IN REARVIEW // February 2016

Desiderata max ehrmann
Words from 'Desiderata' by Max Ehrmann

As January drew to a close and February began, I noted a real cloud of uncertainty hanging over me and a thick grey lens fogging the way ahead. There's been very little let up in my metaphorical weather system in the last 29 days and as ashamed as I am to say it given how idyllic my external life can seem, internally it's been a tough old month. 

I'm still signed off sick from work; exhausted most of the time; my yo-yo-ing "appetite" playing havoc with my body; and a barrage of negative thoughts weighing heavy on my mind. After a lot of crying in a lot of doctor's offices, I ended up being admitted for a ten day hospital stay. Though not ideal and not of any huge benefit, it gave me the sense of containment I needed to bundle all my wild thoughts and feelings back up into a more manageable package, making room in my brain for other things. It got me started on a new medication as well and while I generally have little faith in the guessing game of psychiatric drugs, it's the first time someone's introduced a different branch of medicines into the mix instead of doggedly throwing leaves at me from the same small twig. Time alone will tell how that works out. 

When I wasn't being a full-time catastrophe, February was largely spent trawling through websites or visiting flats, trying to find new accommodation on my meagre budget - no small challenge in this city. As the end of our tenancy crept ever closer and I began to panic over managing finances and living with strangers and having to get our current flat packed up and ready, I realised that any decision I made was going to be driven by desperation and not by rational thought. So it is that my parents have agreed to have me back for a while, letting me focus solely on packing up the old flat for now, giving me space to think everything else through more logically, free from time constraints. "Manageable steps," as they keep on telling me. 

Besides that, February brought with it a little visit to St Andrews to catch-up with Eve. The 50mph wind put a stop to our plans to photograph the Cambo snowdrops, but we managed a visit to the coffee shop at Kingsbarns Distillery, as well as a lengthy browse of the book-lover's paradise that is Topping and Company!

I made it along to some informal Bible Study sessions with the young women in my church and their plethora of toddlers and babies; a baby shower for one of the group, full of embarrassing games and plenty of cake; a 'Dealing With Depression' course being trialled by my wider church; and a little bit of the Glorious women's conference at the Music Hall in Aberdeen. 

Alongside that, I managed to explore a little of Spectra - the festival of light - in the centre of the city; I enjoyed that visit to Cue BBQ (I might not have been the only vegetarian, but I bet I can lay claim to being the only hospital inpatient there on the day! paha); I caught up with my friend Stacey, celebrating my discharge over ice-cream and coffee; and I rounded off the month with a sunny Sunday visit to Tea Zone for a good old natter with some lovely blogging ladies!

Reflecting back on all that, I realise just what a long, strange month February has been. I'm going to point to that one extra day and make it carry all the blame. (If only it were that simple, eh?) When all's said and done, I'm just relieved to see February gone and to move forwards into March holding on to some vague sort of plan. 

Let's see where this month leads...


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