The Inevitable 'Goodbye' Post

Not Dead, Just Sleeping…

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday, dear Confessions
Happy birthday to me!

Confessions of a Serial Insomniac began exactly three years ago today with the first incarnation of the ubiquitous About page. It seems fitting and right that it meets its pseudo-demise on its birthday. It’s a nice, round timeframe.

Those of you that are regular readers will have seen this coming for months. Indeed, I’ve discussed it with several of you over the last…I don’t know, eight or ten weeks, maybe more. My passion for this place – once overwhelming – has waned profoundly, and it would feel a disservice to the blog to simply abandon it, rather than tying up its loose ends.

There’s so much I want to say that I hardly know where to start. I’ll jump in, then, with practicalities.

  • I said in a recent post that I intended to discuss my new set of sessions with Paul on the blog. I’m not going to do that after all, for which my apologies are due. I’ll outline the primary reason for this later.
  • I never did finish my series on my aunt Maisie’s demise. Again, apologies for those of you that were mad enough to be interested. To be honest, although I could have made the further details of the funeral into an epic yet dull piece of prose, not much of note really happened. Her coffin was carried up the road a bit, the eight men underneath it bulking under its weight. I once again, inexplicably, envied my cousins’ comforting of each other. Maisie was buried, atop a hill, in the sunlight. I cried again, like the sad cunt I apparently am. We went to the tedious, oppressive wake (on which, ironically, Maisie would have completely thrived). The only real out-of-the-ordinary incident was to do with Aunt of Evil. After hours of successfully avoiding the accursed woman, she managed to catch me out whilst I was aimlessly talking to her brother-in-law, Uncle of Boredom. Long story short: although she apologised to me for “whatever it was [she] ha[d] done” (as if she didn’t fucking know!), I ended up apologising to her too! I raged with myself for weeks, because I had done nothing to the heinous witch to warrant any words of atonement, but then I remembered she’d gone back to USistan without my having seen or spoken to her again, and I settled a bit.
  • Twitter and Facebook. I’ll keep them both ‘officially’ open, I think – Twitter especially holds so much history for me – but I’m very unlikely to be updating or checking either. Don’t unfollow them, though (unless you’re sick of me, which is obviously reasonable enough); you never know where and when I may re-crop up…
  • Although I’m finishing my writing tenure here, I’m not taking the blog down; it’ll still be fully accessible. Many of the search terms over the years – and the regular readers I’ve picked up therefrom – have suggested to me that some people have actually found parts of this rubbish useful, or at least enjoyable (!). I don’t want to deny others the opportunity to explore it should they so wish, and in any case the domain name and hosting are paid up until at least January 2013, so they might as well be made use of.
  • You can still contact me, though I’ll be disabling the contact form soon and, as observed, will probably not be hanging about Twitter. Instead, email me at pandora dot urquharthuxley at gmail dot com. This arrangement will most likely not be permanent either, but it will bridge a gap at least.

Now then. I suppose I should try to outline my reasons for leaving this place, my much-loved home for three years – the place where I met so many amazing people, garnered so much support and spouted so much crap that offered a surprising amount of catharsis. As I sit here and write this, it almost feels like folly to quit; Confessions has brought me so much, and here I am rejecting it. I will mourn it, and do so profoundly; it has shaped my life beyond my wildest dreams during its course, so how could I not?

But I am not this person any more.

I think there comes a time in the lives of most mental people where they realise, or accept, that they are defined by something greater than their diagnoses. For the most part, I have seen my life since 2008 – and, to a lesser extent, since I was a teenager – as an experience which was shaped by my diseased mind and its treacherous idiosyncrasies. Of late, though, I’ve begun to think differently of myself. I’m not naive, and I’m not an idealist: I have a mental illness, and although that can potentially be managed, I will almost certainly always have it. My views have not changed so radically that I now see myself as someone who has ‘pathologised her humanity‘ or some such other patronising fucking nonsense. Nonetheless, ‘mental’ is no longer the first word jumping from my lips when someone asks me about myself.

