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Succulent, see

Hi all! I haven’t disappeared. I realise that my posts here are few and far between. I have been doing a few blog commissions for Firefly recently hence my absence here. In addition to that things have been a bit up and down with Amy. We had a hospital visit last week.. nothing serious but she was beyond irritable and had to be checked over etc.

This weekend we are going away. We are going to haven to stay in an adapted caravan. My mum and dad were meant to be coming too but we had a bit of a mishap on venue and they ended up at a different haven location on a different weekend (haha!). Funny now, but wasn’t back then.

I am actually typing this purely in a mission to waste time. We have a guy round doing cctv in the drains. We had this blockage incident at the weekend which meant if any of us needed the toilet we had to take it in turns to go to the supermarket (another “funny now, wasn’t back then). Waiting for him to leave so I can pick up amy’s prescription and pick up some stuff from the shops then hopefully walk the dog.

I woke up with a stinking cold today. So annoying isn’t it. There is never a convenient time to get one but today is especially not good. I seem totally incapable of resting. I managed earlier for literally 5 minutes before I went and sorted Amy’s clothes out. Managed to clear out loads of stuff she has outgrown and also found a friend happy to take them on for her daughter. Feels like a huge win but I really do have a headache. Anxiety is so annoying for this. I can sit down at night when phil is there and I’m too physically exhausted to do anything else.. but other than that I’m whirling around like a fool trying to get things done.#

I haven’t really got any other news… if you can call any of what I said up there “news”. We did complete on the sale of the house which was good… we have been paying both mortgage and rent for the last 6 or so months and it was starting to become a financial struggle. So this has been a huge relief for us and now we can start to finish Amy’s bedroom. She needs a wardrobe and a few other bits as storage is fast becoming an issue. We will be having hoist tracking fitted soon so will be good to have her room ready for that so we can figure out the logistics.

We are that awkward stage now where really she is getting hard to carry… but we can do transfers without a hoist. It’s almost like we are in a transition period. I am struggling coming to terms with the idea of hoisting. I know that in years to come I will look back on now and wonder why I was so upset about it… but it is what it is and whilst I count my blessings everyday I think it is only normal to grieve and wallow. I just try not to wallow for too long as it isn’t conducive to a good outcome.

We’ve had a few pretty traumatic school drop offs and outings lately.  I’m not sure what the source of bother is but she is getting very distressed and pretty much undistractable at times and it has tested my patience harder than ever before. My friend took me out for breakfast on wednesday. I arrived at school literally shaking and holding back the tears. Amy had wailed the entire way in and because of traffic it took almost an hour and a half of creeping crawling traffic to get her in. She was bright red in the face, covered in tears, inconsolable. I hear from nursery that her mood and indeed day did improve so that’s good.

This time next year she will qualify for school transport. I am nervous for this and at first was determined that I continue to bring her in but have my own petrol allowance… but after this last week or so I am in no doubt about what needs to be done. Unless of course she is even more distressed with them. My worry is that they may have even less patience than me and I can’t stand the thought of someone being angry towards her. So we will see. Maybe having other kids in transit or her ipad will make it a better journey.

Today I finally got round to planting my succulent and cactus seeds. I have been annoying Phil for ages with my quest for the perfect succulent. I actually did buy some really cute nice ones and have them displayed on the front room window sill but I also have planted some seeds as well. I did it with the idea that really I should have hobbies other than just boring things like chores… and nature and plants are always a good idea. I am hoping to play more games, listen to more interesting podcasts, walk more and read more too.. there often aren’t enough hours in the day and sometimes when there are I am too tired. I don’t want on my death bed to be wondering why I spent so much time doing the dishes… I should be recalling all of the lovely trips I had and hobbies I indulged in and so on. I wish I didn’t spend so much time imagining myself on a stereotypical deathbed listing my many regrets in life… hopefully that won’t happen.

We all say we won’t turn into our parents but I remember wondering why they liked feeding ducks so much, feeding birds in the garden, and growing plants.. and here I am now loving all of those exact things. I’m not a party animal like them though.

I had a lovely walk with my dad yesterday too. I hadn’t seen my mum and dad properly in over a week and was becoming a bit miserable. So when I received a text yesterday inviting me out on a dog walk and then to their house for food I was actually delighted. It transformed a lonely (but needed) respite day into a day of fun and laughter.

I will leave this here so I can continue to bumble awkwardly around my own house trying to work out if this guy wants a brew (he declined when I asked..) and if he is planning to leave any time soon.

