Fri 29th September
I have a little hour before my daughters get home from school and so much to do. I have work emails to check, the carpets to vacuum, the vacuum cleaner to fix, again, so much and so many options.
But I’m so tired, I can hardly drag my feet about, although I did manage to hang up the washing from two days ago!
I can’t work out why I’m so tired, it doesn’t feel like emotional fatigue, but then again, I have just got back from working at the hospice, running a therapeutic horticulture session for the newly bereaved…
I have grown to love this group as they are growing together. They’ve all lost someone, mostly to some form of cancer or they personally are being treated for cancer. I found it hard at first and was afraid that I too would burst into tears but I seem to have been holding it together.
What struck me last week, through the frank and open discussion that naturally happens when people are focused on a task that’s not directly dealing with their problems, was how supported they’ve all been through their journey of loss. They’ve been offered medication; antidepressants, sleeping aids, counselling, massage therapies, support groups, bereavement sessions and a supportive loving community to nurture them through these hardest of times.
But what of me? I was offered nothing, no support, no help, no medication. I’ve had to battle every step of the way and I’m still battling to get my children to be supported.
I still wonder if I’m okay, I’ve no idea, I think so. But right now, it’s 2.34pm and I’m so tired that I have to go and lie down, close my eyes, switch off and out.
I know I get like this when it all gets too much, like a bottleneck crammed with all the bits of my life, making no sense and no order. To top it all I dropped my phone in a sink full of dirty dishwater. I should know better, I can’t multi task anymore, not even by talking to my mother whilst washing dishes one handed. A simple task, you’d think.
I registered for a house viewing but foolishly ticked the box about having a house to sell. I also by necessity of crazy work situations, put my personal mobile as the contact number for some wellbeing activities we are offering at work.
Well, my phone went ballistic for a couple of hours – luckily I couldn’t answer it as I was working – and then promptly announced its final ring tone, most probably death by dirty dishwater.
I was quite grateful for the quiet until I realised I needed to contact a tennis colleague about a lift to the Tennis League Dinner that night, where I had to pick up the trophy for winning our ladies division. But alas, panic rising, the quietness came at a price – I’d lost my entire contacts list.
Already pickled from overwhelm, I tried to fiddle with my microsim card and insert it into a bigger sim card, into my daughter’s old nokia press button phone. My eyesight has diminished since Kevin died and my new glasses kept slipping off my nose every time I looked down; my hands looked massive, the sim card tiny as I fumbled with it, clumsily and completely ineptly.
I wanted to throw the phone across the room and bury myself deeper under the duvet. My two (un)helpful children were making me feel more inept by ripping the phone off me at every opportunity, professing to do a better job. It’s only been a few years since the changeover to a touch screen, but my frustration soared to new heights when I tried to work out how to dial a number! That was until I remembered the purpose built buttons.
And then I had to stop and laugh at myself.
Frazzled, frustrated and more than a bit flustered, I finally made contact with my tennis mate, via Facebook, only to find that the League Dinner was actually the following night – I didn’t know whether to collapse, laugh hysterically or just give up.
I hear our cat mewing, ‘Juno, Juno, where are you? Are you hungry? Are you okay?’ – the cat is nowhere to be seen, but the little old phone is vibrating and I finally find the source of the distressed cat – my daughter has recorded him as her ringtone. More hysterical laughter.
Feeling relieved, I collapse, now I can continue with being exhausted, inept and contact-less.
It all worked out as my daughters went for their pre arranged sleepover and I got to spend some very rare but much needed time with my lover.
The next problem was finding childcare for the following night of the League Dinner, which, as it happened, all worked out fine, it was a wonderful night.
The following night I am exhausted again, in bed by 4pm, sore throat, sore ears, approaching illness. I tried hard to ‘switch the lights off’, ‘unplug my hard drive’, pretend I was invisible, but between constant enquiries for courses (on a Sunday night!), work colleagues, my demanding daughter moving back into bed with me and my lover phoning me incessantly to check if I was okay, then telling me to get up and get on with it – it just wasn’t happening.
For me, the moral of this story, is that I am not allowed to be anything other than 100% to all those that are close to me and need me for their wellness.
I shall have to deal with me another day.