Musings and Snoozes

“I am because you were” 

I think it’s safe to say that on the surface at least, most of my tattoos are not deep and meaningful. Those who know me a bit better know that the placement of my wrist tattoo is significant, that the words on my arm are lyrics to my favourite song, and that everything else is a nod to my pagan beliefs, while being pretty in the process. But today, along with my amazing mum who got her very first tattoo for her 70th birthday, I also got my first tattoo with a real meaning.

“I am because you were”. A short and simple phrase which holds a lot of meaning, in particular to remember my Dad. I have toyed with the idea of getting something for Dad for a long time, but I didn’t want something overt, his name or his birthday for example, nor did I want to get something silly, like a snail (he was called Brian, therefore Brian the snail), so when I came across these words, they seemed perfect. Even more so in the last few weeks, as I’ve been talking to my therapist, telling them about myself, my life, and my parents. It makes me incredibly proud of who I am because of both my parents, and actually because of who I once was too. These words encompass all of that – I am because of my Dad, I am because of my Mum, and I am because of who I was and who I’ve grown to be.

And so this is for all of those things, for all of those people, but most significantly, for my lovely Dad, who (for better or worse!) played such a big part in making me who I am today. 

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Sometimes you just have to Eeyore 

I’m pretty down today. I realise I don’t often admit that. I write about the what’s and how’s and sometimes the why’s, but I rarely just say, I feel pretty sad.

Today hasn’t gone as planned. After almost a week of being pretty much bed/sofa ridden with a cold and cough, I finally started to feel a little better yesterday. My sinuses have eased so my face doesn’t feel like it’ll explode, I can breathe without choking everyone in a ten mile vicinity with olbas oil, and while I still sound like a croaky frog, the cough is tolerable. So I went to bed last night feeling pretty positive. 

7am this morning and I hadn’t slept a wink. Not because of pain, or being ill, or even anxiety. I just couldn’t get my head to shut up at all, and so by 2am I gave up and read a book until the early hours.

But that wasn’t the plan. It was a good book, but not the plan. The plan was to get up, go to Starbucks, get a few hours work done, and then come home and dial into my afternoon calls. Of course instead, my body decided that 7am was a fine time to fall asleep at last, and I’ve lost almost the entire day. I’ve done no work and missed my calls. And that makes me angry and frustrated, and more importantly a little sad. I know it’s just my sleep dep making it worse and still being ill, but it makes the “what’s the point?” thoughts creep in, closely followed by the guilt and worry that people will think I’m lazy or not good at my job.

It’ll pass, I know it will. And I’ll head to Starbucks in a bit and probably spend the early evening working from there with a coffee in hand, but I just thought it was worth writing about being sad for a change. I concentrate so hard on the physical, and even the anxiety, that sometimes I forget that this is a feeling too and if nothing else, it’s worth acknowledging. 

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The Anxiety Monster 

This afternoon is Session 1 with my new therapist. Husband jokes that I have so many doctors now that he needs a reminder list every now and again of what they all do. He’s got a point to be fair, it feels like that sometimes.

So this afternoon is Marie Claire (that’s her name, not the magazine, that confused Husband). She was recommended by my Psychiatrist, who in his own words, described her as perfect for me. I swear he had a glint in his eye when he said it, which both worries me and makes me hopeful at the same time. This afternoon will involve talking, not that the sessions with my psychiatrist didn’t, but he, by his own admission, is more about the drugs than the talking, and we’ve focused so much on baby plans that I haven’t had to delve too deeply into the realm of “so how does that make you feel?” yet. 

First battle though is leaving the house. As in physically putting my hand on the door handle, opening the door, and leaving. I’m working from home today, due to sniffles and snot and ickiness, that I don’t really want to share with the office, and that, for some reason, psychologically makes going out very hard. I have yet to figure out what is so hard about it, or why, when I happily leave the house for work every morning, should it become difficult now. Because it’s not the seeing Marie Claire that’s bothering me (nervous though I may be), nor is it the driving there (driving relaxes me). It’s cold outside, which obviously I don’t enjoy, but that doesn’t scare me. So it’s irrational for sure, but I’d like to know what exactly I’m being irrational about.

So that’s today’s first battle. Putting on my shoes and my coat, grabbing my bag, picking up my keys, and standing at the front door for a good ten minutes convincing myself to just leave (while the dog tries to decipher whether this means she’s coming or not. She’s not). On the plus side, it makes the thought of talking about my deep and innermost feelings seem a positive delight in comparison. There’s always a silver lining. 

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My New Year’s Resolution? To Be More Selfish 

Sometimes it takes a group of people, sometimes it’s family, sometimes it’s friends, sometimes it’s just one person, and sometimes it’s unexpected, but whatever it is, it can be enough to make you rethink the way you see things.

I spent a huge amount of last year feeling guilty. I hadn’t realised just how much until I started having to talk about it, and hearing, what I’m now beginning to see as rational and reasonable responses that a) it’s not really my fault, and b) why would I put so much time and energy into worrying about things and people who make me feel this way. But that alone is a hard thing to type. I want to make excuses, to say “oh yeh, but they don’t mean it”, and “it’s just one of those things, I can’t really change it”. But I have to fight that and I have to stop. I have never been more aware of how important it is to look after myself and to not only be kind to myself, but to actively stop hurting myself – to stop putting myself through it because I believe I haven’t tried enough, that I haven’t met other’s expectations, that somehow I’ve failed.

Because I haven’t failed. I get up every single morning feeling how most of you are probably feeling this morning after a good New Year’s Eve – tired, achey, nauseous, like you need a week’s worth of sleep to recover, that every single slightly too loud sound or too bright light physically hurts. That is my normality. That is my good day. When I don’t feel as though I’ve been struck down by full on flu, that is a good day. When I can sit in my car for half an hour and not get to my destination and feel like someone’s punched me in the back and the hips, and that really I need to close my eyes to recover, that is a good day. Sometimes I push through my bad days, sometimes because I need to, sometimes because I feel too damn guilty not to, and sometimes, at the worst of times, because someone says “come on, it can’t be that bad”.

But I’m done with that. So in all honesty, my New Year’s Resolution for 2018 is merely to be more selfish. Not to the detriment of others, obviously, but always to the benefit of my health, both physical and mental. So this is my New Year’s warning – I need this year for me, I need to get back to some sort of recovery, and most of all, I need the support of those around me to do it, to know that they’re on my side. I miss who I used to be, back before I was sick, but I’m excited about who I could be again. I won’t always be the same, I can’t be the same, so there’s is nothing to do but to accept that, to put the pieces back as best I can, and embrace whatever comes out the other side. And to those who are still there with me, know that you are worth the moon and the stars to me.  

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