I suppose I could adapt Confessions to reflect this – I could write about gaming, books, pubs I like, holidays I’ve been on. But it does not, in any fashion, feel right; this has always been a blog about mental health, and I feel it more apt to let it stay that way. So as I as a person move on, so must my blog.

There are wider issues than just this, of course. Logistically speaking, I don’t always have time to write here any more, at least not in the essay-ish style to which I’ve always been prone. Again, I feel it would be a disservice to the legacy of what I’ve done with this journal to modify my writing style to facilitate shorter posts; it’s just not what this all became over the course of its life. I’ve had it said to me by a few people that my longest posts – probably because they’re the ones in which I’ve become most immersed – are my best, and I’d rather be remembered for that than for something that just dribbled dry over time. At the risk of employing a vulgar cliche, as Neil Young (and, more famously, Kurt Cobain) put it, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.

Additionally, to quote one of my favourite writers who has also lately bowed out of anonymous blogging, I am tired of pretending. I’ve long-since hated the anonymity that this place affords me – not because I hate the persona that you all know as Pandora, for she has become an irrevocable part of ‘me’, and despite it all, I actually don’t hate myself (and am not sure that I ever truly did). It’s because I am not ashamed of who I am, of who I have become, of what I have, and of what I don’t. The matters discussed on this journal have actively required that I cloak myself behind a pseudonym, but, again, I no longer see myself as someone solely prescribed and designated as a victim of sexual abuse or vicious hallucinations. To that end, I presently don’t need my anonymity (at least for pursuits unconnected to this website).

The final straw was in therapy recently. Nominally, Paul and I were having a proper therapeutic conversation, though he did at the end comment that it had been a strange session. It was, because I was not properly in it. Thankfully – or not – that had nothing to do with fucking Aurora; it was me playing games with myself. To get to the bloody point, I was sitting there considering in detailed terms how I could frame our discussion in dialogue-driven, prosaic terms – did he raise an eyebrow here, did I sneer at something there? – for this blog.

That is not healthy. I knew right then that I had to stop writing here. Therapy is meant to be a life-enriching, remedial experience; it’s not fucking blogging fodder. In the sessions that followed, having made up my mind to close things down, we were able to do much more fulfilling work together.

Naturally, this has a downside; I am unable to express to A, for example, the kind of material covered in session. I regret that, but I feel that healthy psychotherapy is more important for all concerned than others having insight into the process as it happens to me. If that sounds blunt, please forgive me: my point is that if I am unwell (as, without adequate, concentrated treatment, I will be), then everyone around me is affected. That’s no more fair on them – and probably you, as a reader – than it is on me.

I am a horrendously jealous person – I freely admit it. When I log on to that bloody curse that is Facebook – I really should deactivate it yet again – I see people I went to school with having brats and developing the careers they always wanted. I’m not envious of the former per se because, as you know, I’m childfree. But I am jealous of them having what they want, and of their apparent happiness with their lives.

But, you know, when I think about it all in context, when I think of all I’ve faced and all I’ve done – or at least tried to do – it doesn’t seem quite so bad.

I didn’t have the best start in life, whether through social factors, chemical ones or ones relating to my own psychology (or, in my view, a combination of all thereof). I could have let my resulting mental illness fuck me entirely – and at times it nearly has, and indeed it still might – but I fight with every weapon my arsenal allows me; I actively try to help myself get better. I engage with all services available to me – psychiatry, nursing and therapy (indeed, I had to go out of my way to secure the latter, after NHS Psychology shat on my face, rather than lying down under it like I could have done). I co-operate with them all despite the fact that they – like almost anything – are not perfect, because I don’t want this non-life any more. I want that sense of contentment that those twats on Facebook appear to have.

Although I’m still ill, I refuse to tolerate the idea that I should stay on state benefits indefinitely. That is most indubitably not to say that mentals (or anyone else with a serious and/or enduring illness) should be forced off ESA and other benefits. Fuck the Coalition and their myopic, dangerous biases; our first concern as a society should be to support individuals who are disabled, ill and/or vulnerable, rather than lowering taxes for people who can afford to fucking pay for them.

Still, I ultimately want to be self-sufficient, despite the perhaps precarious position in which I find myself. It may not happen any time soon, but I want to, when possible, try.

