Ok so I wrote this blog on 16 February 2021. About 3 and a half months ago. I didn’t post it because I actually intended on it ending with a positive spin about how I could accept limitations. But it ended negatively and I felt bad about just putting out fully negative shit that is very self-pitying – even if it’s understandably self-pitying.
Something about it is sort of a really interesting throwback to how deep in denial you can knowingly be and decide… yup I choose denial cos I can’t see anything else.
Welcome to my brain in the middle of a breakdown/PTSD relapse. It was not a fun time.
Accepting my limitations is my least favourite thing to do.
I don’t like to think that there is anything that I can’t do that an average person off the street could.
It just doesn’t sound right.
I feel like I’m a physically, mentally and emotionally capable human so why can’t I do the same shit as my friends. Especially the ones who eat worse, drink more and exercise less… Like wtf, how can they work enough hours to pay their rent and bills and have disposable income and a social life and if I try, I have mental breakdowns and get forced to drop everything to focus on recovery.
I got about 3 months of work this time. Good work Charlie.
And yea, I know that the goal in life isn’t to work the most. But when everyone else is doing that, I want to at least pretend like I can do it too.
I used to be a really good cog in the capitalist machine!
And yea, I know that I have chronic health conditions, and yea, they have tried to kill me and ruined my life a couple of times.
And yea, I know that I have mental health issues from that trauma, and other traumas.
Like, I KNOW.
I knowwww I’m probably not currently able to work full time cos of my C-PTSD and that nervous breakdown I had a couple of years ago when I had the worst health experience of my life. And I KNOW that 2020 was very traumatic for me being isolated and high risk.
And I know we all manifest our issues differently and I’m probably getting the knock-on effect of sitting on yeeeears of health issues, working while coughing up blood, and travelling everywhere and partying while almost passing out during walking tours cos I was ill.
I KNOW. ALL. THIS.
But I don’t want to have to accept it.
I don’t want to have limitations.
I want to be the clueless little 25yo Charlie from 2012 that worked 65-hour weeks doing several jobs to save to travel to Europe.
And I also know we all get older and our bodies start giving out. But I’m fucking 33. My body and mind should be kind of ok right now. Like fuck.
I’m pissed at my immune deficiency if I’m honest.
And I’m pissed at the abuse I’ve had.
I don’t feel like I deserve to be living out my life existing inside a body that can’t live the life that I want to live.
This bag of meat and bones was born malfunctioning. I can’t control my useless antibody creation. Clearly, or I would.
And the squishy thing in my skull has created some neural pathways that I personally wouldn’t have chosen, but I don’t recall getting a choice in that either.
Sometimes it just feels unfair that this meat sack that I exist in doesn’t match the person inside it when I see all sorts of people existing pretty effectively. Able to be the full crazy, fun, drugged up, drunken shitbag that they want to be on top of working and socialising.
What if I wanted to be a shitbag? It doesn’t work out very well for me 😂😂
I do also get that people all probably feel their own limitations and feel their body deteriorate in its own way. And I’ve had friends tell me of their own very awful circumstances of similar stuff.
But I don’t want them to have it either! I want us alllll to have the bodies that can give us the lives that make sense for us!
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This is my biggest repeated issue.
I have trained myself VERY WELL to ignore all the red flags my body is sending me, telling me to slow down and have a rest. Or like, cry myself to sleep like a person who can express emotions when they happen.
I didn’t experience difficult break up feelings until a month after the fact. Like, is that normal?
It feels impossible for me to put aside the fact that, pre-diagnosis, the ONLY reason I went to the Great Wall of China, or that I partied in Berlin on the night that Germany won the FIFA World Cup, was because I IGNORED my body and how extremely sick I was, and drugged myself with Paracetamol, Pseudoephedrine, and Red Bull and just did the things!
Cos if I had stayed in bed due to the coughing up of the lungs and fatigue, I would have missed out on one of the Wonders of the World, or what was basically a once in a lifetime party in the coolest city in the world. For what? I wouldn’t have been better the next day.
How extremely awful I felt after forcing my body to do those things (and it was terrible) was 1000x worth it.
And I’d do it again. Who wouldn’t?
