TW – Discussion on mental health – please refrain from reading if this isn’t a topic suitable for you at this time.
I cannot believe it has been approximately two months since I said hello. This has been the longest time I have ever been away from here. With this in mind I think today would be an appropriate time for us to have a good old catch up. Having a catch up can only mean one thing – I have been struggling. I say this because when I have been through periods of struggle this is how I get back on track, I come back on here, have a therapeutic rundown of what’s gone on and try to move forward. I guess you could say this place is my therapy.
I feel I am going to repeat myself for the hundredth time by saying my health has been very up and down again, but sadly it’s the truth. Well maybe not exactly the truth because I am starting to see some patterns in my symptoms in relation to one of my conditions. So whilst it is very up and down I can for some part see it coming. This is great I would have once told myself, but actually knowing makes zero difference because I cannot stop it or ease it even, I just have to get through. And I’ll be honest there are times when I don’t know if I can.
One of the most difficult things regarding this condition (an undiagnosed gynaecological issue) is that the flare up is taking two – two half weeks of my month every month – and this is without my other conditions. If you follow me on social media you will see me regularly posting that ‘I am trying to get on top of messages and comments’ or that ‘I have been in another flare’ because in reality for big portions of this time I am just too ill to function.
Without going into too much detail the flare up follows a regular pattern of symptoms with various stages of severity, and the final stage is torture. This part includes fatigue, exhaustion, headaches, foggy head all rolled into one that is so severe my mental health goes to an all time low, and when my mental health dips that’s when I am in trouble. I say this because whilst my physical symptoms dramatically affect my life, I can still escape in my head. Escape for me comes in the form of writing, reading, crafting, even daydreaming. When fatigue and foggy brain hit alongside a real alteration in my hormones, I cannot do this things – I cannot look at a screen, I cannot see words in a book and therefore my escape is gone, and I am left alone with my thoughts. Not just thoughts actually, but a real lack of motivation, or interest in much at all, and at times it gets quite dark. To a point where I didn’t even know if I wanted to blog anymore. That anything I had to say was boring or pointless, or that any idea I had I was unable to articulate in the right way so why bother.
I think essentially the over-riding feeling I feel in these episodes is one of being trapped, not knowing where I am going to go and what I am going to do with my life whilst in this body. The what’s, the if’s and the maybe’s. But then the fatigue and exhaustion lifts, the hormones balance out again and the fog subsides and then things seem brighter again and my mental health slowly goes back to my normal.
The problem is I know it will probably be the case again next month. It’s ok, but not ok if you know what I mean. I guess I am happy that I have identified it, so when (or let’s be positive – if) it happens again I know it is hormonal and therefore it will pass. I just need to hold on to the fact I will get through to the other side even if it does take time.
I won’t lie though because I know the pattern with this particular condition, I am beating myself up something chronic (excuse the pun!) to get back on track. Because I already know I have approximately a week before the start of my symptoms begin again, and I feel this overwhelming need to make the most of now. Of course, I cannot predict if my other conditions are going to cause problems during this time, but even so I feel I need to do something before I can’t. I am pressurising myself because good days are becoming less, and I don’t want them to be.
On top of this my household has suddenly decided now would be an excellent time to move house. Right when I am struggling and right at the time of year when things like my Fibro tend to get worse. The thing is there is never going to be a perfect time but it is just another stressor my body has to contend with. I have no proper place to write from, there are just boxes everywhere, and my Tourette’s is having a field day.
There are a few other things I am having to deal with that I may or may not share at a later date – it’s just a lot right now.
I hope this doesn’t sound like a rant. I feel this has been a bit all over the place, a bit like my head. Part of me thought about deleting it and starting again or just leaving it altogether, but then I thought why? This blog is supposed to be about the reality of living with chronic illness, and right now this is my reality.
This entry today has been more to refocus myself than anybody else let’s be honest. To help me move forward. Like I said at the start; this blog is my therapy.
I know I need to be kind to myself. But sometimes it is hard. It’s a time thing, a take it day by day thing. It will come, it always does.
In all honesty with a move on the cards and this consistent cycle of ill health I cannot say for sure when I will be back again. Hopefully it won’t be too long and you will stick around for when I do.
I hope if you have read this today that all is well for you, and at the very least you know you are not alone.