A deep breath. Seems a good place to start. I thought I’d left September and the seemingly endless wobble behind me, but October brought another unsteady path to tread. My last post spoke about feeling brighter, and that was my absolute truth in that moment but unfortunately that renewed sense of self only lasted a few days before the despair returned. The positive persona that people tell me inspires them seemed to have left the building and no matter what I did, I couldn’t scrape it together again. I didn’t even really feel sad, I felt numb. Completely devoid of feeling, all the usual tactics which would help me stand tall again after a slump weren’t working and I couldn’t find my happy.
I felt like a fraud. Like a huge failure. Letting myself and my family down by being unable to cope. Present in a physical sense but lost to my own thoughts, paralysed when it came to feeling or deciding anything at all. The worst thing was not knowing how to turn a corner. I was already attempting all the things which had worked in the past and although they brought a little respite, the light had really gone out this time and I couldn’t see to find a way back.
Having a wobble didn’t surprise me. I know that with every new phase of treatment, I’ve needed some time to adapt and regain my focus, but the length of time the wobble lasted for really threw me this time. A week ago, I ended up crying to our incredible family doctor, explaining how lost I felt and how I didn’t know how to find myself again. She was wonderful; validating my fears and listening without judgement of any kind. She talked me through some possible things that might help and I feel like I found a new resolve in her office. A promise to myself. To recognise that this is really really hard sometimes, but I can’t change that it has happened, and just like at the beginning, I need to find a way to cope with it. A way that enables me to look after myself, so that I can look after our girls too. I read a piece of Scandinavian advice recently, which translates as putting your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. I think we could all benefit from remembering that sometimes.
The weird thing about not feeling right is that it affected everything. From basic tasks to my perception of what others think of me. Something I don’t usually feel I give much thought to, but I was questioning and doubting everything I did and everything that happened. My mind was reeling, unable to switch off or give myself any time to relax and just simply be. By reigning those thoughts in, recognising what is important to me and trying to adopt a simpler way of being, I have found my happy again. I’ve thought of some things that I think will help and enlisted the support of others to make them possible. I’ve found joy in simple things again…the crunch of the autumn leaves, the glorious combination of wellies and woolly hats and the slow dawdle of two little people on a river walk with no hurry to reach our destination.
Life can be simple. I’m trying hard to keep that as a focus and reign things in when they become over complicated. Too many thoughts in my head leads to too much pressure on my shoulders and too much stress in my life. We’ve got enough poorly in our family, we don’t need poorly on top of poorly and that means no comparisons to other people, no trying to keep up and no worrying about what else life has in store for us. If you need us, we’ll be over here…living in the moment and most likely, dancing around the living room x