I feel like I’m drowning again

Im having a PTSD episode as I write this. I don’t know what happened. I was doing so well but but the last three days have been awful.

The most visible physical symptom is that I’m crying all the time.

I’m having waves of anxiety where it’s hard to breathe and it feels like my heart is going to explode.

I’ve just messaged my friend (my guardian angel). I hate worrying him, he’s stressed enough as it is as he is touring at the moment and it’s been a rough one for him.

He’s going to ring me back in an hour or so. I just have to wait.

Breathe.

Calm down.

He’s just sent me a link to a song On YouTube, Lola by the Kinks , because we would listen to that song when we were sixteen and it always makes me smile.

I’m calming down a little bit but the tears are still streaming down my face as I write. I don’t think it’s helping but I’m going to keep writing.

I look over to my little man, Leo who is sleeping beside me on the sofa. He’s making funny noises and I think he’s having a nightmare.

Apart from Leo and I, the house is empty.

As I sit here weeping uncontrollably, I’m recognising that yes I have PTSD but I’m also depressed and feeling so alone right now. I wish I had a boyfriend who loves me and cares for me.

I want to be in love with someone with the security that nothing bad is going to happen.

I want to feel safe but I’m asking too much because for me, feeling safe is to be in a loving relationship. Maybe this is part of my Iranian upbringing but I want to be held every night, to feel cherished and looked after by a man who loves me, and I love him back.

All I feel now is emotional turmoil, anguish and heart ache from what is missing from my life.

What’s worse is the that deep down I think I’m going to be alone forever.

I’m remortgaging my house to pay for cosmetic work to be done on my teeth and face. Im doing this because the last time I was in a committed relationship, I was made to feel like I was ugly and worthless.

If I’m honest, I really don’t think I will ever find what I’m looking for. I’ll never be truly happy and in love.

I can distract myself with appointments and forking out to fix my teeth and my face. I can lose more weight and feel prettier than I do right now but what does it matter?

I’ve been broken far too many times.

I’m damaged beyond repair.

I didn’t go to Paris

I have complex feelings about this T-shirt. First of all – I love this T-shirt because it is a gift from one of my dearest friends.

Around January this year my friend wanted me to go to Paris with him (and I should have went) but I just couldn’t do it.

At the time it felt impossible for me to break away from the situation I was in. I was in an abusive relationship with a very disturbed man. I was emotionally and psychologically trapped and I could see no way out.

It’s worth saying that my lovely friend is actually an ex-boyfriend from back in the day when we were kids. We were about 16-17 years old at the time.

He was my first love.

He knew I was in an abusive relationship because he is the person I called, each time I was in tears, falling apart and on the verge of a break down.

Inviting me to Paris was one of the many ways he tried to rescue me. I didn’t run away to Paris with him but I can sincerely say that in so many ways, he totally did rescue me.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about all the things he has done for me – because it’s private – but what I will say is that he really showed up for me.

For all the harm that was done to me, he was the one who went out of his way to help me heal from it all.

He helped me pick up the pieces, cared for me and made me feel special. One result from all the things he did, was that he helped me recognise that I didn’t deserve any of what happened to me.

I have complex feelings about the T-shirt because it reminds me of a painful time in my life but also it’s symbolic of my friends heroism.

The T-shirt reminds me of how trapped I was. It reminds me that I had a chance to escape the abusive relationship but I was too weak at the time.

The T-shirt reminds me of friendship and kindness. It reminds me that my dear friend was there for me when I really needed it.

The T-shirt reminds me of my first love. It reminds me of a time before heartbreak, before I was damaged and broken.

The T-shirt reminds me of my own self-worth. It reminds me that I might be broken but I am still lovable.

The T-shirt reminds me to be aware of dangerous people but to have faith that there are good people too.

The T-shirt reminds me not to be afraid because one of the good ones is my guardian angel.

Brain fog and face ticks

My ADHD has been really bad lately.

I am wrapping up work and looking back on the week I can see that I have reached Friday without achieving much. This week has been a complete write-off, at work and at home.

I am medicated so normally I have handful of bad days each month but the last couple of weeks, this week specifically, has been absolutely brutal.

One way I describe this state is like a kind of “brain fog”. I am forgetful, impulsive (e.g. uncontrollably snapping at colleagues) and struggle with basic tasks and life skills.

It goes a little bit like this:

  • I missed all of my early morning gym sessions
  • I forgot to take the bins out (luckily there was a delay because of the bank holiday)
  • I still haven’t returned the clothes I bought
  • I nearly forgot to get to my therapy session
  • I forgot to pick up my medication so I can’t now till Monday
  • I burnt my dinner last night
  • I missed my chance to surf some good swell on Thursday morning
  • I haven’t filed / painted my nails and they are disgusting and chipped
  • I forgot to eat today
  • I haven’t been unable to write blog posts (writing this far has taken me an hour!)

Just a few examples of how I’ve been unable to function this week.

It is safe to say my brain fog has been quite severe and when I am like this there is no amount of Methylphenidate that can help me.

I was diagnosed at 30 so I have had 7 years to figure out what sorts of things that affect my ADHD symptoms, such as hormones, sleep, diet, exercise and stress.

