I am not a fan of adrenaline. The idea of anything from a roller coaster to swings in the park makes me feel sick. (Always assuming I can fit my hips into a swing in the first place!) I think since having labyrinthitis (which wasn’t labyrinthitis), dizziness will forever be connected with illness, not joy.
I’ve taken on some paid work. Of course a huge yay for this. Being able to pay my mobile phone bill is a Very Good Thing. Maybe I’m out of practice, but the whole ‘talking/communicating with people’ has become another thrilling ride. Which is to say, an unpleasant adrenaline rush.
I can have all the conversations, and usually I’m fine. I will do my work, and I excel in what I do. But because mental health, sometimes I come away shivery, over-stimulated, sloshing with adrenaline.
I’m writing this blog at 6:30am in a silent house, clouded over sky. The children are ‘on holiday’ but even when they are ‘at school,’ I still don’t get this kind of peace to write.
I believe this is exactly what I should be doing at this moment. It’s not just that other people ‘have it worse,’ it’s more like other people – nurses, cleaners, supermarket workers – are holding everything together, so I can sit here safe, and a virus can be minimised.
I don’t understand the folk that say we shouldn’t be in lockdown. Don’t they care about people who are at risk?
So I will stay home, and try to follow all the lockdown rules, and wash my hands, and wear a mask, for as long as I need to. It’s really the least I can do.
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow…
My sister Becky quoted this line (on Zoom, of course. Where else do we talk these days?) as ‘very Christmas 2020.’
Some of us muddled-through before this year: I myself started muddling-through around 2004.
The festive season can become rigid: we always go to this house, we always eat this meal with these people, we watch this film, listen to this music. I’m so sorry if your set pieces are not possible this year.
Maybe we can use this time to think about our Christmas days. Perhaps we’ll go back to our set pieces next year, joyfully. Perhaps we’ll make new traditions that serve us better.
Meanwhile, as an official muddle-representative, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new muddlers, est. 2020.
tinylife will be back on 17 January.
Someone suggests an update to some legislation. It’s kind of controversial, from some angles, so they do a consultation. Over 70% of people respond and say ‘yep, sounds good.’
They decide not to update the legislation.
And if it was just this, I would be fine. I mean, it’s paperwork. It’s disappointing, it’s not surprising.
But it’s not only this. It’s the 18 month wait for your kid to be seen by someone who knows less about gender than you do. It’s the four emails a week to school because people are deliberately misgendering your child and then claiming they are entitled to their opinion that there are only two genders. It’s the memories of the times you couldn’t walk down the streets of your own village. It’s watching your child become more and more withdrawn. It’s news like this.
Would it work to introduce my trauma as a character in this blog?
Well, I don’t have to do it twice…
Let’s call them Mx T. You know I’m going to give them they/them pronouns and title, right?
Mx T moved house with us in July. I was worried they wouldn’t fit in anywhere, but the removals firm sent an extra lorry and winched Mx T on.
We tried to leave them in the driveway, but…
I kept moving them from room to room and because they are so heavy I was exhausted. Those first days, I kept having to go to bed. Mr HB was a hero: he sorted the kids out and did everything that required a screwdriver or a practical brain, while I lay in bed as it pitched and rolled. Balanced above Mx T, stuffed underneath.
A cactus can be a type of person.
Soft on the outside, spikes on the outside.
I didn’t used to be a cactus. But, y’know, life happened.
I used to push it all inside, instead of allowing my feelings. It was like filling myself up with poison, breaking from the inside out.
So if you tell me I’m not being kind or patient, I might not listen.
And I’m sorry about that.
I had an incident with one of my plants the other day and I know it stings.
I suppose, if I’m arguing with you, it’s evidence that I care enough about you to try, as a wise friend of mine clarified recently.
Because if I think you don’t care enough to recognise my spikes act as protection,
I will walk away,
in case you poison my soft parts.
It’s Saturday night,
and I’m in.
I’m usually in, on a Saturday.
I saw friends and family today,
in little boxes on the computer –
it’s so much better than nothing.
I keep watching something
or reading something,
And then I think ‘oh, yes.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic.
The last one was about a hundred years ago.’
I’m not even following the news much,
it feels irresponsible, but I just can’t
listen to the same story, but with bigger numbers, every day.
And I think, ‘I’m not
doing anything. Do I have anything
to write about?
There are stories out there
that are much more pertinent,
than a person who sat at home on Zoom during the pandemic, and found it quite difficult to write her weekly blog, all of a sudden,
but was basically fine.
I spent a bit of time thinking about what to write today. And I still don’t know what to say.
But it seemed important to say something.
It’s a bit weird for me, because although I don’t usually stop seeing everyone or have my kids at home full-time, in many ways I’ve lived a tinylife for a while now. My thoughts are with those who live with less privilege than I do.
Also, I find the world much easier to understand when no one is expected to show up, be unstressed, suffer in silence, or operate in ‘normal’ human ways. So I’m feeling remarkably well in my mental health. My anxiety isn’t based in reality.
I hope you are all OK out there. If anyone wants to get in touch, my Twitter DMs are open, or you can comment below.
Because we are moving house soon, I want to take this opportunity to write a love letter to my GP.
No, not that kind of love letter.
I am still very much married to Mr HB, thank you.
My GP is amazing. We have navigated some tricky times together – always together, he doesn’t tell me what to do – with my family’s care. He knew *zero* about trans kids but is 100% supportive.
I suffer from migraines (or bad headaches, if yours are worse than mine) , and recently I over-medicated with the one medicine that used to work. We found an alternative.
And he is always there to help with my very poor mental health, my all new asthma, my dodgy hip, the list goes on and on…
The guy is a hero. Just wanted to go on record with that.
Did I tell you I’d been to the doctor about night sweats?
I was absolutely sure it was early onset menopause. ‘It’s the StReSs!’ I said to my GP. He sent bloods off for testing and apart from the traumatic experience of the surgery calling me on a Thursday morning and taking A LONG TIME to tell me I was basically fine, with slightly low iron levels, all was well. No menopause. Phew.
So, this is the bit where I admit to wasting NHS time. I am so sorry, NHS, I know how busy you are.
It was my new blanket. It’s not breathable. I realised when I took it to bed again after leaving it in the living room for a week or so.
I get night sweats when I wrap myself in its huge beautiful soft greyness.