Routine and indecision

Is that title an oxymoron? Not quite.

Yesterday was a good day. I had a really sleepy morning – couldn’t get going for some reason – and then at 10am I made myself get off the couch. This led to a productive day: tidying, cleaning etc.

I have family members who are obsessive cleaners. They enjoy it. It is a huge part of every day. One cousin’s house is like a show home – two children under eight and yet those cream carpets are still cream and there’s not a thing put of place. It’s a large, modern house and she has it decorated beautifully. She is also a teacher but each holiday she decorates.

My house is very different. First of all, my shelves are filled with ornaments, pictures etc – items that mean something to me. No minimalism here. So, the little carved animals that my dad makes, scented candles, silk flowers from my sister’s wedding, a photo frame: all on the same shelf. And then repeated. Too much? Probably, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of anything. So add that to an old, small house without storage and three children and you get my home. And then you understand part of my conflict…I want a tidy house, I want a show home. But that would mean clearing out so many memorable things and a cleaning regime I have no time for (how does my cousin do it???)

I read a great post recently about clearing out your past. You can read it here:

It got me thinking about the drawers and cupboards and boxes of my past that I need to sort through.

Since my medication changed and I have started to feel better I have got myself into a much better routine. I’ve started to sort through those scary drawers. My house is cleaner and tidier.

So this morning, when all I wanted to do was drown in my melancholy, in bed, in the lead up to my 11.30am welfare meeting at work, I made myself follow my routine. And it felt good.

Fact is though, I still haven’t sorted the rest of my life out. As recommended by counsellors, family and friends – How am I going to make my life easier, more manageable? It’s all very well having a tidy and clean house now but at the moment I am off work. A stay at home mum. This is not the reality of my life.

There is no way in this world that I would give up main custody of my children. Ever. But when he gets his house, perhaps things will become easier.

This is my dad’s home, his sanctuary. He is going nowhere.

I love my job. I can’t afford to leave it or go part time. I’m good at my job….. When I’m well.

So, what do I do? How do I make it easier? Some tough thinking needs to be done and I can’t keep putting it off. Just like this morning, I need to make myself do it and force myself into facing up to – and conquering – the difficulties in my life.

When I started writing this blog it was to document how I was going to change my life now that I was a single, working mum.


Oh the house is so quiet! For the first time in a while I have not gone back to bed today. So I am sat in a quiet, empty house (for now) enjoying the silence and relative calm. Last week was difficult. Although I think I have said that the new tablet seems to be having a more positive effect on me, I’m still having relapses of low mood particularly when I perceive that I have to do something difficult. Last Friday I had a welfare meeting at work. I won’t bore you with the details. But I made myself go to the school (hiding from any pupils who might see me). I met with the Headteacher and the Business Manager. I cried – a lot – but sort of silent tears as I listened to what they had to say. But I left feeling supported and hopeful that when I return I can put all this behind me. I don’t know if the stress of that and the impending Occupational Health meeting on Monday juat were to blame, but I came down with a violent cold and severe eye infection the next day. I’d been feeling pretty smug the week before that I had managed to ‘get away with’ a head cold whilst everyone else around me seemed to have a full blown cold/flu. Seems like this was not the case as my week’s worth of head cold turned into a second week of sore throat, cough and constantly streaming nose. I spent all day Sunday on the couch asleep. Monday I went to the Occupational Health meeting. I had been dreading this and if the appointment had been later in the day, I probably would have cancelled. Instead I went, eyes and nose streaming, hair a little greasy (yuk – I know) and just wanting to get it over with so I could go back to bed. It was fine, you know. She said a lot that I’d heard from my gp and counsellor and so that helped to reinforce their messages. She’s going to suggest to work that I have more than six counselling sessions if I need them. She told me to give myself time, be kind to myself and work slowly to get back. She said my tablets would take a good month to have full affect – I’m only a week and a half in. Yesterday I looked after my three year old whilst nursing one of those headaches you get from constant coughing. I did more housework than I had done for a while (but not enough, of course) and then spent the day alternatively playing and cuddling with him on the couch as we watched a film. It was heavenly, apart from the headache ☺. This morning I feel like I have turned the corner. I woke up without headache, sore throat or streaming nose. I have taken the children to school and then have put washing on and have had a quick tidy. I’m now sat drinking my first coffee in a week. Delicious. So what? You’ve had a cold. All I can say is, it felt like yet another hurdle. You know how utterly fed up you feel when you’ve been ill for a while? Well picture that when you already feel low. Not good. I’m at the stage in my recovery where I want to start thinking about everything properly. It feels like an open wound at the moment. It’s there; I can see it and feel it, but if I don’t look at it, it doesn’t feel as bad. But I know that if I don’t deal with it, it isn’t going to heal. I keep glancing at it, knowing that I’ve got to face up to it soon. I feel like to do this I need to prepare, like going into battle or, (perhaps better so I don’t mix my metaphors) preparing for an operation. I need to focus on only this, without disruption or distraction or interruption. I need to think, and write and feel at my own pace without pressure of anything else. What I would really like is to go away for a few days on my own. I’d like a little cottage or maybe even a B&B somewhere beautiful like the Lakes. I want to walk, to write, to contemplate. I don’t know if I can afford it and I would need my Ex to move in for a few days. I just think that this space would help me to truly focus and I love the Lakes. I’m missing my walks there with my friend. To be honest, in just writing this I have summed up the cause of all that I am feeling. There is no time in my life where I don’t feel pressured by outside influences; my roles as mother, daughter, sister, homeowner, teacher. I need to unpick all this, refine and define my roles and carve out a new role as caretaker for ME. That is the one area I am truly failing at, not the others like I believe. I need to keep telling myself that. My one, and only one, failure in my life so far is not caring for myself.

The seated man

He is taunting me. He sits there, smugly mimicking me with his expressionless, emotionless face.

Apart from getting up with my children and then later to check on my dad, I have been in bed all day. I told myself that I was just going back to ‘get warm’ (we have no heating until the fire is built) but each time I have found my eyes drooping and then have dozed.

I have ignored the vibrations of my activity tracker, the seated man taunting me repeatedly as I lay inactive in my bed.

Work has played on my mind most of all, but also the things that I had planned today. I have accomplished nothing.

As my sister said, in the short history of this depressive episode, this is the first time I have spent all day in bed. One day. Hopefully the last. And if it isn’t? This article may help:

Tomorrow, I plan to laugh in the face of the seated man.