Psychologists like to describe my world as becoming very small over the years, to the smallness it is now, where I go out for grocery shopping at the Friday I go to the hospital to pickup my Antabuse, pausing to only see family occasionally, and less and less with Covid conditions kicking in.
I feel small, sitting in my telehealth appointment bringing up how I’m overwhelmed by small things, seemingly small things, like planning and cooking dinner, doing the dishes and clothes washing. I reminded again that “should” isn’t really helping me here. I should be able to manage these things with ease, not feel overwhelmed with the tiniest thing in my routine. Should I be able to expand my world to include going out and about, socialising, working, studying, being the outgoing girl I have been? I’d like to do more, grow my small little world. But it’s scary and I feel small, shrinking away, and useless, so much useless.
I remembered why I felt sad over the weekend, remembering not living up to people’s expectations as a person, as a speech pathologist, as a disability support worker. Not living up to the me on paper, not being able to live up to what I’d set up for myself.
Managers “suggesting” things like eating lunch in the lunch room and being more of the team when I really and truly would not be able to function for the second half of the work day if I forced myself to do lunch rather than going out for a walk on my own. I didn’t do that in the workplace I felt most comfortable in, why would I be able to do that in the one where me and my world were falling apart around me?
Back in uni, in my first speech pathology placement in second year at the local Community Health Centre, I’d scurry up the hallway in the mornings without stopping for the customary good mornings and how are yous. My anxiety just squashing any part that thought that would be of benefit to me or others. That this routine was expected that I needed to take part in it.
I just want to feel on top of my little life, and then I want to branch out. I’m going to branch out – I plan to go to the Greens meeting next week, I have enrolled in a Japanese class thanks to the generosity of Twitter fam. I’ll see my sister and the kids on Friday while I’m out for my Friday stuff, getting an OzHarvest bag I hope, if they even have any given how sparse the supermarkets have been, will there be hand-me-downs available for us?
I have a lot of bad dreams, about school and uni and work. Always never fitting in, always out of place and struggling to fit in. I have so many memories about trying to do the right thing and just not getting it right. Who knew the rules were so simple and yet I could manage to get them wrong?
I’m pleased to have my Twitter family. My smol world is much bigger with you. x