Sleep eludes me.

Sleep eludes me.

As usual for me, I’m laying here and on my phone. Because I can’t put it down. And because there’s no point putting it down.

It’s not like I’m going to fall asleep….. not yet. Not until the meds kick in and my brain goes numb yet again.

That sounds terrible doesn’t it. I’m somewhat dependent on medicine to make me sleep. And I say somewhat because as afraid as I am of not sleeping, I’m also afraid of addiction. So I will promise you that I’m very careful. I have a mixture of sleep aids and I mix them up. I go 2-3 nights with nothing. And those nights I barely sleep the first two but the third I fall asleep fast – because I’m exhausted. Beyond exhausted. Then a couple of nights I’ll take half an antihistamine. And one night I’ll take half a sleeping tablet. Other nights I’ll end up with a migraine from the stress of trying to sleep and not getting enough sleep so those nights I fight the pain till I’m not able to bear it any longer and I cave in and sleep when the pain meds give me relief from the pain. Some nights I try herbal sleep aids. And sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t… you never quite know. Some nights I resort to anti-anxiety meds. But I’m so worried about any one of them not working, that I’m too scared to take any of them regularly. Or more than half at a time – except when I took a whole Ativan before my eye surgery. Because the fear of remembering that overcame the fear of the pills not working….. Lesser of two evils really was that one.

I’ve tried so many things. Magnesium powder. Iron supplements. A super dark room. No technology after 7pm (do you even know how hard that was???). Regular waking times. Lots of sunshine during the day. Tart cherry juice. Melatonin. Good multivitamins. Probiotics. Meditation. Sleep inducing sounds.

You name it, I’ve tried it.

And it’s ridiculous. Because I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. Not the illegal kind. And I finally have the ability to sleep (child related story for another time) yet it eludes me.

Some nights I feel like it’s almost in my reach…. and then another daft thought hits and I wish I could stop them. I wish I knew how.

You see I think about absolutely ridiculous things so far out of my control…. yet they control me.

Like earthquakes. I’m terrified of them. I’m so certain my home will be destroyed, my babies and partner killed. Me hurt. And some nights it’s so bad that I make my kids sleep in my room using the excuse that I just love them and want them close. But they have no idea it’s that I’m terrified of not being able to get to them fast enough if another big quake hits. And that ones been so much worse since the quake that damaged much of our city. I can’t blame that entirely but it does seem like it triggered me somewhat.

Another one is fire. For no reason whatsoever I go through nights convinced our home will burn to the ground and we will all die. Or worse, I won’t be able to save one of my children. It’s so bad that I turn off almost all multi boxes in my house every night. In fact during the day as I use things I turn the multi box on to use them then turn them right off again. Ironically even as I’ve typed this I had to run upstairs to check on my child and check I turned off a Scentsy Warmer. And there was no way I could not check. It would have played in my mind till I went up.

I worry about my partners work and him being hurt on the job.

I worry about my kids at school and what if the youngest chokes on a grape. Or the oldest gets bullied and commit suicide. Even though I know both are ridiculous. Grapes must be halved at kindy and my son is more likely to be captured by aliens than be bullied at his amazing school.

I know all the things I worry about are so stupid. And I try to tell myself this every day.

No the plane I’m on won’t crash.

Yes my kids dad can keep them alive while I’m away working for 27 hours because that’s the most I can stand to be away from them for even though getting the early flight home cost me eleventy billion dollars and I officially made no money on that work trip.

My gas hot water cylinder isn’t going to spontaneously combust and blow me up. Because that’s just weird. I mean really. Who has even heard of that happening in real life????? Hmm actually don’t answer that one….

The air conditioning unit isn’t going to cause a roof fire and burn us to the ground. Because it just won’t alright? Got it?

That little wobble wasn’t a precursor to a soul destroying earthquake you are just sitting in a rocking chair you twit.

