It’s time for the (very irregular) roundup of a few of the more interesting things I’ve come across on the internet lately:
This post contains excerpts from the early chapters of Walking on Custard. This version was originally published online over at Mindtank, an awesome blog for sharing mental health and anxiety stories. Do check them out and give them plenty of support!
Worrying has always been my primary way of dealing with the world.
For most of my life, I thought this was normal. (When I wasn’t worrying about worrying so much, anyway…)
It’s 2004, and I awake in a student college in Melbourne, Australia. This comes as no surprise, because, at the time, I lived there.
I groggily stagger to the shared bathroom on my floor, to perform my morning washing routine. There’s nothing unusual about my lavatory procedure, so I’ll omit the details, for all of our benefits.
So far, so good. Already I’m full of optimism for today.
As I wash my hands, I glimpse myself in the mirror and notice my majestic, messy bed-head.
I often sport a disturbing, motley “I’ve just fallen out of bed” look for entire days, as I forget to check in the morning that I look sufficiently acceptable to go outside.
I usually see myself in a mirror just before I go to bed, and invariably feel retrospectively ashamed that I’ve had tufts of hair beaming in assorted directions since I woke up.
On this day, however, I notice my unconventional tufty hair and take immediate, drastic action, slapping the top of my head with my wet hands to encourage my mane into an acceptable shape. I stride out of the bathroom, feeling satisfied.
Universe 0, Neil 1. One triumph already: not appearing for the entire day as if I have just fallen out of bed. What an excellent start to the day…
It drifted around in their bloodstream, dreamily content with its lot in life. Every moment was a joy. It was physically joined with its true love, and it had never wanted anything more.
One day, after a spate of joyous multiplying, the virus noticed with alarm that their host appeared to have fallen ill.
“Oh dear,” said the virus (for it inexplicably had the ability to speak as well as to experience abstract emotions like love and joy). “I’d better do something.”
And so the virus did the only thing it knew how: it began to multiply at a faster rate than ever before. It hoped that if it became strong enough it would be able to help its love.
But the more the virus multiplied, the sicker their host seemed to get. This only made the virus more determined to help before time ran out.
Spurred by love, it multiplied faster and faster and faster. Until, suddenly…
This had many implications, including some interesting cultural exchange, another teenager to share the household washing-up burden that SO UNFAIRLY fell on my brother and I, and an extra excuse to go on lots of fun trips.
During one outing to a theme park, we came across a terrifying ride, called Oh Dear God Why Would You Go On THIS Are You A Total Fool.*
* I may not be remembering the name of this ride correctly.
It involved lying flat, suspended only by a thick elastic cord, and being pulled seventy feet in the air, and then being dropped towards the ground below. For “fun”.
I was visiting the rainforest (obviously). One day, I awoke at 5am to find an ant wandering along the surface of the mosquito net, inches in front of my face.
I watched it for a moment, half-dozing, listening to the sounds of the jungle while I slowly woke up… until I realised with a jolt… THAT ANT IS INSIDE MY MOSQUITO NET.
I responded calmly and rationally by flying into a complete panic.