I’m really sorry for the radio silence recently. There’s been a few hard days and a lot of hard nights here of late. I’ve been having a mixed time of it, and we’ve had various things going on. The Munchkin is teething, and it’s BAD. We are having multiple (sometimes hourly) night wakings and he won’t be put down during the day. It is tough going. The Husband has had the flu and a couple of other minor illnesses, but because he has a chronic illness they have much more of an impact – and not just on him, but on me too, as I’ve discovered how much I rely on him on a day-to-day basis.
I feel like I should be able to cope better with all of this but the truth is I manage to look after The Munchkin well and that is pretty much where the buck stops. I’ve been running on empty, and that’s never good for me – physically or mentally. I know I’m not capable of doing much more than taking good care of my wee boy and seeing myself through of a day. Which doesn’t make me the ideal wife, as I can’t look after The Husband as he sometimes needs and very much deserves, given how much he carries me. Throw home improvements, housework and cooking in to this mix, not to mention trying to provide variety and entertainment for a baby, and I start to feel inadequate and like I’m not really getting anything done, which has impacted on my mood – I want to be getting more done, as I feel it would clear my head a bit, but I just seem to be walking through treacle trying to get even the smallest tasks completed. So, I’ve been beating myself up on a loop about all of this for several weeks, but something happened recently which made me cut myself some slack and I’ve decided to go back to basics…
Last week I was involved in a minor incident in the car. I was driving to the shops with The Munchkin, when our car was hit and the driver failed to stop. There were no injuries, thankfully, but the car was damaged and I got a scare. Something like this, for anyone, would have the potential to set them back, but for me, with my OCD and intrusive thoughts background, well, it could have set me back miles. If I let it. But I’ve decided not to.
For some reason, I’m finding it easier to take control of the intrusive thought cycle on this occasion, and I’m going to run with it (pardon the pun). Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had thoughts bother me since it happened:-
What if it had been more serious?
What if The Munchkin had internal damage we weren’t aware of?
What if it happens again?
But the difference this time is, I am not letting them take over. I’m able to confidently say these are just thoughts, and it’s only natural to worry after an event like this but I don’t have to fixate. I could have become obsessed with if I could have done anything differently or if I could have, in any way, been to blame. My previous OCD thought history included scenarios such as ‘Could I have knocked someone over on my way home without realising’, so an incident like this could have really caused me to go to town with my anxiety. But I haven’t – maybe because I know I wasn’t to blame, and the sense of injustice is greater than the intrusive thoughts. Either way, I’ll take it! It sure is a relief not to have something else to obsess over, even if it did knock me for six a bit. And as a little Brucie Bonus, I now know for sure that if I ever hit someone or something, I will most definitely know about it and remember it happening!
Having this revelation – that I can, in fact, cope with situations like this and successfully not let my OCD take over – has made me think I could possibly be capable of adult-ing. And maybe I need to take my foot off the gas, release the pressure gauge, and cut myself some slack. Because I have a lot going on but I’m OK. More importantly, The Munchkin is OK, and The Husband is OK. Everything else we can deal with if I take my time and realise everything does not need to be done all at once. I don’t need to have everything together. That day may never come.
So, I’m going to not beat myself up about failing to find the perfect blog post, I’m going to just write instead and see what happens. I’m not going to worry about trying to do EVERYTHING all at once in my various life roles of mother/wife/daughter/sister/friend/runner, and instead just try to enjoy things a bit more – including writing this blog, as I don’t want it to become something I see as a chore. And I promise not to leave it so long before posting again!
It would be great to hear from all of you about how you manage to keep all the balls in the air, so to speak. Do you have any tips for me? And if there’s anything particular you’d like me to cover in a post, let me know in the comments below or over on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram