Posts Tagged ‘reflecting’


We’ve moved over to the other side of Bradford, Leicester Street off Wakefield Road. I don’t know why we have moved and never will. We’re in a small house, a back to back. The kitchen is a sink on the wall, the toilet is outside, and I share a bed with my sister. It’s cramped and cold but we have a TV, a black and white one. I remember watching the TV but not what the programme was. We’re not here long. I have few memories of Leicester Street. The house is not there now. It was pulled down years ago together with my memories of living here.


I’m at home. We’re having a party. It might have been because my brother is home on leave from the army. The adults are talking and drinking, ignoring me. I go outside and start to walk. I walk down the hill, across the road, through the fields and the woods and then I’m sat on a wall at the side of the road, waiting, for what I can’t remember know. A car pulls up, a man gets out, it’s my dad. They missed me and came looking for me. I didn’t think anyone would miss me or come looking for me. I just wanted to walk forever and be free from everything, to be alone, on my own.


I’m at school, it’s my first time at school. It’s someone’s birthday. They’re having a party, I’ve been invited. I’m enjoying the party and the other children. I’m having fun eating cake, drinking cola, playing games. I’ll never know them or see them again.


i could stay here
all day and all night
reading poetry, history, fact and fiction
listening to the squelch of tyres
on wet tarmac
conversations whispered as
people try not to disturb anyone
others are loud and don’t care
the cool air of an autumn
day in summer blowing on my back
at the library i can avoid the responsibilities of life
and listen to the thoughts in my head
as they go round and round
i must go now and face the world
leave my place of
happiness, comfort and security
and see what life has to offer me
outside the library


My next memories are hazy, hazier than the first memory. I’m in a house, a big house, big to me, surrounded by furniture and people and animals. My mum, dad, sister, George the mynah bird, a cat, our dog Tina. My memory is blurred as if I’m opening my eyes after a good nights sleep. There is colour emerging from the grey, people are talking, there is life forming here, mine, my parents, my sisters, the animals around us, creating life, creating memories.


My first memories of me as a child as a human being living and breathing the air around me. I’m playing with others, other children. We’re sat down on the pavement, it might be Gracey Lane, Buttershaw where I was born, it must be somewhere near there. It’s grey and overcast like an old black and white film. There’s no colour, just a puddle the other children and me. That is my first memory of my life on this planet we call earth. Not my mum or my dad, my brother or my sister but some nameless, faceless children on an unknown street and a puddle, all in black and white not colour.


This is a poem I wrote at Igniting the Spark on Tuesday and is my first poem for possibly a year and marks a welcome return to Igniting the Spark. The inspiration came from the amazing Gaia Holmes and was centred on selfies and sculptures and I thought about what I see in nature and what if that represented a selfie of me.

i stop to look at the tree
this tree standing out
from all the others in the wood
it stares back at me
a crazy maze of textured
ridges, valleys and trails
emerging from the bark
converging to make a shape
i slowly recognise a face
it’s my face, it’s me
carved in bark over centuries
waiting for me to by
stop and look and see me
a selfie in bark
that must have been growing
before i was born
did it know i would
come by and see me
or was it just luck


they never see you when you’re alone
with the tv and four walls for company
the walls that talk back to you if you listen long enough
the tv that’s stuck in an endless time warp of bygone shows
repeated, repeated, repeated
these are your friends for today
the only ones who will see you
they’re here for you when you’re alone
watching the sky turn from white to grey to black
bottled up feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
bounce off the walls going deeper inside you every time
words form slowly one at a time as they
take off into the universe in search of someone
to share ideas and thoughts with
tears form as slow as ice cracks
drying on your skin before they can flow down your cheek
you don’t even notice them
as the day drags on longing to be over
you turn to the bottle your one true friend
and share some hours together
blocking out the numbing reality of life
till you wake up in a daze tomorrow


The dreaded anxiety once again came out of the shadows and attacked me again this weekend. I could feel it coming but I chose to ignore it and then fight it believing I was bigger and stronger that it was and I could beat it. But in the end it beat me again and I had to succumb to its relentless onslaught, admit defeat and move on.

But it hurts why it happened and it’s beaten me again and I couldn’t do more to beat it.

On reflection, the signs were all there. Posting endless messages to friends, pushing myself hard at the gym, overthinking everything and a head full of thoughts swimming around going nowhere.

But I did nothing about them until it was too late risking friendships and my health in the process.

Today with the anxiety gone I have had time to think about this particular anxiety attack and why it happened. And instead of asking friends to accept me and understand me I’ve decided to write down my thoughts about it in the hope I can begin the fight back against anxiety and beat it once and for all.

As I have written about elsewhere on my blog I competed in a tough fell race, the Trigger Race on January 15th and despite having to retire after 15 miles I am still very proud of what I accomplished that day.

I had 3 potentially life threatening experiences in 4 ½ hours on the Trigger Race and they were the type of situations which put you off doing something like the Trigger Race ever again or make you want more.

I want more.

And that is part of the problem. How do you recreate situations where you’ve pushed yourself way beyond what you thought you were capable of, cheat death 3 times and learn that you are tougher and stronger, mentally and physically than you ever thought you was?

But it’s the buzz that gets you. The buzz of having been on the biggest adventure of your life and come through a far better person? The answer is you can’t even though you might try. The buzz lasted over a week for me, an amazing feeling I wish I had every day. However hard you try though you can’t recreate that situation with those feelings. They are unique to that day and that situation and will be forever. Time to move on, remember that day but create new situations that give me a different buzz.

On top of everything else I tore my right calf that day which has resulted in around 4 – 6 weeks with no running. It’s not a major injury nor is it a long time off, but when running gives you your buzz, makes you feel good and helps you control your stress and anxiety it’s a lifetime. I can still keep fit but lifting weights or going on the spin bike at the gym just doesn’t seem to give me the same buzz as running over open moorland, powering up hills and flying down the other side.   

So, my only option is to accept my situation and be grateful that it’s not as bad as some of my friends are going through and I can still go down the gym and keep fit.

And there’s the waiting for my masters course to start and other things to happen. All of a sudden I’ve caught up with pretty much everything and there’s only so much reading you can do in a day before your head starts to turn to mush and workouts at the gym become easier because you have more time to recover and time doesn’t matter. Friends have promised to meet up but they have their own busy lives to contend with so you have to wait until they are free. Boredom sets in as you begin to look for things to fill your day with and you try not to become an annoyance to friends and not bombard them with endless messages that they don’t have time to read. And you start thinking about anything and everything which quickly leads to overthinking which is not a good situation.

Try and relax and enjoy the downtime because it won’t last forever and quite soon you’ll be wondering how you can fit everything you want to do into the day, and respect your friends and the lives they lead because they are different to yours.

So all in all a series of events starting with the Trigger Race has snowballed and cumulated into sky high levels of anxiety and stress which have boiled over when they became insurmountable and lead to a mini breakdown.

There are lessons to be learnt in order to minimise the impact anxiety has on me the next time and maximise enjoying life and writing this blog is a big part of it.


i remember my lego bricks
boxes and boxes of them
different shapes, sizes and colours
some were round
others had wheels
i built everything /span>
from houses to skyscrapers
cars to concorde
tanks to battleships
i even built a planet
entirely from lego bricks
the only thing i did not
build was a wall