Friday 23 November 2012

Veggie whatever you have Goulash

Hi, in an attempt to get blogging again I'm just popping in this recipe because it's unbelievably easy and I can't believe I didn't know how to do it until a few months ago.

Ingredients: Whatever you have really but I put in

1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 a butternut squash
1 small Swede
1 courgette
3 mushrooms
3 peppers
2 carrots
1 parsnip
2 stock cubes
a few shakes of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon
a whole load of shakes of paprika
soy sauce (and Worcester sauce if you have a veggie one)
little pasta shapes (I have stars)
dumplings! :-D

Chop all veg up, shove in large slow cooker (think my new one is 3 litres), put in the tin of tomatoes and stock cubes, put in boiled water and spices/soy sauce and place slow cooker on low overnight or on high for 6 odd hours.
Keep pasta and dumplings out until approx 45mins before serving, then put in to cook. When the dumplings are fat dish up, and then die of YUM!

No idea how many this serves but it makes approx 3 litres of goulash. To make non veggie add meat! :-)

Friday 10 August 2012


It has been a while since I wrote on here, I have been feeling a bit shit, so I've not really felt up to it.

I'm still navigating the process of having any help at all for my mental health.
The things that have changed.
I'm seeing a different doctor who's not my GP but is absolutely lovely and seems to take a genuine interest in how the whole of me is doing.
I have now been referred by her for definite (i.e. it's in my notes now) to the CMHT who are taking their own sweet time in doing anything about my referral. They're meant to have a 2 week turn around but it's been 3 and still no contact, I'm meant to go back to see her if I don't hear anything in another week or 2.

My meds have been changed, so now I am on Sertraline, the reduction of citalopram mixed with the change to sertraline and this means I have been all over the place while my brain chemistry sorts itself out, especially as my MS has been all over with the heat and doing too much physically.

Also, had my first counseling appointment, was nice to catch up but it is very scary and I'm not sure I feel safe enough to let go and start unpacking things at the moment, I need to actually cope first with day to day life.

Some sources of stress have reduced, some are bigger, overall I feel like I'm just reacting to life now instead of actually having time to think, I'm not very well at all and I keep being reminded of that, and when I do it leads to feelings of inadequacy and the desire to do more and more to fill up the empty. However, I know ultimately this is unsustainable. I really have to try and learn to do pacing, however I also need to have support while doing this as I'm still not coping too well.

Anyways, things are starting to feel like they're getting somewhere, still finding it difficult to stop at all though, I very rarely am not doing something at all. I need to slow down a bit before I break.

Anyways, thought I'd keep y'all updated on my quest to get some form of help.
*waves to everyone*

Thursday 28 June 2012

A Letter to Cam-Mind

I just sent this email to cam-mind in the hope of getting some support, I post it here in the hope it will help others.

Subject: Support and possible advocacy
Hi, My name is Ceri and I am currently struggling with my mental health.

I have had depression for a few years now and it effects all aspects of my life.
I am having major problems with my mental health, especially as I am caring for many people in my life. I also have MS.
I have been referred to the counselling service at Lawrence way and have had an initial appointment, am waiting another 3 months at least for actual counselling.
I am currently having difficulty with communication with my doctor, because I rarely act on the impulses I have to self harm and don't think I would act on impulses to end my life though they are very tempting and I really want to at the time, I don't feel I am being taken seriously. She has referred me to a gateway worker at the surgery but this apparently takes months.
In the mean time she wanted me to get on the waiting list for choices for women (which I haven't yet done) and my friend took me to A&E after a bit of a crisis. The Psychiatrist at the hospital said I would be referred to the community mental health team as an urgent case. More than 2 weeks later (just this morning) I went to my GP to chase up what was going on to be told that she had thought the A&E doc had done it but hadn't. She is now reducing my citalopram to 10mg from 20mg in order to up my amitriptyline (for MS pain) to 50mg from 30mg. I told her that since then I had spent half an hour in the bath sobbing because I wanted to self harm so much with the razor I used to shave my legs. I have not even been given a PHQ9 by her (I am a health science graduate so knew what to look for on the internet, just took and got a 21) and I feel I have more complex problems than (and this is a direct quote) "Just moderate depression". I simply cannot cope much longer, I am falling apart and need help but am running out of ways I know to ask for it.
Please forgive me for being so frank, I could just really do with some help accessing services and support. I'm not an emergency, just not up to a wait of 3 months.

