chronic illness · mental health · writings

feelings of inevitable overload; a vent

This post is purely just to vent – pay no heed to my words at the point, it is souly to get out what is building up inside my head and letting out steam/ thoughts/ ideas/ dreams/ pointless worries, just in attempt to self regulate so I don’t end up in a freak out meltdown manic episode that leaves me frightened and completely exhausted.

So we’ve moved here to sunny little Swanage a couple of months ago, two months exactly today actually! So, of course, it takes time to settle in. It doesn’t help that I have been attempting to balance my chronic illness, unpredictable state of mental health as well as having to drive back and forth to Somerset to sign on for Job Seekers Allowance every two weeks still. All of this traveling back and forth really begins to take it’s toll on your sense of stability and feeling ‘settled’ in one place, particularly when all that’s going on inside your head freaks you out and is difficult to control. I think it is pretty safe to say that I don’t feel ‘normal’ about 99% of the time, my body or head is either feeling unbalanced, exhausted or wrecked with anxiety about how I am going to do simple things like earn some income, pay rent, feed myself and continue to balance my health while trying to do all these things.

Living with an unpredictable chronic illness is really hard! I have spent the past 6 months in a basic state of exhaustion and most likely experiencing PTSD symptoms from how stressful and traumatic the last job was for me towards the end (highly intense, lots of social stimulation, busy catering environment, really mean customers, all bearing in mind I was still adjusting to my recent diagnosis of M.E. and trying to balance a mere 2 days of work with chronic pain and exhaustion). So, moving out of my parents house after 6 months of basically sleeping and drawing when I could, hardly leaving the house because I just could not cope with how loud and exhausting the world was, to a completely new environment, to begin a new life with my partner, to a new place, knowing absolutely no one, was completely and utterly daunting.

It just highlights how long it takes my brain to process everything anyway. I cannot work out if this is due to my inherent nature / neurodiverse sense of functioning, high sensitivity or whether it is due to the M.E. taking over my brain that my central processing function has become so much worse due to the intense stress of the last couple of years!? I have no clue. I just know that things overwhelm me WAY TOO EASILY, and that self regulation, frequent ranting and making art as much as possible seems to help me cope with this a little better, and allows me to feel that little bit more human on the good days.

WOW! This is already becoming one heck of a post, and I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I think I just have a LOT to process and get out of my tightly wrapped and wired brain to stop the imminent feeling of imploding in on myself.

It’s super lovely, I have begun meeting some really good people around this area, lots of creatives, awesome projects and spaces happening around me – almost so much that it is overwhelming! Everyone seems to want to help and get me involved, which is truly wonderful, but I just know that it is in my nature to get involved with EVERYTHING, and I simply cannot say no, especially when you are trying to make links in a new community.

From mental health support groups, to art therapy workshops, to meeting up with people, to finding flexible, part time employment, driving back and forth to Somerset to keep up with stock supply in local shops, to signing on for job seekers, to applying for PIP to help with my disability, to getting my head around my crazy unpredictable mental and physical health, to attempting to start up my own business so I can work from home, being involved with local art projects, mental health research, as well as dealing with the oncoming onslaught of tourists and busy busy busy summer season of Swanage that we will be deep in the heart of. Phew! Have I left anything out!?

I think it is definitely an interesting one; I feel that I am in some ways still trying to process the last 6 months, trying to get my head around the stress of finishing work, of the exhaustion, relief, fear, anxiety, blame, guilt, all of the emotions that were wrapped up within it. Moving to a new place, the inherent chaos that created inside my soul, the guilt of leaving everything behind to start a new life, to fear and anxiety of change, the deeply set loneliness and isolation that being here at the beginning created within me, with Dave going to work everyday and I was left here to deal with the intense and intrusive thoughts dwelling deep inside my complex and over-active wired brain. It’s not really surprising, looking back and trying to be objective about the entire situation that I was bound to struggle a little bit, that it would definitely take some time getting used to and that things would take time to settle in. I mean, that’s normal, right? Let alone if you have difficulties with slow cognitive processing, high sensitivity and stimuli overload.

Digitally generated My brain has too many tabs open

I think the key to this is simply to be kind, to be gentle on myself. To let myself simply BE, and stop trying to push myself to do too much all of the time. Already I am thinking of applying for a new job as an occupational therapy assistant in a local special needs & spectrum school, I think it would be absolutely wonderful to be a part of a project like this, and it is something I have wanted to get involved with for a while, and so already I am looking up extra curricular courses to help with expanding my knowledge of the subject, looking into getting back into studying BSL sign language, perhaps applying for an online course which I think could be a really useful way of getting back into doing it gently and slowly. Working with non-verbal autistic-spectrum children using sign language and the creative arts would be my dream job I think. So applying for work such as this, gaining experience in a specialist needs school would be invaluable, But there is the part of me that is deeply anxious about my current state of health, and even though the job role is part time AND an assistant role – meaning there would be a large amount of direction from the OT, I still worry about my capabilities to fulfil the job role as much as I would like to, and that maybe it is not the right time?

images

I am also feeling doubt about my abilities to cope with running my business – there is so much to get your head around and understand that my poor mind feels completely overwhelmed and stunned by just how much there is to do, and whether I will be able to cope with all of the pressure of running everything myself, creating the work itself, making the products, selling, markets, shameless self promotion, marketing, self employment, tax and insurance, BLAAAUGHHHH.

I do not even know where to begin with all of that stuff. No idea at all! Luckily I managed to get access to a small business access scheme through the job centre, allowing me access to support, advice, a mentor and a small amount of funding for 6 months of my start up, which is really helpful but it still means that there is this underlying pressure to push things along quicker than perhaps I would feel comfortable doing.

Anyway, I have vented enough, but to be honest it feels really good to rant and to get it all out of my system, and at the end of the day, writing heals and this is why I started up this blog in the beginning anyway!

Apologies if any of you have actually read this and thought at the end that this was a huge waste of your time and mental capacity.

Mell x

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