The twenty-eighth year.

Dear Future Hope,

We are now one year older – happy birthday to us! It was a really nice, low-key day. Pete made me breakfast and we had a quiet morning on the sofa (it’s the 2018 Winter Olympics at the moment, so we’ve been watching a lot of the coverage from South Korea), and then we took a trip to Market Harborough because I wanted to look in the cookery shops for some storage jars for our tea, coffee and sugar…and also because I was craving a cheese and Marmite swirl from the Garage Bakehouse! Pete made us pancakes for dinner because it was Shrove Tuesday, which was super fun, and then in the evening we went to see The Greatest Showman at the cinema with Lee. I got some lovely presents and cards, but Lee had gone to the Build-A-Bear shop and made me a HUGE Bulbasaur plushie…and he even named her Angela!!! (Note: to anyone else reading, when I first played Pokémon LeafGreen I chose a Bulbasaur as my starter pokémon and I named her Angela…and I sorta fell in love with her. I also have a habit of giving pokémon very human names, as you can see here. And then Lee and I went to Thorpe Park last year and I really wanted to try and win a Bulbasaur plushie from one of the stalls and name it Angela, but we didn’t have enough time in the day, and it was literally one of the biggest regrets of my life, which is why Lee getting me a real-life Angela for my birthday is SUCH a big deal.)

 

And another note to any readers – it is perfectly normal and not at all weird for a 28-year-old (omg I’m 28 now…) to be this obsessed with a pokémon. It is also very normal to spend hours on crafting projects in honour of said pokémon…

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Anyway, it appears that Angela has completely taken over this post. And I had so much I wanted to write about! I made some notes on my depression and current state while I was at work last week and I’m really keen to type them up and try to make some sense of them and share them with the wonderful bunch of people who have decided to follow this blog…if this post hasn’t put them off!

I hope what you’re able to take away from mess of random babbling is that I am having an OK time of it. Things got a little tricky at the end of last week and I had to take a couple of days to reset, but I’m glad I did because it meant that I have had enough brain power to really enjoy my birthday week. Pete and I are off to London tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to the trip. We’re going to the Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library AHHHHH!

It’s good. Things are good.

And as for Valentine’s Day…meh. Pete and I don’t really do anything special, no cards or gifts or anything because it’s so close to my birthday. We usually just try to spend the day together and do typical us things (a walk, going for a coffee, something involving eating food etc.). Today we went to the gym, which was as romantic as it sounds, and Pete is going to make a nice dinner. We also may or may not be making more pancakes later…

Wishing you lots of love and joy for your birthday (I wonder how old you are now…),

Hope x

P.S. Future Hope, I don’t care how old you are. We are never getting rid of Angela.

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The roadtrip to London.

Dear Future Hope,

Oh, I don’t even know where to start. I feel so…light! I had such a wonderful day yesterday and it’s exactly what I needed. It’s only now that I am able to realise that I felt so weighed down and heavy – depression really does have physical symptoms, and don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise. But today, today I feel like a different person. Almost weightless! And free!

Yesterday really was perfect. I was nervous about it because I had arranged the day as a birthday present for Mum, Nanny and Lee, and I was doing all the driving and organising and getting us there and stuff. But it all went great, better than great. No problems, no rushing around, no getting lost, all perfect!

I had picked everyone up and we were on the motorway by 9am. We had to go to McDonald’s (It was Nanny’s first time through a drive-thru!) because Lee needed breakfast and I needed a coffee to keep me going. The drive to London was fine, no hold-ups or incidents, and obviously we had to stop at Toddington service station because tradition. I was nervous about where to park in London, but Uncle Ben told us to drive to Queensbury tube station and park there, so we did and it was SO easy…AND CHEAP! The car park was practically empty (I was scared because we’d looked online and there were only 70-something spaces so I imagined it’d be full by the time we got there) and it only cost £2.20 for the whole day (it’s more expensive during the week), and Queensbury is on the Jubilee line so you’re right bang in central London within half an hour!