Monday 21 May 2012

Braindump! - Update

I am sitting here, having had a fairly major panic attack and hysteria episode one step from self harming, still quite close if I'm honest.
I have a doctor's appointment in the am, to discuss my mental health and that I think I need more  support, and possibly assessment by a psyche professional. I figure I'm not sleeping right now so I guess I could write down what's up and maybe it could help with tomorrow.
There's no reason why I can't share it with you guys.
I feel completely petrified of being abandoned all the time, anyone who I care about either has or in my mind will abandon me when they find out what a terrible person I am.
In the pursuit of trying to alleviate this I have been known to let people walk all over me, to cause great physical and mental distress to myself and sometimes lie to try to provide support to everyone in my life so that they do not abandon me.
This is because I feel empty all the time, I feel that I am not worth anything and that my life when not filled with other people ultimately is grotesque and completely devoid of meaning.
I feel as though I have no internal validation and therefore I must always be validated externally, continually. The ideal, though I can never attain it is to be held in good esteem by every single person I meet in my life, for the entire of my life.
To do this I act recklessly, I overstretch myself financially, I binge eat continually, hardly eating sometimes while eating to excess at others, I binge socialise and I run myself into the ground continually to seek approval. I start to fall apart if I meet two opposing opinions on what I should be doing and I start to internalise this which can lead to self harm or an alarming lack of self care on occasion.
I try to be everyone, I try to be a counsellor, a mother, a daughter a friend, a sister, a lover, a companion with everything that is in me, to complete these task to perfection is the overwhelming aim of my life, what else could there be?
I get very upset, because I CAN'T be everyone, if I dress in black I am invariably upsetting someone, as I would be if I put my hair up or wore jeans, slight preferences become very important things to be achieved within my mind, if I can't do them I am failing in some massive way.
This leads to me feeling extremely upset, if I cope I am failing, if I self harm I am failing, if I play games I am failing, I can never be good enough for everyone.
I have been known to self harm, I am very prone to thoughts of harming myself or suicidal thoughts, though because of the aforesaid need to please I manage to overcome these in the main because I feel I can't fail in that way, I feel I do not have enough control over myself to even be free to self injure, or indeed do this with food, this I believe is part of why I binge eat, it is a form of self harm and control, wildly flailing from one extreme to the next.
While talking about flailing, I often flail into very deep pits of hysterical crying and critical thinking, they used to be very common, and now are monthly/quarterly but they last anything from 4 hours to a week now, I have learnt to ride them out in the main and to talk about them, but I feel suicidal and like self harming, it used to be catastrophic, especially for my relationships as people often tried to fix what was wrong and couldn't see why I was so upset. It was a very long time before I realised it was a cycle, I always thought it was about something wrong in my life and when I couldn't think what was wrong I would normally be able to find something. Now I know it's an acute anxiety attack and that it will fade with time.
I tend to latch onto people and form very close attachments where they quickly become the centre of my world and I lose my sense of self, everything becomes about pleasing them and this becomes very difficult to square up with the rest of my world.
My sleep pattern is all over, because my self care and boundaries are total rubbish I tend to let my awake/sleep pattern slide all over, I fit my schedule around others and sleep when I can.
I tend to make choices about my life by amalgamating what everyone else wants for me, this can be exacerbated by whoever I have talked to most at the time and trying to please them. Things tend to be unsustainable in the long term and fall apart, leading to paralysing fear of completing a task I have failed at, of phoning up to pay a bill I am behind on etc. I am so scared of confrontation and failure that I will make things worse in an attempt to avoid facing it.
Right, I'm sure this isn't anywhere near all of the crap that is wrong with me but now I am going to get a drink and go to bed because I have the Doctor's in the am, am very tired and also dehydrated and nauseous, when I get fraught with emotion I have to strongly fight the urge to throw up to steady my nerves, mixed with the overproduction of acid that happens when I'm feeling naff and it all goes a bit wrong really.
Anyways, night guys.
I shall try to take this with me tomorrow
Ceri-Womble x

EDIT: In all the excitement I forgot that when I get started on a task I find it very difficult to complete as I go completely overboard. The other week I cleaned my sink as the start of a new leaf. I started at midnight with soaking it with a bleach mixture, finished at about half 2 and then started again as soon as I got up for about 4-5 hours because it wasn't right. I was so upset it wasn't perfect that I was close to tears and filed, sanded and buffed it. I do this whenever I try to do something properly, I go overboard and can't cope when things aren't perfect.
The sink still worries me because it's yet another part of my life I can't control!

I went to the doctor's, she can't do anything to change my medication, she suggested a local charity that may be able to help me but have a waiting list of a year, and said she would refer me to someone who does assessments at my local surgery (a gateway worker or something). As it happened, later that day the local counselling place I had been on the waiting list for for a month or so phoned up with a first appointment for Monday.
Still, it doesn't really help that I go to my Doctor, having obviously been up and crying all night (she was visibly shocked at my appearance) and was offered nothing by way of additional help, after asking for it because I was in crisis.
This is ridiculous, what on earth am I meant to do? It was only coincidence that the counselling people came through on the same day for Pete's sake, and no offer of any increase or change in medication despite saying I had once again felt suicidal/like self harming.
Me-thinks it might be time to change GP!

On the upside I am feeling much better now, though I have gone through 1 day of horrendous headache and one of a migraine before feeling better. I have wonderful friends and supportive family who have helped me through but not everyone has these amazing people to support them! Minimum intervention can't always work!

Monday 7 May 2012

Hey strangers

Hey, I'm having a bit of a rest, to be honest my personal timeline is a bit of a blur and I'm not even sure how I'd start to catch you all up.
I've been out, to the theatre, to comedy, to pubs, to coffee shops, all over!!!
I'm very happy with everything I've been up to and the wonderful friends I have found. I am even starting to trust people again, I still feel a little as if if I stop concentrating on what I'm doing I'll drop everything and everything will fall away again.
But that's just my stupid brain trying to see patterns because I'm a human being.
There are still a million things I'm not doing well enough, but I suppose if I had done everything and my life was in a nice grinding loop (MMO ref there...) then I'd not actually have to do stuff at all, have no urge to make things better. I just have to get a bit less freaked out by the fact I'm always a fingertip away from falling down the cliff and instead know that if I fall it's not the end of the world really and I can just carry on and make it all up as I go along if I like!
Equally though I'm learning to give myself time and rest etc. though I'm still not very good at that.

So I am writing this down while I'm feeling a little like I've had 5 mins to think.
Also, if I look like I'm making this up it's because I am!
Regardless of the fact that some people look down on social media and don't see its value, I have now got exactly that, a social network of like minded people who are real!
Much love everyone!

Monday 9 April 2012

Jack of all trades

My brain says, you never finish anything, idiot! When it's trying to have a go at me!

