I wish we could feel we can talk to each other as human beings, even when we don’t know each other very well. I wish people at the shops actually want to hear the answer when they ask “how are you?” I wish we were bold enough to share a little bit of our lives with people instead of replying with the standard “I’m good”, even when we aren’t. I went to the chemist today to fill a script. The pharmacist asked me how I am. It wasn’t busy, she had time to listen. But as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t even say “I’m not the best”, a gentle invitation to a more meaningful conversation if she wished to go there. I wish I had of been bold. I wish I had of told her “I’m not the best”, and even why: that my mum has just been diagnosed with cancer. She would have been a great person to talk with. But I never took that opportunity. I just stood there in silence. Then said “sorry, umm I have a script”. She, like the pharmacist yesterday, noted that my antipsychotic medication had been reduced. “Has the doctor lowered your dose? You used to be on 5mg”, asked the pharmacist. “Yes” I said. I didn’t tell them that I am taking myself off my medication, that my psychiatrist and case worker hadn’t wanted to reduce my dose so instead I got the new script from a GP unknown to them.

I’m not having a great time. I’m lonely, missing badminton, missing Sara, missing Betty, and just missing in general. Incomplete. Empty. Deprived. And missing sleep. I didn’t think this medication ever did much. It helped a little with my sleep, though it would still often take hours to get to sleep. But it was better than this. I’m sleeping lightly and am awake at the crack of dawn with nothing to be awake for. All I hear is the low groan of the early morning traffic outside going round the round about and up the hill. So I move into the quietest room of the house: a tiny room the size of a walk in wardrobe where we store a whole lot of stuff. I clear enough space for a blow up mattress, lie down and try to get back to sleep. My mum’s diagnosis today is the cherry on top of all this.

Thankfully my mum’s cancer has not spread beyond her breast, yet. She needs urgent surgery to remove her breast before it spreads into the rest of her body. I am shocked and it all doesn’t seem fair. I don’t understand why life keeps throwing us more and more shit, beating us when we’re already on the ground. These past few years my mum lost her brother, her dad, her mum, the relationship with my sister, her marriage….. she’s had a lot of stress at work, it’s been hard on her seeing me not doing anything with my life and in and out of hospital, and covid has been stressful for everyone. Now this. What the fuck?

I’ve been feeling flat all evening, just going through the motions.

“Would you like a bag?” asks the lady at the chemist check out.

“Nope” I reply.

“Would you like a receipt?”


“Have a good day” she finally says as she hands me my pills. I walk away without saying anything. I go into the supermarket, pick up what I need, go to the check out, say a single “hi” to the man serving me, pay, pick up my yoghurt and walk home. No thank you. I don’t care about manners. I don’t care that I nearly walked in front of a car. I don’t care about covid and while I’m not going out of my way to kill myself, I don’t really care if I die. I can’t believe my mum has cancer; I want to wake up from this horrible dream. They say everything happens for a reason, but I don’t think I believe that anymore. I think just random shit happens to people. Some people get more shit than others and there is no greater purpose to any of it. When is life ever going to get any better?