One Day at a Time Sweet Cheeses

I have a day’s work in London next week, giving a storytelling masterclass. It’s good news, and I will be good. I know I will because I always am. Story is what I do best. Yes I’ve been very ill but this is something I know I can be up for. It’s like I can turn on the tap, and when I turn on the tap it’s creative juices that flow out. I will motivate and inspire.

Contrarily I’m feeling somewhat groggy and spaced-out today, having taken a quetiapine with my mirtazapine last night. The quetiapine was a new one on me so I read up on it, and one possible side effect is a prolonged erection. My ears pricked up.

Yesterday was a hard day in which I had a number of minor breakdowns. I’d had an emergency referral to a doctor and psychiatrist, who upped my dose of venlafaxine and added the aforementioned in order to help me sleep. I told my story again, which sparked the first of my breakdowns. News of my suicide attempt was naturally a cause for concern and as I’m in the “high risk” category I was deftly put back in the loop of community mental health teams’ home visits. The meds will be prescribed on a weekly basis, and given to me by the home team on a daily basis. It makes sense.

My second breakdown was in the car on the way back, when I asked Mandy what the hell has gone so wrong with my life. As always she said all the right things or nothing at all, which is only right as sometimes nothing is all that’s needed. My third was after a phone call from my lovely son Charlie and my fourth was after a visit from X, my brilliant caseworker from Re-ablement, who’s working tirelessly to help me with my debts. I’d been passed from pillar to post at HMRC which meant bearing my soul four times. While waiting with muzak in a queue, X spoke about a mobile app which can circumvent the wait and call you back, and I said wouldn’t it be great if you could record your own app which played your own muzak for the benefit of the caller? He wondered if that was one for Dragon’s Den, but I said that like most ideas it’d probably already been done. If not, I thought of it first, so there.

When X had gone, my brain was mathematically fried and I was shattered, but I couldn’t go to sleep because the home team were due. Two hours of interrogation triggering breakdown number five. But they are brilliant, they do their best under severe pressure. They ask pertinent questions like “How do you feel right now on a scale of 0-10 where zero is bad?” And impertinent ones like “Couldn’t you get a job to help with your debts?” Right then it was a zero though I couldn’t help laughing. They are human beings.

So yes there is a funny side to my illness. After the home team left I had a visit from one of my oldest friends Alfie, a brilliant raconteur and actor. We go back years, forty or more and I love the man. He listened to my story and was tearful when I explained I’d left suicide notes, including one to him in which I asked if he’d do me the honour of speaking at my funeral. When I finished yet another long speech which had by now turned to spiel, he said that while I was speaking he was thinking of volunteering a eulogy before I even mentioned it. Typical. It’s all about him the vainglorious bastard. Yes we smoked and talked and even laughed and it was good; a pleasant end to a very tumultuous day which had run my creative tap dry.

I took my quetiapine and slept well, a sleep bringing on a bonus and vivid dream of a naked woman with a perfect bottom delivering an anonymous parcel: cheeses of the world in a plastic dispenser, with instructions to eat a morsel daily until further notice. I was too busy sleeping to know if it brought on an erection, or indeed if it was prolonged.

This is my life right now, a day at a time, dreaming of a naked woman with a perfect bottom and waking to each new day, when I’ll rob Peter to buy a ticket to tomorrow from Paul. And spreading the word on this blog with a steely determination. I’ll make it go viral if it kills me.

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