Wellness Wednesday – Avalanche

The last few weeks have been difficult. I’m struggling.

1: PTSD. In late August and early September 2014, I went through some of the worst moments of my life. I’ve worked very hard to work through the trauma of those moments, but trauma is persistent, and while I’m much improved over where I was a few years ago, I still struggle. The last few weeks have felt like I’m walking around disconnected from my body (dissociation), unable to process things as if my brain has turned into sludge. I’m having nightmares, insomnia, headaches, disordered eating, and depression so bad that it’s difficult to do basic things like shower. I’m turning down social meetups that I would normally love, and I barely leave my bedroom. Sometimes I CAN’T leave my bedroom. I know this will ease up in a week or so, but in the meantime, I’m really struggling. At least I haven’t binged or self-medicated with anything other than iced coffee…

Note: This morning I woke up NOT feeling like a zombie for the first time in about three weeks. Hopefully this means this part of my current stress is about to ease up!

2: School. Did I mention just how much I hate school? So yeah, I dropped that one class, and the only class I’m in right now is freshman comp. It’s a class I shouldn’t need to take. My biggest struggle is to simplify my thoughts, writing, and analysis down to the level it’s supposed to be for the assignments. Last Thursday, on a day when I’d been up since 4:52am, I spent most of the day crying and agonizing over whether or not to quit. I know this is something I need to do. I know it’s important. But I hate it. HATE. I’m not using the word lightly. I hate everything about university learning. I’m told grad school is better. Maybe that’s true. In the meantime, I have to force myself somehow to get through the rest of these 17 undergrad classes. Or decide on a different path for the next phase of my life. In any case, despite only having one class – and a blow-off one at that, or maybe because of just how blow-off it is – my stress levels on a daily basis are already twice my normal baseline. There’s a constant refrain in the back of my head yelling, “I don’t want to do this!” It’s making every other decision, from what to eat to whether or not I go to sleep on time, feel pointless.

(Have I mentioned that I’ve spent the last 20 years with recurring nightmares about returning to school? They involve signing up for school, getting into classes, despairing over how much I don’t want to take the classes, and then just not going for the rest of the semester, and quitting again like I did the first time. Very few people understand this. All they see is a person who never struggled with school, who got good grades and never had to study, who had no nervousness about taking tests or writing papers, who excelled in all those things, and who loves learning. It makes no sense that I despise school as much as I do. If I could work with a professor one on one in a self-directed learning plan, I’d be the happiest girl in the world. But even the first time I did the whole college thing, I got so tired of taking high school level classes all over again, until I eventually just stopped going to classes whenever attendance wasn’t required. I felt no heartbreak at all when I had to leave to take care of my oldest son.)

3: House. It’s probably not the best time to have the house in complete chaos, not with everything else going on. But chaos it is! On the 28th, the toilet in the master bathroom began to leak sewer gas late in the evening. For the 28th and 29th, we had the bathroom torn apart. It was just one of many things that were needed. To be honest, we got tired of fixing emergencies, and decided to take out a loan to fix all the things that were either about to become emergencies, or that were potentially causing house hazards.

  • Our dishwasher, which had never worked well, stopped cleaning altogether in late August. We ordered a new one, picked it up on the 3rd, and installed on the 3rd/4th.
  • The person who has serviced our a/c faithfully for the last year came out to give us a quote on replacing the entire external and internal a/c units. Both originally came with the house in ’97, and both – especially the outside unit – are on their last legs. The outside unit shudders every time it turns on and off, and it’s leaking water where it didn’t used to. On the bright side, I was expecting our estimate to be around $12k, but our guy says $4500. Work hasn’t begun yet – we want to finish the current work-in-progress – but will start soon.
  • Our house is fully carpeted except bathrooms, kitchen, and dining room. I’m one of the last people alive who actually prefers carpet to hard floors. However, the carpet in this house is AWFUL. Previous occupant was as smoker (enough said), and the cats have been getting sick constantly since we moved in. So over the long weekend, we ripped out the carpets in the hallway and the bedrooms (except mine), and put new flooring down. Tomorrow, new carpet will be put into the master bedroom and living room (assuming it arrives on time, which is now in question re: covid delays). In the meantime, there have been mazes of furniture in rooms where they don’t belong, and concrete subfloors to walk on, construction dust everywhere, and now a garage filled to the brim with old carpet and carpet pad. I’ve also had to pack up every loose item in my room and the living room so that the carpet peeps can do their work.
  • Notably, our deck area is also under construction, though since this is outside, it hasn’t really affected our household much. At some point, it’ll involve us building the new deck (after the company we hired finishes building the posts and supports), and replacing pieces of the wall around the back door (which have been missing/patched since January).

So yeah. Construction chaos on top of financial strain on top of school angst on top of deep-seated PTSD triggers. It is not fun times.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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7 Responses to Wellness Wednesday – Avalanche

  1. Melissa F. says:

    That is a lot all at once, Amanda. I’m sorry you’re struggling. I hope things ease up soon.


    • Amanda says:

      Thank you. I’m happy that at least we have professionals doing most of the construction, so each phase should be done relatively quickly and easily – if we were doing it ourselves, which we’ve done in the past, it takes a lot longer and is much harder in the meantime!


  2. I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time. Sometimes, everything seems to happen at once. I hope things look up soon.


  3. Karen K. says:

    Wow, it sounds like you’re really going through it, I’m so sorry to hear this. Hopefully the construction bit will be over soon and it’ll be so worth it, the carpet sounds horrible. (And having lived with both carpet and hardwood, I definitely see the merits of carpet).

    Is there someplace you can go to take a break, maybe a hotel room for a night? Or even a B&B for a day? Just someplace where you can go and decompress. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you decide to drop the class if you hate it. It’s a really tough time right now, you don’t need to torture yourself. You have a LOT to deal with right now. Your mental health is really important.


    • Amanda says:

      The new carpet went in yesterday and it’s SOOOOO lovely. I think this is the first time I’ve ever had brand new carpet in my life. And I really hope it helps the cats so they stop being sick all the time!

      In the end, I decided to withdraw from the university. I’ll talk about this more in an upcoming post, but clearly my path is not meant to be through an academic route. It’s time to accept that instead of attempting to force myself to go back every few years. It’s not worth the hit to my mental health every time, especially this year – because despite everything, this is the first year I’ve been truly happy since 2014!!


  4. Pingback: Sunday Coffee – Nightmares | The Zen Leaf

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