 

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Finding my footing, navigating my way a long a tricky path. The mud sliding beneath my feet as I feel deep regret for once again making the incorrect choice of footwear for this venture. Using the chunky roots of trees to provide me traction to prevent me from falling to my knees I make my way a long. I navigate myself around the puddles as best I can, inevitably immersing my shoes in a thick cake-ish brown. I want to look up at the trees but for fear of losing my ties to the ground I make do with the occasional glance.

I glance up at the trees. “Nature, you crazy” I think to myself as I consider reaching for my camera at almost every tree I encounter. I have always been fascinated by the less conventional looking trees; the ones that entwine their branches round the trunk of another tree; the ones whose branches twist and contort ever reaching up and up towards the sky. Each branch competing to feel bask under the warm blanket of light from the sun.

I look down again. I got clumsy. Walking uphill and thinking to myself how much a steep incline is symbolic of lifes struggles. Making my way to the top I can feel myself gasping for air. Not through lack of fitness, but because sometimes I forget to breathe properly. I take in as much air as I can, I can feel my lungs expand. Instead of considering breathing exercises and how this should be a calming ritual I reflect on my own fragile mortality, I think of how grateful I am for functioning lungs; I berate myself for not even remembering to breathe properly. I acknowledge that berating myself for not breathing properly is not conducive to good mental health and I look for distraction.

I look to the river. I will always gravitate to places with water. I love how both tranquillity and chaos can exist side by side so cohesively. The river is flowing fast today, it must have rained last night. The effects of yesterdays weather on the river are controlling its function today. The fast flow now reminds me of a fast beating heart, the panic, remember to breathe. Just breathe.

My dog runs onto the sand at the embankment of the river. I smile to myself. He is so silly and happy in life. I wish I could be more like him. For a moment I am reminded that it is these little moments in life that make it happy and I am so grateful for such a companion in my life. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be on this walk, I would be elsewhere entirely; probably indulging in one of many bad coping mechanisms… over eating, too much caffeine, and over thinking. It is good to not be afforded the luxury of over thinking as today I have found it all too overwhelming.

A small stone wall that has mainly fallen away reminds you of some kind of ancient relic of the past. Perhaps placed in Victorian times or even older. This causes me to feel nostalgia for university days, losing myself in a book. Something I no longer have the concentration for. Another moment of berating for not enriching my life how I used to. For turning to the convenience of television, favouring the art of doing nothing, of not having to build the pictures in my head for myself. An old church, a rusty gate, a well. Tremendous.

They say in life that nothing good comes easy. But lately I feel that nothing at all ever comes easy. That almost every interaction on the phone with a stranger will have a negative outcome. That every letter through the door is another “to do” to add to the list. That every requirement of medication will involve copious amounts of outbound calls to people who are being paid to talk to you but not paid to care. That every interaction I have will reflect back at me all of my pitfalls. I will withdraw into myself and excuse myself from social functions. Or I will go the opposite way and require someone. Misery loves company. But on those weeks every reaching out to a friend comes back as a reason they cannot see you. You have no choice but to feel it a personal attack, that you aren’t good to be around. You agree with this, you don’t even want to be around yourself.

Your thoughts enter a downward spiral and you think about how unfair life can be. Why am I like this? Why was I given the challenges I have? The glowing yellow in a field beyond the trees catches my eye. I am distracted again. I don’t know much at all about flowers, they always make me think of my mum and grandma who both share a passion for them. I note that these flowers are most likely weeds and yet they are so perfect. I get my camera out and take some pictures; the quality doesn’t do justice to the vivid colours, even with a filter.

Every able bodied child passing by on a scooter or eating a lolly feels like a slap to the face. You don’t want to feel like this. You celebrate what you have. But you are more than welcome to note the heartache that you so often feel too. This wasn’t what we asked for. This wasn’t what she deserved.

Last time I lost my footing I sprained my ankle. This injury resulted in a further few sprains. Always try to look where you are going. They don’t look too far into the future on this journey, but it is hard not to. I feel like a burden, a martyr, a bit of a fool. I fear that those who love me will realise my lack of worth and deem me too high maintenance to handle. I know that this won’t happen, and yet I still hold that fear and let it keep me awake at night.

I look up at the trees again. I start to see signs of autumn – the big season of changes. Where the leaves flourish and morph into glorious shades of golds, oranges and reds. It is only August, but you can’t wait to immerse yourself in this rich display of nature and try to pretend that for just that little moment, this is all that matters.

