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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Scaffolding

Do you know what it's like to balance on top of a huge stack of carefully balanced scaffolding, which isn't really attached to anything and is dangerously wobbly, trying not to move too much in case you fall?
I do.
I live my life like this.
It's completely my fault of course, because I'm the one who built this dangerous structure. I'm balancing on a variety of different coping mechanisms, trying not to let them fail which could potentially send me over the edge.
It's a weird sort of place to be, on the edge of whatever you want to call it: sanity, normality, whatever. It's difficult to describe, but I'll do my best.
I feel unsteady, like I'm walking along on the edge of the kerb, like when you were a kid, balancing one foot precariously in front of the other as you tried to show off your impressive balancing skills. You have a knot in your stomach, because you know you're going to fall off at some point, and every now and then you have a serious wobble which makes your stomach leap up to your throat and back down again. It's fun, but it feels dangerous (probably due to then fast-moving traffic right next to you).
The feeling of being on that kerb isn't really all that pleasant, when you think about it, though for some reason you're still having fun - probably because of the adrenaline. It's normally seen as a good thing, adrenaline, but for me it's a problem because I react negatively to it. When I feel nervous and get that adrenaline rush we all get when we're nervous, I don't get a bit excited, I get anxious, and it builds until its out of control.
That's where the scaffolding comes in. Over time, I have built structures to try and cope with my negative reactions to adrenaline. Unfortunately, they have all proved unsuccessful and have lead to a complex build up of bad coping mechanisms. I am still trying to find a way to cope, using relaxation techniques, medication and hypnotherapy. So far, no good. I sit atop my pile of what I will bluntly refer to as crap, feeling pretty much, well, crap.
It's like, as I've said, being on edge. You feel nervous, with a tight chest and quickened breathing, which makes day-to-day activities difficult, like going out or seeing people. You don't want people to notice and leaving the safety of your home is a daunting prospect. It's a bit embarrassing, because you are literally shaking, which is just plain weird to be quite frank.
This can only be described as anxiety, which is something I struggle with daily. I've likened it to standing on a large unsteady structure, which is scaffolding in my mind. Just imagine being trapped up there alone, with no way down except to jump. Scary stuff, eh?
To make things worse, I am aware that the structure is not stable and it will eventually collapse and I will fall. It's not made of sturdy metal poles and planks of wood like normal scaffolding, it's made of all the things that I haven't dealt with in life, which have collected in a pile of wibbly-wobbly-shitty-crappy mess which will get on top of me eventually.
I can't be sure when this will happen, but I know it will.
All I can do is hope that when it does, there will be something there to catch me. It could be me, if I ever find a way to cope, but if not then maybe someone will be there. Any takers?


Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas

Christmas is a time to be happy and jolly and merry and all that stuff. A time with your family and friends, to eat and enjoy yourself. And that's exactly what I'm going to do. I deserve it.
To anyone out there reading, have a great Christmas because you probably deserve it too.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Decisions

We all have to make decisions, both big and small: what brand of laundry detergent shall I buy, what university shall I apply for, shall I propose, and the list goes on. Some people are naturally decisive, quickly determining their answer to all questions and some people are so indecisive that they actively avoid having to make important decisions. But for the most of us, we are in the middle, finding just a few of the most important decisions a challenge and generally coping with the day-to-day decisions that life throws at us.
For me, it depends on the day. Some days are good for decisions and some days aren't so good. On the good days I try to do as much as I possibly can while I can.
It's annoying to say the least.
I wish I could say that I would be fine everyday but I simply can't.
More recently the decisions I have to make have become more important and this has made it all the more challenging. Big decisions are always going to come around someday because life is like a winding path with forks and crossroads which lead in many different directions. Our choices lead us down trickier paths, blocked by thorns or up steep hills and some might take you on a smoother and easier path.
For me I'm at a very important crossroads. The path I choose will be a final and very life-shaping one. To make it all the more difficult the sign is all worn and I can't read the options for each direction. Once I've made my decision and chosen a path, there's no going back. And every path is uphill and uneven. That much I do know.
The weird thing is that I'm not that fussed about the challenges ahead. Maybe it's because I don't have a choice or maybe I've forgotten how to care about anything. Either way I feel like I'm just floating along, waiting for something to happen, but it never does.

I've put a break in the text there for a reason. I've completely lost what direction I was heading in with my writing. Just like I have in my life at the minute. I feel lost and floaty and sort of useless. And I can't seem to shape the words for this post either. So for now I have to stop, take a break and just be. As they say, let the chips fall where they may.

