All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Flashbacks, heat and unexpected problems (oh my!)

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Once again I find myself on hiatus from my blog and once again it hasn’t been entirely self-imposed. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been experiencing severe internet connectivity issues, which may not seem such a huge ordeal to some, but the internet is one of my primary coping mechanisms, and often the only outlet I have to the outside world, so when I can’t connect, my stress levels rise and I become more vulnerable to life’s negative emotions.

Normally I’d like to think I’d be able to handle this, but it seems that once again January is becoming a problem month. Last year, I spent the month wrestling with alcohol consumption, this year, I’m spending it locked in a battle with flashbacks. In fact, things became so bad last weekend that Sunday was lost to endlessly replaying the events of emotionally abusive relationships, homelessness and seemingly innocuous moments shared with long-gone friends.

No matter how hard I’ve tried, no matter what exercises I’ve practised, I’ve been unable to ground myself in the present. So much so that focusing on anything other than what my mind is forcing me to relive has been nigh-on impossible. I’ve been unable to watch movies with any clarity, I’ve been spending more and more time locked away in my unit and no matter how much I want to, I just can’t find the words to assemble the posts I crave to write.

Hindering all of the above has been the incessant heat of the Australian summer. Today was the fourth day over 40 degrees, and by all accounts there are going to be at least three or four more before there is even the slightest hint of a cool change. I’ve never been a fan of the heat, in fact I downright hate it! I hate being sticky, I hate sweating like a weird little sweat monster and I hate how the heat brings out the worst in my body-image issues. During summer I despise myself more than usual, so much so that this self-hatred  – considering my inability to wear shorts, go swimming or even shower without clothes on –  makes it impossible to cool down.

Unfortunately that brief moment where I believed 2014 will be the ‘best year ever’ has long since passed. The last sixteen days have been incredibly stressful and difficult to navigate and I’m sorely looking forward to February so I can banish January into the annuls of history and start the year afresh.

However, I’ve remained true to my resolution and have not drunk a single soft drink all month, which – when you consider all the flashbacks, heat and unexpected problems – is quite an achievement! :)

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5 thoughts on “Flashbacks, heat and unexpected problems (oh my!)

  1. This heat is awful isn’t it? I’m in Sydney and we haven’t hit 40C yet but it’s still pretty unbearable.

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    • Even though I’ve been in Australia eleven years now, I’ve never acclimatised to the heat of the summer. Fortunately we have a slight reprieve today, with the forecast top being only 38C instead of the 43C we had yesterday! :)

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  2. I understand your need to live in the present. I’ve been trying very hard to do that and have succeeded for about a week. I hope I am able to keep it up. I hate the heat as well, but living in the US, we’ve had a very hard winter so far. However I see geese flying north and that may mean an early spring. I’m sorry you’re suffering.

    I found a quote on Facebook that I printed off and illustrated and hung on my wall. It is my new theme. It’s by Lao Tzu. “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” With all the bouts of depression and anxiety I’ve had over the past couple of months, this has become my motto.

    Best wishes in getting through January. And if you reply to me, no “talking up” to me. Remember, we are the same.

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  3. Hi, first time I have done this as social media makes me feel exposed and squirmy. I am squelching through life in rainy Scotland and crave the feeling of sun on my skin (though go a deeply embarrassing and uncool shade of red if any rays head my way. I like the sound of you guys and hope I manage to successfully follow you or whatever techno thingy that is!! You could maybe learn self hypnosis so your favourite place could be as cool and balmy as you wish which might give you some respite. JB

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    • Just reading about you squelching through life in rainy Scotland makes me homesick for that beautiful country! To be honest, I’d rather spend the winter there than sweltering away through an Australian summer, even though most people would think me insane for saying that! :) When I mindfully go to my ‘happy place’ (not quite hypnosis but similar to it) it’s always somewhere in Scotland I end up.

      I completely get how exposed and squirmy social media can make you feel. But don’t worry, this is a safe place, no-one will judge you here! :)

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