Restrained, injected… happy birthday

It’s week three and Rosie struggled to take her medication yesterday. The hospital gives no chances. Spit out your meds and you get injected for five subsequent days. No exceptions. So, having made it through 10 days of being restrained and injected, Rosie was given the chance to take her meds orally. She did it on Monday, but spat them on Tuesday. We thought her consultant would give her one last chance. She’s made incredible progress since starting this medication. But as she herself said, ‘No one cares.’

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Section”: noun 1. any of the more or less distinct parts into which something is or may be divided or from which it is made up. 2. a distinct group within a larger body of people or things. verb 1. divide into sections. 2. commit (someone) compulsorily to a psychiatric hospital in accordance with a section of a mental health act.

I’ve lost track of how many times Rosie’s been sectioned.

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Swings and roundabouts

It’s been six years, but I’m back. No, Ben isn’t drinking again. And no, I’m not drinking either. I haven’t had alcohol since Rosie was – what? – four? Five? But these days, I briefly fantasise about gin and tonic, and the promise it holds for me of sleep, respite, forgetting.

Rosie is in hospital.

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Lost and found


So it’s true, then.

Time really does accelerate as you enter the latter decades of your life. Standing here, on the other side of grief and trauma, I’m sucked deeper and faster into the mundane: a relentless flush down a very slick s-bend.

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Sometimes I feel like sticking my foot in front of a car, just to feel the crush of its tyres against my bones

Old Shoe by George Hodan (c) George Hodan

I stand at the intersection, waiting for the light to change. A car comes towards me. I hesitate. For a split-second I want to step forward. I imagine myself doing this: putting my foot out as if to trip the oncoming car.  Continue reading

The third sense

Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. That’s the order, right? It is for me, anyway, making “smell” the third sense. And not just a lowly third sense either, because something about this sense is transcendent – it has the power to link up with your sixth sense.
And if, like the lady above, you find something rotten in the air, chances are it’s indicative of an existential decay of some sort. Or, in some cases, it could just be a fart.

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When all you’re left with is alone

One lonely robot. (c) Married to an Alcoholic

One lonely robot. (c) Married to an Alcoholic

It’s 5am. In the past three hours, I’ve reached over three times trying to find her little toes. Because by this time, she’s padded over the landing and crept into my bed because she’s scared.

And each time I reach over, I remember she’s not here. Continue reading