I handed in my notice at work. Being honest it has been a long time coming, around about New Year I realised I couldn’t go on as I was. I was constantly tired, had no time for me and had genuinely thought, more than once, that a potential way out would be death. I was drowning and fast. I felt constantly guilty, was having to book to see friends months in advance and despite declaring at least once a week I was going home to clean I never actually found the time to do it and instead had reverted to not letting people into my house, unless unavoidable, and keeping the curtains closed so the neighbours wouldn’t see the mess.
Of course, I kept this to myself. Well, there wasn’t really anyone to tell.
Occasionally I would have people round, but all that happened was the crap would get hidden in drawers or bulk piled into the bottom of wardrobes. The state of my house, the house that Dad and I had worked so hard on, was getting out of hand. All I saw was projects not finished, items not dusted, floors not vacuumed. I know I should have done it, but when you are walking out of your front door at half 8 and walking back in gone midnight, well the motivation just isn’t there.
I was very aware I was neglecting my home and myself, but what choice did I have? Poppy was also being horrendously neglected. She was having to survive on about an hour’s companionship a day, which is not enough, and as I replaced the time I could spend with her to treats to at least help alleviate the boredom she got fat.
I was constantly tired but unable to sleep. I felt constantly guilty. Time spent with S or with friends was time not spent with Mum, time spent hanging out at Mum’s was another day of Poppy alone at my house. My diary was full, every hour not at work accounted for, and despite me promising myself that this was the year I put myself first, cheating myself of time doing what I wanted and enjoyed was the only way to fit everyone else in.
Although I wasn’t depressed, I could feel myself slipping towards it. I was aware of little things I was, or rather wasn’t, doing which harked back to when things were really crap before. I was going weeks without cleaning my hair, the sniff test was being used on clothing found on the floor and even cooking, which used to bring me such great pleasure, was reduced to whatever I could cook quickly in one pan.
Then Mum made a throwaway comment about paying me instead of her carers and a plan was formulated. I am a mixture of excited and terrified.