I am home now. It is night time. I get into bed for an early night. There have been too many nights of disrupted sleep. Surely this is my night. Immediately the effects of restless legs take place. The irresistible urge to stretch possesses me. I toss and turn, getting more and more frustrated with myself. Physically and mentally exhausted I continue long into the night to try and muster a few hours good quality sleep.

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You can laugh, or you can cry. Sometimes I want to do both. Simultaneously.

No I am not having some sort of mental breakdown. Or am I? I don’t even know anymore.

Today I finally mustered up the courage and set time aside to chase up my self help referral. I have tried CBT… to no avail… it wasn’t for me. Clearly just medication and breathing exercises alone aren’t enough for me. I can’t switch off, ever. I can’t get to sleep or sleep well. I can’t stop the constant thoughts. It is an endless stream of consciousness… there is no pause or stop, only play or fast forward. It is exhausting.

Sometimes I think I am just being a bit dramatic and that my daily stresses and strains are equal to everyone elses. But then mornings like this morning are a reminder that this is far from the truth. Continuously broken appointments, frequent heavy lifting and manoeuvring, beeping problematic machines, non stop phone calls throwing problems at me. Logistics, plans, everything. Too much.

I don’t want to go into details about it all at risk of 1) making myself get all worked up again or 2) it being read by the wrong people and me getting in trouble.

We’ve had a few things arranged recently whereby people haven’t shown up. Or what was promised was not delivered and has left us in the lurch.

Imagine my consternation up on chasing my referral to have to leave a voicemail and receive no return call. The thoughts begin “why do I bother? No one cares. You’re wasting your time. why can’t you just cope. Why are you pathetic, how do you even have friends? Why can’t you just calm down and breathe like everyone else?” Ignore, ignore. The thoughts prevail. The seep into your everyday activities, distracting you from your task in hand.

Walk it off. Lower your adrenaline. Have a glass of water. Just breathe. Just breathe. Don’t keep checking the time. You have plenty of time. Enjoy this moment. Boom, sudden thought about losing a loved one. Why? Why brain? I am already stressed, please don’t do this. I become consumed at the thought… text that person, check on them, let them know how much you mean to them. Text sent. And so on.

My brain is so tired today.

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It Occurred to me Recently

That life is fragile. I know we all know that but I’d say lately more than ever I have felt this the strongest I have ever felt it.

I turn 30 soon. For some reason a lot of people attach a lot of meaning to it and it has sort of become a bit of a stigma. “By the time I’m 30 I want to have…” sort of like an early mid-life bucket list.

My issue though is this. As someone who has a compulsion to overthink, overanaylyse, and ascribe meaning to everything… why do we place so much value on lives when they have ended? When you tentatively click maybe or cant go on a party invite… woule you have that same response if it was to rsvp to a person’s funeral or memorial? If so, why?

Is it because you are in day to day mode trying to juggle different responsibilities? Is it because of logisitics ie childcare or work responsibilities? Would those things apply again if it were a funeral or would exceptions be made and plans in place?

Your attendance to that funeral matters far less than your attendance whilst that person is alive. It’s about making that person know that their life has value whilst you are there to show it, not when they arent there.

Do we care so much when someone is gone because it highlights our own shortcomings? Is it a reminder or the times we werent there so we go to feel better about it? I know not always. But sometimes.

Is it because in a moment of assuming immortality we think there will be a next time? We become so complacent in routine that this time doesnt matter, there will be other times.

I am guilty of all of this myself. I dont say this to call anybody out or make anyone feel bad. I post it probably because lately ive become quite introspective, with that usually comes heightened anxiety and awareness. To think of people leaving their home and to never return because of an attack petrifies me. Those who know me will already know what an anxious wreck I can be… lately this is intensified. I feel a level of perpetual but subdued grief, but simulataneously a level of desperation to have purpose, to feel value, to help people. But anxiety can be debilitating. I can think one thing and do the other.

I can feel an urgency to complete tasks and yet be barely able to move. I can feel a desire to just lay face down in a pillow but be frantically working through a huge list of jobs. There can be a colossal disparity between what i feel and what i do. I hope soon this will change. I have plans, i have value, i have a purpose. I dont want to live feeling at any moment I or indeed anyone around me could die… but I do want to make sure all of these people, including myself know that they matter, hugely.