Water under the bridge

Humble apologies to anyone who has sent me a comment in the last few days. I know I have not responded very quickly at all to some of you, and I don’t want you to think I’m just being an ignorant arse. Things aren’t going the greatest on this end, although I have tried to continued to post something at least … but it is apparent that I am relying on my photos again.

I had been in what I considered to be a pleasant state of relatively “normal” for two whole weeks prior to – oooh (sound of thinking) – about Thursday just gone. Those of you who have read some of my earlier posts about the struggles I’ve had with my illness will know that this “normal” state is not only unusual, but a rather foreign concept for me. So foreign, in fact, that I honestly can’t put hand on heart and say that it is normal. All I do know is that it wasn’t me being very sad, and it wasn’t me being hideously anxious and temperamental and agitated and irritated and fast-moving and a bit too energised for my own liking.  On the Mood Chart scale, I was generally somewhere in the middle and it was a bit of a relief to say the least.  My medicine had been increased, and I thought I may have found the right level to get me back on track. I’ve also been going to WRAP group to help establish a plan to stay as well as possible as often as possible; Creative Writing to keep my “budding author within” juices flowing; meetings are being held at my son’s school with various agencies paying attention to his needs as the child of a mum who’s unwell;  I even went back to my job and agreed to start work again this Tuesday coming.

Then Thursday hit – and try as I might, I can’t stop feeling so, so sad.

I know there are triggers, and I can recognise what they are.

The big one is money. I’ve made some hefty (for me) payments in the last month that have taken me from just comfortably hovering in the black to living, once again, solidly in the red.

Buying tickets to Marrakech was a whim, a moment of madness, and one I can’t take back – but it was, and still is, a bargain by any standards. £119 per person for flights, transfers, and four nights in a four-star hotel in the central area of Marrakech, Morocco. Even with extra payments for half-board, luggage, airport parking, and excursions, it still comes to less than £200 each. Trouble is, I paid for three people up front, so the bank balance took a bit of a hit. But, to be honest, I don’t regret it. I’ve never done a holiday like that before … and I’m actually looking forward to it.

But, then there was the payment for the dreaded castle window that my son broke. That cost £200 of money I don’t have. And last week, I bought another car. Mine was due for MOT and taxing this month, but it was on its last legs, and was likely to cost at least £300-£400 to get it through the MOT. The bloke at the garage offered me another car instead: MOT’d till next March, sporty (so my son would like it) clean, good-looking, and in good condition … £450 plus my old dented, ugly, sounds like a dying tank, horror of a car, complete with balding tyres, rusted exhaust, and puddles of water in each footwell after the recent rains.  No brainer really … but the overdraught is now officially extended to the max, and it’s going to take me a fair few months of eating beans on toast and Ramen noodles to make it back.

Suffice it to say, I cried within minutes of paying each of the above transactions. I also cried when I didn’t become a Euro Millions millionaire this past Friday. Yep …. money is definitely a massive trigger.

Well-meaning people say, “You need to stop trying to do it all on your own. What you need is a nice man to share your life with … someone to talk to … someone to help with the bills.”

Ding, Ding! Trigger number 2 – self-esteem, or complete lack of it. Now officially heavier than I have ever been in my life, my weight seems to rise with each whiff of a chocolate bar. Simultaneously, my belief in my own self-worth decreases exponentially. I have referred myself to a new NHS run weight loss programme, and I’m due for my first meeting tomorrow afternoon … But the task seems huge (pun intended). I am already 50 pounds heavier than the last time I said I need to lose 50 pounds. Anything involving effort just seems to be too much, well, effort.

My son is also a massive trigger for me recently. But to be honest, I think that is just a by-product of the bigger issue.

No, it’s not his fault in any way. If I’m honest with myself, the third legitimate trigger that almost immediately leads to sadness and sobbing is the fact that I’ve been dwelling on the past so much lately. I miss the young, carefree lifestyle I used to have. I travelled all over the place – never  stayed in one place longer than a few months at most – sometimes weeks – just got up and moved on whenever things got tough or boring. I miss the adrenalin of living by my wits, bullshitting my way into, and out of, all sorts of crazy situations. And I miss being able to just quit a job and fuck off somewhere else – somewhere I could start fresh where no one knew me.

But that was no life to raise a child, and when I was blessed with my son, it was important that he have a stable environment. He needed a house to call home. So, instead of the wanderlust and brevity that had been my life until then, we returned to England. And for eleven long years, I have stayed in the same house, in the same job, in the same mindwarp. Just me and my child.

I look at old photos and I cry. I hear from old friends on facebook, and I weep. And I think back to those times, and I sob my idiot heart out for what used to be.

So, once again, to those I have failed to respond to recently, I apologise. But my head has been in a different place lately … and I’m not entirely sure what to do about it.

But, knowing the nature of this stupid disease, it is an odds-on certainty that any minute now, this too will pass.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Just me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Water under the bridge

  1. Oh, {{{Alice}}}. I’m so sorry. All I can offer is my prayers, and my hope that things will soon even out.

  2. I can relate. Having a really tough time myself. Hope you start feeling your normal soon, and that you get help if you don’t know what to do.

  3. What can I say that you don’t already know? It’s useless to dwell on the past or indeed crave it.. going back isn’t an option and spending on a whim is an unfortunate side effect of your illness isn’t it… I’ve witnesssed that in others in my work Alice. It’s damnable !!!
    I completely understand the food thing I too am heavier than I’ve ever been.. sigh!! as ever wishing you strength with all of it…

  4. Jane

    Oh Alice just take care of you.

  5. polly

    hope you are feeling yourself soon, take care of yourself.

  6. be gentle with yourself. We’re all pulling for you.

  7. Great and heartfelt post. I too cry for what once was and what could have been, but, like you, would not change the joy my children have brought to me. Take care, Alice; you are worthy of loving yourself. Hugs ~Rainey

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