Thursday, April 17, 2014

Homecoming

Hubby and the kids are coming home today. They've been gone since Saturday, which I think (apart from the time I spent in hospital last year) is the longest I've ever been away from them. The kids have had a ball - they've been spoilt rotten by two sets of grandparents and doting aunts and uncles, have gone exploring in woods, by rivers and had several trips to cafes. I think the break has been good for Hubby too - this last few months have been incredibly hard on him, particularly as I've gotten more volatile, so I hope he was able to step back a bit, be taken care of, and let someone else worry about the kids.

But today, they come home. The plan was that we'd be off tomorrow and Monday, and that they'd go to creche next week, partly to save leave for later in the year, and partly because we weren't sure of how I'd cope with them on my own. As it turns out, the creche don't have space for D next week, so the decision has been taken out of my hands - I'm going to stay home with the kids Tuesday to Friday, and Hubby will go back to work.

Much and all as I don't want to admit this, I'm scared. Really, really scared. The last few weeks of having people step in to either help with the kids or take them away altogether, while absolutely necessary and for the best at the time, have left my confidence in myself as a mother really low. I'm worrying about how to keep them entertained during the day, or how I'll react to the inevitable moments of temper that are bound to happen. I'm worried about my pervasive low mood and lack of motivation - past experience has taught me that this is not a good combination around kids. I'm worried about how tired I am - even with all the time I've had to myself, I'm still needing to go to bed really early and haven't a whole lot of energy during the day. Yesterday back at work floored me.

But on the other hand, there have been some improvements. Admittedly, there has been nothing to test my temper the last few days, but I'd like to think I'm calmer than I have been. I'm two weeks into the new meds now, and apart from some minor but very manageable side effects, so far so good. As far as the kids are concerned?? I know I'm worrying too much, I'm looking at the big picture, trying to plan out the entire week in my head and allowing for any and all variables. Too much. Way, way too much. I know that right now, putting myself under pressure is a trigger, so I need to stay in the present as much as I can. I don't need to plan a multitude of activities for the kids, I can just let the days unfold. I know they're going to be so excited to be home that that will carry us through a few days anyway. Other than that, I'm going to hope for reasonably good weather so we can get outside, and hopefully hang on to the car for a couple of days so we can go for a drive.

Mostly what I want is for the four of us to be able to enjoy each other again for the next few days, and next week, for me to reconnect with my kids without anyone else there to help. I need to get my confidence back. I want to get my confidence back.


Hopefully, lots of this will help. In fact, I know it will. I'm really, really, REALLY looking forward to hugs later. I'm in hug deficit :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pausing

Here's a funny thing about depression, and it's not one you see listed anywhere alongside the typical symptoms used to identify it (although Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half gives a remarkable account of it here and here). I'm talking about the mind numbing boredom that goes hand in hand with a really bad episode, because alongside the inability to motivate myself to do anything, there's the fact that somehow, I have to be awake for a good 14 to 16 hours of the day. That is one hell of a long time to sit and stare at nothing, or debate with myself about what I could/should be doing (incidentally, I can't turn on the TV during the day to pass time. I don't know why, but somehow watching TV in the middle of the day is a far greater sin than sitting and staring at nothing. Don't ask, I cannot even begin to explain why/where I got that notion from).

Take today. I went to bed early so I woke early. It took the best part of an hour to get up and have breakfast (and I'm only talking about cereal here, nothing exciting). Then following a LOT of arguing with myself, I managed to change the 3 beds, pausing between each with a long pause after. I processed a couple of loads of washing. Pause. Made a half hearted attempt to clean the bathroom. Pause. Showered. Pause.

You get where I'm going. Everything is a monumental effort right now. I'm relieved that Hubby and the kids aren't here so I have the luxury of being so completely inept without having an audience, but at the same time, am feeling massively guilty that they've had to step out for a few days to avoid being reluctant witnesses to my efforts. I also appreciate that there are people reading this who simply cannot comprehend the kind of inability to motivate that I'm talking about, and I'm not sure I can put it in any way that will make it possible to understand. You know when you have the flu, and even turning your head seems like too much effort? That's what it feels like, only without an obvious physical cause, which makes it so much harder to understand. When I got over all my trying and pausing earlier, I took myself out for a walk. It was almost as much effort as running was a few days ago - my legs actually felt weighted down.

The flip side of my slow pace was that it gave me a chance to admire the scenery and sunshine around Oughterard today
On the whole, today has been better than yesterday. Ok, all of the above both took a long time and an infuriating amount of effort, but I have to count them as achivements. The next great debate is work. I cannot decide if it's the right place for me to be right now. Yes, I can sit at my machine and function (albeit at a very low level) but it takes so much effort that there's nothing at all left for home, and I think that maybe some of the anger of the last few weeks is coming from trying to manage that. Should I bow out gracefully now, and take a few weeks to allow the meds to kick in? Or should I keep pushing through and hope for an improvement sooner rather than later? Thoughts on this are much appreciated

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Washing

Second post of the day. Please feel free not to read it, but my mind is racing and I've got to try and do something to make it better. Since I last wrote, the day has pretty much been a lost cause. I didn't get up. I stayed in bed, and fell asleep for the best part of two hours. When I eventually got up it was after 3, and it took me almost another hour to make myself some lunch. Another half hour of prevaricating after that I took the dogs out for a walk in the hope that that would help. It didn't. They haven't been getting enough exercise lately, were wired, and spend most of the time pulling my arms out of my sockets. I came home to find that the housework fairy is on strike today and my house looks like a bomb hit. And that's pretty much it, I've spent most of the rest of my time since then contemplating the fact that I need to get up and straighten this place out, but being completely unable to do so.

I cannot tell you how frustrated I am right now. I hate wasting my time, I absolutely hate it. And yet somehow, today, it's almost 6pm and I've nothing to show for the day. The beds aren't even made. There are piles of washing at various stages of processing all through the house. Both dogs are shedding, there's hair everywhere. As for the bathrooms? Enough said. I can't talk myself into doing anything, and I can appreciate how ridiculous that must seem to any of you reading this who've never gotten into a hole as horrible and unforgiving as this, but genuinely, I might as well be trying to get myself to run a marathon right now.

Except I have a laptop in front of me (Credit: Allie Brosh)
I can't find me. I remember times when I had energy, when I was focused, when I could look at a mess and know what steps I needed to take to clear it up. When I was motivated to look after myself. When I was actually a relatively nice person to be around. Today, I'm mostly just glad Hubby and the kids aren't here to bear the brunt of this. Today is an almost exact repeat of last Sunday, just minus the audience. How much longer do we have to put up with this? How much longer to I have to be a shadow over my house and a source of stress and anxiety for my family? And most of all, how much longer till I can start living again? I'm already dreading next weekend when all four of us are here again.

I'm sorry to be so doom and gloom today, I really am. But for all of you who think that I'm brave, or strong, or courageous or anything else worthy, this is my reality. I'm not a nice person to live with. Spin it any way you like, I'm someone it's far easier to support from a distance than up close. I hope Hubby and the kids are properly spoiled and looked after the next few days, they need a break from all of this as much as I do. I hope tomorrow is better.