Friday, 13 December 2013

Where have I been?

I have decided to explain why I haven't posted here for a while in the style of Yann Martel's The Life of Pi, but shorter and with fewer tigers. I'm going to give you two reasons and you can decide which one you like the best. Okay, it's only very loosely in the style of The Life of Pi, but just go with it.

Story 1:
I haven't posted here for a long time because I've been having problems with anxiety. I've had anxiety problems my entire life, but most of the time I cope with them really well. Unfortunately, sometimes I don't cope so well. In those times I find it hard to go out and do anything without having a panic attack. I have to confine myself to seeing one person at a time and find it a challenge to be in larger groups, especially if it involves meeting new people. For the last month or so I've been doing my best to make sure I get out of the house every day and check my emails and facebook reasonably regularly so as not turn into a complete hermit, but sometimes I just need to curl up on the sofa, where I feel calm and safe.

I finally went to the doctor about it and she was really lovely. She didn't make me feel like I was making a fuss about nothing, and we had a really nice chat. I've got an appointment to talk to someone from Ealing Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (the not-very-catchy IAPT). The first stage is a phone interview, which I am feeling a bit stressed about, of course, but at least it means I don't have to go to a strange new building. I'm feeling good for having done something about it.

I also decided that I was just going to tell people what's going on for a change, because lots of people have problems with anxiety and depression, yet it's still quite hard to talk about and kind of embarrassing. That just adds a whole extra level of stigma that causes further distress. Reading stuff by Jenny Lawson at, who has far worse problems than I do and yet is hilariously funny and really good at regularly updating her blog, made me feel a lot better about myself, and maybe if we could all be a bit more open and a bit more accepting, life would be a bit better for everyone.

Story 2:
I haven't posted here for a long time because there has been an outbreak of Zombiism in London and I have spent the last month or so, chopping, shooting and stomping zombie brains as part of a local fight back.

The problem started on a Monday morning, when everyone was looking quite tired and worn out by the weekend, and it was hard to tell who was infected and who just really didn't want to go back to work. The government sent in the army, who confined the undead to South Acton Estate and then sealed the entire estate shut. It was up to the surviving residents to join together and wipe out the zombie hoard once and for all.

We formed a small militia, making sure that no one was ever on their own, and systematically swept through the estate, using cricket bats, lead pipes, school-kid catapults and anything else we could find to kill the zombies before they could make us one if them.

We put people with mobility issues in charge of surveillance, making sure they were nice and safe in the highest tower blocks. We got the mothers and fathers of large families to cook up big nutritious meals for us all, and made sure that everyone got their fair share.

It took some time, and real organisational skills, but eventually we did it. South Acton is zombie free and the army finally took down the barricades and unblocked our internet access so that I could post on my blog once again.

One of those stories is real, the other one isn't. I leave it to you to decide which one.

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