Fuck This Shit

It’s 8am, my head hurts and I’m a level of exhausted reserved for those both pregnant and sick at the same time. 

Outside the sun is shining, the air looks relatively warm, and I should want to garden or something. Instead I would like to go back to bed, because I had to get up at 6am to let the dog out of the garage to go to the toilet.

There was a 16 year old standing in the kitchen listening to him bark and whine to be let out, but apparently it’s too fucking hard for a kid of that age to walk across the room, let the cat into my room, and then let the dog out. So I got up and dealt with it. 

So I’m sick. I’m exhausted. And I’ve been up for 2 hours.

Let’s call this ‘training for motherhood’ rather than ‘seeing how far I can be pushed before I lose my shit entirely’. 

This is what it feels like…

You want to know what chronic illness feels like?

Chronic illness feels like having a great job, but never having the energy for it. It’s being fucked whether you bullshit that you’re ok and push through till you’re a complete wreck and collapse, or are openly honest that you have serious limitations due to your health. Either way you’ll never feel secure in your position and you’ll always take too much sick leave.

It is finding the perfect door into your dream career and knowing there’s no point applying for it because you’re on your fifth or sixth lot of antibiotics for the year and it’s only early April, which means winter is going to be hell and there’s no way you’ll cope with full time work. You’re not sure you’ll manage to cope with your part time job as it is. Maybe because you’re barely coping with it at all right now.

Chronic illness is having to convince yet another fucking doctor that you’re not a hypochondriac. It’s having to push and fight every fucking inch of the way to get the care you need, to convince them to stop treating your individual health issues as individual problems and let you speak to specialists about the potential of them being symptoms of a larger issue.

It’s being perpetual tired and sore. Always. Literally always. Aching muscles, aching joints, and fatigue greet you when you wake up and go to bed with you no matter what you do. Your idea of a pain free day would make a normal person hole up in bed with pain killers and a heat pack. You don’t get that option because shit needs to get done. Kids need to fed. Jobs attended….

And your house will never be clean because you can work or keep house, not both.

Chronic illness is being up for doing things you’re really not up for doing, because otherwise you’d go slowly and silently insane from never stepping foot out your front door. It’s having to walk shorter and easier hiking trails than you want. It’s working your ass off to be stronger whilst knowing that no matter how much work you put in you’ll never make the grade to do the things you want. It’s learning to choose slower, gentler options for leisure in the name of actually being functional for the entire day.

It’s trying to explain to other people that going camping sick is ok, you just have to take it a bit easier, because if you only went camping when you were well you’d never fucking go. It’s cancelling on your friend with the bad immune system, or the one that works with children/the elderly/the sick or the one with young children over and over again because you catch everything that goes round and they can’t afford to be sick.

Chronic illness is feeling like a fucking burden. It’s the house never being cleaned when your partner gets home. It’s asking them to cook for you after they’ve been at work all day because you’re sick again and too tired. It’s never contributing as much, doing as much or giving as much as they do. It’s the little frictions you cause because you are not as capable as you need to be. It’s the frustration of alternately being babied and asked too much of, because that middle ground is hard to find.

It’s trying not to get frustrated with well meaning suggestions and ideas that you’ve tried before. It’s trying to explain that ‘no, exercise isn’t the answer for an already exhausted body’ and that driving 4 hours to sit and crochet by a camp fire is actually worth it. It’s trying to get across the sheer complexity of existing like this to someone who never has without getting angry or treating them like their an idiot, and feeling like it always sounds like excuses.

It’s watching them close off when you try to plan for the future, because ‘what if it never gets better?’

It’s feeling like you’re holding the people you love most back in every possible way.

 

Chronic illness is the frustration of trying to explain the above and more on repeat to every person in your life, especially your loved ones. Day in and day out. It’s exhausting.

These are the pills I take of a morning at the moment, just to try and keep functional and get my immune system coping a little better with everything that’s hitting it. 7 of them are regular daily ones, the 8th is an antibiotic I’m on at the moment for round whatever-I’m-up-to of chest infections this year.

I’m angry, frustrated and tired, and done. I feel like I’m about to lose my job. I feel perpetually like a burden, no matter what I do or how much of it. I feel like I will never be able to properly financially contribute to my household, that I let my husband down and that I’m frequently a bad parent to our kids.

I want to scream and force people to live inside my body for a day, just one 24 hour period, when they tell me I’m fine, or doing too much, or not doing enough, or that it’ll get better. This is what I live with, the good days are most people’s bad days and I lie a lot about how I’m doing so people will treat me like I’m somewhat normal.

 

Today I am squiring around in the chair as a write. Standing hurts, sitting hurts, moving hurts, lying down hurts. So does typing, crochet, and lifting my tea cup, but my hands have been like that for weeks now, and we keep on going…

Misadventures in the Kitchen: Custard Buns

Today was the epitome of frustrating baking.

I was trying out a recipe for gluten free danish custard buns by Gluten Free on a Shoestring. I LOVE custard buns. I wanted nutella filled baked goods as well so, why the fuck not?

Ok ok, before I start ranting about misadventures in Charlie’s kitchen I just want to take 20 seconds out to thank Nicole of Gluten Free on a Shoestring for even providing this damned recipe. It may have frustrated the hell out of me, but the results were edible and I can (and will) try it again with some changes. 

