Episode 114 – This Is Different

Wednesday Night

I haven’t written in a while – I’ve been busy. The Good Days are now Good Weeks and seeing as we’ve been home for almost a month, I guess I’ve had nearly the first Good Month I’ve had in years.

My session at the Rape Crisis Centre went smoothly, I can’t even remember if I wrote about that, and despite some gruesome nightmares, I’ve been relatively unaffected by it. I worried that I might not be able to compartmentalise the issues discussed but I have been. The SaltScrub night sweats are back and that is irritating but it’s a small price to pay for being present in my own life everyday. Enjoying stuff is awesome, as I have rediscovered.

One nightmare I had involved involuntary surgery which I deemed to  be completely unnecessary. I was immobilised for the surgery, both by pharmaceutical means and also by grotesque leather straps, but I remained alert and terrified as the “surgeon” proceeded to cut off my breasts. No matter how much I wiggled or murmured from my gagged mouth I couldn’t stop him. He was thin and long featured on his sharp face. The room was a brightly lit barn. Other people were watching but I was aware of them only as noise and blurred outlines.

I guess there exists within me a certain amount of dread that my happy little bubble will burst. It probably will but so far, I am armoured against that ruining my current sunny spell.

I read a lot of articles about depression. I follow a lot of blogs about mental health struggles. And I want mine to be different. I want mine to be a story of recovery, not of vicious circles.

There are a few things I’ve noticed on certain sites and pages that I follow, one of which is the constant moaning about being single. Oh my god, will you shut up? This is the first time I’ve been single (properly) since I was 16 and I love it. I just wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. Being single rocks. Scandi, who, by the way, aced her Junior Cert – results were out today – bought herself a tee shirt that reads Boyfriends are overrated today and I couldn’t agree more. There is a group of which I am a member and I think I’m going to have to remove myself from it before I offend some poor lonely heart girl in search of a soulmate (there’s no such thing, love) by calling her out on being a sap. “I’m going to eat my bodyweight in chocolate and sulk because I’m all on my lonesome and everyone else is loved up and settling down and having babies and choosing kitchen appliances”. No they’re not. They’re dying for five minutes’ peace from the noise and the chaos and bickering and the broken hoover and the leaky tap so they can go update their Facebook status about how wonderful their lives are.

Follow Hipster Barbie on Instagram if you don’t believe me about how everyone’s online life is a silly a bit fat fantasy.

Friday Night

I’m sick – well I have a cold and a bit of a cough which doesn’t really qualify as “sick”. Today has been an odd one as Scandi has gone off on a trip – surfing, and to say I’m terrified for my baby girl (although I did not admit that to her) places me right into the protective mother category I never thought I would become.

I kind of didn’t know what to do with myself today having dropped her off early. I thought about going to Pilates but I felt like crap (which ordinarily I’d beat myself up over but my guilt issues seem to be in recession) so I did a few things around the house and had a nap. After my nap, I continued my way through the never ending supply of laundry and watched Gareth Malone’s Who Do You Think You Are? which took him to Dublin and uncovered that the Olympia was once owned by his several times great grandfather. I ate a lunch of left over mashed potatoes and vegetables. This is super exciting, isn’t it? I topped up the electric; paid some rent and the arrears on the pet insurance (this seems like a first world luxury but have you seen how much vet fees are?); set up a standing order and decided to lie down for half an hour. I woke up three and a half hours later, soaked to the bone in salty cold sweat and troubled by nightmares of my most recent former flame (who in real life is a good guy – I think) drunkenly and cruelly abusing me in a swanky, high rise bachelor pad. After a steamy hot shower, I could still feel the salt secreting from the palms of my hands as if I had been immersed in an ocean.

I had planned to go down home today but feeling gunky and sleepy and the weather being so bloody miserable, I sort of unconsciously stayed put even though I had packed a bag.

It’s a very odd feeling to be on my own tonight after not being so since early June. This is the first night Scandi and I have been apart since before America. I miss her. Physically, I can feel my body missing her. I expect her to be just inside my peripheral vision while I’m in the kitchen or to come into my room while I’m sorting laundry to tell me something. Instead, it’s just texts. Jesus, what will I be like when she goes off to college or, you know, if she wants to live her own life?

I, accidentally, watched Seven Pounds tonight which TV3 ( I channel I never usually watch) had the nerve to show. That movie should come with a mental health warning – Not suitable for Depressives. I don’t know if I’ve ever cried so much during a movie except maybe during Titanic or Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet but at the time of their release I was 16 or 17 and any movie which featured romanticised historicism, poignant rhyming couplets or Leonardo di Caprio dying would send me into a hormonal mess of modern angst. In the way that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off made me think about life and what it means to live, Seven Pounds has forced me to reconfront my ideas about death and suicide. I don’t know what I think yet, everything is percolating. And I’m not talking about my suicide because, right now, that option is off the table for me for what feels like forever, but about what death means and what it can achieve. But I know for sure I need to update my organ donor card.

I am lonely tonight. In a way it’s been both helpful and nice having the place to myself today: everyday since June has been filled with people and experiences. I was reminded today that I prefer it like that instead of like this – solitary, as I was for the first six months of this year. It’s also been a day for missing the family and friends in the States because here, I don’t have as many people to hang out with, to just be with, this is partly due to my own isolationist foreign policy of course.

Anyway, a quick dose of Jimmy Fallon before I head to bed should bring me back from the precipice of tears that Will Smith left me on.

Sending much love and warmth your way, Dotty. 💋

One comment

  1. Karen Van Benschoten · September 12, 2015

    ‘Compartmentalize’ was something that my therapist told me that I must learn to do, so that I don’t let this issue trigger other effects.

    Liked by 1 person

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