Thursday, June 30, 2016

More notes on Badger-state.

Winter is in full swing here in Australia, although if you were to be able to look out my window today, you might doubt that. The air is cold, for sure, but the sun is shining and the skies are pretty darn blue.
Either way, I have been hibernating a fair amount the last couple of days. I have been sleeping a lot more than usual (often going back to bed after Xin leaves for work, usually sleeping til lunchtime), and I have been craving comforts like there's no tomorrow (evidenced by the chocolate in the fridge, the marshmallows in the cupboard, and the english muffin I am thinking about toasting in a minute...).

I have been wondering for weeks what is up with me, trying to fight through the desire to keep sleeping, trying to remind myself of all the fun things that I have to do, and also remind myself of my return to studying Buddhist texts (seems short-lived now...). But I seem to just keep on going to bed, reading when I can, and generally trying to stop myself from buying things that we can't afford.

Over and over I have asked myself 'why? why is this happening? am I just getting lazy?', and then inevitably the 'shoulds' will kick in, to make me feel kind of bad, leading to long discussions with Xin about how we decided I should take some time to just be me for a while, without Centrelink and other stuff breathing down my neck.

And then I remembered today, and I started laughing.

See, the thing is, sometimes I forget that I have chronic illnesses. It's not like I ever completely forget that they're there, because I have pain every day and oftentimes have to deal with random symptoms popping up whenever they feel like it. It's more that I forget that having a chronic illness (or several) kind of means certain things - such as, when I have pushed myself hard for a good six months or so, slowly wearing down at my own resilience and depleting my energy levels significantly, I can end up pretty exhausted and lethargic. During these times, sometimes I have trouble getting out of bed. Sometimes I have more symptoms than usual which have one main treatment - rest. And sometimes, doing things that I usually find super fun, are actually more depleting than usual.

I had started to think that maybe my depression was coming back to say hello before I remembered the second half of 2012, where I had trouble even going to the bathroom unassisted, after spending the first half of 2012 studying part-time and working part-time (which had complications) and driving myself to the point of complete exhaustion. I haven't pushed myself that hard this time round, but having just finished a second degree at the end of last year, and then planning a wedding and a honeymoon, and then doing said wedding and honeymoon, I was a little worn out.

Recovery is a strange thing to me. Sometimes you feel like you've entered a state of limbo where you can't seem to move forward at all, and you wonder if you are in fact recovering at all. I am learning, always learning, to trust that maybe that state is just a place your body and mind puts you in, to try and heal you. Like how in science fiction movies (or, you know, Dragonball Z) where people are placed in a tank where they have to stay pretty still so they can heal everything - sometimes stasis = healing.

So I am investigating my badger nature, and my badger-state of hibernation/stasis, and I am trying to be patient. I may try and write more notes soon. For now, have a picture of a badger performing my favourite past-time of late...



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