Hiatus

I haven’t posted to my blog for a while, it’s a shame because I kind of got into a groove with it last year. I’ve been feeling quite depressed about my life and not knowing what to do, or how to cope with my anxiety.

Isn’t it strange that you can have all of the coping strategies in the world, but you still manage to forget them all when you’re struggling. I don’t know if that’s just a human thing or a ‘me’ thing. But today I’ve reassessed where I’m at and what I need to do to (try) and get out of my sadness.

I find that the act of walking is great for thinking things over and making decisions. I don’t know why – maybe it’s something from our hunter gatherer days… and when I got home I felt inspired to write a poem, which I haven’t done for ages. I didn’t really know what else to post so here it is:

The restless halls of my mind are spinning.

Weaving hope into existence.

With every footstep,

I tread towards a far-off goal,

It turns to dust when I’m alone.

But out in the shimmering world,

People are laughing and shapeshifting.

I try to peek at the pages of their stories.

I turn the key to my front door

The furniture is motionless as it was before,

Everything is as I left it.

Yet everything is changed.

My experience with misophonia

Over the last ten years or so I’ve discovered that I’m intolerant to certain sounds. Sounds that other people might find a little annoying, can trigger a full-on flight or fight panic response in me.

Turns out this response to sound has a name: misophonia.

According to the website WebMD, “misophonia is a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses that some might perceive as unreasonable given the circumstance.”

Different people have different triggers, they might find chewing, breathing, tapping or even dogs barking provokes this reaction.

For me it centres on my home, as it’s somewhere that should feel safe and a place you can relax. My neighbours TV, them shouting and their dog barking triggers this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m at home a lot, I mean we all are at the moment, so there’s no escape from the noise. If they decide to blare their TV for a couple of hours, there’s not much I can really do about it, as I don’t feel able to bring it up with them face to face.

My mental health has taken a nose-dive recently as they seem to have ramped up the amount of noise they are making, their TV is louder and sometimes they wake me up early in the morning with their shouting. I’ve spent the last month or so feeling on edge. I’ve bought some earplugs that do help me get a better night’s sleep, but I’m still finding things a struggle.

I’ve sought a bit of solace on an online support group. I read other people’s posts and feel grateful that my neighbours don’t throw parties that go on till the early hours, but still the panic is there. I think it’s awful that so many people don’t care about the impact they have on others.

I’ve been ruminating on whether my neighbours are trying to ‘send me a message’ that I’ve upset them in some way, but I suppose I won’t know unless I talk to them about it.

I’ve wanted to write a post for a while but haven’t been able to summon the energy for it, as my reaction to the noise has taken up a lot of energy. Would be interesting to hear if any of you can relate to this, or if you have ever lived next to noisy neighbours.

Struggling with motivation

I’m not feeling great. And when I don’t feel great, I want to withdraw, and much of my motivation goes out of the window. Ordinarily I’d give in to feeling crap and so wouldn’t bother writing this post, but I’m trying to improve my resilience.

I listen to a lot of podcasts with successful people, and many of them say that the secret to that success is to carry on when most people give up. I think there’s a lot of truth in that, as everybody has times where they feel rubbish and can’t be bothered – it’s the showing up that counts.

The thing is, I hold myself up against these people which only leads to me feeling unhappy. There might be thousands of people just like me, but I feel sad because I don’t have the get up and go of some motivational speaker! I know that I have a lot of potential, which winds me up even more because I never achieve the things I want to because I’m scared.

I’m scared of how anxiety makes me feel, and the sensations of discomfort that I experience. I’m scared that I won’t have the energy as I always seem to be tired. Sadly, the course of recovery doesn’t always run smoothly. I have a folder full of printouts of techniques I could try, but it’s having the ability to do them. Sometimes that feeling of progress and motivation is there and others it seems to slip through my fingers like sand.

I know that I’m hard of myself. It’s difficult not to be, because I’ve had other people be hard on me too. We live in a culture where it matters what we do and how we contribute to society, and so It hurts that I can’t seem to find a place for myself.

If I come back down to earth for a moment, I know that I have the therapeutic tools that I need to feel better, and that this dark cloud will pass, but it’s still hard in this moment. The joys of being human!