Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Hold Things Back

I was going to write a post about how 2010 has been a really shit year and how I'll be glad to see the back of it. My reasons for thinking this? Well – for a start there has been too much death and illness in my family. And I have been under a great lot of stress which has impacted on my work life and consequently I am no longer happy in my job. Added to this I have lost my health and fitness mojo, haven't been doing as much walking as I'd like to and have been comfort eating which has resulted in a weight gain of 14 lbs and the relegation of lots of my clothes to the back of the wardrobe.

But then I had to reconsider – was I being unfair to 2010? For it did have its good times and Miss Martha has been a constant source of joy throughout the entire year.

So how did the year pan out? What were its ups and downs?

The downs are easy to remember.

In January Matty's only brother Dessie died the day before his 80th birthday. Matty was, at that time, complaining of stomach pain but wasn't keen on seeing her doctor. Looking back, we can see that for Matty this was odd behaviour. She finally allowed herself to be talked into it. I was sure it would be nothing.

In Spring Daddy's sister Mary went into hospital. She had cancer. Somehow I convinced myself that if Mary had cancer Matty couldn't possibly have it too. But I was wrong. Mary died in May and I was privileged to be one of three nieces at her side. Her passing was peaceful but previously her suffering had been immense.

It was after Aunt Mary's funeral that my three youngest siblings went to receive the news that there would be no treatment for Matty's illness.

Then in November Aunt Josephine died. She had been ill with dementia for a long time. Matty was in hospital when Josephine died, she was recovering from the after effects of a pulmonary embolism. We brought her home on the evening of the funeral and she now requires a serious amount of care, help and looking-after. After seven months of round the clock care from ourselves we, as a family, worry how long we can carry on with it.

I'm not great with stress. It must have been June when things started going wrong at work. I couldn't concentrate and, at the back of my mind, I couldn't convince myself that work concerns were actually important. Of course this is wrong thinking because one's employers don't approve of their workers taking this view. And I knew it was wrong thinking but I couldn't shake it off. Then the stress, the lack of sleep started to impact on my actual performance and it all turned into a vicious circle. Still spinning around in it to this day although it has got slightly better. I still feel as if I stand at the edge of a whirlpool of negativity and disaster. Expect I'm depressed.

It doesn't help that I often feel I'm waiting (impatiently) for all to be over. And not just Matty, Pearlie too and that makes me feel like a really bad person. I wait for my old people to die and then I'm old people and there are people waiting for me to die. Yep. I'm depressed.

Tomorrow I'll write about the best bits of 2010. They deserve a post of their own and pictures, lots of jolly pictures.


ejh said...

I'm sure that it will get better; you have you friends and family around to help and to share the burden. And the good of the year will be what you remember in the future.

I hope that it gets better for you sooner rather than later.

Nelly said...

Thank you for that kind comment Ed. I enjoyed reading about you and your wife's fantastic holiday. I wasn't a bit jealous either!

Tony Adams said...

The realization that we have become "old" and will replicate the older generation right in front of us may be the key thing that separates us from our relatives in the animal kingdom. This wisdom is more of a curse than a blessing. I'll be turning 60 this year. I wish I didn't know this. When I read about your stress, I am so glad I retired early. I'm sure you'll find a way to get back into frequent laughter.

Nelly said...

You are so right about this. I wish I didn't have the wisdom. When a person is closely involved with their elders it is very stressful. And, funny this, I envy my friends whose parents are already gone and, even more curious, these friends are the ones who are quickest to give unwelcome advice as to how to deal with the elders and say (most irritatingly), "You'll be old yourself one day!" Talk about the bleeding obvious.

As to early retirement - I am seriously considering that.

It's time I stepped away from the corporate monster as it neither fulfills or pays me.