I planned to go and soak up some more Christmas spirit today in an attempt to immerse myself in so much Christmas cheer that I might actually feel something of the sort… And then lectures destroyed my soul so… I bought a load of pastries and came home and my bed was too comfy so I got in it and now I’m still here…

I feel bad for staying in, because despite Christmas seeming to last for two months nowadays, it doesn’t actually last that long and there are SO MANY magical things to do and see.

I’m feeling things again, but I’m not finding positive feelings. I’m not finding joy in anything at all at the moment, but I’m trying to reconnect with things that have made me happy in the past and trying to build up to a normal human level of functioning again. Being by the Thames, wandering through London, just soaking up this city as I wander through it…  It used to make me smile. It lifts some of the weight now, it stops me stewing in my feelings alone in my flat, but it doesn’t trigger anything positive any more. Which sucks, because I found my Christmas spirit in October (it was cold, it just felt like Christmas, and no I don’t understand why either) and now that I should actually have some… I’ve lost it all.

Christmas is a nice time. Everyone is all wrapped up in coats and hats and scarves and there are little kids everywhere experiencing the magic of Christmastime. Their parents are all protective and dads wear their kids on they shoulders like scarves and these big tough guys are reduced to teddy bears around their offspring and I usually like just watching that adorableness of daddy-kid interaction because I’ve never had that and it’s just… Yeah. It melts my heart a little bit.

Speaking of hearts… Things have been going well with that lately. I can walk around a little, but my friends don’t appreciate just how little, and so I pushed myself way too far.

When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t breathe. There was a crackle in my chest with each breath and a wheeze to accompany it, and I felt like I was breathing soup. It became much easier when I sat up, but I coughed so much that if there were Olympics for coughing I’d have won triple gold. My legs were so puffy at the bottom that I struggled to get my shoes and socks on, and my heart seemed to think I was running a marathon (and still does, because it refuses to slow down). I’d managed to sleep through six alarms and two phone calls. I was almost late for the first lecture I’ve attended in just over a month (time moves fast!) but managed to find time to throw on a Christmas jumper and a wooly hat.

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Today’s Christmas jumper (I genuinely only bought this because it has a dog on it)

The lecture was… Yeah… I don’t think anybody took notes because we couldn’t hear the lecturer and he wasn’t speaking particularly clearly. You can hear them much better in the lecture recordings, so I decided I’d just wait for that. I sent some emails. I bought Christmas presents for my dad (fancy coffee syrups and a couple of mugs with funny squirrel cartoons on – highly personal and appropriate presents with stories behind them. I’m good at thoughtful gifts, kinda have to be when you can’t buy great big expensive ones). I spent the rest of my time making a photo-book of next door’s puppy using an app on my phone. Ever since they got him I’ve been collecting photos of him for specifically this purpose, as they aren’t very good with technology and their camera isn’t that great. They haven’t taken many pictures of him and they love that dog like he is their child, so I’ve taken loads of photos of his first (almost) year from teeny tiny baby puppy to now, and I’ve captioned them all as if the dog is talking, and addressed the book to them from him. I’ll give it to them for Christmas as they’ve been so good to me and I sit in their kitchen with them for HOURS when I’m home. They always tell me off for buying the dog toys or trying to buy them flowers, but I figured they might actually want to keep this thing, especially seeing as it’s “by” their dog.

I’ve actually been looking for puppies online myself. I can’t help it. As soon as I live in a place that will let me keep an animal, I’m going to get a puppy and hopefully eventually get it trained up as a service dog, which will save my life literally and (let’s face it) emotionally – my dog is awesome at helping me deal with my PTSD and beyond-low self esteem. I’ve also been looking at new cameras. Although there was a lot more money in my bank account than I was anticipating when I checked my balance earlier (I thought my balance would be below £100) I don’t have enough free cash to buy one right now. I can’t find the camera I currently own, and my phone memory is almost full so… I don’t really know what I’ll do. I love photography – I fell in love with it after my right hand (the one I used to write with) was left half unusable by a surgeon, and I lost my ability to express myself through drawing. Photography is another art form in itself, and I bought a refurbished compact little Sony camera with incredible zoom and professional quality, and it lived in my pocket at all times until it died and was replaced by another refurbished (and therefore stupidly cheap) newer camera. Anyway, dreaming is a good distraction from reality.

