Friday, January 27, 2006


Things are kind of good and bad at the moment. Today I have to vent the bad. Sorry.

My concentration is often clouded with rage. Rage or… something. Rage against my situation and myself for taking it all so badly. I’m getting angry about things which I haven’t thought about in ages; mostly things I can’t do, things I have missed out on, things I am going to miss out on. I am frustrated for myself for becoming preoccupied, for not being able to get on with those things I do have the capacity for. I’m being brought down by the nightmares, from which I have started waking up with hiccups – proper hiccups which jolt the entire bed. Then there's this bastard guilt thing. And I haven’t been out of the flat this year.

Adrenaline is a horrible, horrible chemical when you have nothing to do with it. The temptation to relieve oneself of this terrific burden, by whatever means, can become intense beyond expression. The consequences of the various methods which spring to mind – primarily violence against oneself, inanimate objects and even other people – are so great that one has to find means of controlling oneself.

What I’d really like to do is to go out onto the moors or somewhere where there’s nobody else about and then run. Run as fast and hard as I can. I have no idea how far I would get before I fell over or collapsed – a few yards, maybe tens of yards, maybe much further. But anyway, it wouldn’t matter because I would then be picked up from wherever I had fallen and delivered back home to bed. I can’t imagine the damage would be so very great. I don’t think the pain can get that much worse and it’s not as if I have bones out of place or anything that I could permanently fuck up.

However, there is no way I could persuade anyone to do this for me. And that’s another thing; I can’t go anywhere by myself. I spend so much time by myself, but I can’t do anything. If I was just a bit better, I could take my electric wheelchair out and go for a walk on my tod, but I’m not quite there. It’s not that I want to be alone, but I want to be autonomous. Oh shut up!

Such rages have to be addressed. I mean really; this stuff cannot be put away. More than once I have tried to drink a cup of tea in this state and managed to pull the handle clean off the mug with the tension in my fist. At the same time, there is no reasoning with it.

Okay, I will be responsible at least… The thing about these episodes is to stop oneself doing anything which one is going to regret or be ashamed of. It doesn’t matter if you have to do something silly but if you damage yourself, other things or your relationships with other people then you will have more to feel bad about next time.

Exercise would be the best release. I would advise anybody else to get out of the house and go for a brisk walk, whatever the time of the day or night – if it is raining and cold, then all the better – thunder and lightning would be an absolute boon! Alas, this option is not available to me.

Eating something can help – at the moment, a period of trembling precedes these episodes, before I feel particularly emotional, so this whole thing may be related to blood-sugar (not sure why I might think this but I do). Chocolate is naughty but has the added effect of stimulating the endorphins. Bananas are the real super fast-acting health food though.

Dough, which can be made with salt, water and flour, is good for beating up. Junk-mail comes into its own when you need something to shred; failing this, loo rolls are really most satisfying. If one feels the urge to burst the bubble by piercing its surface (there’s a euphemism), drawing on white paper or even one’s skin in red ink sounds absolutely naff but can satisfy the compulsion and the marks wash off afterwards. Subjecting oneself to extreme sensations in a completely safe way, for example holding one’s hand it ice cold water, or rubbing Deep Heat into one’s hands or eating something very hot (in the flavour sense) is all good.

Making oneself cry can be very useful because our tears carry cortisone (stress hormone) out of the body. The easiest way to make oneself cry is to stare at something shiny or hold your gaze in a direction which is just an incy bit ittle too bright for comfort and then think of something sad – nothing related to your current crisis, but I don’t know; Tiny Tim or Bambi’s mother. Then don’t blink. I know; I should have been on the stage. Once the tears come, then you can cry about the thing you needed to cry about.

Music is by far the most accessible release, but then you have to be careful; some music will wind you up further, other music will bring you down further than you want to go. Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, apart from being the most beautiful piece of music ever written, is perfect for this. You have your musical climaxes, which are almost agonising they are so exquisite, but you also have phases to chill out to and a nice jolly bits somewhere in there. Plus frankly if you’ve sat still for sixteen minutes, you’re probably over the worst anyway.

As soon as the emergency has passed, you must put everything in place so that you feel as comfortable as possible; have something to eat and a comforting warm drink, make sure you are warm enough, have a bath or shower etc. Don’t at this stage attempt to address any of the issues which made you feel like this in the first place, but instead get some sleep or watch television, something entirely passive.

Later I suppose, you have to work out what went wrong and whether there is anything you can do to stop it happening again.

I don’t think there is anything I can do to address this long-term, but to keep dealing with it as it arises and try to be patient. Things will get better, or I will get more used to the situation, or one way or another things will change. For now; bugger.


jfsouthpaw said...

Thank you. Good advice. I think I have spent as many waking hours crying as not this last month, and a lot of that time spent feeling that guilt that I ought to be able to get myself out of the viscious spiral somehow, but can't remember how...

Thank you. :)

The Goldfish said...

Thanks for your comments JF. I'm sorry your having a hard time just now.

marmiteboy said...

Thanks for all the suggestions that you made in your post Goldfish.

However, one thing that you forgot to mention is something that you had already done. And that's write about it. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to post it either. I have at times when I'm at my lowest put my thoughts down on paper. And it helps. It is a very cathartic experience in my view. It gives one a different perspective too.

I have also got a stress ball which is great for the relief of tension. It isn't the same as running on the moors or punching something but it is a lot safer and can help.

Hope the swings in your mood settle down soon and the good times out weight the bad.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Marmite. Writing it out is great therapy. Otherwise all those finely-honed phrases get to squireling around in your head till all hours and you can't get them out. Type them in and they're gone!

Apart from that I don't know what to suggest. In the olden tymes I found that nursing was a great therapy, because you had to push your feelings aside to deal with other people's needs, and by time you got back to yourself, the anger had got in proportion. If not, there would have been some dead Nursing Managers, believe me.

That's the only other solution: to find something which is even more immediate than the anger to focus on; but what?

Gimpy Mumpy said...

I used to go play paintball when stressed. Now I shoot things in video games. Not quite as good but close enough I suppose.
It does help to mentally superimpose an image of my doctor's face onto the monster I'm blasting :)

Hope your attempts to de-stress have succeeded.