That noise wasn’t a demon attacking your house it was just next doors cat jumping off the roof and onto the carport roof on his way out roaming. The same as every other night at 10pm for the last 7 years.

No you don’t need a wine to calm your nerves because the phone rang. No one has died. Your partners been on call nights for years so you should be bloody well used to it by now.

And yes the smallest one is still breathing and if you keep poking the sleeping bear, it’s going to wake up thinking it’s had a nap now and then you really won’t get to sleep for the night because come 4am you will be far too busy losing your ever loving mind whilst trying to convince said child that; it really is night time, yes the sun is down, no your not lying, that everyone else on the planet is sleeping and so should they be, no they can’t bounce on the bed or play Xbox, the internet doesn’t work at night, it’s not breakfast time yet, no they can’t have some bubbles (soda) and then giving up and handing them an iPad if they will just shut up and stick their headphones on and let you sleep for five minutes before you have to get up and start the school run.

I am so guilty of that last one that it’s not even funny. Even if it is just a tiny bit amusing right now…. while he’s sound asleep.

Right now though? My eyes are heavy. And my child on the right is breathing noisily which makes me strangely relaxed. I know he’s alive. My partner on my left is snoring and I have a snoring child on the bed at the foot of mine.

Everyone present and accounted for. So now I can let myself drift away. Into a restless sleep where I’ll be up ten times and wake up at 7am wishing I could have five more hours sleep but if I try I’ll be wide awake by 8.30 and having to get out of bed.

So I bid you adieu.

And I offer thanks to my Dr for tonight’s sleep action.

Drowning willfully

Drowning willfully

Tonight was one of those nights that hit me like a lead balloon to the stomach. Out of nowhere. No warning. No heads up.

It was odd. Looking backwards it was almost like my body had a premonition that my brain was blindsided by. As after an afternoon meeting that really should have had me feeling slightly more relaxed, I came home and shut down a bit. I had an hour of godawful stomach cramps with no clue why. And then they were gone. As if they’d never been there.

So I did the normal things. Put children to bed after feeding them dinner. Sat down to browse FB…. as you do.

Boom.

I read a post by a family member. Talking about him. And as soon as I saw mention of him I quite literally froze. I felt instantly nauseous and at the same time, oddly compelled to keep reading. And it wasn’t good. He’s in hospital facing crippling surgery and life threatening illness. His body is shutting down.

And I feel like the most awful person in the world right now because my first thought was so horrible.

I actually thought ‘good’

Because he deserves to die horribly after what he did. Karma gets her man in the end. Every time.

And then the nausea hit me again because with my family members final words, asking for prayers for their family. I realised that they were hurting. Genuinely pained. And because they have no idea, and I will never tell them….. to them they are losing someone they love. Watching someone they love go to hell and back. And I’m tearing myself into shreds.

Because I feel like wishing him dead is wishing them pain. But then is the pain I feel daily, reason enough to wish pain on an entire family?

I’m struggling so much right now. Struggling to breathe and struggling to find my equilibrium in a world that feels like its suddenly been tilted on its axis and like every footstep leads to a place where I can’t find the air or the light.

Am I a horrible person for feeling like he deserves every second of pain?

I feel like I am and the guilt over my emotions right now is so heavy.

I feel like right now I want to walk into the ocean and let the water cover my head and I just want to float into the darkness and never come back.

I can’t figure out how to feel or how to feel without it hurting so much. And when I thought getting some of this out of my brain was helping me…. suddenly it’s not helping. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know what to do….

Falling

Falling

This week has been so intense. And so busy and full on. And it’s funny, I recently read a post by another blogger and I made a connection in my head, that I’m often stupidly busy.

And I wondered aloud whether there is a direct correlation between how busy I am and how badly things are for my mental state.

As I feel like there is. That dawning realisation that my busy-ness is actually keeping me alive somehow. Because when I’m busy, I have commitments. And when I have commitments I feel responsible for things and I feel so much guilt about not completing them or leaving people in the lurch, that I’m stuck here until I’ve seen them through.

