Wednesday, 20 March 2019

All Change

Crumbs Chief, how the actual frig is it March already?

Once again I find myself astonished by something as simple and constant as the passage of time. March though, and mid-March at that.

It's a Tuesday evening and I'm sitting on a beanbag on my kitchen floor, laptop balanced on my knees. In the living space, Hal is in bed, just drifting off to sleep and Eva is plugged in to YouTube on the iPad. I decided against sitting in there to write this as I was worried my tappy-tapping on the keyboard would keep Hal awake. Unlikely, the boy sleeps like the dead.

To be completely honest, it's hard to know where to start as much has changed in the two and a bit months since I last shared my musings. As ever, I'll vibe it and see what happens. I'm sure I've got stuff to say but how interesting or articulate it ends up being remains to be seen.

In no particular order here are some of the headlines from Katisville...

My therapy ended at the beginning of February. Five months and three modules, done. It was a whole lot of thinking, reflecting, laughing and listening. As the end of the course approached I started to panic for two reasons...

1. I was scared to leave and if I'm honest, I didn't want to give up my Monday me-time, and

2. I didn't feel like I'd achieved anything. I didn't feel 'better'.

It was only when I went for my debrief the week after I finished and I talked through my feelings about the course with the wonderful facilitators that I realised just how much I had taken on board.

Just today, an incident at work triggered me. A colleague pulled me up on my tone and while he was entirely justified in doing so, I still found it difficult to take. My heart rate soared, I felt sick and I was on the verge of tears. I've cried in that warehouse more times than I care to remember but not today. I recognised that I'd been triggered and I dealt with it using some of the skills that I learned in therapy. I can catch myself now when I'm about to be overly dramatic, too loud or unnecessarily negative and I adjust my behaviour accordingly. Not every time, but a lot of the time and a year ago, I couldn't have done that.

In other news... my little flat has finally come together. Almost a year ago now, I packed up all the belongings I could fit in my little Clio and moved in to a friend's spare room. Over the next seven months I would live and stay in six different places. For the sake of the children, I made it in to an adventure... "Isn't it fun, house-sitting and staying somewhere different every week?" In truth, it was massively stressful. I am so grateful to the friends who had me to stay or loaned me their empty homes but in truth, I craved a home of my own. Even when I finally secured a place to live, I worried that I'd made a mistake, that the flat was too small. Admittedly, I didn't really have a choice but how could three of us manage to live in just three rooms?! I felt like I was letting the children down.

It took time but now, it works. Not only does it work, it's home. Almost every piece of furniture in this place was gifted to me: a bed from the Patricks and an extra bed from my big sister, a sofa from the Yorks, a TV from Sam, a wardrobe from Nora, a little dining table and chairs from my ex's family and a fridge from the Preedys. A family who come to the bar I work in gave me two IKEA units and a chest of drawers. They'd known me weeks at the time. The few things I did buy came from a British Heart Foundation furniture shop in town. Nothing matches but I don't care and neither do the children. It is our little refuge where we are safe, where we can be silly and loud and dance round in our pyjamas to songs played from our Echo Dot.

Last month I made the decision to treat myself to Odeon Limitless membership for the year. On the one hand I am perpetually skint and am working two jobs just to keep my head above water but on the other hand, I've never smoked and I barely drink so why can't I spend £17.99 a month on something I love? In the first month of my subscription, I saw ten films. That's roughly £120 worth of tickets or put another way, I paid £1.80 per film. I'm alright with that. I haven't spent this much time in a cinema screen in over a decade and it's reconnected me with a version of myself that I thought was gone for good. Over my five years working for the Odeon chain, I saw countless movies and quite often I went by myself. Now I'm doing that again and I love it. I've even set up a YouTube channel to post my reviews on. It's called What Kati Saw and it has 34 subscribers. Not 34, 000... just 34. But hey, it's a start and to be completely honest, I do it for me. I like talking about films and if people enjoy listening to me do that, marvellous.

While I might be a big fan of solo cinema vibing and I am most definitely more at ease in my own company than I used to be, I still get lonely. I've been single for about fifteen months now and I don't see my relationship status changing any time soon. People tell me it'll happen when I least expect it or when I stop looking for it. Maybe it will. I think I miss hugs the most. Proper solid man hugs. I miss the other stuff too of course but on the nights when the children aren't with me and I'm not working, I just miss having someone to be with and share things with. I miss someone having my back. I don't need a man but I'd definitely like one at some point. Form an orderly queue gentleman... I jest, of course. I'll take a disorderly queue!

Over all, I suppose the biggest change is the most difficult to articulate. It's me. Something has shifted ever so slightly. When I think back to the state I was in as 2017 drew to a close or just how mindbogglingly difficult almost all of 2018 was, I am aware that I have changed, that I am a different Kati to the Kati of last year. Am I cured? Absolutely not! I never will be and here's the kicker, I'm not sure I'd want to be. Having BPD is not always a bucket of chuckles but some of those traits are so inherent to my personality, I can't quite picture who I'd be without them. I'd be dull AF that's for sure and I am not willingly to be boring in exchange for a quieter mind. I will take the noise and the nonsense because as time goes on, I'm learning not to allow the more negative elements of my illness control me. As I said earlier on, my therapy has taught me techniques to keep the wilder side of me at bay.

Three months in and 2019 is already a shitload better than last year. May it continue to be so. It's rare I give myself props but I'm still standing and I'm pretty fucking proud of that. I might still be a bit crackers, I might live in a shoe box flat but I have a good job, my small humans think I'm the best and I am definitely far less twatty than I have been for years. Go me!