Perpetual Grief

I have experienced meltdowns for about as long as I can remember, such is the joy of the autistic human! To the outside onlooker it might look like I am upset as I usually cry, or agitated as might rock, or pace, or just be being obstinate or aloof as I don’t talk. So I thought I would try to explain what I feel on the inside.

It usually starts with a sense of disconnection, feeling that, even if I am surrounded by people, I am utterly alone. I know this feeling is common for lots of people, if not everyone, but that for me is the start. This can be triggered by, well, pretty much everything. I am also hypersensory, which pretty much does what it says on the packaging – noises, textures, visuals, smells, even tastes, can all create this feeling of disconnect for me. The world can be a scary place. Once I lost two hours of my day because someone brushed past me in the street, whilst I was wearing my new coat (only been hanging in the wardrobe for two years at this point, things need to acclimatise!) and as I had not fully pondered the new fabric (it was in the wardrobe doing the visual, not on my arms doing the ooh.. fabricy fabricy feeling!) it dragged funny. It felt horrifying. And more importantly, it felt new. So my brain needed to fully process this exciting new development. For two hours. Even writing this down, it feels ridiculous. For two hours, I hyperfocussed and cried over a weird sensation that my new coat created. But back to the start point, what does this actually feel like?

It feels like grief. Imagine the most intense sadness you can, the most brilliant white light of emotional agony, and then imagine the absurdity of someone asking you if you are alright? In this grief state, there is no room for questions, no room for answers, I am screaming so loudly, and I can’t make a sound. My verbal communication disappears (but I can usually type or write) so I cannot even tell anyone how bad things are. It’s now as if I am completely disconnected from the world and am consumed with such an intense grief, that if this goes on for more than hour (and sometimes, particularly if I am alone, several hours), it leaves me in a very dark place where thoughts of self-harm have been a feature. It is nothing I would wish for any other human, but sometimes I wish I could explain what is happening, as me being like this, breaking like this, causes people to distance themselves. This compounds things. Obviously. It isn’t that I am sad, depressed or looking for attention, its that the wiring in my head (if ever you have an idle five minutes, check out autistic brain scans, they are all different! Neurotypical.. all the same..) is different. My processing of the world is different, not better, although being hypersensory around bread baking.. I could literally lay on the floor and achieve mastery levels of meditation within about 4 seconds, and those 4 seconds are just me getting myself comfy – the world is no more, there is only bread smell! So maybe it is sometimes better, but largely it is just different.

I have explained to those closest to me what I need when I have a meltdown. Mostly they neve just go from zero to sobbing on the floor within two seconds. I usually have time to ask someone for help. That has been a critical learning curve for me. Getting diagnosed meant I understood what was happening better, and through that, could put systems in place to make things easier for me. I phone people and ask them to talk at me. I do not want questions, ‘are you alright?’ is about the worst one, as then my brain, clearly knowing that it isn’t alright then realises that it is obvious to others that I am not alright, process cycles round and round.. What I want is to hear about someone else’s life, what they have been doing with their day. It can be as boring as anything, and it grounds me. I don’t want to hear about me. If someone is in my space, then a huge extended hug often helps too. Both of these things reset my head space and I can be connected and in a happy place again.

Map Point: Where do I still need to ask for help?


My heart sings bliss

Occasionally in my life, I have fallen so hard in love, that it becomes all consuming, electrifying, all encompassing. This has happened to me in romantic and intellectual ways, the frantic need of another. Sometimes this has been driven by my insecurities, a compulsion to extend my presence so that I can show someone else how amazing I can be. To feel the endorsement from the other because I was unable to self administer this love. But sometimes, I have not been insecure, and then the feelings stem from desire. This is my story about Jay.

Socially, I had been in the same circles as Jay for a while. Same places, same spaces, but interaction was at best limited, at worst indifferent. Looking back with hazy memory eyes it easy to remember details that you only wish had been there. It will be my remembered truth.

