It's 2:30am and I can't sleep. I have things on my mind that I need to get out in order to rest. This may be a long post.
When you are around the age of 16 and you start choosing your path in life you get a rough idea in your head as to where you want to be. I always saw my life as follows by the age of 30, I thought I would have a good job in I.T., married to a lovely man with two children. However life really doesn't always turn out that way.
Here I am at 36.....going on 37 and the only good things I have going in my life is my relationship with Neil and of course my lovely family. When I was 18 I got glandular fever followed by depression and Chronic Fatigue (which wasn't formally diagnosed until this year) which changed my life forever. Before I got hit by illness I had a good job in I.T. Support and was just moving on to become a web designer. Then boom....I got ill and never recovered. I know there are a lot of people worse off than me but that doesn't stop me from thinking wow I really did screw up my life.
I am not going to lie. I have never been confident about the way I look. Even at 18 when I was stick thin I didn't think I was pretty. In my early teens when I started liking boys I hung around with the local paper boys who I fancied and each one of them ridiculed me because I didn't have in their words "big tits." so they played around with my feelings and joked about me a lot. Things like that at a young age really affects you. I think it's just that some boys are immature and they probably didn't realise that it would go on to affect me. However despite this things were going good for me in other areas of my life. I was gaining some confidence whilst still suffering from a lot of my anxiety issues in certain situations that I had from a very early age (more info on this in my post about my mental health).
So then I got the dreaded glandular fever and depression and it all pretty much went downhill from then. I put on a huge amount of weight (as in going from 8 stone to 18 stone in a matter of two years) which I continue to battle with constantly. As I was ill I couldn't work and was off for two years. Then my mum bought a B&B and I worked there until she sold it. After that I found a job working from home for an online B&B booking agency. The job was good for me in that my boss understood about my illness and I could sleep around my job. I met the love of my life Neil (our love story is here if you would like a feel good read), Three years ago I moved to Kidderminster to be with Neil and everything was looking good. Then sadly work dried up and I lost my job. It was a big blow to me.
So for the last two years I have been jobless and I feel getting deeper and deeper into a state of depression. I think 2015 for me was my worst year mentally and physically. Firstly I found out that the stomach problems I have been suffering from is gallstones. Then after waiting for ages to see a consultant I found out that I am too fat to operate on so it's just another problem I have to live with until I lose enough weight to have it removed. So that;s another problem on top of chronic fatigue, depression and asthma.
My fatigue is totally out of control, as in right at this moment I sleep better in the day than at night. My body clock is totally screwed up. Any energy I do have (which isn't much anyway) seems to be in the evening and at night I get into bed and I can't shut my brain down. This means during the day when normal human beings get everything they need to do done I am feeling worse than ever or sleeping and I don't think my neighbours want to hear a vacuum at two in the morning.
My anxiety scared me really badly in 2015. In particular when Neil was away visiting his children in the states and I was at my mums I had a really bad anxiety attack. I haven't had one like that for about five years and now I just live in total fear of depression coming back which to me ever since I had depression has been my biggest fear.
Other issues I currently have are money/job related because I suffer from chronic fatigue I don't feel at this present point I would be of any value to any employer. Hence why I haven't gone out and looked for a job. I really need to sort out my sleep pattern at least before I try that. As I am out of work and off sick I tried to claim some benefit, even if it was just £10 a week, just to help me out a little but sadly I am not entitled to a penny even though I have put in over the years I worked whereas some people get every benefit under the sun. I wrote a post about this before which you can read here as to why I'm not entitled. So I have to rely on Neil and bless him he is fine with this. He knows I am not like a lot of girls who go out on big spending sprees etc. In fact I haven't had my hair cut in a year and a half because I can't justify spending Neil's money on it. I am so thankful to Neil for helping me with my few bills I have. To have absolutely no money of your own is totally demoralising though. I feel worthless and constantly stressed and worried about things cropping up for example needing to go to the dentist or paying for the next prescription of inhalers and anti-depressants.