Ok, firstly don’t even look at this recipe unless you have time to kill. Lots of it. This is a long, multistep, chill and work, chill and work, recipe. Hours of your fucking time. So yeah, that’s one thing. Sick girls who just want to sleep should not be trying this shit.

Second thing, Nicole uses a particular gluten free flour that she likes… which bears exactly zero resemblance to my homemade gf flour mix because gluten free flour is a bitch like that. Following the recipe as it was gave me a very soft, wet, dough. I persevered, having no idea what I was doing anyway so what the fuck lets just keep working with it and see what happens…

Round 1: Nutella!

Several frustrating, irritating, hours later I tossed the knife and rolling pin in the sink. I bundled the dough up into two balls – one for custard and the other for nutella – threw the former into the fridge wrapped in cling film and the later broke up into even-ish chunks and smoothed them into rounds with my fingers. A table spoon of nutella, wrap these soft hunks of dough up into balls and threw them on a pan. I didn’t wait for them to rise after they didn’t budge in the first half our and damned near burnt them cooking them…

That said. They were pretty damned good nutella pastries, if a bit flat and doughy.

Next round will involve changing up the dough big time. I’m debating between my bread base with almond flour and a small amount of polenta (I can’t find proper maize here) and my general GF mix with almond flour to get a more resiliant dough. Milk will be added slowly to manage the dough’s texture in much the same way as I’d make bread dough.

I’m gonna do the custard ones tomorrow. Hopefully a night in the fridge will help the dough out a bit.

Maybe.

Round 2: Actual real life custard buns

[UPDATE: The second half of the dough lived in the fridge for 2 days and I finally got around to using it today with the custard filling. Again no rise, but they look better. They’re wayyyyy too hot right now to eat so I’ll report back.

UPDATE 2: OMNOMNOM!!! These turned out much better. I had added more flour to the dough to dry it up a bit and it worked much better.]

Gahhhh

I got really sick this last weekend.

Weeks of early starts, late finishes, bad eating and bad sleep caught up with me…

At Confest. Was not happy to have had to leave early, but it was a very effective boot up the ass. Mega effective. The upset to me and the upset to the Wild one – who was meant to b fire twirling that nights – was far worse than the drive back on Sunday or how sick I felt.

It’s highlighted a lot of frustration that I have though. Do you know how hard it is to get food that I can eat when I’m out in the sticks? And restaurants that cater to my dietary requirements are either super expensive or… average. I feel bad even saying that, but it’s true. If the menu consists of stuff I can make at home and better then it’s average. I don’t want to pay for that.

But paying for not average poison… well my hands are weak as shit and in pain days later. My joints are aching and I feel like crap, still. Just better than on the weekend.

Anyway, off to cook. Bitch over.

A little sting

I was meant to go to a party today. A welcome back for a good friend who has been over seas for sometime.

My rapist was also invited.

My friend asked me if I wanted an invite in advance. They were perfectly polite and considerate about it. I put serious thought into saying no. I don’t want to be anywhere near him for good reason, but it’s been a few years and there’s been a lot of therapy…

And the friend had been away for so long. I missed them and wanted to be there to say hi again. So I accepted with the caveat that I may pull out last minute.

I made it to this morning. A few hours before the party was due to start (not long after I woke up) my stress levels had hit the point where my hands were shaking and I was on the verge of a panic attack. I let my friend know, I am a polite guest after all, and went back to bed for cuddles from my Wolf. Stress eased off pretty quick and all.

Which isn’t the point of this.

The point of this is that I hate it. I hate so much that he has any power over me still. I’m not stupid enough to force myself into the position of being in a room with him when I’m already at that stage hours in advance. I know it may take time before I can deal calmly with it… If I ever get to that point at all. But I hate it.

All he ever wanted was to have power over me, and he’s succeeded. Maybe not in the way he intended but he did succeed. That just makes my gut churn.

 

Here's to The Wild One

I am made of flail, not stupid.

I flail about many things. Some of them are very silly things and some of them are things that terrify me. One of the ones that terrified me was seeking help.

I am made of flail however, not of stupid, so I have gotten help.

I couldn’t have done it without The Wild Ones support, and I know that their support is what keeps me putting one foot in front of the other every day at the moment.

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So here’s to my Wild One, for standing by me while shit is tough and reminding me day in and day out that I am loved and worth more than this.

 

1am is not my friend

I wake up at 1am. Head aching for no apparent reason and not enough sleep.

I am alone. Nothing new, nothing unusual.

My brain fixates on him. Last night I removed him from intant message programs, facebook, google, twitter… all the places he can reach me online. He still has access to phone and email, but calls and emails can be ignored.

It fixates on confrontation. Public places can be safe, but here, in my home, is another matter.

I get distressed wondering if I can ask the housemates to not let him in when I’m around. I know it’s stupid. The Peacock will do as he’s told. He’s about to move out and has no reason to be anything but behaved. Arrow will understand, she’s brilliant and I have no reason to question that…

And my brain just keeps at it, over and over, throwing the scenario of being home alone into the mix just to fuck me up a little more.

And I’m alone.

There’s no one to tell me I’m ok. There’s no one to roll over to and hold. There’s just me in a big bed crying quietly.

I’m alone and can’t remember the last time I hated my life this much.

I want…

Click for Creature13’s tumblr page…

 

I want to write about kisses and flesh.

I want to write about love and heart break.

I want to write about sorrow and grief.

I want to write about pain, mostly. About the times when it’s too much.

I want to write about blades and blood, and crying alone.

I think what I really want is to write about is strength.

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