On Thursday 14th September, my life changed.
I completely fell to pieces. In a big way. It took me by surprise. I am still struggling to get my head around the fact it happened. I am struggling to accept it.
I shut down. I couldn’t really talk. I couldn’t go out. I was scared of my own mind and what it might cause; a terrifying sense of lack of control.
It took me 10 days to go out. Even then it wasn’t by choice, but I am so grateful to my friend for insisting; that was a turning point.
Now, I can ‘function’ to a level. I am talking to people again, albeit preferring to avoid it mostly – apart from a few people I am most comfortable with. I still prefer to communicate in written form. I am popping out and doing bits and pieces. Some days can be pretty good and productive, although only in short bursts. Other days, I just want to hibernate still.
I am finding I tire so incredibly easily. Getting out and bed and dressed can be a huge hurdle to overcome. 10 minutes of doing a task and I have to sit and rest. I can spend hours not moving just from sheer exhaustion. For me, the main trigger for all this was burnout and exhaustion and sleep is still rather lacking so I suppose it makes sense, but I just want to be able to get on with things like I always have done.
I can now tolerate sound more easily such as music on quietly and even have the attention span to watch some television now. Yet I still am finding it so hard to bear the noise and demands of my children. I just can’t cope with it; I have to remove myself and let my husband take over again. This is not good for self-esteem; a vicious circle.
Here I am nearly 4 weeks days later. Without a doubt, there has been massive progress since then. What dominates now day to day is feeling like I have got so much better and have done well…but that progress seems to have got stuck. I feel like I’m in an odd middling grey position now. In many ways, time has moved more slowly than ever before; in part because feeling like this can be rather tormenting. I can’t see improvement day on day at this stage. I can do things; but not as ‘normal.’ I have moments of smiling and laughing again; but they are brief and rare. Nobody would know anything was wrong from the outside. What will they be thinking? Will they think I’m a fraud? How far have I come and how far is there to go? How do I make more progress from here? I don’t know the answers.
I think a lot; which is probably rather obvious from the blog! I can’t help but wonder and worry about how things are going to pan out from here. When am I going to go back to ‘normal?’ When I am going to return to work? HOW am I going to go back to work? At the moment, the idea sends a wave of panic through me.
I want to snap out of it and return to being a wife, mother, friend and doctor. Look after my children again and get back to work. Interact properly with my family and friends.
But my body and mind apparently have other ideas at the moment.
It seems this journey is going to be long.