We taught Nanny how to use the Underground with her contactless bank card and caught the tube to Green Park. Had a coffee opposite The Ritz and then had a walk through Soho to find a Wagamama’s for our pre-theatre lunch because tradition. It was Mum and Nanny’s first time eating at Wagamama’s, but they both really enjoyed it. Lee and I both had posh gin and tonics that had pink peppercorns floating in them. The glasses looked beautiful and the gin was delicious…but we realised pretty quickly that, while they did look amazing and very posh, the peppercorns just got in the way and kept getting stuck in the straw!

After lunch, we made our way to the Apollo Theatre to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Lee and I had already seen it last year when Simon was the company stage manager for the production in Sheffield, and it was just amazing, so when I heard it had been taken to London’s West End I knew we HAD to go see it again. Plus, a trip to London to see a show makes a really great birthday present, and I knew that it was the kind of show Mum and Nanny would enjoy, and I wanted to do something really nice for them after everything they’ve done for me this past year, so it all just sort of came together.

Anyway, the show was just as good as the first time. Our seats were all the way up in the grand circle, so some of the intimacy was lost for me, but the show really held its own and has handled the transfer to London really well. I was so pleased to see that it had retained the majority of the original cast, too. Jamie and his mum Margaret were both phenomenal, and the cast as a whole was really strong – for me, there were no weak links. And completely by chance, we happened to be at the 100th show, so the cast came back on to the stage with a big cake at the end and we all sang happy birthday!

On the way home we listened to the show’s soundtrack, and then I needed help staying awake so I put on my musicals playlist and we all had a sing-a-long. By the time I had dropped everyone off home again, it was almost 10pm and I was exhausted. So tired that I went to bed straightaway and didn’t wake up until 11am this morning!!!

It was just so nice to have a nice day with my favourite people. I was too busy smiling and laughing and enjoying myself to even have a single bad thought in my head the entire day. There just wasn’t enough room for any. And that in itself feels so refreshing, my whole mind feels cleansed. I feel that I don’t make it clear often enough just how lucky I am to have people that care about me and love me. And I definitely don’t do enough to show them how much I appreciate them. Just look at their faces, look at how gorgeous and lovely they are!

Cally, Sarah, Hope and Lee (Feb 18)

Today, after I woke up from my super long lie-in, Pete and I went to the gym, which was HARD WORK! I’ve pottered around a bit this afternoon, just kind of floating on a high that I haven’t felt in a long while, and after I finish writing this I’m going to make some linguine with salmon and prawns for dinner because I’m feeling fancyyyyy!

Wishing you lovely people (you’ll still have these ones, they’re not going anywhere) and a weightless mind,

Hope x

 

The not my turn.

Dear Future Hope,

I hope that there will be people out there who are able to understand a little of how I feel today. I don’t want to be the only one who gets like this, as that will only make me feel even more guilty than I do already. And so conflicted. It’s so overwhelming to go from being relatively calm one moment to feeling a whole rush of emotions at once; in the end, I just sort of go into overload and end up feeling numb for the rest of the day. Because feeling nothing is better than feeling everything.

And then, of course, there’s the very helpful part of my brain that tells me that I’m overreacting and being selfish and making it all about me and why can’t I just be happy for her and it’s not like she got pregnant to spite me and why are you getting so upset over it.

You see, today I found out that someone I work with is pregnant. I had a feeling that she was, because she had a few days off the other week and also I caught our manager telling her to stop carrying boxes and also I noticed that she’s put some hospital appointments in the work diary. I only found out that she definitely was because she was talking in the office about going to her first scan tomorrow. I am the only person in my team who doesn’t have children, so then everybody else started sharing stories about their scans and stuff that happened when they were pregnant, and in the end I had to get up and walk out. I just couldn’t listen to any more of their conversation.

And it’s horrible because I am really happy for her. But my brain won’t let me just be happy for her without also being jealous of her and sorry for myself. And then the whole mess of feelings come rushing at me faster than I can process them, which usually leads to me either panicking or crying (or both). Luckily today it was neither. I haven’t been working there long, so there was no way I was going to start crying or having a panic attack at work, so I took myself out of the office to get some fresh air and then I just breathed. They started out shaky at first, but soon I was able to take big deep breaths and I told myself to just get through the rest of my shift and that I’d let myself cry as much as I wanted to once I got home.

