annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


In detail

Oy, what a day. I kept saying yes to things without thinking it through, partly due to having misplaced my diary and partly just not keeping on top of it. My pal SB, who's been away, came round early and we had a great couple of hours getting right into it - we're both having therapy and we've been pals since teenagers, so we don't fuck about - right in there, but quite intense. I could have gone back to bed then but no, I was dropping the dog at my sister's, then going to art group, via Daughter's flat where I was dropping off the picnic for later, art group, chill and swim, then Othello at the open air theatre - hence the picnic.

So all I had to do was gather all the bits I needed and head off. But I didn't know where to start - it all kept jumping about in my head and the more I tried the worse it got, so I sat down and cried for a bit then remembered that I had a plan for when I get overwhelmed, which to be honest, hasn't happened for a while. I have a list of close friends who've agreed that I can call them when I lose the plot and we can chat for a bit - not even about what's going on with me, just whatever, and I'll feel grounded again and be able to carry on. So I think of who's on the list - SB, but she's driving home now, SS, is in France, MH has all her brothers and sisters and their spouses staying... MC. Cool. No reply. Don't panic. JF - she answered but couldn't hear me, then I couldn't hear her. OK. Sit down and cry a bit more. 

I don't have to do any of this. I don't have to go to art group. But I'd like to. I don't have to be there for all of it, I can arrive whenever I like. I can chill for a bit first. 

So, end of time pressure leads to lessening of panic. Chill a bit. Remember to ask 'Little Anna' (aka Inner Child), what she'd like. She would like to go to art and sit among other people who struggle to keep themselves steady. Yeah. It's been a while. The Tuesday art group is on Zoom and we're all working and I can't get gallery view on my tablet, so there's no real grasp of how we are. I hear their voices and I chip in, but it's not the same as being in the room together. 

Right. I sit for a bit more then check off what I need for each thing in turn. I just need some food and her old dog bed for Shirley, easy, get them and put them in the car. Art - that's the big one, what am I going to paint? Have to decide that before I know what to take with me. Panic starts to rise again. No. wait a minute. I want to go to hang out there. not because I'm desperate to paint something, so I can just do anything. I shove the prints of the pier that I didn't like in my bag and a load of paints, a print out of the photo of the pier, job done. 

I was so relieved. The rest was easy - swimming gear, and picnic. I'd had another go at making pans bagnats, this time with a baguette, they were already made and chilling in the fridge. 

And off we go, me and the little dog, to Sister's and all is well and I did it all on my own. That was the biggest overwhelm I've had for a long time, where I had things to do and I couldn't see how to do them. Covid brain fog is almost certainly part of it - maybe all of it, but it felt so familiar and so scary when I couldn't get my mind to do what I needed it to do and as always that means it escalates quickly but I grabbed it before it got too far.

Also I knew I'd taken on too much so I had to concentrate on keeping steady, keep that in front of me. Daughter had wanted us to swim together after art but decided she was too tired and I decided to go anyway and spend that time alone, not accountable to anyone. 

Art group was cool - they are a funny collection of blokes, but I don't feel that anxious about any of them. I wouldn't want to be in a room alone with any of them but that's not going to happen. 

This is now Saturday, I went to bed, but had a strong desire to itemise my day, my moods, how I managed them, but I can't be arsed to finish it now. 

I will say though, that Daughter had an extreme reaction to Othello, pained by the racism (written four hundred years ago and all the same shit as now), by the determination of Iago to fuck Othello over, by his success. She suddenly started crying and couldn't stop and wanted to leave so we did. We talked about it a bit and she wasn't able to articulate it exactly, just knew absolutely that she didn't want to stay and watch Othello kill Desdemona. She would have gone to a friend's place round the corner to wait for me if I'd wanted to stay, but I didn't. But a post someone put on Twitter today made me think. I was reminded of the time Daughter's father, a black man, beat the shit out of me, a white woman, because he'd been led to believe I was carrying on with someone else. Which I wasn't. The kids were woken by it, Sammie looking after the two little ones, Son pre-speech, Daughter still under three. So there it was, the plot of Othello, lurking in her memory. No wonder she didn't want to see it and also that her reaction was visceral rather than intellectual. Triggered. Awful. I didn't respond in the same way at all - I was just glad to leave as the breeze was carrying their voices away from us and I was too tired to make the effort to catch the words.

We stood just outside the theatre area, on a path through the park, surrounded by bushes and trees, hugging and crying and then I drove her home, picked up the little dog who'd been waiting for me at my sister's, came back and watched the last ever episode of Neighbours, with all the old actors back. Guy Pearce, Kylie, Jason. I love Guy Pearce. I wasn't that fussed about him as Mike in Neighbours but his Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert won me over and I've been a fan ever since. 

Today I slept late, went to the beach with MC and a mutual friend I used to live with but hadn't seen for ages, swam and talked and laughed and shared and fab. Then cooked myself a steak, wrote this and now it's done.




11:21 p.m. - 30.07.22


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