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Trauma responses, a scary dog, and a kitten.

Heya, I should be writing more at the moment, but there's this dog who keeps growling if I try.

People always talk about big black dogs for depression, but I swear an angry chihuahua is way more terrifying

I use my blog to be open about my mental health, both for me to process it, and to help anyone in the void reading this to know that it isn't just them. So on that note...


"May you live in interesting times" is always a fun curse, and there's not one of us who can say that the current times do not count as "interesting". Apparently it is a cosmic punishment for demoting Pluto. Or shooting a gorilla, or opening an ancient sarcophagus...

Anyway, my brain was mush and I was struggling to focus before we had a global pandemic. I had decided that it wasn't just general low, and made an appointment to increase my meds. I was coming up with strategies. It was hard, but there was a light.

Then, shit got real. University started closing. My friends went home, or socially distanced. The schools closed.

I know enough from my Media and Trauma unit to know that my trauma reactions kicked in. My experiences of death, illness, and things going bad just as it seemed better have heightened my response to this. I have responded with a mix of anger (fight) and giving up (freeze).

I can see everything I have worked for over the past 3 1/2 years falling apart around me, but my fear response has me frozen into position. My depression has spiralled. All I want to do is focus on my family, but I know that I can't JUST do that, so instead I am doing nothing... As if doing neither makes it less obvious that I am not doing my work. Maybe.

Today, I have improved. I watched How To ADHD last night and felt more confident about focusing on work etc. I woke confident. I got dressed in actual day clothes and a bra. I had breakfast not in my bed. I came in to sit at the PC and... I froze.

My heart started racing. My mouth dried. My eyes filled with tears.

Full on anxiety and fear response to the concept of sitting at my desk. I don't know if my laptop would be less intense (Strawb is using it for school work).

I know that my stress is for valid reasons. I have ADHD, I have 3 children off school, one also with ADHD and one with Aspergers who doesn't DO change. The third has had everything he has worked for over the last year cancelled. Poor kid was only in Grammar Stream for a couple of weeks... I have vulnerable people I am trying to protect. I am trying to (hah!) finish my degree. Plus the general natural stress of this entire pandemic. It is reasonable. But it is also something that I MUST overcome if I don't want to lose all I have worked for.

For now... I'm a step closer. I have written. Not my assignment that is overdue or my dissertation, but words. Maybe later I'll make it to the PC. Maybe the laptop. Maybe not. But I WANT to work, and that is a hell of an improvement.

I do have a bright spot right now too, including being healthy, having loo roll, food, soap, and my loved ones being healthy...

Meet Ember*

*name confirmation pending

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