Losing the me
Posted by Oli on Friday 5th October, 2007
So it’s been a rough week. My mood over the last five or six days has been up and down more times than Billie Piper’s trousers in an episode of Diary of a Call Girl (which, by the way, is so atrocious I beg none of you to waste 30 minutes of your preciously short lives giving it your attention).
It’s a struggle to keep yourself moving forward when you don’t know how you’re going to feel, physically, mentally or emotionally, from one moment to the next. Right now, for instance, I’m feel strong, confident and happy. Had I written this earlier this afternoon, it would have been a completely different story.
Therein lies the problem, really – how do you deal with a physical and emotional state that’s ever-changing from hour-to-hour?
If I was feeling permanently down or upset, it would give me something to focus on, something to seek to improve or seek help with. If I felt permanently tired and exhausted, or chesty and rubbish, I could get on the phone to my team in Oxford and get them on the case. But I don’t feel permanently anything, other than permanently changeable.
The plus side is, of course, that with all the downs come all the ups. I know that when I’m feeling miserable, I’m more than likely only a couple of hours away from feeling OK again and when I’m feeling chesty, I’m only a physio session and a nebuliser away from being comfortable enough to make a cup of tea.
It’s the endlessness of it that’s starting to wear thin, though – the relentless ride through peak and trough which starts to grind away at the inner reserves one builds up over time to deal with the regular lifts and dips of life.
I feel like I’m slowly losing a sense of “me” – like I’m losing touch with the essence of who I am because I’m being subsumed by a constant need to “cope”, to get by, moment-to-moment from each new challenge to the next. I don’t have room to let myself breathe (no pun intended), to stop and just plateau.
I don’t know if maybe there’s a sense of a time-pressure that still hangs over me, like I need to make the most of things while I can in case the day never comes when I get carted off to theatre for my new lungs and new life. Since, physically, I’m seeming to be able to support myself in doing a little bit more at the moment, is the frustration coming from not being able to do quite enough to satisfy myself that I’m making the most of things.
If I’m honest, I don’t think that’s true at all, but there’s so much going on at the moment that I’m not entirely sure what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s real and what’s imagined. I can’t put my finger on anything that’s making things better or worse and I can’t identify what it is I need to do to stop these endless fluctuations of mood and manner.
I suppose, though, that no one does. I’d be a rather remarkable person if I knew to solution to all of my problems. Finding the way out of the mind’s maze is the journey that makes the end all the more valuable. But when you’re staring at a hedge with no sense of direction, it’s not much comfort to know it’s a shrubbery for learning.