Tuesday, 8 September 2009


I know that I probably come across in this blog as all confident and full of myself but that is sometimes far from the truth.

Over the last few days I’ve been spending more and more time in bed. I know from experience that too much time alone can push me into some very weird and warped ways of thinking. Add a few reversals of fortune and situations where things don’t go my way and suddenly I’m spiralling into negativity, self-pity and depression.

Last week’s blood test showed my haemoglobin to be low. “You may need a blood transfusion. Phone us if you start feeling breathless,” they said. Sure enough, the very next day I began to feel breathless. I phoned the hospital and spoke to the doctor on duty. “Come in right away” he said. They got the transfusion on standby and did another blood test. We all waited for an hour for the results. My haemoglobin level had gone up! The steak and cabbage must have done the trick. Then I felt stupid. I had created an unnecessary drama. The nurses had to stay late on a Friday night because of me. The doctor said, “Go home and call us again if it gets any worse” but I know he wouldn’t have sent me home if he seriously though it was going to get any worse. I suspect that he suspected what I now suspect myself: that I had a panic attack.

When Nick went home to Sydney it was with the hope that he would come back to London in the Autumn. The weather has turned yet Nick and I have not spoken about it. I haven’t wanted to put pressure on him. I’d rather leave him to make his own decisions about his life. But I’m longing to see him again, I mean I’m longing to touch him and hold him and make love with him and have time with him. As technologically advanced as Skype is, it is not a substitute for a real live boyfriend.

The fact is, Nick’s mother is ill. Nick went to visit her last week and was shocked at how much she had deteriorated in the few weeks since he had last seen her. Now he’s made his decision. He needs to spend as much time with his mother as he can, while he still can. So he won’t be returning to see me. It’s the right decision. It’s the only decision he could make and I know it. Or at least the adult part of me knows it. There’s another part of me, though, that is having a tantrum, stamping her foot, throwing her laptop on the floor and screaming “IT’S NOT FAIR.”

On Sunday morning I went to one of my groups, the name of which I cannot mention. I arrived late, wearing my ‘cappucino’ bob and dark glasses, Anna Wintour style. As I walked in and groped for a seat I felt painfully aware that everyone was looking at me. And why wouldn’t they? The last time they saw me I was a redhead. After the meeting finished I slunk off, wrapped in a suffocating blanket of self-consciousness. I felt like an object of pity. I felt that some would be making fun of me as soon as I was out of earshot. To be honest, I felt ashamed to be me.

The phone has not rung today. I imagine that all my friends have stopped calling me. Probably because I keep writing about them in this blog.

I Skype Nick. “Hey darling, how are you?” he asks. I do not count to ten. I just let him have it: “I’m tired I’m so tired, you have no idea how tired I am I’m all on my own I’ve got no-one to help me I look awful my hair has fallen out I'm having panic attacks and all I do is worry about money I’m tired all the time and I have to cook and shop and do the laundry and go to the hospital and I just can’t do it all and then when I ask people for help they just let me down like they’ve let me down all my life and I always have to look after myself and earn money and make sure the bills are paid because if I don’t do it no-one will you don’t know what it’s like and now I’m sick and I’m too tired and everyone’s abandoned me just like my father did and I always end up on my own and now I’ve gone and got a boyfriend who lives on the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD and can’t be there for me when I need him why oh why does this always happen to ME?” By this time I’m hysterical. Tears and snot are pouring out of my face. I don’t dare look at Nick because then I will have to see myself on the little screen in the corner. So I bury my face in my hands and avoid his eye.

Nick does not terminate the call in disgust. Instead he says, “Can I ask you a question?” “Ok” I snuffle. “How old are you right now?” “Oh don’t start!” I spit back.

Nick tries a different tack. “Darling, I think you’re beautiful and sexy. You’re doing so well. You have so many friends and people who love you." Now that’s more like it. " I’m so proud of you. You’re an inspiration to all of us,” he adds, trowelling it on.

I lift my head and give Nick a tearful blink. “Now sweetheart,” he says soothingly, “you know what they say?” “What?” I ask. “You mustn’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.” I nod. “So why don’t you get something to eat and then have a little lie-down hmmm? Then when you wake up you can phone Iris and have a chat with her.” “Mmmm, I do feel quite sleepy now” I say. “That’s it darling, you get some rest...”

I awake three hours later and look at my phone. Five missed calls, two texts. It seems that my friends have not abandoned me after all.