Identity

 The past few days I feel like I have had a nuclear bomb dropped onto my world and wiped out everything that I have known before this point. I know it hasn’t wiped out everything and there is still a lot there but I am not at the stage to start looking for what is left or to change from knowing to feeling. Feels like a lot of my identity has gone and now I am lost about what to do.

 As I said in my previous blog I was down in Kintyre ,to visit my mother – in – law, for the weekend which is a very emotive place for me and this weekend was no different. Head space went up and down like a yo you, and that in its self is exhausting. Yes it is great to have the ups but you always know it isn’t going to last and when it goes it really goes. The ups also only last for a comparatively small amount of time.

 Got out on the water, went for a few walks and out for bikes rides which were all great to do and loved doing them but did find that unlike most times I couldn’t completely get out of my head. Most of the time when I am going to do something in the outdoors I get a bit of escape either through enjoyment of being there or actually just not thinking about anything. This time it felt like that volume was being turned down but not completely and it was very much an active process to keep the volume turned down so as soon as I relaxed that then bang! Also found that the return journey back to the car from whatever we were doing made the volume start to go up no matter how hard I tried to stop it.

 I am a great one for having particular songs that I listen to again and again and again and again. Sometimes it is a good thing and other times it very much isn’t. I think a lot of it is about getting out of my head, actually feeling something and even just letting myself know how I feel. I am not very good at finding the words to explain how I feel or using other methods such as describing what colour I am or anything like that but I am good at finding music that has the words in it that can really describe how I feeling. My particular song at the moment was going round and round in my head all weekend, most of the time it comes and goes but this time it was always there. The only time it wasn’t there was when I was physically listening to it.

 On the Saturday after passing a police car going the other way on a call out, I had probably the worst flashbacks that I have had since the car accident in January. The fact it was a police car but also it’s lights completely set me off. Really struggled for a good 10 to 15mins. Very hypersensitive to noise and just wanting it all to stop and go away. Once this went away and I settled back down again I was actually in a better head space that I had been before the police car. Before that I had been struggling to talk about anything for probably a few days, just the effort and energy into talking never mind talking about how I was feeling. After though was talking a lot more and feeling in a much better place however on the drive home we then came to the traffic queue due to the accident. A car flashing it’s lights at us to warn us of the queue just started to set me off and then the police accident road sign and the queuing cars was it. Was finding it very difficult to be in the queue with the car off and on the road for even just a few minutes, thankfully we could turn round and go back to the beach to wait the hour or so it was going to be for the road to be open again. As you can imagine wasn’t in a particularly good way when arriving at the beach as I settled back down again I got better but didn’t return to a good headspace. After about an hour we then had to drive past the car accident, one trigger for flashbacks could cope with, two was pushing it but having three really was too much. It gets to a point where it is just complete overload and my only way of coping is to shut down either that particular bit in my head or completely. I know however that at some point it is going to open again and hit me. Tends to be later in the evening, a bit before bed where I am feeling tired and just that little bit more vulnerable.

 I ended up self harming on Saturday evening which was the first time since January. Had wanted to on Friday but managed not to however got to the point that I couldn’t stop myself. I am now able to tell my wife and my mother – in – law about it pretty much straight away however it is extremely hard even though I know I must to show that side of me. I also self harmed on the Sunday afternoon as well as the intensity of everything just built and built.

Just to prove this is still a blog around photography this is a photo that I took on Saturday at Westport beach. Stereotypical photo of surfer :

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 Sunday morning we went for a good bike ride even with the box inside my head with the music I was able to enjoy it. The return journey was worse but we talked all the way down hill and my mother – in – law came up with a new form of therapy “cycle therapy” which I did actually enjoy and found helped. However in the afternoon we went for a walk on the beach and that return journey to the car and then back to the house my mood/ head space took a real turn downwards to rock bottom. Volume full up and no where to go except being inside my head and that being the last place that I wanted to be.  Was feeling very impulsive.

 The last few months since January has been trying to figure out how to work and get better, as you can tell that hasn’t been going exactly that well. Main reason being is that I am self employed so if don’t work essentially don’t earn. But going into work hasn’t been helping me along with trying to figure out whether I want to be a dentist anymore plus a million and one other things in my head. I have been signed off for the past couple of weeks but was meant to be going back to reduced work hours this week. I think that is why the return journeys have been getting worse because the final one was going to be coming back to Glasgow to go to work. People have been saying that there might come a point where actually it goes past the point where there is choice if I can go back to work or not and I just can’t. I reached that point on Sunday afternoon, when feeling like that I could recognise that if I didn’t make the decision to stop work then I was going to end up doing myself serious harm whether on purpose or by accident and potentially that being the last thing that I did. So that was a life changing moment. I know that it was a decision made by me to say nope I can’t do work at the moment however because it come to that point it really doesn’t feel like it was a choice it just is what it is.

 Since then I have felt like my world has come crashing down. Everything up until this point for the past few months has been about trying to work but also I have been working as a dentist for almost 8 years plus 5 years at uni never mind school years. Yes you aren’t just identified by what job you do but it is still a massive part of who you are. What it is what you do but also just the working. That is gone now. I know that it doesn’t mean it has gone forever and blah blah blah blah blah. I do know all of this but as I said it is very different to actually feel that and I very much don’t feel it.

 What do I do now? I now have all the time in the world but what do I do with that time and what is the point? Am I just doing stuff to use up the time rather than any other reason? Where do I find my purpose? Where do I find the answer to any questions, is there any answers? Motivation, achievement, purpose, reason , routine where has it all gone? I don’t even know if lost is the right word it just all feels so massive that I can’t process any of it. Yes I know I need to give it time but what do I do with that time. There is no weekday and weekends now there is just days. Time time time time time.

 Finishing with a photo of my dog again to show this blog is about photos but also because she is a major reason why I am still here. There is no way to say goodbye to an animal, there is no understanding to them of why you wouldn’t be there.

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NEXT BLOG: 28th April

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