For the past four years I’ve been a steward at the Health and Community Fair at Pride Scotia. For the past three years I’ve also manned the Scotsgay stall where I’ve sold my (mostly rainbow) chainmail jewellery to help raise money for the event. All my profit goes to charity. Pride is on Saturday and unfortunately it looks like I’m going to have to pull out of this one. The problem is I don’t want to. I feel like a failure, a shirker, a faker. I don’t think my health problems warrant pulling out. I’m just getting over a cold which floored me and set off my asthma. That alone should be enough of a reason as colds don’t normally trigger my asthma. It usually takes flu to do that. But it’s not enough. I feel like I’d be exaggerating my condition if I said I couldn’t do Pride. I probably could do it but it would leave me in a seriously messed up state. Right now I’m struggling to climb two flights of stairs. The Health and Community Fair involves lugging chairs and tables up a flight of stairs. And don’t get me started on the fatigue and pain.
This year the Fair is being run by someone new. Someone I don’t know. The previous four years it was run by a good friend which made the whole thing easier. This year is scarier.
Then there’s my Evil Brain Pixies. They’re being extra evil at the moment. Horrible hypnagogic hallucinations (awesome alliteration!) and really racist paranoid thoughts. I mean Daily Mail levels of racism which as I’m a PoC is freaking me out! This isn’t me at all! I know almost immediately that the thoughts are bollocks and just paranoia but the emotions they trigger stay as they do.
I still have insight but I’m worried things are going to get worse. Even if they don’t, I don’t know how much longer I can cope like this. I think I’m doing a fairly good job of faking normality. I delivered 1/3 of a two day training course last week, made it to the cinema, and interacted with people.
I was supposed to see my psychiatrist in Feb/Mar but he never sent out an appointment. I finally plucked up the courage to contact Inchkeith House. He’d forgotten about me. I was told he’d phone to arrange an appointment as I said sending letters was problematic due to Royal Mail’s crapness in my area. That was over a week ago and still nothing. My problem is that I appear to be or get labelled as “high functioning” which is a load of bollocks. I’m not really functioning at all. I appear to manage because I can do some complicated things but I can’t manage the simple basic stuff. I’m too embarrassed to go into those details. My boyfriend and his flatmate are just about keeping me afloat but it’s getting worse and they can’t help forever.
My anxiety is so bad that if I resolve a problem it takes my emotions the best part of two months to catch up and stop freaking out about the solved problem several times a day.
Despite all of the above I still feel I should bloody well make the effect to do Pride. I’ll be letting myself and other people down if I don’t and they’ll think less of me or think I’m faking or being melodramatic. And I’ve no idea how to word the email to the organisers. I just want to run and hide but I appear to have written an essay instead. Now why couldn’t I have just written that bloody email?
Update: Email written and sent and the Pride organiser is being very understanding. Phew. So why do I still feel so bad about it?