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.

Doesn’t it?

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.

But didn’t…

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.

Again.

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?’

‘Doesn’t everybody?’

‘No.’

‘Oh’

‘Do you ever stop?’

‘Not really.’

‘What do you enjoy doing?’

‘Not much.’

‘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…

Shut up.

*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

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34 Comments on “Life in Slow Motion.

  1. I think, while this may be entirely beside the point, that you are a lovely writer. I can’t imagine having ever read such a candid and accessible description of one’s struggle. I cannot imagine how exhausted you must feel, because I felt exhausted only reading this. But you do sound like a wonderful mother, if not a mother facing more hardship than most. I am delighted to have come across your blog, and look forward to reading your future posts. Good luck, and don’t forget to stop sometimes.

  2. Pingback: TheBoyAndMe · My Inbox Delights

  3. Once again I feel like you’re reading my mind, and once again you’ve made me realise something. I keep telling myself I’m okay because I get up each day and I get things done but I am not better. I forget meals all the time. I haven’t done the shopping in months because I can’t focus enough to do it properly. I don’t dare slow down and stop for fear of what that voice might tell me in the silence. It’s horrendous, it’s horrific, I know but you are amazing. You are a fighter. You are winning.

    • That is exactly what it is with me, if i stop i will have to face the unbearable sadness, shame, embarrasment of being me. I hate it but it is all part of it isnt it? I feel you missis and am with you every step of the way, it isnt easy but sometimes it is necessary apparently to sit with these feelings. Although, you know, i have so much other stuff i could be getting on with….

  4. Pingback: BritMums Blogging Prompts: Pleasures « BooandMe

    • I do not feel like i have achieved very much when i am low but i know you are right, i suppose i have. thank you for your continued support and for caring enough to comment. x

  5. When I was hospitalised toward the end of 2009 for trying to commit suicide, I was not given any help whatsoever. In fact, the psychologist I was forced to speak to before they would let me leave berated me for not succeeding. She also told me that if I was truly WANTING to die, I should have walked in front of a train or let myself get hit by a bus. I left the hospital feeling like even more of a failure.

    Every day is a struggle, and I hear the same voice as you do telling me I’m worthless, lower than low, that no one loves me, that my son would be better off without me. My arms are covered with scars from razors.

    But…. butbutbut… I’m still here. I’ve learned to stop, even for a few moments, just to catch my breath. Just to savour a few seconds of love between me and my boy or me and my partner. I have learned to notice the warning signs of an episode coming on, and I have learned to warn others that it is coming.

    There may not be anything I can do to get rid of the thoughts and feelings, but when my boyfriend is at least aware that SOMETHING is going on, he gives me that little bit of extra help to pull through.

    I am living proof that while it may never go away (I’ve been depressed since I was around four years old), it CAN be managed. It CAN be easier (if not easy). And if you allow yourself to be supported by those who love you and care for you (and even random strangers on the internet), sometimes you can even forget it for a little while.

    I hope that you remember that you’ve got lots of folks who are pulling for you.

    (Sorry to be preachy and self-indulgent, but I do hope that you know you are not alone. At all.)

    • Oh sweet. How do i ever reply to this with everything i want to convey?
      You are not preachy and self indulgent you are wonderful, although i know that like me you will overlook that compliment or shoot it down in flames with an instant internal ‘no im not.’ so i wil say it again. YOU are wonderful, and brave and beautiful and compassionate and supportive and a fighter. You have been through so much and you are still here, yup you are and look at you, sharing your story to help me when i am at my lowest. Thank you.
      I am sending you a caramel waffle, as i dont hug right after someone has supported me (it is too difficult) this is my way of saying thank you…
      and ok, go on then a quick hug.
      x

  6. I thought it was just me that had the running commentary in my head. When my little girl is asleep I try to sit down and relax but my mind is constantly going through my mental to do list. I recently became self employed and started 2 projects at the same time. I went into such a meltdown that I had to put it all to one side for a few days until I calmed down. Anyway I think what I am trying to say is I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this and to let you know that you’re not alone in this.

    • Nope it seems im not and thank you so much for sharing. This is exactly the way i am. Running commentry usually in my mind i am four things ahead of where i actually am.
      lets slow down together yes? I will make you a deal. thank you or reading and for commenting, every single one makes the difference. x

  7. You area great mum!!! I love the comment by The Boy and Me.. She is right. You’ve analysed the situation and you know you need to slow down. You will always have bad days but don’t beat yourself up about it…won’t that just make it worse and cause more paranoia? I hope you have better week this week!

