I recall an ex of mine telling me that when I was good, there was nobody like me. I was the best person to be around and I attracted people to me. The downside of that was that when I was down, I was impossible: he had to get away from me. While I understood, and empathised with him being in love with a girl who was lovable only thirty percent of the time; I also resented that he could walk away – I couldn’t. I was stuck inside my head one hundred per cent of the time with no escape. Even when I sleep, like last night, I am at risk of being more drained because of the nightmares than when I went to bed. Cold sweats and dark images; terror and paralysis, like bloody Macbeth.
I can totally understand why people with mental health issues turn to hardcore pharmaceuticals and often spiral into a demise of illegal street drugs. I’ve been taking Venlafaxine for three and a half years and it works in that I’m still alive; functioning and my fiancé and daughter can probably live with me for more than thirty percent of the time now. I can live in my own head for seventy percent of the time now so there exists some sort of numerical parallel. However, as my life has progressed towards what qualifies as my most successful years in terms of relationships; career and sociability since I was sixteen, the strain on my emotions becomes increasingly tense and I’m reminded that I have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD – I forget that which makes sense because one of the features is being way too hard on yourself. I never think I have enough done in a day: my endless quest for productivity leads to almost complete burnout and then I end up sick, either physically with a cough I cannot shake off or a mental weariness so profound that I don’t have the will to get up to pee. No wonder my pelvic floor feels eighty years old. In short, I’m not sure the Venlafaxine is cutting it anymore. But at least, the migraines have subsided with the Sibellium .
One of the things that I am most looking forward to is the ground drying out in Spring and getting out to the garden to bring my plants back to life. The ground, like my mind, is sodden and heavy. It’s strange when you get to the age when gardening is a thing for you. I used to love baking but now the kitchen usually needs to be cleaned up before anyone can use it and I just don’t have the mental energy to do that, or the time, it seems. I do of course have the time, I could make the time, but it’s another of those things that just gets shunted to the side in the blur that is trying to get through the day and get everything done. Like reading. If I try to sit down to read, I fall asleep after five minutes, my eyes are so gritty from a day of keeping on top of everything. I am always tired, but tired in a way that my nerves are on edge and liable to fray at any moment. That’s why audiobooks are my saviour. I can keep moving while I listen and therefore not risk falling asleep for two hours and therefore, miss out on two hours of getting stuff done.
Which brings me to yoga. I didn’t get up till 2:45pm today. I went to bed at 11:15pm. I tried to get up around 11am but I could barely move. I could barely talk to anyone in the house. The burning paralysis was back. Then, I remembered my cousin sending me a link for a yoga teacher on YouTube and looked her up. I did the morning yoga routine (even though it was by now 3.30pm). It wasn’t easy and trying to follow the screen while manoeuvering into sun salutations was frustrating. Added to that the grotesque state of my almost size 14 body bubbling over at me in the mirror. My muscles and bones creaked and my fat got in the way but I did it and guess what, I felt better. I don’t; feel amazing now: I am sneezing and I could still go back to bed but I am washed and dressed in clean, comfy clothes and I’m going to watch the rugby on record.
I pity my fiance and my daughter, even the dogs, having to live in the same house as me on days like this. But they’re still here so maybe the good days are very good days, and my ex was right about one thing.