The rest of the day was mentally exhausting. I wasn’t able to concentrate on anything as I was so preoccupied with just getting myself through my shift without breaking down. Once it was time to leave, I practically ran out of there. It was so windy on my walk back to the car and I thought that if I started crying then anyone who saw me would just think the wind had blown something in my eye. But I didn’t cry. Instead I walked as fast as I could. I probably looked ridiculous, but I walked faster and faster and faster until my legs were hurting and my heart was pounding. I think I just wanted to feel something other than sadness in my body. I got to the car and told myself that I would go to the shop when I got home and would buy whatever I wanted for dinner. So I drove home, thinking of the entire box of Chocolate Shreddies I’d be eating this evening. But once I got in, I paused and thought for a second about my Weight Watchers and how I’ve been eating pretty well this week. So instead I found some veggie burgers in the freezer and had them with a few chips and some salad (still not great, but I tracked it all and I’m still within my daily points…and it’s better than a family-size box of cereal for dinner). And the fact that I had a choice and I made the better decision is important because, while I don’t really feel anything right now, knowing that I did the right thing will make me feel good tomorrow when I look back on it.

Which brings us to now. I’m sitting here and I’m writing this, and I really thought that writing about my day and trying to explain how I’m feeling about it would make me cry. But it hasn’t. Instead I just feel tired and sad, and not much of anything else. Everything else is just a bit blank.

I have a couple of hours before I have to go and pick Pete up from work, so I’m going to bury myself under some blankets on the sofa and watch this programme I found on the ITV Player called Britain’s Favourite Dogs, where they count down the country’s 100 favourite dog breeds. Which, let’s be honest, is exactly the kind of thing I need after today.

Whenever I think of you, Future Hope, I imagine you surrounded by children and dogs. And so, while it hurts that I currently have neither, that image of you that I have in my mind still comforts me, because no matter how dark my days get I still have hope that one day I will be that version of me.

Wishing you 100 dogs and a bowl of Chocolate Shreddies (they’re fine in moderation, right?),

Hope x

The day of stuff.

Dear Future Hope,

I did stuff today! I didn’t just think about doing it, or plan to do it, or want to do it, or forget to do it, or not get around to doing it – I actually did it!

Pete and I were at the gym by 9am, which isn’t very early for most people, but my sleep has been all over the place for the past couple of weeks (a consequence of not getting out of bed – who knew!) Oh yeah, I should probably say, just to let you know, that Pete and I are gym people now.

I know.

No one saw it coming.

Least of all us.

But there you have it. Pete and I go to the gym and do gym stuff on gym equipment in gym clothes with other gym people. It all started last summer when the fertility doctor told us that I had to weigh 12 stone before they’d be able to help us conceive (I am more than happy to talk about this experience with any readers who want to know more, but if I go into it now then it’ll interrupt my flow!) and our GP referred us to our local leisure centre and was able to get us discounted membership through this scheme where the NHS basically prescribe exercise (it’s an official thing, I just can’t remember its name right now). It took ages for our referral to go through and then the waiting list was insane, but we had our induction in December and now…we’re gym people. The biggest shock of all is that I don’t hate it!

After the gym, I had a shower AND washed my hair. And yes, I am counting that as part of the stuff I did today, even though such things wouldn’t usually count as things for most people, because my depression makes me not see the point in taking care of myself.

Then I cleaned the kitchen.

Yes, you heard correctly. I spent the entire afternoon in the kitchen AND I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. Pete had tried his best over the past week or so to stay on top of things and to keep the house reasonably tidy, but it’s difficult for him when I leave chaos and mess wherever I go. There were dirty dishes spreading over three rooms and one of the kitchen counters was piled high with random bits of tuppaware (from when I had started re-organising the kitchen back in October…yes, October) and the sink was hidden beneath a mountain of washing up.

