The Little Eden: Ice-Cream and Italics

Today Bowermanland returned to Calligraphy class, and remembered that she finds it difficult. Holy Hell am I sore. I mean I was in pain doing the class, I could barely concentrate because that happens, the lack of concentration, but now I feel beaten with sticks and my thumb is not co-operating with the rest of my right hand. Hunger was part of the problem: I’d not eaten properly over the weekend – only cakes and biscuits. Tiredness was another: I slept all of yesterday, but it wasn’t enough. The trip to Oxford took a great deal out of me. On Saturday I nearly passed out in a shop, and ate shoddy food stuffs when I got home because my body was craving food in the way it does when I want to faint. Feeling faint, or seizure-y is the time when I am least in control of myself. My body wants to do something and I, ultimately, can’t stop it. It wants to be on the floor, it wants to jerk around, it wants me to eat sugar laden shit. And it won’t stop until it does as it pleases. When I’m in the grip of these feelings, I’m like an animal. I get rude and furious, and then completely removed from what is going on. The fact that these episodes do happen in public, and that they can render me unable to speak is not a good thing. I’ve not felt faint as I did for a long time. And the feeling was very strong. I know that the days away were the spark, but also carrying lots of heavy things did not help. I had an urge to do things. To achieve – a continuation of the burst of happy energy I gained from visiting the Ashmolean. But my tank was empty. I’m very lucky the human version of the AA didn’t have to be called because I’d not topped up my oil.

I mention ice-cream because I’ve just eaten a tub of Haagen-Dazs. Sometimes this has to be done. I’m still bleeding, so I’m blaming my hormones. I had lunch/dinner at the college I attend for calligraphy, but I got angry and frustrated on the way home (I had to buy some things for the house) and prayed the little shop near the station would be open for me to get ice-cream. It was, I did.

House stuff is going to feature a bit more than usual. For Lent, I did not give up anything, but decided to do something actively: I decided I would clear the room Dad had asked me to clear, my old bedroom and then study, which had been filled with successive crap from my Gran’s House, the Loft and then the Great Destruction of 2015. My Mum was an excellent packer of things, and she filled the small room with a house worth of items. I gave over 20 bags of clothes and accessories from that room to charity, and threw out bags more. I made myself physically and mentally ill going through everything, and once the room was empty, my Dad destroyed it, ripping off wall paper and tearing up carpet. I have an awful feeling he’s booked some people to come and design wardrobes for it. And a secondary awful feeling that he’s booked them to come on Wednesday morning, the same day I have a Psychiatric appointment. My Dad is clueless as to what stresses me out. My appointment is at 12 noon, and from what I gather (he’s not actively told me) the people are coming at 10am. So they’ll be here as I’m getting ready for my appointment, and I will be called in to talk to them. So I’ll be super stressed. My appointments obviously mean nothing to my Dad. He was very anxious for me when I had my tooth removed 2 weeks ago. He took me to the hospital and waited for me, and let me have the next day to sleep without being disturbed. But obviously that is an absolute physical thing. A visible, real thing. Whereas my Depression and mental illnesses various (Anxiety, Trichotillomania, Self Harm, Suicidal Ideation…) are not. Even writing this makes me tired. Nothing changes.

The Little Eden is my mental joke name for my garden. Few of the plants I put in last year survived. Either my cousin removed them by accident when weeding, they got eaten by weeds or they didn’t take. This year I’ve decided to take a different road to the garden. The raised beds (about 4ft 6″) are being carefully dealt with. The one in shade has been planted for the long haul: yellow and purple Hellebore, white Anemone, and a Spurge. Anemone grew on that site before, and I chose a Spurge because it plays a part in one of my favourite historical novels*. The raised bed with full sun is getting a totally different treatment: I’m going to sow wild flower seeds in it. I’ve never grown anything from seed, not even the childish Sunflower, so I’m very excited. I watched my former partner grow lots of vegetables from seed, and some flowers, and now I want to do it. I’m going to prepare the bed and sow directly in to it, a mixture of cottage garden wildflowers. Separately I’m going to grow Sunflowers and Lupins – in trays indoors before putting them out. This is all an experiment. Last week we planted the Spurge etc. and replaced some of the dead Lavender in the garden. For several days afterward I felt very calm and happy, and I realised that I had not thought of many of the things that make me feel sad or suicidal. When I was a teenager, I planted random things in the garden (2 of which survive – including a red Camellia, now 20 years old). I used to go out and water them and look after them, and it helped me. I was in control of something, and had something living under my eye. All of that feeling was lost or removed over time, but now, I feel a little bit of it coming back. I’m hoping that by growing things completely – from seed – I will feel more of that. Yes, it is a sense of control over a living thing, which could be considered bad. But, it is not an animal or another human – I don’t have 20 rabbits or ferrets, or an unhealthy baby – they will be Cornflowers, Poppies and other such things. If my work pays off, I will be adding things to the world. If not, there will not be a negative – a loss – only a waste of my time.

Orchid Watch: Orchid 2 is flowering and growing a new leaf. Orchid 1 is finally growing a stem to replace the original 2 flowering stems it came with. I’m waiting for it to get long enough to be trained up a stick. It looks like they survived the re-potting and other disasters. I recently moved a Myrtle bush from a pot to the front garden – it was stagnant. I looked after it over winter, made sure it didn’t freeze etc. but it looked like it was trying to die on me. I’ll keep you updated about that as well.

*’Venus in Copper’ by Lindsey Davis – a historical crime novel set in ancient Rome. Spurge is toxic, but it’s everywhere as a decorative plant, in London. Particularly on Roundabouts and council properties…



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