Friday, 8 June 2012

The Gremlin and the Fox - Guest blog by Trish Doucette

I have known the author of this piece for a number of years.  Though quite a few years younger than me, we developed a bond that I have not made with very many people.  I would find it hard to put Trish in a box and label her for she is so many wonderful, diverse and exciting things to me.  Her personality is infectious and to know her, is to love her.  After having spent a year in Canada she returned to Manchester and we met up for lunch in February this year.  The girl I saw there was but a mere shell of her former bubbly, happy self.  I had not seen someone so sad and depressed and down on life and my heart went out to her.  Nothing, not even the smile she tried to give me, convinced me that she needed anything less than professional medical help and I urged her to do that.  I also asked her to write her feelings down and 4 months later, we met again.  This time, it was a different girl that I met.  Back, was the Trish that I knew and loved. Back was the girl full of life and laughter. During lunch, she took out her journal and read a piece to me that she had written in the midst of her depression. I was incredibly moved by it and asked her if I could blog it.  I'm grateful to say she agreed.  The piece below is very sad, yet it is hopeful. I believe this was the turning point for her and her slow recovery began here. Read it and draw your own conclusions. The picture is her portrayal of Mortimer. I hope you can appreciate this as much as I did.  Thank you Trish xx

the gremlin and the fox

I have once again stayed up consumed with the dread of facing another day. I watched television trying to distract/numb the fear. I craved the further escape of a book and climbed into bed approaching midnight. Despite feeling exhausted I continued reading. One o’clock came, two o’clock came, three o’clock too. Still I couldn’t give in to sleep. For reasons I will never understand the dark masks failure. It feels less concrete, less solid. The rising sun and what seems like endless daylight exposes the loser I have become. But back to the book. Its title amusingly enough is ‘Before I go to Sleep’. The protagonist has amnesia and perpetually arises to another day not remembering the past 20 years. As the story unfolds you discover she was a victim of a brutal attack and I quickly become engrossed. I long to forget my memories, to have my brain wiped clean of links to my past, happy and sad. And by the time I turn the last page I feel horrendous. My skin is putrid, my lungs burn, my head is filled with furry static. I turn out the lights fearing tomorrow, hoping I can sleep the day away. And then for whatever reason a glimpse of hope, the first in 6 months. I think to myself I can volunteer with an organisation until I resume my studies. The gremlin creeps up, the bad idea wolf growls “what organisation would possibly want you, you can’t do it, you don’t care anymore. Animal-lovin Trish is long gone”. And then a glimpse of a fox I saw crossing the street last night. My curtains were ajar for the first time. I was quickly checking my emails when the distant figure caught my eye. And somehow, someway I almost smiled. The corner of my lips slightly curved upwards. It could so easily have been missed but I felt the warmth somewhere deep inside. This was the first time since descending into darkness that I allowed an animal to bring me any joy. So I lay there thinking of that shadowed figure and I said “FUCK YOU, YOU WOLFY GREMLIN”. I am going to try. I want to try. Trying doesn’t seem so scary. But first I need to sleep. Shit, more wolfy gremlin. Let’s call him Mortimer. So Mortimer says “you are going to feel like fucking death warmed up tomorrow. Your skin is going to repulse you; you will want a smoke more than Pooh wants honey. You’ll be fat and fatigued, sickly and sore”. And I replied “YUP. BUT dearest Mortimer, you’re forgetting something. Trish is running this show. You are right, I will feel like death warmed up, my skin will repulse me and I will want me some honey. I’ll be pudgy and pathetic, ill and irritable but damn it I’ll have this. This mere moment way too late near the end of March when broken down and completely destitute I felt like me”. Clarity is mine and if I have to scramble deliriously to record this moment then that is exactly what I’ll do. So I am going to explore my options, contact my professor and allow myself some hope. Not only will I throw myself this bone but I will not stamp an expiration date on it. I have until September. Three months of experience would be stupendous. Living the rest of my life with joy, strength and humility means more. If I manage to sleep now I am going to miss a lot of tomorrow. But I hope that when I wake I will have the strength to walk with my Mom after eating a very late breakfast, finish that bastard sky in the missing one motherfucking piece puzzle, take Capone for an early evening stroll with my amazing fianc√© and finish it all off with a new movie. Will I struggle with my appearance, absolutely! But I have caught a glimpse of Trish and though it seems an eternity I looked straight at that exhausted reflection and declared I WILL GET THROUGH THIS!!!!!!!!! Now I realise this first fleeting moment of catharsis will not cure my ailments but it’s a fucking start. Mortimer has held an iron grip for many months, for many years and today I think maybe just maybe I’m tough enough to beat this son of a bitch. It’s time to start walking down another street. OR possibly even drive but we’ll save that for another time.

Tata for now, signing off a tired but hopeful lady


Anonymous said...

Very moving, I was near during this time and was lucky enough to observe this change, interestingly no words helped, yet a wild free animal was the seed of change.. how wonderful! and thank you!


Bernadette Davies said...

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I am sure Trish really appreciates it. I was very moved by this.