I am constantly worrying about something these days. This week it was my son again. He has recently started counselling in school, and I think has found it useful. It has brought some thoughts to the front of his mind though, which has made him sad. As I have said before, he is only 11, and has been through our situation for over half of his life. The stress can be intolerable on an adult, and so I am not sure what kind of trauma this will leave on him.
He does at times lose interest in the things most children enjoy. He loved playing football until the pandemic hit, but since then has struggled to re-engage. He appears listless and lost and very fearful of being away from his mother. The separation anxiety is real, and takes alot of cajoling to get him to do things.
There was a great initiative this week nationally. Time to talk day was on Thursday Feb 2nd. Like the old BT advert, it is good to talk. The idea was for people to make a space in their day to talk about mental health. You can see the web page here https://timetotalkday.co.uk/.
My son is very good apparently in telling his teachers when he is struggling. Especially with his mental health, which is something I am not good at. Though I feel it is different to say you need help as an adult, and especially as a man. There has been a stigma surrounding mental health issues for a long time, and we have suffered through the whole stiff upper lip, boys dont cry cliche.
My office had a coffee and cake get together for the time to talk, where we took time out to hear statistics about mental health, and have a chat. This was all well and good, and was a great time out, but I felt it was a little bit like lip service to the process. It was organised by employees, not management, and it is that higher level that we need to engage. From bitter personal experience, I know that managers are not always interested in their employees well being, and there can be an element of out of sight, out of mind.
The other worries for me are the usual. My wife can be up and down as I have said before. Food is still a problem, but she does seem to be getting stronger. She isnt right, and probably wont be right as things progress. Following last weeks concern over her jaw, this week we have had nose bleeds. We think they may be related to the tablets she is on, and will have to get that checked out. She is also very tired most of the time, easily fatigued, and wont go too far from home for fear of her stomach making her nauseous again. I still wish for the real woman to be back, but have started to become reconciled to the fact that that will never happen. It hurts to think that. It hurts to know that the life we thought we had has now gone.
The life we lead is also now extremely tiring. The worry that any ailment could be much more serious is constant. The added time that everything we do takes is frustrating. The uncertainty of how each day will go is exhausting. Like my son, I am struggling to find enjoyment in the things I used to love, and my attention span has shrunk. Funnily enough writing this is one of the only things that will keep me occupied and happy.
Finally I feel this year we are on an out of control ride. Previous years havent felt like this, but I have the feeling that this year may bring us an end. I hope not, but am no where near as confident as previously.
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