Steam

I thought I’d pop in again and wave at you all.

I’m not fine at the moment. Only my mental state. My physical health, apart from forty seven assorted bruises in various shades not seen on a Pantone chart and a really gory looking burn I managed to give myself, is pretty good. I am however, fairly deranged right now.

It’s a combination of everything. I kept thinking if I wrote things down I might figure out which bit of everything was stressing me out the most, but to be honest, I really think that ‘everything’ just about sums it up.

I keep thinking about an excerpt from Caitlin Moran’s new book, More Than A Woman, that I read in The Times the other day (I have the whole book. I just haven’t got round to reading it yet). She said:

‘What I didn’t realise is that, in middle age, the reason women don’t worry about “who they are” any more is because they don’t have time. Middle age is not your elegant fun time. A middle-aged woman’s problems, she soon learns, are other people’s problems, and they are far harder than your own. By the age of 40, chances are, you will have become a fifth emergency service.’

This is running through my brain, humming along underneath all the other things that I am thinking about, which, as I have narrowed down so helpfully for you, is everything.

I have to keep reminding myself to stop clenching my jaw, or I start giving myself toothache. I have to keep reminding myself to un-hunch my shoulders or my head starts disappearing into my navel. I have to keep reminding myself not to roar: ‘For the ever living love of God, what the fuck now?’ at volumes so loud it it disturbs the footings of the house. I have to keep reminding myself to let go of worrying because then I won’t be in the now. Then I have to keep reminding myself that the now is a great place to be, even though I seem to be perpetually running from one bin fire to the next and I would much rather that my now involved me, lying in a library alone, covered in biscuit crumbs. I have to keep reminding myself to breathe and not hyperventilate. I have to keep reminding myself that this too shall pass, except I’ve been doing that for the last three years and it’s been passing from one shit thing to another.

I keep bursting into tears.

I think this is a good thing. If I didn’t burst into tears I think I might actually go up in flames, and at least this way I am constantly putting myself out.

And yet.

And yet.

Things are alright. To a given value of alright.

I mean, I’m not rolling in twenty pound notes, or living surrounded by hordes of cute kittens (who never shit, or get fleas), or being employed as the chief taster in a bijoux yet stylish bakery. But it’s not all bad.

Tallulah is back at college and there is evidence that work is happening. I have found her a psychology tutor. I have almost finished emptying my front room of all the things I have decanted from my parents’ house. I have done my painting homework. Oscar has managed to make it to school on time every day since it re-opened (this is far more miraculous than it sounds). Mum and dad have already have three viewings at the house and another one is scheduled for later in the week. It looks like dad may be driving again soon, too. I am going out for lunch with my brother tomorrow after I have been to the tip, because not everything is perfect. The tip is the not perfect bit in that sentence, just to clarify.

I am ok. I will be more ok. I am just letting off steam, because it helps, in between the bursting into tears.

In even better-er news. Our wedding anniversary was lovely. We did nothing of note. We went shopping. We bought snacks. I ate chips and cheese for lunch and enjoyed it so much I had chips and cheese for dinner. We watched crap television. We were together. It’s good.

And next week we are running away to our grain silo in Hay on Wye for the first time since last November and I am hoping I will have finished crying/combusting by then, but even if I haven’t, it will be lovely.

5 responses to “Steam

  1. Thank you for waving, I miss you when you’re off being busy!!
    Enjoy your time away

  2. Hugs and hugs and hugs on hugs…its all that can be offered from this side of the pond… and all my empathy, having gone through similar this past year. Also. You should have tons of cheese i and chips and cake!

  3. Have a lovely break.

  4. Waving right back… Caitlin Moran’s words resonated with a lot of women of a certain age I think. Having got through the worst of that phase in my life (God I hope I don’t live to regret saying that!) it brought back painful memories of moving in with my mother to nurse her when she was dying of cancer, which coincided with my younger daughter turning 18. It was the kind of juggling act that not even a superhero could have pulled off successfully, and I am no superhero, but I did my best.
    I think listing the good things about your life is always a positive start to accepting the shit bits, although it can feel a bit like pulling teeth sometimes. There is also a place for having a bloody good winge, eating an entire family pack of Jaffa cakes, throwing things and/or weeping like moaning Myrtle. Or so I have always found.

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