I recently discovered that due to my Autism, I experience social exhaustion and sensory overload. Activities such as work, shopping or just interacting with other humans is so energetically draining that I need a lot of down time and sleep to recover. And I cant get enough sleep without self-medicating. Self-medicating for sleep can be counterproductive because anything that makes me sleepy will trigger the brain fog.

I can be doing everything right and have lots of support but my ADHD can worsen without any kind of outside influence, like when I am pre-menstrual (now). Whenever my ADHD worsens, the brain fog makes it harder for me to look after myself, remember to do things like set my alarm, get to places on time, I let people down, upset people, have panic attacks and everything turns to shit.

It is not rocket science, you can see how easily I can get caught in a vicious circle. You can see how easy it is for me to drown.

To top it all off, I had a panic attack during a meeting at work yesterday and my face is ticking a lot lately – which is so shameful.

I barely have a handle on the ADHD/Autism shit, or my anxiety and now PTSD – thanks to the abusive shit-head with whom I had the misfortune of being in a relationship with.

Fuck my life.

(In other news I still haven’t built the IKEA furniture and Leo is settling in nicely.)

My new man

I fell in love with an alley cat.

His name is Leo and I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on him, exactly a month ago on the 8th April.

I didn’t think I could adopt another cat after Fluffy passed away.

The story goes, Fluffy was an elderly, stray cat who very quickly became my absolute world. I know people always say this about their cats but seriously, she was awesome -the most gentle and affectionate cat I have ever met.

The tragedy about Fluffy was, she was a long-term stray and came with lot of health issues and sensitivities. Towards the end of her life she started having seizures and one day she had a very drawn out episode and didn’t recover. She was completely changed, lifeless, like a different cat. She no longer recognised me, as if her soul was missing.

The whole thing was so traumatic. I miss her so much and I still weep when I think of her.

Anyways, I was in two minds about adopting another cat (mainly because I can’t cope when I lose them) but I started following a few local cat rescue charities on Facebook.

One day, someone posted a picture of Leo describing how they just rescued him from the other side of town.

Leo’s before (right) and after (left) pics.

For some reason I just fell in love with him and knew that I had to adopt him.
Absolutely devastated at the sight of him and the state he was in I contacted the charity immediately.

The story about his past is utterly heart breaking. He was abandoned a number of years ago and was living in an alley. Now and again the residents would feed him but left him homeless – and apparently he was bullied and beaten up by other cats in the neighbourhood. He became so poorly that a concerned resident contacted the charity and he was rescued.

I’ll never forget the first time I met him in person.

His foster mummy opened his cage door, I put my head inside and he stood up and rubbed his face all over my face. I picked him up to hug him and he hugged me back.

His foster mummy broke down in tears. She said that he isn’t normally like this and hisses at people. I gave her a cuddle and cried a bit too.

This was so fated.

I’m looking over at him now as he sleeps beside me on the other end of the couch. He looks so content and cosy right now. I put the heating on so the living room is extra cosy and warm for him.

I’m sending regular pics and videos to his foster mummy as she found it very difficult to let him go.

Again, I know that all cat owners will say this – but this little man is definitely a special cat.

He’s still nervous in his new surroundings but already I would say he is “the boss of me” and after he has settled in, he will have the other housemates running after him too.

So that’s how I fell in love with an alley cat.

(other news: I still haven’t built the IKEA furniture or done the gardening.)

I can’t procrastinate this weekend

Here in the UK it is officially “May-day” bank holiday weekend. I have had to cancel my camping trip so I can deal with everything that I have neglected at home. I haven’t been keeping up with any housework and there is a mountain of odd jobs that I have been putting off since January.

I still haven’t build the Ikea furniture to replace what my ex smashed up over Xmas and New Year.

The biggest motivator for me now is that someone will be visiting my house to make sure I am worthy of adopting a rescue cat (i.e. I am not a complete savage and there are no other pets in the household).

The lady from the cat rescue charity will visit 1pm on Monday and I don’t want her to see my house in this state. I look around and this not who I am but I haven’t had the strength or will to keep on top of things.

So anyways, I am going to do it this weekend and have put together a massive to do list to finish for before she arrives.

Here’s my to do list:

  • Build ikea wardrobe and drawers (to replace what my ex smashed up)
  • Clear the front driveway of weeds and rubbish
  • Clear the back garden of weeds and rubbish
  • Remove mould and mildew from the bathroom ceiling and tiles
  • Deep clean and vacumm the rest of the house
  • Take all waste (including broken furniture) to the recycling center / local skip

Someone has offered to help me with building the Ikea stuff. This is the guy I went on a couple of dates with. I told him why I have cancelled my camping trip this weekend and since then he has become determined to, in his own words, be “alpha male” and just come over and help me.

I’ve turned down his offer. I have been truthful about it and my reasoning is, my ex is the reason why my life has ended up in such a mess and I should really fix it myself.

It doesn’t feel right for me to let another man, a man who I hardly know – swoop-in and clean up the mess left by the shit-head that abused me.

I am so overwhelmed by how much I need to get done this weekend but I need to take my power back.

I need to do this alone.