But not any more! I did ALL of the washing up (Pete did the drying and putting away) and then I cleared out, cleaned and reorganised the three cupboards that I hadn’t done in October (including finding a home for all the tuppaware!) I then had to do some more washing up because Pete had decided halfway through the afternoon when I was mid-clean that it was essential that he make some candied orange peel from Nadiya’s book and more homemade triple sec with the oranges that I’d bought the other day when I realised I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten any fruit.

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And now the kitchen looks like this!

I didn’t have time to clean the floor because Pete wanted to start cooking dinner, but I cleaned absolutely everything else in there and I am so freaking proud of myself!

Pete made chicken fajitas for dinner and we watched yesterday’s Only Connect while we ate, and then we decided to play a game of Ticket to Ride.

And I’m exhausted. My body aches, but the good kind of ache, the ache you get when you’ve done stuff rather than the ache you get when you’ve done nothing. I have work in the morning and I can already feel my anxieties trying to creep in, so we’ll have to see how I get on with that. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some sleep so that I at least give myself a chance of being able to deal with tomorrow.

Wishing you clean kitchens and candied orange peel (OMG Pete’s just told me that he’s planning on dipping it in chocolate),

Hope x

P.S. I tracked all my food today and stayed within my range – one blue dot for me!

The actual return (for real this time).

Dear Future Hope,

Hello again!

It is, you will be pleased to hear, no longer 2016. I am also very pleased to inform you that we have skipped out 2017 all together! Well, this blog lay dormant for the entirety of 2017 and I really wish that means that the year actually didn’t happen…but unfortunately the world and I had to live through it, enduring it as best we could, hoping and wishing and praying for its end. See, I was actually doing you a favour. I was protecting you from the shitstorm that was 2017. That’s why I haven’t been around. That’s 100% the reason, and not that my depression kicked my ass for the entire year and I forgot how to be me and my entire life fell apart and now I don’t know what I’m doing about any of it.

And so, here we are. 2018. Shiny new 2018. It’s a bit late for me to talk about resolutions (seeing as it is basically February) so you’ll be happy to know that I didn’t make any. I didn’t even promise myself to leave all the bad stuff in last year, because I have learned by now that it just isn’t realistic. So here I am, me and my bad stuff already messing up the shiny new 2018.

No promises, no goals, no challenges, no schedules, no aims. All I will say is that I am going to try to do stuff and I am going to try to tell you about it.

I have updated my WordPress theme and I’ve also changed my About page (seeing as I am no longer 26 and I don’t work at the prison any more and I’m not a proofreader any more and the bunnies died, and all the other information I’d written was out of date), and these changes may make you think that it’s because I want this blog to have a new start and a new look to signify a new me and a new year, but it’s really because I am putting off having to clean the kitchen and I am much better at wasting time doing a non-thing (like deliberating for three hours over which theme to choose) than spending my time productively by doing a thing (like cleaning the kitchen or, frankly, any other room in the house…as they all need cleaning).

I hope you and Future Pete are doing good. I think about you a lot.

 

Wishing you all the love in the world,

Hope x

The return!

Dear Future Hope,

Hello! It’s been a little while, a couple of months or so, but I have news. Big news!

I’m good 🙂

I’m feeling really good. I might not be tomorrow, but right now, sitting here in my tidyish spare room on my computer listening to episode 601 of the Gilmore Guys podcast, I feel good.

I haven’t been around, and I’m sorry for that. It’s something that I want to work on. I want to continue with this blog as much as I can (it’s nice to read and it helps me remember), and so I am going to plan on being around semi-regularly.

Things are very different to how they were. I’ve been working at County Hall now for a couple of months and have settled in pretty well. There’s lots to talk about.

Not right now though, because we have a house inspection on Saturday morning and I’m supposed to be tidying up the spare room! But soon, maybe tomorrow, I’ll write a post.

Anyway, for anyone who is here and who reads my letters, I hope you’re also good 🙂

 

Wishing you many happy returns (ha ha ha, see what I did there?),

Hope x

The leave result.

Dear Future Hope,

On Thursday, the people of the UK went out to vote in a referendum about whether or not we should remain a member of the European Union. Not counting the people who chose not to vote, 51.9% of the country has chosen to leave.