I write blog posts, I compose poetry, I write songs, I sing silly songs.
I go out, I support people, a lot of actually quite messed up people, I am RARELY at home for a full day anymore, I volunteer, I lampwork.

The last time I was like this I was at college, go out every day I mean, I didn't do lots of that other stuff!

I have MS, I can't even walk without a stick half the time.

So why do I feel like I'm never good enough?! What a fucker! I'm my own bloody worst enemy entirely. If I knew what I went through every day I wouldn't say these things to me!
NOBODY else can EVER come close to the barrage of abuse I give myself on a minute by minute basis.

I'm nothing and everything all at once and I never rest to feel rested, just to stave off exhaustion, probably because I feel shit about myself or some childhood trauma, but really? It's not on really is it? It's just RUDE! I'd never think half the stuff I think about me about others! Why am I so fucking special? What is it about me that makes me think I'm better than everyone else eh?

I should cut myself some slack coz holy crap I'm a harsh bitch when I don't like someone. Thing is, the only person I really feel like this about is me.
I have no idea why I think I'm alright to pass comment on my own life so harshly, maybe it's because they say you have to walk a mile in a man's shoes! Thing is, if you come to hate the man occasionally for no good reason it's a bit of a pisser really isn't it?!

Thursday 29 March 2012

Baking and Blocks (Bran-Muffin Recipes)

Hi, I've been suffering some with writer's block lately so I haven't been blogging, this is something I want to nip in the bud though.

So, before a Guide open evening tomorrow evening I'm baking muffins for the cake stall.

First spoony trick was a) buy chocolate and plain muffins in Tesco £1 for 12 deal.
b) make two energy conserving conscious batches of muffins, making 2 bran based recipes meant not cleaning out the food processor between the batches!
Please note: Should you have a Cat they may STEAL your seat while you slave in the kitchen, THEY DO NOT CARE THAT YOU ARE BAKING! *Sighs at lack of Cat/Human relations awareness*

Cran-Bran Muffins the Ceri way

a) Find recipe online that you can start with and fiddle with depending on what you have in the cupboard. (Recipe Here)
b) preheat oven to 150 Centigrade
c) get ingredients:
2 7/8 oz Bran flakes because they had them in value at Tesco.
a pinch of Salt
a pack of Crasins
2 7/8 oz brown sugar
1 Med egg (I had Duck eggs to use up)
a "glug" or 2 of sunflower oil
2 tsp of baking powder
about 2 tsp cinnamon
5 oz self rasing flower (I had no wholemeal or bicarb)
enough milk to make it like thick cake mix when you whizz it in a food processor

d) put muffin cases in tray, divide mix between muffin spacey things (I made 12)
cook for 20-25 mins

Banana-Bran Muffins the Ceri way
a) Find a recipe that, the same as the above you can play with! (Recipe Here)
b) preheat oven to 150 Centigrade
c) get ingredients:

4 1/4 oz butter
3 1/2 oz brown sugar
3 bananas mashed
2 capfuls of the little bottles of vanilla extract
2 eggs (I used the duck ones again)
6 1/2 oz SR flour (again, was out of bicarb and wholemeal flour)
3 1/2 oz bran flakes
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
 and whizz up in a mixer with enough milk to make a gooey batter thing
d put muffin cases in tray, divide mix between muffin spacey things (I made 18)
cook for  20-25 mins, realise oven doesn't seem to be working... take out, put back in after you think you have sorted oven out, realise you haven't, turn oven off and decide to bake in Mother's oven tomorrow!

The end

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Damage the new thing!

I remember this feeling, I have had it so often. I get something new and I can't use it coz I'll damage it and make it useless. I know it's kind of wrong to feel like this though, having fun is using it for something useful!
I have felt like this with everything, silver, glass, books, jewellery, comics. Tell you what.
From today I have decided that I shall just jump in when I feel like this and damage the new thing as soon as I get it until I am no longer scared.
This I believe will be the cure to the problem, however not today as my body is being all crap and MSie! How dare it? It's not like I pushed it at all is it? *whistles nonchalantly* Maybe the thing that I have no problem damaging is me, maybe it's coz I feel ruined already! That's a depressing thought.
Ohhh, Look! PIZZA!

Anyways, yes, I can tell you about my fabric!
So yeah, the Burberry type is just a silly skirt I got from a jumble sale coz it looked like I could use it for fabric.
The apple green satin came from Emmaus, a charity down my way and was £6 for a large amount (240cm x 180cm with a seam in the middle).
The kind of green spotty cream cotton fabric was 32 cm worth for £1.50
the three little rolls are fat quarters from Callyco in Cambridge whole lot for £8
and there are 50 squares of 4cm x 4cm cotton for £7.50ish off ebay
I'm starting to get there, I wanted to bring another colour into my beigey living room and decided for mainly apple green (though I'm gonna have some red in there too with other accessories).
Will hopefully get my first project done soon.

Monday 19 March 2012


Channel 4 has just announced a series talking about sex/relationships etc. with regard to disability called "Undateable".
Edit: I should have made it clear that I am not only talking about the channel 4 show here but the 70% of people who wouldn't shag a disabled person (from an observer survey through @lisybabe).

For me the term "undateable" itself is highly pejorative and insulting. It may not have been meant to suggest that someone with a disability and/or life limiting condition is in some way less worthy of love but that is outwardly how their advertising appears to be selling the show, that we have less worth within a relationship or are harder to love, though this may be trying to be ironic all it does is perpetuate a stereotype that is just gross and unacceptable.
In my opinion, having to deal with adversity is a commendable trait to have, in fact it often makes someone more emotionally mature, sensitive and capable of having a long term relationship and being more understanding.
In my eyes there's nothing quite so off putting as someone who would be so judgemental as to rule out a huge swathe of the population for dating purposes. Honestly, I find it really unattractive as a personal trait.

