This morning I am not well. It’s weird actually saying that, because it’s my mental health that is shot, however, for some reason I feel like that is my fault, that I am somehow in control of my mental state and that I should just “pull myself together”, woman up and be “ok”. Well this morning, I ain’t ok.
I had a lovely weekend. Saw one of my very best friends and had time for a decent catch up, though we could do the same every week! Went to see mum and dad with her on Sunday and dad was up and about. This is good. We also went out out on Saturday night for a friend’s 50th. We had a lovely time and I even had a dance with the dancing queen (my friend Fran), maybe that is the root of my unwellness today? A little excitement and exertion?
I woke up feeling shattered. Yeah, didn’t we all, it’s Monday morning after all. Nope, we didn’t. I’ve been there and had that level of tired, where you wish you didn’t have to get up and go to work. This ain’t that. Until you’ve had proper full on chronic fatigue, I’m sorry but you will not know what I am talking about. “But I can’t get out of bed in a morning”, I hear you cry. That, and you’re going to have to take my word for it, unless you’ve had flu recently, is not the same. Now if you’ve had the flu, you may actually have some approximation of what true full body fatigue feels like.
So, after waking up at 7.40 it then took me until 9.20 to be able to actually get up. The will was there, the energy was not. I ache like a marathon runner at mile 25. My joints are killing, my muscles are killing, my head is throbbing. Did I drink 4 bottles of red wine yesterday? No – but that is how my body feels.
I got up, feeling shit, but wanting to get up. Just bloody fed up of feeling shit. I went for a pee – all going well so far. Now this is the tragic nitty gritty of my existence… as I’m sat on the loo I think, if I change my pants I can get away with no wash, no energy for that. So, I feed the cat, I get my clothes onto the bed – jogging pants, socks, vest and fleece, cos it’s cold in here today, and sit on the bed to get dressed. I pull on my jogging bottoms and realise I’ve not changed my pants.
This is when all hell breaks loose. Because I forgot to change my pants. I feel a livid hatred welling up in me, a red mist that isn’t a mist, it’s kind of a clarity. A clarity that I’m a fucking twat!! A massive fucking bell end who has forgotten to do the thing she decided to do mere moments earlier. What a fucking knob head!! This is what my mind is shouting. My body tenses, all my muscles rigid, my teeth clench, my head heats up like a kettle. I can feel the adrenaline fizzing in my blood. I bash the bed with my fist. I yell at myself, insult myself. I bash myself in the head.
No-one is there but the cat. He peers at me with a ducked head from beside his food bowl. No-one else knows. Thank goodness. But I’m telling you because I need you to understand what this is like. How beyond my control this is. How much I wish it wasn’t.
I breathe in and out. Deep breaths. In through my nose, out through my mouth. In. Out. In. Out. I try to tap but I’m too violent. I take off my jogging bottoms and change my pants. I rage at my reflection in the mirror. Thump the wardrobe as hard as I can, hoping even as I do that I don’t hurt it, because Ade would kill me. I don’t give a flying toot if I hurt myself. In fact, in these moments of rage I want to destroy myself.
I’m typing this with the residual anger still there. The main rage doesn’t last long, thankfully, but I am thrashing the keys to within an inch of their board. Can’t help that right now, but at least the huge self hate has passed. When I’m in this post rage period anything could set me off. Getting two teabags out of the cupboard when I only want one makes me want to smash the mug on the worktop; the washing machine beeping to tell me it’s finished could have me wanting to rip it out of the wall and haul it into the garden for a damn good thrashing. Time and I am fragile at he mo. Just missing the t on the in the previous sentence is enough to trigger it off again. The self fucking loathe. The: I’m such a fucking idiot!!!
Anyway, why am I telling you this?? What can I possibly hope to achieve other than you thinking less of me or thinking perhaps you should intervene. Don’t worry. It’s too late now and I shall carry on as before. Hoping to hell it doesn’t happen again and then literally beating myself up when it does.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to feel like this. There is no revelling in these feelings of self disgust. I have never felt more out of control than when I am like this. More incapable and scarily capable at the same time. I hate the sensation and I would prefer never ever to feel like this. I have been working on dealing with this but so far, nothing has had a permanent effect.
But, Ros, you have many reasons to feel angry and is anger not a normal healthy emotion? Hmmm. Worth thinking about and I have done plenty of thinking about this one. My friend this weekend talked about the level of disappointment and difficulty I’d faced in my life and that this was bound to have an effect. That is indeed true. It has. But on the anger scale, fairly similar to the Richter scale, normal anger is say, a force 5, this is a force 10, a rare occurrence that causes unbelievable damage and near total destruction. Except the rarity for me has become a norm.
I used to get angry as a kid, as a teenager I would flip out, slam doors and have a rant in my room. I know that kind of anger and it always cooled as soon as it heated. I forgave easily and never held any kind of grudge at the fuel to my flame. Usually my little brother at that time! Or my parents – soooo embarrassing!
This, is very different. I first felt this way when I was being treated the second time for Hepatitis C. This was with Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin. Those of you who’ve been put on these drugs will recognise this feeling I speak of. It will be as familiar to them as the fatigue from the Hepatitis C, or the brain dysfunction from the Interferon.
There is a phenomenon called Riba Rage. It’s not something you’ll read about on the info leaflet or something that has been researched as far as I know, but it’s something that many of those who’ve taken the drug will relate to. That’s when it started. This is the exact same insane fury I felt then. Only the treatment was 16 years ago.
So why in heaven’s name is it hanging around still and what can I do to get rid of it?
