Without taking the ownership away from Ronan Keating; he really nailed it when he merrily sang to us that life is a rollercoaster, all those years ago.
Being as inconspicuous and unpredictable as the British weather; I more often than not feel that the dollar I contribute to my mum for rent each month, doesn’t quite compensate for the whirlwind emotions, I unintentionally rollercoaster around the house, that she is made to endure.
We have all at some point been able to apply the ever common saying of ‘one step forward and two steps back’, to various situations in our lives. But whoever generated the saying, at least clearly still shows a direction… that being, just backwards instead. Personally, I think it should be changed to ‘1 step forward, 10 steps back; 8 steps forward, 3 steps back; 6 steps forward and then 2 steps back’ (If you’re sad like me and cared enough to calculate, it was no accident that I intentionally used numbers that got me back to where I started; 0). On the contrary; such a mouthful of a saying is hardly the most practical way to get across your emotions, regardless to this feeling a lot more applicable.
As much as we will all strive towards moving forward; sometimes a hurdle (or ten) will just somehow find a way to barricade our path and bring us back a step or two. Even as a former steeplechase-er, where I feel relatively competent in my hurdling abilities; attempting to overcome such life barriers with a mental illness incessantly clutching to your forward drive; sometimes feels like a mountainous struggle.
Though with each step I try to take forward, away from the illness, it would be irrefutably difficult to explain, why sometimes these steps actually feel more terrifying and negative than they do positive and accomplishing. Consuming more calories from a greater variety of food; feeling more energetic and more distracted than usual; realising I haven’t optionally weighed myself for nearly 2 months; are all alien behaviours that go against everything I was forced to oppose doing or feeling over the last 15 months. So naturally, the fear of change kicks in.
15 months (or maybe longer, who knows) is a long time. A long enough time to create and sustain a valued relationship with someone or something. A long enough time that losing and letting go of this connection can feel like your world will significantly change; in what feels like for the worst and not for the better, to begin with. As a result, each and every step I take towards recovery, the nurtured relationship I’ve made with the illness, feels vulnerable, lost and tries ever harder to re-establish the same connection we had before; momentarily drawing me back in to its grasp and control. Hence making me feel like I’m constantly back and forth, as the voices of the illness battles with the voices of recovery efforts and triggering such rollercoaster emotions.
With every fragment I try to chip away from the problem, whether that be putting crackers in the shopping trolley; taking a day’s break from running; implementing spontaneity and enjoying socially interacting like I used to; the disorder feels lesser like my identity, and it is undeniably terrifying. Even though rationally, I know how much better the ride will be without the illness posing next to me in the on-ride camera; I still very much at times feel overpowered with thoughts, that I won’t in fact, be better off without it.
I hope I’m right in feeling that so far, there are more positive hours in my day than there are negative. I may still be staggering and clambering over most of the hurdles for now, but it beats approaching them and walking away defeated like I was.