Recovery is a long road

Half term here, the kids are at home and I am doing the daily dad with them while Lady Mackay goes to work. I love spending time with my kids and I am at home more than I have ever been due to being ill.

I am blessed. There is no other way round it, my kids are great. Don’t get me wrong, this is not the starry eyed proclamation of a delusional parent, but more recognising that they are happy, well adjusted, polite and secure kids. They have their moments, like every other child but they are fun to be round, a real joy.

They know Dad is not well, not always on his game and they are terrific in the way they just get on with things, even when I can’t.

This week, I took Abigail to Gloucester, about an hour away, as she sings with the county schools choir. She has always sung, everywhere she goes, even singing herself to sleep since she was a little thing. Now being 13, she has developed the most wonderful voice, performed at the Royal Albert Hall and enjoying herself thoroughly. I am immensely proud of her. Therefore, when the call came to go over to Gloucester twice a day on pick up and collect for two day, it wasn’t something I was going to complain about.

On Tuesday, Rory and I got back for him to have a school friend over, so I made pizza, got them sorted for a great day together. Lovely boy over, real easy and played X-Box together for the whole time. On way to get Abigail, I did some shopping for Valentines, picked her up, went home made tea.

Then collapsed on sofa.

Next day was a repeat, with the middle bit being Rory and I going to the cinema to see Lego Batman, which was great, followed by lunch before going back over to Gloucester to get Abigail, who had the most amazing day.

This morning, after getting up ridiculously late, I took Rory for a hair cut and the wee sod looks really sharp. Had a laugh with him going round, as well as a good chat, spending time with him is so important and fun too. I am his parent, and a friend. Goes for Abigail too.

This should be easy for me, it’s not exactly a mammoth task, yet I am exhausted. Two days of driving, parenting, having fun and I am done. Woke up today with my eyes welded together, one being a bit sore and with coldsores, which is a sign for me I’m getting run down. Run down, after two days of effort.

And there is the reminder that I have some way to go. I am not at my best, not at my worst, but as Lady Mackay says, I am fragile. Things like this bring it home to me that I need to do more, making sure it is not too much or I could end up back where I was. I don’t want that.

I need to get back to work at some point and really not sure what I want to do, what I am capable of doing. I guess it will be part time initially to ease myself back into work and fingers crossed I will cope with whatever is thrown at me. Having always been capable and active, this strikes a bit of a blow but accepting it without judging myself is vital to ensure that I carry on recovering properly and carefully.

I like a challenge and now, that challenge has to be measured as it could put me back if I can’t achieve or rise to meet it. For anyone else in this position, just accept where you are and give yourself a break from the pressure you put on yourself. Our own expectations can be damaging and we need to learn to cap those expectations for the sake of our health, and challenge them at the right time.

It’s all about the recovery journey, small and careful steps are okay.

Be kind to yourself.

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