I had not forgotten about this blog.
It was always in the back of my mind as something that used to help when I was suffering from bad period and wanting to ‘vent’ all my troubles out in to the world. I think I did this so that I didn’t have to keep repeating myself over and over when people asked ‘what’s wrong?’. I used it as a way to communicate easily, saying what I wanted to say to people without having to go through the emotional crap that came with doing it face to face. I just wanted to say it and move on from the comfort of my computer chair.
There is no way in hell this worked. Which is probably why I stopped.
Since late October (the time of my last post) where I had a shocking low, I have had a subsequent ‘lift’ in my mental state. My reputation was smashed, I had disrespected my marriage, my husband and my kids and was pushing my closest friends away when I tried to laugh off my drunken or sober antics. It wasn’t funny. I thought if I made a joke of it people would think… well, I don’t know what I thought. It was a dark place and I am not overly keen on revisiting.
In those few weeks I started understanding the phrase “I can’t live/go on like this”. Its not that you don’t think that the people you love aren’t worth sticking around for, or that you think things won’t get better. It all comes down to the thoughts about yourself in your own head. Knowing how hard it will be for people to trust you again, hating your reputation and knowing that people (and yourself) won’t look at you the same way ever again is a hard thing to move on from.
But where I ended my last blog post, things started looking up. I got a new job, which I needed at the time. Drinking away my money, mental and marital issues was just not cutting it, so full time employment in an area which is NOT hospitality was a welcome relief. The new place is amazing, with fantastic Employee Assistance Programs in place and a very supportive HR and Management team. The hours, pay and career options are all suited to me and I enjoy the laid back office work. I also changed my medication from Effexor to Pristiq, which made a hell of a difference. I could actually feel like something was making a difference.
Of course I still stressed about going back out into the ‘real world’, seeing people that knew me at my worst and holding my head high. And it took a few months and a good few EAP psychologist sessions before I was able to confidently walk back into certain places and see certain people without worrying too much about what they knew/thought of me/ had heard through the grapevine. I have spent the last month working with my husband through my issues, fixing our financial position and owning up to my mistakes and it has been hard, but the transparency we have now, while not perfect, has stopped me from being ‘in my own head’ all the time, trying to fix everything by myself. There are no more hidden purchases and bank statements, no more inexplainable absences and we have discussed what we both want from my new job. We aren’t good, but we are better.
And better means that I am able to come off my tablets. I have not been confident enough in my environment or myself before this time to be able to come off anything. But last week when I started running out of them I assessed myself and my own ability to cope and I decided that I need to start working through my issues using my own coping strategies, not a tablet. I want to get back into running- my weight gain and lack of energy means I am not getting the endorphin hit I did 12 months ago. To do this I need to stop feeling guilty for going for a run (my husband desperately hates having to cook dinner and get the kids ready for bed on his own, which unfortunately is when I like going for my runs!) and just do it. I know it’s good for me and long term I know he would prefer I be out running and happy than be at home cranky or miserable but cooking dinner. I am still on Quetiapine- I think that one will be long term for me. Anxiety and insomnia from constant brain-tick-over will always annoy me and I would prefer to have a decent nights sleep on tablets for the rest of my life than go through my restless and irregular sleep patterns and anxiety attacks of previous years. But I am ok with that! My atrocious memory over the last few months has already improved- today I was able to remember my grandmothers 4 digit house number to send her Christmas card! Win!!
So this Christmas, I am actively reducing the amount of stress I am putting myself under. While financial strain will always be an issue for me, I can take steps to make sure I don’t take everything so personally. I am not a failure as a mum because the kids don’t get as many gifts. I am not a failure as a daughter because I am only giving them a calendar. I am not a failure as a wife because I go running three times a week. I am not a failure as a friend because I don’t feel social at the moment. I am just not a failure. I need to stop feeling like that, and especially have to ignore people trying to make me feel like that.
I need to ignore the ‘Mummy Guilt’ of spending time on myself getting better, because I WANT to get better.
I AM getting better. There is hope, I guess there always has been.