Liminal Luminous

a wandering, wondering space of devotion, creativity and freedom.
Disability/Chronic Illness/Mental health Living well Simplicity

The cost of freedom

I am beginning to realise the cost of going back to paid employment in central London, the loss of my freedom. Yes, I have financial security, but oh, I have lost the freedom to live my life as I need to and indeed want to. 

The last couple of days haven’t been great. I have had a meltdown each day. Once because after church I decided it would be a great idea to quickly pop into Morrisions to get some food for the next couple of days. I’m right there after all. But I have changed church recently and I’m still bedding into the new place, it is bigger, louder and more people. Popping into Morrisions was a bad idea. I rarely go into supermarkets now as I find them so overwhelming, and this place is especially horrible. We don’t live in a great place and I have witnessed, more than once parents effing and blinding at their kids, telling them they are stupid etc, dragging them around and hitting them. I know it is rather shallow of me, but I can’t handle that, it is triggering and stressful. 

Yesterday was my Monday, my favourite day as I don’t work and I am at home by myself, but we need to have a Smart Meter fitted (against my wishes) and the British Gas man was coming. Just knowing that means I am on edge the whole time, but when you take into account the chaos of the cupboard under the stairs being emptied I am in a heightened state of stress. You know what is coming don’t you… despite not playing music, and having a dog which goes ballistic if anyone so much as breathes on the front gate, we managed to miss them. I really don’t know how, but when I checked for the post and saw the ‘we missed you’ card, I lost it totally, and then I had to deal with the rage inducing automated phone line. 

Not good. 

So today, as is somewhat inevitable, I have woken up at 4am… I tried to get back to sleep and gave up at 4.30. I got up, did some very gentle yoga, prayer and lay on the floor with Buster for a while before getting up and getting on with my morning. 

When I was self employed, this was fine, I would start work early, and then finish at lunch time, allowing myself a nap in the afternoon and a gentle walk in the woods with Buster. That’s not possible now. It is 6.30am, and in a couple of hours I have to get on a train for 45 mins, 30 mins walk across the city, work from 10-6pm and then do it all in reverse again to get back home. A large part of work is answering the phone and helping clients. I hate the phone. I will be running on adrenaline all day long, which will make it harder to get to sleep this evening again, the whole cycle will start back up. 

My self employment, working in the arts sector in this current economic climate, had become untenable, but although I like the fact I get a regular salary and I am not responsible for finding my own work, I am worried the cost is too high. 

2 Comment

  1. Hmm. Stay calm!
    In your description I can see several things with sensory input, of which some are new and some can be eliminated or calmed.
    Church: if you are having a difficult week and the church is bigger and louder than before, maybe stay at home on Sunday for a week or two? Or sometimes go to your old, familiar, quieter church when you feel like it? Church doesn’t have to be every week.
    Shopping: if you find supermarkets stressful, online shopping could ease the situation.
    Meter man: my sympathy! But it is a one-off and will pass. In our house, all the women find tradespeople coming very stressful, so Tony deals with them. Might your partner be willing to take a day’s leave from work to stay in and deal with this man? If he lived alone he’d have to, wouldn’t he?
    It seems to me that your job is a positive thing for the time being, for all the reasons you detailed before, and because having no money is a really big stress. So that is probably the thing to hold on to. Maybe look at the other areas to see how you can radically simplify, thinning out commitments etc?
    Do you see a counsellor? That could also help. I don’t know why it does, but it can ease things a lot.
    Thinking of you. xxx

    1. thank you Pen! I am ok, just having a difficult time of late!

      But yes, church – I am rather black and white about it, I like routine, so maybe I need to be a little more flexible.

      Shopping – I normally do do all our shopping online, for some reason I thought it would be more efficient to ‘pop’ in after church. Not allowing for the emotional toll of either of these things.

      I’m not quitting work, just acknowledging how much harder it is than I thought it would be. I have had multiple therapists in the past, but right now I’m not seeing anyone as we just cannot afford it…. but I’m also not seeing my friends as much due to working, so maybe I need to find more ways of connecting with my friends during this time

      thank you for commenting and thinking of me

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