Mental and physical health are closely linked. Obviously they share the same body but I think that, sometimes, we simply don’t recognise the link between the two.
We treat them as separate organisms. Each distinct from the other with their own set of symptoms and treatments.
But in my case I find that each has a deep and profound effect on the other.
I’m Autistic. I see the world differently. My brain is set up in a different way so I struggle with…well…life. Communication, interaction, involvement with others. The knock on effect of those is that I get very depressed. I have Dysthymia. I have Anhedonia and Alexithymia. I self harm and am permanently stressed and anxious.
Those “conditions” bring on IBS. I live with a permanent stomach ache, the threat of diarrhoea, a tension headache and neck ache. My mental state initiating a physical reaction.
I have diabetes. I have fibromyalgia and I’ve had two minor strokes.
So, knowing that I have those and that I’ve had strokes makes me anxious and stressed. I worry about my health. I worry when I’m stiff and can’t stand up in the mornings, when a couple of hours work leaves me slumped on the sofa. My physical state initiating a mental reaction.
When you feel constantly run down and you lack the strength to deal with your basic needs it’s hard to put a positive spin on things. When you get no pleasure from anything and everything bores you or feels like a chore it’s had to put a positive spin on things. When you’ve lost sight of all you enjoyed and you’ve been stuck in the cycle of mental and physical pain for so long, it’s hard to put a positive spin on things.
And that’s the trouble.
Going round in circles. Desperate to break the cycle. A brain shrouded in fog, that at times can’t recall the names of people known for years or what was on tv yesterday. That feeling of forcing yourself to move, forcing yourself to contribute, when every day there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
And when you are tired, physically and mentally, you can’t rely on yourself. You start to doubt what you say because you can’t verify the truth of it. You enter a fugue like state in which you don’t really exist. The world passes around you, it flows like a river about the rock on which you stand midstream but it’s not tangible, it’s not real. You feel as though you can reach out but if you touched its gossamer thin strings they would disintegrate in your hands.
Physical to mental to physical to mental. On it goes. Round and round the garden like a teddy bear, one step, two step, we are going nowhere…
And that’s where I am.
Going round in circles. Vicious circles.
No way out.
No end in sight.
Caught up in a circle.