Today has passed at a snail pace. Every time I thought another couple of hours must have passed I would check the clock and it would really only be about half an hour that had passed. The only times that time has moved so slowly have been when I’ve been in hospital.
My thoughts began to spin out of control mid afternoon. I became very irritable and my best friend kept phoning and I kept hitting the phone onto silent, I just couldn’t answer it. I’m not sure why, I think it was because I was sure she would know there was something wrong and then start insisting I go out and talk to her or play with the kids to distract myself.
And you know what was crazy? Right there in that moment I didn’t want to be distracted, I wanted to feel every single horrible emotion, I wanted to feel them one by one and see how much damage it would do to actually sit and listen to everything in my head rather than try and escape it. So I sat and cried. I paced the room. I flicked through TV programmes. I took the dogs several short walks. I washed some clothes. I hoovered. I smoked a ridiculous amount of cigarettes.
I tried to make food but realised the few items in my fridge had gone out of date yesterday so I called for some Chinese food as it was the only place open. Started eating it then thought I was going to be sick with each big wave of anxiety that overcame me. That reminds me, a psychologist I saw once upon a time once said to me the best thing you can do is start eating something when you feel anxiety coming on because one of the very first things that happens physiologically when we become anxious is our mouth’s become dry so if you start to eat something (even some chewing gum just to produce saliva) somehow tricked your body into a state of confusion: you can’t be relaxed enough to eat and in fight or flight panic mode, so theoretically you should start to calm down (or give into the anxiety and dump the plate of food like I did). I don’t know if it works or if it’s just some old wives tale, I do know when I’m very anxious the last thing on my mind is sitting eating a nice plate of food when my stomach is churning, when I’m having hot flushes and my heart is palpitating like crazy and I have the overwhelming urge to escape.
So who knows… maybe it does work…
This state of anxiety and irritability/restlessness carried on through to the early evening despite me taking some Diazepam to try and calm down a bit. By this point the repetitive voice in my head was “cut”… followed by the obligatory giggle. It made me feel really quite distressed because I couldn’t make it stop and when it won’t stop I start panicking that it’s not “my voice” or “my thought” it’s one that’s out of my control again. I decided to not even fight it and went to my little hiding place and took out two brand new stanley knife/box cutter blades. I sat pushing the flat side of the metal against various parts of my arms and legs, then I turned the blade on it’s side and ran it across my skin (but without applying any pressure at all) just to get the memories to rush into my head of how it feels when I do push down deep and actually cut. And the more time the blades spent in my hands the more the anxiety began to build up thinking about having to go to A&E if I allowed myself to cut to the my usual level.
I put the blades back and guess what? I cried again. AGAIN. I lay here on the sofa a snotty sobbing mess holding a cushion tightly against me then sat up and just rocked myself until all the intense emotions seemed like they were finally leaving.
So it has been a pretty rotten day but one that is now almost over. It’s about 10.45pm just now and I’ve taken my medication and night time Diazepam. I’ve just been out giving the dogs their last walk of the night and I am now sitting here feeling totally drained. My head hurts from all the crying, my eyes are puffy from all the crying and my mind is emotionally shattered from all the crying.
The only person I have spoken to all day was the delivery driver who dropped my Chinese food off and that was just to mutter the words “thank you”.
I don’t know what stopped me from cutting today, mostly it was the complete state of fear I seem to be experiencing whenever I think of anything hospital related at the moment, but also because I got a text message from my Mum saying that my Aunt and Uncle and Grandma are all coming to visit tomorrow and asking me if I’d like to join them for dinner. I eventually text back saying yes I would go. Some time ago I wrote a post saying that my Aunt had sadly been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, well that is her just finished 6 months (I think?) of Chemotherapy as well as having had surgery to do a complete hysterectomy and removal of various lymph nodes and things that are also in that area. And due to the fucking agoraphobia and not being able to get to Big Scary City where my Aunt lives this is actually going to be the first time I will have seen her since her diagnosis. So if she can have gone through all of that and feel well enough to travel the couple of hours to my parents house for the night then I’m sure I can battle my head demons for a couple of hours and try to enjoy a meal with them. Plus it’s been ages since I last saw my little Grandma and I do miss her a lot. And she’s getting old now, I think she’s about 88 bless her.
So, as I was saying, getting that message to say they were coming was another thing that seemed to stop me from cutting. Even though the wound would have been somewhere they would never have seen, this is the first year for quite a while where I’m actually going to have something that I can talk about during dinner. And I didn’t want to be sitting there with a sore arm or leg knowing that there were a load of stitches just under my clothes. One advantage of doing this University course is that it gives people something to talk to me about and takes the attention away from my mental health. Every time I have to see people that I haven’t seen in a while I always get asked what I’m doing with my life and this time I’ll be able to tell them about my course and what I’ve been learning and where I hope it will lead. Even if the voice in my head is laughing at every sentence that comes out my mouth and starts mocking me I am determined I will get through one meal and actually have my family thinking I’m not a completely lost cause after all. I want them to finally hear about something positive in my life and not be like “oh she’s STILL not well” even if I don’t entirely have much belief in myself about the course, I still want to be able to say the words that I’m doing something with my life.
The only bit I’m not looking forward to is hearing about all of my cousin’s wedding plans or all the little stories about her little toddler. Baby type talk is a big trigger. The wedding that is too far away for me to go to because of the stupid agoraphobia but one that every single member of our families will be at, apart from me. That topic of conversation is also likely to be one that would make me feel quite anxious and upset.
OK I think it’s time for bed now. Please let tomorrow be a better day and run smoothly with no embarrassing anxiety attacks or similar mentalisms. I just want to be able to cope for a couple of hours, take part in their conversation, enjoy a meal with them and then come home again.
Simple as that.
(Nothing is ever simple, I should know that by now)
Goodnight folks x