We had been at uni together for a while, same course, but whilst the course was massive, the campus was small and there was generally high interaction outside of classes. Especially among those who lived (it wasnt a residential space, this was completely just a place that served alcohol) in the student union, close to both the pool table and bar. Which are clearly cornerstones of student life. So I had seen Jay around a fair bit. Had also bumped into him (not literally, why is this phrase so violent?) a few times in music venues, so there were definitely shared interests too. This seems important. Any friendship can pretend shared interests for a while, but if these fade, then only the dullness of familiarity remains. And this was utterly never the case with Jay.

As we began to chat more often (in the aforementioned bar, some people are monster eager to pool and drink post-lecture. We were those people) It transpired we had much crossover. Music, gaming (SNES is king!), pool (obvs, there was never a clear winner when we played.. but this might be memory and delusions of pool grandeur) but it was somehow even started as more than that. Flirtations with being vegetarian, politics, worldviews, all seemed to harmoniously align. With increased talking, it felt so easy, like our friendship had always been in my life, and we started to arrange to meet up. This was a big change. Meet-ups, on Wednesday afternoons (free periods, meant to be sports afternoon, but campus was too small for any of that nonsense..) became something of a thing.

We started sitting next to each in some classes, moving slightly away from our more established groups. And we would pass notes. Like a lot of notes. This was pre-mobile phone days, and notes were cutting-edge tech. The notes were intimate, sexually driven, but this was all for fun, as we were definitely platonic friends. We said this often.. which might have been a marker, but I guess as long as we both believed it, it carried our truth.

The uni was close to London, so we often jollied into town. We walked over Tower Bridge (underwhelming), bimbled around Camden (so very much awesome), and hit the culture bits too. Tate Modern was my go-to, V&A was his. It is an incredible feeling to show someone else your world and to be able to share the passion that you have for things. Sometimes this feels like a privilege, and looking back I understand how important this is for relationships to work well. If someone close to me isn’t interested in me, and only their stuff, I have learned to step away. This perhaps took longer than it should have, but we are all on our own journeys!

Then, always randomly, always seemingly out of nowhere, something changes. Although we had always got on well, would occasionally hug, there had never been any physicality between us. Then one day, in the union (I blame this place for a lot!) as Jay wandered (swayed) over to the bar where I was patiently waiting already, he pulled my hair. Just a bit, not hard. Over as quickly as it had begun. And somehow there was a noticeable shift, nothing was directly said, no words spoken, but I just sort of stopped and my eyes closed. And Jay watched.

The evening continued much as it had done before, laughing, joking, showing off our prowess with pool cues with our friends, but every so often, I would find my gaze shifting back to Jay, and more often than not, would find him already looking back. Being a competitive sort, I don’t usually back down from being stared at (eyes may be burning, but dammit, I will hold!) but his look, his eyes burned into me. The sudden awareness of every conversation, every mock flirtation, every everything seemed to transfer between us with that look. And it was intense.

No.. intense doesnt really do that feeling any justice whatsoever. It was a feeling of being all the vital of an eternity of lifetimes, the electric surge and power of a strike of lightning that refused to ground, I felt the pressure of the tug of my hair, over and over and over and it coursed through me each time. I didn’t have any clue if this was love, but it was an unprecedented desire that arrived all at once. And then, as with all good things, we both left independently that evening for the holidays..

University is a strange place. We all arrive, so many people, in this almostly instantly close knit community, and then, around every six weeks or so, disappear and return to our other lives, our at home lives. Parents still cook our meals, we find our at home friends, do our at home things. Between me and Jay, we decided to take note passing to the next level. Correspondance! Letters seemed to go back and forth every few days, and whilst there were inferences to this seemingly small act, we were both hesitant, questioning. Where did this place our friendship? What did this mean? Because it transpired fast, this wave of all possibility that had engulfed me, consumed my being, had consumed him too.

This morning before work I saw a couple leaving a house, multiple children in coats, carrying art projects, lunch boxes, waving at their friends. The couple were a morning mixture of chaos, smiles, tenderness, lost keys, and stumbling children. And I thought about Jay. We were almost perfectly balanced, perfectly in sync. I wondered where he might be now, not enough for a social media stalk, but I allowed myself a daydream of a life that might have happened.