Some people might be into blonds or bums or people with glasses, choosiness is fine, however completely excluding people based on one unchangable aspect of their life really says more about the person doing the excluding than the ones being "excluded". I don't believe that it can be classed in the same way as sexual orientation, if you don't find disabled people sexy then fine but if you actively exclude people entirely based on this one part of who they are then you hardly come across as emotionally mature.

Maybe the dicks who are so judgemental as to not be interested in someone with a physical or mental issues purely on that basis are truly the "Undateable" ones!

Sunday 11 March 2012

Toxicity, thoughts about people.

I have had several reasons to post this recently but never actually did it, I think I was scared that people might think it's about them. However honestly anyone who has made me feel like this is unlikely to read it because, well, they don't care and if they do then maybe they'll think about how they treat people, either way..... PROFIT.

We like all animals are predisposed to addiction.
We like things that make us feel good, that give us a rush.
We like food and alcohol and chocolate and cocaine and nicotine and caffeine and people etc..
When any of these things gives us internal validation (generally through stuff like dopamine production) we crave more of it though, we need more and more of what we think we need in order to feel good, about life, about ourselves, all sorts.
I don't pretend to know exactly the myriad of reasons behind this, I do know that receptor cells when flooded with their matching chemical do eventually require more and more of said chemical to get the same reaction. Also, why would you stop doing something that feels good?
Therefore we partake in behaviours that, while we know are counterproductive and bad for us, feel good at the time. Regardless of long term consequences we drink to excess or chase the dragon, or have sex or hang out with people that flatter us.
Yeah, we don't always think about that one do we? The people who tell us we are good at stuff and brilliant and fabulous, and still are worth the world even when we know we're far from perfect. We crave someone who will think we're amazing, and while that's lovely it gets us to lower our defences, some people thrive on this, some people prey on the vulnerable.
Once they have found someone who is sufficiently laid bare, damaged and scared the abuse can begin, they will build us up only to tear us down. We will actually hang on to these people like nothing else, hoping to please them more while they treat us like dirt, it only makes the high greater when it does hit, when they do throw a stray nice word or compliment our way.

Some people are drawn to drama, I am not actually one of these people, though the catalogue of my life so far would seem to indicate otherwise. However, I'm learning, as we all are.
We eventually will spot the bellends before they get under our skin... before they tramp mud in the metaphorical house that is us.
But it'll take a massive amount of time.
Do not forget that you are not alone in having fallen victim to a bellend, however do not become a "victim" for it is then that they win.

Also, it's worth bearing in mind that though I'm not trying to excuse bellends I'm also not trying to entirely vilify them, they have just gotten into a pattern that feels good and are having to feed it with people.
People are just people, however, at some stage someone needs to realise that the relationship, just like a drug, is toxic, and that the best way forward is to remove the toxic substance from our lives.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Worry Hyperdrive! Anxiety at the Speed of Light!

I don't know why I care so much, maybe I'm broken or odd! Years after events i will still be plagued with dreams and worry. I wonder if others feel like this or if I have some kind of personal defect. I wonder how others can carry on if they are plagued with these thoughts. They're disabling enough to me to cause me to continually lay down without a fight, to be walked on. If other people feel this way then how do they live their lives day to day? If they do feel like me, they still think about childhood misdeeds then how can they get through the guilt? I don't get it. I still think about people I forgot to give things back to 10 years down the line, it's like guilt quicksand.

Anyone able to help on this? Do you feel the same? Do you take issue with what i say? Please let me know.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Galavanting about!

This is a bit of a catchup post I think, I can't remember where I last was when I blogged properly.
But since then I have been to the houses of parliament and met Julian Huppert, Prof Gazzard and had a bit of a tour of the Palace of Westminster.
This was all courtesy of the people I volunteer for at Dhiverse, an HIV and sexual health charity based in Cambridge, they've been so lovely, welcoming and understanding of me. It's a real pleasure to be volunteering with them. But anyways, they invited me on this trip to London and it was a real privilege to go.
It was amazing! So much history there, I could just spend months looking around at all the plaques and stuff!

This is me and all the Dhiverse team with Julian Huppert (@julianhuppert)

Then the next day, despite being in pain I went to the first #camtwoffee meeting, was loads of fun!

I met @imogen__may, @oneoffdave, @gingerrob, 
@weebles1703, @fayroberts and @living_as_if

Then, a few days later I was off again to London for #pufflespublunch very interesting, met some fab people and had very interesting discussions and some mad fun having a snowball fight!

@Puffles2010 was looking very pretty as usual and everyone I met was fab! Thanks to @thatsoph, @Penners_, @Dottysparkles, @Karmel80, @julesmattsson, @davebirdphoto, @MattRedmore, (I feel sure I have forgotten people, if you point out who they are then I'll pop them in! I don't remember everyone's twitter name).

By the end of all that I felt exhausted and sore and most of the week after it has been a blur, I went to go help my grandparents again (a normal weekly thing). I saw friends, I vegged a bit.

Anyways, I don't think anything amazing and life shattering has happened since then so I'm alright.

Oh, also, I'm doing an audioboo project, I am doing one silly "song" for every letter in the alphabet! So far I am up to K for Kraken, I shall do a huge blog post when I'm finished them all!

Right, I believe this means you know some stuff about what I've been up to and I've stopped the blogging silence!

