On feeling empty

The last few weeks have been particularly bumpy in the Six household. Even without the referendum causing extra grief and anger this last few days. Most of the bumpiness has been in my head I think, but boy has it felt like a turbulent ride.I haven’t read much other than two fabulous Jill Mansell books over my birthday 24 hours, haven’t blogged for almost two weeks, haven’t felt like anything has been much fun. Have had lots of palpitations (hello anxiety) and have needed to stay close to Mr Six in social situations. Such a cheery soul, aren’t I? Bless Mr Six for being a total saint!

When I was younger, my Dad used to compare me to a champagne bottle. All calm and still, but shake it and the top will blow off and shower everyone with its contents. He was right then and I think he still is now to an extent. I have got better at dealing with my feelings and emotions as I go along through life now. But I know when I am feeling overwhelmed and tired, the champagne bottle begins to fizz.

A few weeks back a short text message was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had a huge raging meltdown and Mr Six was a bit caught off guard at the things that came up and the ferocity of my feelings. Can’t think of the last time that happened. I’m not even sure if he’s seen me shout and rage like that. Ever. In the 17 years he has known me.

This different way of parenting is hard. And counterintuitive. And I have been feeling worn down by it all. Despite the fact we are only really dealing with very low level stuff-oppositional behaviour, screaming, hitting, spitting, sleep refusal, controlling behaviours. It all starts to grind you down after a while.

Alongside trying to process and work through some big things in my own head, it has all got a bit too much. By last week I was just constantly feeling tired and empty. I am certain that there are no physical issues that are causing this. Purely and simply I had hit the wall. My meltdown was the sign of something having to change.

I cannot do everything. Or be everything to everyone. I cannot solve everybody’s problems, or listen to everybody’s complaints. I cannot practically home educate our kids well, whilst keeping our home tidy and clean (to my satisfaction!). I cannot stay up late to spend time with Mr Six (after Little Legs has again resisted sleep til gone 9.30) and expect to feel awake and full of beans the following day. I struggle to stay on top of the everyday mundane tasks-shopping, cooking, laundry, etc, etc, etc.

Something has to change.

This weekend we had a crazy busy weekend with our church network’s day conference in a local city. Followed by a busy day of church and lunch out with friends. My introvert self was terrified at the prospect of having to put on a face in order to be ‘okay’ around people for two solid days.

But you know what?

It was ok.

It really was a weekend of restoring some parts of me. Of refocusing. Of spending time with other grown ups, knowing our kids were being well looked after. In reality they were not only well looked after, but they had an absolute ball! Little Legs went in to the kids programme happily with two of her sisters and showed no signs of struggle or fear. The leaders were aware and happy to call me if needed.

I had time to chat and just be with some friends. To have my soul restored a little. To enioy the company of some big dreamers and visionaries. To hang out with people people; those who live to breathe life into others, who reach in and draw out the joy in your heart. To have life and love spoken over me. To be challenged to my core about me.

If someone had told me that is what the weekend was going to be about, I’d have run a mile. I wasn’t in a place to hear that, or to cope with knowing that was coming.

But you know what? I’m still tired. And a bit weary. And tearful. And flitting into anger and frustration.

But I feel a little less empty.

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