It's the most turbulent time of the year

Fuck. December is hard. I don’t remember it being quite this hard last year, but I know it was. I want to be one of those bloggers who cracks on with blogmas and has the energy to put positivity into the world, but I just can’t do it right now. It takes all my energy to roll over in bed and order my favourite takeaway (which I can’t bring myself to eat, by the way - Christmas is FUN!), I’m struggling to actually do laundry, let alone review advent calendars or host the #SelfCareTogether challenge I’d planned to. It’s an actual miracle that I managed to get anything done this month, let alone launch MERCH! - that isn’t even a plug, I’m genuinely surprised I’ve got anything done. I don’t have the energy to plug.

I know I’m being overly critical of myself, I’m minimising all my achievements in my head and stressing about the 2 or 3 negative tweets I’ve seen in the last few days (only 1 of which I know was actually AIMED at me, the others were bonus tweets for my anxiety to latch on to.) I’m telling myself that not following everyone back on Twitter who follows me, makes me a bad mental health advocate, that relapsing into a bad PTSD episode makes me a bad mental health advocate and that worrying about social media content makes me a hypocrite - because I always tell everyone else not to worry. I’ve spent days lying in bed convincing myself that I’m a bad daughter, a bad friend, a bad content creator, a fraud, an imposter, a fake. I’ve been worrying about the fact that I’ve barely walked Doug, I’ve had to delegate most dog mum duties to Sarah this week. I’ve been experiencing really extreme bursts of energy, although they’re few and far between.

None of this stuff is stuff I want to admit to myself, let alone the internet.

Friday was the first day I put on “outside” clothes, even though I’d reluctantly been for a couple of walks in my leggings and giant jumpers earlier in the week. I didn’t eat ANYTHING on Tuesday. Last week I didn’t brush my hair for 2 days. On Wednesday I had to lie in the dark, because it was the only way to stop my PTSD flashbacks, and that made me want to die because I felt like a crazy person. I spent 3 hours worrying about a video I saw that implied people who said they loved their audience were liars; I feel like I do love my audience - I feel I owe them my life - what does that say about me?

And then there’s all the shit I’ve been thinking about my mum that you can bet will rear it’s ugly head whenever I’m feeling vulnerable. I lost her when I was just 19 - in 2019 it will be a WHOLE decade since I lost her. I can’t help but feel I should have been allowed the guidance and nurture of a motherly figure these last few years. I have pretty supportive family and friends, but none of them can give me quite what I need from mum - and maybe I wouldn’t even know I needed it if I wasn’t deprived of it. (I’m aware this is pretty rambly).

You wouldn’t believe it from my social media, because I’m pretty forthcoming with words of love and praise - but I really struggle with being affectionate (or at least I have done since mum died and the abusive relationship probably didn’t help any.) It feels fucking lame to admit that when I stayed with mum even when I was 19, we often used to have sleepovers in her room, with our family dog, and that I’m really missing the hugs she gave. I pride myself in being a strong and independent woman, but GOD DAMN I could do with a hug every now and again, or a pat on the head, or someone to take my face in their hands and say "hey! it’s going to be OK!”

I say all that, but I regularly shun Sarah’s hugs. I guess I’m looking for a specific kind of love. It’s so hard to put blind trust in peoples’ agendas now that I have PTSD. Even my own Dad and my best friends come under scrutiny in my traumatised brains. I suppose because mum hasn’t existed in the same world as my PTSD, she is the one person who has been immune to this scrutiny. It’s such a lonely feeling to have blind faith in one person, and that one person be gone.

Last night Sarah and I watched Dumplin’ on Netflix and after a while my ears heard me saying “God, I wish I still had a mum.” before I even knew I’d thought it. Silence.

Sarah is a person who is very helpful practically, but she’s also a deer in headlights when it comes to emotions - particularly when they are mine. I know she cares of course, our friendship is coming on for 18 years now (wow - I feel old), but she isn’t a person of many words (or many listens, for that matter), through no fault of her own, so saying it probably left me feeling just as lost as before I had.

I know that when I was in my early 20s I would have dealt with this rough patch by partying to numb the pain, but I just can’t bring myself to do that now. I already know that it will feel worse if I do and I know how exciting the top of the spiral feels, but how quickly that it is lost to chaos. And more than anything, despite my flirting with suicidal thoughts, what I really want is to live.

Anneli Roberts1 Comment