The thick blanket of snow that hangs over everything outside and drapes the world in a fluffy blanket of silence stops it from being dark in my bedroom tonight. The silence is tangible, so loud it’s almost uncomfortable. What is it about snow that makes everything feel so quiet and muffled? The must be a scientific explanation, surely.
Eight days ago I reduced my medication for the first time and for eight days I have willingly and passionately played the part of ‘person who copes’. I have cooked and cleaned and functioned, I have done all of the things that I take for granted when I realise just how desperately hard the mundane tasks of living can become. And for the most part I felt OK. The first few days were bad, admittedly. The vertiginous dizzy spells and brain zaps and general aches and pains were no fun but I got through them. Easy. Physical symptoms feel so easy sometimes.
I’ve been in a really good mood and had a really positive outlook which, believe me, is a huge thing in itself. The first night that I popped the pills from a brand new packet of lower dose tablets I wondered who I would become, wondered who I was now. It’s been so long since I have been ‘myself’ (is there a better way to describe that? Un-medicated? Healthy? Normal?) and actually I have never been myself and a mother. Pretty fucked up when you think about it. I was always there, but at times so buried underneath such a huge pile of everything that for months at a time that’s all I was. A walking, grunting black hole of misery. With greasy hair.
I wondered all of the normal things; will I cope on a lower dose, am I ready for this, should I rock the boat…? The ultimate answer, so I decided, was yes and I swallowed those tablets and screwed my positive head on and felt a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of each day that I got through unscathed.
But today it’s been difficult, properly mentally difficult for the first time. The peppy, cheerleader half of me is jumping up and down, ribbons in hair bobbing with her, shouting with glee because one in eight ain’t bad. Woohoo, go me and everything! The other half feels like an ugly grey ball of snow, turned to slush and coated in crap, kicked to the edge of the gutter and slowly melting its own putrid water down the drain, dissolving into a pile of nothingness.
Admittedly it’s been a stressful day, one of those where no matter how hard and how much you try every single one of the million things you try to do become failures and hard work and just endless balls of fury. We’re still predominantly stuck inside because of the snow, provoking cabin fever of epic proportions and guilt factor ten because my baby is bored and wants to play. We’re skint and tired of being skint and the husband threw his back out and it’s Monday and just oh.
And then I got so exhausted by it all and by nothing and felt sick to my stomach and my inner voice that I have done so well to teach the whole ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’ adage suddenly got louder and stronger and more vile and in a moment of self-pitying tea sipping on the sofa after bath time every internal sigh or rhetorical question was met with a haughty ‘because you’re SHITE and you DESERVE this and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT’ answers.
I haven’t had this kind of conversation with myself for a while so it blindsided me and sucker punched me right in the face.
I tried to ignore it, I really did. I got up and distracted myself and found chocolate that I didn’t really want (you don’t DESERVE chocolate) and even painted my nails in a fit of shallowness (what’s the POINT?). But it’s seeped into my bloodstream and it’s tainted the seven passed days of being OK.
I know they’re what I should focus on. I know they’re what matter and they show that for the most part I’m coping (you’re NOT coping. You have CRUMBLED. One little thing and it all goes to SHIT) and that frankly everyone has bad days it’s just that mine can be a bit more debilitating than they should be at the moment. But that’s OK right?
Like the bag that I love that the husband brought me for my birthday last year, the bag that went everywhere with me dutifully carrying my possessions and looking awesome, the bag that was just brilliant and the only bag I could ever want forever. Until Beans got Norovirus a few months later and sicked all over it A LOT. Twice. I cleaned it – obviously – and it’s as good as new and I still love it but it’s tainted y’know? It’s like to my mind it will always remain vom covered and smelling of regurgitated banana.
So I guess by that metaphor I’m saying that my bad brain chemicals are drowning my good brain chemicals in banana sick. Ugh. Not far off the mark though.
I’m calling it a day. I’m going to bed early in a small attempt to be kind to myself and look after myself and in a big attempt to just make this day end while hoping that tomorrow will be better.
Someone send me Jiminy Cricket, he was nice. He’d sort me out.