Self care is a phrase that makes me boak. It has so many bullshit connotations that I just can’t be doing with. I’m not interested in the healing powers of green tea, crystals or turmeric. A cup of tea and a chat won’t fix my crazy head. Neither will congratulating myself for brushing my teeth. If any of that works for, knock yourself out, I’m genuinely happy for you. It all just leaves me with a bad taste (literally in some cases) in my mouth. However, I do believe that you have look after yourself. It’s important to pay attention to the little things that make a difference to your day/life. And every now and again you have to go BIG.
That’s exactly what I did last week. I’ve been walking the tightrope of mental & physical health flares. I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m sad and with the arrival of my 39th birthday I’m old too. I was in need of a treat. So, I gave myself a 5 star escape.
I booked a couple of nights at a boutique hotel in my city. Checked into my beautiful room and checked out of reality for a few days. I told no one. I drank champagne cocktails in the epic roll top bath. Ordered room service and watched old movies in the gigantic bed.
It did me good to dip out of my real life. It hasn’t solved any of my problems, but man alive was it good to have some respite. It also felt really amazing to be able to do a lovely thing for myself. It’s great to be treated by others, but there is a deep satisfaction in giving yourself something you need.
My advice would be less ‘self care’ and more taking care of yourself.
You know how they say you can’t smell your own perfume, so you have to careful now to wear too much? I feel a bit like that about my body. Specifically, my scars.
I’ve lived with the damage for so long that I cannot judge how severe it is. Mostly, I don’t think about my scars at all. They’re not a consideration in dressing anymore. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of what they may signify. I usually find any rudeness engendered by my patchwork skin says more about the observer than the observed.
However, every once on a blue moon I have a moment. Often it’s my own doing. I catch sight of my reflection at an unusual angle or change under different lighting and I’m shocked. Horrified maybe. Not so much at my appearance as the fact that I did this to myself.
More rarely it’s as a result of another’s extreme reaction. A gasp or frightened look stirs much more than judgemental comments. When my battle scars scare others it stirs the old guilty feelings.
In either case it is doubt that knocks my confidence. I find it impossible to determine if my body is hideous or merely slightly disfigured. Without a clear grasp of what I have done I feel adrift. It takes me back to my days in the self harm trenches; never knowing how serious a wound was. Unable to grasp onto any equilibrium.
Am I a dramatic fool over nothing or inflicting horror on innocent parties? And which would be worse? The uncertainty shakes me. I feel an imposter. For all my proclamations of body confidence there are times when my self inflicted seams run deep.
I’m stuck in a moment right now. I fight the urge to hide. Steal myself against thoughts of splitting those seams open. It’ll pass. In the meantime I’ll have the long sleeve weather to regain my surety.
Today has always been hard, but this year is worse. I always thought I’d give you siblings & they would help remembering you to be less painful. It never occurred to me that I would be reliving your loss over & over again. I hope they’re with you. I wish you were all with me. I’ll always love you.
I’ve been a bit stuck in the doldrums. Sometimes when my mood takes a dive I can get overwhelmed and struggle to get anything done. To tackle that I decided to make a concentrated effort to take time for myself; focusing on things that release pressure and make me feel good. It has been successful strategy. A treated & rested me has managed to get more on top of things.
I started last week with a wee spa escape. I grabbed my Mum & Sister and embarked upon a relaxing break in a Dundee. Of course we let the Baba crash our girls trip.
We had a lovely time luxuriating in the spa and kicking back in our suite. We checked out the stunning V&A. Indulged in some delicious food and had a tonne of carry on. I’m so glad my family are such loveable maniacs. We always have so much fun together. It was bliss for me to spend so much time with the boy. I love getting to do bedtime, reading him endless stories and hearing him call out my name when he wakes up. Little ones are the best medicine.
Dress – Monki
Shirt – Boohoo
Tights – Snag Tights
I arrived home midweek and got stuck right into my outstanding ‘to do’ lists. After a few days trundling through housework and editing I was ready for something lighter. Diversion came in the form of the wonderful Strathaven Balloon Festival. I’ve always loved hot air balloons. Unfortunately the rides book out weeks in advance, so I didn’t get a chance to take to the skies. Good times were still had. Someone turned the sun back on for us this weekend and we got a scorcher.
