I am a mother of three children.
I am a wife. My husband lives abroad.
I work full time in a stressful job that requires me travel a lot.
I have a part time job.
I am a school governor.
I am learning a foreign language.
I am writing a book.
I am all these things and I am also, today, struggling with my mental wellbeing.
I am tired. I am anxious and I am feeling miserable. I am also making life miserable for those around me.
I know why I am anxious, and tired and stressed; I only have to look at the list above to see why I feel like this, only I can’t seem to stop it. I take too much on. I can’t relax. I don’t even think I know how to anymore. It’s got to the point where I don’t even know what relaxing is.
Take today for example. Today is my only day off. I work 6 days a week and today, I don’t work. So what have I done today?
Well; 7am I was up and off to my Bulgarian lesson which is 30 minutes away and started at 8am. I then drove back to pick up the kids from Paul’s where I stopped for a coffee and took the boys clothes shopping.
I then did shoe shopping for the eldest before buying birthday presents and doing the weeks food shop.
Back home, I put the shopping away, made snacks, put a load of washing on. Did the kids homework (with them, not for them!), then put washing on dryer.
I baked a birthday cake. Wrapped 6 presents (3 grandparents birthdays in 2 weeks!), put a load of washing on, cooked a roast dinner. Put washing in dryer, got kids school uniforms ready, ironed uniforms, sorted out piles of socks.
I then Hoovered and steam cleaned the floor (never get shiny white floor tiles, you will live to regret it). Put another load of washing on, emptied dishwasher and finished cooking the roast.
I then changed sheets and bathed kids and put on another wash. I still need to do so many things, but my mind is buzzing and I’m finding it hard to cope.
I slept for 4.5 hours last night. About 5 the night before. I’m a terrible insomniac, who struggles to sleep then wakes up constantly.
I feel guilty because I haven’t visited any family, especially my elderly aunt, who will definitely have noticed that I didn’t go see her. I feel guilty because I want to go see my sisters but I cannot summon up the energy.
I feel guilty because I have 4 unanswered emails regarding school governor stuff that I really should look at and that’s without mentioning the other 263 that require attention.
I feel guilty that I have reports to write for tomorrow that I haven’t had time to do.
I feel guilty that I haven’t spent enough time with my children.
I feel guilty that I am doing my full time jobs far less than perfectly because I’m trying to cover the jobs of 3 people. I feel that I am letting people down left right and centre and half the time I don’t even know why I am doing it or how not to.
I feel guilty that I actually hoped that a patient would die so that I could go home and not have to stay late to deal with her. And that’s when I knew that I am on the edge. Because, that is not me. I am not that type of person and yet last night that was the type of person that I was.
And so I am writing this very jumbled blog, because I know that I cannot go on like this. I need to take a breath. I need to surrender stop trying to do everything and I need to cut down my commitments. But then I look at the list and I can’t see what to give up. I care passionately about all of it and my mind is too confused to be rational.
But I need to reexert some control in my life. I need to rebalance, to stop reacting and start preparing. Start setting realistic goals rather than think I am superwoman.
My mental health is not great right now; Today. Tomorrow it might be different and I will have regained my equilibrium. But for today it is ok to be overwhelmed. And it is ok to say that I am not coping. Because I am not, and there shouldn’t be any shame in saying that.
And this is not a cry for help. I do not need people to offer their help or say I am doing great etc etc. Because this is a battle call; to myself. And it’s a battle I’m going to win.