Wow – it’s empty in here.
Almost a year since I last tapped out some thoughts on the keyboard – and to be honest I am still unsure whether I want to come back in or not.
What’s happened to turn me away from my blog space, my happy little home I made here with y’all? Well, I guess it stopped being so happy. It stopped being my place to retreat to, to chill and clear my head. Instead, this became just another chore, another thing on the list of ‘things I have to do’ to keep the world turning, the house moving, life feeling normal. Last year – it all became just a bit too much.
I started 2017 with an idea that a new year meant a new start. Which is silly really – having a new date on the calendar doesn’t make everything magically improve. Of course, it didn’t.
At the start of the year Mr G was off work again – this time because he had no work to go to. Although this was expected, it gave his confidence a thump, sending him backwards a little. I know – depression doesn’t just go away, and there are bumps in the road. The problem is that living with him means I am constantly on guard watching for signs and every instance of irritability, grouchiness, quiet, sadness, and my own anxiety returns as I tense – ready for the potential explosion.
By March – Mr G still at home, my own work still fluctuating and with me dashing from pillar to post – well, I knew things were going wrong. What gave it away? The lack of interest in anything – my home, housework, my family, my own work, struggling to put words on a page, let alone hit a deadline, hiding in the bath every night so the sound of running water hid the tears from my family . . . or finally, going along to a self-development session and ending up crying in front of a room full of strangers.
I suppose there are worse places. Being a development session, the lady running it was a life coach. Someone who helps you take a look at your life, the good, the bad, and the completely pointless, and work out where you lost yourself. And she stepped in, arranged a morning with me and basically gave me a 4 hour private counselling session – for a quarter of the usual price. I can only assume that I looked quite awful.
So what do you do in a counselling session? Well, we didn’t get too in depth, mainly because I spent most of the 4 hours in a sodden mess in her office. Maybe that’s what was actually needed – just to be able to really let go, without control, without having to hold it in because my job was to be strong. This lady didn’t need my support, she was there to just listen to me. I’m not sure how much of it was intelligible.
But we did establish a few things. How very angry I was, with everyone who was supposed to be there for me. My friends. Where had they been over the last year, over the last months especially, when I was going down, tail on fire? Where, exactly, were my support network, oblivious to the fact I was struggling, ignoring the inconvenience of my husbands long term illness, but still demanding from me?
And, how very tired I was.
She said, simply, that I was burnt out.
And yes – that is how I felt. Empty, nothing more left to give.
We set some simple tasks, and I left to go do those.
Number 1 being, speaking to Mr G. Just sharing how I felt.
Number 2, taking my kids out, one at a time, and doing something with them. No screens, no distractions, just some one on one time.
Number 3, getting back here (or someplace else) and writing down how I feel. This is my chosen method for emptying my head – writing – so, she said, go and do that. OK – it’s taken another 3 months, and I still don’t know if being here is good. But – here I am.
One step at a time.