Slowing down is something I’ve never been good at. It just isn’t me.
I remember even in my care-free days when I had no responsibility, I would get up and think… ‘I’ll have a lazy day today’…and then after about an hour of lounging around in my pj’s watching a chick flick I’d be complaining of being bored and wanting to do something better, something more worthwhile with my time. And most importantly, I needed/longed for company!
I also remember, on these ‘lazy days’, my mental health would always plummet. Granted, perhaps these days were more likely the days of hangovers, which let’s face it, are never good for anyone’s mental health. But even on the non-hungover days, when I had no plans, or I found myself at a loss of something to do…I would just find myself too much inside my own head. And even now, on those days, I start over-thinking the small things. I start questioning choices I have made. I start doubting things that had recently been so clear and comprehensible.
Now, I know this about myself. I know that I require company, and to keep myself busy in order to maintain a healthy mental state. I am what is known as an extrovert. In order for me to be happy and sane I need to be around people and doing stuff. This is not to say that I am always the most sociable of people. It just means that I much prefer to be with people, rather than on my own. Sometimes I just need to sit in silence and gather my thoughts (don’t we all!) but I prefer to do that in the presence of others, rather than on my own. To me, there is something quite powerful about a friendship in which no one needs to talk. You just enjoy the company.
So, being 36 weeks pregnant, and the type of person that needs to be constantly on the go and keeping busy, I imagine you can see how tough this is for me. My body is screaming ‘SLOW DOWN’ but my head is saying ‘HURRY UP’. I want to be busy, because I know I need to be busy in order to keep a healthy mind but I just cannot physically keep up with myself. It frustrates me greatly.
I constantly say ‘yes’ to everything that is going on. In fact, the times I say ‘no’ are usually due to already having made plans. I don’t ask for help…I just try to carry on like normal. The silly thing is, I know this is wrong. I know that my body needs to rest and that I should take some time out, just sit, stop doing everything, let my husband pick up the item I just dropped on the floor, but I’m not that person. I don’t want people doing things for me. I don’t want to be the person that says ‘No, sorry I can’t come because I need to rest.’ That’s not to say I shouldn’t be that person. It’s just that it goes against my very being. I feel guilty for not being my usual self. And if I wasn’t keeping myself busy, doing all these things, going against the will of my body…what would I be doing?
Sitting around, getting cabin fever, getting inside my own head too much. Becoming anxious about things that don’t usually concern me. Giving too much head space to insignificant small things that in normal day to day life, for me, are not a concern.
I am so grateful for Ivy’s company, because her presence and relationship do mean that I am never really alone. But even with her, we rarely stay home for long. We always have plans to be out and about keeping busy, seeing people, sometimes not even people we know…it’s just nice to be around others. Like in a cafe, or at the park etc. Somewhere, where there is opportunity to talk to other adults should I need to.
…and despite knowing all of this about myself. Despite knowing that my body really needs to slow down, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t stop myself from saying ‘yes’. And then I complain about how sore and tired my body is. I complain about feeling like I can’t keep up with myself. I complain about all the things I still need to do!
Right now, I am lucky enough to be having a child-free day. Most women at 36 weeks pregnant would be jumping at the chance to sit and chill out, maybe have a nap. But I can’t. I am just not programmed to be that way. So instead, just today, I have been for a beauty appointment (in which, I got to natter for half an hour about all sorts to a complete stranger) I have walked around the shops whilst catching up with close friends on the phone. I have Insta-storied my shopping experience because I felt the need to share the moment with others and it makes it feel less like a solitary activity. I have eaten lunch, started packing my hospital bag, sorted through a load of clothes, done the washing, written this blog post and now I am planning on doing some more packing…
…because I cannot, even if I want to, SLOW DOWN!! And, although I have had a lot of interaction with other people already today, I am starting to feel myself becoming lonely. So I am going to put the radio on in the hope that I don’t feel so alone. And before I know it, it will be time to collect Ivy and start the evening routine.
And then come 7pm I’ll be complaining that I’m tired and my husband will be telling me I need to… S L O W D O W N ! ! !