I never really noticed that before. Even though I constantly get people asking me how I do all the things I do.

How I cope with the workload I create for myself.

And honestly sometimes I want to crumple in a pile on the floor and sob that I’m not coping. I can’t do this anymore and all I want is to be dead….. and sleep forever….. but I don’t.

I paste on a bright smile and I laugh lightly and go with something along the lines of ‘gosh I don’t know, you just do it because it needs to be done ya know?’

Internally I’m second guessing every choice. Wishing my life was different. But externally I look like I have everything together.

Internally, every night I wonder what the fastest and easiest way to commit suicide is. But externally I appear comfortable and competent.

Internally I’m a fucking mess who can’t adult. Not even slightly. And if a real adult saw my thoughts they would know I’m a fraud – a petulant and sometimes irresponsible teenager inside an adults body. Because externally I run three companies, have multiple children at home, am supervising property developments, managing rental properties, volunteering for charity work and for the school and kindy committees….

Internally I wonder how the fuck our companies make money and I get so anxious about decisions I sometimes just get irrationally angry and switch off. Externally I look cool, calm and collected and I act like a #bossbitch who doesn’t let anyone push her around or walk all over her.

How do you reconcile those two things? Really?

I describe myself as a high functioning sufferer of anxiety and depression.

Because in the past I’ve suffered crippling depression where I didn’t get out of bed for six weeks. And that was non-functioning depression.

This time, I make myself get up every day even though I want to stay in bed. I force myself to bed even though insomnia has me blogging at 1am. I make myself pretend life is a bed of roses when I’m falling apart.

I take a xanax and ‘cope’ with life. Or a sleeping tablet. But I try not to use them often I save them for when I’m desperate.

Because one of my fears is addiction. And another is not being able to control my fears. So I need those meds to work and I’m so scared of building any sort of tolerance to them I only allow myself a half tablet at once and never more than once a week. The rest of the time I suffer in silence. Never telling a soul how every day I want to die.

How I long for a cliff I could drive off and into the ocean forever.

And if it literally wasn’t for my children, I wouldn’t be here now. But I cannot break their hearts. They are my anchor. At least for now. But I’m scared of the day when that’s not enough…..

Terrified.

Hanging on

Hanging on

Sometimes I never quite know whether I’m going to make it to the end of the day.

I know that sounds terrible. But right now we have so much going on in our lives and so much stress that there are times when I just wanna scream…

Stop the world… I wanna get off

There has to be a breaking point right? A point where the human psyche just cannot tolerate any more. Where the decision is categorically removed from your hands and your brain goes into some kind of overload protection mode? I mean, when one is given so much to deal with, it’s just kinda a given that you get to places where the darkness envelopes your mind like a fuzzy blanket and all you can do is close your eyes and succumb to the nothing.

I’m torn between wanting to sleep all day. To ignore all my responsibilities, and just rest. And the guilt that goes along with that when I know that if I do, it’s not just me who I’m letting down. It’s my children and my partner who works insane hours and is exhausted beyond belief. Because he would end up picking up the slack. And I just feel like I can’t do that to him.

He has no idea of how many times I have imagined driving my car off a cliff somewhere into the ocean. Or of taking so many painkillers that I would float away forever. Or of how I’ve calculated whether it’s possible to hold your own breath long enough to stop your heart.

I know he would miss me. And I know it would break him. Because I’ve had to be there for him when he lost loved ones and I know that pain he would suffer. I know my kids would be devastated and would struggle to get through life. And those two things are what I cling to even though I hate my life so much. I hate the idea of causing my babies pain more. And their dad being broken would hurt them deeply. He is quite literally too exhausted to cope right now and I don’t know how to help him as I’m too stressed and exhausted myself.

