Email I wish I could send

What I said:

I’ve been struggling the last few weeks, particuarly with mornings and getting out of the house. If there’s no additional work expected in the next couple of days would it be OK to work on the spreadsheets from home for the rest of the week?

What I want to say but is too much to expect a colleague to deal with:
Emailing across the office feels a bit daft, but it’s something I find very difficult to talk about and it takes time to find the right words. They call it “smiling depression” when it doesn’t show, sounds about right for how I try to present myself to the world. I end up with no words to actually express how I feel when everything I have is going into just carrying on and seeming normal. I don’t know why it matters to keep pretending it’s all fine and I don’t feel like life is all getting on top of me and hard to keep up with. When I’m feeling more positive I can discuss it all I want… I think it’s all part of the depression, the lower I feel the more the emotions seem locked away – I can feel them in a remote way but I can’t let anything out, even when I feel like crying. I keep hoping I’ll pick up from this particular depressive slump but it just seems to be getting harder to keep going and stay on top of everything.
This morning it was a real battle to not just turn around at the end of my road and go home because for a moment the whole commute and day just felt like too much to have to deal with. I sit on the stairs in the morning to put my shoes on, and some days I’m staring at the front door for far too long, gathering my energy and motivation. Can other people really get out of bed when the alarm goes off, have time for everything they plan to do in the morning, and get to work on time? Is it just me that takes half an hour to even be able to keep my eyes open then stares into space halfway through getting dressed until I realise I should have left 5 minutes ago? I struggle to describe or remember how I’ve felt before – am I really worse now than I was this time last year, or just lazier, or missing some essential factor?
Depression is an illness that doesn’t feel like an illness. It feels much more like I just need to try harder, give myself a stern talking to then get out of bed on time and keep up with the laundry. It’s hard to receive a good self-lecture when most of your brain already feels bad for ‘failing’ and already knows all of the areas requiring improvement – some of them probably not even noticable to anyone else. When I already feel that I’m different and doing badly it makes it very hard to judge how I’m really doing in comparison to everyone else, if I look like a swan gliding along or a small creature that fell in and is trying very hard not to drown… or an otter drifting with the current, holding a favourite rock for comfort and hoping nothing nasty comes along.
Do you know how hard it is to press send on this sort of message? Whether it’s internalised stigma against mental illness, a fear of admitting to failure or being thought less of, or just the upright piece of me that says you don’t call in sick or ask for concessions unless you absolutely need to and is this really bad enough? If I’ve written this and thought of just going home then maybe I have reached that point, but then again I’m not sure I trust my brains assessment of itself anymore. I have this internal debate everytime I think of calling in sick. My last few sick days have been complete crash-and-burn stay-in-bed-all-day can’t-cope-with-the-world days and I want to avoid that in future. I’d prefer a few low functioning days to a completely incapable of functioning day. Let’s hope a day at my own desk will help me reset…

Guess who just moved house!!!

I now have a new flat full of boxes, but the furniture is re-assembled and I can see it’s going to be great 🙂 

Top rental tip: when you see mold, move out before things go green and smelly. Think I just managed to avoid major problems… The new place is 10 years old and 2 floors up, if it’s a 3rd damp place then I’ll know it’s following me!

I can’t wait to make it home 🙂

Snail mail frustrations

Maybe it’s all the other stresses in my life right now but even my post isn’t making me happy at the moment 😦

I put my Postcrossing account on inactive with a few cards travelling and maybe one or two owing. I thought I’d stop any arriving when I’m away for medical and holiday reasons, and get a few owing for in a couple of months time. I’ve had several of my cards arrive but I’m also now 2 cards negative with everything I’ve received! It bothers me because I feel like I have to catch up all the time, and my response to the two cards today was “what, more?!” and “could be prettier”, so I may need to back down from Postcrossing again and focus on penfriend and postcard pals… Is the UK just rare enough on the website that as soon as I start sending, any future owed cards are a instantly given out by the system?

And swap-bot has frustrated me too. I know I should focus on who I’m receiving from and not their country, but the last 3 swaps are coming from USA while I’ve sent to Chile, Japan, and Malaysia. Maybe it’s the traveller in me wanting something more exotic or varied…or the tired office worker in me! The only solution I can think of for that issue is to adjust my attitude… I know that some of my nicest cards and swaps have come from the most common Postcrossing/ Swap-bot countries, and I have amazing penfriends in those countries too, but I still want to see something of the rest of the world!

Today has been just dull enough to get me down, I’m sure I’ll feel brighter again later.

/rant over, I’ve got swaps to send…

Remembering what I have

I drift through so many days, and I’m suddenly feeling glad to be alive. I’ve been dancing around the living room and rediscovering treasures as I tidy up. I might not have the most exotic life, but I have so much. I just found the stationery I brought back from Japan 8 years ago, the stuff I was scared to use and use up because I didn’t know where I’d get any more, but now I’m planning my next trip out there in May. I can use that stationery to tell everyone how excited I am 🙂

I can travel. I have the means, the time and the ability. I might not like my belly (I’ve only got myself to blame for that) but I’m OK to do whatever I want.

I’ve been feeling lonely recently, I’m still new to this city. I don’t yet have someone down the road to hang out with although I am looking, but I have friends in other cities, countries and continents who brighten my days with messages and letters. I have more letters and postcards than I know what to do with!

I know my family are there for me. They want me to be happy, and to do well. And I want the same for them.

I have my own space now, my own furniture. And I have space for my life and my hobbies, the sewing is slowly taking over the dining table and for the first time in years I have room for all my books. OK the damp and mold follow me around but buying a house is suddenly a few years off not never.

The new job has me wanting to stay and learn and settle. I never expected to end up in Derby or railway engineering but I’m not complaining (except about getting up on Monday’s and on slow afternoons). And if I occasionally wonder ‘what if’ it’s not with the desperation I used to have. How do I ask my manager to fund a masters degree?! I have a path now. I’m signing off on projects I designed, with help but there are people there willing to help me.

And tomorrow I’m going to meet one of my best friends and feed the ducks. Go team me!

There’s a world out there I want to be part of 🙂 and when I feel that things are hard work I’ll just have to look back here and remember how to enjoy life.



So I had a birthday and went out for dinner, and here’s my scrapbooking layout to prove that I’m now all grown-up and very mature…

I didn’t use any particular kit, just whatever elements I have that seemed to work.