An essay a day for the whole of May

In a bid to get back on track with my ramblings, I am committing to write something every day throughout May.  And I’m saying it ‘out loud’ to you guys in the hope that it’ll give me enough accountability to make it actually happen, but I guess it’s a case of ‘watch this space!”


Since the New Year (the international one way back in January that is, not the subsequent Chinese & Khmer ones we’ve also celebrated the passing of here in Cambodia) I’ve been in a right old f***ed up headspace.


The last four months have been a bonkers mix of amazing fun with my winter visitors – mum, Caroline and Kev & Alan (aka the Chuckle Brothers), an awesome whistle stop trip to Bali to meet up with Jackie, make new friends and push my hippy dippy sh*t tolerance to new levels, a couple of really interesting but challenging pieces of corporate facilitation work, two hilarious weeks spent ‘teaching’ a bunch of 6-9 year olds whilst afflicted by a vile virus that turned to strep throat, and long periods of self destructive binge sleeping, eating and TV watching, whilst allowing Norman to run riot with my thoughts.  For anyone that doesn’t know him, Norman is the chimp who lives in my brain: on the one hand intent on keeping me safe by expecting the worst; and on the other inducing the worst by constantly reminding me of my failings (real or imagined).


I’ve also carried around (and overinflated) a nagging worry about my writing with me during this time which hasn’t helped.  In the UK last summer a couple of very well-meaning friends commented on how difficult it was for them to read about my ‘f***ed up head’ stages, preferring instead to read the slice of life stuff focused on places and characters that form part of my daily life.  When I started to sink, Norman helpfully translated these innocuous comments  into “You’re shit! Your writing is shit!  Remember what *** said?! You can’t write about your head because it’s self-indulgent nonsense! People don’t want to read about you! They will all hate you! Nobody will read your stuff anymore” thus disabling a very necessary part of my process of getting well again – writing down what’s happening and putting it out into the world.


Finally beginning to gain a bit of perspective again, I know that Norman is a nob and what in fact will happen is that I’ll write this, put it out into the world, some will read it and like it, others will read it and won’t and others still won’t bother to read it at all – in fact there’ll be a HUGE part of the population who never even know it exists!


And all the while the world will keep turning, the sun will keep shining (well it will here at least) and I’ll take a positive step towards restoring my mental health by kick starting my creativity through writing this .


Writing this has post has been a process somewhat akin to pulling teeth but I’ve kind of enjoyed it none the less and am going to try to hold on to that feeling to help me get started again tomorrow.  Watch this space to see what comes next.


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