It’s been a long time since I blogged. And not because I’ve done my usual and given up, but because I’ve really struggled to find something positive or interesting to write about. Even now, this post is neither of those things. But I know I’m not alone and I know that people go through the same and I also know that some people don’t get help through fear. So if this helps just one person then I’ll be happy. And if it doesn’t help anyone at least I’ve got it off my chest I guess.
Back to my original question…Where to begin. That’s been the main reason for the blog absence, because I didn’t know where to start. So I’ve decided to just write instead of worrying about the sequence of events, it’s easier.
Buying a house is stressful. We’d been actively looking since May last year, found a house in August, put an offer in, had it accepted, had a few reports done and it needed too much doing to it so as the seller wasn’t willing to negotiate on price we pulled out. We then booked to view a house that neither of us were sure about. 5 months later we moved in! But as anyone who has moved house will tell you, it’s just the most stressful thing EVER! Particularly when you’re buying your first home and haven’t got a bloody clue what you’re doing!
But Mr D got promoted in November which we both saw as a hugely positive thing. The extra money would come in more than handy. We’d be able to get the kitchen re-done and eventually maybe the extension done to really open upstairs up. And he was working his way up the ladder. Great.
Except it wasn’t. He ended up working 11 hour days with no lunch break and getting home just as J was going to bed. He was getting pressure (but no support) from all angles and coming home exhausted. This then meant that stuff at home was falling to me. So on top of working full time, doing all of the drop offs and pick up for J and the usual household stuff I was also doing all of the house buying stuff too. It was exhausting. And we were both tired and both miserable so do what we always do and take it out on each other.
As well as that J’s behaviour was dreadful.
I don’t want you I want daddy
It’s how it started but it just got worse after that. He missed his daddy and his 3 year old brain somehow figured out it was my fault.
But I figured once we’d moved it would all settle down. We just needed to get through the next few weeks and the it would all be fine.
In the end I asked then begged him to quit. I couldn’t deal with the fallout from it anymore on top of everything else. So that’s what he did. The day before we went on our holiday, he handed his notice in and the weight of the world was off our shoulders.
So we went on our holiday. Our big deal holiday. We were celebrating 10 years together and J would be 4 whilst we were away too. But it was also the first time J had been on a airplane. And as any parent can attest to, flights with kids go either one way or another.
On the way out he was fine. Big tired after the early start but he was good as gold on the plane. When we landed in Gran Canaria he even got to look in the cockpit and say hello to the captain. But on the way back…not so much.
He was tired and really unhappy about having to come home.
I don’t want to go home. I want to stay on holiday.
I knew how he felt to be honest. But I didn’t have the mother of all meltdowns 2 hours into a 4.5 hour flight that resulted in the woman in front asking for J to stop kicking her husband’s chair because apparently seeing that we were trying our best to restrain him wasn’t enough, she had to make me feel like a shit parent anyway.
Aside from that I had felt massively under prepared for the holiday. I didn’t start packing until the day before. Threw a load of stuff into my case. Hadn’t read the flight information stuff. His wasn’t me. I was Miss Organised. But not this time. I ended up with one pair of trousers that had a hole in, 2 dresses that didn’t fit and no tops to match my shorts. It didn’t ruin the holiday but I was annoyed with myself.
But we had a good time and things were going to get better from now on, surely?
Nah! Wrong AGAIN!
But before we’d even got on the plane to come home shit hit the fan.
Our flight was getting back to the UK at 6pm so we figured we’d be home by 8pm. I was having a half day holiday the next day, Mr D was going in as normal and J was going to grandma’s.
Except before we’d got on the plane I had an email from grandma saying she needed to see Mr D urgently face to face when we got home and that she couldn’t have J the next day.
Panic then very quickly ensued. Luckily texts don’t cost any more abroad these days than texting at home so I explained the situation to my boss and asked if I could take the whole day off. That bit was easy but then we couldn’t help but want to know what on earth had happened whilst we’d been away. It turned out a lot!
Before we’d gone away Mr D’s 94 year old grandpa was in hospital because he kept falling over. Without going into details, the conversations about “if” have now turned to “when” and the two conditions he does have, have also exacerbated his dementia so it’s a particularly tough time for Grandma and her sister at the moment. But also for Mr D as they’re such a small close knit family.
There’s also health issues with both Mr D’s mum and aunty as well that are pretty big. So at this point we didn’t think it could get any worse.
WRONG AGAIN! We really should have known better at this point!
Mr D had been back at work 2.5 days when he called me to ask him to pick him up as his boss had told him to go home. Long and short of it, he’s now on garden leave for the next 2 weeks and then he’s officially unemployed. But we’ll be OK for 6 months and there’s a plan. I’m not panicking but ask me again in 5 months time and the answer may be different.
