Self Preservation Overload.

My thoughts are all on me
Trying to analyze, understand, fix, cope, avoid.
My whole life has been about prevention
When it’s cold and your teeth rattle with shivers, you put on a warm coat
When you can’t see the page in front of you because of hay fever running nose and itchy eyes, you take antihistamines
And you start to plan ahead, anticipate, prevent
To avoid the uncomfortableness, unpleasantness,
The irritating, distracting and pain-causing.
Avoidance and Prevention become a religion, second nature
Soon you apply that mindset to every part of your life, instinctively,
without realising how it has taken over and directs your life
But you are aware of what is missed out on
The strong positive feelings in moments that would happen
if you didn’t prevent them, avoiding possible embarrassment, shame, fear.

And the experiences you truly want, clash with this all-powerful self-preservation.

Comfort and Feelings.

my life currently
is emotional uncertainty

feelings
so many feelings
a day full, in a moment
a year full, in a day
struggling with them
brings sorrow and sadness
accepting
and letting them exist
is my biggest challenge
exhaustion
from the battle

need a touch
a comforting presence
to remind me
gently
its okay
these feelings are okay
they are part of you
let them pass through, and exist
don’t resist
you are worthwhile
you are loved
you are not alone

I Need To Talk.

[ I sent out these words to my family (and closest friends) today. (Minor privacy edits). Taking one step forward, out of the shadows. ]

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I’m writing to you all because it is difficult to talk directly about that which I barely understand. And you should know, because I don’t want my family uninformed through poor choices on my part.

I’m really struggling. I would ask for help, but I don’t know specifically what would help me. Feel free to offer suggestions from a loving heart.

The last 18 months or 2 years has been particularly rough. Initially I have been on about half pay at work just to catch up with managing finances, then with lingering health problems I have consistently been barely managing half-time productive hours. So my pay has been well under minimum wage for some time. This puts financial pressure on my wife and I and puts pressure on our relationship. We have been getting by, thankfully she has a good income. But we have been feeling the pressure for some time, as we only “tread water” in terms of money.

A few months ago, we were trying to sort out some financial planning for the future, and I basically had an anxiety attack. I couldn’t cope, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t make decisions, I couldn’t function at work at all and I felt exhausted when home. I went to my GP to get a referral to a Centre for Treatment of Anxiety and Depression and he put me on some anti-depressants to help the mood disorder. Just adjusting to that new drug in my system has been physically harrowing and quite unsettling, but hopefully it is helping more than hindering me now.

This has all been triggered by a host of factors. Last year’s struggle with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) diagnosis and the resulting extended illness. Dad’s hospitalisation and how I dealt with that personally while trying to spend as much time with him as possible and taking him to all his medical appointments. Then his death. And all the other personal matters that end up stressing one out. All these weakening me, leaving me susceptible to constant viral infections or just lethargy. Basically, my body never had much chance to recover and build up again.

Run down, run out. All that is still going on. Just this last week I have had days where I hardly got out of bed. I didn’t want to eat or drink, I didn’t feel depressed, I had no obvious symptoms other than complete exhaustion. And some days I would manage to get into work for a few hours and end up completely exhausted again the next day.

Grief, the most likely explanation for this recent situation. Talking with a writer friend who has much experience with her personal grieving over losing her adult child and then husband. Everyone will experience grief differently and for me it is triggering exhaustion and a numb mind.

Have been very unhappy with my local GP after last year’s IBS issues (He should have sent me to a gastroenterologist straight away). So have sought out a more holistic GP that will treat me as a whole person, not just treat each symptom individually as the local doctor did. Is not easy to find and is not cheap, around $80 out of pocket per visit – financial pressures loom again.

CTAD currently has a 5 weeks waiting list (I guess my situation is not acute enough to get more urgent assistance). I also have a general psychology referral from my GP. Will use this mental health plan once I find someone with experience in Anxiety and Grief. Getting health assistance costs money. Or I could just stop working altogether and get more rest and time to help myself, but then we would probably not manage financially anyway.

Needless to say, my situation impacts significantly on my wife as well.

I’ve always enjoyed being happy. I’ve always liked to smile. And those old habits tend to mask what is going on underneath when I am in public. So while I have never revealed much about myself, there has been a lot going on inside me for most of my life. And it’s got to a point where I can’t manage on my own anymore.
I see the unfinished extension, the unfinished renovations, the yard outside, housework and I just rarely have any energy to make any headway. That is an indication outside of me. And inside me there is more going on too, but this is all I have the energy to share at the moment.

Love to you all.

Locked Away – Part 2.

Occasionally I roll over
But there is no motivation to move from here
No desire to do any of
the normal daily actions:
eat, drink, shower, clothed, go to work
Nothing else matters
but drifting in and out of sleep
Time passes slowly but this doesn’t bother me
Put my earphones in for some music
and drift away again
A thought questions if I am really tired from illness
or perhaps avoiding facing up to life
I don’t care
Negative motivation factor
keeps me cocooned in comfort
Cold air creeps in through a gap in the covers
normally this would unsettle me immediately
I don’t care
and slowly drift away again
Another thought questions if this is depression
maybe it is
but then those stupid drugs aren’t working
I don’t really care

Locked Away – Part 1.

This prison cell is too comfortable
There is an inviting mattress with soft sheets
a mouldable fluffy pillow full of feathers
and a woollen quilt with an extra blanket on top.
The stone walls around me, made up of negativity
are silent today
The only sounds I perceive
the blood pumping through my ears
and the ever-present tuned white noise of my tinnitus
Am I breathing? I don’t really know.
I glimpsed some positivity
as it wafted in on a faint breeze, through the barred window
and then continued out on its way.
I don’t want to leave here
In fact I don’t want to do anything.

Help.

I’ve been writing for some time now
usually to clear my head
sometimes to let out negativity
or express feelings of pain
And at the moment
despite writing and venting
as much as I am able
as honestly as I feel capable of
The release that I normally feel
is missing
and I wonder if
There is so much emotional pain
that I am not making much inroad into it
Or if what I am going through at present
requires some different technique
to achieve the release
I am accustomed to.
A topic has been coming up
around me, in a few places -
Asking for help
So perhaps this is what I need to do
to face some fears
and let all those closest to me know
out loud, or however possible
that I am not coping
with this illness
or mental state
or whatever combination of happenings
is going on with me,
To ask for help
and be open to finding out
whatever forms that may take.
And at the same time
I will keep acting upon
all actions possible to help myself
chase up all avenues of professional support
and know that this is all anyone can do
Know that I am supporting myself
to the best of my current abilities
and most importantly
be at peace with that
no matter what the short term outcomes are
because peace and rest
may be the only tools I have left
to positive effect
this current me -
This temporary state.

Continental Drift.

An extra set of hands
to soothe and comfort
to touch and care for you.
I cannot share enough love
the contents of my heart, strain
through these ten points of contact
Can I reach you enough
to make a difference?
My influence searching
through your darkness
Moulding your nothingness
into a solid
we can both feel.
Feelings to connect
to join you to me
so that you don’t drift away
again, forever.

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[ I wrote this for myself, Words and feelings that I need right now, While thinking about how it could be for me. And a thankyou to Natalie for the inspiration. ]