Paradigm Shift

Although a predisposed-to-introspection only child, I’m not particularly self-analytical. I’m not given to taking my own psyche apart, and I don’t tend to go rummaging down the back of my mental sofa to see what I find. My cognitive outlook defaults to a baseline of Cheerful with frequent daily spikes of Impatient, Put-Upon and Grumpy, and, beyond that, I don’t give myself too much brain-time.

Perhaps I should. Perhaps if I made an effort to be more attuned to my subconscious, I wouldn’t be so pitifully startled when I do eventually recognise in myself the signs of acute stress.

I really should cotton on to stress a bit sooner. I’m not without knowledge of how  it feels. I have experienced uterus didelphys, failure to conceive, IUI, miscarriage, IVF, recurrent miscarriage, a high-risk pregnancy, premature birth, a NICU, a SCBU, a transposed heart, and a child with special needs, in roughly that order. Which is a fair-sized list, even focussing solely on the issues of my body and my child; I’ve ricocheted off about as many more generalised personal disasters as the next chap/ess.

Stress, for me, characterises a period of adjustment between the old normal/new normal in a process resembling mental plate tectonics. The prevailing paradigm of my longstanding hopes and expectations is insidiously drawn into an increasingly pressurised relationship with what actually is. Eventually the forces of compression are unsustainable, and the duality of my mind becomes first paradoxical, then untenable. An emotional threshold is exceeded and there is cataclysmic, shaking upheaval. My vicarious ambitions are subducted beneath the dominant sheer mass of the new status quo.

The current tectonic event has been precipitated by nothing more significant than my inability to realistically further sustain some aspirations I had for my child.

I currently need a list to propel me through the day without profound scheduling disaster. I have forgotten important stuff. I have failed to reduce a to-do list of truly titanic proportions. The gentle background hum of my mental radio has become a screaming dissonant cacophony and, more literally, my tinnitus is roaring away at many times the volume of its usual muted hiss. I am crying every day. I have a fuse of precisely no length whatsoever. My parenting is hovering somewhere between inconsistent and diabolical. My digestive tract is a fireball from top to, and I use the word advisedly, bottom. My driving, usually fairly skilled, is impulsive and sloppy. I am profoundly tired after 8 hours sleep. I suspect I have a vaguely hunted look.

Theoretically, my mind should contain fewer pressures after this episode of enforced synthesis.

But the thing with convergent faults is that they don’t stop damn well moving.

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