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State of the Brat 
6th-Oct-2008 01:39 pm
As anyone who follows me on Twitter will have noticed, the State of the Brat at the moment is not good. It's doubleplusungood. It's possibly the worst it's been since Christmas, when a few anxiety-inducing confrontations clashed horribly to adjusting to a high-concentration job. Friday was a complete write off as I sobbed continually for about four hours straight, calmed down for half an hour then started again. There was primal screaming, angry pacing, and even when I managed to turn the waterworks off, I had induced a headache and was too tense of think of anything.

I swear to Bob I'm a two year old sometimes.

Saturday was OK - I was at the NHM and have I mentioned how much I adore being a Learning volunteer? The crowds this weekend were enthusiastic, intelligent and eager to learn - adults as well as children, and I think the fact that we had so many interested and educated adults was reflected in the knowledgeable (not always interested, but usually) kids. The medic who was using words like 'carnivore' to her 3 year old won my heart.

Sunday had no causation events, but there was still moping and feeling shit. This morning I woke up in tears again, and my eyes are still wet (This part of this post was written at 11.00am)

My mental health, it seems, is a fortress carefully constructed of matchsticks and chewing gum. It only takes one person to prod it in the wrong place and it comes crashing down all around me.

I'm just - really frustrated with being me. Of having a brain that resists what I assume is normal function so hard that it invents physical problems to get me out of the seat - I give myself cystitis by forcing myself to pee when I don't need to. I scratch my legs until I break the skin. I frequently feel an overwhelming need to walk, because the muscles in my legs take over my consciousness to demand it.

I've always had low truck for people who whine about their lot while doing nothing to change it. It's very easy for me to say about someone else don't complain that you haven't done something, just do it, but that doesn't take into account my own frequent experience of how hard that is: of having to experience the incidence of trying to direct the brain to do something only to have the brain itself rebel. To suffer anxiety simply because I'm trying to think, then compounded with anxiety causes by the inability to think, and then self-hatred because what is wrong with me that my brain doesn't do this?

It's worse now than it used to be. I assume this is because for the past four years I've been trying to do a big project entirely on my own that's not really been benefited by my ability to work really hard for an hour at a time: it's nice to be able to hyperfocus, but the downtime is so ridiculous that my natural tendency is to avoid it when I can, because it's knackering. But it is worse. I don't think I could manage now to do an undergraduate degree, especially not and get a first class like I did. The more time passes now, the more convinced I am that I didn't deserve that and one day someone's going to realise.

I haven't meditated for a few days now. Yeah yeah, one of the five hindrances is restlessness and anxiety, I know that. but that's why - finding peace in the moment for a few minutes at a time is really easy, and I don't want to interrupt my self-pity for a quick fix when I'm too busy wallowing in my own failure and misery, because somehow it seems that it's not fixing, it's just making me feel better and when I'm this low, I don't want to feel better.

I'm frustrated. At who I am and at my apparent inability to be anyone else.

And yet...

And yet, I'm OK. I'm not good. I'm about as far from good as I can be, but I'm OK. I'm not a serious risk to myself or others. I'm not about to do anything drastic. I'm not going to have a nervous breakdown and destroy or abandon everything I've worked for. I might be tantrum prone and miserable, I might have a mentality prone to collapse, but one thing I have proven to myself over the years: I'm robust, and I'll manage, and even this, I assume, will one day pass.

I just need - to borrow a metaphor from Nny - to recharge my green diamond. That's all.

31 days to go.
6th-Oct-2008 12:42 pm (UTC)
*sends hugs*
6th-Oct-2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
Dude, you have my sympathies. And, well, more than this I don't have any idea what to say.
I myself have spent recent time feeling like I'm in the giant hamster wheel from the second Pirates movie. Maybe I should watch that again, hijinks might cheer me up.
Uh, yeah, sorry I'm not helpful, sending happy vibes your way.
6th-Oct-2008 12:53 pm (UTC)
*squishes you tightly*
6th-Oct-2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
6th-Oct-2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
>I'm just - really frustrated with being me.

But "you" is fanterfully wondertastical and should be encouraged, not suppressed! I'm wondering why you have to constantly struggle against your brain? Does it resist normal function to the extent that you would be unable to live and operate day to day? If you were to let your brain do its own thing for a while, would you be able to find an easier path? In Discworld witch terms, to be yourself as hard as possible (and have fun along the way).
6th-Oct-2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
Being me doesn't get stuff done on time
6th-Oct-2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
*more hugs*
6th-Oct-2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, honey. *sends hugs, love, and tea*

Thinking of you. Am on email if you want to talk through stuff ever.
6th-Oct-2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Love you, and I'm sorry.
6th-Oct-2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
whatever for?
6th-Oct-2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
...something. That you're miserable. i don't know.
6th-Oct-2008 01:30 pm (UTC) - *fixes you*
>motiveDecay off

6th-Oct-2008 01:38 pm (UTC) - Re: *fixes you*
6th-Oct-2008 02:13 pm (UTC) - Re: *fixes you*

*on your lap*
6th-Oct-2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
I should probably have been giving you some real hugs, because this all sounds so familiar. Especially the matchstick mental health house. Been there, done that, last Thursday. And now you, like me, are trying to pick up the matchsticks and start again. It must feel crushing. It does for me.

Don't know if it's helpful for you to chat to others with mental health problems or if it's better for you to be with "normal" people, but if the former, let me know. And damnit why are there so many of us in OUR field? You would not believe how many of them got in touch with me after my (now removed) big reveal to say they'd been there, they'd got the scars, they were on SSRIs for the rest of their life too.

6th-Oct-2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Fuuuuck that sounds super-irritating.

What we really need is an unlimited warranty on brainmeats. That way, we could at least ask for exchanges for not-defective ones.

Though I'm beginning to suspect that there are not very many not-defective ones. >_>;
(Deleted comment)
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