That’s it. We’re out of the EU.

I am upset and scared and, in all honesty, heartbroken. This result is not in my name. I want to live in a United Kingdom that cares for all people, wherever they are from, that creates opportunities and security for its people, that works to reduce inequality, that takes its position seriously on the global stage, that strives for peace and safety, that stands up to countries and leaders that spread hate and hurt, that plays its part to preserve our environments and reduce the effects of climate change, that instils pride in its people. I am not proud of this result. The country had the opportunity to remain in an admittedly problematic union and to push for change and reform, united with the other member states. Instead we decided not to build from within but to leave, to close our doors and to go it alone.

There has been round-the-clock coverage since the result and countless articles. I spent yesterday in a bit of a daze. I found it hard to describe exactly how I felt. This morning I found an article, and it was like the author had reached into my brain, pulled out all of my confused and tangled thoughts, and put them into words. It is long, but describes exactly how I (and a lot of people that I know) feel about the situation we are now in: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/06/i-want-my-country-back

I’m going to leave it there for now. Another day I will talk about how we move on from here, and how I want to become more politically active, and how Pete wants to leave the country.

Wishing with all my heart that you live in a brighter, safer, more united world,

Hope x

 

 

The not rock bottom.

Dear Future Hope,

I went to the Gardeners’ World Live show at the NEC in Birmingham on Thursday with Mum, Nanny, Rob and Frankie for the second year running. Had a gorgeous day and bought some lovely additions for the garden. The weather has been completely crappy (grey clouds, gloomy, rain, storms) for over a week so the garden has been completely taken over by weeds and things growing where they shouldn’t. I managed to get out there for a few hours this afternoon to tidy things up a bit and put my new plants in their new homes.

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Me at Gardeners’ World Live (my happy place) ❤

One lunchtime at work last week, I wrote down a few thoughts that felt like they wanted to come out:

I feel a bit odd today. Mostly good, but I sort of have a feeling where now that I know that I am not at rock bottom, I am starting to feel cautious about building myself up too high. The higher I am the further I will fall.

This thinking is flawed, and I will tell myself this every time I consider denying myself happiness in order to reduce the distance I may fall. I need to build myself up, by establishing myself as being in control of myself and my life. If I am in control then I am on a strong, stable foundation. This foundation will be what stops me from falling back to rock bottom.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J. K. Rowling

I feel positive about the idea that, in a way, I am starting again from scratch. I feel that my depression, the negative things that have happened in the past, my work – that chapter of my life has come to an end. I am ready to begin a new one. One where I try to be organised and positive, where I live each day celebrating the small victories, where I take care of my health and my body. I have spread myself too thinly for too long, giving many tasks and goals minimal effort instead of reducing my priorities and really focusing on them. I am aware of my weaknesses – I am not strong enough to pile my plate full of goals and aims and routines. Maybe in time, but not right now. I’ll just overwhelm me. Consider this my training period.

This is going to be a little bit weird but I’m gonna go along with the gardening theme of this post. I feel a bit like a little tree, one that has a healthy trunk and lovely green leaves, but too many branches that are producing too many offshoots that are pulling energy and nutrients away from the main bit of the tree and reducing its ability to grow. If I am able to prune these offshoots, remove the unnecessary tangling branches, I can train myself to grow strong and tall and healthy.

And that’s where I’m gonna leave it. A lovely picture of me at Gardeners’ World Live (where I think I actually look quite nice!) and a very odd metaphorical kind of thing about me being a tree. I need to go and cook dinner anyway (Pete made some pesto earlier so I’m gonna bake tinfoil parcels of salmon fillets on a bed of green beans and topped with the pesto, served with sweet potato wedges and…ummm…whatever I can find in the fridge!).

Wishing you big strong trees and homemade pesto,

Hope x

 

There is a point.

Dear Future Hope,

It has been a while, about a month or so, since my last post. I’m not sure what made me stop writing. Typical me fashion, I guess. I never can stick at something for long.

