Tag Archives: stress

Today can go poke it…

7 Jul

im_having_a_bad_dayMost days you will find me in ‘fine fettle’; rubbing along nicely with the world; positive outlook; pretty confident in my abilities; very happy with my lot.

Today is not one of those days.

Today I am over-tired, stressed and tearful.  Every single action is a slog, every single tiny request is overwhelming. civility in communication is a struggle.

I’m sure I’m not unique.  I skip along with my multi-faceted life, doing a million and one different jobs, perfectly happily.  I juggle an overloaded diary and still enjoy a night out.  And then, sometimes, I don’t.

Today I woke up after a fitful night – too hot, lots of irritating midge bites and a fly buzzing around the room all night.  I woke up with a start an hour before I needed to, with a heavy heart and a disturbed gut.  And then the day assaulted me. It went from nought to sixty in record time and I could barely breathe from the force of it.  Hubby trying to leave to take my car  (a classic, 1968 Hillman Husky named Ffloyd) the 13 miles for its MOT only to discover that it had a completely flat battery and needed push starting; B&B guests an hour earlier than expected for breakfast AND at the exact same moment as the car pushing incident; teen son trying to pack and get away for a long road trip in his classic 1965 singer Chamois and all the last-minute questions and requests that involved.

This followed an exceptionally busy week.  An exceptionally busy diary for the next three weeks.  And a phone call from the guys who manages a flat I own near where we used to live saying that the boiler needs replacing…. The “we need £3000  out of thin air by tomorrow” type nightmare that brings you out in a blind panic.

So this afternoon I went for a nap.  Woke up, felt worse.  Not heard from son as no phone signal in my own house and he’s probably not there yet so there’s nothing to be told.   Ffloyd did pass his MOT. normally that would have me euphoric.

Room changes, last-minute bookings, ironing.  This whole summer, rather than seeing us through winter will pay for that bloody boiler , in that bloody flat, that I wish I never bought but can’t sell.  I must be the only person with Essex based property that suffers with negative equity.  NEVER, listen to those TV programs that tell you its a great deal to buy off plan.  Been stuck with this millstone for 12 years now.  Its one of those “luxury complexes” that turned out to be a bag of shit; built cheap by cowboys and has suffered from fire, flood and plague of locusts (well cockroaches…and no I am not making it up), in the years I’ve had it; never mind destructive tenants; illegal immigrants and enforcement officers battering down the doors (at my expense).  I could go on; but I can feel myself building to a crescendo of self destruct.

Today I’ve shouted, and shed tears.

Tomorrow is another day.  May my more positive and happy-go-lucky normality resume.  In the meantime, today can go poke it.


…After the crash..

23 Apr

So yesterday I literally did nothing. I managed to get up and feed my B&B guests complete with smiling and chatting . Then I went back to bed. I slept until nearly 2pm… Despite Hubby trying to wake me at noon. I stayed awake long enough to reheat a cup of tea in the microwave. Sat on the front doorstep in the sun and fell asleep. Woke briefly when Hubby popped home. Long enough to get a pillow and a deck chair. Then slept in the sun.

Stayed awake to eat supper, fell asleep in front of TV. Had an early night and slept right through.

This was me crashing… I refer to my blog from yesterday … Oh yes I did find a moment or two to articulate my crash in blog form.. but that really was the extent of yesterday’s activities.

So today I am already three gardening jobs behind, racked with guilt and stressed by my backlog.

I sat down this evening, knackered and aching from head to toe. As I berated myself for my pathetic state I announced to myself “for Christ’s sake woman you only did 3 hours work today, get a grip”…. Long pause as I’m now lying in bed. This was my day:

Woke 7:30. Got up and prepped breakfast for our 6 B&B guests

Placed an order with our stained glass suppliers

Did 3 hours heavy digging and weed clearing.

Drove the 20 miles to our nearest  supermarket. Did the weekly shop

Collected our son

Unpacked shopping

Spent an hour tidying in my own garden

Had a bath

Cleaned the bathroom

Made a roast dinner…

… So to be fair, considering my physical and mental state… In fact, irrespective of my physical and mental state, today was pretty full.