I’m pragmatic enough to realise that my illness can’t be cured, merely managed, and as such although in an ideal world I’d go back to a more traditional job, I realise that it may (and only ‘may’) not be possible (or at least sustainable).

So, for now at least, I write. I consider myself a writer now, regardless of whether others think the title narcissistic or grandiose. This is partly why I don’t have as much time as I once did for Confessions; it’s sad, but it’s real. As my best mate Dan (himself a full-time staff journalist) discussed the other day, I’ve made genuine in-roads into turning what was once a vague fairytale idea into a reality. I’m talking to Editors, engaging with the low-paying but still useful services of and eLance, getting my (real) name out there…and I’ve applied for a voluntary job which will involve, if I get it, writing for the local rags about mental illness. Most of my writing to date has been in relatively specialist publications and websites, so writing for the papers – a more mainstream pursuit, with wider readerships – would be a welcome challenge, and indeed a useful addition to my portfolio.

Oh, and The Book? It’s back on πŸ™‚ I’m also half-minded to try and novelise this blog at some point, but that would be an immense piece of work – even harder than a random piece of fiction, because it would require endless re-working of Confessions, rather than putting a bunch of ideas down on paper and formulating them into prose. If The Book ultimately has any success, I may be buoyed to work on such a monolithic task, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

My writing ‘career’ may fail…but, again, I’m trying to make something of my life. It’s very difficult right now, what with not being fully well, and there are days when it’s impossible to face. There are days when anything is impossible to face. But I’m starting, and that’s got to count for something. If it goes tits up – yes, that’ll be disappointing. That much goes without saying. But I’d rather have that potential outcome than that in which I didn’t give it a damn good go.

And I feel a little better each day. A bit less depressed, a bit less despairing, a bit more positive, a bit more hopeful. My current medication cocktail, combined with an ever-excellent psychotherapist, has brought me closer to wellness than I’ve been in a very long time, despite the truly abysmal year this has been, circumstantially, so far. As I said way up above, I no longer see myself entirely through the lens of a mentally ill kaleidoscope.

In the years since my most recent breakdown, I’ve often cursed my psychic misfortune (aside from the fact that no, I still probably wouldn’t flick the sanity switch were I offered the option). Further, I’ve cursed this blog (sometimes for valid reasons, sometimes just in rage-fuelled piques). And yet…look what both my madness and my blogging have brought me.

  • A half-credible chance to use my afflictions to facilitate a respectable career, whilst simultaneously advocating for others in the same shitty boat.
  • Most importantly, I have met some of the most wonderful people in the entire known universe – people who (God/Buddha/Allah/Flying Spaghetti Monster/Richard Dawkins willing) will be lifelong friends.

Throw in the gratifying fact that I’m in a long-term – and, more crucially, happy – relationship with a loving, accepting partner. Multiply that by the other genuinely meaningful and life-changing friendships I have managed to forge throughout my life – Dan, Brian, Aaron, lots of people that are not close friends but that are certainly more than acquaintances. Minus the disastrously dysfunctional family, but add to the list a loving mother – something that not everyone is fortunate enough to have.

When I think about things thus, when I examine my life as though it were the Bayeux Tapestry, looking at the ‘bigger picture’ (I hate that fucking term) – well, I feel privileged.

And at the risk of repeating myself, in these circumstances, I find myself sometimes thinking, “do you know what, Pan? You ultimately did well, girl. You did well.”

And, for now at least, that’s enough.

Is this completely ‘goodbye’? Not necessarily. A number of you already follow another blog I write, and I will consider requests for the URL from others (email me as per the details at the start of the post, though please do not be offended if I don’t respond with the address; I don’t write exclusively about mentalness there, and don’t want it to become what this blog has). Furthermore, I may add the odd update here once in a very occasional while. And let’s not forget that when Maisie died, despite my pre-existing intention to wind down Confessions, I immediately gravitated here and ended up writing quite a lot; as it had been so many times before, the blog was my haven and lustration. Right at the top of this entry, I used the words ‘not dead, just sleeping’. So, when things inevitably go downhill again, or when some other life event once again sends me down the figurative shitter, this place could be resurrected. So do keep me on your RSS Readers and social media profiles just in case πŸ™‚ I’m not offering any guarantees, and I’m certainly not saying it’s even likely. It would be folly to rule anything in, or rule anything out, though, so there you have it.

