I realise many of my blogs have been rather negative. This is not a surprise considering I have primarily been charting a journey of burnout and depression. However, although they will have resulted in an overall negative sentiment, I have pretty much just written exactly what is in my mind so it is ‘true’ rather than intentionally pessimistic.
Over the last few weeks, I have gradually managed to build up how much I mix with the family and how much I do. I have dipped in and out of caring for the boys and done household chores as and when I have felt up to it. There didn’t seem to be any overall progress though; I felt stuck (as I previously wrote about).
The last week has been much better in some aspects. The sciatica and fatigue are still restrictive; sciatica in particular is probably the biggest single thing getting to me at the moment. But, despite this, I have managed to function more normally than previously.
In simple terms, this has related mostly to caring for the boys (the big one included)! I have been doing more with the little ‘uns and managed the whole of Tuesday looking after them, complete with the usual challenges! I could have done without them both producing bodily output messes to clean up within the space of 3 minutes but there we are!
I have also started to mix more with other people again. I had been nervous of this. Partly, as I have simply not wanted to do much except stay at home alone and quiet. Also, I have quite felt daunted about seeing people again. I have worried what they might be thinking; I still feel like I will be thought to be weak and pathetic. Of course, this is more perceived by me than other people and it all went perfectly fine; lovely support in ‘real life’ as much as there has been in other ways.
Yesterday, I finally tackled something that has been weighing on my mind for months; the stacks of paperwork that have been cluttering my desk in my little study for months. I haven’t been able to use the room properly to get tasks done and the content of the unsorted paperwork has also been a major worry. Everything had become so overwhelming that I didn’t know where to start and wasn’t doing any of it; which then of course made it even worse. Before yesterday, I certainly hadn’t had the motivation to do it; one of the greatest frustrations of this situation has been now having time (whilst I’m not at work), but still being unable to achieve much with this time.
It’s now semi-sorted! Such a relief; there is still more to do but it’s so much further on than it was. Admittedly, it took me all day to get as far as I did going back and forth to it intermittently, interspersed with other things and just resting. I will now feel more able to sit and do something else that is ridiculously behind; my appraisal preparation. Hmmm…another time!
I finished the day on a bit of a high; this was such a load off my mind. Unfortunately, today has been rather the opposite in the most part. I took my 3 year old swimming first thing and he had a lovely time so that was nice. However, having pushed myself yesterday, I felt utterly shattered today and mood dipped too; not helped by my persistent intolerance of the noise and mess the boys make. This makes me so feel guilty and I do hope this will start to lessen soon.
So, there are further signs of improvement even though I felt quite static a week ago. There is still a way to go until I am back to normal; whatever that means. I know that ‘normal’ will not be the same as the previous normal; it was not a good place to be and things must be different from before to achieve and maintain future wellbeing. I will also have changed through this experience; I have learnt so much.
Here I am about to settle down for the night and hoping that the clocks going back aren’t going to mean 5 o’clock starts to the day for weeks to come. Clearly, this annoying time system was not created by a parent!
Little achievements are small victories that will, bit by bit, accumulate to become a big step towards recovery.