The weekend after our quick trip to Broad Haven I was tired. This was no normal tiredness, it was completely debilitating tiredness. Having a shower meant sitting down afterwards for at least twenty minutes to get some energy back. This was unknown tiredness for me. Only five days earlier I had been uphill and down dale on a very long coastal walk. Weeks earlier I was out every other day for a thirty minute run. Now a shower was wearing me out? This tiredness continued into the following week along with irritation with music. MUSIC!!!! Music was irritating me!!! I had little or no interest in anything, I didn’t even go online – a sure sign I wasn’t right if I hadn’t made a trip to Instagram! I was that tired I couldn’t travel to himself to support him in looking after his Mom. This was tiredness on a whole other level.
After a week I spoke with the lovely Doctor who had looked after my parents, he knew me well and it meant I didn’t have to tell my history as he already knew it. He arranged for a whole raft of blood tests as it has been quite some years since I had been to see a Dr. I explained that my Vitiligo appeared to have increased significantly. I had been told I was very pale when in fact it was the Vitiligo spreading on my face. All blood tests were fine which is great. So what was causing this tiredness? The Dr felt burnout was to blame. The double trauma of losing both parents so close together and having to re-start life, to then have lockdown’s and to commence caring for someone else would, he felt, take it’s toll mentally and physically. Alongside this I am trying to get my music career going, support a number of other people with various issues they are suffering, doorstep visits to people who needed support, plus the day to day house and garden maintenance and trying to keep up with phone calls, emails and messages. I was overwhelmed with everything, I was getting nothing done for myself and my body had spoken. Enough was enough.
So, the plan of action is to slow right down and concentrate on priorities. As the Dr said, real life happens and we have to keep going up to a point. I put himself, his Mom and me and my work as the priorities and everything else can wait. I have slowed right down on everything else. We find it so hard to say no don’t we? As things are opening up I had more and more people asking for lunch dates, coffee dates, call in for a drink. I’m very lucky to be blessed with so many people who want to see me but I’m not ready to return to what used to be. The last eighteen months has been a revaluation of life, not just for me I know, it has affected all of us. I have rarely put myself first and maybe it is time I did. I found that I was spending so much time on other things I wasn’t getting the things done that I really needed to and that was overwhelming me. This has been hard for me as I am always so full of energy and on the go. I haven’t experienced debilitating tiredness like this since 2019 and the loss of my parents. The difference this time is that I go to bed and sleep almost immediately and straight through until morning and wake up shattered.
Taking time out for me has been a revelation. I caught up on outstanding admin and emails – oh what a feeling! I started to do a few tasks within the house and garden and that felt good, as you know I love getting out in the garden. It was my birthday in July and I had some lovely celebrations with my cousins and close friends (post to follow). I have listened to podcasts, read my book, had a manicure, made some headway in my songwriting and planning my business. I feel in control of me again and that feels so good. I am no longer overwhelmed and I am learning to put me first for a change. Himself said to me recently that it’s my time and I have to use it for what I want to do and not what anyone else wants or expects me to do. That resonated with me. I spent so many years not thinking of me at all, or doing anything that I wanted to do because I was a full time carer, I’m just not used to putting me first. I have no regrets at being a carer, I am at peace that I did everything I could. Now is my time. I don’t know how much time I have so perhaps I will be kinder to myself from now on.
Taking things slower is helping. I’m still tired but nothing like I was a month ago. There are things I can do to help my body repair. Healthy diet, build up my exercise again, listen to my body and not push myself, rest when I need to. I’m thinking of documenting my journey back to full energy as it may help somebody going through a similar thing. I know from various messages I received that my blog posts as a carer helped. It helps me to write it down too and in a way, as I have lockdown weight and more to get rid of, makes me accountable too. Life can be tough and we are very hard on ourselves. We can’t fix everyone, we can’t support everyone, we can’t be there for everyone but we must be there for ourself. We can’t help anyone unless we are replenishing our own soul.
With love and sparkles xxx