But I am back. Ta-dah!

Here’s a quick run-through of things you’ve missed:

  • I was offered the job that I applied for at County Hall and have handed in my notice at my current job (still top secret until I leave, sorry). This kinda came out of the blue and I was sure that I had completely messed up at the interview and had then talked myself out of wanting the job. Well it was offered to me so I quickly talked myself back into wanting it and accepted. I finish at the top secret place at the end of June and start at County Hall on 11th July.
  • I had my first counselling session, which was helpful. My second one is on Wednesday.
  • The Euro 2016 tournament started on Friday. England drew their first game with Russia and there’s been loads of trouble and fighting and stuff, but it’s early days and I’m hoping that the fighting will stop and that we’ll get out of the group.
  • I went to Stamford for the day with Mum, and to IKEA in Coventry with Lee and Rob (NEVER AGAIN – Coventry roads are evil), and to the Botanical Gardens with Pete, and to Tough Mudder with Lee (that was a hard day – lots of emotions), and hosted my Eurovision party, and had Mike, Henri and the girls over the day, and been spending a lot of time with Mum or at Nanny’s house.
  • Mood-wise, things have been looking up. I’m trying hard to feel positive and motivated, and to do things and keep on top of things, but I’m finding it all very draining and exhausting. I find myself feeling lighter and smiling more, and I notice when I am enjoying something, which gives me a nice boost. Basically, the days are hard but I am getting there.

There, now you’re all up to speed. I’ll try not to leave you again.

Now to today’s stuff. Just a head’s up, I’ll be talking about weight gain/loss and bodies and TTC  and PCOS and all the stuff that comes with that, so if you’re not into that then this is your trigger warning 🙂

I think I am coming round to a point in my recovery where I am able look beyond the ‘what’s the point?’ mentality and, basically, see the point in things. Pete and I have been sort-of trying to conceive since October (mostly kind of testing the waters and seeing what’ll happen) and in the first couple of months I was really good with taking my temperature every morning and taking my supplements. I was working towards getting my body to a healthy place to give us the best possible chance of conceiving naturally. That all fell by wayside before Christmas when my mental state took a turn, and has carried on steadily deteriorating until, well, until today really. For months I have been unable to get myself to make healthy choices because I couldn’t get my mind past the ‘what’s the point?’, ‘it’s never gonna happen’, ‘why bother?’. I stopped my supplements, I stopped tracking my cycles (or attempting to, anyway!), I stopped everything because there was literally no point to any of it. My mind was refusing to let go of the idea that my PCOS was going to stop me from being able to have a baby.

Today felt a little odd, almost like I had reached a point where I could look back on myself and the way I’ve been recently and feel like a different person. The fog that I felt smothered by only weeks ago seems to have cleared a little and I find myself shaking my head and incredulously repeating ‘what am I doing?’. Honestly though, what on earth am I doing? What am I doing to my body? What am I doing to my chances of conceiving? What am I doing to my health and wellbeing? What am I doing to my mind?

I am not taking care of myself. I am not making responsible choices. I am not taking this seriously. I have accepted the cards I’ve been dealt, I have accepted the way things are, the way I am. There is no fight in me, no determination, no belief that I can do this and I can get what I want. In today’s world, with every magazine and advert pointing out all the ways you can improve yourself, with the media perpetuating unrealistic ideals for people to aim for, I feel very lucky to be body positive. But right now in the moment I am struggling not to feel that the online body positive community has done me a disservice in some way. I have accepted myself, I love myself, I am comfortable in my own skin… But am I too comfortable? This is obviously not how I really feel, I am just really quite angry with myself. And annoyed. And upset at my obvious lack of willpower to reach any sort of goal I set for myself. I am now half a pound away from the heaviest I’ve ever been, the weight I was when I was admitted to hospital for my stupid IIH in the summer of 2014. No doctor is going to want to help me conceive – all they will do is take one look at me, learn of my PCOS and tell me to lose weight. I am not going to get pregnant this way.

Why is this goal not big enough for me? Why is this not giving me the motivation to take care of my body?

