You know those times when you feel you are just about coping? When you feel you’re trapped in a box which is slowly filling with water and you’re pressing your head against the top of that box, desperately trying to delay the moment when the water level passes your shoulders, then your chin, then your mouth, and you know within seconds it’s going to be lapping at your nostrils?

Right. Well that’s how I feel about now. Except the water, which I am using here as a metaphor for, y’know, stuff, life stuff (you got that, right?) is in actual fact currently the straw that’s breaking the camel’s back. I think I’ve mixed those metaphors beyond all recognition and, indeed, beyond all rhetorical use. In plain English then: Everything was all getting a bit much but I was kind of coping with it until my downstairs neighbour knocked on the door to tell me that my boiler was leaking so much that it had broken their boiler and was in the process of flooding the whole street. And sure enough, when I looked out of the window, it appeared that the Thames had made a small detour past my window. Fuuuuuk

So now I am spending my Sunday night trying to arrange for emergency plumbers to come and fix the flat downstairs, and trying to get the useless fuckers who fucked the fucking boiler in the first place to come and fucking fix the fuckwittery that was their attempt to fix the fucking thing in the first place. (I heard expletives lower stress levels. I’m giving it a go.) Meanwhile, although there is clearly a surplus of water in my opening metaphor, the flat downstairs, and the street below, there sure as fuck isn’t any in my flat. No. That had to be turned off to stem the deluge. So now I can’t wash up (ok, probs wouldn’t have done that for another few days anyway, but tis hardly the point), can’t have a shower, and more worryingly, can’t use the loo (on the bright side, I have no drinking water so that is a problem with its own built-in solution). Seriously though. On the toilet problem. I might have to consider using the cat-litter tray. Since one of my cats seems happy to use my bed as a loo, they can hardly complain if I share their tray (I have been forced to do this on one occasion in the past but that is a very different story and one which I fear would detract from the general tone of GAH which I am currently trying to express). Or maybe I should just cut out the middle-man and take a piss on the bed myself.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really a massive problem. It means sharing my flat with people who call me ‘love’ and ‘my dear’ for several days while they try to cover their ineptitude by patronising me with unsolicited life-advice, but it’s not really the end of the world. It’s just that I feel I am only ever just keeping the pressure of anxiety and panic at managable levels and this kind of needless, pointless, frustrating obstacle sends that pressure gauge shooting up into the red, and big read flashing letters reading PANIC, PANIC start blinking behind my eyes, and I cope with it in the only way I can release some of that pressure: I start to cry. And then I’m crying, not just because the boiler is fucked but because I have a PhD to write, and a new job to start, and because the water bill just came in and I don’t know how I’m going to pay it, and because I feel guilty because I don’t call my grandma enough, and because my grandma is 93 years old and all her friends died like twenty years ago, and because my brother feels low and there’s nothing I can do about it, and because I feel guilty and confused about some very confusing stuff at the moment, and because I owe about ten billion people emails…..everything just unravels. And then I feel so useless and pathetic because I really don’t have it that bad, and I know other people have ACTUAL problems to cope with and the truth is, I just don’t deal with normal day-to-day stresses very well. I need to work on that. Chamomile tea, yoga, breathing exercises, maybe some good drugs wouldn’t go amiss.  Whatever…I need to sort it the fuck out because you know what? Sometimes boilers break down. Sometimes things go wrong. And one day I’m going to have something really bad to deal with and then I’ll bloody wish it was only a case of ringing an emergency plumber.

Anyway, in an effort to convince myself that it’s not all bad and that the world is not an evil place populated only by cowboy plumbers, I am going to list some achievements/good things to come out of the last week:

1) I sent some work to my supervisor and she sent it back and apparently it’s not as crap as I thought.

2) I am planning to take my first proper holiday in almost eleven years. There will be sun, sea, endangered species, hopefully some vegan cuisine, but most of all there will be no PhD. Or any studing of any kind. Roll on April.

3) Last night, I went to watch the fireworks with people I love. It was beautiful and so were they.

Well, Internet. Thanks for reading. I feel a bit better now. That’s why I love blogging. I tell myself what’s what and give myself a bit of a talking to. I start writing in a frenzy of anger/panic/anxiety/frustration and then feel a whole lot better for getting everything off my chest (or small flat tits, as the case may be). Ok, signing off now. If you need me, I’ll be standing on the traffic island in the middle of my street, playing poo sticks with the body parts of chauvenist plumbers.

Till the morrow, fair Internet…