Strange beginnings

So,  I am sat in a local pub/restaurant,  alone. I have a coffee in front of me,  am sat in a comfortable arm chair waiting for my meal to arrive. 

Today my children are spending the day with their father.  I have had two glorious (and admittedly,  sometimes stressful) two weeks with them.  As he is still without his own house I said that I would go out today and give them some space.  

I started out at my sisters.  She had kindly offered me the use of her house while she and my brother in law were at work.  I packed up my school work and drive over there. 

It is strange being in someone else’s house when they are not there.  You get a glimpse of the life they lead. Two coffee mugs wait in the sink,  left hurriedly as they went out to work.  A plastic teapot lies on the floor at the foot of the toys,  safe after rolling off the pile of teacups,  saucers and teddies.  

The dogs are pleased to see me which is touching in an odd way: they make me feel welcome in this paused house.  

I completed as much work as I could but I must admit that it was hard going and I haven’t finished.  I did some and so some weight has lifted off my shoulders. My head is not in work at the moment.  

I went to the doctors yesterday.  I am still run down after the various bugs and viruses that made themselves welcome in my home over Christmas.  And,  being totally honest,  I still don’t feel myself mentally either.  

I wasn’t going to mention it.  I am not ashamed of how I feel.  I am confused by it,  but not ashamed.  As my doctor said,  I am going through a ‘major life event’ and I should give myself a break.  To me,  it feels like failure.  I am not strong enough to deal with it and I don’t like that. 

 I don’t feel strong at the moment. I feel like I am battling,  knee deep in mud.  People are around me,  but they are fighting their own battles. Occasionally they smile reassuringly at me,  or help me up when I fall. But they have to get back to their own battle in as much as I have to get back to mine.  

Work is a big black cloud overhead.  It may rain,  bringing huge drops of water that threaten to sink me further.  Or maybe,  those clouds will disperse leaving a sun ray to light my way.  I love my job but it is not easy.  

Teaching involves performing, in every sense of the word. Quite rightly,  there are high demands in place to ensure I do the best for the children I teach.  But that means a performance.  I am not myself when I teach,  I am a shadow of myself: a construct.  This creation is there for many reasons,  one of them being for self preservation.  

Is that not the case in every area of our lives?  We have a part to play.  I have played the strong sister /daughter,  the one they all rely on,  for so long that I can’t play it any more.  Sure,  I can bring everyone together over Christmas and New Year and cook and clean and entertain.  But that is about it.  

I can’t play the strong supportive wife either.  I can’t bear the weight of his problems and anxieties whilst trying to manage a home and three children.  I can’t mother him any more as I don’t have the strength or the love to do that.  

At the doctors,  amongst other things,  I was offered a sick note. I said no.  More time off work scares me because I think that it would be a long road to travel down.  If I give in playing this part,  it will take a long time to go back to it.  Yet part of me is screaming for the solitude,  the time,  the peace.  I have just got to trust my judgement and hope that day by day I will get stronger.  

And so I cannot be entirely weak,  can I?  I am going to face work on Monday with positivity and hope that I will cope.  There has to be strength in that,  doesn’t there? And I am sat in a pub,  alone,  blending into the background and surrounded by people living their own lives.  There lives appear to whizz past me and they enjoy the company of their loved ones whilst mine appears slow.  

I am surrounded by families.I hear talking and laughing and exclaiming.  I can even  hear twin toddlers screaming in the side room next to me. Whilst eating my steak I could hear a couple arguing.  

  WordPress,  you give me an escape from playing all those parts.  It is OK to admit that I don’t feel strong here.  It is OK to say that I feel alone.  But I cannot give in.  I cannot let the battle overwhelm me because I have too much to fight for.  Admitting how I feel to you and to my doctor shows that I am not giving up.  The world is battling on around me. Time to join in.  

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