Archive for the Mind Ramblings Category

High Hopes

Posted in Mind Ramblings on January 1, 2013 by starstripe

So it’s 2013.

I’m sitting at my sister’s house, watching the Royal Variety Performance as the fireworks erupt around us in the neighbouring suburbs. Sounds pretty average, but there’s one thing wrong that has never been wrong before. I have stage four colon cancer that’s metastasised to my lungs and abdomen.

I’ve said that word so many times in the past few months, and i hate it more every time I say it. CANCER. But, it’s here, and I can’t change that. I can not go to pieces though, and so that’s the stance I’m taking.

2012 has been a terrible and great year. I moved in with the love of my life, only to have it crumble. But the moving in together is still one of the highlights of my year and life. I loved him very much and it was hard to let go of, but it’s done now. I made new friends, changed jobs, only to have my latest gig let me go because, “we need to run a business” and someone with cancer obviously isn’t conducive to that. It’s a good thing though, because with the chemo, I couldn’t work anyway.

So my wish for 2013 is to live. Plain and simple, this time next year, I want to be with my family in the UK and raising a glass to the year I beat cancer, the year I found love, the year I got a great new job and the year I found my health in every way.

My sister asked me today “how are you not going to pieces about being given a possible death sentence?” Well, what makes the tears flow is seeing my family upset. I’ve always struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. So to me, losing my life isn’t too much of a shock I guess. Seeing my family and friends hurt is. I really REALLY don’t want to die though. Having a death sentence has made me realise that life is something valuable. Worth dying for, if you will. However, if me dying saves one really great person, I’ll do it without complaint.

Again though, I don’t want to lose my life. I still have so much to do, and I have stupidly sat, for years, saying I will do it tomorrow. I’ll lose weight tomorrow. I’ll stop smoking tomorrow. I’ll get fit tomorrow. Now, I need to do these things today as a matter of life and death.

So please let me be here next year. Please let me beat this. Please let 2013 be the year I get up, and walk on.



The Past Year

Posted in Mind Ramblings on September 18, 2012 by starstripe

Life’s gone up and down. I’ve changed jobs. Twice. I left a cult-ish type spiritual organisation. I lost like 10kgs. I moved out of my little bachelorette flat and into a house close to the city. I have become step mother to the most wonderful cat in the world. I’ve come off a lot of medication. And I fell in love.

It wasn’t the first time it’s happened and may not be the last. But he’s been in my life for well over a year now and I’m still as hopelessly amazed by most of what he does as I was a year ago.

Sometimes he makes me very sad. But most of the time, he makes me happy and want to try harder at doing good things so that I am a better person. Except the gym. Just can’t get that motivation up and running.

So in his honour, here is a video of a cat, lip synching to metal.


Posted in Mind Ramblings on April 17, 2012 by starstripe

Special? I wish I was special, just like Thom Yorke wishes he was.

I love too much, and that makes me not special. My father says it’s a gift. I say it’s a curse. In the movies, people who love too much are the heroes.  In real life, we’re the losers.

We give ourselves so easily. We become boring to those we love. It’s like having Christmas every day. It’s not an effort for anyone to be in our lives. Well, the people we’re in love with. It’s not even their fault. It’s my fault.

Little things. Little messages. Little efforts. Everyday little things we do seem so common, they get forgotten, or accepted as normal. But they aren’t normal; they are special to us. We just feel so much that we like to show that we love, everyday. And the smallest sign of love thrown our way means the world to us. We never forget it.

It’s a paradox, really. Love and lose them. Be indifferent and hook them.

How to save a life

Posted in Mind Ramblings on March 22, 2012 by starstripe

Step one, you say “we need to talk”
He walks, you say “sit down, it’s just a talk”
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
‘Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you’ve told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And I pray to God he hears you

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you’ve followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

What it feels like

Posted in Mind Ramblings on November 27, 2011 by starstripe
You feel it all the time. Feel it everywhere. It never stops unless you’re asleep. The constant awareness of it is just ALWAYS there. Like a half-drunk cup of coffee; you are always aware that you still have coffee left, even if you’re not specifically thinking of it. The awareness just sits deep in my stomach like a stationary bumblebee; humming and buzzing in the back of my bundle of organs, reverberating my lower body in anxiety and distaste.

I guess that’s why I daydream so much. That’s why I fall asleep experiencing life as I really want to: only through my dreams of being thin again, and not reality. When I have those daydreams and fantasies, I think about what I would wear mostly. I think about how very different my wardrobe would be if I was thin again. I think about how much easier my life would be. Never having to be followed round by that VOICE telling you that this isn’t OK. To be able to sit down and be comfortable, instead of sitting in a way I hope doesn’t make me look concertinaed. Being able to do ANYTHING and not have to worry and fret and feel so ashamed of the fat greasy layer all over me. Let me give and example:

What it’s like to sit down as a fat person:
First: Pull up pants at the back so when you sit your bum crack doesn’t spill out. Also pull up at the front so that your belly doesn’t spill over the front like a water-filled balloon. If you don’t, you’ll get a hideous muffin-top.

