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Tag Archives: mental health

That time I played bingo in a stinky cow shed

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Haven’t been feeling mentally great for a while. Don’t know why really.  Cancellations and overdue payments from some swim parents haven’t helped.  The state of the nation in general and the fact that my offspring are growing up & making me feel surplus to requirements, also not conducive to a happy mind.

So, a night out with my sister was in order.  Wasn’t sure what to expect and was slightly nervous, but last night we went to Bongo’s Bingo in Leeds.  It’s been a long while coming.  I’ve talked about going for years, since Jade first went in Manchester a very long time ago.
These days it’s on in cities all over the country, every weekend and sometimes during the week.  ‘Johnny Bingo’ must be sitting at home now in a bath of Buckfast laughing away as he checks his bank balance.


This was not your Saturday night session at Mecca with the jam making brigade that were the mainstay of my Pops’ working life in the bingo industry back in the day.

So Bman dropped us off at Canal Mills in Leeds which smelled a bit like a cow shed TBH.  We got a seat on the end of one of the many crammed-in long tables, because Jade said not to get stuck in the middle of them otherwise we’d have to clamber over everyone to go to the loo or the bar.  We’d paid £8 and this got us a book of 6 games to last the night.




There was a good 2 hours of drinking time before the first game began. Plenty of time for the 200+ Love Island posse to get fully tanked up and start dancing on the benches.  

It was compared by a lively DJ/Caller and ably assisted by glamorous helpers – i.e. 2 young men dressed as a slutty French maid and slutty nurse, who did a lot of dancing, occasionally stripped off inbetween displaying prizes and checking calls.

The prizes, none of which I won, but most of which I coveted, included a life size cardboard cut out of Ross from Friends (won by the boys on the table next to us). Bottles of spirits, cash prizes varying from £40 up to £500! Double ended dildos!! Inflatable Pokemon costumes, giant fluffy unicorns, Henry hoovers, karaoke machines and big boxes of coco pops for people to throw around.

There was much cheering and dancing when anyone won.  False calls greeted with jeering pointing and chants of “you fucking dickhead”.  The young girls next to us had no clue what they were doing and I kept having to explain how they could win.
Certain numbers involved dance interludes, but you had to be lively to get back in the game or you’d miss out on hearing/seeing the numbers come up.  TBH I’m amazed anyone won anything as the night went on and more alcohol was consumed.

Despite fierce concentration on our part, we didn’t win a thing. We needed my brother – he always wins when we play bingo at home with my Pops.  I think he would have enjoyed it actually.  




Not a place for the faint of heart (or liver) or if the prospect of an on stage ‘dance off’ in the event of a tied call fills you with fear.  Be prepared to join in or face sitting there covered in spilled wine and airborne coco pops.  Definitely worth a visit if you can get a ticket and just want to act daft for a couple of hours and may even, if you’re lucky, bag yourself a decent prize.


It made me feel better anyway and was just what I needed.  Let’s do it again sometime.

Ciao Ciao MoFos XX

Who will sit with me in the dark like the Mad Hatter?

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With no discernible reasoning and being happier in my life than I have in years, I have felt myself sliding towards the rabbit hole the last few days.  For the first time in months I had to take a couple of my beta blockers last week. (I told you didn’t I that it never goes away).


My mind has been racing with loony thoughts and tick-tock tick-tocking back and forth between feeling absolutely fine, to being awake late at night or in the wee small hours with a head full of utter rubbish. Crazy half dreams and visions. Thoughts that made no sense whatsoever, interlaced with rational thoughts and worries (but nothing you could deal with at 3am).


I have been distracting myself with Facebook, AKA the thief of time and the devil’s own tool.  Not helpful truth be told. I should bomb the fucker off again for a mental cleanse but I need it for the Koolkids page, thus making it far too easy to get sucked into the newsfeed. Like this, comment on that, post the other. Must have recognition. Must spout views. Must post flattering photo so everyone knows how fabulous we are even though usually, we look like homeless elderly tramps. Must have instant gratification of a thumbs up or a smiley. Hello, hello, I’m here. (Where are you?) I’m here (Where are you? )*

This week I am distracting myself by dogsitting my friend’s pug. What an odd looking ugly  little fucker he is, bless him.  He is currently on time-out in his bed for being too giddy and jumping from couch to couch laughing at me and he is now snoring like Bman whilst asleep sat up.  The cats are not impressed with his presence but they’ll have to get used to it until next week.

