Where to begin? I’d like to think if I asked the kids they would say they’ve had a great week. I feel like I’ve been treading water and haven’t remained the coolest I could have. I always struggle more when the geek is away with work. A combination of not having that support. From someone to tag in when bedtimes aren't going to plan, to having someone to nip to the shop for milk when you’re all already in your pyjamas.
The geek often has to go away with work for conferences and to see clients. Every time he is away I go into a total panic, everything seems magnified. Am I really sure I locked the door? Do I leave the light on so I can see quicker if someone breaks in, or do I turn them off so they can’t find their way around as easily? Is the fire alarm definitely working?! What if we oversleep or one of the kids needs to get to a hospital. And on and on and on…
This was different from usual this time. It wasn’t just a single trip, but 3 of them all within a single week. This on top of Thing #1 starting a new year in school and Thing #2 starting at preschool. Not stuff I handle well at the best of times, but even harder without my rock being there as back up. The kids have handled it brilliantly. Thing #1 had a wobble on the first day back and had to be led away by the teaching assistants (totally underestimated in their job role - the support they give is amazing). Thing #2 has never had me do drop-offs before so this was a whole new ball game for him. He, luckily, has been way more resilient than I expected. The sobbing I did after wasn’t as good. But hey, I got through it.
As you already know I have an issue with self-harm anxiety plays a huge, huge part. The times when I can’t breathe and everything is overwhelming, it’s then that it is at the front of my mind. I tend to struggle more when I feel like I’m losing control of a situation and things are spiralling.
The geek was worried about leaving me this week, especially with recent events so fresh. There were talks about me staying with my parents for the weekend/having someone come to check on me, all sorts. I finally reassured him that I’d cope. I have also had a change in medication to deal with as the original one still wasn’t agreeing with me. I was having increasing thoughts of self-harm rather than it getting easier. The new tablets seem to be working way better, thankfully.
I’ll be honest, I thought this time would be even harder than previous trips. I’m still getting to grips with the right medication/dosage/coping mechanisms etc. In a lot of ways, the medication must be working. I wasn’t as on edge as I usually am. I was a lot more chilled about not having hourly updates from the geek. I completely surprised myself. I can’t pretend I had it all nailed, I absolutely did not. But everything got done when it needed to.
The nights the geek has been home the TV hasn’t even been on (except for Bake Off, obviously). Which is not like us at all. Usually, we collapse on the sofa with food and the TV and zone out. We ’ve sat and talked and talked, about total crap. I love that we can still do that, I missed him with every bone in my body - except for the extra mess, that he can keep.
Although the week has been tough. We had a plan. We knew which days he’d be away and which he’d be back. Who would be there for pick up and drop offs? What days I was in work and what (ungodly, absolutely awful) hours his flights would land back home.
Awesome. All sussed, right? Except, life never goes quite to plan, does it. Instead, we muddled through, us both exhausted. Me organising everything that needed to be done with the kids. Him packing/unpacking/repacking. All good. Until Friday when I need to get Thing #2 to the Doctor as his cough is getting worse - chest infection, antibiotics. I can handle that. I was already living on very little sleep as he has been super unsettled this week. I also get bouts of insomnia when the geek isn’t here.
By this point, I was also struggling with being touched. That probably sounds weird. The thing with kids is they seem to almost always be wanting to be held or be sat on your knee or be just on you. I usually handle it well but after almost a full week of it, I was fully ready for a day at work, where I wouldn’t have someone attached to me all the time.
But then to make things better I get a call from the geek on Saturday morning saying he’s missed his flight home. No point in going into the whys etc. Not down to alcohol or anything crap and no way I could have brought myself to kick off. He had already beaten himself up way more than I could about it anyway.
This was the day I struggled most with. I was expecting to be at work and that wasn’t an option. The problem with anxiety is that when you have something in your head and it doesn’t go to plan, everything feels like it’s spiralling. I needed him home. The kids were full on, the weather was crap. It was just a bad day. But, we got through it. I need to remember that. Plus the geek is now home and this week should be miles easier.
And now I’ve managed to catch up on some sleep and some time to actually stop. I need some alone time with the geek. Ha!
For now x Jo x