Still alive…

Hello!

Yes, I am still with you, I’ve just been quite busy up here (really). As you may know, I started university in September, the University of Aberdeen to be specific! And I seem to be surviving, which is rather surprising. Granted, I am having about one meltdown a week, but I’m not dying in a hole somewhere so I think I’m doing quite well.

I have done a lot of things that I never thought I would, get drunk (yes I drink now), make a doctors appointment and go to a club (this really surprised me too). I have also met some very lovely people, two of whom are my flatmates. I managed to get such bad freshers flu’ that my flatmates had to call a doctor and take me to A&E (which I’d just like to say thanks again for, you’re awesome). I was okay, by the way, it was just a stomach bug.

Spinning Plates

What came to me earlier this week (which may or may not have been in a drunken haze) is that life is rather like spinning plates. Every responsibility or stress inducing thing is like a plate you have to keep spinning, so one or two plates are fine, but once you get, say, ten you start having problems. Twenty and you’re practically screwed. So, when everything gets too much and you break a plate, you have a meltdown. Currently that means I’m dropping one plate a week. Which got me thinking, what was happening at home? It turns out that I couldn’t even spin the plates at home, and I was just lying in a pile of broken plates. So, breaking one a week is a kind of improvement, right? I may have just got lost in a metaphor… However one meltdown a week is still too many, as it takes about a week to recover. In response I’ve tried to improve my ‘stressed out detector’. I think it’s actually called interoception (maybe?) and there’s a great post by Musings of an Aspie. Though it doesn’t seem to be working, but I’ll keep trying. I hope to be blogging more regularly but I have exams coming up so…

Anyway, I hope you’ve all been well and as always feel free to leave any questions or comments.

Have a good Sunday!

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How not to holiday

I was on ‘holiday’ this week. As you’ve probably gathered from the title and the previous sentence, it wasn’t particularly enjoyable. I really wish it wasn’t and I kinda feel guilty at having not enjoyed it. But I can’t say it was a surprise. Last year I had chest pains throughout the family holiday because it stressed me out so much. However I didn’t expect it to be worse than last year. Last year we spent a week in Italy (I know, poor me), but this year we spent three days in Whitby (a town on the coast of Yorkshire). Italy should have been more stressful because it involved air travel, a lot of heat and sharing a room with my parents. In Whitby there was no air travel, the temperature was nice and I had my own room, and yet I ended up throwing up from how stressed out I was after a meltdown.
Again, I feel guilty about not enjoying either holiday as I feel sort of ungrateful and I know how lucky I am to even be able to go on holiday, but they both really upset me.
The two main reasons for the level of stress were sensory overload and my sister. Sensory overload is a given when going anywhere, but on its own it wouldn’t push me over the edge. My sister is… well words fail to describe how awful her behaviour is. Though a lot of what stresses me out is her name calling and attitude towards me, the most stressful thing is how she affects the atmosphere within the family. She stresses everyone out and I seem to sense that quite strongly.
Anyway, on the day we got there I expected to be slightly uncomfortable at the change of routine and the two hour car journey. And I was okay-ish, or I thought I was, until after our meal at a restaurant. I started sensing something was wrong, I thought it was just anxiety but I realised that I wasn’t breathing properly. What happens occasionally is that I tense my diaphragm muscles when I get stressed out, but if I don’t realise I’m stressed out I keep doing it until I can’t breathe. Luckily I git back to my room before it could get too bad.
The second day was worse than the first because my sister was playing up and wouldn’t eat anywhere, because it’s fun to be awkward apparently. That was more undue stress, but the rest of the day passed mostly without incidence. The next day I just sorta crashed. By lunch I was exhausted, which didn’t make much sense as I’d had enough sleep. So, I went back to bed for a few hours. Later, my sister made my other sister cry because she refused to turn off the light and my other sister needed to go to sleep. That was the trigger for a meltdown resulting in my throwing up. So now i just feel ill and unhappy and it could take a while to recover.

I’m not really sure what the point of this was, apart from venting, so sorry about that. Hopefully, I’ll post more interesting/useful stuff next week.

Have a nice Sunday!

The Body, the Brain and the Mind

I’m back! I’ve been wanting to write a new post since Wednesday but I’ve had too many ideas (for a change). I decided to write about this topic because there doesn’t seem to be much info online about it.

My body doesn’t communicate accurately with my brain and vice versa. Obviously it communicates enough to keep me alive as a (semi) functioning human being. But it seems if anything changes in my body my brain’s first reaction is to pump me full of adrenaline. For example I rarely know when I’m ill. I just get really anxious and I can’t calm down, which leads to the internal monologue of ‘Why am I panicking? Have I forgotten something bad?’, but I can’t think of a reason that I am anxious which is actually worse than having a reason in some respects. A lot of the time I don’t know that I am ill until I throw up. This causes problems as I can end up going to school (the last time this happened I ended up half collapsing in class from exhaustion, illness and a panic attack – such fun).

Another example of ineffective communication is when I am stressed. Funnily enough, most of the time that I am stressed I think I’m ill. This is due to my brain and body not telling my conscious mind that I am stressed out. So I start getting headaches, rashes and start feeling really tired. After a few days of completely different symptoms I usually work out that I am stressed, but sometimes it’s not until the second bout of the mystery ‘illness’ that I think it might be something else.

I know that physical symptoms of stress are very common, but getting anxious instead of nauseous seems a bit weird. I’ve googled it so many times and I always come up with nothing. So am I just strange or have any of you come across this before? I appreciate all your comments