And my memory was a bliss.

Map Point: Where in my life do I now feel that intensity?

Black holes

When I was around 20 I had possibly my worst autistic melt down on record. I have had meltdowns last longer, but in severity, we have a clear winner! Only at the time I didn’t know I was autistic, so, well that made it worse. And a few minutes ago I remembered it, and thought it might be time for a little processing.

I had planned to go to do some role play with a friend, and his friends. I hadn’t been in a few months, so was a bit nervous, but all geared up for the Saturday all day session. The day before I spoke to my friend, and I said what character I would be playing and he told me I couldn’t play that sort of character. I said I would find another, and I guess the phone call ended amicably enough, however, looking back with the knowledge I have now, that was the beginning of the meltdown.

I was in my family home alone, and I guess I started to cry almost immediately after the phone call ended, and I began to pace. Logical things no longer seemed logical, I was losing my ability to process. I pride myself on being an academic intelligent sort, and not being able to think clearly, with intense panic and anxiety spiking high, I was not in any sort of good place. This lasted for around two hours. I thought it would last forever.

I can honestly say that although I can forgive myself for the actions I then took, I will likely never fully forgive myself for taking them. In a spiral of grief, devastation, sobbing, in a space of absence of thought, I took some sleeping tablets. Some would be a quantity between 12 and 20. They were likely prescribed for me, it was a time of much medication.

This was the only thing I could irrationally do to remove myself from the head space. I had utterly no desire to die, I just needed not to feel so wretched.

As soon as I took them, practicality kicked in. I phoned a friend, she came over, ambulance was called, processes external to me were all in motion. Curiously the tablets did utterly nothing to me, the only issue was they were out of date, so the poisons unit had to be called. My boyfriend arrived, the hospital wanted to keep me in over night, but I declined, saying I was fine. As I was, utterly fine.

I couldn’t explain the devastating drop, but knew that it was over. I spoke to psychiatrists after who said I seemed perfectly happy. I was happy, barring low grade anxiety. I started taking antidepressants which didn’t seem to have any effect, and life continued much the same as before. But every so often, these inexplicable crashes would happen, and although I didn’t take any more extreme actions to change the flow of them, I had utterly no idea why.

I have had times where I have violently sobbed for days. Times when I have become uncharacteristically shouty for no logical reason. And even now, when it happens, never if, it is terrifying. However now I have a plan! When it begins I can recognise it. I usually cry, but now I know to phone someone stat. I use the code word ‘chicken nuggets’ with my best friend and he knows this is the code red. The reason this word was decided on I have no idea, but as am vegan, am guessing large amounts of irony was involved. I then issue instructions of ‘talk at me’ and he yabs on about his day. My mum, brother and one other friend are all amazing at this too. I need to reconnect with the world outside my head, and listening to someone describing the crackers they were currently eating, the issues at their work, or anything that is not remotely to do work me is a godsend. It let’s the cogs in my head wind down, reset. These people will always have my unending gratitude.

I have always felt that being friends with me must be really hard work. My anxiety is harder than bear average (not bear arms, they belong to bears) and sometimes a texture of material, a smell or a place will cause an unexpected reaction (also hyper sensory.. but that is a whole other thing!). And sometimes I won’t be able to process this. Then I need the help of others and this can be problematic.

I try to live a quiet life for the most part, but I also want to do things and see people. And new ups anxiety. Interestingly I was diagnosed with adhd last year, and the convergence of the two conditions I find sort of funny. Adhd leaves me incredibly unmotivated unless something is urgent, exciting or new, and asd trips anxiety hard on all these things. More irony.

Today I had a meltdown much like this one, but within minutes of recognising that it was happening, I was on the phone listening to my brother talk about his lunch time crackers. I am still exhausted after, and the exhaustion will last into tomorrow. My focus is shot, and my eyes will still leak, but the intensity of that terrible feeling has passed.

