After taking a nice quiet 40-minute walk home in icy wind without a scarf, also getting lost a couple of times, I feel I won’t even need corona to get myself a nice two-week vacation being sick at home.
When it comes to doctors and therapists… I can’t help to feel like I’m screaming into a void. I’m constantly trying to send an SOS. Tell people that something is wrong. That walking around with daily headaches, chronic exhaustion, thinking ‘I’m so fucking tired…’ from morning to evening every single day without exception, feeling like my consciousness is slipping away multiple times during any day, having to force myself to move because I keep freezing in space, getting lost in time, forgetting what day it is, and especially what day of the week it is really not right… And yet not a single medical professional I’ve met has taken it seriously enough to actually look for WHY, instead of trying out a collection of medications, and then shrugging me off when I tell them none of those work.
Then, I face a situation where, having a very stressful and anxiety-filled week, I can’t even rely on any tranquillisers because I’m too groggy and scatterbrained as I it is, and I’m too afraid to add any chemicals (or not so chemicals) in the mix that can make me feel even less ‘present’ in the reality.
Instead of tranquillisers, today I have to rely on food, therapeutic activity of copying books by hand, and first seasons of Great British Bake Off.
The ever-growing number of wrong steps and panicked lunges in inappropriate directions can hardly come as any kind of surprise when the ground is constantly crumbling beneath your feet, biting on your heels.
And there’s nothing else.
No stop, no rest, no safe haven, no place to step back and breathe before taking a step.
Year, after year, after year.
And the point comes when making mistakes and wrongs is not the worst thing anymore, it’s not being able to stop caring about making them that is the absolute worst.
Every time I see a person on tv being portrayed as having a hangover—nursing a headache, wearing sunglasses, grimacing because everything is too bright and too noisy, and moving too fast is rewarded with spikes of nausea—I get this disturbing feeling and just want to say… … … But that’s exactly how I feel every day (that I have to go outside)?… And without any drinking.
I wonder if I’m getting worse with age, or is it just the constant exhaustion that makes my senses oversensitive, because I have no resources left for tolerance.
I don’t know which one is the worst one, sight or smell. The sound is the easiest to deal with, and touch is controllable once you find right clothing. Unfortunately, too much about smells and light is shared with other people, so they are very difficult to control, unless I stay locked in alone.
This time around I had to use such measures and carrying a lamp stand from the corner of the room into the bathroom, because there were 4 lights in there and I couldn’t turn them on/off separately. If there wasn’t a lamp I could bring in, I’d probably have to bathe in darkness or use my laptop as a source of light. I don’t understand why people think they need so much light for one tiny room. Or for any room…
I also had to waste money on buying 2 separate room aromas, Febrese, and bath bombs. For a hotel room I’m staying in for 3 nights. I don’t think I ever had to go as far before.
While I love to pretend like I couldn’t be happier about escaping the chaos, the buzz, the heat, and the air pressure, and all the ‘too much’ things about the overcrowded megalopolis city I live and work in, the first thing I notice when I reach one of the small towns I like to go hide in, is that I have very little ability left to deal with little things about living and being outside without the anonymity the state of being one speck of sand in the overflowing sandbox that is Tokyo provides.
I’m making this about more than it is.
I just can’t really handle the difference in amount of human attention you draw just by existing in a small town, and the way that difference feels on my skin when I say, enter a cafe.
And the fact that there are no easy chain coffee shops where I can pop in, quickly buy a few giant cups to go and haul them back to my room to read and write in peace nowhere in the vicinity is throwing me more than it should.
I’m too used to have a selection of various coffee shops on every corner… And now I need to gather courage before I can enter a new kind of place.
In fact, I wonder if I even can discover a place where I can get a coffee to go at all around here at all…
Since today happens to be ones of those days in a year when my apartment is to be invaded by inspectors of one kind or other that happens once a few months (water pipes, fire alarms, whatever they can come up with),
and I had to spend my weekend trying to pretend that I’m not a child of chaos and autism, and can actually keep my living quarters presentable enough for strangers to barge in and not stare in shock,
I’ve also been watching Netflix while trying to clean, which left me with a thought that I might have an easier time with living if I could convince myself that I was watching some weird Science Fiction every time I watch…practically anything.
It might save me from all the flinching and dread I feel each time when I watch something about humans and realize I can’t comprehend, can’t identify, and can’t feel any affinity.
It also made me sit and think about how I wish I could know what other humans feel when they watch other humans.
