It saddens me that a genuine post hasn’t come from the heart here for such a long time. I remember reading in various blogging groups I was in years ago that talked about how people would go to find a blog they used to love and see that it hadn’t been updated and I always thought to myself I hope I never get to that point yet it turns out I have and I desperately want to change that. Writing has been a healthy outlet for me for as long as I can remember and not having it as part of my daily routine has, I think, really been a large part of my own suffering.
For someone like me that deals with anxiety, low mood and now the possibility of neurodivergence having a healthy outlet to let off steam and put all of my overwhelming cluttered thoughts is a true lifeline. Often people talk about how writing is a form of creative expression and catharsis, some even comparing it to a form of therapy. It certainly has been that way for me in the sense that writing has prevented self harm. I can not even begin to admit the shame admitting that brings me although my previous entries on mental health; well, perhaps that isn’t as much of a surprise. Self harm has never been about suicidal thoughts for me, I’d like to make that clear, but it was an unhealthy way of attempting to escape from the sheer overwhelming feelings I deal with on a day to day basis. Intrusive thoughts have always been something I’ve struggled with but I’m thankful that I’ve never contemplated anything further than that.
Getting it out of my mind and trying to relieve how anxiety and stress physically manifests in my body is what originally lead to self harm before I really started writing it all down. Sometimes talking about it isn’t quite enough because I can’t always speak the words that I want to say. Or my words come out so muddled and confused which in turn frustrates me and doesn’t make it any easier. It’s not that I have a problem sharing my issues considering I’ve already written about them here in what I’ve always considered a safe place and publishing those struggles in the hope of someone else reading them and not feeling alone – whilst makes me feel vulnerable – has always been the backbone of this space. I want to help others. I have a strong desire to help others even if that has sometimes been at my own expense.
Honestly, I feel like I have always put other people first. I’m sure I have other people in my life that would probably disagree; people that have called me selfish because of the way I do things or the way I’ve lived my life although now that I’m looking at that through an autistic and adhd lens and I see my past very differently. To say that it has been a traumatic process is probably the biggest understatement I have ever made because it’s felt like so much more than trauma. The frustrating thing is that I have had so many people say that if I receive this diagnosis I’m hoping for it doesn’t change who I am as a person and whilst that may be somewhat true it changes everything for me. I can not help but look back on my life and wonder how different things could have been for me should I have known, should I have accessed different kinds of support, should I have been able to truly open up more about how my mind works. Would I have suffered quite so much in my teens had I known better?
And alongside all this I have still had to carry on but it hasn’t been the same because I have been figuring this all out after having my structure taken away from me because of Covid. I know I can’t blame everything on a pandemic but having to live life, raise children, crisis school, deal with an identity crisis, attempt to be a decent girlfriend, daughter, sister, mother and friend, the stress of an MRI scan and chronic pain, seeing family members get sick and not being able to do anything about it, not being able to see my friends as often…despite having people around me I feel like I have been cut off and isolated. I have felt so incredibly lonely without being alone. I have been erratic and confused and emotional and at times kind of unstable. I have not had a period of low mood, depression, constant anxiety and just general badness since I was much, much younger.
What makes this all so difficult is I haven’t been able to write through it. I feel every time I go to write something it’s just depressing and horrible thoughts that no one really wants to read about. I haven’t done anything worth writing about or inspiring enough. I don’t consider anything I’ve really done in the last few years an accomplishment or something to be proud of. I’ve run up way too much debt that has come with it’s own issues, I have cluttered my home with too much stuff, I have tried various hobbies and not stuck to them, I haven’t moved enough, I’ve gained weight, I’ve struggled with binge eating again and I have genuinely lost a sense of self. At this moment in time, I do not really know who I am. I do not really know what I mean to others. I feel like I’m just a culmination of other people trying to be able to fill their needs rather than my own. I suppose I have tried to be what I think people want me to be rather than be myself and that lack of self honesty.
I really want to make some changes because enough is enough and I am not coping well with anything and I do not really know how to fix it. However, I have finally received dates for my ADHD assessment and I am in equal parts terrified but finally feel I can emerge from waiting mode. I have something concrete to work from and I hope this will be a boost I need because I honestly feel I have pinned everything on this assessment and I have been waiting such a long time to try and get to this point. I understand that that’s perhaps not the most sensible option and I’m putting all my eggs in one basket. I’m not sure what I will do or how I will feel should the assessment come back with a non-diagnosis or how that will affect me but I do know that I need to get this done and get a result either way.
I suppose I am still looking for answers to ‘what the hell is wrong with me?’ ‘why am I the way that I am?’ and ‘how can I fix it?’ – and I don’t want to just be told ‘nothing is wrong with you’ because right now I don’t feel like anything is really right with me either. I feel stuck. I feel unable to move. I feel like I’m halfway up a flight of stairs with the end in sight but the sheer inability and lack of energy to simply lift my foot up and get to the top. In all this I am fearful that all I look like is lazy and incompetent and inconsistent. I feel like I have been a complete burden to others, someone that people don’t want to be around because I have nothing valuable or positive to add to the conversation. In this moment in time there is nowhere I feel like I completely fit in.
I have started doing things though. I am clearing my home and my personal space of things that no longer have a purpose. Physically making space in my home is really helping me to make space in my mind. This is my attempt to get back into the routine of writing about something every day because I finally feel like I have something to say and hopefully contribute. I have events planned and people I will be seeing soon and I am so excited for that as hopefully a gap closer in back to who I was. I have reached out to step change to start fixing my debt problems. I want to get back to regular working again through my blog and freelance options.
And I’m getting a cat. I can not wait to introduce the new family member to you all. It’s something the children have wanted for such a long time and I have too and now I feel is the time. I appreciate after all that I’ve said above that having another responsibility may feel like I’m taking on too much but genuinely I think the time and energy I will have into caring for this kitten and making sure she has a safe and happy home will be a very positive step for me, particularly with Evangeline in secondary school now and Felix in Forest School more regularly. I don’t feel very needed at the moment I suppose either, with older children that are gaining more independence each and every day. I have been needed by someone for such a long time that it feels quite strange to not need to be at someone’s constant beck and call all day everyday.