Meanwhile I will take my life one day at a time and try not to overthink things, overeat, drink too much, or chew my nails down to the quick. I must remember that life is good (despite the Brexit balls-up) and that I am loved and not a complete waste of space or air. No, I won’t change the world but that’s okay. As long as I do alright in my world then that’ll do.

*one for the Pulp fans there


It’s ok to just be ok

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So.  I’ve had enough of trying to accommodate some people.  If people want to be my friend and be a good friend, then they know where I am. They know how to contact me.  I’m pretty much done with always being the one to make first contact.  People are busy I know. People have their own lives.  Sure. But it doesn’t take a moment to spare someone a thought and drop them a text, whatsapp or messenger or whatever.

With that in mind I know a couple of heads I need to reconnect with and I shall go old school and telephone them at the weekend.


Meanwhile, I’ll go to school.  Teach my lessons as per my plans.  Change them as and when I need to.  I’ll mark, I’ll come home. I’ll go to bed. Sleep the sleep of the just – possibly unjustly. Or maybe I’ll lay awake pondering about life, the universe and everything. 

I’ll teach my swim classes on Thursdays and Fridays and hope nobody drowns and the parents don’t think I’m a complete fucktard.  If they rebook the classes then I’ll know I’m doing alright.  If they take their business elsewhere and I end up being asked to leave then I’ll know it’s not for me.

And that’s fine.  It’ll be what it’ll be.


I’ll cook and clean and keep house and parent as best I can and that’s the way it will go week after week.

Every now and then I’ll do something different. Like on Saturday when I went to Chester and took my mum and sister out for afternoon tea for Mothers’ Day.



Once in a while the planets will align and the gods and goddesses of all that is mysterious and magical will smile upon me and, after a pointless tiff with Bman,  he will apologise like this.

And that’s okay (although the spelling and grammar is NOT).
It’s okay to just be okay.




A year in the life…

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One year ago today I flidded out at the end of one shite working day too many. I was driven home by my friend in tears after ranting at the school secretary.  I sobbed on Bman and then took to my bed.

I then didn’t go back to work for 3 months.

Some people cared enough to keep in touch and come visit me.  Some sent love tokens.  Some sent not particularly helpful but nonetheless thoughtful texts of encouragement.  Some people did bugger all. Couldn’t even be fagged to send a text.  Maybe they didn’t give a shit.  Maybe they were scared of what to say, because people are afraid of mental health issues.  

My family were fab.  The usually reticent, emotionally stunted, least empathetic man I call my husband, was surprisingly caring and patient.  He didn’t want me to return to work at all but I’m too used to earning my own money to rely just on him to pay the bills.

I don’t think I was really aware of how low, crap, sad, worthless, tired and unhappy I was  in my life (mostly, but not limited to, my work) until I stopped feeling like that.

I won’t lie.  I sometimes feel myself slipping again.  Particularly in my work. Especially lately.  I do often feel like my soul is being sucked from me.



But I won’t let it beat me.






People are a bit more open these days to hearing that you suffer from the Black Dog from time to time. Although of late it’s a lot more fashionable to have been touched up by a male co-worker or boss (Weinstein Effect) than to be a bit cuckoo.  I wonder what next year’s trend will be?  People will start coming forward to admit to secretly masturbating to Storage Wars or something. #Metoo (that’s not true BTW – I don’t!)

Don’t listen to me, I’m a bit mental remember.  (Just not quite at the juicy fruit stage yet!)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


Stay happy y’all.  Life is short.


Let’s go round again…

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Well it’s almost time to begin a new academic year.

It doesn’t seem that long since last September and the last academic year. But what a year it’s been.  Going in all cylinders blazing last September, ready to take on the system. Lead my new, (albeit smaller) but fabulous little team.  Ready to jump in at a moments notice to impart knowledge and wisdom with a smile and pocket full of amazing lesson plans.

Yeah. That lasted til Spring and then it all went west side.



Me, from March to June in my kitchen


Until recently when I no longer felt like that, I hadn’t really realised how low and off-kilter I actually felt.  Let’s not go there again if we can possibly help it.

My philosophy at this juncture can probably best be summed up by this meme:-


Am I right?


