The lowdown



The thing with depressing lows, there are ‘better’ days, sometimes I’m lulled into a false of security, I’m well again!  Other times, the lows can be worse than other days and I only realise that retrospectively.  So yesterday I had cleaned my house, briefly attended my daughter’s birthday and then come to the house and relaxed in front of the TV with the company of my children.  I didn’t know it then, but that day was better.  Although I was tired I faced my fears of attending the party, I didn’t speak to anyone, but I was present.  And I got things done.  Then in the evening, I really enjoyed a calming evening and appreciated the quietness away from my noisy neighbours.

Late at night, with everyone in bed, I became CONVINCED that my house was going to be burgled.  I knew I’d left some windows open, and in windy weather they can come off the security latches and become huge, gaping holes – an easy entry to a passing opportunist.  It was a particularly windy night.  We are in windy season, something Wellington is notorious for.  And just to give that some context, people from Chicago have come here and observed its worse than what they’re used to!  Wind makes me anxious as I’ve mentioned before.  It distorts noises, blocks my senses, shadows become aggressive dancers, and I become hypervigilent.  So last night as I lay on the good old mattress on the floor in the office, I considered the windows. I thought about anything I might have of value.  I thought about what they might do, and then I thought about how statistically burglars tend to return.  What if I was in??  I considered that things would be covered in insurance and material goods are nothing compared to my family.  But how would I feel that people had been in the my house?  Would they be tidy or would they mess things up on purpose?

I really convinced myself that was what was going to happen.  I would have gotten in my car and driven down, but I had taken my meds, so though I felt ‘awake’ my reaction time would have been slower.  Plus, going out in the dark, in the wind, alone to a house where there might be unwelcome visitors – not the most appealing adventure.

It’s incredible how things go from worries to full-blown certainty in the night.  I lay awake troubled by images.  Always listening out for the tell-tale signs of someone outside this house (obviously after being my house, I’d be unlucky enough for them to come to this house!).

This morning I was almost bouncing off the walls in anxiety and desperation to get to my house.  Hurrying the kids to get ready and then leaving really early to ‘assess the damage.’  Although the windows gaped open and even the curtains flapped around in the wind, my house remained untouched and tidy from yesterday.  Phew!

For the rest of the day I’ve been up at the house.  I’m still soaking up the peace, even in the brief time I returned to my house at 8am, the neighbours were revving engines.  A brief glance over and I could see outside lights left on (must have been a late one last night) and a welding mask, so either one of the is a serial killer, or more work is going on there.

Today, I can barely move.  I’m absolutely shattered, I feel miserable, and I have achy flu-like symptoms – a medication side effect.  I also keep feeling on the border of a panic attack.  My chest feels tight and painful with anxiety and it doesn’t take much to struggle for air.  Even as I write this I know I probably sound like Darth Vader hyperventilating.

I emailed my lecturer out of courtesy to advise that I was seeing disability services regarding his tests and tutorials.  He reply was curt, probably just succinct but I sensed annoyance.  Or am I transferring?  I can’t tell.

The trouble with lows, the inconsistency, the tiredness, the physiological effects, the inability to know an acknowledgement from a negative connotation and the ability to become convinced of an outcome – such as the burglary.  At least I’m in a position to know I’m not thinking normally.  As opposed to determined to ignore the signs.

I just hate this struggle.  I hate feeling like this.   I hate the feeling of despair.  I want to feel normal but I don’t even have the energy to smile.  Everyone and everything is a threat.


One thought on “The lowdown

  1. Penny, I’ve been reading your blog posts– always, I always read them– and things just sound so hard right now. It’s taking a lot of strength and courage to keep trying, and I am glad you are trying.

    As for the email with your lecturer, I know I often perceive that people I view as “in authority” are annoyed with me or even frustrated/angry, but they aren’t. Last year, with Kat in school, a lot of the communication I had with her special education (autism) teacher was via email. I often would forward the email to Bea, with an attached note of “is she mad at me? I think she is angry because of xyz.”And Bea would write back that no, she wasn’t getting mad or annoyed from the email. Anyway. Maybe that helps some or maybe not, I just wanted to put that out there.

    I am thinking of you Penny, and sending good thoughts and safe hugs. Xx💟


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