A depressive who gets out of bed,
An agoraphobic who leaves the house in dread,
A hypochondriac who’s in no way ill,
An introvert, but with a few friends still…

A functional wine / nicotine addict,
Insomniac since kicked the benzo habit,
Anxiety-ridden though no need to fear,
Stressed and yet successful in career…

An anorexic who still sometimes eats,
All parts present and yet incomplete,
Attachment disorder – yet somehow wed,
Breathing still but inside dead…

Social phobic but still talk the talk,
Emotional cripple trying to walk,
Not sure how I still get through the day,
Or how long I can carry on this way…?

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Depression’s well and truly back,
Three weeks I’ve been an insomniac,
Can get myself to sleep alright,
But then wake up middle of the night,
And try as I might I can’t go back,
Thoughts like the night outside too black…

Worry, worry, fret fret, dread,
Dark fears all running through my head,
All the bad things that may yet be,
Imagination runs away with me,
Sleep deprivation’s driving me insane,
Wish that I could just turn off my brain…

Each night it seems I wake up to,
This same nocturnal deja vu,
Each day face the same morning fatigue,
This is the soulless life I lead,
Something’s wrong, but I can’t put it right,
Still don’t know what it is yet quite…

My senses dulled; spark gone for good,
Each day just plodding through the mud,
Wine and TV serve as mere decoys,
Been years since I have felt real joy,
And though in the day, I just feel numb,
It’s nighttime that I truly succumb…

Oh, for a night of uninterrupted sleep!
I feel so tired; I could just weep,
Should just give up and pop a pill,
But that’s an even quicker road downhill,
In the meantime just stay T.A.T.T,
I just don’t know what’s wrong with me…

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It’s winter – wish I could hibernate,
Sleep and sleep for six months straight,
Not wake up, get up, go aside,
From the outside world stay home and hide.

It’s cold – don’t want to step outdoors,
Deal with all the bullshit anymore,
If I could, I’d love to work from home,
Day in day out remain alone…

I’m tired – the effort’s just too much,
Work and care and bills and such,
On auto-pilot all day long,
With settings starting to go wrong…

Don’t want to go out to dance or dine,
Just stay inside the whole damn time,
Husband drags me out to do “fun” stuff,
Try to look happy, but it’s tough…

There’s nothing out there now for me,
Safe at home is where I want to be,
Once I travelled all around the globe,
But now I’m just an agoraphobe…

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My heart is black; my thoughts are dark
Just fell below the 8 stone mark,
I cannot feel; I cannot sleep,
My worries seem to run to deep…

From 3am sleep from me will shirk,
Wide awake till get up to go to work,
Had cut out sleeping pills of any sort,
But now they’re back as a last resort…

Always anxious, borderline depressed,
Most everything a source of stress,
My default is to always feel afraid,
Been like this from my childhood days.

Somehow function throughout the day,
It doesn’t matter either way,
I’ve made my bed and now I’m stuck,
Even wine can’t seem to pick me up…

Low or high – which is the real “me”?
Which self is the reality?
For though I’m up from time to time,
I always default to the flatline…

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Where Do You Go To…?

(Based on ‘Where Do You Go To My Lovely‘ by Peter Sarstedt)

You talk like a high-pitched Eastender,
You love to sit in your old easy chair,
Your clothes are all made by Matlin,
And there’s an outdated perm in your hair,
Yes there is, yes there is…

You live in a quite nice bungalow,
That’s slowly falling into disrepair,
All filled with chintzy china knick-knacks,
And your collection of soft teddy bears,
Yes it is, yes it is….

You live for your weekly bowls matches,
And the dinners out we often share,
You’re cat is your constant companion,
Though your whole house is covered in its hair,
Yes it is, yes it is…

But where do you go to Mum-in-law?
When you’re alone in your bed?
Tell me the thoughts that surround you,
I want to look inside your head,
Yes I do…

I’ve seen all your old photo albums,
The societies and clubs you’ve been on,
The life you led from before when I met you,
The whole social whirl went on and on,
Yes it did, yes it did…

You went on so many go summer vacations,
With your friends and family in Spain,
In your frumpy middle-aged lady swimsuit,
You loved nothing more than to entertain,
Yes you did, yes you did…

And I’ve seen all your old wedding pictures,
The love that you and your husband once shared,
Such a shame that I never did meet him,
It was so clear for you that he cared,
Yes it was, yes it was….

But where do you go to Mum-in-law?
When you’re alone in your bed?
Tell me the thoughts that surround you,
I want to look inside your head,
Yes I do…

And now you suffer from dementia,
A mere shadow of your former self,
Often wonder if you’re even aware,
Of your own declining mental health…?
Yes I do, yes I do…

You never speak of your true feelings,
Wonder if you even have any at all…?
You keep your cards so close to your chest,
Hide behind an emotional brick wall!
Yes it’s true, yes it’s true…

So look into my face, Mother-in-law,
And remember just who you are!
Then go and forget me forever,
But I know that you still bear the scar,
Deep inside, yes you do…

Oh! Where do you go to Mum-in-law?
When you’re alone in your bed?
Tell me the thoughts that surround you,
I want to look inside your head…

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Rise to Rest

I love you best in the morning,
When you wake up with hair ruffled and wild,
Your little head peaking from under the duvet,
When half-asleep, you’re helpless as a child,
And though your sleepy brain is then all of a-muddle,
Your first instinct’s still to pull me close to you and snuggle…

