Christmas stress

I hope you all had a nice Christmas day. I had a lovely time with my family. I am so lucky that I am close to my parents and siblings. But the same cannot be said for Dave’s family. 

I have always struggled with where I stand with Dave’s Mum. Throughout my relationship with Dave, the few times we do actually see her, she spends most of the time bitching and moaning about other family members. Because of this, I worry what she says about me behind my back. She frequently bitches about Dave’s sister’s husband so why wouldn’t she do the same about me?

Dave’s sister has two little girls. Dave’s parents frequently travel hundreds of miles, to the other end of the country, to see Dave’s sister, her husband and the girls. Dave and I have lived in our current house for nearly four and a half years. Do you want to know how many times Dave’s parents have been to out house in that space of time?….Twice!

Things came to a head during August Bank Holiday weekend. Dave’s cousin was over from Brisbane so she came with us to lunch with Dave’s parents, sister, her husband and their little girl for her 2nd birthday. As soon as we arrived, there was a weird atmosphere. It had been my 30th birthday the week earlier and I hadn’t seen any of them since Christmas. No one asked how I was or if I had a nice birthday. I was really upset when we left. So much so I ended up in tears. 

To top it off, Dave’s parents have never met Walter. Dave’s Mum claims to be scared of dogs. Dave has offered countless times to come to ours to meet him so she can see that there is nothing to be scared of. I have witnessed firsthand the impact of a dog phobia. Dominic was terrified of them for years. Yet he has managed to get over his fear and loves dogs now. A fear in a child with autism is more heightened compared to a fear someone who is neurotypical may have. 

On Bank Holiday Monday, Dave and I are spending the day at his parents. As you can imagine, I am extremely anxious and dreading it. My parents are looking after Walter as we are not allowed to take him with us. This means we have to go out of our way to drop Walter off before driving to their house. 

I feel so bad on Dave. He doesn’t understand why things are so strained and hates the fact his parents haven’t even tried to meet Walter. 

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Christmas Eve

Dave and I went to see the new Star Wars film this morning. I can’t remember the last time I went to the cinema. It is something that can make me feel highly anxious. Dave bit the bullet and booked us tickets for a 9.30am screening. He made sure to book seats on the side of the screen; meaning that there were only three seats together. I really enjoyed the film and I didn’t experience any anxiety. 

This afternoon I spent with Little Miss. She was great. I bought her a prefilled Christmas stocking. It had loads of little presents stuffed in it. I really wish I had filmed her. She loved every single item in her stocking and thanked me over and over again. I also got lots of hugs!

It is nice to know that I am not working again until Tuesday. I am looking forward to chilling out with Dave and Walter and also possibly spending time with friends. 

I doubt I will post again for a few days. So I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas Day tomorrow. Walter is making sure to get enough sleep before Father Christmas comes:

  
 

Christmas concert and dog playdates

On Tuesday I went to watch Little Miss and Dom’s Christmas concert at school. As they came into their school hall, they both looked round to see where we (their mum’s and Little Miss’ other carer) were sat. It was lovely to see them waving their hands frantically with beaming smiles on their faces. Little Miss was in her element being able to perform. Dom was a bit more reserved and self conscious but got into it eventually. I was so proud of them as they both did amazingly well!

Little Miss has been so well behaved. Her Mum and I agreed that if she carried on I would bring Walter round to hers on Tuesday after school. It went so well! Little Miss has an 8 year old Jack Russell called Bella. Walter and Bella hit it off straight away. Little Miss adores Bella and Walter and she loved having them both at her house. 

  

Little Miss’ Mum said that I can bring Walter with me whenever I am working. This is great all round. I am conscious of leaving Walter on his own at home for too long. So much so that I had passed up on extra work with Little Miss in the past. Now, I can work more and Walter gets to spend time with a dog he gets on with. So a win win situation. 

Dave and I have to get some last minute bits in for Christmas today. We are spending Christmas day with my family. We introduced my lot to our tradition of cheese and biscuits last year and they loved it. So we are going to get the cheese we bought last year. 

Tomorrow I am getting my haircut. I wouldn’t be surprised if my hair ends up even shorter this time. It also gives me an excuse (not that I need one) to spend time with my family as they live near my hairdresser. I am planning on taking Walter to a lovely park near my parents house. 

This time last year things were very different for me. I was in the grip of severe anxiety and depression. Days were spent crying in my pyjamas, unable to leave the house. Christmas Day was awful. I can remember lying in bed crying, telling Dave that I couldn’t face the day. 

It’s easy to forget how far I have come when I am struggling. So here’s to Christmas 2015. I can guarantee that it will be better than Christmas 2014. 

From Strength to Strength

It is so nice to be able to say that I am content and happy with how things are right now. 

After struggling with the medication I switched to four weeks ago, the side effects have subsided. It is amazing to get good quality sleep and not feel out of it and drowsy. It was decided on Thursday in consultation with my GP that I would take my medication at night instead of first thing in the morning. This has definitely had a positive impact on my mood and anxiety. 

I have managed to go to a number of different classes at the gym. They have been really enjoyable and I look forward to them. My fitness is improving after each class. I am able to push myself that little bit further. 

Work is great. Dom and Little Miss are doing so well. Dom tried something different for tea last week and loved it. Little Miss is loving going to guides. We went bowling with them last week and she was so well behaved. She did so well waiting for her turn and doing as she was told. 

Last week I met my friend’s five week old baby. My friend looks incredibly well and her baby is adorable. I had such a good time with them. I’m looking forward to seeing them again soon. 

I know that I have posted about my reservations about having children, but seeing my friend and her baby has made me feel really broody. Dave and I have talked about it. I have my obvious concerns about my mental health in regards to having children. But, we are not planning to have children anytime soon. I would want to have a conversation with my GP and a therapist about it all. 

Glimmer of light

After three bad days in a row, things are improving. 

After a poor night’s sleep, followed by an early get up for work, it is quite common for me to struggle that day. But today, I have surprised myself. 

I managed to go to the gym. I was offered a free personal training session with one of the new trainers. It went really well. I asked if we could do some boxing which was the main focus of the session. I also did some weights and core work. It helped that the trainer seems like a nice guy. Fingers crossed that I will be in the right frame of mind to finally try the Fight Club class at the gym. 

I am feeling really tired but my mood is nowhere near as low. I hope this means that I will sleep well tonight. 

After a busy weekend last week, I am looking forward to a quiet weekend. Walter has been super cuddly these past few days. Here he is having an afternoon nap: