dan said...

Is it sad that your description of running made me think of "What Women Want"?!!

You know, where Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson are trying to come up with a campaign for Nike Women, and they focus on the solitary journey up the road, the escapism? Yeah? Exactly!

Why do I have to come up with such horrible cultural references? It's thinking of films like this (as well as my mum buying me Mr Power Tool 1969 wrapping paper for my birthday present) that makes me question my sexuality!!

2:50 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, thats alot of running. i didnt comment on the other posts because i dont think im very good at sounding understanding and supportive in this little box, but im very glad to hear that today is better for you.

and that is a fantastic prize! im jealous now!!

2:59 pm

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

I am so pleased that you liked it. They were very cool stickers and I am so going back for a mirror/comb in a monkey's head combination for myself because it was just the best.

I do like felt tip pens.

And I am real.

Hope that it didn't freak you out too much. I was very excited when I knew that you would be getting it.

I am very happy that you found a way to start to work through some of this stuff.

3:29 pm

Blogger lady miss marquise said...

I really wish I could run more, I have tried (and failed miserably)... I love being able to completely shut off my mind and keep pushing myself.

And so happy you are feeling better, may there be many more non-train days.

1:12 pm

Blogger Adz said...

Kelly is indeed very real

and a lovely lovely person as well

Apart from when I worked with her and I annoyed her, then you should run away and hide! :)

6:25 pm

Blogger RadiantSky said...

Not that it means much coming from a total stranger/lurker/person with issues of their own, but I think you're a pretty cool chick. I respect and admire you for having the courage and writing ability to put your feelings out there, and the sensibility and wit to make it all worth reading. I hope that things continually improve in your life and that you get where you want to be. So um, that's all, just thought I'd say that. :)

1:03 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

if youre reading this then you'll know that your blog is working again now, i just read your thingy on fairys site. since you havent been able to write about it yet, i wont comment, but, x

6:54 pm

Blogger Miss Devylish said...

It sounds like you've started to manage this and it sounds really really good.. and yay for packages! I love that!

8:06 pm


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