You find me in an After Eight induced slump. And rather fuzzy of brain, I'm afraid. I forgot to pick up my anti-depressants from the chemist on Christmas Eve, fool that I am. So I have spent most of the holiday in that weird place when the drugs used to bolster your system slip away. Physically I'm left with a blinding headache, a strange feeling behind my eyes and leg ache. Emotionally I have been very anxious, short tempered and scared by a sort of other worldly feeling. I can't really describe it, but suffice to say it isn't pleasant.
What a daft cow I am. I was so hell bent on making sure Christmas would be lovely, I didn't stop to think that without tablets I could sabotage the whole shebang. I think I just about got away with it, but it was a timely reminder that I have lost sight of myself again. Since the summer holidays, I have popped myself on the back burner. And I've remained there, simmering away. Bad habits have crept back in. My inner critic has returned. The one that chants the mantra 'not good enough, not good enough,' over and over again. The horrid plummeting of mood has left me holding onto the stair rail for support.
Looking after others, has meant my own self-care has suffered. It's a fine balancing act, that one. I don't know how those wonderful people who care for a sick relative twenty four seven do it. Because it seems to me that by being so selfless, you can actually sacrifice your own health and well-being. That's not to say that I wouldn't offer up my services again in a heartbeat, if it was required. But I guess I just want to doff my forelock to those who do it day in and day out, with no respite for themselves.
I have loved our Christmas break chez Paxton. I have loved having Sam home, and once again tripping over his size eleven Converse in the hallway. I have loved chatting and joking with him. I loved the gift he gave me; a book on photography. He notices the things I enjoy, and the things that give me pleasure. He is a quiet observer. He has returned from Uni another inch taller, and with so much more confidence. He smiles, and walks with his shoulders back. He doesn't realise it, but I have been quietly observing him too.
Olly has had a whale of a time. He still is. Nanny came to stay yesterday, and so he has been snuggled up with her chatting about this and that. The Hama beads have been a huge hit, and he has free-styled to great effect. I have copied Minions and Minecraft figures from the internet, and felt inordinately proud of my efforts. I have knitted his toy Fox, Butter, a scarf. I was so proud of this, I posted it to Instagram. I think Olly has really enjoyed his time at home with his whole family. He is all smiles and giggles. And he hasn't eaten properly for days.
Alfie has turned fourteen during the festive period. It's fair to say that he hasn't been seen much. He has stayed in his teen cave surrounded by multi media and selection boxes. I'm not sure he's washed his hair since he broke up from school. And there has been a definite dearth of pants in the laundry bin, which leads me to suspect multiple wears of a single pair. That, my friends makes me shudder.
The weather has been appalling, but we have been spared any of the simply dreadful weather further up country. My heart breaks for those who have had their homes flooded. I just can't imagine how it would feel to have all your precious bits and bobs that surround you, making your house a home, ruined by a surge of water. It must be devastating. For us, it just means that we haven't been able to get out as much as we'd like. The photo above was taken on Monday, looking across the bay from Godrevy towards St Ives. We had to delay our annual Christmas Eve walk there, and hoped that Granny didn't mind that we were late in visiting to wish her a Happy Christmas.
She would have chuckled at her son being blown over by the wind, rolling around the Bronze Age barrow clutching his twisted ankle and then mocked by his boys re-enacting his misfortune. My laughing didn't help. I guess my mind can't be that skewed if I still can mock the afflicted. The anti depressants dull my senses, I'm aware of that. But they also help to remove the pain that depression can bestow upon me. I'm not brave enough to do what Stephen Fry does, and have his senses bombarded with both. He does it so that his mind remains an honest reflection of who he is. Maybe if I was as fabulous as him, I would too. But I'm not. So I don't. I'm sharper without them, and I'm more definitely me. But I'm also lost at times. And scared.
Forgive me, friends. I am not at all deep in the mire. I am paddling furiously in the shallows. And I will soon be front crawling again. Perhaps I will be surfing the Atlantic in a wetsuit. Who knows? It's just what it is, I'm afraid. I really wish it wasn't, but there you go. I have to deal with ginger hair, chunky thighs and periods of gloom. I may make myself a medal ;)
I hope that you all had a truly wonderful Christmas. And for those of you that may have struggled, keep paddling. We'll paddle together, and set our sights on the horizon.
Love and kisses,