‘Since waking up to my lifelong habit of always rushing to the next thing, and experiencing the difference that slowing down has made to my emotional well being, Iā€™m able to think so much more clearly.’

I wrote the above 2 weeks ago, and haven’t written anything since. In the interim, the kids have gone back to school, we had a weekend of sugar fuelled 7 year old birthday madness and a complete inability on my part to get myself into a decent routine with which to manage the transition from summer to term time. I also made what will be my final reduction in prozac before stopping entirely which always has a bit of a kick back in terms of mood and energy, and my sleep has been shocking. The result? I’m balancing on the edge of what has the potential to be a full blown crash into overwhelm and depression unless I take steps right now to stop that from happening.

The picture at the top of this post is the beautiful acorn that two weeks ago was so full of potential. It’s withered and dried up and quite sad looking now. I didn’t look after it. I put it in my pocket, came home and forgot about it. How could it be anything other than how it looks right now? It didn’t get any of the conditions it needed to even begin to reach its potential.

I put my hand in my pocket this morning on the way to school with the kids and found the acorn, and all of this is what came to mind. I’ve been neglecting myself in exactly the same way. I had very worthy and noble excuses – I needed to get the kids settled back at school, I needed to make allowances for the fact that prozac was messing with my brain yet again, it was Muir’s birthday etc etc etc. Life got busy, and I got swept along with it. I haven’t made nearly enough time to breathe or think or slow down, which meant I got dangerously tired. That level of tired for me is always going to be my tipping point, the point that makes me lose perspective. I was too tired to realise that I needed to slow down and give myself space to breathe. Instead, I got progressively more frustrated at everything that needed doing that wasn’t getting done, and instead of giving myself a break, gave myself a mental beating. It’s a wonderful irony really, because once I actually pause, I’m better placed to cope with everything else, including the stuff that needs doing.

I don’t know if this little acorn is beyond redemption, but I’m going to go ahead and plant it anyway and see what happens. I know bugger all about gardening, I don’t even know which way is the right way up to plant an acorn, but I’m going to give it a go anyway, because if I do nothing, nothing will change.

The same goes for me. The last two weeks of rushing and ignoring my needs and not giving myself room to breathe has left me feeling absolutely wretched, so I’m catching it now before it gets any worse. No more than the acorn, if I do nothing, nothing will change. I’m really, really glad I put that coat on this morning. The sight of that acorn was all the reminder I needed.

This article has 8 Comments

  1. And likewise your post in my inbox this morning was exactly what I needed. I feel so close to going back on medication after being off it nearly a year. I too know exactly what I need to to to care for myself but having lost all motivation I feel I am slowly losing my grasp on wanting to care for myself. It’s such a vicious bloody circle and today I feel tired from the struggle .

    1. How are you doing now Cora? Any improvement? I find the seasons changing always has a huge impact on me, I get really tired and just want to hibernate! Hope you’re doing ok, remember to go easy on yourself if you can. We’re only human x

  2. Im going to play devils advocate here for a minute.
    Could it be that being off/almost being off the medication is causing a potential relapse?

    1. šŸ™‚ I love your honestly! It’s possible I guess, but I don’t think it’s likely. There’s been a whole world of other stuff going on in the background that I can’t write about that’s been having an impact too, but I know well enough at this stage what I need to do to keep myself on the straight and narrow. Since writing the above I’ve managed to step away from the edge, and although still tired, form is really good šŸ™‚

  3. It’s perhaps worth pointing out that most seeds – acorns included – need to dry out or freeze in order to trigger germination when they do get to soil with enough nutrients. All is not lost!

  4. Hi Fiona, I don’t know what you’re like with housework but most people are pretty obsessed with having a clean house. I gave up on that a few years ago as I physically wasn’t able to clean. I’m sitting here on a floor that’s days overdue a Hoover and I don’t give a damn. My little one has a great immune system and I credit it to my unswept, unmoped floors. I know how hard it is to make time when you’re a busy mum but my advice would be to see can you tolerate the house living in a home that’s not uber clean. Messy is different, that’ll get to you but most people could cut back on cleaning and claw back some time for themselves there. Also I know you like to meet people for coffee, but my advice is don’t overdo it. One catch up a week is kind of my limit and that can leave me drained. Take that time when kids are in school and be “selfish” with it. It’ll pay back tenfold when you’re the stable, able, creative mum they need in their lives x

    1. All solid advice, thank you! I also dropped the clean standards a long time ago. Like you say, mess and clutter will get to me, but floors are going longer between washing than I’ll admit to in public! Once I have a surface level of clean and a reasonable sense of order when I sit down in the evening I’m happy. You’re right on the people meeting too – it’s lovely to catch up but it can be draining. I’m working as well, so I need to balance my time a bit better. Getting there though. I was SHATTERED today after a really busy few days, so when the kids went to school I just flopped. Highly unproductive but exactly what I needed x

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