While I know that those are extreme situations, being sick literally all the time for years is a mind fuck because that becomes normal. My baseline for what is normal or acceptable was sooooo low that working through months of bronchitis and sinusitis, and eventually pneumonia was totally normal cos that’s just life for an undiagnosed immune deficient bish.
I have completely undermined my natural ability to know what is “normal” and if what I’m feeling in my body is actually really terrible and something that no one else would put up with.
I’m sure if I had actually listened to it from the beginning and didn’t act like a frog slowly boiling in a pot of water, I’d be able to.
But that’s just not what I did. And no part of me feels like I did the wrong thing and I feel very defensive when anyone suggests that I did cos I feel like anyone else would do the same thing.
You’d go party in the streets of Berlin, and if you wouldn’t, you’re either lying or not telling the truth.
Hoooowever, I’m not 27 travelling the globe anymore. I’m a 33yo with health conditions and apparently some mental trauma I’m still recovering from… but I treat it the same as the bronchitis at the Great Wall. I just want to do the thing, get it over with, and deal with the repercussions later.
Cos I truly believe that I can do the things. Whatever the “things” are.
I sort of don’t care if I pay for it either. But it’s not with a hangover and a doctor bill anymore. It’s apparently with a full-blown breakdown that makes my therapist go into serious mode and tell me that I’m “having a relapse” and she’s “extremely concerned about me” and she “wants me to quit my job and spend some months focussing on my recovery”.
Like how fucked up am I that I can’t perceive what she is saying as something that I need… And she’s the professional that I trust that I’ve been seeing for 5 years and I’ve had a breakdown before… and it did take months to recover….
This is another blog that I can’t remember the point of why I wrote it.
I think I came in intending to talk about internalised ableism. But honestly, I’m probably so deeply internalised with my ableism against myself, that I don’t care to tell myself to slow the fuck down and chill the fuck out.
I just want to bitch and moan that it’s not fair but I get why I’m like this when I look back…
Quite honestly, I need a LOT of help to accept that I have limitations.
Cos APPARENTLY, I do have limits. But I choose not to see them. And the repercussions are proving to be pretty bad.
If that person over there can work hard and still have fun, why can’t I?
Why can’t I work enough hours to fund my life and play around with what money is leftover? I haven’t worked full time in over 2 years and I HATE IT. This isn’t me.
I don’t want to live on a sickness or disability benefit. Or jobseekers. I fully respect everyone who does, don’t get me wrong. It’s extremely logical and literally what it’s there for.
But I don’t want to. I want to work. I look like a person who can work and I want to exist in the world in the way I’m perceived to #invisibleillnessproblems
I don’t want to be like the frog that boils in a pot for many months until it suddenly gets a few weeks of anxiety, and goes out and gets super drunk and throws up on someone’s carpet, followed with a breakdown and fucking up at work and having to hand over all the work she didn’t do and put it on someone else’s plate, then going away to cry on many beautiful beaches over a solo respite camping weekend while they clean up the mess.
… Hypothetical frog of course…
I hate myself and I hate my life…. But obviously I don’t and I don’t… But I kinda do… Like… It’s kinda painful and shit.
I want to do a positive spin, but I’m not ok yet so I can’t.
Sorry friends. Thanks for getting this far anyway.
If you have a positive spin for me, I’m all ears. Have you accepted your condition? Are you unable to work? How did you get to acceptance? How do you accept me as a useless functioning human who pretends to be a fully functioning human?
Will I be able to feel like I can function again? Are you in my medical team or am I asking the wrong people?
If your brain just can’t handle shit, what do you do?? If I can’t work, and I’m not in lockdown…. what do I even do with my time?
How do I even perceive my limitations? Without getting annoyed and defensive if someone suggests I can’t do something?
I just don’t get it… At this point I’m trusting my therapist, but not actually connecting to her words even though I assume she’s right cos mathematically it kinda makes sense.
But I’d truly like help to mentally connect to my body and mind’s needs and to know when to stop so I don’t have any more breakdowns…. They’re awful on the nervous system.
Also thank you to allll the people who haven’t gotten angry with me (to my face) and who have been very supportive of my letting down of many people and messing up someone’s carpet. I don’t necessarily understand, but I deeply, deeply appreciate the understanding and kindness and the hugs and I’ll take any more hugs that anyone has going…. Covid rules-dependent.
Love you all xxx