The past week or so has been quite an active one for me. Lots of things going on, a visit to the doctors, a mental health assessment, deciding to apply for access to my health records, having another referral to another team, and a letter from the DWP informing me it was my turn to go through the transition to Employment and Support Allowance.
Flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts, head tingling like mad, a panic attack, depression disturbed sleep, night sweats, and tiredness.
Yesterday morning I realised something. It just suddenly came into my mind that having a bath is a trigger for me. I know that sounds bad, I do neglect myself at times, I often wonder to myself why is it I avoid having a bath a lot of the time? At one point I wondered whether it could be some sort of OCD trait, but after the discussion in the assessment, it’s made me realise that some things were not as they seemed, the avoidance of certain things were linked more to fear, from past experiences. For example, it struck me yesterday that the reason a fear of having a bath has stuck with me for years is becausse of the fact it always reminds me that i’d always have one on a Sunday night, Sunday night meant Monday, and school or work was coming soon!
When I have a bath now, I never have one on a night! When I do have one, I prefer it during the day.
Also, something else which I have come to realise over the past few weeks. On school nights, and work nights i’d often stay awake as long as I could, in my brain doing that meant it could put off the next day coming around at the time. Extending one day meant I didn’t have to think about facing things at school or work the following day!
I think one reason i’ve needed to take tablets on a night for a few years to help me get to sleep and help my brain settle is because of this. This is also, I believe why , like last night, I often have a very disturbed sleep. I went to bed at about 5:30 PM, then was waking up a lot of times after 10 PM, finally getting out of bed absolutely shattered at about 4 this morning, It doesn’t seem natural to my brain to want to go to bed early, but that is in conflict with wanting to go to bed early to try and avoid hearing the neighbours moving around next door when they’re making their tea!
It’s a similar conflict when I decide to go out for a few hours say into Manchester. My impulsive streak says do it, my avoidant streak panics, if I go with my impulsive streak that particular time, and haven’t had my tablets that day, then it usually leads to a panic attack or meltdown due to sensory overload. I have my tablets on a night, so going out for extended amounts of time during the day brings these things on.
It’s fascinating now being able to make more sense of things. Hopefully this will continue. Although I am sweating now, this post clearly highlighted some truths I perhaps previously wasn’t prepared to face.
Another cuppa now I think.