Mulling…

Pause for thought.

This year has been eventful… It started off badly with a sudden toxification of what I’d thought was a promising start to a new relationship. Turns out we were not a good match at *all* and I’m so glad I didn’t linger in that particular room for too long.

In addition to that, my parents decided to sell their house – my childhood home since I was 9 years old, and THEN decided to separate. These things haven’t happened yet, so it’s ongoing, lurking in the dark recesses of my consciousness. To be continued etc. One person in my life has been struggling with anxiety and a secret ‘problem’ which he doesn’t feel he can reveal to anyone, so I feel powerless to help.

My beloved cat Minty died, aged 21. :(

I have had the wonderful experience of a friendship blossoming into a relationship,which hasn’t happened to me before :) This makes me HAPPY. He is wonderful… *kind*, patient, funny, loving, sexy, intelligent, self-aware… he has some issues but is working through them, and I’m so proud of him, I’m lucky to have him in my life and feel a quietening of many of my worries. The future seems brighter…

Work has been steady… I love my job and the potential it has to be incredibly fulfilling and exciting. I work with amazing, inspiring people, and have the opportunity to shape the image of the organisation… This is brilliant and rare, and I intend to take full advantage of it to help the company grow, to work with other really cool organisations, and to satisfy some of my own professional passions.

I have TRAVELLED!  My trip to Sri Lanka, Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands was unforgettable in many ways, but primarily was a reminder that I am an independent person whose feet were not meant to stay still for long. I am capable of enjoying travelling alone. This is a big deal…

I have also been dealing with some pretty massive medical diagnoses: histamine intolerance (HIT), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and, the mother of all my symptoms, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome type 3… This has kicked off an emotional journey of discovery, realising that my lifetime of symptoms really does have one cause, and learning about it, how to manage it etc… It’s still a massive unknown and I have no idea what will happen to my body, but at least I can give it a name. My joints feel as though they are deteriorating quickly, but I’m doing what I can to slow this down and reduce the impact it has on my life. At the moment I’m lucky to be able to say I have a normal life – a full time job, a social life… many people with EDS can’t say that.

Now it’s time to focus on some other things… my emotional and psychological well-being for a start. Things take their toll, but my mental health has taken a back seat for an extremely long time and probably needs a little bit of attention.

 

A bad week

It’s been a week of burning stomach pain, loss of appetite and fatigue. I pay a bloody fortune for private health insurance, and I really can’t afford it (premiums jump up every year at the moment) – however, I will cling onto it because it means I can make a call on a Tuesday and have an appointment to see a neurogastroenterologist on Saturday. (Did you know there was a thing called a neurogastroenterologist? Neither did I!)

Also decided to stop being a total emotional car crash and scrape back any shreds of dignity I may have left, and stop contacting a certain someone. Deleting his number, moving on, etc. Time to find someone who will actually care about me and want to spend time with me. Wish I’d had the balls to do this back in Feb. But… not gonna beat myself up over it.  These things take time.

In other news, I am reading this: really enlightening.

chimp

 

Progress & Holidays

I’ve been doing the elimination diet for 6 weeks (with two occasions when it just wasn’t possible to follow it, but otherwise I’ve been pretty religious).  In a nutshell, I have noticed a definite improvement in my energy levels, although the fatigue has not completely gone and I still need to sleep in the afternoons sometimes – less often than before though.  Another improvement is in my mood, though following on from my previous post, that feels like an odd thing to write – but in general, I am not manic, I am just a less irritable, cheerier version of myself. It’s been noticed by others but most importantly I have noticed it in myself. I like myself a little more than I did a few months ago when I when I was snappy and pessimistic about things. I’ll never know if it’s the diet which has improved things, or the vitamin D supplements, or the change in the weather, moving out of my dingy flat, or getting some distance between myself and a certain person… but whatever it is, it’s helped.

In addition… I’m about to book my holiday 😀 Still subject to approval, but it’s looking like a week on the unexplored east coast of Sri Lanka to visit a friend, followed by two weeks in Bali and Lombok… Roll on September!!!

Manic

My moods are all over the place. One minute I’m bouncing around, planning a trip to Sri Lanka and Indonesia, then two minutes later I’ve got that paperweight in my chest and just want to go to sleep.