Whatever happens, thank you for sharing this madness with me. Your support, tolerance, friendship, and even love has made my life better – and literally saved me on occasion. I’m pretty convinced I’d either be dead or much more seriously ill than I presently am had it not been for the amazing people I’ve met through writing here.

In the parting words of the Ninth Doctor: you were fantastic – absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!

Farewell, my loves. Cue trite, manufactured, but tackily appropriate song from (who else but?! ;)) Lunatica.


56 thoughts on “The Inevitable 'Goodbye' Post

  1. Oh Pandora. I will miss you _so_ much. It has truly been an honour to follow you- You have provided humour, insight, advocacy, entertainment and heart-wrenching tales over these three years and you deserve every good thing. I am _certain_ that your writing career will succeed- you really do have such talent, and you deserve every award you’v got and more.

    Thank you for everything.

    Please take care

    Very best wishes

    • Over the last few years, you have been a remarkable support and I am endlessly grateful for that. Thank you for your all your comments, for your consistently kind, encouraging and helpful words, and for the sharing of your own experiences. It has been my pleasure.

      Love and hugs to you

      Pan ❀ xxx

  2. I think there comes a time in the lives of most mental people where they realise, or accept, that they are defined by something greater than their diagnoses…

    To me, lovely, you have always been more than your diagnoses. It’s been a privilege to know you here, and an even greater privilege to get to know you a little in the real. I look forward to following you in t’other place, and I salute you.

    Much love and massive *hugs* xx

    • I loved this sentence. It said for me everything about your journey to date. I wish you well Pan on the next bit of it, may be it as good in terms of healing and recovery and self-knowledge as your journey so far xx

      • Thank you my dear. The road is rocky, but I live in hope! It’s been great getting to know you over the last few years. Thank you for your good wishes and take good care of yourself.

        Love and hugs

        Pan ❀ xxx

    • Phil, it has been a pleasure to know you. You’ve been here almost since the beginning with your ever insightful and wonderfully supportive words, when I was at my worst, and at my best. It has meant the world to me, and it was a pleasure to meet you that time. I look forward to another face-to-face run-in the not-distant future πŸ™‚

      Truly, thank you for everything, and I’ll definitely be seeing you about πŸ™‚

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  3. You know when it is time. It’s hard, but it’s totally worth it. Best thing I have ever done, and I don’t regret it in the slightest. Pan, there is certainly more to you than mh. Best of luck with the future.


    • Thanks honey. The letting go bit is a big deal, but you’re right: you know when it’s time. Thanks for all your support over the last few years, it’s meant a lot πŸ™‚ Take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  4. Goodbye Pandora! You should be very proud of all your writing achievements and I wish you the very best for the future.

    FYI, LOVE the quote from the Ninth Doc. Ninth Doctor FTW !!!

    • Thank you my lovely πŸ™‚ We’ll make ourselves a duo of writing stalwarts yet!

      The Ninth Doctor was awesome. I wish Christopher Ecclestone had stayed for more than one series, but I can’t really complain about his two successors πŸ™‚

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  5. I don’t believe in fate or luck. Everything happens for a reason and 2 years or so ago when I googled who knows what, Confessions came up. It has been a journey that has seen you grow and arrive at this point in your life where just as others have said, its time to wrap things up here and move on to your new venture. Thank you for all your posts here and all the best for the new.
    Take care ‘Pan’.
    Ash xo

    • Thank you Ash. You’re one of only about three readers that also come from Northern Ireland (that I know of, anyhow), and it’s been great to have someone here that knows how shite MH services really are in this wee place. You’ve also been an amazing support and a good friend to me. Thank you for everything, and see you elsewhere…

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  6. I will miss Confessions but it’s wonderful to hear how things are continuing to improve for you, and your decision to move on seems a very good move. I hope you’ll keep in touch. I’d love the URL of your other blog if you feel comfortable sending it to me, and I’m always happy to talk about the challenges of freelancing/writing with a mental illness (or just in general!)

