Absent from the world. Locked away. Surviving. A promise I will keep. A guarantee because I now know people care. I know it is important to others that I am here. I still do not understand why. That’s a block I can’t see past.
I get up; I shower, I make myself move. I know it is essential.
Social anxiety increased to the level that I dread even friends coming over. I stressed for a week. Once they were here, all was fine. I know I look like shit. I know I am not really coherent and I am indeed not good company. I cooked. Lentils, leaks, onions, mushrooms, sweet potato and spices. Sloppy food, but tasty and healthy and cheap. I’m living simply now.
Doc is concerned about my difficulty going out, going beyond our appointments. My increasing problem with dealing with the outside world and the creeping development of agoraphobia.
A word on a medical certificate that hit me; scared me. I word that cannot happen. I know how bad mum got. I can’t … this must be stopped.
So I walk now. Just a little, every day I walk the dog. People smile and wave and I smile tightly in return hoping it’s not a grimace and offer a short random phrase; my eyes hidden behind dark glasses, so they don’t see the fear and confusion this contact invokes.
My ex comes up sometimes and takes me out for short periods. But only for short periods and only to quiet locations. He’ll buy me lunch. I’ll eat, but I have little to say. I sit and scan, scan my surroundings, watching people as they come and go. I feel cold and damp and sweaty and unsure and count the moments before I can go home. To a home that is not home. An exposed prison, but it has doors, and blinds and gates.
A home that once was work but is no more for I am past the stage where I am able to do this. For work is human contact. Strangers, talking, wanting, moving, making sounds. Too much. The gates are locked now, the business closed.
I will be moving soon. A new home found in a quiet location with security shutters on the windows and doors. I am counting the days. This place not sold yet, it may take months so I will camp at the new location and come here daily to garden. The garden soothes me. I tell myself every day that I can do this.
But not working is no income. I am waiting, waiting for assessment as my mental capacity decreases. I cannot be treated until they know what is going on. And the fear of this, the terror of seeing a psychiatrist makes it worse.
Self-employed, closing business, sick – complex issues for Centrelink. Initial claim rejected but told they wouldn’t hook me up with a job provider as I am not well enough. So nothing happens while I wait for further assessment. Living in limbo, unsure of my future, knowing I must work but not knowing how.
I’m here just holding on. Existing in the world, yet absent.