Thursday, 16 May 2013

Suicide lolz

Can one conjugate 'parasuicide' into 'parasuicidal'? Asking for a friend.

The thing about suicide is that once you've tried once, you can't unknow what you have learned. You couldn't manage x, y didn't work, but z... Your body is permanently changed, and so is your mind. Immediately after, it's common to feel a surge of elation: you survived an attempt on your life! Personally, though, I just felt flat, ground down by the awareness of one more thing I'd failed at; that the acute crisis had passed and not taken me with it. That I might never get up the gumption again and would have to go on feeling this nothing forever.

That and feeling this way is just fucking embarrassing. It's acceptable at 16, even expected; but aren't we all supposed to be over that silly little phase now? What, are you listening to the Manics as well?

(Then again, the nice thing about going nuts at 26, as opposed to 16, is that when you tell your friends they respond with, "Oh no! Can I help? Do you want company/Japanese pancakes/a warm shoulder to lean on/booze/me to thoroughly take the piss out of you?" (Yes to all of the above.) They do not say, "Wow. That's so deep." With age we've finally figured out that mental illness isn't cool and creative and proof that we're such tortured artists, man, it's just sad and difficult and endlessly, grindingly boring. If I hadn't wasted so much time a) being brain-wrong and b) shaving my legs I'd probably be Prime Minister by now.)

I have an entirely psychosomatic ache in my left wrist, a pang that shoots up my arm at times like this. All you can see is a shimmering white one inch scar, a grim memento from a grubby and painful and thankfully interrupted evening back in my teenage bedroom all those years ago. I'd thought the knowledge I'd dug into my arm had faded too, but it was just hibernating.

Suicidal people are information-gannets. Every conversation, landscape, shop window display is mined for tips and hints on how best to go about the deadly deed. Every news article, as well. Research shows that a report on a suicide which goes into detail about the methods used will be followed by a surge in the number of people killing themselves the same way. No, it didn't make them do it - it just showed them how.

(It's fine. I mean, it's not fine, but it's not an emergency. I didn't even attempt the dreaded deed, I'm covered in cake and company and going back to the GP to jump on the meds-tinkering talky-therapy train; management strategies are firmly in place and I am not in need of an intervention. Stand down the guard.)

"Cake or death?"
"Cake, Hannah, CAKE! Give me the butter knife!"
Suicidal lolz.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

"She forgot to take her medication today!"

I feel like absolute snakepit crap today. All I am capable of is a) gazing at the computer screen, trying to distract myself with pictures of kittens, b) staring blankly at my book, completely failing to take in a word, and c) shovel carbohydrates into my mouth in an attempt to suffocate my amorphous sorrows in a big bready avalanche, while d) trying desperately not to cry.

Which is partly because I haven't had any time to myself for the last four days. Which is partly because I have got drunk every night for the last three days. (I don't really drink usually, so the resulting hangovers are multiplying with each other like little evil bunnies.) Which is partly because, with this disruption of my routine, I have forgotten to take my medication for the last three days.

"She forgot to take her medication today!" is one of those marginally irritating stock phrases that people use without thinking it through. It's used as a lazy joke for any mistake or failing or mildly eccentric behaviour, and honestly? Most days I wouldn't even give a shit. I might register a vague flash of annoyance and observe that the speaker really needs some new material.

Today, though: ha.

"She forgot to take her medication today!" And she feels like she is literally dying. The effort involved in smiling and saying good morning at the same time nearly broke her.

There's a load of other stuff to unpack - the idea that people with mental health issues have a duty to take their meds, that said issues can only be fixed with meds, that people with said issues do such wacky things, lolz! - but the fact that I haven't taken my medication today leaves me entirely incapable of any further rational thought.

This is a problem that can only be solved by several hours in bed, watching David Tennant Doctor Who, with a duvet on my head. And taking my medication every day. As you were.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Living the dream

So I bought The Most Ethical Bag On The Planet.


It is made of organic, recycled, fair trade jute.

It was crafted by women who had formerly been trafficked for sex work, employed by a company which offers these women decently-paid work and support to rebuild their lives.

It probably gives the world's oppressed and downtrodden a foot rub.

On the day of its delivery, I unwrapped it with glee; I admired its construction and aesthetics; I gloried in the fact that it is big enough to fit a book, my lunch, and a medium-sized knitting project, without being heavy enough to trigger my recurrent back problems. I luxuriated in the unimaginable smugness that comes from buying The Most Ethical Bag On The Planet.

But when I opened it up, my heart sank: there is no pocket for keys, fags and lipbalm; worse, no pocket for one's essential-in-this-modern-age suckable-digital-thumb, the smart phone.

At which point I was sent a link to 27 Middle Class Problems.


Yep. I am living the stereotype dream. I'm off to weave my own free-range yoghurt.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Yes, another Twilight post: Billy Black's wheels

So I know there are about a million ways in which the Twilight series is the very definition of Problematic. The romanticisation of abusive relationships; the message that having sex with dudes will kill you really dead; the abstinence-only not-before-marriageness of it all; the racist orientalism of having the Native Americans be fucking werewolves; the sly dig at the theory of evolution snuck into the first book... countless words could have, and indeed have, been written decrying its deeply conservative worldview and the gross messages it sends to its intended audience of teenage girls. And the fact that the vampires are just plain rubbish - ooh, they're vampires, but without the sunlight issues, evilness, coffiny cryptyness, or all the stuff that makes vampires COOL.

I mean: "If I hadn't seen him undressed, I would have sworn there was nothing more beautiful than Edward in his khakis." KHAKIS? The vampire wears motherfucking KHAKIS? And we are expected to accept Bella's appraisal of him as the coolest sexiest cleverest kindest bestest most having of the longest boy eyelashes everest and also a concert pianistest never fucked anyone in 100 years because he was just waiting around for Bella manic pixie dream blah EVER? In his KHAKIS?



Look, I swear this isn't coloured by the fact that I have a weird fascination with the books (I like trashy novels! Sometimes I am too tired to handle Serious Literature! I have also just finished reading a 400 page treatise on the differentiated origins of food production, animal domestication and technological development around the world! And am getting weirdly defensive about this!), or not entirely, anyway.

I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate the character of Billy Black. He's Love Interest II's dad. Tribal elder. Pal of Bella's dad. Uses a wheelchair. Knows about the werewolves.

I really like the fact that his mode of transport is just... not an issue. It's mentioned in the same way that other characters' walking is: it's just how he gets around. (Plus, with the super-sexy super-elegant super-suave super-speedy super-human vampiric perambulations going on, Billy's wheels are just not the most interesting moves in town.) There's the odd reference to the limitations this places on his freedom of movement - he can't get into the garage, for example - and it's casually referred to in the family in the same way you'd take the piss out of your sister's rubbish car, or celebrate your mum getting her old person's bus pass.

We're never told why Billy uses a wheelchair - whether he was born not being able to walk, or lost the use of his legs from illness or accident - and it's not portrayed as the defining aspect of his personality. He's a minor player who doesn't get a lot of airtime, which could have easily led to his being a one-note character: the local crip. But he wasn't.

AND, I have just confirmed my suspicion that he totally was in Buffy season 2! Ten points and a high five to the first person to correctly identify episode and character without resorting to Wikipedia.