Last week and the bit before it I felt like I was being physically held under water and couldn't breathe and couldn't get to the air or the light or see anything but blackness. I kept getting panic, especially around social occasions, at one point turning dizzy from panic in a cafe. Now I've been feeling better emotionally this weekend. Today I've even been fairly bouncy (for me). I'd say it was that sort of mood where you think you could fly.
And now at this immediate moment I'm fairly panicked again. I started thinking about "things", always a mistake. There's a wide range of subjects covered in "things", ME, fibro, doctors, psychiatrists, mental health, benefits, the future, Amy, should I be working? Am I lazy? Is it all in my head? Am I utterly mad?
I walk about the house singing "I'm a little tea pot", only ever the first line, I'm not sure I can remember much beyond the second line, though sometimes "tea pot" becomes some other item, "tea cup", "tea bag" etc. There are other little songs that get stuck in my head, generally childhood ones, sometimes Christmas ones. I also make noises, like "whoosh" like the sea pounding against the shore and retreating again and "neeeow", like the grand prix or an airplane. I pretend I'm an airplane or flying a lot, either zooming or gently flapping my arms like wings, almost without noticing it. Sometimes I'm a bird, sometimes a fairy or a butterfly, other times I'm Biggles. I think there's a strong element of wanting to escape in it - a bit like that bit about wings of a dove in the Psalms.
Why am I telling you all this stuff? My fingers can't stop, getting some of the thoughts that are crammed inside my brain and shoving against one another and racing around and around like a Scaletrix track.
The whole work thing worries me, my fear with it, which I think is a perfectly legitimate fear, not a paranoid or lazy one, is that I will make myself a whole lot worse if I push myself to work, like I did at university. It's not like I've not tried that strategy before and really it's not a strategy, it's a recipe for disaster. I'm sure I've said this before here.
On another note, I listened to a very interesting play (will only work for the next few days) on Radio 4 earlier called "Dos and Don'ts for the Mentally Interesting" based on a blog called The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive Lots of it rang true, especially the psychiatrist appointments and the way you go there hoping they can do something, expecting it, but they do nothing and say "come back in two/three/four months". And you walk out feeling crushed, exposed, humiliated, because you've just bared your soul (or done your best to remember what on earth's happened for the past five months and how you are) to an utter stranger who generally doesn't inspire confidence and then been sent away again. They don't ever seem to understand that I have memory problems, I can't remember every day things, I can remember the biological name for a killer whale (orcinus orca), most of the Latin declensions (puella, puella, puellam, puellae, puellae, puella etc.), the dress I got on my fifth birthday that was red velvet, my first year at school when I was three, but not what I did last Tuesday.
I really am trying to survive, not to become bitter and twisted, not to become utterly mad. But it does seem overwhelmingly hard. The latest is exploring a possible gynacological diagnosis (I'm not going to share details for the squeamish among you), which unsettles me a lot, because all that sort of "stuff" I'd rather not have there, have to acknowledge its existence. I want to be six again, life was so much simpler then. When I was about 16 the thought of being "grown up" terrified me, this has receded a bit, but I still reject that label. It's all a bit Peter Pan really.
Inside I'm just a small frightened child, sometimes I think that's alright, given what Jesus said about needing to become like little children to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 18). I see it sometimes when I catch sight of myself in a mirror, in my eyes. For now I'm going to walk with Jesus because I don't know anywhere else to go, nowhere else is even remotely safe, nowhere else has any light and I'm lost on my own, walking with Him I might get to go home someday, which is where I want to be afterall.