After quite a difficult day attending appointments on Friday my wife and I managed to go out for a meal. This might not sound like a big deal but the opportunity to go out without the kids for a couple of hours was really needed. I hope that doesn’t sound bad. People say to me that being off work must be great to spend the time with the family. On the whole it is. The opportunity to watch and be involved in the kids development is something I love but being at home constantly is very hard. I learned quickly when I went off work that putting myself first is not an option. If I was to try and do that at home it makes life very difficult. I learned that keeping those around me happy helps to give myself the time I need to get better. Sounds easy doesn’t it.
The problem with that is there are times where a bit of quiet helps. Thats pretty difficult to explain to the kids. Especially when they enjoy pushing a Postman Pat Van which makes the sound of a industrial drill the length of the house for 3/4 hours. It may sound unfair but I have discovered a number of places toys like this can be hidden if I get to them first. Life with a 6 month old and 2 and half year old is quite chaotic. As much order and planning you can try to put into your day they normally find a way of disturbing it. They have a number of chosen techniques for this. It seems to be that my children favour a good old vomit. They make sure to get as many items of clothing you are wearing to cause the most upset. You may think ‘just move out the way’ but it isn’t that easy. This usually occurs out of the blue. No noise or indication is given. It is a well developed skill passed on from brother to sister.
Trying to be involved in their activities isn’t easy. I often feel guilty at home because I can be there physically but struggle to interact. Thoughts can often drift and I find it difficult to be involved or concentrate for more than a couple minutes. Anyone that can spend long periods of time with young children must have a gift. I’ve realised that the perception of spending time with the kids is great but that isn’t really the reality. It is a difficult task and can be extremely hard work when a toddler tantrum comes along. In normal circumstances it would be much easier to go to work each day!
I am aware that as part of the symptoms that I suffer through PTSD, Depression and Anxiety I can be quite critical of myself. The belief that others are ridiculing you or criticising comes often. I think this relates to feelings that everyone is against you. Everyone is ready for an argument. I’m sure some of these feelings come from experiences at work where in general that was the situation but in reality, in the real, world it isn’t true. Most people are nice. More recently I have realised this when out for a run or walking the dog. People say “hello” when I go past, or “good morning, nice day for it” as I approach. Maybe I’ve had my head down to the floor for to long to miss this but it has been a kind or revelation. For some time now I have been the weird one in the shop unable to make eye contact with a cashier or struggling to hold any sort of conversation with a stranger as the anxiety just makes me want to run away. This has helped me realise that everyone isn’t out for an arguement with me. I try to remember this and change my perception of a person when I see someone now. I’m trying more and more to be the first one to say “hello” or “good morning” when out and push myself to chat even if I do find it difficult.
So to go back to our meal on friday, when the bill came we both realised it wasn’t quite right. It was actually about £17 short. Now this is a difficult situation. Thoughts go through you head about not saying anything, but will they realise before you get out? Will they remember you next time? Will they follow you home and set you car on fire? No no no… the right thing to do is to tell them. Anyway that’s what was happening to me. I think my wife was ready to pay and run. Maybe she likes to excitement, sense of adventure, the thought of some extra money to spend on nail varnish. I don’t know. Anyway I told the waiter who quickly went away and came back saying they will honor the bill as it was their mistake and he liked our attitude in telling them as many wouldn’t. I found this was a very nice thing to say and despite offering to pay the full bill he insisted we paid the cheaper amount. I’m pretty sure we will be going back to the restaurant soon. On leaving the waiter advised we visited a bar over the road for a drink as it was new. We think this may have been their first night open. It was full of people in high spirits and seemed a very nice place to be. We managed to get a seat and was asked if we wanted our photo taken which we agreed. We were provided with a small polaroid picture. I’ve got to say this was one of the best photos of me (my wife was in it to but she always looks amazing) I have seen for a very long time. It’s strange how you see yourself. I’m aware I have lost a bit of weight from stepping up exercise but haven’t really noticed a change in the mirror. The perception I have of myself from looking at that photo changed. It will be difficult to keep the positive thought but I will try my best. I’m sure the ability to change the perception I have of myself will go a long way to improving my well being on a whole.