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Favourite Things

Favourite Things

I’m feeling quite melancholic and maudlin today and I’ve only mustered up enough enthusiasm to hang the washing on the line (with some help from Sasha) and do the washing up (water, water everywhere). I’m beginning to find life without Aripiprazole quite tough going and I’m need of a bit of support. My HRT therapist called me on Friday and we had a chat about my bothersome leg-hitting tic which has left my right leg sore and badly bruised, I have been applying arnica gel to my leg a couple of times a day and use soothing ice packs which has helped ease the swelling and bruising. The initial suggestion of sitting on my hands as a competing response hasn’t really worked so I took her advice and read the relevant parts of my HRT workbook by Douglas Woods - the book says that the competing response should “ either be physically incompatible with the target tic (e.g. sitting on my hands) or be a relaxed, more natural, graceful variation of the original tic” so, what I’m going to attempt is to gentle place my right hand on my right leg until the urge goes. This is going to be a toughie! We also discussed my psychiatrist’s recommendation that I have a CPN (community psychiatric nurse) which will probably be very helpful.

I’ve decided to try and cheer myself up to write a list of my favourite things, in no specific order.

1.My family – I miss my family dearly, I would love to see my parents more, they live in Carmarthenshire, and my younger brothers, one lives in Chester with his wife, the other also lives in Llanelli with his wife and three children, hopefully at the end of the month my middle brother and his wife will come down and stay for the weekend.

2.Cats – If I wasn’t a human I think I’d like to be a cat (apart from having to eat cat food – Yuk) elegant, intelligent, sensuous creatures. Cats make a home and there have been a few in my life from Ginge, my Mum’s female cat from when I was little, Ollie the super intelligent ginger tom, Toby the tabby tearaway, the sadly missed handsome, elegant Russian Blue, Kat and finally the gorgeous Sasha, another Russian Blue. I still miss Kat sometimes, he was unfazed by my tics, my clapping tic unfortunately startles Sasha and she approaches me with caution, and I enjoyed our cuddles (so did he, purring away).

3.Gardening – Immensely therapeutic for example I was in my local garden centre recently sniffing and feeling the culinary herbs, deciding which ones I should buy and realised that I’d stopped ticcing until the guy who works in the garden centre came up to me “F%$£ OFF!....hi Paul, my thyme has gone a bit woody and dry” I’m just waiting for the new herbs to settle and grow a bit then I’ll start cooking with them, which moves me onto…

4.Cooking, I love cooking, especially for other people, there’s nothing better than sitting around the table with friends enjoying some great food and having a chat. This is something that I did on a weekly basis when I was at uni, the boys on my course (the were just 3 women on my course and about 25 men) weren’t that hot in the kitchen so they didn’t mind being veggie for the day, brought some ingredients and a couple of bottles of wine around my house, a great way to while away a Sunday afternoon. I’m struggling with cooking at the moment, only a couple of days ago I hit myself on the head with an Ikea chopping board whilst washing up.

5.Friends – It goes without saying, but unfortunately due to the attitude of ‘im indoors I’ve gradually become more distanced from friends, he’s been very critical of my friends without meeting them, there has been refusal to meet my friends. Sad but true.

6.Hugs – a good cwtch (that’s a Welsh hug) is sadly missed, the worse my tics are the more my loving boyfriend distances himself from me, and at the moment he can’t bear to be in the same room as me yet alone be affectionate towards me. There’s only Gruff (my childhood teddy) left to cwtch.

7.Knitting – I’ve been knitting away at a feverish pace lately, my knitting skills have improved greatly and I’ve been spending a lot of time on Ravelry which is a social networking website for knitters and crotchetiers. I’ve found knitting immensely helpful to helping to overcome tricotillomania (hair pulling) and I calming my tics, coupled with burning basil and lavender oil in my oil burner this has helped greatly with my tics. If you would like me to knit you something please let me know!

8. Music - I miss playing my double bass, me and bass have had some good times, from the Welsh Schools Proms in Cardiff ( on S4C Welsh language Channel 4),to playing Salsa with Jools Holland and most importantly playing with friends, unfortunately you can't get my bass on the back of a motorbike. Although performing is fun what I get more of a buzz from is composing, my last composing venture involved writing the music for my brother's last comedy venture, which included a bombastic theme writen for big band (played brilliantly by Leicester Big Band) and some other stuff including music for a pirate cookery show - "Ready Steady Hook"! I sadly missed out on doing a Mmus in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester due to funding.

9. Organising Things - Be it a party, a gig, any get-together for people I'm there! So I hope to see you at the next group support meeting in Birmingham which I'm currently organising. So far I think my best bit of organising was getting together a string quartet to perform music by myself and a couple of uni friends together with a film created by moi (only because I couldn't find a media student) in the pub where I worked. A great success, bringing contempary classical music to a new audience.

10. Vintage clothes - Bliss is rumageing through the rails of vintage clothes shops, my bike leathers are vintage, charity shops and car boot sales are also fantastic places to hunt down an interesting item, I'm still coveting the gold brocade dress that my friend found for a pound at the car boot sale last weekend.

3 Replies

Here's my brother's website


Oh gawd!

Don't make em so long as I'm on a timer in the library, got an apopointment at 14.45 and doctors at 15.30 and the place closes at 16.30 and my leg's too sore to drag myself up to the later main one so not got much time to stand and stare - or sit and read long posts

Will get back to you tomoz though


Sorry, just got a lot going on in my head at the mo.