Firstly, hooray! This blog was nominated for a Mind Media Award in the digital category! Thanks so much to whoever nominated me, it’s lovely. I feel a bit awkward and have that Irish tendency to shrug off praise with, “Aaaah” then starting a conversation about how grand the weather’s being, so I’ll leave it at that, but thank you. Thanks to the shortlisters, too, for not printing out a copy of this blog and then setting it on fire to show your displeasure. It’s a bit nervewracking as aceness abounds on the shortlist, such as Purple Personage. They’re new, exciting, well-written and switched on, whereas this blog is now six. Six, in digital terms, is when t’was all fields around here. Things have changed so much in the digital world, in such wonderful ways. I’m glad, somewhere, my increasingly mumbular witterings still resonate with someone, and, hopefully, help others who are stumbling on their way.
So thank you!
The nomination has prodded me to update this blog. I continue to stumble a bit meself.
I wish when we haul the overstuffed suitcase out the door, we left the mentals hidden and small somewhere under the clothes strewn across the floor, to gather fluff and dust while we saunter, tanned and trouble free, in a Somewhere Else. (I am aware, too, of the ridiculous privilege in being able to go Somewhere Else, even just for a few days).
I hadn’t slept before we left and my anxiety kicked in at the train station. A man was being frisked down by security, then his bag popped open. It contained at least 50 bottles of shampoo and 20 tubes of toothpaste. Robert tried to reason with me that maybe he just really liked being clean, but I was convinced (irrationally) he must be a terrorist with bombs in the tubes, some squirty, white bombs. I’d been looking forward to the surrealness going through a tunnel into Paris on my birthday for ages but it was ruined by my white knuckling paranoia and almost having to be forced onto the train. The whole time I was hypervigilant and almost fainted in relief when we got to Paris unblownup.
I panic-checked my bags for my medication- another thing you can’t leave behind. It meant that we didn’t do anything til late afternoon every day, which was okay as it was incredibly hot. I had to keep pretty much the same routine as home- being hoisted awake by Robert and fed coffee under I was marginally more coherent, then waiting another hour or two before being able to walk and talk in public without being hit by a car or mistaken for being drunk. I’m used to this by now as it’s been my life for 5 years, but on holiday, I just want to be normal. I want to be like everyone else and not drugged and exhausted and floaty from anxiety. I wanted to fall asleep listening to the sounds of the Parisien night, and not to whatever I’d put on my laptop to stare fixedly at to stave off a panic attack. It’s why I find Christmas, Easter, birthdays and every holiday hard, and I know I’m not alone in that.
My actual birthday, for all I worried, was fantastic though (and only one panic attack, hooray). I was awoken by a lovely pastry, we went to the park and drank beer in the sun, got lost in the Marais and were then led by a kindly French man to a restaurant he liked, had dinner, went back to Montmartre and opened the fizzy wine Robert had sneaked earlier, sat on the steps of the Sacre Coeur and Robert put candles in an eclair, kept aflame by Parisien youths singing, Joyeux Anniversaire, then met an artist and went back to his flat and listened to music, then asleep by 6am. It was a good ‘un.
I am trying to make a conscious effort to will myself into the present so I don’t just let myself float away on anxiety. If I think too much I start to panic (or not at all- if my brain empties, panic moves in to take the space, because my brain’s a total dick) and I feel completely exhausted by it. I’m also trying to keep myself a bit present as I’m entering my mood-danger zone. This time of year I always become depressed, and I don’t think I can handle that on top of the panic stuff, so I am trying very very very hard to keep my head above quicksand. This week hasn’t been so great as I’ve been tearful and hypersensitive but we’ll see eh. I’m sure you’ll all be riveted when you read my yearly depressive breakdown post.
Otherwise, though, things are good. I’m still waiting for therapy and beginning to think it’ll never materialise. It’s the panacea of CBT, which, although is the first thing tried for panic and phobia, I’m inherently cynical about as it seems to be the psychiatric version of paracetamol, just chucked at everyone, for every ache, no matter how sharp, no matter how persistent.
I’ve known people who’ve had fantastic experiences and people who’ve had dreadful ones. What worries me if that the model is is making sense of the irrational, whereas my problem is I have rationalised myself- rightly- into a corner. So, I’m not sure how it’ll go.
Anyway, just wanted to say, “hello” and thanks. Excuse the listlesness of this post but I feel a bit listless today, it’s been a weird (nicely so) one.
And if you’ve followed a link and it’s your first time here, hello, and here’s some posts to have a read of.
Filed under: Bipolar Disorder