Here are all the things that I’m currently very, very afraid of (apologies for the shocking layout but this is what blogger does with bullet points):
- going back to work tomorrow
- my kids coming home in the next two hours
- paying bills
- doing the food shopping
In short, I’m very much afraid of what will happen when I try and behave as a normal, fully functioning adult again, because I’m not sure that I can, not yet. I’ve been putting off thinking about this all weekend. I wanted to make a decision on work last week, but everyone reckoned I should wait and see how the weekend went. But of course, the weekend was a glorious, blissful bubble and no measure at all of how I’ll be in the real world. I got to paint uninterrupted for two days straight. I didn’t have to talk to anyone unless I wanted to. We lived out of the takeaway. I stayed in bed in the mornings. No demands were made of me at all, which was exactly what I needed and I was feeling so much the better for it.
But now that I’m faced with the prospect of my kids landing back in the next couple of hours, and possibly going back to work tomorrow…………..I can barely breathe I’m so scared. My stomach is up in a heap. I would quite gladly get into bed, pull the covers over my head and not come out again. I can’t do that though. I have to go and get myself dressed, get down to the shops, and get some food in for lunch. Then I have to come home, get the beds made up, and get my Mammy face on. The kids are going to be so excited to see us, and already the prospect of how much they’ll want from us feels overwhelming. I feel like such an unbelievable shit for saying that. All they’re going to want is my time, but I don’t feel able to give it.
The main reason the weekend worked so well was because I was more or less alone. Painting kept my head quiet during the day, netflix sorted me out in the evening (and was also a vast improvement on the xanax/wine combo I had going last week). The time between knocking netflix off and getting to sleep has been the hardest, because there was nothing to distract my head. Every night, before I’ve gone to sleep, I’ve had to wrestle with the urge to hurt myself again. I haven’t given in, but the strength of that urge is intense.
I want someone to tell me what to do, take the decision out of my hands. Actually, no, that’s not strictly true. I want someone to tell me I’m not ready to go back to work yet, because the prospect is terrifying. But I can’t make that decision myself because then it feels like a copout, like I’m not trying hard enough. Various professionals have asked me what it is that I need. What I believe I need is to be left alone. But that’s not realistic, not in the long term, or even in the short term. And is that what I really need, or rather what I want? Is there even a difference at this point?