Misc · On Mental Health

Catching up with my baby (soon to be married) sister, and contemplating adulthood, lingering symptoms, and Itchycoo Park!

So I travelled up to Lewisham last night to spend the night with my little sister.

She’s been crazy busy with work and, more excitingly, wedding planning (eeeek!)- so it was so great to catch up with her and hear how everything’s going. The main and most exciting headline: she has finally picked her dress.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of it, and can confirm… it’s utterly and completely stunning.

My sister’s beautiful anyway, so in all likelihood anything would have looked good- but the dress she picked is absolutely perfect. I think I read somewhere that a girl knows when she puts on the right wedding dress, as it just feels right; and I really think she found the one she’s supposed to have.

It’s vintage, boho, gypsy chic- and really authentic looking, like the kind of dress I imagine being on a run-way, that designers would base their creations on. It seemed genuinely unique- and she looked so so beautiful.

We had a few lovely moments oohing and aahing at the fabric and the detail.. and then it suddenly hit me.. the realisation struck- my little sister is getting married. She’s going to be a wife.


Don’t get me wrong, it’s the most amazing thing. Simmy, her husband to be, proposed when we were all away in Kefolonia over the summer, and she swam out into the sea to tell me whilst he watched on from the shore with a smile on his face.

I almost drowned her at first, but once I’d gotten over the initial rush of excitement, we swam back in and I gave my future brother in law a massive hug and kiss.

Simmy is a diamond, one of the best guys I know, and they are absolutely perfect for one another- so I have no problem whatsoever with him putting a ring on her finger.

It’s just.. for some reason, I can’t seem to factor these words; ‘married,’ ‘husband and wife,’ ‘brother in law’, into my thinking and my mental vocabulary. They seem strange, like trying to accommodate foreign terms or phrases.

I think it’s just the shift in perspective. My sister is going to be a wife; she and Simmy are no longer just a couple, they are engaged to be married. It’s like it’s just hit home for me, how far into adulthood we all are now.

The word, adult, still seems very alien to me most days. I guess the idea of adulthood I had when I was young, was very different from what I am experiencing now. Moreover, with a diagnosis of mental illness, my thinking was probably more ordered and sensible when I was 17 than how it is most days now!

But I know that this isn’t unusual- most people don’t feel “adult” all the time.

We had a great night, but my tic and other assortment of mental bollocks decided to make an appearance for a while; and brought with it the usual array of paranoid, delusional crap. It’s like the illness just comes out of nowhere and blacks out everything positive that had been happening beforehand.

We were just relaxing, looking at the wedding photos of different people she knew, so that she could show the photographer she was meeting today what styles and themes she liked and didn’t; and so were laughing a lot at some peoples blatant tack and cheese, and cooing over other ones which were absolutely beautiful.

It was just a fun, laid back evening; but for some reason my bloody head seems to take issue with that fact.

And it’s not even reason driving it! Just echoes of previous delusional preoccupations. It is the most dam frustrating thing in the world when symptoms which you know are meaningless and utterly pointless come on and distract from a really good evening.

I know my sister wouldn’t think anything of it- she has definitely seen me at my worse and so a little bit of distraction and tetchiness isn’t the end of the world. But it breaks my heart a little bit when I have nights like last night, when I feel as though my symptoms are getting me down and making issues which simply don’t need to be there.

I know, I know- the reality is: they are not “making issues.”

They are only getting me down. I wanted to be as upbeat, positive and fun as I could be- and they seem to derail that, which is annoying.

I am sure that anybody who deals with any form of mental illness can understand the frustration, that comes with being affected by something which usually doesn’t make any sense, or have any decent or underlying rational behind it.

But, the bright side– it passed, and we had a good giggle before we went off to sleep trying to remember old songs which our grandparents used to play to us on car journeys when we were young.

“Duke, duke, duke, duke of earl, duke, duke, duke…” being the lyrics which had us in stitches. I doubt anybody other than my sister will get that reference, but they’re actually the scintillating lyrics of a really awesome song from the 60’s- go figure.

These moments, the ones which make you smile to remember, are always the ones which are most important.

The ones which take you in the other direction aren’t worth it, they’re just distractions from the real stuff. The other song we managed to recall was Itchycoo Park, an absolute tune; which had us both singing, and reminiscing about long car journeys we did with our nan and granddad years ago, back when we really were kids..

“It’s all, too beautiful….” What a song!

