Keeping busy

When I am off work with depression the hardest thing is keeping myself busy and motivating myself to do things. Everything is so much more difficult.

Today I’m on my own until 4pm. It’s my youngest daughter’s 16th birthday. She’s popping in to see me after school – it’s not ‘my week’ so she’s not with me until Friday. I’m going to make her a birthday cake this afternoon. I’ve just been to buy candles for the cake.

So today first thing I got myself out of bed at 7.30 – that’s the latest I let myself get up. I went to an exercise class at 9.30. I’m going swimming at 12, and like I say this afternoon will be taken up by making a cake.

My body feels like sitting down and doing nothing all day. I’m having to work hard to fight that feeling. But I know the implications of not fighting it. I know where that goes – rapidly downhill to the point where I can’t do anything. Where I can’t function. Where I feel terrified to be on my own because I don’t trust myself.

My man is coming this evening. I feel like he really cares about me. I feel loved. He understands where I am right now because though he’s never been as bad with depression as I have he has stared into the abyss- he’s just never fallen in like I have.

I am getting to the point where I feel nothing for my ex – I don’t feel hatred towards him anymore. I feel frustration though. The divorce is dragging out because of him. I feel like I’m in limbo. I feel as though I am still tied to him and even still married to him. It’s a horrible feeling. He’s still controlling my life and he’s stopping me from moving on.

I read somewhere that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. I’m not sure how true that is, but my new relationship is the distraction I need

to keep me going, to get through the limbo. It helps that my new man is going through a similar experience to me. He is divorced but the finances haven’t been sorted out still even though he’s been divorced for 9 years now.

I don’t know when I’ll be back at work. I wasn’t enjoying my job before the depression came back. I think my job contributed to my depression. I’m not sure I want to go back to work. But if I don’t go back where does that leave me? Forever trying to keep myself busy.

Melancholia

Tonight I’m feeling melancholic.

I’m sat listening to the soundtrack from A Star is Born and feeling maudlin.

Things are generally going ok for me. I’m getting back into the routine of going to work. I’m adjusting better to being by myself every other week, but I’ve just dropped my youngest off at her dad’s and I’m feeling that gnawing ache of loneliness. He’s still refusing to sell the marital home. I’m fed up with the whole thing.

Everything is in for the financial settlement for the divorce. The CETV for my pension finally arrived. If we agree on everything it could all be over very soon. But I doubt he’ll agree with everything. Turns out he’s worth a lot more than me – more than twice as much. He’s not going to agree to giving me half of everything without a fight. He doesn’t think I’m entitled to any of his money. Never mind that I worked very little when the children were small and that I missed out on payments into my pension for 7 years. He’s oblivious to all of that. He just sees it all as his money. I raised his children but that counts for nothing.

Do I fight for what I’m entitled to or do I just let him keep his damn money if it makes him happy? As long as I get half the house I’ll be satisfied. Then he’ll have to move and my children won’t see his house as home just like they see my house as my house and not theirs.

I had a good day with my youngest anyway. He can’t take that away from me. I took her to get her ears pierced this morning then I took her out for afternoon tea – a real mum and daughter bonding day. I miss her so much when she’s not here.

My grandchildren are coming this evening. I should feel happy but I know they won’t be staying for long. Then I’ll be alone again – just me and the dog.

All alone

I’m having a bad time with my feelings of loneliness this week. I’ve had a busy weekend. I went for an 11.5 mile run yesterday with friends. Then in the evening I went out for a meal with new friends that I’ve met through the meetup app. Today I’ve been on a 9 mile walk with a walking group I’ve joined through meetup.

But even when I’m surrounded by lovely interesting people I still feel lonely. I have a constant ache in my chest and abdomen. I guess it’s a feeling of grief/loss. I so much want to feel happy on my own. One thing which has struck me is the feeling that I need to share my life with others – that’s what I really miss. There is no-one here to tell things to – someone to talk to about what I’ve done with my day. It’s almost like I feel that I don’t even exist if I can’t tell someone else what I’ve been doing. It is so weird – I don’t want to feel like this but I just can’t shake it off.

People keep telling me that time does heal and it will get easier.

I hope so.

Loneliness or just boredom?

I’ve realised that a lot of my feelings of loneliness are due to boredom.

Before I left my husband my life was far more busy. I was cooking for at least 4 people every day, ironing everyone’s clothes, cleaning a large house and tending to a large garden. All of that has gone. Most of the time I’m cooking for either just myself or 2 at the most (myself and my youngest daughter). I have stopped ironing clothes, except for very occasionally. There is hardly any housework to do in my much smaller house with only me occupying it a lot of the time. My garden is much smaller than the one I left behind. So, I have a huge amount of spare time compared to previously. I find it hard to keep busy. I am bored.