We had a go around the boating pond before a little bouncing.
Watched people fall from the sky and got up close with some owls.
Did a bit of colouring and then the boy got to try out a mini balloon ride.
Finally it was time for the star of the show. They were worth the wait.
I tried to beat the heat with barely there t shirt & the cutest crop top. I still felt like I was a million degrees, but at least I looked pretty cool.
T- Shirt – Pretty Little Thing
Crop top – Wilde Mode *
Skirt – New Look
Sandals – Next
* Brand Ambassador
Saturday is my due date. Or would have been my due date. I’ve been so scared of its approach because I have so many unresolvable feelings.
I tried not to know my due date. I had asked in previous pregnancies not to be told because I knew the knowledge of the first one haunts me. I got a little too confident after I heard a heartbeat & let the midwife tell me. Then I made the mistake of setting my calendar to that date. Now I can never forget it.
It is sad & overwhelming for all the obvious reasons. I haven’t processed this grief. In that sense Saturday is just like every other day. I’m always thinking about this in some sense. Be it specific memories of the miscarriages or thinking about all the memories I’ll never make. Mostly, I feel lost.
I am not entirely sure who I am anymore. I haven’t ever envisioned a life without children. I don’t know what to do now. I have to accept that my future can only ever be not quite enough. Moreover, becoming a mother has been my driving force. It’s the dream that kept me going when I wanted to give up. It was my inspiration to get stable & pushed me to pursue writing.
It’s very frightening to have your reason to fight melt away. It’s even harder to grieve the loss of this baby when it is such a crucial part of my big picture. I don’t know how to let go of that heartbeat.
I’ll be 39 next month and I have not a single clue about how I fill the rest of my life. A huge part of my identity was a mirage. I have a new reality. I don’t know how I learn to live in it.
I’ve been asked many times what depression feels like. I imagine the exact sensation differs from person to person. It’s hard to describe, multi faceted, but it always begins the same. I always know when I’m slipping.
It starts with an unsettled feeling. Never an exact issue that can be pin pointed. Although I may be experiencing definite problems; they aren’t the source of my discomfort. It begins as a general unease that initially believe I can soothe. Have you ever had a bad day, but you know you’ll feel better once you get home? You just need to get into more comfortable surroundings or have a nice cup of tea for things to be vastly improved? That’s how it kicks off.
Except you get home and nothing changes. You think I just need to talk to so so, they’ll help me. They don’t. So, you have bath.
Try to read
Paint your nails
Watch something soppy with Tom Hanks
Attempt some overdue tasks.
Nothing works. The pit in your stomach remains. You’re stuck in this icky I don’t feel quite right bubble. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not nice. You pin your hopes on tomorrow. Right now is a blip. If you can only get to sleep, you will awake unburdened.
You can’t sleep, though. Of course you can’t. Tomorrow is very far away and when it comes its colours are dulled. You want to distract yourself with pleasantries. You’re still trying to pretend that a thing exists that would erase the dread. You swing from loved ones to safe places. You sample all your favourite things, panic growing as nothing makes a dent. None of it feels light. Any pleasure is fleeting. You’re not buried yet, but you are digging the hole and you know what’s coming.
You don’t know how long it will last or exactly why this happening again. You don’t know how to stop it. You know it’s going to be bad and the only way out is through. Sometimes I think that knowledge might be the worst bit. I wish I didn’t know how much it’s going hurt.
You may have noticed a down turn in blog activity. I’m struggling with a little writer’s block. Or big one. Even whipping this up is more tricky than I’d like.
I think my chronic indecision is the problem. I’m wrestling with a couple of Uber decisions and a whole host of related little ones. Trying to make all those choices correctly is eating up all my headspace. I am a tiny bit paralysed on the creative front.
Bear with me. I’m hoping I’ll the words will flow again soon.