Copyright © 2017 by Jo Barlow
18th December 2016
“So for today's little rambling of the darkest days of the year...
Last night I was watching Dave play ... they were playing Freebird at the time... And suddenly I was sitting there (alone) singing along from what suddenly felt like the core of me and the emotions from the past year came up and I just continued singing the rest with tears of every emotion running down my face...
1st January 2017.
“So it has taken me this long to put pen to paper again.
I’m not sure if it’s laziness or fear of crying a river if I truly feel the magnitude of emotions I have now and have felt over the past few months.
But I think I have had to shut part of me away, for I wasn’t ready to cope with it.
Only today, 7 ½ months after my operation have I dared look online at where the muscles, nerves and skull actually are in your head. I wasn’t able to look and deal with it before. And now I know – there is basically one big nerve running up the back on each side of your head. And mines been cut…
8th January 2017.
“Not sure exactly what I want to write, but I just feel SO emotional. Like I could cry a river from all the emotions I feel right now, over the past year.
I don’t think its sadness – just enormous gratitude, relief, letting go of the fear, exhaustion (physical and mental), love, tinged with a bit of frustration as to why the world can be so evil and why others can’t see this way…
9th April 2017.
I am digging in the garden, slowly moving the soil with a trowel from the once sloped bank into a levelled flowerbed, and while I am digging I keep seeing a robin who seems to be waiting for me to throw him some worms. But this robin doesn’t look like a normal robin, he has barely any redness on his chest and his head just looks like he is missing feathers or is covered in scabs or white patches… he either has some disease or had a very close encounter with a cat? In fact if he didn’t act like a robin I wouldn’t really be sure he was one. However, whatever the reason is for his scars ‘scabby robin’ is just continuing to do what he has to -
21st August 2017
Just woken after a very busy weekend of synchronicity ...
On Saturday Dave asked me to put something back in the car that was parked outside the pub he was playing at ...and walking past my car with her son was Elaine -
26th September 2017 11.11pm
“Today I had 2 notifications on Facebook that I looked at one after the other. The first said "I fucking hate brain tumours and everything associated with them." The second post was a quote from Sargent Johnny Joey Jones with a picture clearly showing him with artificial legs from above the knees, saying:
"People ask how I stay so positive after losing my legs… I simply ask how they stay so negative with theirs."
8th October 2017
I’m sitting here and I don’t know what to write, but I feel sad. I feel there is nothing I can write that is positive… maybe I don’t need to be positive? Maybe I should just embrace the fact it’s OK to feel crap, hating the cold weather, the lack of sun, the dark evenings? Just accept the tears, that the leaves are falling off the trees, that things are falling apart?
17th October 2017
I have an ‘art shed’ at the end of our garden. It was bought with the money I was going to use on continuing the second year of a part time art diploma. But instead we decided to make a permanent place to use for art instead.
It then got cold and damp and needed insulating and I did so, but struggled to spend the money on ‘me’ to fix it. It was all a ‘waste of time’. Plus I find one small problem with art-
20th November 2017
It’s lyrics again. I love the lyrics in songs probably more than I love the music. Well maybe except for when you can feel the passion of someone playing amazingly and the instrument is speaking without words instead.
Yet again it was ‘Free bird’ that got me, but this time it wasn’t the instrumental part, it was the words “I can’t change” and “…this bird you cannot change”…
30th November 2017
I haven’t liked Christmas since I was a kid, when you grow up and realise that your life doesn’t get better from any gift no matter how amazing or expensive, as it doesn’t change anything else and how others treat you the other 364 days of the year or how you feel inside.
Then you have kids and sort of get sucked into it-
10th December 2017
I have always liked my own space, especially outside in nature, but since being ill there has been nothing better than walking outside and there being no one else around. Today’s dog walk was in the sleety rain and I was the only person at the park (I much prefer it when it’s too sunny for most people and I am alone-
18th December 2017
Today was the first time in years, ages before feeling unbalanced or having brain surgery, where I had to sign for a purchase where the signature on my card needed to match. (The card machine hadn’t worked properly so I couldn’t enter my pin number)
The cashier looked at me and said the signatures look different and so took my card and just completed signature to her supervisor to check.
19th December 2017
I read this today on a friend’s Facebook wall …
“You never really recover from depression.
Or maybe I should say you recover, yes, but you never really forget it. How could you? It's like being out on 'day release' knowing you're being executed later that evening when everyone else goes home for supper…”
20th December 2017
Right that’s it. I am going to start drinking alcohol again. I know I haven’t drunk for 25 years, but I am fed up for being the only one sober all the time. I miss the feeling of being slightly out of it, something taking me out of my body and having control over me. I have stopped feeling confident about myself, so I feel I need to drink to be socially accepted.
I need to take loads of egotistical selfies to prove my happiness and worth to myself. I want to gather with friends to drink, so I can forget about how insane and unpleasant my life is. Just feeling a little pissed…
21st December 2017
I love winter solstice – I have internally celebrated the shortest day of the year long before I knew anything more. These horrid depressing cold dark afternoons as well as evenings are now at their worst, and today is the day where it starts getting brighter again. The light after the darkness-
26th December 2017
Saying you are not going to do anything for Christmas feels a little like I imagine it would be if you had just announced you had given up your well paid and respected job, have bought a camper van and plan to go driving around the world. Everyone thinks you are mad, but won’t say it – well not to your face anyway. Although I have a feeling more people would understand the desire to travel than the desire to stop the Christmas ‘celebrations’? But I didn’t celebrate the 25th, and very surprisingly for my past Christmas record, it was a lovely day.
29th December 2017
For some reason I have struggling with the side effects in my head over the last few weeks. I am sure cold weather and being in a cold wind makes everything in my head tighten up and feel number again. When I am out I put my hood up on my coat as much as I can, but that doesn’t seem to be able to stop the tightness feelings.
1st January 2018
Last night we again ended up with no children around, and so were asked if we wanted to go to a local friend of a friend’s pub for New Year’s Eve. Yes, why not? I was fine about it, I don’t really see any more significance in the New Year being a new start than any other day of the year. The 18th May-
The pub was nice enough and the people who run it were lovely and chatting to us like friends too. But just a few minutes in and I don’t feel I fit there.