Driven to distraction before languishing in limbo

Distraction was the order of the day yesterday. I’d slept well on Thursday night and woken feeling relatively refreshed, but I soon began to feel decidedly uneasy.

I knew that I was troubled both by having posted this the previous day and by having emailed an acquaintance to ask if she might possibly visit me and help out with a few chores. I felt increasing guilt and shame, and a rising sense of that damn fiend, terror.  

I took my digestive meds, ate some generic ‘Weetabix’ and caught up with some undemanding telly. While watching the new series of MasterChef, to keep track of who’s who, I gave contestants names such as Ms Bullock (when she smiled she reminded me of actor Sandra), Mr Citrus Chicken (his dodgy dish), Ms Berry (a dab hand at baking), Mr Rochdale and Mr Experimental. 

With terror still making its presence felt and preventing me from doing anything useful, I let myself fall asleep and napped for a couple of hours. I woke after a series of dreams, in the last of which I was having a heart attack.

Despite the anxious dreams, terror seemed to have slunk away while I slept. I ventured into the kitchen and made some Porridge Berry Bakes. They’re quick and easy to make and are a healthy way to satisfy a sweet craving. (Thanks are due to the person who shared her recipe on a Facebook group dedicated to eating well on a budget.)  

Beat two ripe bananas (mashed) with two eggs and some vanilla extract. Separately, mix two and a half cups of porridge oats with some cinnamon and one and half teaspoons of baking powder. Now mix everything together then add one and a half cups of milk (I use skimmed cow’s milk, soya, almond etc also work). Divide the mixture into greased muffin tins (or silicone if you prefer) and add your berry toppings of choice (I used blueberries, as my photos illustrate). Bake at 180 for 25-30 minutes. N.B. Choose a non-diary milk and replace the eggs with another banana for a slightly more dense but vegan-friendly cake. These are good for children’s lunch boxes, or so I’m told.

Porridge Berry Bakes ready for the oven
Porridge Berry Bakes ready to eat

More MasterChef came later and the appearance of Ms Pastry, Ms Cabin Crew, Ms Muddle, Ms Sour and Mr Bland among others. I also spent time reading the memoir of a woman who took her fight for ‘the right to die’ to the High Court

I was determined that today I would work on part two of that significant post (if you’ve been keeping up then you won’t need the hyperlinks 😋) . I also needed to think about how on earth I might proceed from here. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool planner. I’m never without goals and plans of action, at least I wasn’t until now. After much brain-wracking and head-scratching, I felt as though I was languishing in limbo.I had no bloody clue what to do. Terror still lurked and threatened to pounce, somehow I kept it at bay. Somehow, slowly, very slowly at first, I started to write. I made two lists: What Does My Life Look Like Right Now? and How Should It Look? Alternative titles might be Existing vs Thriving or Deep Crisis vs Getting Better. I titled a third list, yet to be written, How Do I Get From One To The Other?  

Successful Scribbles

After a catch up with an online buddy and a few cups of tea, I wrote part two of that significant post, ‘Bullets 2016’, roughly in the order that they hit! From there this post began to take shape. While I was writing, an email arrived from the acquaintance I was worried about having asked for help, happily agreeing to do so. When you’ve nowhere to turn and you’re left having to ask for help from people you shouldn’t really be asking, the guilt is enormous … at least it is in my case. 

I don’t know the way out of all this, a few days before I found the strength to start blogging again I’d have felt the way out would be ‘in a box’. Now I only know that I think that writing is key.  

I’ve just re-read my post Silence Is Not Golden, for the first time since I published it. I’m surprised to find that it’s not quite so together as I felt it to be as I wrote it.Although it’s accurate and my story, it’s almost as though someone else wrote it, and that feels a little disconcerting. By contrast, as I’ve written this post, I haven’t felt as though the words were almost writing themselves nor as though writing was akin to pulling teeth. I just feel like me, writing  What that all means, goodness only knows. 

Operation Fight Back: Day 7

The last 24 hours or so have, I think, been my most challenging since Operation Fight Back began.

I’m still sleeping badly and that’s making things difficult. I’ve woken each day feeling progressively more awful as the week has worn on. I’m tired of nightmares and waking feeling wretched. Despite that I’ve stuck to my O-F-B routine; it feels like a lifeline… an anchor, a tether to the right side of the tracks.

Getting through my exercises yesterday and this morning was hard. I find the treadmill easier than 30 reps of each of four exercises and as many as I can manage of the fifth, only attempted for the first time this week; today I managed 15.

Today’s treadmill stats: 12 mins 32 including 10 minute run = 0.65 distance and 60.5 cals.

I ate badly yesterday, not ‘bad’ stuff just too much. Tiredness leaves me at risk of overeating.

Today’s main further aim is to get out. I need some groceries. I’m also supposed to be meeting someone for coffee later, I’m just waiting for confirmation. I know it will be restorative.

Other aims for the rest of the day: Write an email and a letter (both have been on my list for three days, both are pretty important), clean the bathroom and cook something for dinner.

I have many scribbled notes in my notebook for potential blog posts. I hope soon to make the time to write them.

Operation Fight Back: Day 4

I can’t quite believe that I’ve just completed my fourth consecutive run … well it’s a jog really but run sounds so good :-D.

Today’s treadmill stats:

12mins 39 = 2mins brisk walk, 9mins jog, 1min brisk walk – 0.62 distance and 58.8cals

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Reading this headline on my phone this morning I gave an exclamatory “YES”. Reading a comment on a similar article which suggested that no-one is’ trapped’ into domestic abuse but chooses be there was less positive 😦 .

I’ll come back to the headline in a later post.

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I had such a LOVELY time yesterday meeting two friends of mine, who hadn’t previously met each other, for coffee. It’s so wonderful to have friendship in my life again; exploring the delights … and the many challenges it presents me, warrants a separate post.

Today’s further aims:

  • Get out again – this time to resume voluntary work
  • Complete an application form
  • Make appt. to see doctor
  • Write and post a thank you note

I didn’t sleep well again last night due to in part to pain but mostly nightmares. I’m pleased I still managed to get up at 9am. I focused on staying in the moment and only the immediate task in hand – go to the loo, take medication, dress in exercise clothing, clean teeth, do physio exercises, drink water, get onto treadmill, blog, breakfast and so on step by step by step. Thinking not that I feel terrible and that I’m worried I won’t be able to get out later or that I’m frightened by ongoing health concerns or whatever. Instead thinking of what I can do/am doing right now and that I am OK in each moment.