I love you best in the daytime,
When I’m thinking of you from afar at my desk,
Emailing baby animal photees to one another,
To show each other we care till we reunite next,
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or so they all say,
That’s true of me – I pine for you all of the day…

I love you best in the evening,
When we’re sat on the sofa and drinking our wine,
Watching X Factor, Apprentice and I’m a Celeb,
Being silly and just enjoying our couple time,
It’s the time of the day that I cherish and treasure,
Sheer leisure and pleasure – some more wine for good measure…

I love you best in the night time,
When you and I both snuggle all close in our bed,
If I wake in the wee hours, you’re still at my side,
And you’ll still be there on the morning ahead,
From morning’s rise right through to evening’s rest,
You will always be the one who I love the best…

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Scrabble Geek

Once was a party girl about the town,
Would date and dance, all my drinks down,
No longer one of the party herd,
These days I’m just a Scrabble nerd…

Know my short words from AA to ZEE,
Use my Ss strategically,
Save all my Is and Ns and Gs,
For they make up a gerund, you see.

X and Q and Z and J,
I’m happy when they come my way,
Can get 60 points or maybe more,
520 – my top score!

Play QAT and QIN and then AZO,
No idea what they all mean though!
XI or QI two ways on a triple tile,
Can boost my score and make me smile.

On seven-letter words I place an onus,
Bingo! Bagged a 50 points bonus!
For one of these each time I aim,
Deep joy when get two in just one game!!

On my commute I play against app,
Then against husband when I get back,
(Taught him when first we did meet,
Though he’s often inclined to cheat!)

So yes, that’s me – a Scrabble geek,
Even play it sometimes in my sleep,
One addiction I don’t have to battle
What would life be without my Scrabble…??

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Thank You!!!

Joy of joys! Mother-in-law has said “thank you”!!!!,
In fact she said it to us about twenty times!!
Thanked us for a most wonderful evening,
And inviting her round at the weekend to dine!!
Such sentiments are shown by her as good as – ummm – never,
Well, you could have knocked me right down with a feather…!!

And that’s not all! Then to my husband she said,
“You’re a good son – I’d be utterly lost without you!,
Thank you for picking me up and then taking me home,
Without you both, I don’t know what I’d ever do…”,
Not sure where that came from – what a bolt from the blue!
My dear husband’s face looked completely shocked too…

My heart instantly melted; my jaw hit the floor,
At this uncharacteristic emotional display,
Returned her hug, told her that she was quite welcome,
For once actually meaning the things that I say,
My socks were well and truly knocked off – but in a good way,
What a wonderful end to a stressful dinner party day…

Words such as these are truly music to my ears,
Make all the sacrifice (almost!) worthwhile,
Thank you’s cost nothing, but are priceless as gold,
And for once I parted from her with a genuine smile,
Must store this little moment for ever inside my own brain,
As God knows if or when we’ll ever hear “thank you” again…

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Dementia Dinner Party

So each month mum-in-law, us and the family friends,
A dinner party at one of our homes all attend,
All take their turns hosting – except mother-in-law,
(She can barely cook just for herself any more…)

Husband and I tomorrow will play host and hostess,
My turn to pretend I’m a domestic goddess!
An American theme I’ve this time decided to try,
Caesar salad, pulled pork, cheesecake and apple pie!

Division of labour is clear between husband and me,
I do the cooking and cleaning, pour drinks, make coffee,
Dear husband is tasked with just one single mission,
That’s to keep mum-in-law the hell out of my kitchen!!!

Dinner parties by definition are stressful enough,
With dementia on the menu, it’s even more tough,
When I’m solo in the kitchen – ten things on the go,
If mum-in-law wants to “help”, then the answer is NO!!!

Get out of my kitchen – you’re right under my feet!!
Your “help” is a hindrance – just get back to your seat!!
It’s a military operation in here, don’t you know??
Sit down! Drink your red wine! Oh, won’t you please go!?!?!

It’s nice of mum-in-law to want to help me – I know,
But she can’t follow orders and, besides, is too slow,
And when hosting a dinner, I’m not quite at my best,
Risk losing my temper with her under all of the stress…

Ahhh, but husband and I are quite canny and smart,
We’ve got handling mum-in-law down to a fine art,
If we keep her out of the kitchen till after we dine,
Mum-in-law’s then kept busy at washing up time.. ;)

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Don’t Tell Me

If I get dementia, please don’t tell me so,
Whatever the truth is, I don’t want to know,
Please keep me in my state of ignorant bliss,
My failing memory just as “old age” dismiss…

Tell me my Aricept’s Vitamin C,
Shore up my conviction’s nothing wrong with me,
And when the doctor does the MMSE test,
Tell me he does the same for all the rest…

Tell me the carer’s a cleaner instead,
Keep calm when I repeat what I already said,
Try not to remind me of the things I forget,
And please reassure me when I get in a fret…

When I go into a home, please say it’s a hotel,
With food and activities laid on as well,
If I ask to go home, tell me maybe next week,
Brush off all the nonsense I inadvertently speak..

For if I knew, the burden would be too great,
Knowledge of all the indignities that may await,
Certain hard facts are better left just ignored,
Don’t let on I’m living under Damocles’ sword…

If I get dementia, spare me but spare you,
Don’t give up your life caring – I don’t want you to,
Please do what you need to – I will understand,
Just make sure I keep my own head in the sand…

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