I feel like my depression has stormed into my life like a hurricane and, now that the worst is (hopefully) over and the dust is settling, I am now able to see the devastation left behind in its wake. My routines, my motivation, my interests, my life goals and focuses – they have all been clouded by this depressed, defeatist, ‘what’s the point?’ mentality. I feel like I am starting from scratch all over again. And now I need to start to build them back up again. I have a new job to look forward to, so I will need a new routine. I should be able to build this into a healthy routine, which will also take care of the ‘working towards my goals’ part. I need to get back into the habit of taking my supplements, taking my morning temperature, getting enough sleep. I want to get back into reading again. I want to enjoy the food that I am eating instead of shoving my face full of unhealthy foods that, for the most part, I am eating for the sake of it or to satisfy a small craving instead of being strong and thinking of the long term, of the bigger picture.

Putting my depression and recent troubles to one side, I have been letting myself down for a long time. I have been lenient for too long. I am proud to be happy in my skin. I am proud to be accepting of my horrible evil PCOS symptoms. I am not perfect, far from it, just like everybody else. But I like my body. I like the wobbles and the dips and bumps. I like the curves and the soft skin and the strength. I just don’t like what I am doing to my body. I have watched it change and done nothing about it. The wobbles are wobblier and the curves are curvier and I like them because I like me. But it is not healthy for me to carry on this way. Not if I want to conceive and start my family any time soon.

And so, the time is now. I have to be strong. I have to remember what I am doing this for. It will be worth it, and I will get there. I can do it.

Wishing that you have lots of happy, healthy, beautiful babies (or just one, lots would be nice but I will be so so so happy with just one),

Hope x

P.S. I’m sorry that this post is a little all over the place. I am so conflicted right now and am trying to find the balance between accepting and loving myself and motivating myself to change. It’s tough.

P.P.S. I don’t know if there’s much of a community on WordPress, but I would love to hear from other people with PCOS who are trying to conceive. I’m friendly and nice and would  love the company on this sucky journey ❤

 

The good exhaustion.

Dear Future Hope,

I feel exhausted today.

My head feels too heavy for my neck. It is all droopy and wobbly. I’m worried that it is just going to give way and my head is going to come crashing down on to my shoulders!

This week has tired me out…and it’s only Wednesday.

It sounds odd but it feels like a good exhaustion. This exhaustion hasn’t grown out of my depression, it hasn’t grown out of a day of doing nothing, it hasn’t grown out of my body wanting to find an excuse to hide away. This exhaustion has come from me pushing myself, proving to myself that I am alive and that I can do things. These past three days have taken everything out of me but they have left me feeling like I am not a failure or a lost cause and, right now, I’ll take feeling exhausted if I know that there’s hope for me.

I had a string of good days at the end of last week. I felt positive and driven and I was able to complete tasks and feel like I was really living and participating. It almost felt like a high compared to how I’ve been recently. It just made me feel so happy and light.

During this high I had a bit of a chat with myself. I have had numerous appointments with my GP, both in the past few months and whilst I’ve been signed off work. We have considered and discussed medication, but during this time I have also referred myself to the NHS’s therapies service and been in touch with the services available to me through my employer (sorry, top secret). I had heard nothing back from either service and felt completely abandoned and lost, in need of someone to help me. I spent the three weeks that I was signed off work really struggling to get a decent grip on the world around me and felt separated, detached, void of any hope or potential of improvement. My string of good days last week (i.e. Thursday when I helped Mum in her garden, Friday when we went to Nanny’s and then I bought a clematis, and Saturday when I had a lovely calm day with Pete) made me feel like I had started to rebuild a bit of my armour, I didn’t feel quite so vulnerable and I felt a lightness that I can only describe as me feeling not rock bottom. Don’t get me wrong, I am not far from rock bottom. But the fact that I wasn’t right at the bottom, the fact that there was clear air between me and the bottom made me feel so far from the bottom that I thought I could do anything. And in that moment, while I felt that I could do anything, I told myself that waiting for help to come to me is not going to make me feel better any time soon. Feeling vulnerable and scared, locking myself away while waiting to be told that I am on a waiting list for an appointment is not going to make me feel better. And even if I do get help, they are not going to make me feel better. They are not going to make me well. No, they are going to help me do that. They are going to provide me with the support and the tools to do the work myself. So if I will be doing the work then how about starting right now? How about showing myself that I am strong, that I am determined, that I am brave? How about standing up to my mind when it tries to trick me into feeling worthless, feeling incapable, feeling out of my depth, feeling undeserving? How about questioning it, pausing for a moment, giving myself time to determine what is really there? How about standing up, standing tall, fighting back? I am capable. I am resilient. I am worthy.

