Time slipping

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Hours, days, weeks – all seem to be sneaking past me at the moment. They are on tiptoes, trying not to wake me from the fog that seems to still be lingering around in my head these last few weeks. I intend to do things yet so much is undone and I am left living with that feeling you get when you are asleep and desperately trying to wake yourself up.

Being away was lovely yet I am more aware than ever that much is missing from my world, from this existence I find myself in. You would think that this would inspire me to dig deeper, to work harder for the changes that are coming. I wish it was. My mind is still partly elsewhere, still trying to regain its structure and motivation.

Maybe it is busy working some great issue out and when it is done, I will understand what was going on. I will be all like ah-now-I see-what-was-going-on-and-what-to-do-now. Or maybe not. Maybe it will be forever a mystery. For now I would settle for it simply going and letting me be again. For now I will continue to get up, to do my best and to accept that right now this is simply how things are.

Reconnecting…

The odd week I had stretched into another week. So now I am trying to reconnect. With myself, with my blog, with my work. This week we are away visiting friends and family back where we used to live before heading off to a festival. So I am hoping this break from all that surrounds and suffocates me will be the air I need to breathe again.

Sometimes I am so deep in my own company that I forget that I need other people. In the people that know me, who stay with me through all my ups and downs, I find reminders that I am more than me. I have a history, a life I have lived even if it has gone places or ways I never expected it to. They remind me to keep on living, to share myself with others.

I need that right now. I need taking out of this headspace and reminding that I am part of something bigger. That I am part of people’s lives. Last week it felt like this week was coming at the wrong time, that I couldn’t cope with all the people. I believe now that maybe it is coming at exactly the right time.

It’s oh so quiet…

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Does it ever happen to you that you think you haven’t done something for a while and then you realise it is actually even longer than you thought? Happened to me today with this blog. Knew I hadn’t posted for a few days…but a week?! Oh my how did that happen…

To be honest its been a bit of an odd week. Something has simply not felt right. Not the usual over the top anxiousness or the sad depression that sometimes still hits me. This was more an absence. A feeling of not being quite here. Of detachment.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with their dark moments. I have a few. My main one is to switch off. I shut down and step away. Let whatever is up with me pass. Usually it is quite a conscious decision, this time though it kinda felt outside of my choice. Still I went with it, had an absent few days and now feel like a little more of me is back.

So an odd week as I said. My mental health can still throw me a curveball after all these years of living with its ups and downs. What is it trying to tell me this time?

My Friend, the Inside of my Head

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Me and the inside of my head are very good friends, we hang out all the time.  Nothing happens in my life, from big events to small daily activities, that we don’t spend time discussing and assessing.  Some might say we spend too much time together, that the inside of my head is a bad influence on me.  And I would probably agree with them.

I like spending time with the inside of my head…or at least I used to.  Being an introvert, a thinker and an analyser, it allows me to think things through and get quiet time from the rest of the world.  At some point though, the inside of my head started taking over.  We spent too much time together.  I started hanging out in my head all the time and not in the real world.  Like a possessive partner, it started distorting how I look at the world and myself.  I became the silent one in the relationship, the friend of a bully who kept me down all the time so it was the powerful one.

I recognised in time my friendship with the inside of my head was not a healthy one and I began to distance myself from it.  It did not want to let go of me though, there was and still are arguments over how to see the world and my place in it.  Our friendship has become toxic and I need space from it.  Yet I still need that friendship, it is my refuge from a world that I find too much sometimes, it is a place of processing and protection.  So I am trying to build bridges with the inside of my mind, to find a partnership with it where we are equals not enemies.

 

Image from DasWortgewand @ pixabay

The Life in Your Years

 


“It’s not the years in your life that matter…it’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln (*possibly*)


I had a completely different article in mind to write today. Instead I came across this article on the BBC website about journalist Helen Fawkes who died earlier this month.  It talks about how she faced her cancer with a ‘list for living’, blogging about her experiences both with cancer and with life. It made me cry as all too often stories like this do, I cry for myself.

This is quite a raw post for me to write and I feel more exposed and vulnerable than normal. I had a bone marrow transplant in 2001 for chronic myeloid leukaemia and have spent the 16 years since often grieving for the life I thought I would live before I received my diagnosis.  I have spent those years torn between fear of living and fear of not living enough. I am often paralysed, stuck between wanting to live, to experience this life to the full and yet unable to do so, terrified of what could go wrong.

I lost me after my transplant, I lost that person with dreams and plans for the future.  I wasn’t that person anymore and it took a whole lot of hard times, of fighting to get back to ‘normal’, to realise that person had gone and I was causing myself harm by holding on to that image of me.  Eventually I stopped looking back so much and looked for who I was now, for where I wanted life to take me.

My mind had other ideas though. It was almost like it saw me getting hold of myself and putting myself back together…and didn’t like it one little bit.  So it threw health anxiety into the mix.  Understandable perhaps given what had happened to me, the physical effects my treatment continues to have on me, the death of my brother and of Phillip’s parents.

Still it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to cope with. Constantly worrying whether this or that is a sign of something that is going to kill me, sheer overwhelming panic that I am going to die and the battling that goes on between my fear of doing anything and my fear of not doing anything, of not doing enough. I am tired of living like this.

So this article about Helen who faced her diagnosis with such a positive and open attitude really got to me.  She lived her life knowing her time was limited and determined to fit in as much as she possibly could. I cried for the years I feel I have wasted in not grasping hold of this life with both hands. It is such a brief, amazing, fleeting life we live and I am so aware of a need to make the most of it.  Too aware maybe.

I can’t do anything about what is in the past. Those years, all that time I feel I have wasted, well that is unchangeable.  And the future, who knows.  All I have is now, I need to stop worrying and put more life into my years.  So I am going to borrow Helen’s idea of a ‘list for living’ and fill it with things from the normal to the possibly impossible.  I don’t want a bucket list, that feels too much like having to achieve a list of things before I die.  I want things to aim for, I want to celebrate this life and I want to live it not simply be alive for it.

When my list is more than an idea, when it itself has life, I will share it with you. For encouragement, for support, for the sheer kick in the backside I will probably need to push through my worries to actually do this.  If you have any suggestions for my list, share away please!

If you are interested in reading about Helen’s story in her own words, take a look at her blog.