And the thing is, this isn’t even the half of.
There’s also been:
- The fact that Nanny had a pretty serious operation in December and we’ve been missing her like mad. I had no idea how much I relied on her to be at the end of a text until she wasn’t anymore. Things are now looking positive but it’s been a difficult few months without her.
- I’ve been having my own problems at work which will hopefully now be resolved in the not too distant future.
- Josh has been displaying ever increasing worrying behaviour which resulted in me crying for an hour with his key worker at nursery and agreeing for the Head of SEN for the area to go and observe him. He’s not what I’d class as someone you’d associate with any additional needs because in some areas he’s phenomenal, like his reading skills, but in others he’s behind. And he struggled in a bigger class but have thrived in a class of 8. When he starts school in September he’ll be one of 30 and I worry for him.
- We had a nightmare with the landlords. Who started talking about us reducing tree height a week after we’d moved out. It all got sorted in the end but not before I had a massive anxiety attack at work.
- Me, J and Mr D have just been plagued by illness. Colds, flu, tonsillitus. It’s been relentless.
- The fact that I’ve had no time to myself. I’m either at work, at home or out with J. It’s just been a bit kverwhelming. I didn’t appreciate how much I needed my “me time”, until again it was taken away.
- Ever increasing feeling of isolation. I’m not in regular contact with anyone from school. I don’t have a typical best friend, I’ve got my online best buddy who lives at the opposite end of the country. And generally were a bit friendless at the minute. If we could / chose to get married now there would be nobody to invite.
- I’m not sleeping properly again. So I’m permanently tired. Because I’m permanently tired I haven’t been doing the exercise I promised myself I would do when we moved, despite knowing that a bit of exercise helps me sleep better.
- And because I’m tired and unhappy I eat. I then get fat which makes me unhappy so I eat because I don’t drink. So I’ve got fatter and more miserable!
- Because I’m fat, tired, miserable and stressed my skins awful which makes me more miserable so I eat more and the whole thing goes round and round in a miserable circle!
And everything combined has been the perfect recipe for me to break. I’m not sure who it is when I look in the mirror these days but I can tell you I don’t like what I see.
But and it’s a big BUT. There is light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.
I recognised that I couldn’t do this anymore so I went to the GP. I cried at her for 15 minutes and she suggested I said referred to the wellbeing service, which I did. I had my assessment meeting last week and only cried a little bit and my weekly meetings for CBT start next week.
Both the doctor and assessor acknowledged that I’ve had an awful lot going on and it’s no surprise I’ve found myself at breaking point. Whilst I didn’t need my feelings to be validated, it was still good to hear.
I should have had CBT years ago. But it was never convenient and I put myself at the bottom of the list saying “this too shall pass”. And it always has but then I’m not equipped to deal with it the next time round. And there’s always a next round. Something else crops up and knocks me off my feet. I pick myself back up (eventually) and everything’s fine again. Until it isn’t.
So this time I’m doing it. It fits in with work and everything else so I’m putting me first.
So instead of spending the time between J going to bed and me going to bed scrolling through Facebook and the Daily Fail, I’ve been reading, learning Spanish and doing a bit of yoga. Me and Mr D have also been watching some old school films on Netflix. We’d both forgotten how nice it was to just sit and snuggle for a few hours.
And it’s been lovely.
And all it took was for me to say “enough is enough I want to be happy” and now I’m doing it.
I don’t for one second think it’ll be easy, but nothing worth having ever is!
So if you’ve managed to get this far then well done! Hopefully you’re not totally depressed because I’m not. I know I have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes I just need a reminder that it’s not all bad and that there are ways to help myself.
One big thing for me is about control.
So much of what’s going on over the last few months has been out of my control but then I’ve also not done anything about the things I can control. So I’ve made a list.
It’s a simple list on my phone of the issue, whether I can control it and what the solution is if I can. It’s made such a difference.
I’m a strong person, so everyone says and I just need to remember that sometimes. Now is one of those times because I’ve been through much worse and come out the other side.
So if you feel low, depressed, anxious or just out of sorts then speak up. To friends, to family, to partners, to GP’s or anyone you feel comfortable talking to. And if talking is a problem, write it down.
I can assure you that how you feel isn’t weird or abnormal and the more people speak out about it, the more people will realise it’s ok to not to be ok. But ith some help, support and a bit of determination you can find your happy again.
For now I’m going to my happy place…to bed. Ready for another week of life throwing itself at me and me trying now to drown in it!