This is *hopefully* going to be a positive post so bare with me! I was thinking today about how far along I am in my recovery from a breakdown a few years ago. As you know I have talked about abuse here before and this is the reason I personally had a breakdown, but I will admit since this I have had another one and although it stemmed from abuse, it was more down to massively increased levels of stress and anxiety in my life. Since then I have started to feel really, well weird. You know when you have a cold/flu and your taste buds go all funny? Then the cold goes and everything tastes so much more intense than before? I feel like that with everything, my emotions are very intense at the moment, sad things have me balling like a baby and happy things have me getting seriously hyper and then there are more tears (happy tears though!) I have found myself feeling a bit disorientated, kind of like when you wake up from a big sleep and it takes a minute to know where you are and whats going on!
I had a very traumatic week actually, about 2 weeks ago I had an outer ear infection which wouldn’t shift, now I have had 2 perforated ear drums before but not for many years and I’ve never had an outer ear infection before, so I followed pharmacist advice and it cleared up but then came back a lot worse. This then translated into a middle ear infection which is what causes perforated ear drums, if you’ve had an earache before you will feel my pain!
I was in agony but I have had the mumps and swine flu before so I know how to suck it up and just power through, normally. Normally because I was meant to be flying to New York and only had 3 days until my flight. You are not advised to fly with an ear infection because ear drums usually burst from the air pressure and it’s painful not to mention the very real chance of going deaf (for 6 weeks at best or at worst permanently) I was so upset, but you know what I was happy I was upset (and I mean sobbing on the floor covered in snot upset- attractive!) The reason being, up until this past month I haven’t really had ‘normal’ emotional responses to things, this was normal- I was losing the trip of a lifetime and most people would be upset. But also I haven’t been away for quite a few years because of my breakdown, and I already had to cancel my last trip to Vegas because I wasn’t mentally well enough to go so it was all just too much.
I was prescribed very strong antibiotics and got the ‘fit to fly’ from the doctor the day before travel but I had this nagging feeling inside me, I didn’t feel fit to fly. The antibiotics had made me feel very sick, physically and mentally and I ended up having the worst panic attack of my life. I had terrible nausea, the chills, a really sore throat and I was just so achey and tired. I had to make the decision not to go, I made sure my parents still went (we were going for my Dads birthday) because there was no way on earth I was going to have them cancel because of me. But watching them leave for the airport was one of my lowest moments ever. The reason being:
I knew it was all my fault.
I let my health decline and the stress and anxiety from having 2 breakdowns has done some serious physical damage. I have suffered with hair loss and that’s had a massive effect on my confidence, the antidepressants caused me to gain over 3 stone which resulted in my stomach being covered in angry red stretch marks (since coming off them I have lost this weight which is one silver lining!) I have had crippling insomnia which has given me big dark circles, terrible anxiety and a real lack of motivation for doing anything. Eating wise I have resorted to eating crap all.the.time. and you know what? I hate myself for it, my digestion has been off, I have had really dull looking skin and have no energy at all. Of course I got a bloomin ear infection! How arrogant to go through all of this and then put my body through all of that and think it wont react?!
I think a part of me still blamed myself for being abused, I know that’s a really truthful and shocking thing to say but it’s true, it made it really hard for me to believe I deserved any joy in my life, to look after myself or to feel cherished and so I have been neglecting myself as a sort of punishment for what happened, I can now see that and I know it’s not ok, and I know I deserve a lot more than that.
So what have I learnt, sitting here typing this up whilst my Mum and Dad are in New York having the best time? I have learnt that on top of all the crap I’ve been through I really don’t have the luxury of treating myself badly too. I have learnt that if I am waiting for someone or something to ‘save me’ or ‘fix me’ I will be waiting a long time. I have learnt that I need to take this minute by minute not day by day. I need to nourish my body to make it strong enough to help me heal. I need to be brave and start putting myself out there more, I have barely grown at all in the past 3 years and feel my anxiety has actually gotten worse not better. I have learnt that I don’t want this life, this life is shit and I am so much better than it.
You can’t always heal mental scars, they fade but they are always there, but I don’t wanna be that person, drowning in misery, never moving forward. So I’m not going to be.
Watch this space!