My safe places has always been my bedroom, for some unknown reason. More specifically my bed. It’s out of the way, warm, and comfortable. In fact recently more often than not I am in bed; and that’s not due to laziness. I mean of course, some days, maybe. But recently, it is the only place I can continually move myself into a comfortable position. As I honestly can’t stay in one position comfortably for over twenty minutes. It is infuriating. Not just the constantly being in pain, but also feeling confined to one area, my bed.
Suffering from chronic pain as well as mental illness makes my bed the safest places on the planet, but sometimes i begin to feel trapped. My anxiety takes over and I can’t leave by bed for hours (sometimes days) when i am low functioning, I have had days where I haven’t been able to muster the energy to move, to get myself food, or a drink. In fact friends can vouch for me with this, because they have seen days where i haven’t been able to move because of paralysing fear or due to complete and utter lack of motivation, or pain, and when they come over I rely on them to help make sure i drink and eat, and some days even wash.
I used to be really ashamed of this fact, I mean…I’m 22, and I can’t make myself a cup of tea? Or some days even brush my teeth? However recently I’ve come to terms with the fact that sometimes that’s just how it is, some days I am a complete hermit unable to do things by myself. Sometimes the battle with my mental health is just too much and I can’t.
Then comes my chronic pain, imagine a day where I am mentally high functioning and I’m trying to catch up on all the regular household duties. One main one I can think of is washing up. So there I am, washing up, and within twenty minutes the pain coursing through my body has increased to 2000, im struggling to stand (in fact, often my knees buckle) I’m leaning on the kitchen side, all of my weight and trying to carry on doing this damn washing up.
Often I can’t do it, I try to push myself to complete this one task and I physically can’t finish it. Sometimes my pain is so bad I can barely make it to the toilet without feeling ridiculous amounts of pain, or having one of my knees buckle on the journey there.
This pretty much explains why my bed is my safe place, I dont put this expectations on myself to complete tasks which cause me mental torment, nor do I have to do a task which makes my whole body feel like it’s on fire, or as my sister explained to me today, like you are carrying a huge buckets of water in each hand.
I’ve been called lazy for having these difficulties, which for years I fully believed I was, and to some extent, yes i can be.
However, the majority of the time I’m not. I’m struggling, and I hate asking for help but I have to. I keep my struggle to myself so much so that people often can’t see that I am struggling. Also people have known me to be constantly on the go, always working, constantly doing things and I often believe they don’t alter their perception of me to fit my current state. People have these expectations of me, and they are so fucking high that when I’m like this it is almost impossible for me to meet them, which then obviously affects my mental health.
However, my bed hasn’t always been my one and only safe place, I have had others. Like in my childhood, any library especially the one at my school was my safe place because I used to live inside of a book, and often if I had my book with me in a different place, when my head was in that book, I was safe.
So, you are not alone if you have a specific place that feels safe, especially if it is your bed, and if you cant do that load of washing today, you are not lazy. You are allowed to struggle, you are. Too often do people associate these kinds of things with being lazy, and just because somebody thinks you are being lazy, doesnt mean its true. You just have to try your best, and if you dont succeed doing one chore, or that assignment etc in one go, come back to it and try again. Do things in parts, take breaks and look after yourself.