Saturday, 18 February 2012

Number Forty Eight: The Edge

A knife edge… a cliff edge… you name an edge and I’m on it! I’ve recently realised that I am coping really well… really well as long as everything runs smoothly. A tiny bump in the road, kink in the plan or hiccup in my day and I come crashing down. These issues can range from anything tiny like ‘we’ve run out of milk’ (again) to big decisions over childcare, work or relationships. And when I say ‘I come crashing down’ I mean that I lose the ability to think straight, concentrate but most infuriatingly I lose the ability to sleep! The tiniest worry will have me wide eyed at 3am, thoughts buzzing round in my tiny brain, stress building up about how to get back to sleep and calculations being made about just how tired I will be tomorrow… well today- later today as it is already tomorrow. Ugh!
I think we can safely say that the PMA is dwindling. You’d think being a positive substance it would in fact be self-replenishing but maybe it’s finite after all! Yep, I’ve spent a year harping on about how I will now face life with a new carefree attitude; cancer had shocked me into living a better life… What an idiot! All I’ve actually done is clarified number one on my ‘What to worry about’ List.

‘What to Worry About’
  1. Have I failed at my very own cancer promise to myself? I was going to ‘not sweat the small stuff’, I promised myself I’d enjoy life but I can’t help reverting back to my old, worrying self! Did I set myself up to fail?
  2. Am I going to be fat FOREVER?
  3. Have I led the most predictable and boring life ever?
  4. Should I stop working to look after my children rather than trust someone else and pay them most of what I’m earning anyway!
  5. Should I be working more/longer hours/ harder? I’m very aware that I no longer look ill and worry that colleagues will think I’m a slacker. (No one has even hinted at this it is purely a negative fantasy! I spend a lot of time wondering what I myself would be thinking about myself if I weren’t myself!…I’ve never been very forgiving of people having time off work and so imagine that others think I’m lazy and work-shy!)
  6. It’s not until September but… Will my son get a teacher who ‘gets him’ and will he enjoy school life?
  7. Am I only a blue rinse away from looking like that old lady from Coronation Street?  (Can’t remember her name- haven’t watched it since I was about 12!)
  8. Will I ever get my career back on track? Should I be patient and give myself time or should I be pushing myself now?
  9. Does my husband only like watching Spartacus because he misses the sight of two boobs? (Again… my issue, not his- his only complaints are firmly in my imagination only)
  10. Will it come back?
  11. How can I get back to sleep?

I wish I could recapture the positivity I spoke so much about. I wish I could feel less on edge. Please can I just stop teetering and step back, relax and admire the view?


  1. It takes so much longer than we hoped it would, hey? To just feel OK for more than a few days at a time. Sleep has been a major issue for me - and being honest I now take meds to help me. Life is so much easier after a nights sleep.
    And the other big questions? Who knows, hey? Life will guide us along I guess. My career is a mess as well - but I know the answer for me is not to put more in. Not yet. It's my kids that got me through cancer, not my career. So for now I will just have to accept I am a bit useless!
    And you certainly are not failing yourself - you are being normal. I don't think it is possible to live without being normal, even if really we feel we ought to know better than that.

  2. Oh my God, what a list! I know the feeling. But sometimes once you've made the list, you acknowledge what's on the list, and then it's easier to prioritise?
    I don't know, but sleeping better does help too. I used a natural sleep remedy, just for a few nights to break the poor sleep pattern.
    Thanks for your honest post, I think many of us have been there.
    All the best,
    Lesley x.

  3. This, I am sure is just another result of the trauma you have gone through. It's almost like you psyche cannot let you not have something to worry about. I suffer with anxiety. Most of the time everything is fine. Then, especially if I am busy & therefore more tired than usual, the demons flood in & I'm just like you described. I paralyse myself with worry so that I can't do let alone think about anything. The body & mind are great things and do need to be taken notice of. I have a theory that these times of 'collapse' are their way of reminding us who is in charge! Apparently, the way to end these times quicker is not to analyse them. Just accept that that is how you are feeling. I find this bit the hardest! Hugs xx

  4. Hey Erin,
    thank you for the lovely comment you left on my last blog post - you know how bad I've been! - but it's easier to tell other people to be gentle on have been thru such a lot & I think it's only when we have a chance to stand still that the emotional fallout hits's rubbish but we'll get there, really we will.
    Thinking of you,
    lotsa love,
    Chez. xx

  5. Just remember when you hear hooves it's probably horses, not elephants.