Life in Slow Motion.
Shopping I must shop today, I need sponges and cloths, the one on the sink has been there since New Kids on the Block were at number 1. It is manky. Which reminds me I need to buy some drain un-blocker too. The plug is filled with hair. Gross. I wonder if I will ever stop malting, which reminds me I need to hoover the dog hair off the sofa before the Irish One gets home tomorrow night or he will go mad. Oh we need fish too. I must make Addison’s lunch from fresh tomorrow, he will eat fish, he always does, yes that is a good idea, it will need to be put on at eleven while he naps, or should that be half eleven, what if it goes cold while he is still asleep? You know people don’t like you right? They think you are a terrible mother.
Maybe I should just cook it when he wakes up? But what if he climbs on the TV stand while I am in the kitchen and knocks it over on himself? No I will cook it while he sleeps then wake him up and he can eat. If he is tired he could sleep again this afternoon while I do some writing. If they liked you, you would feel it. I am sure they call you things behind your back; it is because you are worthless.
Shit, when will we go to the shops? I need sponges and cloths, oh and washing up liquid and nappies. Damn I will need to go to the bank first. Right so if I wake Addison up and give him is lunch then we can go to the bank and then I can go to the supermarket. Nobody will ever love you enough Lexy you are hard work.
Right but before all of that I need to make him breakfast and I need to wash up and let the dog out. What time is it? Oh. 3am. I really should get some sleep. Ok I will try and sleep. Don’t forget the sponges tomorrow. Maybe you should get out of bed and write it down in case you forget…you are pathetic.
Oh and drain un-blocker! Do not forget that, and make sure you hoover…shit the shopping! I went to Asda before! How did I forget that? Because you are an idiot…
It is happening again.
I am starting to run too hard, too fast and for too long.
When I say I am staring to run, I don’t mean in the literal sense because I do not run and never will. Occasionally I will jog, but only if I am jogging towards someone holding a chocolate bar, or maybe after the pizza deliveryman if he forgot the sweet chilli sauce, but running has never been my thing and I am not ashamed to admit it.
What I actually mean is, I can appreciate when I am making myself ill again by never stopping for breath, by driving through the Starbucks ‘Drive thru’, paying and leaving without the coffee, and forgetting to smile at the realisation.
I suffer with depression, this much is true but sometimes I forget I can do things to help myself.
I start to fall in to old behavioral patterns, and one by one I start leaving my marbles behind, losing them, leaving them and most disturbingly, abusing myself instead of coming to my own rescue.
A while back, when my sheets were starched white, a magpie was my best friend and a doctor would pop his head in on me to check I wasn’t dead every fifteen minutes, I learnt a lot about recognizing the signs of illness, and how to live in the moment.
‘Take one day at a time,’ is a phrase I have heard countless times over the last few months, from health professionals, friends and family. In fact I have heard it so often, I sometimes wonder if Addison will whisper it to me as his first full sentence.
And although I nod and murmur my agreement while shooting a Wallace and Grommit type grin back, I don’t really listen, when perhaps I should be doing.
Before being admitted in to hospital I would say I didn’t understand or know how to ‘live in the moment’, I thought it was just an annoying cliché.
Since being hospitalized I would probably say I do know how to, but usually forget the importance and the need for doing so.
How can I only think about today when next Tuesday I am going to the dentist? (and we all know what happened last time!)
How can I only think of today when I have to find the money to pay nursery on Wednesday?
How can I only live in this moment right now, when I have to put Addison’s lunch on in the next hour?
I need to plan.
Life is too fast and too important; there are too many things to think about, to worry about, to fixate on, to only think of today, to only think of this moment right now.
There is no time to slow down.
Getting everything done matters more.
On Monday evening I left my lifeline, my laptop, in it’s newly bought leather case, sat on the top of my car for two hours in the middle of Salford, while I took all my other belongings (my son and his paraphernalia) in to the house to commence the regimented bedtime routine. I didn’t realise that this is where my life line, my laptop, had been sitting like a time bomb, waiting to be stolen until 8pm when I sat down to write and remembered with a minor heart attack the last time I had had it.
