I was hanging on by a frayed thread by the time it reached last Friday. I was both emotionally and physically exhausted. I literally felt as though I was running on empty and really struggled to motivate myself to get through the last few teaching sessions of the week.
It’s weird, knowing the half-term was imminent didn’t make things feel easier. It wasn’t, ‘I only have x sessions left and I can do this’ instead it felt like I was wading through treacle, ‘Please god when will this stop? I can’t do this’. To be fair to myself it has been a manic busy couple of months again workwise so I’m not really surprised I was crawling towards the finish line last week. When physical tiredness is combined with a big mental health wobble it’s never great! (When will I ever learn?!)
It felt like such a struggle by the time the holiday was actually within touching distance but it doesn’t make it feel any better knowing that how my life is structured basically saps me of everything I have and I am essentially walking wounded at the end of each term. It’s not sustainable and I really need to look at self-care again.
Fortunately, the inner emotional storm that touched down in my Monday therapy session had eased off a bit and was now more like an unfortunate patch of drizzle by the time I got to Friday’s session. I was still without an umbrella but didn’t feel as though I might be swept up and away to Oz now.
Em and I probably had one of the best sessions we’ve had in a long while. I was able to keep a foot in the present whilst being very much aware of what had gone on earlier in the week where I had been caught up in trauma time, dissociated, and ended up self-harming. It feels really good when I am able to open up, be vulnerable, and actually take in my therapist rather than being stuck in that awful space where I feel like looking at her could burn me and am perpetually worried that she is going to leave.
I can’t really remember much about what we talked about but I know I spoke a lot and let her know some stuff about my process and it felt really connecting. I had really hoped to build on that session this week but you know what it’s like – one step forward and two steps back! I don’t know what happened – you’d think without work in the mix I would have been able to relax into my sessions and really unpick stuff – but no! Typical.
A friend of mine suggested that maybe I have slightly gone into self-protection mode as I have my cancer follow up appointment this week and so am armouring up ready for that. I suspect she might be right. I am dreading Wednesday because when I feel as tired as I do at the moment I can’t help but compare it with how I felt before I got diagnosed. I would say I feel as exhausted now as I did in the months leading up to the horror that was being told I had Hodgkin’s and frankly, that is fucking terrifying.
I hope I just feel knackered because I have a busy life but there is always a niggling doubt that it could be that I have relapsed.
Wow, that was super cheery wasn’t it?!
Back to therapy!!
To be honest, therapy was a bit of a waste of time this week. I mean I wasted it. I was conscious of the fact that I was sitting talking about shit that really didn’t matter at all. I was just letting off steam about annoyances – like about someone who came to stay who was fully ill with a chest infection and hacking cough. Sure, it pissed me off, but really? Why waste my Monday session on that stuff????
I had friends visiting all week and so I was busy with them – the first visitors drained me because I get really anxious when people are ill around me – low lymphocytes mean I get ill easily and it can take quite some time to recover but the second group of visitors was really restorative. I love spending time with this particular woman and her kids. We’ve known each other twenty years and have one of those easy relationships where months can go by without contact and then when we get together it’s like no time has passed.
Part of me didn’t really want to go to my session on Friday because my lovely friend was leaving that day (she’d arrived Weds evening) and my taking three hours out to drive to session seemed to be eating into precious time with a real person whom I have a reciprocal relationship with and haven’t seen in 18 months! Sure, I could have Skyped but I am not a huge fan of that and with both my kids and hers running around it wouldn’t have been easy to find a quiet spot. I also kind of knew that if I had cancelled the session at least a couple of parts would have had some kind of meltdown about it. They are already freaking out about my holiday in May when EM IS NOT ON HOLIDAY AND WILL BE IN THE ROOM!!!
Anyway, get to the point….
I actually don’t think there is one! ha. Oh, tiredness?
Yesterday I got it into my head that I wanted to go to the beach where I grew up – it’s about 75 mins drive and I love it there. We had a lovely time – eating fish and chips, getting an ice cream and running around on the beach…well my wife and kids ran about and I took pictures because I WAS TIRED!
It was lovely to get away from home for a bit and relax a bit. Even though my childhood was a complete shit show at times I still love that area. I feel most at home there. As we were leaving the beach I text my best friend from primary school (who is living through the hell that is metastatic breast cancer and has found its way into her bones) to see if she wanted to have a very quick hello. As it turned out she was at a local shopping mall with her mum and we met up for a quick hug. As you do! 😉
I haven’t seen my friend’s mum since I finished chemo around three years ago when I was on holiday in the area and we had all got together (my mum too). The first thing she said to me was, ‘Gosh x you look really tired’. This woman has known me since I was six years old and putting my foot in a bowl of custard the first time I went for tea after school – as a child she was like another mother to me. Again, it made me worry a bit that I look so noticeably tired that it is the first thing someone would say to me – especially as the last time she saw me I was bald and had just come off the back of twelve chemotherapies and fifteen radiotherapies…. I mean… I think I should be positively glowing in comparison!
The thing is, I know I am not.
I do look tired. Really tired. And no matter how much sleep I get I still wake up feeling devoid of energy. I haven’t exercised in a really long time now because I simply do not have it in me and that is not like me at all. I really hope that as the days get longer and the sun appears more I find myself with a new lease of life because, frankly, this right now is shit!! I hope that some good news on Wednesday will also lift some of the tension I feel.
Anyway, on that note I need to go to bed as I am soooo tired and emotional (because I am tired!) that I currently have no clue how I will make it through the week! – apologies that this blog has hit a new low so far as being boring goes. I have lots to say, I just don’t have energy or time to get it down properly at the moment.