Sometimes I know exactly what has caused it. Other times, like today, I don’t. There was no specific trigger. Diagnosis has likely been one of the most important moments of my adult life.

Map Point: Can I accept that there are sometimes no reasons?

More food

I think I have written before about my relationship with food. I used to eat out a lot when my daughter was small so I didn’t feel so lonely at meal times, to me food is incredibly social. I have written about how strong my desire for a second child was that my weight gain was to generate a round belly. During sadder times, I found that depriving myself of food was one of the last means of control I had, and conversely, now I am heavier I am actually really happy with my body. Food is complex! Today I want to talk about food boxes and waste food. Both of which are changing my perspective.

I used to have a food box delivered with pre prepared meals. Being vegan, the choice was small, but me and my daughter found one meal we really liked. And we ate it, a lot. Like super a lot. Now even the thought of it does not generate happy. I felt good providing me and my daughter good food, but ultimately, it was still a meal from the freezer, with utterly no input from me (except the transferral from freezer to oven.. let’s not under estimate the effort involved here people!). The process made me feel tired.

Now I have a food box where ingredients and instructions arrive. This is sort of like looking in one of my recipe books, thinking ‘that looks nice’ and going out and buying the ingredients. Except its the hyper lazy version. It’s as if I am a chef on a cooking show and everything is pre packaged, pre portioned and I just throw everything together. The level of waste generated is making me sad, even with the company’s ethical claims. But the level of happy that I have that I am back cooking, and proper fancy ‘ooh look, blanched edame beans’ kinda cooking is a thing for me. Suddenly remembering a post about 7 course meal I scratch made. I am a damn fine cook! But as my confidence ebbs, I lose time, I lose energy, and eating out, getting food delivered, finding freezer food becomes a sad normality. As I really love cooking! And maybe a few weeks of boxes of food mischief will reignite this passion for me.

Food waste. Since September last year, I have been collecting supermarket food waste to distribute via an app. Firstly this has made me very aware on how much supermarkets throw away first hand, but also how much stuff I would usually throw away, whereas now, I can list it and someone comes to collect. And it isn’t only food.. I can now list all sorts of things that I no longer want! And also collect from other people. Now, in utter fairness, some people do post up some things which a little odd, and the boots I picked up from someone only lasted six hours before they were bin deposited, buy mostly its been revolutionary. When I decide something needs to be gone from my house now, within a matter of hours, it is. Also, I no longer have any guilt based foods, not foods I feel guilty eating, there are none of those! But things that I have bought on a whim and then stared at and contemplated what they might go with until they are out of date. I can relinquish to someone who wants!

Map Point – What do I need?

Into the dark

When I was 19, I stumbled on a hobby that was slightly more avant-garde than my usual hobbies of reading, playing guitar and watching the world drift by. It was live-action roleplay, or LARP as its acronym. I got dressed up in a costume, brandished a foam-covered stick and fully acclimatised to this new, violent, shouty alter ego that I had created. Also, this all happened underground, in a cave system. This was definitely not in my traditional comfort zone, but I seemed to fit in as well as anyone. I did this for a few years, then I stopped going. Relationships changed, confidence level changed and for a long time (like super long time) it was a precious, but increasingly distant memory. But although, sadly, the costumes are long gone. I kept the weaponary, possibly hoping that one day, I would return.

And by many twists of fate, some 27 years since I had first begun, I went back. So now I get up before the dawn, drive for an hour and a half and disappear into a cave all day. It is deeply strange going back to something that I was away from for so long. I find myself trying to overlay the parts of me that were 19 and the parts of me now, and often there feels to be no correlation. To say I feel detatched from the underground environment would be fair, to say it has started a process of wondering what has happened in the intervening time would be wholly more accurate.

Aged 19, I was in one of worst places that I have likely ever been with regard to my mental health. This is a retrospective comment, at the time, I was only just beginning to understand, I knew that things were not good, but I was still incredibly hopeful with a melodious naivety about the world that somehow seemed to cushion me. Now, at the glorious age of 46, I have resolved, poked, prodded, found a super long and pointy stick to contend with and understand my past. But with new understandings, it changes the shape of everything else, so I wouldn’t be as bold as to say that I understand myself fully, but I definitely can say that I like myself a whole lot better.

