I don’t know where to start today. It’s been a heavy few weeks and I feel as though I have this huge backlog of things I need to write about. Perhaps the best way to begin is to summarise.
I was in Sweden last week
Last week I was part of a small team running a conference for 175 people in Stockholm. The event was both challenging and satisfying. There were some last minute disasters; including my colleague and friend having a miscarriage and being taken into hospital the night before it started. I was upset for her and worried. And I also had to pick up all her work.
I spent three long days firefighting mini crisis after mini crisis, with my boss who grew crankier every hour. It was a constant barrage of questions and running from A to B to problem solve. I loved the pressure and the adrenaline. But it also exhausted me and left no time for self-care. I was totally burnt out by the time I got on my flight on Friday night.
Plus, all the forced socialising and needing to meet everyone’s demands was way too much for my socially anxious, introverted self to handle. I ended up drinking on Thursday night. A friend intervened at around 1am and took me back to the hotel. I’m embarrassed by that, and by the drunkenly frank conversation I had with her on the cab ride back. I had really reached my limit and, as always the alcohol just made me more macabre.
It was pretty cool being in a place that had daylight until the early hours though!
Then it was Father’s day
Family days, holidays, anniversaries, birthdays – they’re all triggers aren’t they? Whether I want to or not, these days seem to be designated for reflecting on how different my life is from the bright and shiny commercials selling the tat we’re meant to buy for them. I don’t like my dad much anymore. I see nothing but his shortcomings. I feel nothing but anger and disappointment when I think of him. And, for the first time in my life I couldn’t bring myself to send him a card this year. I’m sure it was noticed, but I’m trying not to care about the fact I haven’t met that expectation.
I also thought of my brother on Father’s day. He has a son now. His family spent the day doing what families are meant to with my mum and dad. I hate that. I hate that none of them seem to care about what he did to me. None of them are concerned about his little boy. They seem genuinely incapable of seeing that he is a paedophile. He was capable of abusing his own little sister so it isn’t far fetched to worry that he could do the same thing to his son. Yet they get together and celebrate these occasions like nothing is amiss. I can’t make peace with that.
I saw my sister’s baby kicking in her belly
That was incredible and emotional. I couldn’t believe how awesome it was to see my niece’s little kicks. I couldn’t believe how strong she looks. And suddenly I couldn’t get my head around how much I love this tiny person already. My sister and I are close. We have a very special bond, even though she irritates me more than anyone I have ever met. I love her to bits and I am so made up about having this new person to love in 4 months time.
Talking about this with J in therapy on Wednesday brought up this massive sadness in me and I couldn’t put my finger on why that was. I still can’t work out why feeling that huge love makes me so sad. I cried on Wednesday more than I have cried in months. I cried during the session, all the way home, and then carried on until my wife got in from work. I feel tearful again just writing about this now.
I decided to sack my psychiatrist
I wrote a letter to Dr L after discussing the situation with J and with my wife. I attempted to set out how his behaviour has impacted me. I tried to do this in an assertive and hopefully not accusatory way. I didn’t find the courage to post the letter today, even though I had it with me. I’m planning to try and do it on my way to work tomorrow.
I had to deal with a difficult ex-friend
My wife and I have been trying to get our ex-housemate and previously very close friend to remove some gym equipment he left in our basement a year ago. I cut off contact with him when he repeatedly involved himself with drug addicts, used me to cover up his for his using, and was generally so self-destructive I was permanently worried and checking whether he was alive. I love him dearly but this was all too much for me.
I haven’t seen or spoken to him in about six months, but today I ran into him by accident at 7am when I was out walking my dog. He was clearly on his way to the off-licence. He looked rough; pale and red-eyed. He confirmed he’d come around this evening to clear his stuff and then cancelled at the last minute. These interactions stirred up all my difficult feelings about this relationship and have been hard to manage. And it will be hard to manage forcing him to sort this out on Saturday.
Today my therapist went on holiday for 2 weeks
I don’t think I need to even say anything much about this. It’s hard. It’s always hard. It doesn’t get easier the more I work with her. I feel lost and scared when she is away. I feel anxious without my routine of seeing her. It’s the same stuff I always go through when she’s on leave.
This has rambled on far too much now. I just needed to get it all out. Here are a few pluses to the past week.
This morning I rescued my second stag beetle of the year. Yes I am one of those strange people who gets excited by insects. Here she is on the pavement.
I found her this safe little place to hide in.
It’s been so hot here that I’ve managed a lovely early morning swim before work at our local outdoor pool. I’m planning to go again tomorrow.
I also had a great trip to a beautiful lake to swim and laze in the shade under the trees.