Inventory (part 1): What did you lose in 2015?

Ever taken an inventory? It’s something they always pushed in AA, but I hated their moralistic standpoint on it. The exercise was basically about identifying everything you’ve ever done wrong and atoning for it. A friend recently posted an inventory of her losses (a suggestion from the ‘Courage to heal’ book) which I found thought-provoking. I…

Merry misery

It’s suicide season again. Contrived images of impossibly happy families are shoved down our throats in films, TV, advertising. At every opportunity we’re pushed to spend money on things we and our loved ones are unlikely to want or need. The waste at this time of year is such a disgrace. I can’t stand it…

Therapy today: Christmasphobia and shame

I once had a therapist who introduced me to the concept of ‘shame attacks’. She was exuberant and expressive, her group sessions were educational and always full of energy. I was fond of her, and I often think of her when I feel crippled by shame. After my last session with J, I’ve experienced quite…

Black and White

Have you ever played Black and White? It’s a role-playing PC game, based on the idea that you are a god reigning over villages across a number of islands. You get to choose whether you will be a benevolent or frightening god. It’s all about the tension between good and evil. I used to play…

The office Christmas party

There’s nothing like becoming closely acquainted with the kitchen floor. Normally those cold tiles against my cheek and the motion of the room would be a result of being drunk or high, or on a really good night, both. Last night, as my friends were celebrating the approach of the Christmas break by getting wasted,…

Scars and ink

On the day before my 29th birthday I got my first tattoo. I was a psychiatric inpatient at the time and everyone thought it was a bad idea. That made me want to do it even more. As a certified self-harmer, the experience of being tattooed was wonderful. I loved the stinging sensation. I loved…

A square peg in a round hole

There’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m still the same person I was a year ago. They aren’t expecting me to turn up and look like I’ve been dragged out of Bedlam. Nobody is judging. I told myself all these things yesterday because I had to visit friends I haven’t seen since last Christmas. I…