My sister is soon to be married; and I can’t wait to be her maid of honour. Something which truly is an honour.. and means the absolute world to me. She is the most gorgeous, big-hearted, supportive sister ever, and I’m so very happy that she’s marrying the man of her dreams in July.

Bring on the party, and bring on the celebrations! 😉





10 thoughts on “Catching up with my baby (soon to be married) sister, and contemplating adulthood, lingering symptoms, and Itchycoo Park!

  1. Morning, Alex.

    I want to explore one of the themes in your post – that of transition to adulthood. Because we live in a society that dwells on the intellectual side of things and barely notices anything else. As your post makes clear, that doesn’t mean that these things don’t exist, it only means that they aren’t thought of.

    Which is the problem: if they’re not thought of, they will come as a surprise – not to say, a shock.

    I want to add that in leaving an entire population unprepared for the demands of adulthood (and of course, the joys) they make life tough for the likes of us. And yes, I was unprepared too. I learned the hard way, when I lived in Germany, but that’s another story. The real point here is that all too many people were from early Victorian times, educated in a purely intellectual way. When it came to emotions, feelings, they were left stranded on a rock with the waves crashing around them.

    Imagine you were living a hundred years ago, when the pressures weren’t so great… and your illness came upon you at an age of, say, forty. Remember this is a time when nobody knew anything useful about mental illnesses or what caused them. A bit like now? All that could be done was to sit you down in a bedroom and let you mumble and babble as you pleased.

    In short: teaching children how to spell a word rather than write the story that they want to write will help nobody (click my moniker for more on this theme). If we’re speaking to someone, we don’t need to spell a word, do we? We can make grammatical errors, but the confused look on your listener will tell you this quickly enough.

    Our education system has a very great deal to answer for. But then, it is a product of an earlier education system where the ideals lay in the thinking realm…

    … and everything else was deemed unworthy.

    That was a grave error to make. It has cost us all a great deal of worry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.. yes this subject fascinates me tbh, and i think i’ll do another post specifically on the idea of “growing up,” or, as you put it “transition to adulthood,” because there is so much to think about, and i’ve only touched upon it superficially in this post. What do we learn, and what do we lose or leave behind as we grow up? What do we become aware of and have to accept.. i feel like i’m stuck between “child and adulthood” most days- i think the process of leaving education and going out into world of work around the age of 20 is a crucial step in socialisation process, and in “growing up.” You meet people who are completely different from yourself and the people you’ve chosen as friends- you learn how miniscule you and your beliefs are.. you learn to focus on what’s important and not any stray thing which passes through your mind- but what do you lose? As said, i find this subject so interesting! I agree that schools do very little to encourage emotional development, or, if they do, it’s like training kids to feel a very certain way. There’s so much crucial stuff left out of education, here anyway and what i’ve experienced. I think that was PART of the reason i snapped- i didn’t have the faculties required to process adulthood, the acceptance and stocism required didn’t exist in me. Anyway.. yes lol this will likely all go into another post! Xx


      1. The first and most important thing to realize is where you stand in this world. Your illness and your way of living are actually part of the same essential way of seeing life – that is to say, through the lens of the feeling realm. I spoke of this on my private blog, if you recall?

        None of us is born with clarity, and we all have our challenges to meet. Yours is to find how to balance the two extremes in your life. We all experience these things, the problem you have is that you can’t work out which is which, or, more importantly, to establish a balance between the two.

        Being an adult isn’t closing yourself off to childhood, being an adult is to recognize when it is appropriate to behave as an adult, and in which circumstances, and when to play the fool for children to enjoy. The child isn’t old enough to know any better… the adult is.

        In the one-sided world of education, there is little spoken of this because the adult teachers are those who have closed themselves off to their own potential!!! They know no better, if anybody tells them, they know they are a teacher and therefore know all they need to know.

        End of story.

        Meet that, you know this person has no future.

        You snapped because modern education – and I your last life, too – you weren’t trained to deal with the realities of life.

        What I will say here is that when a person has only one ‘faculty’ that is conscious, such as the teacher who can only think – but not feel or act – they have almost no chance to develop the others. The process is so simple and so easy that they could if but they, well, chose to. They will choose not to! Those who have TWO faculties that are conscious, or mostly conscious, there is the chance to develop the third and thus achieve the kind of stability that you are showing that you already possess. (Albeit that this can be crushed by the weight of circumstance.)

        After all, you are questioning yourself – and that is the first clear sign that a person has all three faculties within their grasp.


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