In the caves at 19, I got to be someone who I really loved. I would shout, run, haggle and be serene. I would make incredible costumes (back then, I think at least 50% of the costumes came from Ann Summers, but I was super thin, and I don’t think they were too revealing..) and I would buy exciting weapons to clonk people with. Now, I still make costumes, possibly the most exciting thing so far was a cloak that am reasonably convinced Jesus could have used as a picnic blanket to feed the five thousand. This cloak is now back in bits, as wearing something that weighed about as much as a seriously fat labrador is not on the cards long term. So to counter this, I have bought metal armour which would definitely give the seriously fat labrador a run for his.. no, seriously fat labradors are not about the high energy movement. But back to the costume! It is seriously heavy and I utterly love it.

This time round I have also begun making weapons. This has taken a massive toll on my house space, and my workroom now has to double as a kitchen. Priorities are important! Crafting was something that I had not done in such a long time either. Sometimes I find it difficult to motivate myself to do what I love if I cant see a direct purpose. People are now asking me for commissions, which is hugely validating. Sometimes it feels scary to be good at something, as if I am not allowed, and potentially I might need another stick to poke this too, to understand why my self worth takes these dips. However, in all likelihood, I will now take that stick, cover it in foam, paint it pretty and hit someone with it. Much better therapy.

When I go to the caves now, I am not the same person that I was. I am cautious, quiet and unsure of my place. I find myself looking at the walls of the tunnels, and feeling awed to be walking around inside such a structure. I see the people around me, that I dont know well, but are welcoming all the same, but I still feel a detachment. And maybe I am okay with all of this, I am no longer 19.

Map Point: Where can I be kinder?

Long time, no sea

I have not written in years, life does the thing, and much is left behind, but to continue the cliche, sometimes in going back to what we used to love, we feel found.

The last five years of my life have been extraordinary in entirely average ways. In terms of my health, I received my diagnosis of autism. This was followed by regular therapy, trauma therapy, and finally sleep medication after realising that no amount of therapy was going to stop my brain from waking up asking if I would like to swing on a star at 3am (why always this time? On the dot?). I then received my ADHD diagnosis, and am currently involved process of balancing the drugs that keep me awake, keep me asleep. It has made me very aware of me, this feels, although likely isnt, new.

I was a quiet child, who would take deep and mischievous pleasure in hiding and surprising others, I would dress up, read.. spend hours in the bath reading until my toes turned wrinkly and the hot water needed topping up. I would spend hours staring out of my window at the trees, the birds, the sky. I would dance, and feel like a feather settling on a supernova. Very much alive and alone.

It’s easy for me to look back and remember the good things, and perhaps that’s how it should be. No one escapes the painful things and is too easy to sometimes look at others and imagine their perfect lives. No one has that, and it helps me to connect to the world remembering this.

So, since new year, I am taking better care of me, by remembering the things that I used to love to do and doing them (currently I have super wrinkly toes, but a top-up of hot water was not required.. that would require proper aqua-based stamina). I am reading again, taking photos, wearing clothes that arent pjs.. okay this last one should never have really been something that I have had to upgrade in my life, but have bought some fancy ass dresses, and today, without the usual holding pattern of three years in the wardrobe before I can contemplate transferral to body, I wore one. It has been in the wardrobe for a mere month, so with this in mind, things are clearly on the up! I have also finished my masters degree (awaiting marking.. ) and tomorrow, I might go feed some birds.

Map Point: Why did I choose to lose what I loved?

