365 Day Writing Challenge 9: Animals

365 Day Writing Challenge

9. Animals: Choose an animal. Write about it!

Dogs. I hate dogs. When I was a child, right up until I went to university, I was completely terrified of them. I’d cross the street if I saw one coming, even if it looked docile. I hated going round to people’s houses because I didn’t know if they had a dog or not. Ringing the bell and hearing barking from inside was the worst feeling in the world.
I don’t know how I got over my fear, but I did. I have friends who have dogs, and I’m alright with them (none of these dogs bark though, it’s the barking I can’t stand). I still don’t like them though.
But there is a problem. My boyfriend loves dogs. He’s a lot like a dog himself, always bounding about happily, getting easily distracted by things. He’s always wanted a dog. My cousin’s dog, Toby, is the most excitable thing ever. He goes crazy and barks whenever he sees someone new in the house. He was running around in circles but Max just looked at him, said, “Sit” calmly but firmly, and Toby actually sat. I thought oh Jesus, my boyfriend’s the dog whisperer. On the way home he was talking about how much he loved Toby, and I said, “But what about when he weed everywhere?” And Max said, “Oh that was cute! He did it because he was excited!” I realised then that he really must love dogs, if he found that cute. So I’ve been trying to bring myself round to the thought that I might get Max a dog one day, for a surprise. I even smile at dogs when I see them in the street sometimes. But every time one growls, or pulls at its lead, I think no. Never. Also, if you get a dog your whole life changes. Your house smells of dog. You have to walk them. You have to pick up their shit. But Max looks so happy when he sees them! Maybe I’ll bring myself round to it.

But ugh.

Advertisements

365 Day Writing Challenge 5: Food

365 Day Writing Challenge

5. Food: What’s for breakfast? Dinner? Lunch? Or maybe you could write a poem about that time you met a friend at a cafe.

Ah, food. Food used to be one of my great loves in life. I ate A LOT. I never put on weight because I have such a fast metabolism, so I just used to eat whatever I wanted.  I love Greek, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, sushi, Thai…and in large quantities.

Now my relationship with food has changed drastically. When I was out of work for a year because of my anxiety, food became one of my main triggers. I hated eating. I didn’t enjoy it any more. I’d put off eating for hours and hours. In the past I would always have a clean plate, even if I didn’t like what I was eating. But now I could barely stomach anything. I’d physically start gagging after a while if I didn’t like it. I wouldn’t be anywhere near full but it felt like my throat would just close up, refuse to accept anything else. I lost weight for the first time that I can remember since puberty. I’m back at my normal weight now but I’ve lost the podge I used to have on my tummy and I can’t seem to get it back. I can feel my ribs and see them and I’m sure I didn’t used to be able to. It always makes me sad.

I’m better now. I don’t eat as much as I used to, but I eat enough. But I can’t just eat. I have to be doing something else – watching TV or reading or playing a game. Because if I look down at that full plate of food then all of a sudden it feels like a giant task I have to fulfil and I can’t bear the thought of it. On bad days I still find the thought of organising meals, cooking, eating, too much. But I always do eventually, because I know it’s important.

I still don’t fully understand why it happened. My therapist said it was all to do with control. I had always eaten whatever was put in front of me whether I liked it or not, and the gagging I was now feeling was my body physically refusing to do it any more. I think she was right. There was a leaflet on the table of my therapist’s office, with a picture of a girl with paper round her mouth and on the paper it said “I won’t eat”. I used to look at it every week and think, “that’s me.” When I was anxious my panic attacks were caused by two extremes – either I wanted to be control of everything and when I couldn’t I panicked, or the thought of having to make any kind of decision or have any kind of control made me panic. I think the food situation is probably the same – I couldn’t bear sharing control over food with my mum (we weren’t getting on at the time and food was always a bone of contention) to the point where even the thought of a meal made me incapable of any decision. I remember reading that lots of eating disorders aren’t to do with being fat, but to do with the person wanting control over their life. I probably had a mild or small form of eating disorder, which is scary.

Writing this has made me realise how much I want my good relationship with food back. Even though my relationship with my mum is a lot better now, I don’t think I’ll be able to do it while I’m living with her. I’ll need my own space, be in control of my own money and food. But I’m going to try in the meantime. I’m going to try smaller portions so eating isn’t as daunting. I’m also going to try eating mindfully. I’ll get there.

(Featured image from deviantart)


 

© Kate Warren and Rebuild Expand, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild Expand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

365 Day Writing Challenge 1: Outside the Window

365 Day Writing Challenge

1. Outside the Window: What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?

It’s dark outside. It’s also cold and clear, the rain has finally gone. Although I am loath to go outside, I know I’ll be happy once I do – the cold night air always feels new, no matter how many times you’ve felt it against your face. It also always seems to carry some excitement with it, like anything could happen. I think that’s because I always associate it the night air around this time – early evening – with getting ready for a night out, when I was 17 and going out drinking felt new and illicit.

