Like many parents, I’ve seen Frozen many many times, and to misquote one of Anna’s early lines, ‘The sky’s crying, so I’m crying’.
Some days everything just seems too much. Today has been one of those days. Whether it’s tiredness from the long hospital day yesterday and a night listening to Pudding shouting from his bedroom. Whether it’s the miserable weather or facing the future at a meeting with school today. Whatever it is or isn’t, I always seem to do what I need to for organising Pudding’s appointments and so on. But there are days when the thought of my committee duties or tackling a form of my own that is two weeks overdue and is still sitting on my kitchen surface sends me into a spin of anxiety. Even theatre tickets booked for tonight for a show that I’ve been looking forward to wasn’t enough to lift my mood.
After lunch I went up to bed to try and nap but found myself crying instead. Not the neat tears-running-down-cheeks sort of crying, but full-on body-wracking sobs and wails that left me unable to breathe through the snot. Not pretty but I think it needed to be done.
I won’t say it made all right with the world again, because it blatantly did not, but it’s maybe a bit more manageable. And maybe I will tackle those forms tomorrow.
Afterwards I had a bath and a sneaky chocolate and continued reading How To Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran. In it her 14-year-old protagonist describes anxiety brilliantly as ‘boiling in this quicksilver, electrocised soup’ but says ‘It’s really best not to tell people when you feel bad. Growing up is about keeping secrets and pretending everything is fine.’
I used to think a bit like that.
A while back I wrote about the ‘failure’ of crying all over our healthcare nurse and another MPS mum picked me up on it, saying it’s not a failure to have those emotions. She was right of course and the logical part of me knew that, but at the time, when I was tied up inside them that’s how I felt. Today I know that’s not true. I will have good days and I will have bad days, and I will carry on through them.
I’m not writing this post to garner sympathy or be told I’m inspiring. I’m writing because I’m not alone. All over the country there are people like me – parents dealing with a child’s diagnosis, people who have lost a loved one, students who are struggling with exam pressure, people who wonder how they can get through whatever difficulties they have been hit with. And if we keep secrets, pretend we’re fine and never tell anyone how we’re feeling how can things get better?
A blog post I read earlier today reminded me that being emotional can be seen as a weakness and used as a derogatory term to lessen others. But surely, being emotional simply makes us human. And human is good.
Later: The not crying didn’t quite last the school pick-up. Unsurprisingly after a long day yesterday Pudding was also tired and grumpy and had thrown a block at another child. And then T brought home this picture of his ‘special place’ – he had chosen Martin House and his reason definitely made my eyes leak again. (‘it reminds me of Pudding and it reminds me that he is unlikely to die of his disease’)