Back when things were good
Oh boy.... where do I start.
See, my last post on this blog is about how one can stay on top of things with a newborn. About how, when you are prepared and organized and you share responsibilities with your partner, life totally is going to work.
And for some of us, this is probably true. But here is the thing: it is not for me. Here I am, one year further, on sick leave because I am burned out, and with a complete mess where my personal life should be.
I have less energy then my grandma, cannot focus for longer than 20 minutes, cannot go grocery shopping on my own because all the people in the store stress me out and the minute something unexpected happens I do not know how to deal with it and panic.
How did it come so far? Because I am a perfectionist who thought that I needed the perfect house, garden, job on top of being the best mother in the world... all by myself. Because I feel responsible for everything and cannot delegate tasks. Because I am lead by this overwhelming urge trying to help everyone whilst not paying attention to myself.
I worked in a pretty demanding job, did all of the housework, the cooking and most of the care for our baby, never allowing myself "me-time". Secretly, I mocked those talking about "me-time" as not being there for their families and being bad parents. Look at me, I thought, I never allow myself to think about me. I am giving it all up for our family. Because, that's what you do, right? I am having a mother now, so this is what defines me. And work defines me.
But here is the thing. When you deny yourself time to relax and to breathe, it does not make you stronger, it makes you weaker. If you cannot recharge, your battery will run on empty. And yes, it happened. I started making mistakes at work, I was not productive anymore. I had to drag myself out of bed in the morning while I was so tired that all I wanted was to go back to sleep.
I started to snap at my boyfriend at the smallest of things. I was unpredictable to him. I cried at work, I cried at home, in the bus, in the train,... I cried and cried. And I felt so incredibly alone.
Everyone told me that I was not fine, that I needed rest and I needed help but I would not listen.
And then, one day after work, I had no energy left to get out of the bus. I sat there and had no idea how to get up and get out of the bus. How to get home from the bus stop. I came home that night and felt empty. All feelings were gone. Dead inside.
The next day, I called in sick.
That was three months ago.