Second: Sit down very carefully so your body stays straight. Keep your chin up so you don’t get a fat roll of the jaw. Chest upright so people don’t see your fat-stuffed breasts. back straight so you don’t look like a hunchback, even though you are hunched 24/7.
Third: Hold the chair in place in case your bum overbalances over the side. Start to sit lightly at first, in case the chair collapses under your weight. If you’re not down far enough, you can still save yourself from falling over on your bum if it does collapse. Not being able to save yourself will mean people will see that you have a double chin, your belly, enormous breasts and probably bum crack.
Fourth: Always sit, and I mean always, one of two ways.
1: leaned back in the chair, cross your left knee over your right (for some reason it’s easier to cross to the right). Notice how your legs don’t cross easily. They don’t feel very comfortable crossed, but you have to do it. Even though your leg sticks out at a funny angle, it has to be done. Notice all of the thin people around you with their legs crossed with such ease, the one leg just flopping over the other and hanging next to it like the chimes in a windchime. Hands must always be across your lap, or sometimes hugging yourself to hide fat rolls, which feel as if they’re about to brush the floor. Keep pushing yourself up the chair continously, as your heavy torso pushes down continuously and makes you slide slowly down the chair until you’re almost horizontal.
2: You sit with your bum towards the closest end of the chair so that your legs perch off the seat and they almost feel slightly thinner, as they are hanging and not squished next to eachother. Your back must be completely straight, thus taking out the hunchback look but also helping the double chin and lifting your breasts off your chest. Arms must rest on the table at the elbows, after which they cross in an attempt to hide your enormous sacks of mammary fat. Always keep your arms not touching your body anywhere as it squashes them and makes them look twice the size they are.
Five: Feel uncomfortable. Feel so aware of every single centimetre on your body. How your clothes feel unpleasant against your skin. How you wish so much of your skin didn’t touch other parts of your skin. We’re masters of fooling everyone that we’re not as bad as we look.

These are the best ways to sit. Not comfortable at all, but if you do what is comfortable, you will look like an amoeba, flowing out of the seat. Now, when a person sits down, it takes about five seconds. Imagine what the other 23 hours, 59 minutes and fifty five seconds feel like to a fat person. That type of set up is going through our heads, every second of the day, unless we’re sleeping or daydreaming about a place where our minds can be quiet.

There are times when I feel I’d rather not be the one behind the wheel

Posted in Mind Ramblings on October 22, 2011 by starstripe

Another death. Pointless. I’ve been to too many funerals, and I can’t tell if it’s because I am getting older and that is what happens when you become an adult, or if I’m just exposed to a particularly susceptible bunch of people. I think the only person I have known who has died of old age is my grandfather (touch wood). There’s been accidental overdoses, a couple of murders, car accidents and lots and lots of suicides.

In a way, suicide is indeed a most selfish act born of the fear of rejection and responsibility for “letting down” people we care about. “I couldn’t bear to tell my wife I’m broke,” “I failed all my exams and my parents will be so ashamed, I really don’t want to hurt them.” Sentiments of care for others, but ultimately narcissism for believing that loved ones would rather have them dead than failing at some part of their life. Surely the pain of seeing someone fail is not a pinch on the pain of having someone end their life over it

I sit here, having just learned about another friend who has taken his own life, and I’m certain he wasn’t thinking of others, but not in the narcissistic way that saddens entire schools, businesses and churches. He sounded so completely fine when I spoke to him a few weeks ago. He sounded happy. He was excited about coming back to South Africa. I don’t for one second believe that he feared parental upset for something less-than-favourable in his life.

This may be going all over the place, but I’m basically saying that I see two sides to suicide. The “guilt/can’t cope with embarrassment of self-perceived failure” type, and the “my life is fucking miserable and I don’t want to be alive anymore, and I’m going to end it because I just can’t bear living anymore” type.” I don’t find the latter selfish. I find the former selfish. Even though it involves care for others, it is is care that stems from a desperate need to keep one’s ego afloat. The latter stems from utter misery and depression, and has nothing to do with ego.

I count last night’s suicide amongst the non-selfish type. And it makes me so sad that this person was in such a bad place to have done this.

You’ll be missed, Surfer James.


Spiders and stars, scrambled eggs and subwoofers

Posted in Mind Ramblings on October 7, 2011 by starstripe

The days come and go these days. They blend together one after another and I lose count of where it began, and where it will end.

It feels like I’ve known you for years.

I’m experiencing things I haven’t felt in years: contentment, amazement, happiness.

Yet with such good comes such bad. Intensity, passion and safety leave space for loneliness, neglect and sorrow. We who climb highest fall hardest.

I’m tempted to use caution; to preserve myself in a half realised, half abandoned limbo so that any pain I may come to experience can be buffered by the detatchment.

But I don’t want that.

I’ve been made to smile a lot, laugh constantly, evaluate the preferences in my life and feel valued as someone truly worth adoration. These mean so much to me, and they are easy to do when you’re around.

Sometimes I do feel fear, anger, loneliness and confusion. Big emotions come easily to me, but aren’t dealt with easily by me. I’ve always struggled to be appropriate.

But I realise there is no fine-line over what is acceptable and what is not. It’s different with every lover.

I do not feel boundaried and expected to behave within certain parameters in order to please someone else over my piece of mind.

And I daresay the same for you.

How fortunate!