Warning— this is a lengthy impromptu monologue/summary of my last 2 years! I am sticking to Sundays for the long story posts, but this is a one-off. By all means read selectively or not at all! And thank you greatly for reading.
I can’t wait to start going through it all with the therapist. It’s been a loooong, long time coming. Thankfully I’ve become better at avoiding rumination, as well as the feeling of helpless dread at how much time I’ve lost through all the traumas and changing, volatile circumstances, and the subsequent dissociation and worsening of OCD and anxious thoughts. It’s really only having the power to make incremental improvements to my situation which keeps that feeling at bay. And thankfully, I’ve had more power for that lately.
The pandemic/lockdown have improved my situation significantly. Up until the lockdown, I had been continuously struggling for money for two years, since my money ran out whilst staying with my brother after becoming unable to work. My parents and brother then locking me out of the house, the subsequent car journeys across the country trying to find somebody to stay with for one or two days at a time, just to survive the first two weeks, started piling up the expenses.
Driving back up to Edinburgh to try to somehow re-start life in the place I’d previously been living and was familiar with, and had some familiar faces (especially at my old choir), was my only option even in the midst of an absolute mental health crisis. The expenses rapidly piled up even further as I stayed in a B&B for 3 weeks, my parents at one point sending me an extra £1000 a month just to simply survive. The miles in my car racked up since I had to drive everywhere for basic things due to the knee injuries, and eventually driving to the beach or into woods at night to sleep.
Even with living in my car for 7 months, expenses remained very high until my aunt offered to let me stay with her in Reading when I reached absolute breaking point. I never want to feel like that again, because I can officially say that it was rock bottom. No matter how many times I felt like I’d reached it before, that was it. That last week I was sitting in my car for days at a time, trying to see how easy it would be to starve to death, or die of thirst (it’s very hard).
Within a month of moving in with my aunt I started my blog in September last year, which has been with me for too many subsequent traumatic experiences. To describe how difficult it was to write anything at that time, with my level of dissociation/OCD/anxiety— I wouldn’t know where to start. I was only driven by the fact that I knew I enjoyed writing and expressing myself, even if to do so then was causing immense stress in itself with the continual back-tracking, deleting and re-typing everything in endless loops, for up to hours at a time just to write something which came to me in one piece within a few minutes. It’s still a struggle now and not improving anymore, but I expect that to come with therapy and the chance to discuss everything.
Staying with my aunt was impossible. I was so traumatised, experiencing even greater mood swings and sudden rage/hopelessness than I had a year before at my parents’ house. It introduced new stresses, with a very busy road full of traffic and a lodger who was completely non-empathetic of my situation— not that I’d expect anybody to have put up with me then, either. I needed my own place but had no options. He had a terrifying coldness and I became demonised and resented within a household again. I was homeless again, speaking to police 3 times within a week. Dropped off by police outside a hotel on the day I’d run out of money. Driving to London at 3am to ask my friend and his mum to let me stay with them again, for 1, 2 more days at a time. Gradually overstaying my welcome until his mum resented the intrusion to her small, controlled space and the council finally housed me. There had never been the option of going back to the car again.
I improved so much, so quickly after moving into here. Until the housemates gradually moved in and showed how incapable they were of living independently. Which I had fully expected from previous experience, but had remained optimistic as always. Living here introduced more traumas— the emotional pain of living with such insular/selfish/dysfunctional people, the noisy city-centre street, the stress of communicating housemate problems to the council and being completely dismissed, left to manage the entire house myself or fall back into suicidal depression again.
And then the pandemic/lockdown began, I regained the ability to actually laugh out loud¹ which had been lost to me for 18 months, I’d finished paying off an advance payment from Universal Credit, the allowance increased by 30% (£100) due to the pandemic, my petrol costs reduced to almost zero and I was able to fix my electric scooter, which turned out to be conspicuously easy as I just had to replace the battery, but I was scared of everything and everything caused me stress. I got a big financial boost from my older brother and aunt helping out after I created the GoFundMe page for the autism/OCD assessments.
Finally, in the last few months, I’ve had some power to shape my immediate environment and live independently of the rest of the house. I immediately abandoned all obligation to clean or tidy anything outside of my room, since I am only going out there to replenish my 32L of water storage and to empty my chemical toilet 😏. The rest of the house is deteriorating into… a war zone. I am just waiting for the day that the council come to inspect it and I (inevitably) have to defend myself, and explain that having done 9 months of cleaning and other things for 5 people, I’ve done my fair share for several more years yet!
This newfound financial stability is allowing me to pay for the therapy and to know that I can have it unconditionally, which is what I’ve needed and wanted. It is a lonely, lonely and terrifying place out there when you have serious mental health problems and are unable to get any help, after countless times of asking. Even as recently as July I was sitting in an Accident and Emergency crying my eyes out and feeling empty, abandoned and helpless.
So, yeah, thank god my base happiness has been increasing lately and it’s coming into my favourite time of year, a blissful relief after the stresses of Summer. I’m still left with so many dissociative/anxious habits which ruin most days and there are so many things which I can’t do, but boy am I looking forward to beginning to dissect all of this from Friday onwards! I told her that I would need one session a week indefinitely. Because I simply do not know where to start!
All I can say is that I am fucking proud of myself, and fuck the rest 😄.
¹ Coincidentally, I might add! 😅. Actually not, because the sudden reduction in external demands was extremely helpful.
4 thoughts on “Proud Of Myself”
What a journey Robin! And the current chapter seems like a new beginning. All the best for healing! 🙏
LikeLiked by 1 person
Loving Robin’s 2009 adventures 👏👏
LikeLiked by 1 person