I am heavily self-censoring because I no longer know who is reading this. I tell myself that it shouldn’t matter who’s reading it, that it’s my own space, but it does matter. I no longer feel I can say whatever I’m thinking. It’s a vicious circle – if I create a private space to express, to cry out, to rejoice, to be silly, to be me, I write knowing that somebody will read it. I need to know there is a connection with the world outside of my own head… But nobody will see it unless I tell them where to find it… and once I think that people may be reading it, I no longer feel I can be entirely true to myself in what I write.

I feel simultaneously elated by the good things in my life and devastated by others. I seem to love and trust far too easily, and this is always, ALWAYS punished. I did a very basic personality analysis today and it told me that ‘There may be a tendency for you to be too exacting and demanding of yourself. In this regard, you may at times sacrifice yourself (or your loved ones) for the welfare of others. In some cases,you may have trouble distinguishing helping from interfering.‘  This  is the story of my life. I am attracted to disaster, with a deep desire to mend, to fix, to nurture something or someone back to health, inevitably pushing my own well-being into second place in the process.I did it at 15, I’m still doing it at 34, and I seem to never learn. But similarly, ironically, conversely, I berate myself for it. When did caring cease to be a quality and become a flaw? Where do you draw the line?

Why do I never remember the wonderful things that I know people have said about me? I may remember that they said something lovely and kind, but I forget the most important part – the essential message in their encouragement and love. And yet… the hurtful words, even the ones I know not to be true, are the ones ringing in my ears when I try to sleep?

Moody

A gorgeous drive up from Dorset in the blazing sunshine with a new CD on repeat. A lovely Thai massage at the Crazy Bear… A wonderful start to the day. But one tiny thing has sent me spiralling back into melancholy. I wish there was a tablet to control that… How to manage this?? Where is the fucking manual?

Brownsea

Nothing has the power to soothe the soul quite like spending time by the sea. I never fail to be enchanted by this lovely place, my second home. Feeling calmer and happier, thanks to the magical healing powers of fresh sea air, sunshine, a walk in the woods and lovely friends.

Brownsea Castle

Brownsea Castle

 

 

 

Lessons

Learnt some things over the past couple of weeks:

1  Despite appearances I do not, in fact, source my powers from alcohol. Neither does the ground open up and swallow me if I don’t drink it. In fact, nothing happens at all other than the occasional ‘I really fancy a glass of wine. Oh I can’t have one. Oh well, where’s the slimline tonic?’  Who’da thunkit?

2  The most difficult thing in the world is managing clinical depression. The second most difficult thing in the world is caring about somebody else who is suffering from clinical depression, especially when they don’t want help.

3  If you eat enough carrot sticks, you eventually turn orange. Okay, this isn’t necessarily true but the jury is still out.

4  You WILL lose weight on the low histamine elimination diet. Like, immediately.

5  There is no point ever buying music from HMV. Does everyone else already know this?

6  Home is where your cat is.

7  If something isn’t working, it’s okay to say “this isn’t working” and go back to square 1. At least I hope this is true… It happened when I went back to Burma… It’s happened pretty quickly after moving to London. Who knows if it’s timing, if it’s the season, if it’s the situation, or if it’s just my state of mind, but my priorities from here on are my health and my happiness, and for me this means ‘retreating’ to the least stressful environment I can find and putting my energy into my job, friendships, health and making positive plans.  Stress releases histamine, so no surprise that the past 2-3 months have taken their toll on my physical well-being. I’m taking next week off work to catch up with my lovely friends in Dorset and do some de-cluttering at home and I’m [hopefully] going to book a trip to Sri Lanka to visit another lovely friend later this year. All Good Things {TM}.

And one observation too… Since changing my diet, I’ve started having ‘nice’ (or at least ‘neutral’) dreams. For as long as I can remember, I have only ever had bad dreams. Not necessarily nightmares, but dreams with a sort of gloom about them – a sense of foreboding, panic or sadness. One morning last week I woke up and realised with no small measure of surprise that I’d just had a dream that was actually quite pleasant. Can’t remember anything about it now of course…