..And now I can add, ‘wrote a blog’, to my achievements for today.

On that note, I am going to turn of the light and zzzzzzzzzzzz

Self-doubt, stress and sickness

30 Mar

Sometimes its possible to just feel ‘not quite right’, not sick as such just ‘out of sorts’ .  If , like me, you suffer from anxiety based illnesses it’s possible (I find, as I can only talk from experience), to find it difficult to judge whether you are ‘sick’ or feeling ‘down’ and as such, feel sick.  That doesn’t mean that ‘down’ is not a valid sickness, it’s just whether the symptoms derive from the anxiety or from something else like a virus or bug or allegy or something more sinister.

This whole week I’ve felt sick. Really tired, thick head, wheezy.  I’ve not been sick or rushing to the loo but my stomach is definitely very upset.  It gurgles and complains constantly.  Its windy and acidy and intolerent of anything it receives (gross, graphic and not particularly lady-like, sorry!).  Now I know I have a small hiatus hernia (very common , nothing to worry about), I also know I have to take medication for acid reflux and in the past have been treated for an oesophagal ulcer.  I also aware that when I overdo it I ‘fade’.  I kind of shut down.  I don’t want to go out, I can’t face work and my brain struggles to focus.  My head and body feel weighed down and sluggish.

Whatever the ‘real’ reason, the facts are that my head aches, I’m tired.  I’ve slept every afternoon this week and most of yesterday.  My stomach is genuinely ‘not right’.  But would I feel better if I just got out there and weeded someones garden a bit (as a job not just for the hell of it!); or got out my sketch pad and started producing drawings for the commissions I have waiting; or started cutting glass for a commission already agreed; or did my tax return; or got my head around the catering order for next weeks Sunday lunch… Maybe just the list is too long and I need to breathe and focus…..

….Or maybe I do really just need to go and have another little lie down

So, why do I feel a ‘fraud’ when I feel ‘sick’?  I think its because my feelings of wellness and my drive and enthusiasm and focus swing wildly from day to day; sometimes morning to afternoon; and sometimes I know to work through it and I do and its fine.  Sometimes I think I know to work through it and I do and its not fine I go into a decline.  SOMETIMES I make the descision that its a bug and rest and then wonder if I’d feel better if I just got on with it and the slouching around is a catalyst for feeling more ‘sick’.

So the question is, is it just me or is it you too?  Do you worry about these things?  When do you know it’s ‘sick’ and time to see a doctor, or ‘sick’ and recognising the need to slow down? Or ‘sick’ and you just need to give yourself a good kick up the backside?

Dont worry, its just PMT…

25 Feb

I suffer from PMT

I’m not alone, there are millions of us who do.

Symptoms vary.

I’m 48 now (shock horror, how the hell did that happen).  Alongside PMT I now get hot sweats… the start of the menopause, but still all the joys of monthly bleeding, cramps and emotional distress..

Its taken me until now to really realise what is happening(to me)

Every month this happens:

  • I get anxious – to varying degrees
  • My boobs become  painful
  • My skin flairs up, it itches, gets spotty, gets drier in some places, greasier in others
  • I could eat the entire contents of a sweet shop and still want more
  • I become intolerent (more so!)
  • I get clumsy and accident prone
  • I becomer more forgetful

Every 3rd or 4th month some or all of these symptoms are worse

  • I am so anxious I can’t function
  • My boobs are so tender they hurt when I walk or turn in my sleep.  My bras hurt – on or off.
  • My skin is so inflamed I can’t hide it with makeup, I need antibiotic cream on prescription to abate it
  • I’m not safe behind a wheel as my spacial awareness is shot… driving is a really bad idea
  • I break things by missing the counter top or knocking into things
  • I become so tired and at the same time sleepless that I cannot function ‘in the real world ‘ for a day
  • oh… and the blinding migraines that make me vomit and vomit and vomit

The medical system does not recognise PMT properly, for me its a disabilitating condition at least 4 times a year… I cannot drive to work, I cannot hold a meeting, engage in a debate, have a balanced conversation.  When I worked in an office and covered a territory by car this illness both physical and mental had a profound impact on my attendance and performance.