Educational Waywardness

I think that there is a sort of expectation that everyone has some misdeeds or the like from their past. Stories of amusement, foolhardiness and sometimes outright stupidity. I have some of these types of stories, I guess its a way of acknowledging how far we have come when we look back. Only my whole life has been peppered with these tales, so for me, they act as punctuation, rather than backstory. Sometimes I speak to people who don’t seem to have any of these stories. Part of me wonders why they never pushed boundaries and remained so level-headed throughout, and part of me admires that. They clearly never needed to see where their limits were, they already knew. However, it is much less exciting in terms of storytelling!

After writing my letter to Vivienne, I thought a lot about my time spent in education. Many memories immediately came to mind, most of which involved alcohol. I remember when I was Greenwich University, between the Friday morning lecture and seminar, me and a friend could get to the nearest pub (The Bird’s Nest – I can’t remember the name of the friend but the pub name sings out in my mind!), consume one drink, two games of pool and three songs on the jukebox before having to head back. I was kinda decent at pool back then, sadly not so much now. That was also when everyone could still smoke in pubs (and pretty much everywhere else) and most people seemed to take full advantage of this, myself included. I remember a magical evening spent on a field trip in the New Forrest where another friend pointed out the names of the constellations in the sky (whilst walking home from the pub, I had discovered something known only as ‘White Lightning’, I was eighteen, and this is my only excuse), opening up a literal whole new world and on yet another field trip to a marine research center on the island of Millport (everyone should utterly go there.. I cycled around the whole island in under an hour) I paddled in the sea (post-pub once more) opposite some sort of nuclear plant. This was also the same trip where my friend’s boyfriend danced around in my nightie. Some memories may never leave me.

My mid-twenties university experience had much fewer field trips. In fact, it contained no residential trips whatsoever. Which is disappointing, on so many levels. If anyone ever reading this is in a position to write a university course, put in some field trips, they always make for epic memories. But this time around I did live in student accommodation, which did make for its own level of excitement. I have watched people surf staircases using their duvets as boards, been offered a bite of someone’s banana (utterly no euphemism) as they wandered into my room when I was mid-essay writing, listened to radio shows with a friend into the small hours and another friend wandering into my room in the morning to find him curled up on the end of my bed like a puppy (perhaps I should have locked my door more often). And Vivienne coming home from a night out to find the remainder of her housemates far more inebriated than she was, and mostly lying under the table in the kitchen.

I could go on, and likely will at some point; these stories never cease to make me smile. The memories made under intense situations seem more poignant and I regret none of them. Whilst in conversation recently it occurred to me how as a parent and tutor, I give advice to those in my care, but there is a tendency to whitewash where it has come from. And perhaps this is an oversight, pretending to be perfect serves no one. And I retract my first statement, I think that we all have mad stories.

Map Point. Where am I pretending?


Inflexible enough to qualify as stone

Today I went to another session of mother and daughter yoga. I am easily the least flexible person in every class I attend, and I have attended a few. I sort of take pride in my unofficial status of ‘person most likely made of stone’. But this is of little consequence, as I really enjoy going!

I can’t touch my toes in any known yoga position. Except sitting crosslegged, but think that ‘might’ count as cheating. I don’t fold over very well. I can’t twist. I cant put my hands flat down on the mat and hold any pose (I go with either fists or ‘splayed out fingers raised just enough to give the semblance, if not the actuality, of a flexible wrist joint’. It now occurs to me that I must have super strong fingers – fingers of steel! (But I know this something of a misnomer as I still can’t bar a chord on my guitar) But on a positive, I maintained ‘downward dog’ position for longer than I usually can, so for me, that was a big win.

Me and my daughter are monster funny when doing yoga too. Other mother and daughter ensembles are pictures of grace and elegance and we are sitting on the mat, mostly laughing with somewhat incredulous looks on our faces. My daughter is hypermobile, and as such finds some of the poses painful. I was told by my physio that I likely was too, and now my body compares to an elastic band that has been overstretched, which accounts for my lack of bendy. I don’t know what would make a person more bendy, and am not altogether sure that I would want to find out.