My recent panic episode (triggered by newest medication messing with my heart rate and Japanese drug stores disappearing while I wasn’t looking and not selling anything that would let me measure and record it) led me to purchasing a ‘fitness’-type watch that now records my heart rate and sleep patterns, etc., constantly. (Unfortunately it also now refuses to let me turn off GPS on my phone, which is bound to give me another episode some time soon, because I’m paranoid enough to want GPS to always be OFF on all my devices.) There were a couple of interesting measurements, like the fact that there is a visible difference between me being at home and me not being at home (in general 20-40 bps difference between me sitting at home doing nothing and me sitting at work doing nothing at any point of time), or rapid spikes while I’m getting ready to leave in the morning…
But the thing I found most interesting is that since the program marks heart rate above certain number as “fat burning”, according to it I’ve been “burning fat” every time I read today (I’m on a stressful action-sequence ending of a sci-fi drama), and wouldn’t that just be the dream?
(Though, it’s all total bs, because if I was burning anything every time they say I do (more than 5h in a day), I wouldn’t be gaining weight from just thinking about food as I tend do, would I?)
I read because everything but reading is a struggle and chore. Moving, thinking, eating. Breathing.
My first reaction to having a breakdown in public is to pretend that I’m not having a breakdown and buy a hamburger take-out. Though usually cheeseburger. With pickles if I can help it.
Though since I can’t really eat lately, this time the hamburger is spending the night in the fridge. Crisscut fries and all.
Thinking about how many meals it will take me to eat it and will it survive long enough to be still edible when I can get to it is better than thinking about the fact that I have no support system at all and my breakdowns are getting worse.
It’s a nasty kind of irony… that the worse I feel, the higher the probability that I won’t be able to handle calling in sick… and I can’t even convey how ridiculous it is, because not a soul on the other end would say anything bad about it. Or act in any way that would show that they didn’t like me taking days off. But the phone is one of my triggers and no matter how many times I make myself do it next time never gets easier. If anything it only gets worse. Probably because I have to make myself do it, but I don’t know how do you even get around that.
Every time I post something on flickr and take a few moments to go through the recent photos of people I follow there, it’s like they scream at me, my mind screams at me, that I’m trapped and wasting my life on things I don’t need to be wasting it on.
But, contrary to the popular belief, I’m not trapped because I’m too stubborn and cant take myself out any time I would decide to do it. What traps me are immigration laws and my condition that makes me a care-needed individual every time I set my foot outside.
Doesn’t hurt any less though.
Being completely unable to decide anything is one of the more annoying depression symptoms.
Sometimes it makes me have a panic attack in a store, unable to choose between a blue jacket and a green one, sometimes it makes me turn down a chance for a better work position, and sometimes I spend all day unable to figure out if I’m going to go to a concert by one of my favorite bands I brought ticket for 3 months ago, or give up and go home this evening.
Me: Buys a tone of books that have ‘romance’ as one of the genres every time there’s an anxiety attack (seeking ‘comfort books’ like cheeseburgers).
Also me: Gets genuinely surprised and disappointed when plot/romance balance exceeds(on the romance side) 70/30 and characters can’t stop thinking about sex… (like I thought I was buying something else).
I also complain about cheesy covers and titles. But then keep buying fantasy, sci-fi, and historical romance books anyway. And stuff them into my brain like gauze into bleeding wound.
Sometimes it takes me a really long time to realize something.
Recently I’ve finally really understood the mechanism behind the everyone’s notion to tell people that ‘it’s all in your head’, ‘you’re the one who has to save yourself’, ‘you just need to change your mind set’, ‘you’re the key to your own happiness’, and so on and so forth, I can’t even remember or the major examples…
It’s quite obvious, really. We tell this to people so that there can be no notion that there’s a responsibility on us to help them. If we make sure that everyone believes that they must be able to save themselves from the inside, and not expect help from anyone else, no one is going to blame us from doing nothing. And we don’t need to feel guilty when people who needed our help lose their fights, we then can only say that they didn’t ‘want to try enough’.
And when we <i>do</i> decide to help someone, we then can be praised as heroes who went beyond anything that could be expected from us.
Fact is, sometimes some of us really fall into situations, in context of mental health or otherwise, where there’s nothing more we can do ourselves to help ourselves. Sometimes people drown and they can’t be the ones to pull themselves up. And while other people are not actually required by anyone to help them, it would be great if they at least stopped blaming it on those who are in trouble. Telling a person with serious metal health problems that ‘they must be more positive’ or ‘stop being depressed or autistic by changing their way of thinking about things’ is like standing on the ground above a drowning person and shouting ‘it’s your problem that you don’t even know how to swim properly, just do better’. Yes, some percentage of people will still have strength to float or swim ashore, and it may even work for them. But it’s <b>not</b> for the spectators to decide who can or cannot do it.
This pattern of behavior that equals to saying ‘I’m not going to help you, but I’m going to save you by telling you that you just have to save yourself’ really disgusts me. If you can’t/don’t want to help – no one forces you, be on your way. Just stop using people who are suffering to boost your self-esteem by pretending you’re saying something wise and helpful by telling them to stop hurting.