There will always be plenty of people having a shittier day than you, which is crap (for them) but a silver lining on your own grey cloud. That’s as good as it’s probably going to get for most of us – and that’s okay.

So before I return to the coal face and my optimism and enthusiasm die a fiery death wane within weeks, I’d like to celebrate the great things that happened this year and the people who stopped me from totally losing my mind. The ones who sent me notes, hunted for spooks with me for fun; sent me memes, love tokens; not always helpful but somehow amusing texts; sent me jigsaws in the post. And thanks to my husband who, despite his usually unsympathetic nature and poor inference skills, managed to be kind, thoughtful and not get annoyed when I didn’t appear to have moved for hours.  Also my Childerbeast for not freaking out at their mother freaking out.

Naturally I have to summarise in pictorial form because , as my childerbeast told me recently, “Mum, you photograph everything”  Good job really. Then I can look back at images like these, on the days when everything seems pointless, and I’ll remember that it’s not.

In the words of my childerbeast…. “Blessed”.









So back to school tomorrow.  I am going in this year with no expectations. That way I can’t be disappointed or annoyed. I’ll go in. Do my thing. Hope for the best and then come home, sleep, then go back the next day and try again.


Bring it on Booms!  We can do this.


And to end a perfect summer holiday of sun, treating myself to a new vacuum cleaner (small pleasures) visits with friends, festivalling, glitter and music – my parents dropped by today for an impromptu visit.

Good times.


Life (today anyway) is good.  Not always. Not for everyone. But today, it’s alright for me & mine, & that’ll do.

Ciao MoFos



So what’s happening?

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So I deactivated Facebook before I went on holiday as an experiment. (the deactivation was the experiment, not the holiday)

It turns out that you do not need to know what your old 1980’s school pals are having for their lunch or what they did at the weekend.  You haven’t known for over 30 years and you survived and thrived perfectly well.

I have found it strangely liberating and a giant stride towards mental health equilibrium.

Speaking of… not sure E4 E-sting of a couple of cartoon heifers dancing about in front of a sign-post about ‘Mad Cows’ was deliberate or an awkward coincidence during Mental Health Awareness Week (and just before a message about mental health).

I am still signed off sick from work from being nutty as fruitcake ‘anxiety issues’ and for the first time in my life, since that one year in the 90’s when combat trousers and tight tops were all the rage courtesy of ‘All Saints’, I appear to actually be on trend.
It’s ok these days to be a bit barking apparently.  Even the Royal Family say it’s alright.


Have begun to feel considerably less anxious and dippy about everything than I was before, but then I am at home most of the time so I have no cause to be anxious.  (I do also have a prescription which I avoided for a very long time, that’s probably helping more than I’d like to admit).  I tell you what though. Do not ever read the contra-indications on your meds.  YOU WILL DIE!  it doesn’t say that really. BUT YOU MIGHT DIE!  it pretty much did say that.  I forget whether it was as a result of taking the tablets at all or if you stopped taking them without telling your GP – either way, I decided to ignore that and just threw them in the bin (the contra-indication notes, not the pills).

So what else have I learned while I have been at home with my thumb up my arse?
    * My husband is nicer than I thought
    * Daytime TV is mostly shit
    * I have watched about 8600 hrs of various Most Haunted type shows
    * Most of them are exactly the same but I watch them anyway
    * Several of my friends actually don’t really give a shit that I’m off & why
    * I am ok with that
    * It’s ok to be ok with sometimes not being ok


images courtesy of google images

Let’s start again, afresh next week…

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Mentally, I’ve had a fucker of a first week back! 

The black dog is lurking in the shadows, salivating. 

Leave me alone!

Leave me alone!

Beefing on senior management halfway through the week and blowing your nose on your sleeve in front of her, for a multitude of inane reasons (none of which on their own would bother a sane person), is probably not considered a professional or particularly healthy start to the New Year.


Instead I shall focus on stories of human endurance and character building inner-strength for inspiration (whilst giving self a sharp slap to the face and telling self to get a bloody grip!)

Things could be a lot worse.

This music video never fails to bring a tear to my eye – in a happy way – and whilst I appreciate it’s not the real video of this dude’s accident or recovery, I should imagine it’s a fairly close re-enactment, and they are all his pals in the video (including, so it would seem, my cousin Neil if you look closely)  LOL