    Wishing you all the best xxx

    • Thank you lady πŸ™‚ I know by now you know the details of my new home, so see you there hopefully. It’s been great getting to know you, and was really nice to meet you last year. Though I’d apologise again for being so hideously hungover πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for everything and take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

    • Thank you very much honey. It’s been great to know you over these past few years and it was a pleasure to meet you those times – here’s to the next one! πŸ™‚

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

    • Thank you Emma, I really appreciate your good wishes and kind words. I hope we’ll keep in touch…I can be found elsewhere πŸ˜‰

      Take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  7. You rock lovey, you totally rock. I read this post as so bittersweet. Bitter because I’ll miss reading about your battle with mentalism and comparing our synchronicities, and sweet because this is the most positive post I’ve ever read from you. I read it with tears running down my face. I want to see you fulfilling the potential you so obviously have. I totally understand the reasons why you’re saying goodbye and I hope that the future continues to improve.

    I stopped blogging about the mentalism some years ago for several years before I came back to it, that’s why I’m glad you’re not deleting the blog – you may need or want to continue this journey on here in the future but that’s up to you.

    I knew I loved you to bits before I met you and that was only enforced by the too short time that I spent with you and A – we will definitely have to do it again sometime when Norn Iron and Southern England move closer geographically! Maybe the next ice age but hopefully before that.

    Thank you for your blog. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your humour. Thank you for being there and travelling alongside me as we wibble together. And I look forward to our continuing travel.

    Love you to bits xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • *massive hugs*

      You were my first Twitter friend and my first blog reader…and that has translated into a friend for life. I don’t know what I’d do without you – you make me laugh, you empathise and sympathise, you understand, you entertain. None of this would have been possible without you – this blog would never even have existed without you, but that doesn’t even matter. What matters is that you’re my friend, and I love you to bits too.

      Fuck the Irish Sea. We’ll defeat it again like we did last year πŸ™‚

      Thank you for everything, my love, and here’s to the future of our wonderful friendship.

      Lots of love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxxxx

  8. ” I find myself sometimes thinking, β€œdo you know what, Pan? You ultimately did well, girl. You did well.”
    I am so very glad that you have arrived at this place, so very glad
    thanks for everything, Pan
    i’m still stuck in same place as I met you three yrs ago (no life partner or parent or family or match for drs or therapists yet), so I have that jealousy thing going on…but at the same time and thrilled for you. (I got your Facebook point totally…sometimes I don’t go on it …because I had wanted kids, myself). It’s hard to believe in oneself and stand on ones own without much support. It was even very hard with some.
    I am glad you can see your own worth and talent now. Thank goodness for Paul.
    You deserve all the good things coming to you…and will appreciate them more for your previous pain and not having the life you wanted prior. My wish for you is that these difficult three years are it, and unlike what you said, you never feel the need because of a slump to come back here, unless you want to…instead you will get what you want in life, savoring it more from your experiences

    • Linda, it’s been a pleasure – you’ve been a great support and have offered me many wise words over the last few years. Thank you for that, and for everything else.

      I sincerely hope that you will find a happier life, and soon. You genuinely deserve good therapy and medical intervention, and I am certain that you’ll make someone a wonderful partner. I hope that doesn’t sound achingly patronising – I mean it well, at least!

      Thanks again for everything. Take care and keep in touch.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  9. Though of course it’s sad to have you cease to write on your blog, I’m glad you’re in a place that you feel it’s time to move forward from it. Take good care xx

    • Thank you, WFH. It’s been great having you here, and I will of course continue to follow your excellent blog. I’m so glad things are a little better for you and the minute, and really hope that continues in the long-term.

      Take care of yourself πŸ™‚

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  10. Pandora you will be missed immensely in the MH blogging world (as I am sure you know!) but I can fully understand why it is time to wind up the blog, having done it, myself once only to return… although having doubts on the return I made! I can very much relate to what you write when you talk about writing about therapy experiences, because I myself have given so much thought especially over the past few weeks as to why on earth I am writing what I am about my therapeutic experiences when I could be doing something much more constructive with my time – like walking the dog!

