I realise that this post makes me sound incredibly ungrateful, especially to those who would give anything to have a healthy baby but I’m exhausted, irritable and generally wrung out by the direction which my life has taken.
A direction that I didn’t bloody well choose.
I love Squidge but I just can’t think straight.
This evening, despite being exhausted, experiencing a multitude (feels like) of side effects from my new medication and trying to sort out piles of laundry I had to scoop a huge poo out of the bath.
It just about finished me off.
Clearly Squidge has very little control over his bodily functions, that’s why he wears nappies but I just wanted to scream.
I want to be able to do a lot of things.
I want to be able to leave the house as and when I choose; to just be able to pick up my handbag, throw on a cardigan and go as opposed to it being a military operation involving several bags, changes of clothes, snacks, drinks and a multitude of other things that I know I’ll need if I leave them behind.
I used to be able to pick a destination or just a direction and walk or drive just because I want to; because I had the time and the freedom and the independence to make a snap decision and then act upon it.
To go wherever I want without being weighed down by a nappy bag and toys, without having to rely on someone being kind enough to help me lug the buggy up and down platform steps and on and off trains. Or be ready to go only to realise that the car seat was actually in the Northern One’s car and that we wouldn’t be able to walk there and back before Squidge needed feeding or a nap or something else.
I want to be able to wear dangly earrings without having my ears constantly pulled.
To not have to go to the opticians every other week to have my glasses fixed because Squidge has been pulling them off my face multiple times per day for months.
To be able to wear my clothes more than once without them being liberally daubed with weetabix/porridge/rusk and various other half-chewed foodstuffs and bodily fluids due to Squidge using me as a human napkin/tissue or whatever else he pleases.
To use the laptop without having to fend off attacks of dribble, sticky fingers and being bashed with toys.
I want my BS (before Squidge) body back.
I liked having a reasonably flat stomach, boobs that were mostly defying gravity (despite their size) and a single chin. It wasn’t a perfect body by any means but it was mine and I quite liked it the way it was and the clothes size that I used to fit into whereas now at least half of my wardrobe is off limits.
I’m not a fan of the fluffy, inch-long fringe I seem to have developed which sticks up at all angles when I put my hair up for work.
I’m tired of being tired.
I mean, I’m used to being tired; it’s what happens when you do three or four 13 hour shifts a week but at least on my days off I got some chance to recover and so I was tired most of the time, not all the time.
I didn’t know it was possible to be so exhausted, a fatigue that seeps down to my bones and makes them feel so heavy that dragging myself up to see to him seems, at times, impossible. I sit on the sofa or lie in bed listening to him shout for what seems like hours even though it’s at most a few minutes.
I want to be able to go to bed when I want, get up when I want and lie in if I feel like it, knowing that I’m not going to be woken multiple times in the night by screaming caused by any number of indiscernible reasons. Instead there are days that I’m so tired all I can think about is how to get just a few more minutes sleep; snatching naps instead of showering or eating or doing anything for myself.
I’m fed up with listening to screaming because Squidge is adamant that he doesn’t want to go to sleep or have a nap. I want to be able to spend my evenings with the Northern One, reading or watching films or just enjoying each others company instead of traipsing up and down the stairs again and again because Squidge is exhausted but refusing to settle.
I look at the Northern One and I see the deep purple shadows under his eyes and hear the fatigue in his voice. On the occasions that we do pull ourselves together and make plans to do something we end up deciding against whatever it was because one or both of us is ill and/or completely exhausted or Squidge decides that he’s ill, tired or just generally irritable.
My mental health wasn’t perfectly stable but I was managing; the combination of weekly counselling and a moderate dose of antidepressants was enough that I could cope with daily life.
It was actually the first time in months, maybe years that I was doing more than coping.
I’d managed to pass my driving test (on my ninth attempt), I’d taken up horse riding, I was feeling really confident at work and I’d gone for my first promotion. I didn’t get it but I was very close and all the other applicants were older and more experienced than me.
Most importantly, I was finally starting to form friendships that were more than just casual work acquaintances, for the first time since I’d left my previous job.
It takes me a long time to make friends and although it sounds all to easy to blame it on depression as opposed to my potential undesirability I know that if depression would leave me be, just for a while then I might start to get somewhere.
Even though I’d been at my previous job for almost two years I was only just starting to feel like I was included for myself and not just for politeness sake or when including me couldn’t easily be avoided. By the time I left I felt as though I spend more time on the inside than on the outside, looking in and wondering how to get there.
I thought this might be starting to happen here, with this job and group of potentially like-minded people but instead I ended up having fourteen months off work, barely seeing or speaking to anyone, such was the grip that depression had on me. I eventually made it back to work to discover that I didn’t recognise around a quarter of the staff and that, simultaneously, as new friendships had formed, existing ones had grown stronger and stronger and that I didn’t know where I fitted in.
I still don’t.
I’m caught in a strange place of not being a new member of staff and so not having something in common with all the other new members of staff but also not knowing any of the old members of staff particularly well. I’m a few years younger than most of the other girls who have children and they’re mostly senior to me so I don’t really fit in with any of them either.
There are so many things that I want to do.
But most of all I want to find where I fit in.