I can’t remember not feeling flat and low after a holiday, and to a certain extent that’s normal for everybody. After a break you come home, unpack, wash, put away and start to pick up your normal everyday routine, no doubt preparing for work and/or school as well.
Coming home is, in a great sense, the reminder that nothing has changed. You may have escaped normality for your holiday, but whatever you left at home is still there when you come back.
I have at least progressed to the point where I expect to feel a bit miserable and low on my return and try and give myself 24 hours without expectations to readjust.
This weekend however it was 3son and 4son who went away for 2 nights, coming back Sunday afternoon. I had a Friday night out, a Saturday day trip just for me, took 1son out for dinner on Saturday evening and slept in Sunday morning. After 3son and 4son returned and had settled back in I went out again for Sunday afternoon and eventually evening, an unplanned outing that was great fun. So I made really good use of the very rare occasion of not having my youngest with me.
The trouble is that it’s Tuesday and I’m still feeling fed up and miserable. I didn’t do anything yesterday and even when I decided to go back to bed I couldn’t fall asleep. I didn’t manage to book our next holiday which is only a few weeks away or to book an annual fun social event this Saturday. I have no enthusiasm.
Then of course the guilt kicks in. I keep thinking of additions to yesterday’s list, that I have wasted Monday and don’t want to waste today as well. The pressure of what I didn’t do yesterday is added to what I feel I ought to do today. I had about five hours sleep the last 2 nights and am tired as well as lacking in enthusiasm.
I’m not in a mood to make happy plans, which is why booking half term holiday is beyond me. But time is running out, also adding to the pressure. I dreamt about a lost child, not one of mine but a friend, and woke up with heart pounding and a need to check on my children just in case… I’m waking up feeling anxious, feeling nervous about how I’m going to get through the day and what, if anything I’m going to be able to achieve. I’m losing confidence in my ability to do anything, recognising that my drive to do things, especially work and impersonal things, is vanishing, being taken over by my desire to feel miserable and sod life.
As somebody asked on Twitter last night, when you feel down should you retreat from everyone or force yourself to be with people until it’s more comfortable? I’ve always tried to force myself forward, as “wallowing in self-pity” doesn’t achieve anything.
But it’s not self-pity, it’s my body, my sub-conscience telling me that I’m not happy with my life. I need to learn to hear that, to feel that, to spend time thinking about me and how I feel, rather than worrying about holidays, work and paying bills. The trouble is that all those things still need doing and can’t just be put on hold.
But they can wait a little, if I can learn to let them.