For years and years and years I’ve had individual symptoms treated.  I’ve discussed with the doctor (various doctors) that I felt many of my problems were hormonal or exacerbated by hormones.  NEVER. Not once did any of them, male or female acknowledge, discuss, or access this as a possibility.

I’m not alone.

I’m not even an extreme exception.

Why is all so difficult?

How are you affected ?  What are your experiences with your doctor? Or Employer?



19 Oct

I warn you now, there are no light-hearted quips, semi-naked men or double-entendres in this blog piece.  Its a bit heavy, but its heart-felt and it has a happy ending.  If you are still curious then read on………..

Sadly, my mum and I have never had that special mum and daughter relationship I envy when i hear girls talk about sharing clothes, exchanging intimate secrets, having girlie nights out together  with their mothers.  I have to confess, and I’m sure my mum won’t argue with this, and say that our relationship has at times been distant,difficult and even resentful.

I don’t know why, and I hope my own wonderful mother won’t be offended  by these ramblings.  This blog for me is an apology, a cathartic clearing of the soul and an awakening to a new chapter.  I hope.

I remember myself as a difficult teenager.  not in the unruly – drink, drugs, truancy type of way.  I was an exemplary student, didn’t do drugs and didn’t start dating until I was late 15/early 16.  I was difficult in that I put up a barrier resulting in a dis-harmonising stand-off between myself and my mum.  constantly rowing, driving her to tears, hating myself.  Who knows the real reason why.  We could blame a long difficult puberty.  Possibly didn’t help.  But my mum didn’t deserve the disrespect I showed her.

I didn’t find growing up easy.  i remember at junior school being the odd one out as the only child who needed glasses, I felt ugly and geeky and remember pretending not to have them at first and getting into trouble when parents and school communicated on the subject (yes schools did that then!).  And then I always had problems with my skin, initially eczema but then all sorts of mysterious problems which I now after years of research, counseling and talk therapy, can put down to anxiety,stress, OCD coping behaviours.  I still have these problems, largely now as a result of habit  and anxiety.  However back then they served to make me the odd one out at school.  Always taking time off to visit specialists, taking medication, coating myself in creams, being prodded and poked and used as a guinea pig for medical students.  Sunbed therapy (what I’d give for that now!!! – But at the time i didn’t want to be the only kid with a tan); thick VEIL makeup.

Coupled with moving schools mid years for dads work I grew up being bullied, having nightmares and feeling outcast .  i guess I took it out on my mum.  She was easy bait.  She was always there, for one.  I could drive her to tears.  She always forgave me.

Anyway, all of that may be a shock.  A bit of baring my soul, laying the ghosts to rest.  A bit raw and honest maybe.  i’ve discovered however, that it takes years and experiences in ones own life to realise the truths in ones past and lay rest the tormented moments in ones heart and mind.

For me, raising my own son, building and sustaining a loving relationship, overcoming my fears and facing my demons has enabled me, finally, to appreciate my great parents.

Parenthood doesn’t come with  a manual.  There’s no right way . And it comes hand in hand with a lifetime of guilt and worry.  Its all a learning curve.  Its about making every decision with the best intentions. Even if they turn out to be the wrong ones.  If you can look back and know you did that, then you are a good parent.

My parents are great parents.  They’ve survived everything life has thrown them and stayed together, and are still happy.  They dealt with poverty, religious divides, their own childhood ghosts, moving homes for work, deaths of pets, sick kids, ill health.  They got us through everything.  We both grew up with loving parents , in a stable home, had a good education, learned good moral values, how to communicate, how to be independent, when to ask for help, how to love.  What more can you ask of a parent.

And finally, this year, many many decades too late, I finally realised and was able to express how much my mum means to me.  Last weekend we had our first girlie weekend away together.  We booked 2 nights, twin room in a nice hotel in Cardiff.  We talked a bit, ate in nice restaurants, had foot spas, shopped.  We had a good time.  It was really really great.  I think we will do it again, hopefully soon.

Mum, to the world,  you need to know I love you.