There is such freedom in admitting I’m not happy. That I am sad, that I am afraid of everything, that I’ve lost my direction. Instead of battening down the hatches and pretending that everything is ‘fine, thank you very much.’
For the first time in my life, I haven’t tried to ignore my feelings, push them so far away that I am living in denial and getting angry with everyone including myself for not accepting that my smile is forced and taken monumental effort. That getting up only happens when I’m forced to for something.
I’m lucky that I have midterm break now, so I have been ‘allowed’ time to rest and recharge. Because I would hate to be lying in bed without a fully fledged reason. And my brain has been allowed to languish in its own sorrowful woe, critical of my ever increasing weight (thanks olanzapine), critical of my abandoned crazy hair, critical of my life, of my failings, of all that is wrong with me and all that’s happened in my life.
I am embracing my grief, my lack of direction, my struggle, my pain – why? Because to embrace it means I am accepting that I have an illness, that it won’t always be like this, that its chemically induced, that it’s not forever, that I don’t need to prove myself to ANYONE.
So, last week was especially hard, but today I have my son with me. I had to go to the mall today because its my daughter’s birthday (8), and I wanted to get her a special gift. Although it would usually fill me with dread and foreboding and a part of me hoped the car wouldn’t start. I was able to visualise exactly where I needed to park, where I would enter the mall and exit. I put a time on it, so I knew at whatever self agreed time I prepared, I would be home free! I had my son which helped immensely because I chatted to him and held his hand, he saw it as a parental guidance and interaction, I saw it as holding on to my beautiful light. My ray of hope. All that is right and beautiful with the world.
I bought my daughter a beautiful Pandora necklace with Elsa and snowflake charms. She loved Frozen and she is a really girly girl. Loves all think pink and princesses. I think she’ll be very happy. Just along from there was a department store and they sell the make up range I like prefer, so I decided to get a new foundation. I’m ghostly white, my skin looks tired and stressed. I usually take such special care of my skin and my face, but I haven’t worn make up for so long and I don’t bother moisturising – why would I? There is no point. I don’t go out, I look bloody awful whats the saying? You can’t polish a turd! But I decided to go ahead and get a new one. At the make up counter the lady applied foundation for me and as I tried to interact with her, I realised I hadn’t really talk to anyone (excluding the kids) for so long, my words sounded stuttered and awkward and I’d forget the name of things. Perhaps the meds, the anxiety and the tiredness combined, but I worried that I sounded drunk! And the more I worried, the worse it got.
By the time I got back to the car, I also picked my son up some Lego and toy cars – I couldn’t resist! I was absolutely shattered. The headache I’ve had for days was threatening to come on strong again and I was aware that I’d been out for longer than intended – not to mention spent a lot more than I intended! The result is that I’m pretty happy with myself for being able to relax a bit and get out and about. Although I decided at home to rest before dinner this evening, S has called and asked me to collect the kids. As he’s still sorting some things out for our daughter. I accepted immediately but I regret it. Going out straight away and then being alone with my four children after a full on week and not much sleep is stressful enough, but team it with a low and its near impossible. Here, what I recognise is that often I try to meet expectations and push myself for more and more. The end result often means I am left drained and feeling like a failure when I don’t cope well and that undoes the work I’d done earlier. All of these experiences are important to me, as I learn to manage my mental health as a single woman.
The other thing I have realised is that coming back to my house wasn’t such a terrible thing. As much as I enjoyed the house, and being around my family, it still remains S’s house and I was a guest. The master room was HIS room, we all referred to it that way and HIS house, and I didn’t want to break into a snivelling mess! Back at my place, I have my comfy big bed and all my things around. Why would I be sad surrounded by my things and my incense burners, the smell of sweet berries as I arrive? I brought two of my children to stay last night, my daughter so that I could wake up with her on her birthday morning and of course my amazing son. So I still had that warmth and love around me.
I think on the whole I am getting better at conversing and relating to S, but this will not be a linear part of my journey. As is feeling better today. Understanding that I’m following a process is really important.
I’m feeling anxious about the dinner tonight but that is because we’re going to a local restaurant, and no doubt there will be people around and the kids might play up a bit – they’re really good kids, not the usual running around types, but they DO argue and get grouchy when its later on a school night and they’re over hungry. Then I usually get stressed because I’m worried about what people think, that I’m a bad mother. Silly paranoid thoughts, but in this time of weakness – it bothers me.
I’m also really self concious because I’ve put on so much weight. I had lost a lot from the separation because I simply wasnt’ eating. But with these medications I crave carbs and you’d have to be born and raised in a bunker not to know that carbs are the cardinal sin of weight loss. So although I’m only eating toast, my metabolism has slowed right down and I’m really bloated. My fear is that out in public, people will judge the fat girl in the restaurant. Although my choice will be something healthy, I’ll feel very self concious. As I progress with feeling better, I will resume my walking and gym work outs, but at the moment, if I can barely face walking down to the mailbox because of ‘people’ anything else is out. I’m doing this tonight, for my beautiful litte Egg.
Again, I am so thankful for recognising my symptoms and getting help sooner rather than later, or else I might very well be in a respite facility – again. At least I still have my independance.