I have tried to write this post many times in the past week. I’ve gone over and over it in my muddled brain but I haven’t been happy with the words or fear that I will sound just like a melodramatic, nego Nancy.
Blogging was put in the too hard basket recently. I gave myself the week off but it actually turned into nearly two. I didn’t miss it that much. I enjoyed just getting up and doing normal mummy/wifey things. Putting my attentions else where. Where they were actually needed. Then again, I was in crisis mode. I put the pause button on and turned insular and hibernated in order to do some healing.
Life has been overwhelming of late.
I’m someone who finds it hard to say no. It’s my greatest attribute and my greatest weakness. When I’m pregnant I go, go, go, scared I will miss my last sniff of baby-less freedom. I have a newborn and I still invite a jam packed schedule into my existence. I have to work to keep up with myself. For the most part, I love it. It’s me but the past couple of weeks I’ve been coming to realise this can no longer be my permanent state. I am now a mother of two. I have chosen to further my career in motherhood. I have to adjust and sacrifice, perhaps only temporarily, some of my personal pursuits. This is hard for me. It’s something I’ve been trying to ignore but I’ve reached a point where I’ve pressed hard and worn myself out.
Let me bring you up to speed.
I have recently been trying to keep up with a busy social calender. My life has been a charade of dinners, shopping dates and visitors dropping over, all for the sake of feeling like I’m keeping up with the outside world. To keep relationships up to date and there’s some fear in there about being labelled as a fuddy-duddy, home imprisoned, settled down married type. So for this cause I drag my kids out of bed, tell them to move quickly, chuck them in the car, keep them up when they’re deathly tired, disturb their routines which is the very thing they require for stability and it all feels like I’m doing it for such little thanks. At gatherings I have one ear out for Baby Vick and one eye out for Little Vick and just fail at holding a meaningful, attentive conversation. I come across as a glazed over, distracted individual who isn’t really listening. I end up breastfeeding and just watching a get together from the outside on the couch and feel so detached from all the other (often child free) party-goers and their reality. Do they know how long it takes me if I stay out past 9pm to re-coup my energy and that I can’t do anything for the next 2 days because I get swallowed up by fatigue? Do they know what kind of effort goes into getting anywhere with 2 kids? These are the thoughts of one very tired woman. By the end of a night I get overwhelmed by people and have to push down my ugly cry and drowning tears which threaten to come up through my throat and unleash all down my face. See, I have this predicament: I feel miserable if I miss out on social engagements, but I feel miserable and lonely when I do attend. Motherhood can be so isolating. It’s not really about my friends though. Really it’s not. I have many great friends who make my world wonderful and who completely understand and help out, but it’s about me who has become hyper sensitive and more anxious in social situations. An anxiety I have not known before. I fear I might have developed a poor me complex.
The more I’m out the more my house is a storm of disorder and chaos. This clouds my head and feels like an overwhelming fail. I’m always 10 steps behind and for a task driven person who likes to be in control, it gets me down.
Speaking of downers, I have a sugar addiction! I actually sat and ate 2 full blocks of chocolate to myself the other day. 2! I think it was a form of therapy. My way of pushing down some of these feelings. It doesn’t take a genius to know chocolate is not a permanent fix and the only result from binging is wild mood swings with highs and lows. For me it’s mostly the lows and my body isn’t responding well either. I’ve had a gut ache for the past 3 days and I know it’s complaining about the way I have been treating it. The pregnancy, newborn mother ways have to be kicked to the curb. However this addiction is real and I’m uncertain if I can confidently shake it.
Mr Vick did his back last week and has had to spend days in bed. He’s been low. I absorb that and feel I have to take the lead in the house and the bulk of the load. It feels heavy and I feel like we’re not connecting in, like we need to be. In fact we’ve been surly and/or distant.
I have a toddler with an increasingly punky attitude which in the past couple of weeks has constantly challenged me from the moment I wake to the moment he finally (often begrudgingly) lays his head on the pillow some 12 hours later. He says “Muuuuuum” a million times a day. I say “in a minute” to him far too frequently. I lack patience with him. I snap at him way too quickly. I worry I’m permanently damaging his little self esteem. I think this and yet I still combust and virtually eat him alive. So I just feel terrible. To top it off he has been waking up and demanding me up to 4 times a night. He sees it. My struggle. He sees right through me and in his own way is telling me it’s not good enough. See, as a result of all the demands and my mediocre attempts at fulfilling them all, I have wound up feeling low. Depressed. He see’s me crying and the sweetheart despite all his cheeky punk behavior wraps his arms around me, holds me and asks if I feel better. He wants me to feel better. I love his compassion but it breaks me that he is having to practice it on me. I’m supposed to be the parent.
Outwardly to the world I’m juggling it all beautifully but my inner world is in crisis. I have increasingly been having emotional outbursts. Breakdown material. At times I have been getting more sleep but feel overwhelming tired, always. I cry more. My head is working overdrive and mostly in a cruel, self destructive fashion. I struggle to make decisions. I talk with sharp words way too often to my favorite people. Mr Vick feels like his wife isn’t really available to him and its true.
Depression is not a new thing. Depression lingers here in this home on and off and stalks me when I’m vulnerable. It’s always been something I can monitor and manage myself. This time it feels a little deeper in my chore but I’m going to try and not stamp it out, but rather treat myself carefully and gently.
It’s time to set some boundaries. Give into the settled down stigma. My worlds dynamic has changed again with a new baby and the groove I understood has gone and I need to adjust fully. Re-invent myself again. I need to make this my new normal. Make things a little more simple so that I don’t get so worn out. There is a fine line between being drastically fatigued and depressed.
So I started all this with having nearly 2 weeks off blogging and I bought the I Quit Sugar book.
It’s inspiring me and I’m experimenting with some healthier ways but I haven’t stopped putting the chocolate in my trolly. Yet.
I’m not sure if anything is clearer or if I’m fixed from hibernating these past two weeks. Actually, I know they’re not fixed but I’m owning it. Seeing things for what they are. Being honest and that is the only key to feeling balanced again. I’m learning to check in with myself each morning and read what I’m capable of for the day. I’m trying to train my brain to see what I am achieving, rather than what I’m not. I’m trying, full stop.
So, now you all know. This is where I’m at. This is my story. I’ve tried not to underplay the reality or over embellish it. I say these words not for attention but because I have always been proud of keeping this blog space candid and real. I also know that whilst I have the courage to say these things, many don’t and for them I want them to know I’m sending an abundance of cyber hugs and good vibes their way.
Coincidently it’s R U OK day on Thursday and I think it would be nice if you, my readers, all asked someone who you think might be struggling (or perhaps it’s the person who looks to be doing fine) if they’re really doing OK. You can never underestimate the power of a reaching hand. xxxx