Pretend happy Demeanor

“Cheer up! It may never happen”

I was sitting on a bench in a supermarket waiting for my partner to go through the checkout. I was staring into space and a chap said the above quote. I gave him a smile and laugh, waited for him to be out of eyeshot and continued my staring. I feel crap for numerous reasons and sometimes I don’t have the energy to smile whilst staring into space. I have recently had a multiple sclerosis relapse, my blood sugars are up and down, and I am battling a way to recover from years of emotional trauma. Perhaps it feels like ‘it already has happened’.

I look back at things I wrote 8 years ago and it feels like I could have written it yesterday. Where has my life gone? Why is everything as messed up as it was back then? I am a problem solver and like to find ways to get through…but I feel completely trapped in my situation and I cannot find any solutions.

Where are my tears? I never cry but I wish I could. The distance between the person I am during meetings and the person I am in the rest of the 95% of my life are so different. I’m taking ‘faking it’ to a whole new extreme.

If I were to be a ‘fly on the wall’ and watch myself in those meetings, I would think ‘this woman has a good outlook, she’s very resilient, and somehow seems to find a way to keep going. How does she do it?’ I imagine a lot of us have a certain facade we wear to get through the day. When asked ‘how are you?’, we often say/lie ‘good thank you!’ I wouldn’t necessarily want that to change in my life. I am quite content with going to meetings appearing together. However what I want is to feel more like that resilient woman who seems fine. Or even if I don’t quite reach that stage it would be better if I was half way there, or even a quarter. How do I get there?

 

Does anyone have Bernard’s Watch?

I don’t know what it would look like if my psychological distress showed itself physically. It’s 12:35pm and I’m back in bed after being up for four hours, achieving nothing and feeling like rubbish. I have no idea how to make myself feel any better. F*ck it, I can’t even be bothered to write this blog.

I wrote that 5 hours ago. What have I achieved in that time? Absolutely nothing. I have laid in bed, wrote a few depressing paragraphs in my notebook and battled with endless urges to hurt myself. I feel so broken and I am not sure there are sufficient words to describe it.

Do any 90s kids remember Bernard’s Watch? Oh how I wish I had one. Bernard’s fancy pocket watch would stop time so that he could do things whilst the world was paused. Then he would be able to continue time. What would I do if I had this tech? I envisage spending months recovering from all the hell of the past 10 years. I would take my time and do the things that I wanted to. I would read the books I want to read, visit places I want to see, write a novel, become a yoga expert, meditate, all whilst time was frozen. I would have no work commitments, no PhD deadlines, or medical appointments to attend. My energy would 100% be invested in finding a way forward.

Alas, B’s watch is not available to me or anyone (unless you know something I don’t). So with time passing by how can I focus on myself with so many other things to think about? I don’t have the time to be feeling this crap. I have spent 9 hours today battling the monsters in my mind and feeling frustrated by physical symptoms. On the outside I must look like a lazy de-motivated woman. On the inside I’m an extremely distressed woman desperately trying to hold on each and every day.

I know there is no quick solution, no magic wand, no magic pocket watch. This is it. I only have this day, this moment, this breath. Although I remind myself of this every day I cannot stop the past from strangling me and chaining me to the floor. Making it impossible to get up, move forward, or live.

If anyone has a solution or owns their own Bernard’s Watch please do share. I would be forever grateful.

Progress has Diminished

I’ve been working on my PhD for 9 months now and I have completely ran out of ink. (I haven’t really had any ink for the past 8 months but let’s keep that between us.) From the above picture, it looks as though I have at least used some ink. However the ink has only created endless doodles. You would think I would have perfected my drawing of a cloud/tree/house/hill/flower by now, but I haven’t. My art is still crap and so is my PhD progress.

At the start of my PhD I attended a good workshop by Hugh Kearns called ‘How to plan your doctorate’. I am going to dig out my notes from this in the hope that I can start working. Hugh is part of ‘ThinkWell’ which uses research to help students/academics to achieve their maximum productivity. There are lots of good, and free, resources which may help which you can access here

Perhaps it is unsurprising that I am not working…I can barely get up sometimes. The toxic mix of mental and physical health problems cements me in my own body. I need something to change. If only I could go out and buy a pack of ink and then productivity would ensue. Alas the ink is merely an analogy.

So my plan is to break it all down and make very small goals. Hopefully these will be more achievable and I will begin to see some progress. Goals for today:

  • Make tea
  • Drink tea
  • Make another cup of tea
  • Drink another cup of tea
  • Check emails
  • Reply to 1 email
  • Read 1 paragraph of the ‘journal club’ article
  • More tea?

It’s a start.