It was still there.
On Tuesday I left the gas on the hob, crackling and bursting away, turned on full for an hour after warming up ready brek. I only realised after I had started to feel drowsy and had wandered in to the kitchen to get a glass of water. After feeling my legs go weak with relief that I had caught it just in time, I ran with a pounding heart, and opened every window in the house.
Thank god Addison was in nursery.
On Wednesday I was so anxious about getting everything done I needed to get done, I was in Asda with my belongings (my son and all his paraphernalia) by 6.30 am. I woke him up to take him.
After no sleep.
On Thursday and Friday I forgot to eat. I wasn’t hungry. At least, I don’t remember feeling hungry.
I probably wasn’t.
On Saturday I dropped my belongings (my son and all his paraphernalia) off with my mum while I went to a wedding. My mum called not long after and said she wanted to take Addison to the on-call Dr again as his temperature was high again, but not to worry, it was just for her peace of mind. I raced there, in my dress, insisting they wait for me and I went with them.
Returning a couple of hours later, prescription in hand and wanting to get my exhausted belongings (my son and his paraphernalia) in to my own car, and go home, I couldn’t find my car keys. The car keys that also had my house keys attached to them. After an hour of searching and panicking, my mum reminded me ‘I saw you put them on top of the car when you strapped Addy in before we left for the Dr’s, did you pick them up again?’
No I hadn’t.
Miraculously though, they were still there, sat on top of her car, inexplicably wedged under the roof rack. We had driven on the motorway, we had been to Wythenshaw hospital, got lost, taken at least four U turns, and we had driven home on the motorway and yet, there they still were. Heart pounding, knowing the Irish one was away with his keys and Doodle could have been imprisoned at home, I got in the car and thanked whoever it was, who was watching over me.
I also acknowledged that maybe; just maybe, it was time to slow down.
On Sunday, struggling to function, the depression having seen it’s opening and thrust itself in, an uninvited guest at the party, I lost my cash card. And 2 credit cards. I shouted at Addison over nothing. I made him cry. Over nothing. I self harmed because I shouted at Addison over nothing and more so than ever before, I wanted to give up. I am a terrible mother, a failure. I researched brain tumors in my spare time while Addison slept, and convinced myself I had one. As if I wasn’t anxious enough. I thought a lot about dying. I hated everybody. We went to Asda and did a shop. A shop I only remembered was in the boot of my car at 3 o’clock this morning.
After eating nothing for dinner.
When I was first in hospital, I thought I wasn’t depressed because I got out of bed everyday and got on with my day. I kept telling the doctors I was just a drama queen. I can laugh. I can organize. I am not depressed.
‘You are depressed.’
‘No I am not!’
‘What makes you think you aren’t?’
‘I get out of bed everyday!’
‘Do you sometimes think about dying?’
‘Do you ever stop?’
‘What do you enjoy doing?’
‘Do you ever stop?’
‘No. There is no time to.’
‘It is critical that you stop.’
Like plunging head first in to very cold water, I am reminded once again of those words.
My illness is one I have fought long and hard with.
So why am I giving up now? Why am I ignoring all the advice now?
I am not. I will not.
It is time to slow down again.
Before something catastrophic happens.
When I am playing with my son, I have to put my phone down, remind myself that in an hour, I will deal with that hour, but right now, we are playing. The fish will cook. The day will go on.
When I am making dinner I have to be making dinner.
When I am meant to be sleeping I need to be sleeping.
The days will take care of themselves.
No more multitasking for now.
It is too dangerous, for my belongings (my son and all his paraphernalia) and for my mental health.
And that includes you, voice in my head.
(Voice, not voices!)
No more multi-tasking for now.
One thing at a time.
But what about picking the Irish one up from the airport, you need petrol, you’ll need to put your foot down, you’ll be ok doing 80, make sure you pick Addison up, you need to feed the dog, and have a shower, you need to wash, the Irish One will think you are stinky, nobody likes you stinky…
*And whoever you are, that has been looking after and out for me up there, as if I didn’t know; I am listening, and I owe you one. I am listening. I love you and miss you everyday. A hundred times, thank you. x