    I hope you secure the voluntary job you are pursuing, as writing is something you are more than brilliant at and something you will excel in especially when writing about things that are MH related… I only hope others appreciate your talent and skills!

    Whilst we have not had the pleasure to meet in real life, I am certain if we did we would both perhaps share the same sense of humour, but who knows one day… and if we do first drink is on me!

    Take care Pan x

    • Well, I for one am glad you returned πŸ™‚ I’m still following your blog and will continue to do so.

      Thank you so much for your kind words here and in previous comments. I am so glad that you’ve enjoyed the nonsense I’ve spouted here πŸ˜‰ I’m glad I wrote so much about therapy, as it happens; I hope others were able to realise that the horribly fucked-up relationship and feelings that come as part of it was something we all go through.

      Anyway, it would be my pleasure to meet you in person some time. I’ll hold you to that drink, but will happily buy you 20 15 10 a few back in return πŸ˜‰

      Take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  11. I don’t normally get sad at things, but this made me pretty sad I’d have to say. But also sort of happy for you, since I’m sure you’re doing this for the right reasons. I’m sorry I’ve never commented on your wonderful blog much, but I’ve never known the right words to say. You’ll make a hell of a writer. That’s all I can think of saying right now.

    • Please don’t apologise; I’ve been just as ‘bad’ on your blog!

      I’ll always remember my stunned surprise when I was sitting reading one of your entries, as I do them all, and here, out of the blue, you spoke of Confessions. It made my day πŸ™‚

      Well, as per our email exchange this weekend, you know where I am πŸ˜‰ I look forward to continue reading your excellent writing and to hopefully having you at my new home.

      Thanks for your good wishes and kind words. Take care!

      Love and hugs (are those the right words to say to an anti-natalist? Well, they’re heartfelt either way ;))

      Pan ❀ xxx

  12. Reading this, I can’t help but think that this is a blog that’s ending well in the same way that a good piece of therapy ends well – as an affirmation that a change has been made, and it’s now the right time to move on and step out in a different direction.

    A fine ending to a fine blog.

    • I really like this analogy, Z. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it makes perfect sense now that you’ve said it. I just hope my actual therapy ends so successfully πŸ˜‰

      We’ve had a strange 18 months, have we not? Well, thank you for being such a source of sense, support and strength (gotta love alliteration) throughout it – and thank you for your fabulous tribute to Confessions over on TWIM. Here’s to many more happy times over there πŸ™‚

      Take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  13. Hi Pan,

    i’ve been a lurker and have rarely commented, but i just want to say good luck with the future and such, and that i am so glad that you’ve come to the point that mental illness has shrunk back enough in your life for this blog to finish. It’s been a very interesting read πŸ™‚


    • Thank you, Josie! I know there are a few lurkers, and I’d like to thank them all, yourself obviously included, for reading πŸ™‚ I hope you’ve been able to take something from it all.

      Thanks again and take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  14. God speed, lady! I’ll admit my jealousy too, of you! Your blog has been amazing, and I’m glad you feel that you’ve come such a long way. xx

    • Augh Seaneen, don’t be daft! You’re the one doing something meaningful with your life – and you’re a damn fine published writer too!

      It’s been great getting to know you, all the better because you know all the ridiculous Norn Iron expressions most people don’t πŸ˜‰ I love The Secret Life and will of course continue to read it. And, I hope, we’ll get to meet for a second time some day!

      Thanks for reading and for all your lovely comments! Take care and all the best πŸ™‚

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  15. Hi Pandora

    Really happy you have found a place where you no longer need to blog. It is a good place to be having made it there myself, and although I do miss blogging I dont need it or it no longer seems important to me. Thank you for sharing all you have, thank you for your lovely comments and support over at my place and if you drop me your new address I will continue to follow there. La-Reve . x

    • I have sent details of my other blog πŸ™‚

      It has been an honour to follow your blog over the last few years too – and it’s particularly delighting for me that you too have come to a place in your life where there is, broadly, more positive and negative. Thank you for all your support and kind comments here. I value it all greatly.

