Moving home is a stress for anyone. Only the coolest of folk could avoid the hair yanking frenzy that is a house move.
A home move requires organisation, communication, strength, energy and the ability to generally function.
Now take all that away. Seriously, imagine it. You can’t even organise a jolly in a brewery, you are scared to answer the phone to your own mum, your arms collapse under a 2kg weight and you have as much power as a dead battery. Pair all that with a total inability to regulate your thoughts, stay conscious and an impossible ability to tolerate other humans for more than an hour at a time and you have a disaster on your hands right?
Well that’s how my home move went down. Because you see, the thing is, chronic illness makes the common every day stress even more unbearable. It’s like someone piles the stones of judgement on top of the already piling pressure and then throws an angry elephant on there for a giggle.
Not only do we chronically ill folk have the normal stressors to contend with but we have added extras like not being fully mobile or trying to manage our crippling paranoia so we don’t end up moving into a psych ward instead.
My home move was not the average. I ended up living at my boyfriends parents house for two weeks; me, him and my cat all crammed into his little box room because someone could handle the life I was dealt. That is literally what it boiled down to.
The girl I swapped homes with left me up crap creek without a canoe. The house was dirty, doors were hanging off, the bathroom looked like the titanic had laid rest to rot in there; it was a mess and a hell of a project for a disabled person to take on.
My boyfriends family saw it and instantly decided it was unlivable and I could not live there until it was up to their standard. They had no idea I’d lived in worse conditions.
I have endured tents in the woods, squats packed with junkies, children’s homes where other residents rape you for sport and family homes were I was outright neglected and abused.
This ‘hell hole’ was a palace to little ol’ me. I was more than capable of living in the mess that was presented to me, not that I could explain that to people who have no idea how the other half live.
So that was that. I was squashed into a family environment for two whole weeks. An environment where I was constantly fed portions that made me gag to look at, constant mindless chatter and friendliness, clean clothes, carpets and the never ending ringing of various alarms before the sun had even risen.
It was my idea of a nightmare. My silent isolated world was shoved down the rabbit hole and out of sight. But the worst part is it left me even deeper in the doo-doo when it was over.
You see, now my new home has a carpet, shiny white tiles and real curtains, I feel as if I have too much. Now I have something to loose.
I am also alone now. There are no accountable footsteps in the night, there is silence at 4am and nobody is coming through the door to fill the sinister silence that is not surrounding me.
I’m an abandoned child all over again, curled in a bag, in a dank corner listening to addicts bubble their smack.
Letting others help me was a real learning curve. I had to let people tell me what to do and put faith in them to do me right. The whole process has been the ultimate test for me.
It was horrendously hard for me. I got so knotted up with tension my digestive system shut down, I developed another UTI, I kept loosing my rag with Andrew, I had to stifle screams of frustration and bite my tongue raw.
I began to hold this mounting and relentless tension in my muscles and joints. I ached head to toe. I couldn’t relax and let loose. My mind was whirling but my body was coming to a standstill.
My mind was focused on the task and attempting to keep regulating and organising but my body bailed on me.
My heart was malfunctioning again, I was having to take diazepam, I fell into horrendous control behaviours regarding my phobia, so much so I have opted to return to therapy to deal with it.
My anxiety had calmed but now it is pretty much full scale all over again thanks to this move. What should have been a momentous achievement as become a minor setback instead.
I am faced with the wondering; is my medication just not working as much as it should or have I got to ride this wave out a while longer and see if it cools off?
With my spirits already dampened with the anxiety sweats, I might as well grab my board. I guess surfs up!