Me and my fridge have had a tumultuous relationship. I rent and the owner of the flat has decided in their wisdom to place the washer immediately next to it. I complained about it the day I moved in, as using the washing machine causes the fridge to shake. As fridges are not meant to be shaken, of course the bitch broke.
If you’re not in the UK at the moment, we’re amidst of a massive heatwave. I’ve mentioned in the past that I hate hot weather with every fibre of my being, so the past weeks are nothing short of hell.
The new fridge agrees, and has periodically decided to lose its will to live by turning itself on and off at regular intervals so everything inside it got ruined. It’s because electricity usage is maxed out in the apartment block with everyone running 48950358093897472 fans in their flats 24/7. As the heatwave is expected to continue for another two weeks at least, it’s likely I won’t be able to do another proper food shop in a very long time.
When I got the new fridge, I was fresh out of hospital and a bit bewildered about being back in the world. I would just blurt things like ‘I tried to kill myself’ or ‘my meds are making me sweat so much I have to flip my duvet over three times a night’ because those were fair game topics at the ward.
My mum had been staying for a couple of weeks to help me to get readjusted. The new fridge arrived when she had already left and I considered this a good challenge to show off my independence. I just unpack the fridge, move it into its place under the counter and pluck it in. Sorted.
Well, the first thing did happen. I got it out of the packing. Then I realised I couldn’t find the cord. I started to panic. Had they given me a faulty fridge that didn’t have a cord? What am I going to do now? I tried to look at the manual but it didn’t mention anything about the cord in the getting started-section. I looked for it from every possible angle but just failed to locate it.
Finally I was calling Argos in tears. I had zero shame and couldn’t give a shit about what the helpline employees were thinking about me. I just wanted to finally pluck the fridge in since I’ve already had a week of having to store my food next to an open window. After 20 minutes of being moved from one department to another I was able to locate the cord with the help of a nice lady. It had been tucked in so deep to the back that I just hadn’t spotted it.
But why am I telling about this episode? Because it’s an example of how mental health issues can affect you. I get stressed out extremely easily these days. Most days I’m fine. I go to my counselling, I take my meds and do everything what I’m supposed to do as an adult who lives by herself, such as clothing and feeding myself. So far so good but add in anything, anything at all on top of that, and we have a full-blown panic attack on our hands.
Yesterday the fridge decided not to fridge anymore and all the food I had bought was off the menu. As I was trying to figure out what had gone wrong with it, of course I started crying at the thought of having to fork out the money to buy yet another fridge. Luckily my best friend was visiting, so she could pick up the pieces.
“It’s just a fridge! I know it’s not a big deal!” I’d cry in her arms.
So, there we were. My anxiety had come around a full circle. Luckily my tech wizard dad was able to figure out that the fridge wasn’t actually broken but a victim of the heatwave and I was able to calm down.
So what was the point of this story anyway? Just that anxiety can manifest itself in the most wonderful of ways, and that everyone has embarrassing moments on their road to recovery. We have no physical indicators like when you have broken your leg, so you just have to have a mental sprint to see whether you can handle it yet or not.
My advice is to have a good cry and delegate the problem to a responsible adult, whether it be a relative or a kind soul at a call centre.