When life gives you lemons…

I feel I need to write this whether anyone wants to read it is another story.

I seem to always find the time to write when I’ve reached breaking point. Over the past while there has been a lot going on in my head but clearly there has been more important things going on in the world, *cough cough* CORONAVIRUS *cough cough*. This created a tricky task for me, dealing with my head myself. I didn’t want to be a burden on anyone else, lock down has been hard enough for everyone without me adding to their worries.

So I did what I do best….kept to myself, put on a fake smile and hoped for the best!

Of course that didn’t work and I became a mess. To top it all off it happened when I least expected it, in work. It simply took one question of ‘Are you okay Steph?’, to which I replied with a mass of tears. I just broke and I knew it but I was trying my best to say i’d be okay…my famous last words. I wasn’t okay, I didn’t know what to say and I just felt no one understood. How could they? They weren’t in my head, they didn’t know what was happening, so was I expecting too much from them?

My first instinct was to run and hide but I couldn’t do that, I was in work and no one got it, I had to stay and finish my shift which was so difficult for me. Thankfully I had Kirsty and Lucy there or else i’d have crumbled. They were so supportive, comforting and although they may not of got what was completely going on in my headspace, (not many do) they respected my process and I knew they were there for me which is hard in itself.

The time came when I got to leave and I was so relieved, I was going home to Jonny, someone who got me, understood my ways and what to say to make me feel a bit better. This was the first I had felt any since of normality all day. I knew no one had hidden agendas when chatting to me. No one was going to try and ‘fix me’ and no one was going to patronise me or diminish what I was feeling.

Of course that evening involved hugs and tears..lots of them. I felt completely lost and wasn’t really sure what to do. Part of me didn’t want to tell my parents as I didn’t want them to worry, particularly as they can’t visit, plus mum is high risk so needed to stay at home, (try telling her that). But I was missing them, not seeing them had really took its tole on me. I didn’t want to admit it but I was struggling without them. I’d already been on the phone with the GP but of course I couldn’t see him directly, so after a long discussion we both felt increasing the ‘happy pills’, (read previous posts to get the just of these). So I then faced another dilemma, when collecting my prescription did I go and visit the parentals or not?

Keeping 2 metres apart, I visited, but I didn’t want to burden them so it was more just a social catch up, burdening them comes a few days later. It was good for my head and my car as my dad washed it! #dadgoals

I started the meds and well it all hit me. They knocked me for six.

Sunday night came which meant work on Monday. My anxiety set in but I tried to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t happening. Monday morning was a different story, I was trying to get ready for work, 1 hour later I still hadn’t managed to get dressed. Next was make-up, the brush touched my face and I fell to pieces. I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t ready to face people, let alone have to manage a ward. Trying to stay together made falling apart so much worse. I had to finally admit to other people I wasn’t okay, as much as I already knew I wasn’t, this was when reality set in. I rang the one person I knew would understand, Bex, and of course she was how I expected, kind, compassionate, understanding, helpful…the list could go on. In my state this put me at such ease knowing she got me and was there for me.

I came to the realisonation I needed my mum and dad but I couldn’t speak to them, I didn’t know what to do. Thankfully my husband is so supportive and wonderful, he contact my dad because he knew I needed them. It took me until the evening to be able to talk, Jonny by my side and I rang, I spilled my guts. I opened up and shared how i’d been feeling for the past number of weeks. It was the best thing i’d done. It really helped me but I knew I’d a long way to go. When your mum wants to take on the whole world for you, you know you’ve a good one. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive network and I would suggest that is something people need when they feel like this. It is important to know some people won’t understand what is going on and I learnt that the last time and that is okay. It doesn’t mean the don’t love you and don’t care for you but they might just show that in different ways and you need to respect that.

The last few days admittedly haven’t been good. The tablets have hit. I either feel wide awake or I’m out cold. My head constantly feels like it’s spinning and I have zero concentration, (it has took me multiple attempts to even sit and write this). I feel like saying this is all normal but what is normal? I’ll just leave this one here as I could be there a while.

When I experienced this before I gravitated towards baking, low and behold I’ve done it again. Banana bread, (were you even in lock down if you didn’t bake banana bread), scones, brownies, lemon drizzle…you name it I’ve done it. Don’t get me wrong that isn’t a completely bad thing but my jeans might not thank me for it. Baking is the only thing I feel I can do as it allows me to see a task through from start to finish. I thought this might help with building up my concentration and focus again. I have also took up knitting – No I’m not 90 – the idea being when I’m really good I can knit all those expensive designer pieces i’ll never afford. I’m enjoying learning a new task but it takes time and I can’t do it overnight so my focus fades. Never did I expect to say I miss the gym. Sorry if you’ve just fell over mum & dad. I lack the motivation myself to do exercise at home and a few weeks before this all started I had started going to a personal trainer. Although the aim would be to see great physical differences, I underestimated how much it was doing for my mental health and how much I actually needed it. I’ve tried to go outside and walk but it isn’t the same these days. There is no one about and I get lost in my own thoughts instead of people watching which at the minute isn’t ideal for me.

I still haven’t pinpointed what caused this all again as I felt I was doing pretty good. I guess that’s what it does, convinces you that you are okay. I’ve tried to compile a list of things which probably have contributed and rationalise them in my head but some things I can’t actually do anything about. There are things if I did something about might hurt someone else and contrary to popular belief I’m not that person. I hate friction and I will always apologise and cave even if it isn’t my fault, it’s just who I am. Life has changed so much over the past year and I feel as though I’ve been in a bubble which is slowly bursting, not in a bad way but just reality taking effect. From getting married, moving out and getting a new job, (Yes I don’t do things by half, I never have), I’ve let the stress and emotions build up instead of dealing with them as they arose, I’ve let the thoughts of doubt and guilt creep in making me feel like i’m not good enough or that I can’t do my job – the rational side of my brain knows this isn’t true but it tends to get compressed. I now need to try and combat all of that which to others may sound crazy but when it’s all you think about and everything you do you can relate back to it, it consumes you. I find it amazing how life can just change in a moment and although it may stand still for one person it continues on for everyone else. I guess this is what makes me feel so lost at times.

So for now i’m taking it day by day, talking to Jonny and the parentals, taking the happy pills, baking and now writing. No doubt you will see plenty more bakes and hopefully more upbeat blog posts over the next while.

Stephanie xo

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