I play guitar, I swim, I dance, I game, I read, I paint. My hobby pursuits are varied and I have varying levels of success (much variance, oh so much, never play shooter type games with me, I will definitely not kill anything, unless it is on my side..). But yoga is different. I am genuinely terrible at it, but I still pursue it. Several thoughts occur to me as to why. Being bendier is a long-term aspiration, I want to be a springy elastic band, not a sad saggy one. But other than this class, I have not prioritised my journey into an undulating twisty twirly thing. I love this class for the glorious time I am there with my daughter. Experiencing the funnies, the violent massages (my young one is not always a gentle little flower, I think that she believes my body to be a piece of wood that has been very bad. And must be punished by a brutal chopping motion) and when I attempt to massage her, it tickles so much she crumples into someone six times as flexible as myself and occasionally we experience the success at mastering a pose.

Reflecting on this session it occurs to me that I show my daughter a woman, who despite failing multiple times, is still prepared to turn up, do her best, and feel immensely proud of her achievements. I show her that I am prepared to take risks (some poses really feel that way!) and whatever the outcome, I leave the studio in an upbeat, relaxed and happy mood. And maybe this is more important.

Map Point. How do I define achievement?


I have a three drawer freezer

Some days are just hard. This morning I encountered someone who I had not seen for several years. Now sometimes this sort of thing is all hugs and tears and recounting of stories involving Galliano and a bath towel. But this was not one of those times. The last time I encountered this person they were speaking to me, in a somewhat raised tone, telling me all the things that I should be doing, in a place where there were many other people. It was shaming. What made it worse was that they were utterly in the wrong, on almost every level, but I did not have power to engage in confrontation, even to prove myself right. There is a strong possibility that I would still back down if the situation reoccurred. It was a memory that instantly took me back to feeling hurt and many other things. The day slipped into a downhill mode until I saw a friend at lunchtime, and then things became much sunnier. But I am left with a most oppressive feeling. It is now almost 1am, and there isn’t any ice cream in the freezer for me to inhale.

I use the word ‘inhale’ quite loosely, I can make a tub of Ben and Jerry most glorious vegan ice cream (cookies and peanut butter… oh yes..) last two sittings. And yes, I do likely regard this legendary feat of Atlas like strength as something of an achievement. ‘You didn’t eat the whole tub in a single sitting, in under an hour?’ Sweet and hairy Moses woman, you are restraint incarnate!’. It occurs to me, that for me to guarantee having ice cream in the house, when I am feeling somewhat below par, I would need to have around five tubs in the house at any one given time. And I only have a three drawer freezer.

At this point, I started to ponder if I could make room for said imaginary five tubs of B&J’s most delectably delectable cream of froziness (like ‘cosiness’ in a chilly variant) in my freezer. Short answer, if I set my mind to a task I can achieve anything! Long answer, this would involve throwing out, or at least removing the following:

  1. The plethora of frozen bananas that I am never going to turn into banana cake.
  2. The ice pops from last summer that are all the colours that are not blue or red (thus will only provide ‘decorative’ pazazz to a somewhat blandly coloured bottom drawer.
  3. The eight ‘cold packs’ that I have in my freezer, despite almost never using them for their intended purpose. If ever injury necessitates the use of one, then it is maybe it is acceptable to have a couple on standby, but if ever it gets up to needing all eight, there is a fair chance that I should be phoning for an ambulance. And not rummaging about in my freezer.
  4. Various things in bags. No one knows what they are. No one ever should.
  5. Fruit that was lovingly prepared, individually frozen, then transferred into bags, possibly around three years ago (The freezer itself is coming up to five, so there is a couple of years leeway on this), with the intention of healthy fresh smoothies, sumptuous pies and most amazingly crumbly crumbles. It is now all so badly freezer burned that the imagined acidity could likely prove medicinal. In waking the dead.

In short, my freezer needs a clearout.

I love how in one moment, I am fixating on an event long past that is making me feel sad and then, when I challenge it with a little narrative, I feel pleased that I have identified, a quite clearly, long overdue job. Which makes me smile.

What would, of course, have made me smile sooner, was B&J’s vegan ice cream.

Map Point. Why am I fixating on things that remind me of pain?