Climbing through jelly

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try to limit the amount of time I spent on the internet.  Since my phone got sent off for repair and I had less access to the internet I’ve been slowly reducing my Facebook/Twitter/Blog browsing until a few weeks ago I decided to put it on the back burner.  I can’t believe how quickly days turn into weeks.  I can’t believe how much time has slipped by. The thing is, I’m not really sure whether it’s a good or a bad thing.

In the past, time spent clicking obsessively on social networking sites or searching for random things like “peanut butter jelly belly beans” slipped away so quickly.  I enjoyed compulsively sharing my every thought and reading the random musings of my friends and family (and slight acquaintences that I once bumped into at the soft play etc), and I looked forward to finding time to quickly check out what was happening in the “real” world.  But the time spent online was increasing quickly and I started to question my motives.  Why did I want to use the internet to help my cousin in England decide whether or not to hang out her washing rather than interact with the real world outside my door?  Why did I compulsively check Facebook for notifications, Twitter for mentions and WordPress in the hope that someone out there had read my blog?

I started to feel like “virtual living” was just a way of hiding myself away – I started to feel like maybe I was allowing depression back in.

So I logged out and took a break.  The most I have done is to flick onto Facebook for a few minutes here and there but I no longer lost hours to it.  It felt good.  It felt like I was making a positive step.  Only now I’ve swung the other way.  Now I cannot bring myself to log in – I get a panic deep down so I just avoid it all.  It’s as though not being online is now making me worse.  Until I started to write this post I hadn’t given too much thought to why it might be making me feel like that but I think a part of me feels a lot like I did at school.

I never had many friends at school.  In fact, I spent most lunch times in first year circling the school by myself, looking for a quiet place to eat lunch where no one would see me and realise I was alone.  I did make friends over the years – some of whom I’m still friends with now, but when friends moved on I was upset and worried about going back to my lonely lunches.  Lately I sometimes feel like I’m back circling the outside of the school again.  (I know this is nonsense because if I update my status I know someone will respond so I know I’m not alone in that sense.)

I don’t know why these old feelings are rearing their heads.  I know the Monster is a lot to handle and just collecting him from nursery requires a great deal of energy on my part – today I could have wept in frustration at his inability to stay beside me and simply come with me and his sister to the car.  I worry that I’m slowly sliding backwards to a time where every day felt like climbing through blackcurrant jelly – dark, claustrophobic and getting nowhere fast.  I worry that it’s the depression reaching out to swallow me up again.  I’ve always sworn I’d never allow that to happen again, but I just don’t know that I have the energy to keep fighting against it.

I need to make more “me time” but I don’t know what can give – I have a Gaelic tutorial one night a week, visit family most weekends, and work three nights a week.  On a good week I have one night with nothing to do (once the Monster and the Minx are asleep) but what do I give up?  I am enjoying learning Gaelic.  It’s something I’m doing for my children but also for me so I don’t want to stop.  Visiting family may not give me peace but at least it gives me other people to muck in with the kids, and someone else to pay for food.  I could drop one night at work but the ends are not meeting as it is – I have £3 to do me until my child benefit gets paid in next Tuesday.

I guess I just need to take a deep breath and keep going on.  I need to dig deep and find the energy to build my momentum up again.  An aunt once told me to “sink or swim” and that’s what I need to do now.  I just wish someone would throw me a set of arm bands.

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9 responses to “Climbing through jelly

  1. I hope you feel better soon. Sounds like you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do. I also don’t seem to have enough hours in the day.

    • Thank you. I’m definitely burning the candle at both ends and expecting too much of myself. I’m holding out for the summer holidays when I won’t have just as much running around to do, and then next year the Monster will be at school so hopefully the frantic pace during the day will change – though the Minx will miss her big brother.

  2. I do think that parenting can be very isolating which can then lead to depression. I know exactly what you mean about the jelly! Maybe a happy medium would work best; allow yourself a certain time online so that you get a break from reality! I do hope you manage to keep the depression at bay. I regret the time I lost by not dealing with mine. Best wishes. Xx

    • I loved being on maternity leave with the Monster and was sad to go back to work – not just because I missed him but because I’d enjoyed being able to make the most of meeting up with friends and socialising. This time around I’ve been so busy ferrying the Monster to nursery and preparing for work at night that I have had almost no time for that. It’s been particularly tough since he started his second nursery in January so I suppose I just need to hang tight for a few more weeks and then hopefully life will start to feel a little more like my own again…

      Thanks for your suggestion. I think I need to allot myself a guilt free internet time that is also limited, for instance, by going to collect the Monster – otherwise I run the risk of being swallowed whole by my laptop.

      Depression is such a sneaky condition – so often you don’t realise what’s wrong until you are so deep in the middle that you can’t find your way out. I hope that this is more a period of stress than real depression but one can easily lead to the other so I know I need to be vigilant. You’re a star for caring. xx

  3. Most people I know (including me) seem to be feeling a bit this way at the moment. Hard times. Guess it’s chin up and armbands on and hope the sunshine stays out for a bit now. x

    • When you wrote that we were in the middle of very grey, miserable, wet day – one in a string of many similar days. Today was cloudy with a chance of sun – pretty much summer in Glasgow – and we made the most of it. I think we spend a lot of the year looking forward to those few weeks of sunshine that we can get really glum when it starts to look like they’re never going to show. Still, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade so maybe I just need to change my outlook rather than anything else. Thanks for commenting. x

  4. Hope you are o.k. hon. Wish there was something I could do to help. I will throw you a set of virtual armbands straight away. Pink ones with sparkly bits on. x

    • I pop on and off when I can get away with it. I’m trying to get on top of work stuff at the moment and there’s a little light at the end of the tunnel there which helps. Plus I won’t have as much running around in the summer. It’s nice to speak to you again. (If you know what I mean…)

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