I’ve fluffed a few posts this week. It’s #blogvember and I’ve wanted to stay in the habit, so I’ve done a few posts I might not have published another time.
Getting into the habit has been good for me. Finding writing time and getting the cogs whirring. I’m thinking (constantly) about what I might put down each day.
But there are also a few posts stitched up deep in me, that I want and need to write (things I need to learn to say). And this is one of them.
I have found life very difficult since becoming a Mum. For me, having two under two (right up to having two under four) was physically exhausting and emotionally devastating.
I lost sight of who I was in the rugby-scrum of getting through each day. Then, when I looked again, I was no longer the person I thought I had been.
Following on from some hideous work stuff and some stressful home stuff, my anxiety became overwhelming. I became paralysed and was unable to make decisions. Instead turning things over again and again through the small hours of the night. After a short family holiday, which I remember really fondly, I took redundancy from my job and went and saw my GP.
I was on Prozac for a year. It helped. I have put on a lot of weight. My brain was much slower. I slept well. I’ve been off it for a few months now. I was dizzy and felt sad but not anxious as I came off.
There are things I do now to look after myself.
I try not to stress. I don’t worry about words that either I, or someone else said, preferring to either let it go or talk it through. I try to be honest (unless it’s the ‘yes you look fat in that’ kind of honesty – I can still be kind)!
I won’t do something that I find stressful, or I resent, or anything that I don’t feel positive and enthusiastic about. It wells up anger and bad feeling in me, and only I am in charge of my feelings. So I say no to things.
I try to sleep well and early. I very, very rarely go out in the evening. No, it’s not because I can’t get a babysitter. It’s because I want to be here where my family is. I hate the idea of a shouty pub where I can’t sit down and quite frankly by the end of the day, I’m tired.
I don’t drink, although this just happened. It wasn’t a decision. It makes me feel odd after four years of pregnancy and breastfeeding related abstinence. (Although I had a drink last Christmas at my sisters house and found myself on a full-on, no-holds-barred champagne-rampage. Folded sweatily into bed by poor Damian at 8pm).
There’s more I can do. Nutritionally and physically, which I’m working on. Being ‘mindful’. Meditation.
I’m very lucky that I don’t have to work full-time or do the kind of job I used to do. Although we can’t afford many ‘things’, we’re fine. We are happy and can pay our bills with Damian’s salary if we’re thrifty and sensible.
I feel balanced but also like I’m being very conservative and boring. I worry that the people around me are bored. Especially Damian, who has been wonderful, despite a very stressful job. He’s also had an enormous life change beside me over the last few years.
There are friends that I love with my big, whole self, that I hardly ever see and have little in common with now. There are people who invite me out in the evening, less often now, as I always don’t go, who I guess assume I’m not interested in them. I am. But can we do lunch? Well, a picnic actually, or something free?
I hate that I worry that this post may affect some people’s perception of me. But I know I can only change how I feel and not what you think. So, so be it.