I don’t have a clue! I’m asking you…
There is nothing rational about this. I am the most logical person you may meet. I can analyse and rationalise anything, so believe me, I can understand my being angry, why I feel cross when things go wrong, why I have this self loathing even. Another friend said to me this weekend, but you’re attractive and intelligent, how could you not like yourself? That’s not unusual though, right, we all reserve our least loving thoughts for ourselves. Again, knowing this does not a fix make.
I’ve taken a break. Started writing this in the morning, it’s now mid-afternoon. In between I calmed back down, heart rate returned to normal, mind chilled out and I felt ok. A bit down but ok. This is generally the aftermath. I thought I’d be writing the rest of this during that reflective time. And then I decided to straighten the throw on the sofa. Big mistake.
As I was tucking the rug down the side of the settee I bent my nail back. The reaction to this is not an ow, gosh darn it, me nail! It’s like my insides are thrown violently up in the air, like being in a car accident but there’s no car. I immediately and dramatically lose the plot. Shouting at myself. Hitting the sofa and then my thighs in total frustration at my own idiocy. I am livid. I rage at the walls. I scream in anger and pain. Three times. I hope to god the neighbours can’t hear through two sets of external walls and a footpath but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. I am literally screaming for help. As I’m thrashing my iPad Siri pops up and asks what she can help me with. “Help me!!!” I shout. She tells me she’s fine, thank you. Well that’s great.
I’d be mortified if anyone heard me losing it like that. I don’t know how I’d cope if someone witnessed this and actually asked what they could do. What could they do? Not a fat lot frankly. Get out the way?
I am and have been for some time, working on this soul destroyer. I was given 6 months useless counselling by my then GP, probably 10 years ago now. I was referred to an excellent psychotherapist at the QE but only had 6 months of treatment with her before she retired, not to be replaced. I’ve talked to my specialist haemophilia nurse and social worker at length, they’ve both left the hospital now. I’ve had brain scans, blood tests, hypnotherapy, refelxology, homeopathy, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture, reiki, anti-depressants, low dose naltrexone, CBD oil and most recently EFT or the emotional freedom technique.
I’ve had some lessening of the rage manifestation over the years. After losing my lovely psychotherapist, the acupuncture and CBD oil have made the most difference. I still take the CBD oil and must make myself an appointment with Tony, my acupuncturist. However, the rage always returns and when it does its effect is redoubled.
Most recently I trained in the practice of EFT and Matrix Reimprinting. They use meridian tapping to treat trauma. The theory being that every trauma we suffer causes our subconscious to manifest beliefs, based on our experience of that trauma. We then live our lives with our subconscious applying those beliefs in everything we do, by nature without us being aware of this. This can add up to physical health problems, emotional problems, even changes to our genetics – do read Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief if you want to learn about this fascinating subject.
The tapping releases the emotions associated with the trauma and Matrix Reimprinting effectively reframes the trauma within our subconscious, so that it no longer has the negative connotations or sensations and thus doesn’t trigger us the same way if we are re-traumatised. It’s way more complex than this but that’s me trying to explain it in fairly simple terms.
I’m having sessions at the moment with an expert Matrix Reimprinter called Sam Neffendorf. He’s working through some of the major traumas in my life with me and tapping the crap out of them. The issue I have is I’m overwhelmed by the level of trauma I’m dealing with. Bear in mind trauma can be anything scary, dangerous or anytime your fight or flight response is triggered. Now if you’ve a severe bleeding disorder this may occur fairly frequently. Then on top of that there’s the viruses, the ruination of trust in one’s specialists thus safety becomes danger, near death experiences and all the usual negative crap that comes from the world around us. How the heck do I reprogramme all that!?
The answer is I have no idea but I’ve got to try. We had a great session a few weeks ago where we tapped on all the echos (mini-me’s) that had experienced any trauma over the years. It’s non-specific, I’m not aware of when all the trauma occurred and how old I was for all of them but we tap on a general manifestation of a group of me’s. I chose to do this at Glenthorne my favourite place. Not literally, just gathered everyone there in my head as we were tapping. I can’t tell you how many of me were there but it was too many to count. This may be too weird for you but having resolved the black mist that inveigled us all into bright sunshine and replaced the emotion of fear with one of joy, I felt good. I had a couple of weeks of feeling better. Much better. I felt good when I got up in the morning. I felt not only that I wanted to do things but that I had the oomph and capability to actually do them. And I did. It was exceedingly odd after years of feeling like a phone with an almost dead battery.
What I’d like to do now is make this feeling last. The last two weeks the usual lack of energy, pain, brain fog, self disgust and demotivation has returned – culminating in (as it’s now Tuesday night) yesterday’s breakdowns. Having had the good back I can at least believe it is possible. But the disappointment of it dissipating is devastating.
I think the issue is the amount of trauma in my lifetime, the amount of crap I need to tap. I have over the years formed many core beliefs, which we conclude as a result of a traumatic episode; for example (not my own): no-one loves me, I always fail, I have no confidence, my sister is loved more.
These are the subconscious beliefs that direct us covertly, but they can be divined, understood and rewritten. Yesterday, after my two screaming abdabs, I had a thought ping into my head. In my experience that’s how I become aware of a core belief. The thought was: I should be dead.
Dwelling on this further I conclude that due to the various brushes with death I have had due to bleeding, the diagnosis of a terminal illness when I was 19, watching those in my shoes die around me, the danger I’ve been exposed to by those responsible for my safety and health – the severity of which I’m only now truly understanding, as the public inquiry into contaminated blood kicks off – all these traumas combined to confirm a subconscious belief that I should be dead. This is what fuels my violent anger, my swearing self-loathing when I injure myself.
That, is what I’m hoping to work on with Sam tomorrow.