I wish it was easier to find staff. I just don’t understand why we are finding it so hard when we are good employers. We look after our people – and we offer good training. We have been advertising and advertising and every person we like seems to find it too hard to jump through agency hoops. Or the agencies won’t help them. Or the agencies tell them they cannot take the job for health reasons (prior injury). And the ones that desperately want the job, are silly enough to discuss their history of theft with us. Or their dislike of the institution that is having a job. Or they want huge money while doing a substandard job and causing damage we have to repair. Or they want to tell us all about how they have sued every employer they have had and everyone in the world owes them money. Or they lie about medical issues and cannot pass the physical the government require. And it baffles me. I can easily see why many are unemployed…..

I feel like people’s work ethic these days is so far removed from mine. My partners. My families. And I don’t understand it. I was brought up in a generation where we work for a living. You go to work and you give it your all and you get paid s wage for that. And no matter how you feel, you just get up and go. So even on my worst days, when I cannot face the world, I do it. I put on my happy face mask and I drag myself out of bed. Force in a coffee and chocolate and I do my job. Day in and day out. The only time I’m forced to take a day off is if I’m actually really ill. Like when I was hospitalised with Pneumonia. I did stay off work for a bit then. I had no choice!

But so many people think work is disposable. Or that they deserve more money than they do. I’m baffled by the people that demand a pay rise and go to the toilet to supposedly empty their bowels. 8 or more times a day. And then you check their online presence and notice that all of their commenting and posting coincides with bathroom visits. They call it multitasking. And get offended when I point out that social media isn’t what they are paid to do. And even more offended if you dare point out that they need to stop with that.

They can never figure out how I know either…..

I feel like I’m looking for a unicorn. Someone who loves work. Understands the balance between work and home life and who is willing to complete all tasks assigned to them to the best of their ability without breaking anything.

All I want is a break from work. I would like to be able to take my kids out on the weekend once a month. Not even every weekend. Because my kids know the sacrifice they and we make to give them a good life. But one weekend a month we would like to spend time with them. As a family. Without work butting in. Anyone got a unicorn going spare?

Maybe it would help my mental health and my stress levels.

Sometimes I just want the world to stop spinning. Even just for a few minutes so I can clear my head and find myself again.

The escape

The escape

I was free.
And while I was homeless, and couch surfing. I felt so free and it was incredible. So liberating… and I had so much joy.

I was meeting new people every day through my work. My workmates were wonderful and this new city had me so anonymous and empowered.
I found I could go anywhere and do anything and no one was going to say a single word!
Going to work wasn’t a chore, it was a goal. And I do believe that I was happy. Albeit a little lonely at times.

Every night, I tried to call my daughter.
Every night I failed. Either no one would answer (thanks caller ID) or I would be hung up on. But I didn’t stop calling. I would call a dozen times over the evening.
I was missing my daughter so much. I ached inside and my arms ached without her. So I had to keep my mind and body busy so I could function.

It took me less than a week to find the local skatepark and I started going their regularly after work. I would finish at 4 after not taking a lunch break and I’d hit the waterfront.
It took a few weeks of pottering around before I started getting waves and hello’s when I turned up. And eventually i got brave enough to start a conversation with some of the skaters.
One, who worked at the park was really friendly and we got chatting a lot. I’d often bring J an energy drink in the evenings and he introduced me properly to a bunch of the locals which was awesome.
I made friends. And I started getting invited places, and to the indoor park, on street missions…. And J would often come along when he could.
There were a couple of separate groups. The skateboarders and M. And the inliners and P. And J kind of floated between the groups. But it was cool seeing both sides, and meeting so many people who were so far out of my normal world, and my work world that it felt like a whole new lifestyle.

I would crash at J’s apartment in town frequently after late night mish’s where I’d missed the train to the family members where I was staying, and was stuck in town. And his flatmates were all really chill. No one minded an extra, and I’d buy dinner sometimes or shout the movies in return.
And I was still couch surfing to a degree, until I decided maybe it was time to find a proper space to stay. An actual bed of my own.

