My big red writing hoodie is actually a fleece. I had a fleece I used to wear when I started writing Trapped, because I used to get emotional, and cold, and shivery. Perhaps it had something to do with beginning work on the first draft in the depths of January, when the light was improving, but the ground was still icy and hard. I got accustomed to wearing this garment like a security blanket, every time I was writing at my computer.

Over time, I must have written out so much sorrow, grief pouring onto the page like thick treacle: coming to terms with all the rubbish that I have tolerated, the negative emotions, expectations and ideas that have clouded my lens over the years, and have spoiled my life correspondingly. I was probably in mourning, too, for all the time I wasted being unhappy. Unhappy about being unhappy….what a waste of time.

Last week, I zipped up this jacket crossly, thinking to burrow down for safety and feel insulated from my latest bout of existential uncertainty. Perhaps all writers have them, and they are a pain. But, feeling strangely dislocated, I found myself simply getting crosser, more angry over nothing. “Unusual” I was reflecting, “How odd, I don’t understand this…why am I behaving like a total idiot?” It was like being both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

An answer landed in my lap. My jacket, which had held me securely through a great many traumas, was suffering from ptsd for clothes. Perhaps it had absorbed all that anger, sorrow and incredulity, which I was then dishing out. Either it was full of bad memories and emotions, clogged up with negative feelings; or else the association of that jacket with unhappiness was very strong. Either way, my fleece had to go. I had to throw it out, which I did immediately. I felt much better afterwards!

Arthur Rackham - Little Red Riding Hood
Arthur Rackham – Little Red Riding Hood

In my wardrobe there may be other clothes I should release, because wearing them makes me unhappy. It is not simply that they are old fashioned, tired or frumpy, but also that they may carry vibes that I would rather not hang on to. Which may be the best reason to spring-clean my wardrobe that I have ever come across.

Now the outer waterproof, for which the fleece was the lining, is my only coat. Perhaps I should think of purchasing another: Blue, maybe, with a zip and useful pockets for house keys and hankies. And lots of cheerful memories to store in its fibres.



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