Friday 10 February 2012


Hi, it's been too long my dears.
I was reminded this morning it'd been a while since I last blogged by Kate Sutton of Witwitwoo who put my blog post Open Letter to Me in her BritMums Good Reads post.
It has been far too long, mainly necessetated by being far too busy, I have not been looking after my spoons and as a consequence do not have a whole lot more left at present.
Tomorrow I am doing stuff and I have a Jumble Sale to man (or woman) on Saturday but I hope that I'll get a catchup post done at some point.
Been doing lots of interesting stuff (to me anyways) I should share with you all, not had a lot of energy to blog when I've even been able to.
But I want to change that, I want to get back into doing a few posts a week.
I have been a very naughty Womble... blame the snow! When Wombles burrow in the snow they get snowdementia and go a bit weird (this is a bonafide 100% true Womble fact, ask any Womble you know to confirm it and they will!).

Anyways, bed time for me!
Nighty night people on the Internet!

Friday 3 February 2012

Cauliflower and sweetcorn curry type stuff!

Right, this is kind of thrown together, I just did it by feel so all values are approx.

1 cauliflower
1 tin of sweetcorn
1 1/2 pints of water
2 vegetable stock cubes
10 drops Worcester sauce
3 sloshes soy sauce
10 drops lemon juice
4 tablespoons Plain Yogurt
4 teaspoons mild curry powder
50-100g or so of plain flower  (enough to thicken)
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Break the Cauliflower into Florette's and roughly cut the leaves, place in slow cooker, on low. Add 1 1/2 pints of water, stock cubes, Worcester sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice and curry powder.
Leave for 8+ hours (overnight.... but I left it for 2 nights because I was busy) reduce liquid for running for an hour or two with the lid off. Add yogurt, add drained sweetcorn, sieve in flower while stirring to thicken sauce. Cook with lid on for an hour or more, then cook rice, add some of this to it and EAT!


Saturday 28 January 2012

An Open Letter to me

Hi Ceri

You're feeling a bit crap aren't you? *nods* Do be careful hun, you have just cried all over the keyboard. You don't want to end up shorting it out, it wont work then. *shakes head*

Right, Ceri, oh womble of quite a lot of brain really for you have a degree and your own thoughts and stuff. You can be simple minded at times *drinks wine and sniffs* you are scared, far too scared of people. *nods*

You are really scared of telling people what you want and need aren't you? *nods as tears fall* Because whenever you have in the past you have been called unreasonable, or are thought of, and told you are being a bad person. *snivels and blows nose*

I know honey that the people you are used to having in life are those that actually couldn't give two craps but that make you feel as if it's all you deserve, but you are worth more than that. *pouts and looks disbelieving, and whimpers as more tears fall* 

You are allowed, and SHOULD be able to say what you want and need sometimes. People who can't give you what you need in life, people who don't think you should be able to express what you feel, they're not worth it. It's not worth spending all your energy on the people who make you feel inadequate.

You are worth more, you are nice, and a human being, and fallible, and funny, and silly, and your nose is pretty, even it it is a little red and snot filled right now.
*nods, wipes the tears from her nose and finishes her glass of wine*

And then the lovely nurturing Ceri and the not so happy Ceri watched some TV on the laptop, coz they needed to unwind and reintegrate. - also, massive thanks to @miss_sobriety who chatted to me partway through this and cheered me up to the point where I could actually see the screen again.
If I/we could actually behave towards ourselves in the same way we talk to others then we'd all be fine actually wouldn't we?!

Upset Ceri pipes up and says she must listen to this first!  *watches*  Right.... time to find comedy!

Thursday 26 January 2012

I am bloody good enough, and OW!

I write this, through tears, my back screaming because though recently it has been wanting to do things that are impossible with the human spine I am currently only able to be somewhere between approx a 60- 140 degree angle. I have a thumping headache, my head is swimming, I can't even have the TV sound on because the volume is hurting too much. I am finding it a job to swallow and I have stigmata pain in both my hands. Also, for every 5 seconds or so I am getting about 4-5 twinges in my muscles/nerves.

I am scared. I am back on my crutch nearly full time when I leave the house and I am exhausted all the time, not including the level of exhausted I am when I've been out. I am now on quite a few meds and still feeling crap, I know this is only a wobble brought on by some kind of virus but it freaks me out, I want to do so many things.
Then I go online, the only place I feel I have any impact, the only place I can be equal and "normal" I come into contact with the Telegraph and The Sun (c/o political scrapbook) stories, they scare the hell out of me, they make me want to curl up and die.

They make me feel as if everything I am trying my absolute best to do is never enough, my working relentlessly while being unfit for work at finishing my OU degree, my volunteering to try to gain experience and strength etc. is all for nothing. As if nothing I will ever do will be enough in the eyes of the world at large.

I get it you know? I know; I know that some of you view me as a piece of dirt, as a scrounger. However I know better, I know that I am a human being, I know I desperately want to get better, but MS is progressive. I want to get the strength I had prior to my recent attack back but that may never happen. It has taken me years to accept this is how my life is and I still don't entirely, it doesn't really help when the rest of the world fails to accept it too.
I still feel "maybe if you just tried harder", I still feel like I should try, relentlessly for approval but I'll never get it. Maybe I should just accept that some people will always view me as workshy and a scrounger.

However, I look at this from outside and you know what I see? I see someone who has been abused, I see someone who feels as if this is what they deserve and the part of me that has studied health and diversity and social policy and a wee bit of psychology looks at the little scared me and despairs.

This is a ridiculous state of affairs! It's holocaust memorial day, a reminder of what hate of what you do not understand or tolerate can lead to, a reminder of what hateful governments can do to their own people. More than 70 years later can we still be doing this to people, segmenting into those that are deserving and "moral" and those who deficient in some way? Now people must fight to be seen as rightfully disabled, as ill enough, and morally upright citizens, and enough for "the tax payer", that we must strive so hard for recognition or are scrounging and therefore a cancer on society.