      Take care!

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  16. My first reaction when I read the opening lines of this post was ‘Noooo! I don’t want you to stop this blog!’ – how selfish of me to say *I* don’t want you to stop blogging – but my reason for this is very simple, it was you Pan and this blog which inspired me to start my own a couple of years ago. I remember one night coming across your blog and I sat for the next few days reading it from the very beginning and being completely in awe of what a marvellous writer you are. Obviously I was not on my own in thinking that way as look how many well deserved awards you have won through sharing your journey with us. I bookmarked you there and then and took inspiration from you to try writing myself. In a sense, it was because of Confessions that mcbl was born, and I’m sure I am not the only one who started blogging after starting reading here.

    In the past two and a bit years I have followed your journey and admired you every step of the way. When I got over my ‘selfish stamping feet moment’ at discovering you were saying bye to Confessions and actually read the post in full it all made sense. You are at a turning point in your life where things are obviously at the best they have been in a long time and you deserve this happiness so much. They say when one thing ends it’s just the beginning of something new and I really believe you will go on to have a career in writing – because you are simply excellent at it. There is something about the way you write Pan where you really draw the reader in, you make us feel like we are right there in that place with you, we share your happiness and have shared in your pain. And because of that, I for one feel privileged to have been able to be a part of your story up until now. I have a huge amount of respect for you, your writing, many of your opinions and the fight you have put up against stigma’s whilst battling your own mentalist demons.

    It has been such a pleasure to have been allowed to read your life for the past couple of years. I wish you every bit of happiness in the world and hope you spend the forseeable with many more well days than unwell ones.

    Much love, lovely (and sorry for all my rambling above!)
    MCBL ❀ xxx

    • I was incredibly touched by this, MCBL – particularly by the fact that Confessions catalysed you into starting your own blog, a blog that I have always read religiously πŸ™‚ It has been my privilege to have you, and others, read here, comment here, join me on Twitter, etc etc. You’ve been wonderful…endlessly supportive and friendly. Thank you.

      I’ll still be reading MCBL – you’ll not get rid of me too easily πŸ˜‰

      Thanks again, lovely, and take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  17. What a lovely and honest post and I felt really happy for you while reading this. You’re taking care of yourself and making decisions that are in line with what you want for yourself. That is awesome!

    No matter what the blog became after you started it, this place was always for you and that means that it’s up to you to decide when to move on or expand or branch out. You ARE a writer and trying new things is going to be so good for you. Taking control of the direction of your life in whatever way you can is fantastic!

    I’m so freakin’ happy I came over to visit this blog. I “met” you and that was an excellent development.

    Much love to you always!

    • And I am so happy that I followed a link from Blooming Lotus to your blog one day about 18 months ago; I would have missed out on your wonderful words – and even more importantly, your wonderful friendship – had I simply read the post and clicked away. I’m not a believer in fate or any of that crap, but if ever providence did play a part…;)

      I’m looking forward to continuing to follow you come what may – I value your friendship and support so much.

      Take care.

      Lots of love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

    • You’ve been rather brilliant yourself, lovely πŸ™‚ It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and following your own journey, and I look forward to that continuing. Take care of yourself!

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

    • Thank you, Sanity! Yours was one of the first blogs I followed, and you were one of my first readers here. It’s been lovely to have shared it all with you πŸ™‚ Do keep in touch!

      Take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  18. Beautiful way to close. And I think these comments say it it all. You did good.

    You did so so good!

    Immensely proud of you.

    I would like to raise two toasts if I may: one to Pan who has irreverently put the world to rights more times than I care to mention; and one to the next chapter. A more exciting chapter (if that’s even possible).

    Congratulations my darling and (in this incarnation only) good bye. xxxxx

    • I am proud of you – I only have one paper weight πŸ˜‰ I am so fucking happy for you.

      And I am so fucking happy that you followed me here as well as in ‘real’ life. Your input here, and support more widely, has been incredible. I find it terrifying yet electrifying that I’ve known you for well over half my life by now.

