Altered States

Things feel as though they’ve slowed considerably over the last couple of weeks. While I was admitted to the hospital, every day was a battlefield; attempting to survive the frantic nature of an acute mental ward, dodging delusional loons who think they’re my lawyer or my long-lost brother, or just coping with the chaos and the noise. Since arriving home, not a great deal has happened and I’ve started to feel a little disconnected from everything.

Being at home and surrounded by the things I ought to be able to enjoy, my PC and all the games it contains, my extensive Blu-ray and DVD library, my camera, my synthesizers, my Lego… None of it is any comfort right now. I still can’t give anything the attention it deserves or requires and I’m still spending much of my time watching the days pass by without participating at all in them.

Despite this, there is a change that’s noticeable, even to me. Although I still feel fairly hopeless and like there’s little to look forward to, I am still very downbeat about things but they’re no longer dragging me under. Emotionally, I have a weak, but definite, foothold to keep myself up. I still have wobbles, there are times when things still are too much for me to contain, but this is now happening a lot less than it was prior to my hospital admission.

Sadly, this shaky foothold isn’t yet strong enough to support me in any other capacity. Personally or professionally, I’m in no fit state to be of any use to anybody right now. It’s a little bit ‘chicken and egg’; a solid relationship or a worthy and fulfilling job would go a long way to helping me establish a sense of purpose or identity, but a sense of purpose or identity would be a great starting point for finding a solid relationship or a worthy and fulfilling job.

I guess it comes back to the age-old saying… ‘One step at a time.’

For now, I just need to let whatever happens next, happen. I don’t know what it will be and I don’t have a clue in what form it will take, but whatever it is, I have to trust that it won’t be awful. With so many people offering me support and encouragement right now, I can’t say that I’m part of a team that isn’t trying.

Whether it be professional support from mental health teams or from friends and family, it’s all people who are helping me through this battle, people who are fighting alongside me to beat back the demons that I’d let get the better of me.

I’ve been reminded in the last couple of days, by a few different people, just how much progress I’ve made in such a relatively small amount of time; that to get to a point where I can survive one day to the next without flailing around in a pit of despair takes strength and fortitude and shows a desire to pull out of the dive and find my way.

Though I don’t feel like I’ve succeeded at all, I also recognise that I’m not a person who really celebrates his achievements properly. I don’t really allow myself the latitude to enjoy my successes and as a result, they often tend to get overlooked.

So, when others make a point of noting them for me, though it may make me feel a little uncomfortable – it still affects me deeply when people are nice to me – I do take note. This is why I’m taking the time to note it here.

I am coping a little better than I expected to.

This provides the possibility that I may, one day, feel hopeful and optimistic about things. Maybe. It’s early days yet, but at least I’m one step closer, even if it is just one step with an entire marathon distance still ahead to complete.

Another new state that I’m having trouble adjusting to is my current physical condition. The weight loss regime I started in July last year has seen me shed 57kg. That’s not far off 9st!!! All the clothes I used to wear now hang off me and many have now been replaced with things that look impossibly tiny.

And to cap it off, I had run out of jogging bottoms at home and decided to bust out a pair of my leggings instead, only to find that even they are starting to get a bit loose. I still have a bit of chub to get rid of and am going to maintain my healthy eating and intermittent fasting plan, since it has worked so well this far, and will see where I end up.

This is something else that people keep pointing out to me as a remarkable achievement. To me, if it’s something I can do, then it doesn’t seem like it should be hard for anybody else to manage, but the number of times I’ve had someone comment about just how extraordinary a challenge to lose so much weight, so consistently, for such a length of time, shows a will-power and a fortitude that not many can match.

I don’t know about that. I still don’t think I’m anyone particularly remarkable. If I can do something, it makes no sense to me that anybody else couldn’t do it equally as well or better. But since I’m talking about altered states, I need to start recognising my achievements more. I need to start celebrating my achievements more.

I have lost nearly 9 stone in nearly 9 months!

Now, to celebrate… Well, cheesecake isn’t allowed – not in the quantities I feel makes it worthwhile – so I guess it’ll be another beaker of water.


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