There is, after all, a thing called "National Insurance" (also, more than 70 years old, as is the NHS) people forget, that this pays for the welfare state, we pay for it, we all pay for it. we all are one, we are one people, yet somehow the government is instilling hate in the hearts of the paranoid. We are all being "taken for a ride" by these "scroungers".

You know what? Fuck it, I have rights in this country, that's why I love Britain, rights that my grandparents fought for, rights that every citizen is rightfully entitled to, and this does not have to do with justifying my right to have a meagre struggle of a bloody existence, it has to do with compassion, with understanding, with healing the sick, with supporting the poor, with legislating the private sector so that people do not have to live in squalid conditions, or are not left disabled by faulty bloody breast implants, or left without income, so that nobody should die in poverty.

It's the country I always thought I lived in, it's the country I fight to live in every, single day. Where ignorance isn't fought with ignorance, where distrust isn't fought with more distrust, and where people who already have a pretty bloody crappy lot in life are allowed to have a bit of actual dignity, not having to join the very real analogue of a workhouse just to eat, where people are provided with the help they need to go to the bloody toilet, or wash their bits!

If you do not want to live in this country, please tell me why the hell not, tell me, why, living with daily pain striving to get through (not even starting on the mental health issues), struggling to eventually get out of the benefit hole I am in of sickness and social immobility is not bloody good enough for you, do that or kindly bugger off.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Virus fairy and feeling Ugh!

I Had a visit from the virus fairy this weekend. I've been rather burning the candle from both ends lately, been not having hardly any down time and not much sleep.
Although I'm ok with it to a point, eventually my body cracks, I just don't have the ability to keep going like I used to pre the attack of this summer.
So I spent Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday Morning in bed, had loads of sleep, even though it still doesn't feel like anywhere near enough.
Eventually forced myself into getting up, got dressed, felt exhausted.
I really need to sort the flat out, get rid of all the crap.
Thing is, even just getting up, getting dressed, washing a few plates etc. and sitting around all day feels like too much at the moment; and I fall even more behind on the housework, even less chance of getting all the other jobs I need to do done.
I really need to sort all my stuff out, chuck away a load of stuff, thing is, it's getting started, and continuing... lets be honest, it's the whole darn thing. I have no energy anymore.

So yeah, in an attempt to make myself feel a little bit useful today I made a new avatar for twitter.

That concludes the interestingness of my day, well it probably doesn't, I've just hit brain fog territory and I can't think anymore.

Sunday 15 January 2012

Save my hair!

Look, I am terrible at explaining the actual issues in text form so thought I'd just show you!

Tell me what the hell to do! I currently use Rehab shampoo and Retread conditioner from Lush, but although this is lovely and makes my hair amazingly soft and shiny it doesn't actually sort out the underlying issue... I use frizz ease currently too... it helps it retain some moisture but not much.
HELP! Save my hair!

Ceri xx

Mushroom Soup - (Update - Stroganoff type thing!)

Made mushroom soup, was great... thought I'd tell you how before everyone starts asking!

1 onion
150-200g pack of mushrooms
10 odd drops of worcester sauce
3 sloshes of soysauce
some butter/margarine to sweat the onions in
4 heaped teaspoons of creme fresh
1-2 pt of stock depending on thickness desired
approx 3 tablespoons plain flour
a shake or 2 of mixed herbs

Cut up onion and sweat in marg in saucepan till cooked. cut up mushrooms and add them to saucepan, add stock, worcester sauce, soysauce, flour stir and simmer for 20 odd mins. Put on low if not already, add creme fresh, melt in, whizz with hand blender, add salt and pepper to taste.


Oh, also, would have added garlic but I ran out!

Also... as an update...
I had bought loads of reduced mushrooms, so popped a load of stuff in my 2 slow cookers.

this was almost exactly the same as above except I used 300g of mushrooms approx in each slow cooker, and used beef stock as I had nowt else... I also left out the creme fresh until the end (which hasn't happened yet, but I didn't want it to curdle overnight).
To one I added one pack of diced beef to one of the slow cookers, that had been browned in the frying pan... this is going to be strogonoffy tomorrow! YUM!

Saturday 14 January 2012

Friends are the Familly you choose for yourself.

Why is it that Nothing within my life feels fixed? I feel broken, inside, like I am fractured into pieces. I have literally nowhere in the world I feel safe anymore. I always feel as if I am about to have a rug pulled from under me and then people will either all laugh at me or pull me apart to tell me how wretched I am.

I am paranoid, I have always tended towards paranoia, but now, recently I am full on paranoid, when I feel bad I find it hard to express now, I think that everyone is just waiting to trip me up so they can stab me in the back, as if everyone will hate me when they find out who I really am, as if I'm actually entirely alone in the world and it's entirely devoid of any hope and empty.

However, I know this is untrue, I know I'm paranoid and depressed, I know I can feel better, but then something happens, it doesn't have to be much, it doesn't have to even make sense, and I freeze, I fall apart and I lose myself again.

I know that not all of my friends will abandon me and attack me and try to destroy me but sometimes I can't be sensible, sometimes I can't believe it. I know the old adage that friends are the family that you choose yourself, but I expect both to stick with me... Family I would define to be the people I can bicker with but still we come together and love and support.

I thought I had that in my friends but due to various circumstances I now find that very hard to accept, I feel that any time I stand up, any time I don't lay down and be exactly what everyone else wants me to be I might have somebody switch on me and I will not only lose the people I care about but be suddenly in a world where everything is trying to attack me.