I associate the early morning, the limbo hours of 1am to 5am, with excitement too. My family always went on holiday via ferry, and at these times because they were the cheapest. So we would be woken up, bundled out of bed into the car, still in our pyjamas, and with pillows to rest our heads. I remember looking out of the window, half asleep, at the lights of cars and lamp posts. The lights seemed to make the darkness more complete, not less so.

(Featured image from visualhunt)


 

© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What did you learn From Your Grandparents?

Articles

 

“What did you learn from your grandparents?” This was the tagline on an advert I saw today on a bus for Dirty Grandpa, a new film with Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron. Even though the film looks terrible, it got me thinking. Grandparents are always portrayed as the ones who spoil us, and our relationship with them as good and pure. But lots of the time this isn’t the case, and in face we do learn a lot from them. What did you learn from your grandparents? Let me know in the comments.


 

She taught me to always appreciate the beauty of poetry. He taught me that I was likeable, that I was fun. She taught me how to make pastry. Then coffee cake. Then scones. Then pastry again. He taught me the joy of drawing moustaches on the faces in the papers. He taught me that spending time with me was not a chore, but something he enjoyed. He taught me that I was special. She taught me that I was a stupid girl. She also taught me that people who call others stupid are stupid themselves… He taught me that people can change. So did she. She taught me that the soft and the savage can come hand in hand. He taught me that your heroes can let you down. She reminded me he was human.

 


 

© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Dear Anxiety

Poetry

I can feel you

In the hunch of my shoulders,

In the grit of my teeth

 

I can hear you

In the voices of others

Telling me what I can’t do

And what I should

And must.

 

I wake up and know you have been stalking me in the night

Telling me I am not the same

As everyone else

That no one does what I do

 

Everyone is watching you

 

You have to do it right

But you always do it wrong

 

Telling me to slice up the day

And count the crystallised seconds

And know that they are wasted

 

They tell me that you are not something to fight

But to be accepted

A part of me.

 

But how are you supposed to defeat yourself?

(Featured image from Pixabay)


© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Dad

Poetry

I was from another world,

and so were you.

When I think of you,

I think of hills.

Long, long walks

off into the unknown –

I think of the wind in my face,

crisp, clean, clear.

I think of the autumn leaves.

I think of the magic you bring –

that something new and different and exciting

could be waiting

around any corner,

any time.

We aren’t from different worlds any more.

Hope

Poetry

I should be you.

And you should be me.

I am an accident,

An anomaly.

The usurper the rightful king finds on his throne.

Someone somewhere has stumbled into a parallel universe

Where everything’s the same but a little bit different.

An alternative timeline

Where you stumble in the dark

Trying to get back to where you belong

To feel the pull of gravity once more.

But it doesn’t work that way.

You’re not Odysseus,

And I am not the suitors.

The universe is not made of rigid rules,

And we do not live lives of undeniable fact,

Treading down a narrow ditch that has been dug for us,

Until we reach a fixed point,

Every action, thought, breath, pulling us there.

(Featured image from Foter)


© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What is it Really Like to Live with Anxiety?

Articles

I feel many people have misconceptions about anxiety. I cringe internally when people at work say “ooh, I nearly had a panic attack”. But I can’t blame them. Before I was diagnosed I knew very little about anxiety. I had heard of people having panic attacks on occasion, but that was about it. But now I can’t bear to see how anxiety is shown in the media. The examples given most often are introverted teenagers in hoodies avoiding social situations. It also always seems to be mentioned in the same breath as depression, and is seen as the less serious sister of the former – because everyone worries, right?

But it isn’t just worrying a lot. It isn’t being an introvert, or being shy. You can lead a perfectly happy, functional life, with a job and friends. But suddenly, out of nowhere, this unknown force inside of you, “anxiety” plunges you into a different world. You feel dread without knowing why. You feel sick, scared and want to curl up in a ball. You have no idea why you feel like this, but you convince yourself there must be a reason, something bad must have happened, or will happen, because otherwise why would you feel this way? You can’t understand how you can go from self-assured and confident one moment, to feeling like everything is spinning out of control the next. The world is surreal – it is happening around you but you aren’t a part of it. You are looking at everything from behind glass.  You are trapped in a nightmare.

Anxiety isn’t just “worrying too much” and a panic attack is much more than having to breathe into a paper bag. It is something much, much more than that.

For a Friend

Poetry

You were never just a wheelchair.

I promise you that.

I know that’s how people saw you,

and you were so scared it might be true.

But it wasn’t.

I wonder how it must have felt,

your huge mind,

trapped inside a dysfunctional body.

Your thoughts an itch you just had to scratch,

driving you mad,

desperate and clawing.

You tried to purge them with drink,

but instead you murdered your memories,

caught in your own trap.

And still they plagued you,

swarmed you,

reminding you

that you were in the wrong life,

the wrong body.

But you weren’t wrong.

Not to me.

You were more than just a wheelchair.

You were more than just an email

saying that oh by the way you’d died.

You were my friend.

(Featured image from BarnImages)


© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.