We’re in a heatwave here, 5 days in a row at or over 40C. My place isn’t ideal for this, although I’m a lot luckier than some people. Spare a thought (and some change, or a cold drink) for all the people on the streets at the moment.
Fibromyalgia stuffs up my ability to regulate my body temperature and makes me vulnerable to hot and cold weather I used to simply enjoy or ignore. I get heat stroke very easily now. It makes weeks like this extra tough, I want to be able to keep working and functioning and really my top priority is staying well enough that I don’t need to go to hospital for hydration. I’ve had some very bad summers where heat stress stops me sleeping and brings on shakes, vomiting, and migraines.
So we’ve adapted the unit as much as possible before this hit. Zoe has her crate in the lounge with her own little fan. I’ve put up an extendable towel rail and pinned a curtain to it to keep cool air in the lounge room and stop it all dissapaiting into the dining room and kitchen. The west facing kitchen window is blocked with a silver foil car window shade. I’ve bought and badly installed a basic dripper system for my potted roses. It’s not pretty as it’s coiled around the pots and stuck down with silver gaffa tape, but it seems to be working. I have a fridge full of cold bottled water and salad ingredients. I keep the bath half full of cold water and get in it frequently. The massive fan on my bedroom wall helps a lot once you’ve got water on your body.
Zoe and Tonks are doing ok. Rose’s place doesn’t have good air con and her cat Baby has been losing condition lately, so we’ve relocated her to my sister’s place where she’s in the cool, hiding behind the couch, and hissing at Kiki. Rose is doing ok now that her cat is in a better place and eating and drinking again. So everyone’s okay.
I’m so depressed I can hardly function. I am supposed to finishing this backlog of admin and filing it with all the appropriate, terrifying organisations. I’m running out of time and it’s so overwhelming. I’ve spent the past couple of days in a teary misery of self loathing and nausea. I’m certain that once I’ve sorted all the figures out that I’ll owe money somewhere, partly because I’ve forgotten or misplaced paperwork showing where I’ve spent it, and partly because I was supposed to have organised all this paperwork before I started trading so I’d know how much to put aside each week, or at least been self disciplined enough to put some aside anyway to manage it. Having said that it’s not that I’ve been very frivolous, it’s hard to second guess any of my decisions or purchases and see what I shouldn’t have done (or not done yet, maybe that’s more the case? Timing rather than choices?) So my business working and being successful is actually just making me feel more scared and overwhelmed and like a failure for doing such a poor job of managing it. I hate being self employed sometimes. 😥 Today I want to go back to every bright and cheerful person who ran the cert in home business I did last year and break one of their fingers for every time they said ‘It’s easy!’
It’s been a big week. I had a (great) final appointment with a counsellor, who I didn’t see very often but has been really helpful. I want to write a post about it when I can think straight again. I just found out a psychologist I started seeing so that I would have someone to talk to when the counselling finished up is retiring this year anyway. I’m so sad. There’s so much knowledge that I won’t be able to access when I get stuck and run out of resources. I was coping okay with the loss of the first one, but losing the second feels like more than I can handle dealing with at the moment. I read some really distressing things in a parenting forum I was part of, where people with great intentions are encouraging practices for each other with their kids that are highly destructive. I left a warm but concerned reply, but those in an ‘expert’ role in the group encouraged parents with hysterically distraught children to keep doing what they’re doing. I had a pretty strong body reaction when I read it. I don’t have enough head space to think any more about it or respond again but’s stayed in my mind and is very distressing.
I’ve navigated another psychotic episode and done really well but it’s still left me rattled and trying to figure out how to get ahead of them and stop them happening in the first place (if I can). I’m finding the pull to make the kind of art where I don’t need to consider what anyone else wants or feels (face/body painting is all commissioned work, a series of small commissions where you try to gather what they want or like and make it for them, and give them a good, fun, and respectful experience) is strong at the moment, it’s hard to focus on anything else. It’s hard to focus at all. Until I have cleared this backlog of admin it’s frightening to be doing more work and adding to the weight of the problem. It’s hard to stay professional and engaged.
One of my bright ‘preparing for the heatwave’ ideas was to buy a bracket to wall mount my exciting new (well second hand, but a Christmas gift, so new to me) flatscreen TV. This turned out to take half of the day yesterday. It’s larger than my old one (well, longer, it’s much smaller in depth) and didn’t fit in the spot on the wall where the studs are to screw it into, without moving a dresser. Which meant moving a bookcase. Which meant a whole stack of stuff is now piled into my dining room, studio, and all over the lounge. My house went from being pretty organised and comfortable to half trashed, and I’m too wrecked to do anything about it. It took ages longer than I thought it would, and while it’s kind of been successful, the TV sinks to the left by about 15 degrees and we couldn’t figure out how to fix it. On the upside, the old TV took up about 1/4 of my lounge room so there’s so much more space in here now. The screen is big and pretty and I can’t wait to re watch all my old favourites on it again – Bladerunner night is definitely on the cards. On the downside my unit is a mess and you have to tilt your head to the left to watch TV.
Lots of my lovely friends know that I don’t handle the heat well and keep offering to be helpful but I am so stressed and confused and switch-y that co-ordinating anything, especially as it has to include Zoe (can’t leave her in the back yard in this weather) and preferably not involve me turning up to their place as an overwhelmed ten year old who sobs hysterically on their couch all day, is just beyond me.
I don’t have much in the way of perspective when the weather is like this, as you can see. The only thing I feel I’m doing well on any level at the moment is this blog. I don’t know why but for some reason I’ve been very inspired about writing it lately. I’ve also been getting some really wonderful feedback (most of which I am too overwhelmed to reply to) but it helps me feel that I’m doing something good in the world, getting something right. The blog is possibly going to be the first draft of a book, which is a very inspiring thought.
I’m going to pay my phone bill. And reply to a couple of urgent emails, even if just to say ‘I’m sick, sorry, I’ll get back to you”. And have another cold bath. And probably cry again. But there will be passionfruit and cold water. Hanging in there.