Vicious Cycles

I can’t figure out how to start this post, and the more I think about how to start it, the less of a clue I have. So I guess… Here goes nothing (honestly, it’s taken me two hours to write those few words, so don’t expect much from this post).

I don’t want to talk about appointments. I tried for a very long time to elaborate on that point, and I can’t. In yesterday’s appointment I broke down and pathetically said I didn’t know how to do it any more. In today’s appointment… Asdfghjkl. Doesn’t matter. I ended up booking further appointments with each of the healthcare professionals I saw. I do so because I get intimidated and feel forced, and regret it once I’ve left. So I re-booked one for January with this person, because I pretty much refused to come back any sooner. Apparently I just have to get in touch if I feel I need to see her before then. But- Yeah no. Not talking about that sort of stuff. I’m sorry, I tried. I’m done with that, I need a break. It woke up a huge amount of frustration within me and just. No. 

I usually use this blog as a place to let that sort of stuff out and rearrange my thoughts, but I’m (finally) starting to feel things again and I cannot face the emotion that comes along with my thought processes, particularly as I’ve started to go to hospital appointments again, and am feeling completely smothered and overwhelmed by my health. I had a few months where I just couldn’t cope with my health, couldn’t face it, and felt so unsupported that I didn’t see any point in my appointments. Mentally I couldn’t deal with my physical health at all, and my way of dealing with that was to not – to bury my head in the sand and self-destruct because emotionally that felt safer (I mean to be fair, going solo is so much more stressful but I saved my own butt so much better than DrDidn’tCare did). I didn’t choose to re-engage. In order to continue to live, I had to. I need to see my cardiology team about my heart – it’s doing weird and wonderful things. I need to see my urologist because my kidneys are really not functioning as they should (not passing water for a long time, and then passing blood and protein). But I re-engage with one health hiccup and end up with… 4 appointments in two weeks in two different hospitals. And after so long, that’s so overwhelming, it’s way too much. I can’t face the rest. I am not in any different frame of mind. I still don’t know how to handle it, and people making so many appointments so quickly and trying to push things and act like there isn’t a huge mental issue that needs to be addressed around all of my physical health… It’s overwhelming me. It’s going to make me freak out.

In short, reality is closing in and piling multiple layers on top of me that I’m not ready to be buried under yet. So yeah, this blog is normally my place to just let out whatever I need to let out, whatever the real world just doesn’t understand or respond to in a way that is helpful to me… But this blog is also a coping mechanism, and it is whatever I need it to be. Right now, I need it to be a place to hide. Right in this moment, it’s kind of a shelter away from reality. I can separate my blogging self from myself and control what goes down onto this page (is it a page if it’s on a screen?). I never wanted this blog to go on about my health so much, because a lot of people have made me feel like it is something to be ashamed of, something to keep under wraps (hence why here is my only outlet for that stuff) and a lot of people don’t understand. Many times before I’ve tried to stop myself talking about my health here, but it always needs a place to go.

Tomorrow maybe I’ll be able to talk about the appointments. Right now though, my mind kind of collapses and my emotions completely erupt at the thought of trying to words about that. So let’s not.

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This is a picture of the Christmas tree in the clinic waiting room, but I’m including it because it’s the best attempt at a Christmas tree I’ve encountered yet and I didn’t go anywhere in London to see Christmas stuff today.

I went to a lab straight from my appointment. Same Cardiologist Uni Friend met me outside the hospital and we walked to our lab together. It was being run by the most supportive and helpful lecturer I’ve encountered this year about all the missed work and everything, and ironically enough, we were looking at (and preparing our own) slides of a rat pancreas and staining it with antibodies that attached to insulin so we could see which cells were beta cells. Let me tell you as a type 1 diabetic, beta cells are underrated. If you have functioning beta cells, treasure those little guys. Anyway, nobody knew I was back in London really. Uni Pal, WR Uni Friend, and Uni Babe were working together. Suddenly these arms wrapped around me from behind – Uni Pal, and she was telling me she’d recognised my curly hair and it had just made her day to see me there and she was so happy I was back. The three of them were so excited to see me. Uni Babe just wrapped her arms around me and kind of reassuringly rubbed my arms without saying a word. They were so happy to see me. So was Portsmouth Uni Friend. They were surprised. They didn’t take anything personally. I was so overwhelmed by the experience of people talking to me normally that I went all involuntarily mute again for a while.

I got to do what biomedical science students do. And that was kind of… I don’t know, but with my whole degree hanging on a knife edge of uncertainty right now, it was kind of… Appreciated. I thought my brain was halfway back to normal in terms of functioning, but discovered I was wrong – I still couldn’t think. This became apparent when I attempted to science and realised that I had no idea how to science. Completing the lab didn’t improve the situation. At the end, when I went to get my barcode sticker (to put on the cover sheet of my writeup in order to prove it is my own work and I was in the lab session) I a) forgot my name and had to be reminded of it, and b) couldn’t get the sticker off the piece of paper, so the most helpful lecturer of this year decided to help me out and just peel off the sticker for me.

I planned to go somewhere in London and see some Christmas lights or something, but ended up popping into the little mini branch of a supermarket right by my accommodation, and with Same Cardiologist Uni Friend egging me on, I bought food. Like, actual proper food to make an actual proper meal. They didn’t have paella rice or spaghetti, so I got some stuff and made seafood linguine… (I was trying to tempt myself to eat, so I decided to make something I’d always wanted to try but couldn’t afford in restaurants).

