La la la la la, everything’s fine.
Okay, so it’s not fine. But it’s not terrible either. Just a bit … wonky, wobbly and uncertain. This is what I keep telling myself, this mantra under my breath ….. I am fine, I am fine, I am fine, everything will work out, I am fine, I am … ARRRGGGHHH! Panic! Doom! Stress! …. I am fine. Have be to fine. I am fine….
So much change afoot.
The Boyfriend and I decided a few months ago that when the lease to our current flat expires in mid-August, that we would move. Our flat is nice enough, but it’s small and expensive and prone to suffering the effects of the dodgy pipes of the flats above. We considered staying in the general vicinity; looking for somewhere, bigger, cheaper, less leaky, but realised this was a bit of an impossibility. We considered moving to other English cities, but the prospect of moving somewhere where neither of us knew anyone or the area was too frightening. We concluded that the best thing to do would be to move to Northern City where he is from, because it would be familiar, we would know people and it would be cheaper. Much cheaper. Meaning that we could hopefully afford to buy somewhere or at least live somewhere with more space or (eeep) have children, should we decide that’s what we want to do. So far, so logical.
At the end of March, The Boyfriend contacted his previous employers in Northern City, just to see if they would be recruiting any time soon. They quickly replied that they would be, and they’d be happy to have him back, but he’d need to start mid-April. Gulp. This was not been the cunning plan. The cunning plan was for him to get a new job starting in June/July and stay with his parents and I’d get one starting in August and by then we’d have found somewhere to live and would be gone before the lease ran out here. Instead, it was all happening rather too quickly. We agreed that it would be churlish for him not to accept, so off he went. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, this seeing each other for a few days, every couple of weeks, and the car accident that he had the day after he left exacerbated the feeling of distance. It also terrified me, even though he was physically fine.
In one way, I thought that his going would be a positive thing – it would help with the diet. Between February and April, I lost just under two and half stone. I have another two to go, so I figured that if it was just me at home, there would be no packets of kettle crisps or chorizo sneaking into the flat, I’d have more time to exercise without having to feel guilty about the fact that I was hogging the living room. I confess, part of me was thinking “woohoo, I can skip meals because no one’s here to keep an eye on me”. Unfortunately, throughout May I’ve been losing and gaining the same 4lbs repeatedly and whilst the scales are giving the same figure as they were a month ago and that’s not the end of the world, I wanted to have lost more by now. I’m cross with myself. I’ve not been taking care of myself – I’ve slid back into all sorts of bad eating habits, knowing all the while that it’s a coping mechanism; a response to being on my own, and the panic about the car accident and the anxieties of the forthcoming changes.
I’ve resorted to old patterns – days of starving, days of binging, using laxatives, chewing and spitting … the whole host of previous bad habits squished into a month – 6 weeks that felt very intense. So it’s not wonder really that my face is spotty and skin all over my body feels tight and itchy. My hair started falling out, handfuls, clumps on the floor, falling on to my desk. Last week I faced up to how awful I’ve been to myself and decided to start planning my (sensible) meals, start exercising again and trying to meditate again to relax. All of which will hopefully ease the mood swings somewhat. Because they’ve been a bit nightmarish.
It is well established that I don’t deal well with change. Seemingly, I also don’t deal well with the prospect of change.
I had a follow up letter from the complaints department of the CMHT, responding to the further questions that I asked them. Useless Consultant is still maintaining that I showed no evidence of having a mental illness during the appointment, (I STILL don’t get this. I don’t disagree, I just don’t think that being okay in one appointment overrules someone’s medical history). Useless Care Co-ordinator revised her previous comments that she absolutely didn’t discuss her children with me, to state that she had an “appropriate conversation” with me about her children. I have now had the copy of the letter to my GP, (delayed apparently by Useless Consultant as he hoped the complaint could be resolved. Er… surely the complaint should have very little to do with what he writes to my GP?), which recommended “neurological exploration” of my so-called squint. I have been avoiding my GP practice since that last appointment with the CMHT, due to a combination of feeling ashamed of being magically sane after all, and the echoing sentence in my first referral letter to this CMHT, that states that my GP records are over a foot high (how? how is this possible? everything must be folded in half or something …). I don’t want to add to that. So much shame. My last two repeat prescription have come back with “MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE YOUR GP SOON PLEASE” written on them, but as “soon” is not qualified, I’m still putting it off. When I do go, I’ll be sure to tell them that I’m fine.
And when you average things out, I suppose I am fine. It’s just that averaging it would conveniently smooths out the evidence of the mood swings – the week when I just went from bed to work to bed to work to bed and then the two weeks after that when I couldn’t stop talking, was wondering if I could undo the holocaust (don’t ask) and was seeing secret meanings in everything … and then back to feeling like I’d smacked into a figurative brick wall. But let’s stick with the average because what could be gained from explaining otherwise? A referral back to the CMHT? Er, no thanks, I’ll pass. Self care instead. Sleep, vitamins, remembering to breathe.
The hard thing is that I don’t feel able to relax at the moment. When I try to read/have a bath/do some yoga etc, there is a voice chattering in my head telling me that I should be job hunting or packing or coming up with a plan to make the move easy and less scary. I can’t shut off completely, and from past experience I know that even theis quiet stress grinds at me. When The Boyfriend and I were moving last time, (2 years ago) the anxiety of him trying to find a job in London (and then not) and us trying to find somewhere to live that didn’t have mice/mould combined with hating my living conditions and commuting into London, (oh, and taking myself off my medication), culminated in me crying for about a week when we finally did move and then skidding into an eight month depression. All caught up with me. I don’t want to do that again.
Job hunting is being hampered by my getting The Fear about applications, because it feels like so much is riding on each one. There’s one that I’m close to completing at the moment and I’d really like it, but what infuriates me is that it asks me about my sick leave over the last two years … if it was the last 12 months, I’d have 5.5 days, which is acceptable, but two years? It’s about 40, thanks to my mentalness last winter and the fact that I when I dropped the number of days I worked for a couple of months, this was taken out of my sick leave. It feels like it’s automatically going to count against me. I know that I’m not the only one going through this, but sending off applications and hearing nothing is so demoralising. That said, I found out last week that I have an interview for a job I’d really like. The interview isn’t until the 28th June – at first I was frustrated by the delay, but realistically, I will hopefully look and feel a little bit more human by then.
We’ve agreed that even if I don’t find a job, that we’ll move in August, at the end of our lease. The other options, of me staying here and either commuting from my parents house or temporally moving in with someone random, are not really viable, in terms of what we want and my sanity. We have enough money to keep us going for a little while, although as we’re saving for a house deposit, I’d really rather not use our savings for living expenses. I don’t feel entirely comfortable about the prospect of not working, of relying on someone else to bring in the money. I’m dreading handing in my notice – if I don’t have something else to go to and I’m trying to work out the best way to respond to comments (no doubt from my favourite Daily-Mail-reading-colleague over anyone else) about being a “kept woman”. Yuk.
So, I’ve been hiding from all of this, scooting along underneath the veneer of my “I’m fine” mantra. I haven’t been writing here, I haven’t been talking to people, I’ve switched to using my real-name twitter, telling myself that it would be more positive, more honest, but really it means that I don’t say very much. The Boyfriend keeps telling me that it will all work out and in a few months it will all be calm again, but it doesn’t feel like that. Please don’t laugh … I know that in the scheme of things, all of this is probably very small and very easy and I’m making it hard. Maybe that’s why I don’t talk to people about how I’m feeling – that I’ll end up feeling stupid and pathetic and like I should know better. Breathe. Be well.