I haven’t written in a while. Primarily, it’s because I dislocated my finger (not sure how but any Hackney locals will not be surprised to hear that it happened in The Dolphin) and typing has been a struggle. Getting through work was challenge enough, although the lack of courtesies in my emails definitely helped me get more done. I’m semi-tempted to be curt-in-tone going forwards, though I’m sure my colleagues just felt sorry for my sausage-claw hand, as opposed to being intimidated into efficiency by my smiley-face free email communication.
So I haven’t written partly because of lacking in dexterity sausage fingers. Predominantly though, I’ve just not felt up to it. The dislocation was my little finger, on my right hand (I’m left-handed, this was no disaster), but it was very much the sausage straw that broke the bendy camel’s back. This year I feel like I’ve been hobbling from one injury to the next, and I’d got bored of it. I’d got bored of talking about it, justifying it to well-meaning colleagues and friends, and I’d got bored of dealing with it. I’d got bored of my 40 mins of physio exercises a day, so I stopped those (and physiotherapy, incidentally). I’d got bored of making any attempt to ‘pace’ my activities, which led to, well to be honest it led to some bloody brilliant nights out. Inevitably, however, it also led to burnout days where I’d wake up, aching and depleted of physical and emotional energy, where all I could do was stay in bed and be miserable. I’d be stick dependent and hungover for a day or two, because in your mid-twenties, hangovers are a 48-hour affair.
I’d got myself into a bit of a hole with everything and was focussing on what I could not and was not doing, instead of what I could. I usually allow myself to feel rubbish for a finite amount of time, wallow for a day and move on; denying emotions exist only lead to them building. However, it had gone a bit further than that and I needed to sort myself out.
Because I try to be aware of how lucky I am, I am mobile for the majority of time and have access to specialist physiotherapy, I put pressure on myself to make the ‘right’ choices all the time and follow advice unwaveringly. That attitude in my case regularly backfires. I miss one exercise for a day and feel like I’ve failed my condition, enter unhealthy spiral whereby I don’t do the exercises for weeks on end. I’m working on that; on concentrating on what I am doing, and on doing *something* right every day, while I build my strength back up. Today for example, I went swimming despite not enjoying its monotony and looking like a dying fish. I’m trying to get more sleep, despite my flat being akin to a broken lift in the Sahara (we’re having a heatwave in England and people are almost as incensed about it as they are the rain). I’m also moving house, because the 5 people to one shower vibe is beginning to wear thin. I’m going to book another physio appointment and I’m writing again. I’m patched up (emotionally, physically I’m in pain after swimming) and I feel like myself again.
Writing this felt horribly self-indulgent (I’m not labouring under the misapprehension that anyone is interested), but I know when I’ve been down, the knowledge that I’m not alone is a huge help. I’m also acutely aware that blogging, as with all social media, presents life through a rose-tinted lens, and I’m eager to avoid doing so as much as possible. Coming to terms with relatively consistent discomfort and pain is complicated, and a dip or two is inevitable. I’m just trying to develop the tools to handle it better when it happens, so I’m not out for so long.
Anyway, here is the stuff I’ve been dropping these past few weeks:
• Notebook, in the middle of my writing class
• Lid off my coffee cup
• Coffee, all over myself at work. I was wearing white cos life.
• 1.4 balls of falafel and one of them was dipped in really nice hummus. Day ruined.
• My oyster card, right in front of the ticket barriers, while using a crutch. Londoners were sympathetic and merely tutted, instead of lamping me one. For that I will be eternally grateful.
• Pens. Everywhere. Every week.
• My iPod Classic and it survived thank goodness as they don’t make them anymore. • 27p, and I let it go, because I was embarrassed and had lots of bags and did not want to pick it up. Sainsburys in Stepney you are welcome.
I’m off for a beer and a BBQ in my garden (patch of gravel with table and chairs). Enjoy the sun and take care.