Sunday Post: January Bites!

Life

Difficult week. My partner continued to be quite unwell. I had a weird rash on my skin and an emotional meltdown. I felt awful during the second half of the week and spent most of Wednesday and Friday evenings crying. When I get like this, I feel like I’ve got a desperately unhappy child inside me who is completely inconsolable. There’s nothing I can do to comfort her.

I think its emotional stress about some things catching up with me. I also failed to protect myself from the internet over the holidays, despite knowing full well that I would be feeling sensitive and there would be a lot of upsetting stuff out there. I had planned to take a complete social media break for a few weeks, and I did step back a bit, but the proper break never really happened.  My desire for connection apparently trumped my boundaries.

But otherwise, I’ve been doing quite well. I exercised and went to yoga and have reduced my caffeine intake significantly. I upgraded my phone, something I’ve been avoiding for ages because it stresses me out. I also bought myself a pair of binoculars to improve the quality of my birdwatching.

Today is the 9th anniversary of our civil partnership. We’re not really the kind of people who bother with anniversaries, but we try and do a little something for this one. We went out for lunch at one of our favourite cafes anyway.

TV

It’s definitely been a week for comfort TV. We watched some old episodes of Poirot, Murder in Mesopotamia, Sad Cypress and The Hollow, all of which were very good.

Then we watched our favourite adaptation of Jane Eyre, the 2006 one with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. It’s the only adaptation that really gets me to buy into the romance between Jane and Rochester.

Reading

I finished Semiosis by Sue Burke, a science fiction novel about a human colony and first contact with alien species. I really liked it and will hopefully write a post about it at some point. I also finished my re-read of The Hobbit, which was fun, but I felt I should be reading it out loud to a child. Now those are done, I’ll carry on with Melmoth by Sarah Perry.

I’m also working on Burnout: The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski which I’m finding very helpful. Recommended if you’re looking for a feminist and intersectional book about burnout.

Photograph of the book 'Burnout'. It has a plain light blue cover with the title and author's names.

I’m going to make a vat of dahl to keep us fed for next couple of days and I hope next week will be a little kinder.

Managing Emotional distress

Ever since October 2017, I’ve been experiencing attacks of what I can only call extreme emotional distress. I don’t want to get into the details of what happened back then, but basically, a particular “event” seems to have somehow released all the emotional pain that I’d been repressing for about twenty-five years.

This has made my life really difficult. I feel like I can be ambushed at any moment and plunged into a pit of grief, despair and rage. Once I’m in there, it’s very hard to climb out again.

After a few weeks of feeling okay, I had another attack yesterday. I felt awful all day, aching chest and head, depressed, constant intrusive, negative thoughts, and it ended with a full on screaming/crying meltdown in the kitchen.

I’ll give myself yesterday, but I really need to get on top of this. The first thing I think I have to do is accept that these feelings aren’t just going to stop or go away, which is what I’ve been hoping. The gaps between attacks do seem to have got longer, but I think that’s more down to me getting better at avoiding the things that trigger the feelings, then any actual healing. When the feelings do come, they are as a strong and overwhelming as ever.

I know could get more proactive about managing my emotional state on a day-to-day basis, but here are some things that I think I could put into place for those times when I do feel myself being dragged into the “pit of despair”.

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