Work fills some of my time but I still have loads of time by myself.

I bought an Amazon Echo today. It’s amazing how relaxed it’s made me feel. I can talk to it regularly. I can ask it things, I can play endless music, I can ask it to tell me jokes, I can even ask it to bark at the dog.

I’ve also properly discovered Netflix. I watch films and series on there which I can then talk to my work colleagues and friends about. I feel connected to others even when I’m watching the TV on my own. And I can binge watch which can kill hours of time.

I have been feeling for months that I had to keep my calendar full all of the time. I had a weird anxiety whenever I was alone that I should be doing something, I should be busy, I should be with other people. I’m gradually feeling relaxed about being myself and doing very little. It still feels a bit uncomfortable, but nothing like it did.

Everyone says ‘find a hobby’. It’s hard to just find a hobby. I have discovered painting by numbers – it’s very therapeutic, but I can only do it in good light, so at the moment it’s only a daytime activity.

I’m doing classes and swimming at the local Leisure Centre. It fills up some time.

I’m now on 3 dating apps, but I realise that there is no Mr Right who will come along and make my life perfect. I realise that I have to feel happy in myself – I cannot expect anyone else to fill the void in my life.

I’m getting there but I am still a work in progress.

New Year’s Eve

I have been feeling quite well for the past few weeks and then today my mood has plummeted. The cause is the fact that it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m on my own. I went running with 38 other people this morning – my running friends most of whom I know well, but even though I was surrounded by people I knew, I was feeling alone. I burst into tears on the way home. I feel so sorry for myself that I am spending New Year’s Eve alone with just the dog and Netflix for company.

I don’t know why I’m so sad about it. It’s not as if last New Year was any fun. The whole of last December and most of January was crap.

I think the trouble is that we are led, especially by advertisers, to believe that Christmas and New Year are such a happy time with everyone else having great fun. I know I’m not the only one feeling sad and lonely. Just look at any dating app for confirmation of that.

Talking of dating, I dipped my toe into the game of online dating and went on my first date yesterday. What a complete disaster that was. The guy admitted his profile picture was 4 years old – he looked nothing like it – and in real life he was fat and scruffy. As soon as I laid eyes on him I wanted to run in the other direction and I spent the 2 hours we chatted planning how I would let him down gently and then run away. I suppose I should just put it down to experience, but I know that part of the reason I’m feeling low today is because of the nightmare date yesterday. It has made me realise that I will probably never meet Mr Perfect. The rational part of me knows full well that I cannot ever rely on any other person to make me happy. I need to learn to be on my own.

I am going to try my hardest to enjoy my New Year’s Eve solo night in, with my dog, a box of chocolates & Netflix. If I need to cry I will cry. And I will raise a toast to the end of 2018. My annus horribilis.

Next year can’t possibly be worse.

Pre-Christmas blues

I’ve been on my own today, alone with my thoughts. I’ve been baking Christmas cakes, mince pies and Christmas puddings. Inevitably this has reminded me of Christmases past. There were some happy times at Christmas over the years, but mostly this time of the year just caused stress and more arguments than usual.

I have to remind myself of last Christmas which was the worst of all. I spent most of the day in tears.

This year I’m going to my oldest daughter’s house for Christmas Eve until Boxing Day. I’m looking forward to it, but mostly I’ll just be really relieved when it’s all over.

It’s been a while

I haven’t written anything for weeks. The reason is that I’m much better but again I haven’t wanted to jinx it by actually saying it out loud.

I’m back at work and have been for 3 weeks. I know I’m getting my confidence back gradually, but I’m still full of self doubt. I know it’s ridiculous and there’s no good reason to doubt myself. The work I’ve done has been to my normal high standard, but I’m thinking about it all too much. I became overwhelmed by anxiety this afternoon but I held it together so no-one noticed.

I’m finding it weird to even get up and go to work. I haven’t done it for so long.

I’m feeling lonely. It doesn’t help that all the girls at work talk constantly about their partners/husbands and what they’ll be doing at the weekend. I know in my logical head that I would have had those same conversations 10 years ago, before it all went horribly wrong.

Ifeel like I have no-one to talk to – my rational self knows that is not true. A lot of people who care about me are only a phone call away.

I have to keep fighting the self doubt and low moods. I can’t let my ex win. If I fall to pieces again he will have won. I cannot let that happen.

I have to start living my life and enjoying it for myself. I have to stop feeling that my life is over. It isn’t over and the only one judging and doubting me is me.

One day I will come out the other side.

One day I will wake up and realise that I am enough.