The power of silence

The last week I’ve been out the country. Not in a mentalist detached from reality sense, but in a genuine holiday way. The trip was planned before crisis time but I somewhat extended it as let’s be honest there was nothing to keep me here. I’ve been skiing with friends. I know, someone applying for benefits going skiing, disgusting isn’t it. Don’t tell the Daily Mail! The idea of having friends who are prepared to go on holiday with me is an alien enough concept in itself but they did and it was awesome.

I’m not going to say it was easy and problem free. Spending half an hour hiding in a snow drift in jeans and a t-shirt at midnight is not generally indicative of sanity although I did get a couple of random Irish guys inviting me back to their apartment 😉  Oh, and nearly taking a mini-OD to help me sleep but instead resorting to cutting the world out with music. That, and my desire to help constantly, while probably actually getting in the way, so that people didn’t hate me.

But none of that really matters. Those are blips, slightly erratic and extreme but dealable with and ultimately not particularly damaging. Hell, even if I’d taken the pills, the worst that would have happened would probably been a slight headache the next morning. Instead for a few days I have had peace. Peace from the relentless destruction of myself by me. Quietness of thoughts, no plans to end it, no sadness, no anger, no desolation just life as I feel it should be.

I am a skier with no technique. I’ve never really been taught, and the person who vaguely showed me what to do has never had lessons either. I probably look completely out of control but for some reason it seems to be something I can just do(ish). I’ve never really found any vaguely sporting ability before. I have the hand eye coordination of a deceased gnat, the balance of a … well I’m sure you get the idea. But skiing is different somehow. A strange side effect of the should have been end it all overdose last year is that I am no longer scared of consequences. Death is peaceful, so fuck it and let’s see what happens. This means I will throw myself off mountain sides without considering whether I’m actually capable of it. Consequently I spend a large amount of time on my arse, but do this enough times and eventually you get the hang of it. OK, my idea of getting the hang of it probably differs from everyone elses but it doesn’t matter, I can nigh on keep up with people who’ve been skiing loads more than me and a lack of self preservation means there’s little I won’t try. Actually, I am somewhat off jumping for now after attempting it, flying six foot in the air and landing on my head!

But the point is that when I’m out there, I’m free. It’s somewhat difficult to plot one’s demise while flying down a hillside at 25mph! Self harm is far away from thought while attempting the biggest black run in the area.  Who needs self hatred when you’re shooting through powder up to your knees off-piste? Nothing else matters but getting down that run and up to the top of the next.

But now I’m back home and the problems are already piling back up. I have a psych appt on Tuesday. My lovely GP has left and now I need to go through the process of getting to know a new one. There’s all the paperwork to deal with for the benefits people and the associated fear that I won’t be successful. That I’ll be deemed ok, that this is all there is. And yet, I know there is more. I found it on a mountainside in the south of France!

Can I go again now please?


4 Responses to The power of silence

  1. Bippidee says:


    I am new to your blog – I read the whole thing the other night when I couldn’t sleep, and just thought I would say hi.

    Sounds like it really did you good to get away for a little while. I hope you get on ok with your psych.


  2. aims says:

    I used to ski – in fact compete – but I haven’t done it in 20 years now. Some days I really miss it – especially in the long winters here. But I do know what you are talking about.

    With skiing it is just you and the mountain and the wind in your hair and face and the sound of the skis on the snow. The challenge of conquering the mountain.

    Ahhhhh – sigh!

  3. Holiday sounded good and hopefully gave you a chance to clear your head somewhat.

    Hope psych appointment goes well. Sorry your GP has left, I know how difficult it is to start again with a new one, hopefully your old one kept good notes though, and the new one reads them, so you’re not starting completely from scratch. Hope your new GP is a good one too.

    Yes we will need to compare notes on benefits. You’re not the only one terrified of being turned down… (like people would put themselves through this without good reason…)

    Take care,

  4. Alison says:

    A holiday just what I need right now a chance to escape reality…

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