Isn’t it strange how when you are in the grip of something, you lose all sense of perspective? It doesn’t matter how much you tell yourself, things could be so much worse, that you could be starving, or about to lose your home, or dying. your drama is your drama and once it has your head in its malignant grasp, it seems that nothing can shake it. Which is why for me all that “chose to be happy” stuff can be so much horse manure. Sanity can be elusive.

Once you’ve been through it once or twice, you know you will come out the other side. You know that you will be happy again. And even in obsessive misery’s ridiculous clutch, you can still have moments of laughter, of happiness.

It’s only ever love which gets me this way. Yes I’ve experienced low level unhappiness for other reasons, but it’s just the drama of unfulfiled, unrequited, unbalanced love which has caused me real pain. I’m lucky. It’s fair to say that to date love has not gone my way and the rest of my life has. And then we are only talking about romantic love… My life is chock full of the other types of love…

And then there are the moments when you grasp its insignificance, your insignificance; that it’s empty and meaningless, and its empty and meaningless that it’s empty and meaningless. Landmark Edcucation, suggested listening to the “Ram a lam a ding dong” song to remind yourself of that – and sometimes that works. Sometimes, being on a plane, looking down, knowing that all those people have their dramas and that you are floating above it all does the trick. But often, when you are in the grip of obsession, those moments seem impossible to sieze.

Today, after two years, I finally cleared the boot of my car of the bottles and bottles of pills and supplements which had belonged to my friend who died of breast cancer aged 52. My friend was a person the like of whom I will never meet again. Inspiring and deeply frustrating in equal measure, she was incredibly intuitive about others, supportive to a fault, and yet refused to listen to anyone, ever, about herself. She would do anything for her close circle of friends, and absolutely expected the same back. Scarred forever by the loss of her mum at aged 12, she demanded huge amounts of us and we always let her down.

She refused the doctors’ advice about her tumours and got angry with their conspiracies. She knew best. She fundraised for ground breaking treatment in Israel, worked with a kinesiologist and took hundreds and hundreds of very expensive, organic, vegetarian supplements – for chelating, for immune support, for cancer fighting. There were cupboards and cupboards of them and I have been carrying 3 plastic bags full in my boot. Today I scrabbled around to get rid of them – rooting among the spillages of brown, clear gold, white, oaty coloured. Handfuls of expensive life lengthening drugs and supplements went in the bin.

I remembered my friend for a few moments and particularly her horrible death. She fought for life whilst in terrible pain, spewing up black goo. She told the nurse to “fuck off” when she came with the morphine syringe, determined to hang on to her precious life as long as there was any breath in her body.

Her life was precious. Mine is precious. I’m alive and she is not.


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