Friday, 21 December 2012

The End of the World

Today is the alleged apocalypse.
So far there have been no signs of this. All seems normal.
Last night I dreamed I was part of an indigenous tribe in some unknown but tree-filled country. We live in a treehouse suspended on one singular rope, which was a very delicate setup and it was clear that we could fall at any time. We were under attack from an outside force, who threatened to destroy our civilisation. We rallied our troops and armed with bows and arrows, we fought to protect our home.
We won.
I like to think that this is somewhat of a mini prediction of my own. It just seems too unfair to end the world before Christmas, my favourite time of year.
Besides, negative thinking isn't going to get you anywhere - trust me.
But for a little while, for me until a bit further on in this post, let's imagine what the 'end of the world' might bring.
Disaster is the first thing we think of, usually of the natural kind like earthquakes and volcanoes. A vision of fire and smoke if typical of an apocalyptic scene.
Then we imagine the breakdown of civilisation as people rebel against systems in order to survive.
After this we imagine survivors and how they struggle and fight to keep their lives.
But who's to say that this traditional apocalypse is the one we'll get?
Perhaps disaster means something entirely different, or perhaps it's already begun.
There is plenty of wrong in our world, like hunger, war and extinction of species. These surely are signs of a failing world, which is what we expect from an apocalypse. What I'm trying to say is maybe we are already in an apocalypse but we just haven't realised or maybe can't accept it.

Away from all this doom and gloom and back to me me me!
I feel like I've been through my own personal apocalypse. It began with the disaster, or what is more commonly known as a nervous breakdown.
Now this sounds more serious than it actually is. A nervous breakdown can take many shapes and can entail a variety of things. For me it came as another bout of depression, with the addition of panic attacks. It was pretty scary to experience a panic attack for the first time properly. I've felt panicky before but this was new. I had no idea what was happening and basically thought I was going crazy.
The worst thing is not knowing what's happening, much like when a natural disaster happens. You are lost and don't know what it going on or when or if it will get better.
It feels like you are on the edge of sanity, like being on the very edge of a crumbling cliff-face and not knowing whether it will crumble beneath your feet or not. It's terrifying, to be quite honest, just like it would be to be caught in the middle of an earthquake or tornado or something similar. 
After being told it was a panic attack it became much more manageable, but that first month was scary as hell. 
Then there's the next stage, which is where you have to learn to live with the problem. You have to survive. It's like a big fight or struggle at first and you can't see how it's going to get better. But it does. Eventually. 
You don't really have a choice but to carry on. It's the hardest thing to do, carrying on when you don't know if things will get better. You aren't living, you are just being.
You start to question yourself, and change the way you think to try and get rid of the problem. But it never works. You can't give up though, because you've come so far already, so you battle yourself continuously trying to get through.

After this stage comes to aftermath. But I'm not there yet.
I'll let you know if I survive the end of the world.

The tale of Kate and Mr. Rat

Today as I walked home, a small rodent, which I guessed was a rat and so named it Mr. Rat, darted out of a small bush and into a hole nearby. I was slightly shocked and I must say a little delighted and this peculiar sight, as I think rats are cute and cuddly, even though they spread the black plague (after all it's not really their fault).
There's no doubting that Mr. Rat did not want to be seen, as he ran so fast to be hidden again, but I can't help but wonder why he didn't wait for me to go past before showing himself. Either he didn't see or hear me, or he deemed me safe enough to see him for just a second. I like to think it was the latter.
In some ways, I can relate to Mr. Rat. His decision was not an easy one, and the wrong decision could have endangered his life. I have some important decisions to make too, and though my life is most likely not in danger, the decision I make will most certainly change my life.
If I were Mr. Rat would I dart out of the bush, taking a risk which could lead to a good or bad outcome? Or would I wait until the danger has passed? How am I supposed to know which is the better decision?
The answer is: I don't.
I can either take the risk or not and I will never know which decision will be better.
If you had asked me two weeks ago I would have stayed in the bush and hid, but now I'm not sure. I don't really know. Surely it's better to take a risk on the off-chance that something good will come of it.
Mr. Rat has been somewhat of an inspiration to me, daring me to follow in his footsteps into the unknown. I quite like the idea to be honest, and I'm not a quitter or backer-outer. I like a challenge.
But will the risk pay off? Who knows.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Tightrope.

The road to recovery is long. I'm about to embark on this epic journey and I must say I'm scared.
I'm scared to find out what is wrong.
Scared to find out nothing is wrong.
Scared to delve into the never ending box.
I'm scared of myself.
And the worst thing is that I can't escape from it either.
The journey must happen.
I'm standing on the edge of a huge cliff and the only way across is over a tightrope.
I can't go back because I battled through enough to get here in the first place.
I have to take a step into the unknown and hope that everything will be OK.
How will I do this?


Thursday, 6 December 2012

An Update.

The other day my computer rebooted and automatically updated.
I find it irritating when this happens because I have to wait for like 145679 processes to be done and afterwards there doesn't seem to be any difference. For that reason, in spite of the fact that I haven't updated in a while, this update will be short and sweet.
I've been alright, not perfect, but alright.
I've been doing well, like keeping up to date with uni work and such.
My personal life has also blossomed, bringing about romance - yes, romance!
Believe it or not, I've actually managed to bag a man in my state. He must be mad.
He is sweet, considerate, understanding, and completely perfect for me.
It's nice to have something in my life which is completely normal. I hope that doesn't sound bad.
What I mean is he makes me feel like everyone else. He doesn't treat me differently, even though I've got all these problems. It means a lot to me.
So to my un-named mystery man: thanks.
And I haven't seen you today and I miss you.
Enough of that mushy crap now. I'm off to bed. I will write some more tomorrow.