    • That boy and me is always right! Thank you so much honey. I will try and slow down as this morning alone i have lost a bottle, a cup of coffee and the bloody dog.
      (I found the dog) x

  8. You got me girl. Beautiful post & I agree with The Boy & Me, you’ve come a long way and it’s good to see you know what you need to do even if putting it into practice is harder. x

  9. lexy so down please!!!! Your not alone in your weekednd/week, LPV and I sat rocking in his rocking both sobbing tonight, I’ve had a couple days where I left him with his grandparents for a few hours. I feel like he was so distraught this evening cos he felt I abandoned him.x

    • Nope you didnt abandon him at all! You were taking some you time and that is what i need to do! good for you. there is no way he would have felt like that, that is your mind torturing you! He probably had a ball with his grandparents, that is what they are there for!

  10. This is the second time today you’ve had me bawling my eyes out! But I love you all the more for it :0) You’re an excellent mum, a great friend, an amazing writer and not at all stinky!! You’re right about the multi-tasking though, I thought I would feel better now the TT’s are in nursery (and I do to an extent) but I find myself racing around like an idiot and feeling quite anxious cause I’m trying to do so much, I keep leaving the gas on too, and going out leaving the front door wide open…hubs not impressed at either of them! xxx
    p.s. he knows all of that x

    • Ar so then you need to slow down with me then dont you! It is a lot easier said than done but if the result means i dont feel so burnt out most of the time then i am up for the challenge of sitting for a while, with, are you ready for this? NOTHING TO KEEP ME BUSY. I am currently sat at the window and i just stopped for a minute to stare at the sky. (it is blue so it helps.) I only stopped for about 4 seconds but it felt good. i may try again for longer… just a white calm, no internal monologue for 4 seconds, it was wonderful. Lets try again together!

  11. Well written! I’m there with you…knowing that I should live in the moment rather than living several future moments in mere seconds (and thus leaving my keys still in the ignition with no awareness that it happened, and other blunders). You’re most definitely NOT alone! Remember that.

  12. I definitely don’t hate you – in fact, I very much admire you for having the balls to “speak” about this in a public forum. I’m sure your blog helps other people, and I really hope it helps you too.
    Thanks for the great writing.

  13. Dooooooode…
    Are you living in my head?
    I’m depressed but I can function so well. In fact when I told husband I was he didn’t believe me bc I got shit done.
    This is so weird.
    I tried explaining to psych and he thinks I have akathisia due to other meds. We made a switch and now I’m paralyzed depressed…if that makes sense.
    This thing is so confusing.
    I hope that you do take time to breathe. Don’t keep thinking that you need to be in the moment but rather when things are getting bad in your head remind yourself that this is just a moment and it will pass…make sense??
    Sending you hugs from across the big sea

    • I know exactly what you mean, that is how my other half was at first and even said that therapy was making me worse! It is such a debilitating sneaky bastard illness.
      I am here with you though, we can hold hands and run at it giving it a body block! I love thee and your blog and thank you for the hugs x

  14. Brilliant, just brilliant. This is such a different post to the one from earlier; you’ve analysed and drawn on the skills that they’ve taught you in the Priory. Well done kiddo!

    It’s also a revelation; I seem to spend my life multi-tasking when I have no need for it. I need to just focus on the task in hand and finish that. I’ll remind you if you remind me.

    • Thank you so much. Ok will you remind me tonight when i am doing a million and one things and … you know what. Just remind me all the time and i will remind you! thank you so much as usual missis x

  15. One thing at a time sweety. It doesn’t have to be an hour, a day or a week. One *thing*.

    Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You’re doing well doing what you’re doing. It’s incredibly easy as a Mother to feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders because everyone (especially that helpless little person) needs something. Addy won’t keel over if he misses a meal or doesn’t get fresh fish. Doodle won’t keel over if he misses a meal or a walk, and the Irish One won’t keel full stop. He’s self sufficient.

    Let people look after you. Tell friends/family/strangers if need be that you need some help if life is going too fast. Slow it down. When you feel panicked and anxious, STOP. Have a coffee. Sit and stare at the wall. Think about nothing.

    I’m no professional. I’ve not had PND. I’m no expert. BUT, I can see that you know what you need to do and hopefully now you’ll do it. As you said, no more multi-tasking.

    Twitter is always there for you when you need us too. More big hugs.

    PS, Nobody hates you. You’re not worthless and you’re not a terrible mother. #fact

    • Are you sure you arent a therapist in your spare time?
      Thank you so much, i know you are right and i have just done the very thing you advise. I sat and stared at the sky.
      thank you missis x

  16. Yes, many bits and pieces in here resonate with me, especially the “but i am not ill” bit. and years later, and several bouts later, you thin;k you’d always recognise the signs.but it becomes such a part of you that you’re not sure what is just “you” and what is “depression”. After all, you’re just a very negative, attention-seeking, worrier…aren’t you?

    Great post, as always Ms L

    M2M

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