It’s so easy to look at someone and think that “they’re alright! They’re here, standing, breathing, they’re fine!”. What-a-crock-of-shit. I saw an old programme on ITV3 the other day; a gentleman said – “the more time I’m alive the less I know about folk”. How right he was. The older I get, the less I know about what is true and false, right or wrong, good or bad; how I should behave, how people are actually FEELING. It’s all subjective. As is how you react when something bad happens to you.
In a previous post I’d mentioned how my life felt like it was imploding around me. After 6 long weeks of stress, worry and extreme fear, I finally feel as though I am coming out the other side. Ultimately, though, what has truly fascinated me by this whole experience, is just how unwell I was leading up to this breakdown, and for quite how long I’d suffered in silence and just carried on because it is what everyone else expected of me. I don’t think I ever been more grateful for things to have gone so wrong.
I’ve struggled with IBS, acute anxiety and an undiagnosed vomiting condition for 6 years (acute in my case includes overheating, sweating, shaking, panic attacks and fear of leaving the house/ answering the phone and talking to people). I have been trialled on around 10 different tablets and am currently prescribed 6 different medications daily. Every morning, I wake up and vomit without fail. My partner had to take on the role of driving me to work as I could barely get myself dressed, let alone in the car. This took its toll on our relationship, his well being and my feelings towards work. Whilst it has taken me this long to get here and find some clarity, my father falling unwell was actually just the cherry on top of a huge shit sundae that I was building through my actions, which NEEDED to collapse.
For too long I’ve been convincing myself that this is my life and this is my lot. It isn’t. I let the fear of the future stop me from actually living for it. I’m present but only in body – as I’m constantly worrying about the future, I am missing the now. All of this time, I’ve been blind to those around me. Blind to the little things in life that make me smile or laugh, because I’ve been constantly worrying about my future or lack of it. Now, I have the time and will always make the time to smell the flowers.
So many people use their blog as a forum to vent their frustrations at their undiagnosed chronic panic or illness, but this shouldn’t be our only outlet. We should feel free and at liberty to talk about the problems we don’t quite have control over yet, without prejudice – “But what is ACTUALLY wrong with you?” is THE worst thing you can say to someone in this position. We already feel paranoid, we already feel as though it isn’t taken seriously, just because it hasn’t got an official name yet, or the tests haven’t finished, and we know you’re frustrated – join the bloody club.
It has taken me all this time and having a major meltdown to realise that what I was doing, wasn’t living at all. The people around me were toxic, feeding off of my continuous need to please them and keep them happy, whilst totally disregarding my own well-being, trying to apease everyone but myself.
I have chosen to look at this as an opportunity, not a loss. I am GAINING the ability to find work that suits my illness. I am GRATEFUL that I have seen the light before it went out from the rush of wind that is my life. I am taking this time to meet ME again, to introduce to myself my needs, my wants, and to make sure I come first in this life that belongs to me.