Frustration intensifies, normal ‘healthy wellness’ is becoming too much like a vague distant memory; I struggle to recall what it was like to be able to freely socialize. The once taken for granted now seems to define the height of luxury; to just pop around to visit a friend or go out for a drink, to go to a cinema, a theatre, a concert or an exhibition without having to weigh up whether my resources of physical and / or emotional stamina are up to the task, all that seems such a long time ago.
It’s even many years now since I felt able to attend a church service; just the fact of having more than a couple of other people in close proximity, without feeling able to freely escape (without causing a disturbance / disruption) is sufficient to bring on the cold sweats and palpitations. It’s like a strange variety of claustrophobia, the peopled environs seeming to act as a creeping tourniquet being applied to my chest and abdomen, the presence of these others, coupled with the functionally imposed duration, seems to overload my senses; at times, even just having a couple of visitors at home can cause a similar discomforting sensory overload but, at least in these circumstances I am able to retreat elsewhere in the house.
Of course these situational responses can’t really be separated from the sundry aches, pains, and muscular spasms which are the situation's all too frequent accomplices.