Friday, 25 January 2013

That time again...

Every now and again you may have noticed that my blog goes quiet.

Maybe you don’t notice. I don’t know. Probably not. Why would you?

See, I’m doing it again. One of my problems is overthinking. And at certain times this gets much, much worse until I feel like I’m living in a prison of my own thoughts, the only escape route being to hide and sleep as much as humanly possible.

It actually comes pretty regularly, this period of self imposed blog silence. Purely coincidentally I’m sure, it’s at the time that my endometriosis destroys me, mentally and physically. You see, as soon as that feeling kicks in, and this can be anything up to 7 days before I’m due to enjoy my monthly treat of being a woman (yep, this is a post about my periods. Hi!), I can flip from being completely energetic, relatively sane and pretty calm to a feeling of creeping doubt.

Now, I know the second it starts to creep in. I feel its cold, clammy fingers sliding over my shoulders while it whispers in my ear, like some malevolent horror from The X Files. Not so much the devil on my shoulder as the paranoid fucktard in my head.

From confident gal about York, who has few problems rolling with the punches, deflecting banter, and judging situations appropriately (ie. someone you thought was a friend acts like a dick. Consistently and repeatedly. Even after you try and talk to that person about it on the basis that you thought there was a friendship there. Do you a) allow that person to leave your life with a bit of sadness but a minimum of fuss and regret and put it down to the fact that this happens, people move on, people are often not who you think when you first meet them or do you b) become really really quite upset about said person and worry yourself sick that you did/said/thought something that then caused their behaviour towards you, thus taking on the blame for every single personal interaction on yourself and hating yourself for being an intrinsically unlikeable fool? This is the kind of shit that I have to deal with every second of every day in my crazy freaking head during the Dark Times) I become a pain-wracked, anaemic, hemorrhaging, trembling, grey-pallored, weak and feeble, paranoid, weepy, rather unbalanced, neurotic wraith.

I feel like I’m apart from my actual self, such is the pain and head fog, and it is difficult to maintain a normalish persona throughout the working day. The biggest downside is being over sensitive. I mean, chronically, ridiculously, hysterically over sensitive. Stuff that would usually be dismissed with a witty riposte strikes where it’s not really meant to and lodges there to be churned around in my crazy mind, until I’m barely able to differentiate friend from total enemy.

The best possible thing I could do under these circumstances would be to gracefully retire from the world for 5-7 days, depending on how long it takes for the fog/agonising pain to clear. And then emerge, mysteriously and into the social sphere, as if I may have been gone for romantic or nefarious reasons, perhaps involving a Sheikh, peeled grapes and a hookah.

But life being what it is, I just grind to a halt. All the fun things I have recently populated my life with - classes, friends, projects - have to be put on hold as I crawl through the day and retire, whimpering slightly, to bed at 8pm, to sleep the sleep of the damned for 12 or 13 hours, awake unrefreshed and in pain and start all over again.

The good thing is that since diagnosis and subsequent operation to burn the endometriosis from my womb, I have known with relative surety that I am not, in fact, going completely insane every month and that it is actually a chronic illness. It is no more my fault than is the lottery of being born a woman and I should give myself a freaking break about it.

Too many years have been spent beating myself up that I shouldn’t be this incapacitated just because I’m on my period. And society’s general reactions to women with PCOS, endometriosis, any hormonal or period issues being what they are, ie. usually an eye roll and a tut, along with (from lucky women) the thought that period pain isn’t that bad and (from clueless men) bet she’s exaggerating.

This time, finally being lucky enough to be working with actual human beings who are intrinsically kind, I didn’t feel the pressure that I’ve been under in the past (not that I take time off work, but just not being under the constant threat of losing my job if superhuman levels are not reached is a relief). And I took care of myself. I cancelled classes, social life and everything else and gave myself the time to rest and sleep.

And today was the first day this week that I woke up with normal amounts of pain for a period and normal amounts of headfog, ie. none. I can think straight, I don’t feel like the worst person in the world, I don’t have crippling guilt about something extremely non specific and I don’t think that, just because a couple of people have been shitty to me, that necessarily means I’m a bad person.

It’s a long and lonely road is endometriosis and I’ve finally bitten the bullet and been to the doctor again. Which means hospital again. And most likely an operation again. The only other alternative is to have a baby and I just read an article that says it now costs a QUARTER OF A MILLION to raise a child up to the age of 21 so that’s never going to happen. So operation it is.

And back to blogging without fear. Yayyyyyyyyyyy.

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