Urgh, I am feeling very lurgied today. It may well be my body rejecting the fact that I am no longer on holiday or in warm and sunny France, but I have been feeling seriously under the weather for the past few days. So much so that I took myself home from work at lunchtime to work from bed. It's the only way to do it and I might have to go for a snooze later as well.
On a happier note, on Wednesday I gave my Paris vintage frock its first outing:
I teamed it with my red belt from Accessorize and my red mermaid shoes, but I'm looking forward to trying it out with other colour combinations as well. I'm ever so pleased with my find, but I think I may change the buttons in a while. You can't really tell all that well from the photo but they're a bit cheap looking and I think I'd like something a bit nicer. I'll have a look in some of Leamington's haberdashery shops over the weekend I think, and see what I can find.
I was too ill yesterday to go to work and spent most of the day asleep on the sofa, or rereading The Dolly Holiday by Anne Dunlop. Oh, I also watched two episodes of Lewis as well! As well as feeling physically under the weather, I was feeling very low emotionally. Call it post-holiday blues, maybe, I don't know. I had a little cry to Nic and a good old think about it as well. One of the nicest things about being away in Paris, apart from the fact that we were in Paris, was getting away from all of the things that have been bothering me over the past six months. It was an especially good time to go given the bad news we'd received shortly before about the proposed closure of the organisation I work for - work troubles seemed very far away when I was sitting in the sunshine with a glass of champagne! So did all of the other things I've been worrying about, and I'm truly grateful to have had such a restful holiday.
Most of these worries came crashing back in on Wednesday evening, however - probably compounded by the fact that I was feeling so ill! I didn't sleep, was ill in the morning and couldn't go to work, and spent a good part of yesterday hiding from the world and trying to hide from myself.
I'm not saying that I'm suffering from depression but what's clear to me is that I am finding it harder now than I have ever done before to cope with feelings of anxiety and sadness. Things that I would have been able to shake off before, like making a silly mistake or someone making a snide comment about me are often extremely difficult to bear. At times I find myself feeling completely overwhelmed by sadness and stress, and while this doesn't last for long it's deeply unpleasant.
It's been a tough six months and no mistake. My job has been physically and emotionally demanding and I am so very disappointed in the coalition government's decision to close my workplace down. Silly as it might sound, it hurts. Things at home in Northern Ireland are better than they were, and I spend a lot less time worrying about what's going on, but the way things are in my extended family makes me really sad. Without talking about it again at length, the other things that have been going on in my personal life continue to make me sad, and to make me full of self-doubt and to bleed into my other relationships and other areas of my life. I've been through sad times before, so I'm not sure what's making all of this so much harder. It might be the accumulation of it all, or maybe that I'm just less robust than I had thought.
On Saturday evening's episode of Doctor Who - Vincent and The Doctor - The Doctor tells his companion Amy that someone's life is like a heap of good things. He tells her that the good things aren't always enough to drown out the bad things, but that the bad things don't have to overpower the good things. Who would have thought I'd be taking advice from Richard Curtis, eh? But I did, and I do. The bad things in my life are lingering, and they are poisonous and they make me unhappy, but on most days they are massively outweighed by the good things. It isn't always easy to remember that and increasingly I've been struggling with it, but I'm lucky. When I put my hand out there are a number of good and loving people waiting to take it and pull me up. Sometimes I don't even have to put my hand out. In my saddest moments recently I have berated myself for not taking more strength from this, for allowing myself to feel sad, for being self-pitying and pathetic along with all the other negative things I've heard (and imagined) being said about me. The fact is, though, that I have taken strength from it, and I continue to. It might be a while before things get easier for me, and I can't promise that there aren't going to be more of these 'woe-is-me' type entries (because, seriously - you know there are going to be) but I'll be all right. Someone told me a while ago that they thought I was a very unhappy person, and that even when I say I'm happy I'm really just denying my sadness. I've been thinking about that and wondering if it's true, but I don't think it is. My last blog entry is about the wonderful time Nic and I had in Paris, and all of the happy moments I experienced. I was happy, and I am capable of happiness, and I am lucky enough to feel happy a good amount of the time. The trick I suppose, is keeping the happy pile of things from being tainted by the sad pile of things, and I'm working on that.
To that end, I'm hoping to have a happy weekend. I'm meeting Sugar Plum and Martha for a coffee when I finish work. Nic and I are going to watch a Fred Astaire movie tonight (because Fred Astaire always makes me happy) and I'm going to be as restful as possible over the weekend to try to get over this icky sickyness. I might even do a little bit of sewing, provided I get the present I'm making for a colleague finished first. Oh, I'm going to wear my new shoes as well at some point, and that always does help to chase away the blues.