Drifting.

Drifting.

So… it’s been a while since I’ve logged in here.

So much is coming out to the forefront of my memory that it’s actually not having the positive impact I’d hoped. And instead it’s almost sent me into a tailspin.
I’m not sleeping.
Overeating.
Punishing myself for nothing I’ve done wrong, except in my head it’s all my fault. And I know this is wrong, I truly do. But how do you undo decades of programming?
I’m struggling.

And I feel like I’m being so overwhelmed by some of the memories and things I want desperately to get out and written down…. that I’ve been drowing in emotion which I cannot share with anyone real.
Because no one knows all of my stories.
And I do such a fucking fantastic job of being the person who has their life together.
Who has the perfect family.
The perfect partner.
The excellent business ventures.
Everything going right.
I dress well.
Makeup on point.
Nails amazing.
Hair always done.
Shoes always notable.

Everything I touch, on the outside turns to gold.
On the inside, it’s an empty void with a shadow of a girl floating inside it.

Always looking for something solid to grab hold of… or someone to take hold of her and tell her that it’s going to be okay.

So many times lately I’ve questioned my own existence. My relevance.
Whether anyone would actually notice if I was no longer here and no longer a burden on anyone.
Would their lives in fact be easier without me?

I long for a cliff.
And some days I’ve gone looking for one. The right one.
Because I always imagine standing at the edge. Looking into the sea. And knowing that’s where my darkness will turn into light as the wind rushes past my ears for those few seconds it takes to hit the water. Where everything would go icy cold and still. And there would be nothing but the rush of water in my ears as I close my eyes forever.
And finally I know that my mind and body would be at peace.

I don’t know whether I’d be truly missed.
And that in itself is as painful as any other thought.
I know that the only single thing holding me here right now, is holding my youngest baby in my arms. Because I can tell myself that he might miss me. Because he tells me he loves me every day. He covers me in kisses. Every day. He tells me I’m his favourite and he won’t sleep without me next to him, touching him. Even if it’s only his feet touching me, if I move away, he wakes instantly from deep sleep like he can sense I’m no longer close enough to him.
And sometimes I wonder how he knows it’s what I need?
And I cannot ever tell him.
But he’s my lifeline right now.
It’s all I have,

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.

Fuck Cancer.

Fuck Cancer.

Apologies in advance for the multitude of times I want to say Fuck Cancer.

The brief part of the year where one slides into another has forever been turned into a horrific time of year for us. It’s so unbelievably hard now.

In September 2016 my Nana was diagnosed with secondary brain cancer and given 6 weeks to live. My Dad and I (with a few weeks help from an aunt) nursed her for almost four months at home before we couldn’t do anymore and put her into respite for 5 days to have a break. She went downhill so rapidly in there that bar one short visit home for the day, they forced her into end stage hospital care. She passed away 10 days after going into hospice and my Dad and I were devastated.

We buried her just before Christmas.

Then at the end of January, just barely past Christmas and my Nana’s loss, a man who was like a second father to me, for almost 20 years, suddenly went downhill fast. One day he was working 7-7 and fine and the next he didn’t turn up for work. We knew he had cancer but we thought he had ages. Bad days happened though during his fight so we didn’t think too much of it the first day. The second we were confused, and the third we had the bomb dropped that he may never be back at work. The fifth his children arrived and the sixth we spent a whole day talking about old times, his children all together and laughing and reminiscing. The seventh day he was gone. Like an explosion, he passed away about 3am. We got the call and rushed up there knowing we were too late and feeling guilty for leaving the night before.

Those two losses were truly devastating and even more so, when they were so close together.

I was so close to my Nan. I would spend most of a day every Thursday with her. And I would take her to appointments. I would colour her hair. We would go out for coffee. She would help me with the boys and I would help with whatever she needed. And in her last months I was with her almost every day. Life was put on hold to care for her and her decline was terrifyingly fast. It was so incredibly hard watching the strong, ferocious woman she was become bed bound. Needing constant supervision, she couldn’t walk, couldn’t toilet herself. The radiation made her hair fall out – her hair that was her pride and joy with 6 weekly colours and 3 monthly perms. And it felt like it was too fast….. it took me 2 years to take the weekly alarms out of my phone for my days with Nana. I almost couldn’t do it as my heart still wanted to go. I still had so much to say even though we spoke so often.

And if I thought Nana went fast my ‘other’ Dad went even faster and it was a dizzying week. I was barely getting my head around him suddenly seeming so sick when he too had been so incredibly strong! He had fought bowel cancer with a week off work total. And they cleared him for a whole month before they told us that they had found liver and lung tumours which were aggressive and mostly untreatable. They did try a long course of chemo but he told them no more in early December because he wanted to enjoy Christmas. If it was possibly his last he wanted to enjoy tasting food. He wanted to eat without a mouth full of ulcers. He wanted his taste buds back. He wanted to be able to have a Christmas without nausea and vomiting. And he got it. Even if that Christmas for us was a more somber affair as we knew what he’d given up and we knew time was ticking now. But we had no idea how much or how little time there was…..

The last week we had him, my partner and I spent every minute awake up there with him. On the Thursday night his daughter and another son arrived. On the Friday night his last son arrived. And on the Thursday I made his favourite cakes. Those were the last things he ate and to this day I haven’t been able to bring myself to make them again.

I was so glad I was able to do that before he couldn’t eat anymore. I’m grateful to him for asking for them. And thankful that I took the time to make them.

His decline was head spinningly fast. He was laughing and happy on the Saturday evening. But then he got suddenly exhausted. As if the day had taken every last ounce of his energy. And when he fell asleep we hadn’t been able to wake him when we were leaving to go home…. we had discussed staying. But we were told to go. That he would be okay. We left about midnight. And the call came just after 3am. That heartbreaking phone call that as soon as the phone rang we both sat bolt upright and looked at each other. I remember saying oh no… and he answered it. We were told he was gone and to come now. So we dressed and grabbed the kids in their jammie’s and sleeping and loaded them into the car and we rushed up there. It was horrific. I just couldn’t believe it was only a few hours since we had been with him and now he was gone.

Both left huge holes in our lives and my kids lives.

They lost a Grandad and a Great-Grandmother in just weeks. And both were so important to both of the boys. But more so my oldest son who was best friends with his Grandad. He lived there every weekend and half the week. They were inseparable. And grandad was at our house every single day. He never missed coffee in the mornings with the kids and always came to say goodbye before leaving work for the night. He wouldn’t dream of going home without seeing his boys! He was so close to my elder boy and was starting to get almost as close to my younger boy as he was growing to adore his Grandad as much as his brother did. My heart hurts every day still when I watch both boys developing and growing and I think that he is missing out on these boys potential. And they are missing him. I think often how much he would have adored them both. How much he did adore them, but I often see little things and think oh man. If only he was able to have seen that personality trait of the boys…. or how much he would have loved to share his world with them. They were the centre of his universe and the thing he cared about the most.

I have his photo in my lounge and we talk to him every day. And every day we wish he was here with us and every day I’m still mad he’s not. That life is just too unfair. My babies deserved more time with their Grandad. We deserved more time wth him. We need him…. still.

And I feel like even though it’s been a few years now, I’m still learning to live without both he and my Nana. Isn’t that terrible? I feel like I’m still grieving them both!

I wonder when it ends….. if you ever stop missing them so desperately?

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.