      To the future, my darling – both our futures πŸ™‚

      Lots of love and hugs

      “Pan” ❀ xxxxx

  19. Pandora:

    I haven’t commented in ages–I’ve been busy writing up my thesis–and wanted to apologize for that. I also wanted to wish you every possible success with everything, but so many people have said it more eloquently than I can.

    This has been the only “patient” mental health blog I’ve ever read–or, rather, the only one I’ve *continued* to read beyond a few posts. You have amused me, made me sad, uplifted me, and most of all, you have *genuinely* given me insight–both as a psychological professional, but more importantly as a human being. Thank you.

    I would feeling honored if you’d allow me to follow you at your new home, but whatever the case I will always admire and respect you greatly, and know that you will make–or continue to make–a superlative writer.

    Please take care, and with every good wish.

    Robert =]

    • I’m honestly touched that this is the only ‘patient’ blog you’ve read. I find it astonishing that you’ve found it insightful, but very flattered nevertheless πŸ™‚

      Your comments have been incredibly insightful for me – whether that’s because you’re a psychologist or just a fundamentally smart, perceptive man I don’t know – and you have been great in getting through to me even in my worst moments. I will always value that, as well as the support and respect you have afforded me.

      If I’ll make a ‘superlative’ writer, then you’ll make the definitive clinical psychologist πŸ™‚ I wish you every possibly success with it, and with your future generally. I know you’re going to blow the university away with your doctorate, but do let me know how you get on anyway!

      Details of my other blog are on the way.

      Take care.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  20. I’ve never had the courage to comment before so I’ll take my last chance. As someone dealing with flashbacks relating to abuse as a child but not quite able to come to terms with it, I found your writing incredibly helpful and inspirational and I’m sure I’ll be back in the future to re-read. Thank you for your blog, I wish you all the best in the future. Good luck! x

    • Thank you mouse – I’m very glad that you commented, and I know how hard it is to actually take the step to doing so, so double thanks and much kudos πŸ™‚

      I am so sorry that you’re having to deal with the effects of abuse, and of course that you had to go through it in the first place 😦 But hearing that this blog has given you some help in that regard makes me feel that it has been worthwhile. I’m so glad of that, and thank you for being kind enough to tell me πŸ™‚

      I sincerely wish the best for you – I hope that through whatever means you will find peace from the horrible things you’ve gone/are going through. Don’t hesitate to email me at the address at the start of the post if you’d like someone to sound off to, or just to chat πŸ™‚

      Take care of yourself.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  21. I’ve been meaning to reply to these comments for ages. Where to start? At the beginning, I suppose…but just, firstly, thank you all. I’m overwhelmed by your support both here and on Twitter. I do love you lot πŸ™‚ ❀ xxx

    • All done, I think πŸ™‚ Can I just also add thanks to everyone that’s emailed me in the wake of this post – it means a lot. I will respond over the next few days.

      Pandora out. x

  22. Dear Pandora, I’ve followed you as a creepy lurker for so long. You’re blog has been so many things to me – honest, touching, sad, happy, educational and a real comfort among others. With very best wishes for your ongoing course through life.

    • Oh, BoP, it’s not creepy at all – I’m just glad people have read at all! Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes, and I wish you all the absolute best too. Take good care πŸ™‚

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

  23. (((Pan)))

    I hope you see this comment. I’m so sad to see you go. I feel like I know you because of how you shared yourself on this blog. Confessions was one of the first blogs I started reading when I started on my own therapy journey. I’ve felt less alone when reading your session summaries and I’ve wondered how things are going with Paul. I’m glad to hear that therapy is going so well even though you aren’t reporting it. Healthy psychotherapy and a healthier Pan is the most important.

    I’m going to send this comment to your email address as well.

    good luck,

    • Thank you Di. I really appreciate everything you’ve said and am chuffed that you’ve found value in stuff that I’ve written. That makes it all worthwhile πŸ™‚

      I haven’t checked the email allied to this domain, but I have (obviously) seen your comment. I have your email address from it, and will send you a quick shout there.

      Take care and thanks again.

      Love and hugs

      Pan ❀ xxx

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