May 21

Lavender

I went out for a long walk yesterday to attempt to clear my head. It has been weeks since I last went on a long walk. I only managed six miles because the sky went grey and I felt too cold. I was disappointed to head home, but six miles is better than sitting on the sofa.

I was talking to a colleague about my tumbling thoughts last month. I’m not sure what the correct (medical?) term for them is but, for me, they are similar in style to cringe attacks:

I decided to try to make a list of the way my thoughts tumble when I’m out walking. It was difficult to do but I noticed that during difficult times my thoughts generally tumble towards a memory from the past and then get stuck on repeat. However, when I am calmer I am able to steer my thoughts better. The thoughts tend to be triggered by things I encounter, and then eachother.

Trigger Thought / Memory Feeling
Throwing out mouldy food Realising I cannot afford to spend on food this week Worry
Previous thought Thinking about foods I’d like to eat Happy
Passing the university Thinking about money (again) Worry
Exhibition in the university Seeing the content warning and acknowledging my state Alert
Walking past my GP surgery Remembering my appointment Tired
Previous thought Thinking about returning to work Tired
Previous thought Thinking about what kind of work I’d like to do Hopeful
Previous thought Remembering the art technician from my school Alert
Previous thought Awareness that I am thinking about a triggering time Alert
Boy Racer loud music Thinking about Paris to Berlin by Infernal Happy
Previous thought Wanting a Paris t-shirt Happy
Previous thought Thinking about money and fitness so I can dress differently Hopeful
Previous thought Thinking about cute head scarves and hats Calm
Previous thought Thinking about haircuts and hair care Calm
Cyclists Thinking about Raleigh Cameo Hopeful
Walkers looking fashionable Thinking about fitness (walking faster) Alert
Previous thought Remembering my healthiness in 2006 Alert
Previous thought Thinking about ex-colleagues Alert
Previous thought Thinking of a deceased ex-colleague Sad
Previous thought Awareness of negative thought loop Alert
Coaches Thinking about North France Hopeful
Previous thought Remembering Boulogne Alert
Previous thought Awareness of nearby triggering thought Alert
Previous thought Thinking of travelling Hopeful
Previous thought Hoping to have a job involving travelling Hopeful
Previous thought Making a plan to visit the museum Happy
The Marina Thinking about places to live (inc Western Concourse) Exasperated
The car park Thinking about being able to drive Calm
Previous thought Doing a weekly shop and living away from Brighton Mixed
Previous thought Thinking about people and places I’d miss Alert
Previous thought Thinking about MRes and future career plans Confused
A couple walking Thinking about Nate and Jeremiah by Design Calm
Previous thought Thinking about verandas Calm
Rollerskaters Wanting to do rollerderby Mixed
Previous thought Thinking about Whip It Calm
Previous thought Remembering the lady who said I reminded her of Juno Happy
Previous thought Thinking about the Mouldy Peaches Calm
Food stall smells Remembering my sister and family visiting Happy
Pavilion Shop Thinking about museum learning Happy
Lavender pouches Thinking about lavender field Happy
Previous thought Thinking about visiting DEBRA Calm
At DEBRA Bought three lavender pouches Calm

Now these are just the thoughts I remember. There were other thoughts I had which involved imagining what I would like to look like and do in the future. Also, each thought described her is just an overview, if I broke down the thoughts this post will be huge.

Yesterday was a good day. I can tell be the amount of control I felt I had over my mind.

I was also pleased to buy three Le Chatelard 1802 lavender pouches for £1.99 in DEBRA. Each pouch was labelled 99p, but the Gift Aid sticker and bar code said £1.99 so they scanned that. My pillow smelt lovely last night.


May 18

Cooldown

Yesterday was a bad mental health day. And I made it worse by not taking care of myself.

But in the interests of turning it into a learning opportunity, here’s what I should have done in five easy steps.

  1. I should have stayed on leave. I was on leave for a reason, I needed to get better.
  2. I should not have checked my work emails. If I hadn’t, HR would have seen that I was out of office and notified the interviewers.
  3. I should have asked for the interview to be postponed. It was short notice, and I was ill.
  4. I should not have let my desperation for a job override my need to take care of myself. It’s easy to say, but hard to action – I know.
  5. I should have asked to leave the interview. It would have been risky but my concentration was shot and I could feel myself getting distressed. I was clearly troubled and there was no way I could have redeemed myself in that situation… by staying there, I prolonged my discomfort and theirs.

I never know if I should disclose my health history. It would have been unprofessional but maybe people would understand and accommodate me? I just know that after half an hour I was sweating from pain, my skin was crawling and my teeth were grinding. It was taking all my willpower to stay in the moment. My brain became obsessed with escaping. I wanted to shout. It was a moment that scared me, because normally social interactions calm internal disturbances but this time I was inconsolable.

Today has been quieter. I have managed to leave my head for a while.

May 15

On leave

On Thursday I didn’t feel so well. I notified all my colleagues and went home. When I got home, I felt hopeless. I remember thinking If I don’t get invited to a job interview this month I am moving away.

So obviously, I got a job interview invite the next day. Quite why I checked my emails on leave I do not know. I was very pleased to be shortlisted.

The job is in the School of Education. And my self-care brain is telling me to relax and remain realistic. The rest of me is having an adrenaline rush.

I’ve spent the weekend with relatives. I had planned to have a whole week off but I’m returning to Brighton for my job interview.

I’ll miss duvet days.