Uni used to be something I loved, but it’s this source of uncertainty and at the moment it offers my mental state nothing. It isn’t taking pieces of me any more, but it is no longer putting them back and helping me to rebuild either. Between our first two lectures of the day and the last one, I did stop off on campus and buy a roast dinner, so I guess uni has some benefits still (the turkey slices were the thickness of about three normal slices, and they even gave out free Christmas crackers, which my Brazilian friend who grew up in China was very confused by, because apparently they don’t have those kind of crackers there). I did also tell Uni Babe about my nose thing, because three is a lucky number and so now three people know… Also because we had a very long and deep chat and she was reacting so perfectly that I took a chance on her. I’ve officially mastered the art of acting happy and normal, but Uni Babe acknowledged that this wasn’t good because it means that people will have no idea how much support I still need (unlike WR Uni Friend, who seemed to encourage it as a healthy way of getting through stuff until I can cope).

Anyway, I know it’s only 4:30pm here, but I’m extremely tired (not normal people tired, I’m grumpy heart tired, and that’s a whole new level of fatigue and exhaustion) so I’m going to go to sleep.

Tomorrow I will attempt to Christmas.

Today, I’m taking a timeout. I don’t want to end up in hospital again and right now I physically can’t get up and go anywhere.


2 thoughts on “Timeout

  1. Yay, you made it to lecture! Although I know what you mean about recordings being better sometimes. We never had that luxury in college, unfortunately; by the time we got into the hardcore pharmacy curriculum in years 4 & 5, we spent 5 hours in the same lecture hall every day…and although seats weren’t assigned, everyone had “their” seat (which hysterically remained the same from one school year to the next). Anyway, we were required to attend lectures, and if a single seat was empty, the professors would know exactly who it was and they would track you down if you weren’t there. Long story short, I remember one time a professor recorded some of his lectures in preparation for his wife going into labor, so there was one lovely day we didn’t have to attend class because she had the baby and we got to listen to a recording at our own leisure and it was glorious!
    Regarding your pitting edema…I know this sounds very, well, elderly…but have you ever tried wearing compression socks? My mom is a nurse and is on her feet all day and she actually wears compression hose under her scrubs, but compression socks should work just as well. It may help keep the fluid from pooling in your lower extremities too much.
    I find the idea of Christmas crackers interesting…we don’t have them here in America. The first time I really saw them was actually on the Doctor Who Christmas special a few years ago (yes, I am a professed hardcore Whovian…)
    Take time to rest. You definitely don’t want to wind up in the hospital again! Be as well as you can, friend.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d just like to say right at the start how much comments mean to me. They mean a lot, and it means a lot that you took the time to leave this one, so thank you.

      Oh I hear you on the seating issue, all hell breaks loose when people change where they sit or who with, although people are slowly beginning to become more flexible because it is the end of term so people aren’t really showing up for most lectures.

      I have tried that yeah, it just makes the swelling start in my thighs instead of my shins, so the fluid just pools higher up my legs. It’s equally as painful and frustrating, although a pretty good idea. Thanks for trying to help me find solutions I really appreciate it!

      Oh I am also a huge fan of Dr Who. Our family used to gather round the TV and watch the new episodes when the BBC first aired them. We love the Christmas specials! Christmas crackers are such a normal thing in England, I guess it is a pretty weird thing to do – especially as they make a loud bang and some of the cardboard bits that make that sound kinda smoke after you’ve pulled the cracker (but the smell is SO good)

      I’ve slept so much. I usually only manage 2-4 hours a night and my sleep is very broken due to nightmares and medical junk, but last night I slept from 16:00-21:00 and then 01:00-08:00 and then grabbed another hour. I bailed on lectures today because my body demanded sleep, but sometimes you just have to give in to these things, right?


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