These words are important and it was whilst I was repeating this to myself that I decided that I would go back to work on Monday (or at least try to). I knew that the longer I stayed off the harder it would be to return. So on Monday I woke up early (but not so early that I gave myself time to talk myself out of it, just enough time to get ready calmly and without rushing around) and I chose what to wear and I did my hair and make-up. Then I walked to Asda and bought myself some lunch, then I got in Rupert (my car). It was while I was sitting in Rupert that I had a bit of a wobble, so I called work and spoke to Kelly, who was quite surprised as she didn’t expect me back until next week. She asked me if I was sure I wanted to come in, which obviously came from a nice place but actually wasn’t much help as it gave me a legitimate way of backing down and I was determined not to give up. She told me to drive to work and then if I really couldn’t do it then to call her and it would all be OK. The drive was pretty hellish. My mind was telling me at every moment that I was incapable. As I approached the Pork Pie roundabout it tried to get me to believe that I didn’t know how to do the roundabout. Of course I know how to do that roundabout, I do it pretty much every day! I told myself, no, you’re wrong, I can do this. I can do this. I am capable. The same happened when I had to drive around a row of parked cars, and then again once I’d reached the car park when I had to press the buzzer and wait for the barrier to open. I parked the car (which I also tried to convince myself I couldn’t do) and then had a bit of a wobble once I realised that the next step was to walk into the building. I almost didn’t. Very almost. But I did.

I spent the morning with Kelly in the office. We had a long chat, a bit about me, a bit about her. She said that she only wanted me to work three mornings this week (I did my third today so I’m done for the week) and that we could review how I got on next week to see if I am ready to go back to my normal working hours. It was nice to feel supported, like she understood and wanted to do what she could to help me feel better. I stayed and ate lunch with Kelly, Gill and Deb. I didn’t realise how much I had missed being around them until I was back with them. Even though they normally do most of the chatting and I listen while doing the sukoku or whatever, I know that I am really cared for and that they missed having me around.

It was not easy being back. I felt very nervy, on edge and very over-stimulated. But I felt an enourmous sense of accomplishment as I left. I had told myself that I could do something and then I’d proven that I could do it. It was hard, but I had survived. And that felt huge.

I went through the same thing yesterday. And then again today. I am proud of myself for lasting all three days. But it has taken its toll. I am so tired. And I’m nervous that I will be too tired to get all of my jobs done in time for my Eurovision party on Saturday. I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of 8.10am and then I’m meeting Mum and Alfie for some breakfast. Then I want to get on with all of my jobs. They include, but are not limited to, cleaning out the buns and the fish, cleaning the dining room, cleaning the kitchen, finish cleaning our bedroom and tidying the spare room. The front room is already done as I managed to do that after work on Monday while I was riding the high of accomplishment. I just hope that my tiredness doesn’t cause me to think negatively as then I’ll be paralysed and I won’t get anything done.

Oh, I almost forgot. After telling myself that I needed to start trying to help myself as best I can because I won’t be getting support any time soon, I have received an appointment from the counselling service at my employer. It isn’t until Thursday 26th May so I still have two weeks to wait, but I really hope that they are able to offer me something.

I am still feeling pretty positive, not as deleriously happy as I was at the end of last week, but balanced. I’ll take balanced for now. The extremes are exhausting. I am looking forward to the weekend, to seeing Lizzie, to celebrating with my friends. Hopefully that will help me through this week and will keep me up.

Wishing that you know just how capable you really are,

Hope x