The past week has been insane. I mean beyond busy, I’m talking crying in the bathroom and craving wine at 2pm craziness.
The past week for me has contained back to school (with a child who hates school), an unannounced visit from a court official, a hospital appointment that resulted in a referral for not one but two surgeries (for me, not Sprog), and a looming birthday do for which I was catering. Did I mention I haven’t been to a do since I got pregnant with Sprog? Did I mention The Boyfriend would be there?
I spent a week feeling epically anxious, like a whole new level of anxious, and on top of it all I knew that after my insane week I had to face a court date finalising our ordeal. I cried at night. I hid in the bathroom and cried and swore and sometimes ate cheese. Those were the days I remembered to eat – other than that I lived on coffee and adrenaline. We do all have weeks like this… Right? Right??
My hospital trip meant spending an hour and a half on a bus, to somewhere I had never been before. I was unaccompanied and a little anxious. The specialist who saw me was lovely, and fully understood all my symptoms. After a quick examination, she confirmed that I would need to have two invasive diagnostic proceedures at the end of the month. Great I thought as I left to catch the lengthy bus home. We all dislike having invasive treatment, but it becomes even more inconvenient when you know you have a child to look after when you get home. Four days rest and recovery, my ass.
Then the evening of the party arrived. Grandad turned up to watch Sprog – his first babysitting job since she was born – and I spent an hour in my room testing out make up and wondering if my top was low-cut enough for a twenty first party. I felt old and unequipped. I had spent the past six hours working on a three tiered cake, which due to my previous profession would have looked fantastic, were it not for my running out of ingredients and panicking, thus completely botching the job.
Okay maybe not completely botching; there was cake, it was glittery, it (apparently) tasted good. Still, my first outing in five years, a crapped-together outfit because I had no party dress, a boyfriend to impress and the promise that I would be meeting his friends: I wasn’t feeling so brave. I’m not good at groups of people at the best of times, let alone groups of people I’ve never met before and want to impress.
When we arrived at the party I focused on the task at hand. I diligently set up my cake, and waved a nervous hello to a few of The Boyfriend’s friends – all of whom were taller than me, but friendly looking. Soon enough we sat and I drank; jokes were made and things seemed okay enough, but I still watched the clock and checked my phone incessantly. I was anxious and uncomfortable. I was worried about whether Sprog would be sleeping or playing up. The worst part was feeling guilt about feeling anxious, but I couldn’t switch it off, I just don’t do well in social situations.
Eventually it was time to leave, and after many compliments on my cake and a few new friends who really weren’t as scary as I expected, I felt a little better. As we drove home I contemplated how I should be feeling better. I told myself the court hearing would still induce some anxiety, but it should be much less than I had been feeling. When I got in Sprog was fast asleep, and my Dad said she had been no trouble. Proof that it is possible for a mother to go out for the evening without the world ending – contrary to what my anxiety had been telling me.
Now, two days later, I feel much calmer. My court date is fast approaching and all reports are in agreement that we have coped spectacularly, and that they will be signing us off on the day. Halloween and Bonfire Night (my least favourite holidays of the year) are over, the cat has finally come down from the top of the bookcase* and the neighbours have stopped lighting copious amounts of explosives at seven every night. The Christmas adverts have hit the television, and my local Tesco has put up a tree. My brother is on his way to stay with us for a few days – joined by his puppy, who will undoubtedly help relieve my anxiety. I’m grateful that I got a night out, and happy that things are finally crazy in a good way, instead of like they were a year ago.
Have you had a crazy time of it lately too? How do you get through weeks like this? Let us know!
*our cat greatly dislikes fireworks. Her solution was to get on top of the bookcase and pretend to be invisible. She has come down now and seems to be over it.