I am a girly swot for rehabilitation, I just want to get the treatment done and get a gold star for it too.

Heather’s #MadCovidDiaries – 28th of September 2020

Content warning: Body image

I have begun Physiotherapy and Psychotherapy! Simultaneously!

I have hit the top of the waiting list jackpot for both. I tried to moderate my keenness to get started on the telephone assessments. I am a girly swot for rehabilitation, I just want to get the treatment done and get a gold star for it too.

Autumn is a tricky time for me. My mood begins to drop as the dark evenings close in. This summer I bought a SAD lamp and each afternoon I bathe in its brilliant white glow. Winter brings trauma anniversaries and Christmas. I’ve begun to plan, making a little nesting nook complete with blankets and worry pebbles and aromatherapy roller balls. A journal and pen awaits me for the moment that I feel I am losing it. Ideally, I’d sit here during my telephone psychotherapy appointments but I have no phone signal in this corner.

The physiotherapy is harder to do at home. I have an app to follow. The app features athletic white dude who confidently brandishes dumbells to show the correct exercises. Lowering my Risperidone bloated belly, upon my torn ligaments and my gravelly knees hurts. The shock of pain sends me into a panic attack. The panic is quick, quick as a slap in the face, before I can remember to ground myself my body wobbles like a bicycle and I fall in a breathless heap. I hate being in this stupid body.

Up I get. I wonder why the app demo video doesn’t show a fat bird with a gammy leg wearing pyjamas and a weary expression. Try again. This is what building up strength is. I imagine Jon Kabat Zinn is next to me, smoothing my panic like you smooth a pillow. Where is Jon, why isn’t he here to coach me with his magical MBSR Zen skills in his soft voice? 

It will be scary to connect to how much pain I am in first, in psychotherapy. I know this. I hurtle into my own injured traumatised body. It’s like the first time you switch a SAD lamp on and blind yourself, it takes a minute to get the angle right, to relax while the serotonin begins to sizzle in the background. It will be months before I feel at all safe with the kindly psychotherapist, before we can establish if EMDR over Zoom could be a thing I do.

It’s just one baby step at a time, one shuddery, knackered baby step at a time.

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