Gosh this is sounding bad....like I said in the beginning the only good things that I feel I have going in my life is Neil and my family back in Somerset. So this brings me to my constant battle in my head about having a baby. It's so hard sometimes especially when you get to a certain age and you see everyone around you having beautiful babies and knowing you probably won't be having kids ever. I always thought I would be a mum but right now it's like having two little people whispering in my ear...one is saying "you want a kid, you won't feel complete if you never have a kid" and the other is saying "Neil can't have kids and do you really want a kid when you find it hard to cope with looking after yourself?". And so it goes on. Neil has kids already and after having his kid he made the decision to not have any more. I knew about it when we met but at the time we both fell madly in the love and we kind of said we would work it out in the future as there are some options. Now it's getting more and more unlikely that we will work it out or if we do in time (biological clock and all that). Sometimes it's quite hard for me listening to him chatting to his girls and laughing away and not really knowing them well either and feeling a little like he has this separate life away from me. I would never ever begrudge him the time he has to spend with his kids chatting or visiting them. It's not the way I am. I know how important they are to him and I just want him to be happy and I would like to one day meet them and hope that they would like me.
And so I bring it back to my self confidence issues. Sometimes I stand in front of the mirror and think "gosh look at yourself girl...when you was that skinny girl I bet you didn't think you would be like this....huge, broken and useless." In the last year I feel I have gone backwards to the stage where I feel like Neil is doing more and more and that I am not really good enough for him. I feel guilty that I am not giving enough all the time. I'm just surviving and I'm not living!
I know some people would think I am being hard on myself and may even see this post as attention seeking but that isn't my intention. I find writing things down helps get it off my chest and I want to document this so that in the future I can look back on it and see how I have hopefully changed my view of myself.
So I am sat here now writing this post and thinking that I need to make some BIG changes this year so that I can get out of this rut. So here are my goals for 2016. Some will be harder to achieve than others but I am going to give it a good go.
1. Lose some weight - ultimately half my health problems aren't helped by me being overweight. So my first and ongoing goal will be to get back on my diet and lose the weight I have put back on. To get back off the diet Pepsi because I am convinced the sweeteners in them doesn't help at all and have read reports that people have suffered from MS type symptoms because of the sweeteners. So I will be going back to the formula that worked the last time I tried to lose weight of calorie counting so that I am not over eating. I will make sure that I walk the dog more often too (the last few weeks Neil has been off work for Christmas and doing a lot of the walks alone). I will make sure I drink plenty of water too and maybe try and go swimming once a month or so.
2. Sort out my sleep - I am going to do my up best to try and sort out my body clock so that I am going to bed at a decent time and getting up at a good time in the morning. I know that it will be hard to battle the fatigue and that it will be a slow process making the changes but in the long run I am hoping that it will help me. Also as advised at a fatigue session not taking too many long naps.
3. Work on my anxiety - I am going to try and work on my anxiety problems. The whole feeling sick in certain situations has been going on since I was 11 years old which is a long time so I know this might take a bit of work. I think I might talk to the doctor about getting some professional help. Maybe CBT would be a good idea for me. I am also going to make sure that I keep going to bingo each week despite the fact that I get anxiety every time I go. I think it does me good and I really enjoy going. It's a good evening out and in a way it challenges me with the anxiety issues. Maybe confronting the problems will help more than avoiding them.
4. Work on my self confidence - Like I said before, I have never thought highly of myself for one reason or another. The saying is that no one can love you unless you love yourself. Feeling negative about myself all the time isn't going to help me. I think I need to try to be a little less hard on myself with regards to being a failure. I need to try and work on my positives which is that I am a nice, caring and kind person. I have a lot of love to give to the people around me that I care about, even if that is all I feel I have right now. Maybe when I sort my sleep pattern out I might try and find a little volunteer job in a charity shop for a few hours a week which might help build my confidence.
5. Make more of an effort - I know that because of my fatigue I don't get things done. I need to start making more of an effort to do the little things to help out. Even if it's just the washing up or something like that. I do these things now but only when I feel well enough to so I feel it's unfair on Neil. I want to give back even if it's just the little things. I do feel a lot of the time that he could do so much better than me but he always reassures me that he loves me and wants to be with me. I know I am extremely lucky to have him and he is so patient and understanding. I am not the type of person who likes relying on other people all the time. I feel extremely guilty when I can't do certain things because of my fatigue. So whilst working on my fatigue I want to work on making sure I do more of the things that need doing around the house.
I am sure there is more to add to my list. I need to stop worrying about life so much and enjoy it. You only live once and I don't want to hit 40 years of age and still feel like I am in a rut. I have been unlucky that I have been struck with chronic fatigue but it's not the end of my life. I need to learn to live with it and control it and not let it control me. I'm going to do this. I am going to take control of my life again and work through the problems and become the person I want to be and the person I know I am deep down!