I can't trust people, I can't trust anymore and it breaks my heart. It's wrong and weird that someone who used to find it very easy to confide feelings in others now finds it easier to post her feelings on her blog than talk to her friends. It's almost safer, even though it's not, I can't be rejected in the same way.

It makes me very angry and sad on my own behalf.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

A system as broken as my heart

I write this on the eve of the vote on welfare reform in the lords, I have not spent ages thinking this through or researching this so you will need to take this as it comes, I just needed to write about how upset I am.

Yesterday the first (afaik) report of its kind was published, the first report entirely researched, written, funded and distributed in by a grassroots movement of vulnerable people. The most vulnerable in society, the hardest hit, we fight not only for us; we fight for the one of the noblest of causes, we fight for social security, we fight for those who cannot stand (metaphorically) against their oppressors, against their accusers and against their government.

We published a report exposing how the government has systematically deceived the public about the consultation behind this welfare reform bill, not just mislead, but lied. They have had the inaccuracies pointed out, again and again, by people not just within the left wing on centrist media but from within their parties and from the daily mail.

This to me shows that they are actually intentionally trying to get it past the public and MPs, and that; and here's the scary bit, they know they can get away with it.
And who can blame them? Where was any reporting of this on the BBC news channel? On the BBC website? On Sky news? On Channel 4 news? Nowhere!
In fact it seemed possible at one point that channel 4 news might report it, however they seem to have completely misunderstood what the report was about. In the ruckus that ensued from that twitter message from Jon Snow as people were upset/confused/explaining what the content of the report actually was/asking questions it became too much for him and appeard to switch off from the discussion.

Just as every other form of televisual media has, we don't exist, we can just go away, if they ignore us we will scream and cry and plead with them and they think they will break us, they think they can get away with deciding what is newsworthy. A dog who "can act", and a kleptomaniac chef eclipse the publication of a report that exposes the lies that will be used to try to destroy us.

I am incensed that this has been brushed under the rug, truly I am filled with rage that something that is so obviously newsworthy has been ignored by people who say they have read it.
I say to you that you have not read it, you cannot have done if you can completely miss the entire point of it.

The system is broken, the opposition oppose nothing, the Liberal Democrats work to see us with neither liberty nor democracy, whether by design or inaction. The media are all corrupt. And tonight my heart is truly broken, the principles of social security are that we are protected by our society, we can truly no longer say that.

I really, implore you, all of you to support this cause, to try and get it out there, to show what has happened here, we try so hard every day, and because of how ill this has made them one of the main contributors has had to go to hospital, I am screaming from within that this simply isn't possible in the world I thought we lived in.
However, maybe I am actually just starting to wake up and see the world as it truly is.

"Big Society", Meager Governance and Reasonable Reform

Words, words, words, both wonderful and terrifying; I have wanted to desperately be able to write something about the BRILLIANT #spartacusreport, otherwise known as the Responsible Reform Report available at Sue Marsh's blog or also Here if the above doesn't work. It's truly something I feel passionately about, the fact that the government have not only failed to listen to us all but that they have flat out lied, saying that we have been consulted when they have ignored us, as shown in this radio interview with Sue Marsh and Maria Miller (the laughably titled "Minister for Disabled People").

Whenever we ask questions we are pointed to press releases and facts that have been shown time and time again to be false, when we try to stand up and be counted we are countered with vitriol and accusations that most are scrounging at virtually every turn, when in actual fact the figures show that the amount of fraud is tiny (a,b). We have encountered the change in language and approach by the "centrist" media who do not seem to actually represent us at all, encouraging anger towards those least able to stand up for themselves.

Through all of this many of us have felt attacked and like giving up, but some of the brilliant and tenacious among us like Sue and Kaliya saw that they needed to stand up and be heard, even in the face of considerable personal cost. Somehow they got a team together, and managed to fight the lies that people were properly consulted in this reform process. They managed to get people to rally around, write, research and produce the entire report and then fund the campaign and distribution of this report.

This is all very lovely and wonderful but it shouldn't have to be done, we should be properly consulted, our fears and questions should be properly answered and any changes necessary should be made BEFORE the introduction of these changes. Over the last year we have seen wonderful displays of communities rallying around and changing things because of the inadequacy of the system to deal with this stuff (e.g. the cleanup operation around the riots, this, and many more grassroot movements). Be under no illusion, it's great that people pull together but this is not what we should expect in a civilised society, we shouldn't have to fund our own reports into DWP lies, we shouldn't have to run our own libraries because public spending has been reduced to such a level where the system ceases to run in a reasonable manner. It is disgusting that we live in a (G8) country where people have to choose between food and fuel, commit suicide rather than face the stress and humiliation of benefit reassessment and or turn to prostitution to pay for their own education.

The idea that in some way this can be spun into a good thing literally sickens me, as does the DWP Press Office response which seemed to be just bombarding the #spartacusreport hashtag on twitter with more links to the same thing, they really cannot bear to enter into debates and instead just toe the line repeating the same thing over and over until we go away.
We were trending for almost the whole day, the print media including the Guardian and the Mail (YES the MAIL), with Boris Johnson (see mail article) opposing as well as a whole host of celebs on twitter retweeting yesterday
We will not go away, we will not be silenced, because we are right, because we know it and because we can't tolerate this, not just for ourselves but also on your behalf, even if you have not had to claim in the past, you may be in need in the future and should have something to support you through it!

Friday 6 January 2012

What is it that Grown up Wombles do?