So J helped me find a place. He knew someone who knew someone (he seriously knew the entire city I swear) and so I went and looked at a house, with a psych professor and a programmer. The most random guys I’ve ever met and both fascinating and hilarious.
So I took the room!
They introduced my sheltered self to a whole other world too. As they were big drug users.  Many an evening was spent getting completely blazed, and discussing the big issues surrounding society and human beings. Incredibly smart men. Very strange but comfortable lifestyle.
My Dad brought a truck down with my furniture. And I was moved in properly a few weeks later. It was in walking distance to work which was awesome and right in the inner city.
We had a heap of fun in that flat, even though I spent a lot of time out socialising.
I will never forget how they would traumatise Amway sellers and door knockers in general.
Or how they would smoke weed like it was cigarettes.

C lived in a wardrobe which was a little bit hilarious too. It took me weeks of trying to figure out the flat, when I finally got up the courage to ask where the heck Craig slept!
Because our other flatmate had the front room. Next to mine.
I knew where the lounge, kitchen and bathroom were. Lounge in the centre and kitchen by the door. Then bathroom behind the kitchen.
But the 3rd room was puzzling me, as I thought there was a wall behind the kitchen and bathroom. I couldn’t see where a third door was.
Well, the boys thought this was hilarious, so Craig (after about dying laughing) showed me his room.
What I had thought was just a wardrobe, was actually a doorway!
It looked like one of those big old Narnia style freestanding wardrobes, but instead of containing clothes, it contained the biggest room of the house! With a large room, ensuite and a conservatory!
I ended up spending a lot of time there, jamming on the guitar with C while he drummed or played keyboard. And hanging out. He gave awesome back massages and I would often trade dinner cooking duty for a backrub! It was bliss.

The only flaw in my new life so far, was the missing chunk of my heart that was my baby.

I would often think about what I’d escaped. Why I’d run so far, and how I could have changed my current outcome.
It’s not that I wanted to, because I knew I couldn’t go back to that toxic relationship that had consumed me entirely. But I wished I could get my daughter back. I would have done almost anything – except sacrifice myself for her.
I focused a lot on my escape. And my happiness.

Moving Out.

Moving Out.

Forgive me, I will probably jump around a lot here. Because like my life, my memories aren’t filed perfectly neatly. But I am going to try to tag these so that linked stories join up.

In my mid-teens, I was so determined to get out on my own.
I fought hard to get away from home. From my parents. And I did what I needed to do.
Generated my own income, found a place to live. And I walked out of the door to our family home with quite literally the clothes on my back.
Because I wasn’t allowed to take anything except my clothes.
Those same clothes, that I slept on a pile of for several months. Until a friends mother found out and she loaned me a spare single bed that she had in her garage.
I didn’t think anyone knew, not even my flatmates. They thought my furniture was coming.
In 3 months no one noticed I still had nowhere to sleep. All I had in my room were three boxes. I was so good at hiding things like that. I would hang in the lounge, or chill in the other girls rooms. I had 7 female flatmates who all worked, and were all lovely people. I envied their rooms often. They seemed to have their lives so together.
They had bedroom suites… and nice sheets. I’d find myself from time to time wondering if I should be doing that too…..
But to me, that didn’t much matter because I had two jobs, I had a house that didn’t contain any of my family members and I wasn’t even 16 yet.
I felt so successful.

I’d broken up with my boyfriend. And I was sad for a while, but I tried to move on.

And I was starting to make friends again.
I was always good at making friends with new people, and I always had so many people around me, but they were never in my trusted zone.
I should correct that. I had acquaintances.
Working in a bar at night and working at a restaurant in the day, I was always popular. I was often referred to as the tiny smiley one. Because to all of those people, I was the happiest person on earth. Always smiling and laughing. Always up to party!

I went through a short phase here of being happy…..

I know this post is pretty uneventful, but it was such an important part of my life. Finding my independance, fleeting as it was. And feeling like I’d achieved something!