The past week or so has been rough. Twice I’ve gotten super sick while out on short trips and had to lay down in the backseat and pray I didn’t throw up till we got home. When getting out of the car I was so dizzy I almost collapsed against the car. Chronic vestibular migraines are no joke. Feeling pretty low but hanging in there. I wish the depression and isolation didn’t set in during flare ups like this…honestly that can almost be as bad as the illness itself.
I haven’t been making sticker collages much recently (just not in the mood), but these are two that I made not too long ago that I really liked. The first one shows my love for cats and books, and the second one is an emotional expression of loneliness.
If you like my art, make sure you check out my art for sale on Ebay!
First off, I got my covid results back yesterday. No coronavirus detected! That was certainly a big relief! Now I don’t have to worry about staying quarantined for weeks!
On the sucky side of things, I did have a full-blown migraine last night. I’m not sure if it was caused by my anxiety about the test results the past few days, or something else, but it was miserable. When I get migraines like that my neck kills me too (you can actually feel the tension and swelling in the back of the neck). Like most migraine sufferers, I can’t stand sound or light, and I get nauseated and dizzy as well. I went to bed early and slept about 9-10 hours, but still feel the aftereffects of it today and fear it coming back in full force.
I’m also a little sad because while I was unsure of my covid status, some friends of mine got together for the first time in forever, and of course didn’t invite me (I don’t blame them, they knew about the covid possibility), but it still bummed me out that I missed the chance to see them.
I’m struggling right now mentally and emotionally. Here are some of the reasons:
- I found out yesterday that my psychiatrist is retiring at the end of the month, so I have to start seeing someone new, beginning with my next appointment in June. I think one of the worst things is that I won’t get a chance to say goodbye and I really liked my current psychiatrist. He was weird, but in a good way. I feel anxiety and fatigue at the thought of having to start over with someone new and share all my issues from the beginning.
- My husband is in a bad funk because of the quarantine. He desperately misses work and since school has been cancelled for the rest of the year, he won’t be able to get back to work until at least the next school year starts, if then. His constant low mood is making it more difficult for me to keep my head above water mentally-speaking.
- I’m feeling lonely and disconnected, perhaps due to the quarantine? Although it is certainly a feeling I was familiar with far before all this madness began. Maybe the social distancing just heightens what was already there.
- I have no desire to do anything. I don’t want to write this blog, but I am pushing through. I don’t want to do my normal housework, online work…any of it.
I’ve been feeling rather sad and isolated the last few days. I think a lot of it comes from the stress of dealing with chronic illness and chronic pain. Anyone who has chronic illness is probably familiar with spoon theory, an illustrative way to describe why you have to choose carefully how to use your energy to do things when you have very limited physical ability.
In other words, sometimes you have to choose whether you would like to go out and socialize for a short period of time, spend that energy getting some much-needed housework done, work on a hobby or personal interest, or even simply take a shower…because you just don’t have the energy and the physical ability to do them all within the same day like a healthy person could.
Most of the time I end up choosing to spend my “energy” and limited abilities to either spend time with my husband, work on my art/writing/blogging, or take care of personal hygiene or light housework. Prioritizing these things leaves no extra energy or time to socialize on a wider scale or do much outside of the house, other than maybe occasionally going out for dinner or doing a little necessary shopping. Even the thought of going to a movie is often too exhausting to contemplate.
All of this makes me sad, especially when I remember how I used to enjoy so many other things I can’t do any longer. I used to love hiking, playing tennis, roller skating, bowling, dancing, working, swimming, being a foster parent, and going out to various activities with people I know or share interests with. I’ve pretty much lost all of that for good. And that is depressing.
Recently I discovered Elfchen poems, which are 5-line poems that follow this pattern:
Line 1 – 1 word
Line 2 – 2 words
Line 3 – 3 words
Line 4 – 4 words
Line 5 – 1 word (different than the first line word)
It is also common to take the last word of someone else’s Elfchen poem to start off your own new one.
Here are several of my first tries with this poetic genre:
when you live
in an unstable world,
weakness creeps in
settles on the edge,
lie firmly under
your tongue in cheek,
I am often disheartened by the cold commercialism of society. As I watch the rise of the giant corporations and mega conglomerates, I feel like life in general is becoming less conducive to humanity and relationships and more about flashy advertisements and raking in the money. Those few people running the world don’t just seem to be garden-variety-greedy anymore, they seem to be Scrooge-McDuck-diving-into-a-swimming-pool-of-gold-greedy.