I am aware that I'm 28 which for most people comes across as probably mostly "grown up" but screw it, I only just got my degree and getting to a point where I feel like I know what I want to/can do with my life.

I would actually love to teach, well, that said there are a great many things I want to do with my life but one of these many things is indeed, to teach.
Also, teaching is a good jumping off point for lots of the stuff I would love to do too, so let's do that!

For those that are interested/know that pre-August I wished to be a nurse, know that my MS attack in late July/August brought things into focus a bit more for me and brought me a bit back down to earth.

What I want to do is help people, and overall I feel that teaching is actually quite good way of doing that. So yes, I am applying to do a PGCE at Leeds Met (when I get my Personal Statement done - probably early Feb after my Dad giving me a hand), My favoured course is Health and Social Care. If I don't get into that, then I'm also applying for Citizenship and if all else fails my third preference is for Further Education (which it now seems that you can get loans for - as you don't get fees paid for PGCE's any more).

All of this of course would mean moving or some such, my Dad already lives up in Leeds so it'd be ideal for doing the whole grown up thing without being entirely without support. Thing is, I have an assured tenancy, it's secure. I am in a council flat and there's not much that can get me out of it. I need to find out where I stand with moving, whether it's possible to get a transfer, whether I'd need to get an exchange, whether I could even keep my flat in Cambridge and just pop down again at weekends, holidays etc. etc.

Also, I have been out of work, for many years, I'm frankly concerned about whether I'll be able to cope with a full time job, thing is, for everything I'm doing to try to get myself out of the hole I'm in, to try to get myself off of benefits... the more peril I actually stand in!

I am very concerned that I will end up being found "Fit to work" over the next few months (by Atos) and will be thrust into something like workfare so that I will not be fit enough to actually go to college by next September! I am frankly terrified by the prospect of the future, anything I might do, any movement at all could get me into deep water with the powers that be.

What I would love to happen is for tomorrow everything to be sorted, to be volunteering with the charity I help out at, to do this Further Education course in Preparing to Teach Adults for the next term. To have a place at Uni, to not have to choose between the prospect of a brighter future and somewhere to love (a real worry re housing and moving etc.), to know whether there will even be a place for vocational GCSE's in the future. Whether my health will even allow me to actually DO any of this at all!

All rather up in the air at the moment as you can see, so if I'm a bit all over the place at the moment please excuse me, I'm just busy trying to work out what the HELL I'M DOING!

Monday 2 January 2012

People, Patterns and Minbari

Ok, I am aware not everyone has seen Babylon5 but they have this thing, this high opinion of themselves.
Minbari to not lie.
According to themselves they do not lie.... This is except of course for when they do, which as it turns out, quite bloody often!
Minbari do not kill Minbari.
Except of course when they DO!
Etc. etc. etc. The list of things that Minbari do/do not do is virtually endless when you include the various casts etc.
Humans are the same, people do not hurt other people, except for when we do, we do not lie, except for when we do,  we do not kill, except for when we do.
People, as with Minbari;  tend to keep themselves to these binary systems, myself included; i for example don't lie except for when i do,  i don't judge except for when i do, i'm logical except for when i'm not, again and again this could continue forever.
As human beings there is a tendency to see pattern within disorder, i'm sure Gandhi must have upset more than a few people in his time and i'm pretty sure Hitler must have been nice to some people sometimes too.
The fact that these things do not match our image of them is because we see the pattern and we judge.
If i can see this though, why do i still insist that i can know, that is truly know people. I see parts of people, we all do, we see patterns, often only the patterns we choose to show to the world.
Right now i am a pretty sad and lonely pattern, except for when i'm fine, except for when i'm not. I'm a lot of other things too as i'm sure you know but i can't see that.
Today i am SadCeri and SadCeri doesn't know how to be HappyCeri.
This is why i am trying and failing to sleep, I am a pattern, I am everything and I am nothing, and I am getting up coz I can't sleep!

Sunday 1 January 2012

2011 And being a positivity shark!

Ok, I seriously can't be bothered one bit by doing some blah about looking back at 2011, it was a bit shit if I'm honest, let's just say I have learned some important lessons about myself and all that stuff we should say, actually I have learned MAJOR lessons this year...
Not least of which is that I write stuff and people seem to read it, I have no idea why this is but I want to thank you, and if there's something you would like to see more of then please do say and I'll get on it or ignore you, definitely something!
I haven't done what I wanted to with the year because of a HUGE number of things, people, health - both physical and mental... it all went a bit shit really in places, best to just move forward, like a "positivity shark"!
But yeah, other than this I thought I'd give you my top 5 blog posts of 2011, these are the most popular posts.

What is twitter to me? - A post about twitter and how I use it.
Bus Stop Biggots - A post about how I hate opinionated idiots
Lie of Capitalism - A silly drawing about how I want to buy all the things but how this is bad!
The Past - A bit of an emo-post, about me, my feelings, my thoughts and basically my past.
Handmade Chocolatey Goodness! (Fixed) - A post about my AWESOME chocolates I made for Xmas!

Anyways, lots of positive things to look forward to, thank you ALL for helping SO much this year, I have really needed my friends around me, and those that have stuck by me have shown my what true friends are, I feel able to be me, truly in a way I didn't feel this time last year. Thank you for helping me and supporting my fight, through a hedge, kicking and screaming to go "Oh, Right then, ok" (although occasionally I still go "ARRGGGHHH! Love me!" but then, who doesn't?).
To learn how strong you are you must get to your lowest points. I now know a tad of who and what I am, and I have my friends, both IRL but ESPECIALLY online to thank.
I honestly couldn't have done all this without you.

All my love and best wishes for the next solar cycle my lovely peoples!