Of the 7 friends I’ve encountered today, a few really were not helpful to be around, just because they were far too enthusiastic or energetic or just so clueless/cluelessly optimistic and oblivious to the state I’m in despite numerous explanations. I can’t blame them for not relating, I just don’t want to hear about nude photos and stuff. I suddenly discovered how to feign this complete happiness all over again. It’s this thing I’ve hidden behind for a very long time – wear a smile, act over enthusiastically happy, and you feel a little lighter, people don’t ask questions. This time, that happened (albeit to a lesser extent), but over and over in response to suddenly being thrown into what was just a few minutes of social interaction, my brain was all just end your existence. I’m not sure why, but it feels like the only right thing to do. And I don’t know what the problem is, I just know that’s the solution. There was no emotion behind it though, no sadness to push the thought. Just an alarming thought that kept resurfacing – a little lump of raw longing that bubbled up in my throat.

But I kind of miss them. Not all of them – which sounds bad, because they’re such good friends, but  some of them really are not helpful to my emotional state right now and they have, predictably, stopped messaging as often (most I haven’t heard of for over a week) because when I freak out and withdraw, eventually people get tired of just being there. Uni Pal messaged me to say that seeing me had made her week. That was sweet. At one point she was messaging me every other day just to say she cared and didn’t expect a reply. I didn’t expect that to be maintained. But anyway my point is I want to do Christmas stuff, and I want to try and start hanging out with my friends. Maybe just one at a time, because I think that’s all I can handle. And there are only about 3-4 people whose company isn’t going to break me right now, but I’m trying.

My bedroom is a tip at the moment. Or studio. Or flat. Or whatever it is. My bed has so much stuff on top of the quilt that I have to sleep on top of the covers. The floor is covered in… Everything. I got rid of five bin bags of rubbish this morning and it’s still a complete mess. I’m a neat freak, but when I get in a bad place mentally, my room becomes a tip. That then stresses me out more, which makes me care even less about tidying, which makes things even messier, and so the cycle continues.

I’m stuck in a lot of vicious cycles at the moment, but I’m trying to  turn them into home straights.

Sorry for this post guys, thanks for reading it. Guess I should go back to the start and write an intro now?…

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4 thoughts on “Vicious Cycles

  1. “It’s this thing I’ve hidden behind for a very long time – wear a smile, act over enthusiastically happy, and you feel a little lighter, people don’t ask questions.” OH HECK YES. You put into words exactly what I do all the time. On the one day I tried to go back to work in October (I went on leave in June and am back on leave until the first of the year), that’s exactly what I did to fool my coworkers. The only person I didn’t fool was one of my techs- he got this funny look on his face when I did I my “act” so I know he knew I was lying.
    I know the hospital appointments are overwhelming; you wouldn’t believe how many I had before my brain surgery. But once you get them over with, you’re that much closer to being helped, and maybe finding out a way to get your body to behave itself more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve no idea how… Well I’m not really sure what it is but I guess it’s some sort of surprised sort of… Slightly positive feeling… to see people respond to something I’ve written like that. Words are hard to find and people are hard to relate to and understand so when someone thinks I found a good combination of words or they can relate to something… I just feel a little better about blogging or whatever because I know what it’s like to be isolated in a feeling and to end up thinking nobody will ever understand what it’s like… And that’s kind of why I’m so open on this blog – mostly for me, but also significantly just in case someone else can have a moment where they feel the need to write OH HECK YES after quoting something my brain produced. So thank you for that. Even if my writing doesn’t have any impact on you at all, that response had an impact on me.

      Yeah, my attempts to human (and to interact with humans or engage in most things in any way) are not going too well at the minute. The false happiness did not last very long and was peppered with cracks in the mask that I didn’t have the energy to maintain. Same-Cardiologist-Uni-Friend, like your colleague, saw right through it.

      Yeah see… With my health hiccups… Mostly, that tends not to be the nature. I’m not ever going to be closer to being helped, at least not with this thing. We’ve exhausted every option and tried involving various hospitals and consultants from all over the place. If appointments were helpful or even resulted in a treatment plan that wasn’t basically “I don’t know how to stop you almost dying every few weeks due to the health issue that I am supposed to manage. It’s so complicated I’m not sure what to do. I don’t know how to help you. Just keep doing what you’re doing.” then… Yeah see I’m trying but I can’t go here mentally right now. The hopelessness and the desperation just… I don’t want that back, and until it arrives by itself my brain just crumples at anything that may induce such emotions.

      To understand it all I guess there are a lot more blog posts that would have to be digested, going back to February this year. A month before my birthday (which is on the 9th of March, so… The 9th of February) was quite a pivotal moment. Knowing me, I probably posted. I’m not in the right frame of mind to explain anything now. But… It really isn’t as simple as that. And once one is out of the way, they just put another one in its place. Over and over and over. For ever. Except a lot of times I’m in intensive care because I almost died again, so I end up seeing my consultants there. Like I said in my post, not really ready to go into this now (at least not in a way that could clarify things). But hang in there, I’m sure it’ll all come out in the wash soon. In a very long and boring post.

      Like

  2. That Christmas tree is beautiful. It’s so weird that life always keeps going on around us, no matter how much it needs to stop. I like hearing about everything, although as a medical nerd I’m always interested in the medical stuff you’re going through. Show me more London during the holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I thought so too. I tend to try to be vague and not reveal the exact medical stuff or the causes or anything, but to think I get something across and I’m glad you like reading it as I’m always sort of ashamed to mention it.

      Oh I plan to – I have a list of all the places I want to go and things I want to see. London shall be well and truly explored at Christmas time and I will post a few pictures here

      Like

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