That there, is a rather indulgent coffee for 4.30pm, made with single cream and some salted caramel syrup. First, I rarely drink coffee in the afternoon as I won’t sleep. I also don’t have syrups in my coffee as they’re too sweet. And cream goes in coffee at Christmas.
As I spent 12 hours overnight in the A&E departments of two hospitals, I think I deserve it.
I originally started a post at 6.30am, sat in a treatment room of the second hospital. I’d been awake all night. My son was sleeping on the ‘bed’. Here’s what I started writing:
How dare I start to feel happy again, finally. My anxiety was slowly being controlled. I am happy at work. Things with Wildcard were steadying.
I'm sat in A&E with my son and it's 6.30am. We left for the hospital at 10.30pm. We've been awake ever since and this is our third hospital (although the first doesn't really count as they sent us away as apparently 16 years doesn't equate to a child.)
I won't say why we are here. Just like I didn't tell you when my daughter was in A&E just four days ago for an on-going illness that became acute.
There's nothing quite like thinking your child may be seriously ill. I'm going to allow myself to feel sorry for myself. However, I know thinking does nowhere near compare to knowing - my heart goes out to anyone whose children is poorly.
Yes, I was kind of bitter and angry there, wasn’t I? Angry at the world.
Since we arrived home at 10.30am (he is fine by the way), I’ve slept for a few hours, showered and started some stew:
This is comfort food at its best. It’s made from chicken – bones and all – vegetables and herbs. Full of goodness. What’s more, it’s easy to make and – more importantly- it’s what my dad used to make.
I’m being kind to myself. I hope you noticed the drops of cream on the counter (although that was a little exaggerated) and the dirty pan behind the stew (reality). I
should could have got up and cleaned yesterday’s dishes. I haven’t. I made the stew, then made the coffee.
I need comfort and gentleness. The stew is all that, wrapped in a warm Dad hug. I don’t make it much, mainly because it never tastes quite like Dad’s (it is impossible to replicate) and also because it used to make me feel guilty. Dad used to make this regularly – a few times a week with different meat – and I got to the point where I was sick of eating it. I pretended to and binned it. It was one of my sad confessions on his death bed. I loved the stew, loved the fact that he cared enough to make it for me, but sometimes didn’t want it again (sorry Dad).
Now of course, I’d do anything to come home to the smell of it, Dad bustling in the kitchen.
I was angry this morning at the world. Now, I’m not. I’m still exhausted but I’m relieved that my son doesn’t have a life threatening bleed in his neck. I’m grateful for the kindness and understanding of many of the staff which cared for him, and me.
I realised before, walking into the kitchen that I had left dishevelled when I rushed him to A&E last night, that this is the saddest part of depression. You spend months, years trying to fight a mental illness. By the time that you start to recover, you then have to try to wade through the mess of things you neglected because you couldn’t cope. Recovery is hard enough, but having a mountain of unfinished business on top of the gargantuan issues that possibly caused the depression and are still there, is heartbreaking.
I’ve decided to be kind to myself.
I’m slowly, slowly working through the things I put to one side. There are many of them. They worry me. But, I’m being gentle to myself in recognising that I couldn’t manage them then, and expecting a magic wand to resolve them instantaneously now is unhelpful. It will take time and that’s ok. Slow and steady.
So, I made my stew and made my coffee and I sat down to write. I allowed myself time to write this post. The pans will be washed and the cream mopped up, when im ready. They will be done at some point. Leaving them because I’m lazy is not acceptable. Leaving them as an act of kindness to myself when I am physically and emotionally exhausted, is .
The coffee has long gone and my stew is smelling like my childhood home. I’m going to make a fire and bask in the warmth of my home and the luck that both my children and ok and with me.