I thought a year ago I’d be back. I thought a year ago I had my life sorted and on track. I thought a year ago that I could juggle the impossible and come out on top, beaming, smug and satisfied. This illness doesn’t own me, I said to my husband, I am in control. I’m over my postnatal depression, I need the stimulation that work brings, the pride in having done a good day’s grind.
I thought a year ago I could be the main earner, that I could set an example for my daughter that, look, mummy doesn’t spend her whole life on the couch, she goes out there every day and kicks ass so the whole family can be fed. That she as a girl can aspire to anything she bloody well wants to be.
I thought a year ago I’d take over the world, on my high from having starved myself in my mania, ready to power dress my way through meetings across the globe. I thought a year ago I could forget how horrendous I found my chosen profession, how dealing with the slightest bit of confrontation without scuttling, terrified, into the darkest corners of my brain, feeding my paranoia daily until I couldn’t talk, just stumbling and stuttering over sentences like a drunkard.
A year is a long time to fail. A year is a long time to accept that what you thought you could be is actually ashes around your feet. Perhaps failure is the wrong word. But the 25 year old me would scorn the 38 year old me for having lost my zest for life and adventure.
I find myself having to redefine everything I thought I was. Everything I thought I could do turns out to be a lie. I have this pent up energy and frustration that, because I don’t fit into life’s little square boxes I may as well be on the shelf.
Some days, I rail against it, filled with plans for changing the world. Other days I slump on the sofa, terrified to step beyond the front door.
One thing is certain though and that’s change. I have changed and I don’t know what to do about it. Do I like the person I am becoming, as I leave my youth behind and start the narly traverse to middle aged? I don’t know if I want to know.
One thing is for certain though. What I thought a year ago no longer is applicable. A brave new world! we all cry, setting off into the sunset.
With me, literally crying. How am I going to survive this next incarnation? I’m too exhausted, defeated by the demons and the drugs. But there’s a little hand reaching out for mine that is my guide. I cling to it, desperately in the hope that one day I might be enough.