Recently I was walking around a Walmart, my head almost swimming from all the useless stuff trying to attract my attention, when I suddenly had the impulse to go around the store and ask every employee I could find whether they believe Walmart really gives a shit about them as a person, or if they think they are viewed as a replaceable number only. I resisted the urge, but as someone who spent a short amount of time working as a greeter at Walmart, I can almost guarantee that if the employees answered my question honestly, probably none of them would say the corporation gives a damn about them. And that microcosm of Walmart, represents an entire world of similar sentiments.
This may be a post that is hard for neurotypicals to relate to – I’m honestly not sure. But, as someone who has high-functioning autism (Aspergers), I find that I have always had a deep internal yearning for something that I don’t know how to get or how to keep – and that is a true sense of belonging. I have had fleeting moments of feeling like I belong in a group. Lunches with friends at school, days at work where I laughed along with the others and felt like part of the gang, or even last year, when I was hospitalized and briefly came to feel at home among the other patients.
But none of these lasted. The very next day, or even the next hour, I could easily be feeling like an outsider again, like someone with their nose pressed to the window, watching the motion and activity inside with longing. Even among friends, it was often clear that I was “the weird one”, the one that was sometimes liked, but never completely understood. I often felt like I was an alien being in a foreign world, and sometimes I still feel that way.
Now, since I don’t have to attend work or school outside of my home, I am not forced into regular contact with others and the chances of feeling a part of a group are even less likely to occur. I can go out and seek groups, and sometimes do, but I never really end up feeling a part of them. I am not a cog in the gears of a greater machine, I am a spare part left on the table.
The best way I know to describe the yearning inside is to share the first few lines from the theme song to the old tv show, Cheers:
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
The troubles are all the same
You want to be where where everybody knows your name
That is what I want, but realistically, I could hang out at a bar EVERY SINGLE DAY and I’d be lucky if anyone learned my name…and I can’t help but feel that is my own fault. I’ve seen others who can walk into a place and in a few minutes, they are no longer a stranger to anyone. It is almost like a magical ability, and is clearly one I’ll never have.
I’ve been severely depressed the past couple days. Two nights in a row I’ve been teary and weepy and feeling very much alone. Late last night I lay curled up on the bathroom floor crying, a position I often find myself in when depression gets severe.
I do have the support of a wonderful husband and he spent probably a good hour yesterday listening to me cry and talk about how I’m feeling. Sadly, he struggles with much of the same issues I do, so I always feel bad unloading on him because it brings out the same feelings in him that I’m suffering with.
I think what is getting to me the most is just the desire for a loving, supportive family, which I simply don’t have. Most of my immediate family is dead, only one member is still living and they seem to not be talking to me right now for some unknown reason. In some ways it might be best if we don’t talk since the constant ups and downs of the relationship really affect my moods, but it is still not easy to know that your only living close relative doesn’t seem to want anything to do with you or seem to care about you.
I wish I could replace those family relationships I have lost, but where do you find family if you don’t have one? You can’t exactly go shopping for one or even expect friends to step into those positions (if I even had friends). Sure, I could make friends if I tried harder maybe, but it still wouldn’t be FAMILY. It wouldn’t fill the huge hole in my heart left by those who have left me.
I slept in until after 2pm this afternoon. I hate when that happens. I feel like most of the day is already gone by the time I get out of bed. I must have slept at least around 12 hours last night, even though I had a bit of an emotional fest when I actually went to bed. For some reason, all the loneliness of the world seems to settle down on me when I try to go to sleep and all the horrible things that have and could happen come around to haunt me. It is often at these times that I feel absolutely alone and helpless in this world, even though logically I know I’m not…at least not right now. But I could be. I could be all alone very easily and that thought sends me into a kind of despair I can’t explain.
Recently I have been reading a book entitled “Beyond Borderline: True Stories of Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder”. Reading the book has been insightful and interesting, and made me realize I am definitely NOT a traditional borderline. I simply don’t have the acting out behaviors. I guess I could be what some people call “quiet borderlines”, although sometimes I wonder if they are really borderlines or not?
Perhaps some “quiet borderlines” are actually more along the lines of Avoidant Personality Disorder or another anxiety-related personality disorder? Who knows. I’m not a doctor so I can’t say, but I do find so many commonalities running through various personality disorders, that even if you have one, pinpointing which one might be difficult and many people have traits of more than one. For me personally, I think I definitely fit more into the cluster C “anxious and fearful clusters” than the cluster B “dramatic and overly emotional clusters”. In fact, the only time I am visibly overly emotional is when I am so anxious I pretty much panic. Unfortunately this almost always seems to happen in public, because social interaction in itself can easily set off the panic in me.