Finding a New Normal...

My last post Strange Times was a bit of a mind dump. I think I need this blog more than ever right now. It's been so neglected the past year with not wanting to write too much about what went on in our lives in 2019 for privacy, then wanting to give the children more privacy (they tell me they're fine with being on here but I prefer to scale it back a lot now because I'm sure they won't always be!) 

Since I last wrote things have happened so fast with this virus that has spread globally. We're in a kind of lock down in the UK, joining many countries around the world. It was so, so strange watching Boris Johnson announce that we would not be allowed out of our homes unless we had to go to work, or exercise once a day. No more gatherings or meeting loved ones. This had been in effect as advice for several weeks but after thousands all across the country decided to ignore it it has all become a 'must do.' 

I live in a small close so have not seen much going on here in Kent. I already avoid going out unless absolutely necessary because you just don't know who has 'the sickness' (I'm determined to make its name!) My parents have reported police presence and other counties have said they've noticed an increase, they're all making sure the shops that are not essential are indeed closed and that people are in groups of no more than 2.

I'm finding myself on a continuous roller coaster of emotions. One moment I feel okay, I am reminded that I am safe with my family and I know my loved ones are too. Other times I feel angry that people are not listening and continue to make decisions with no care for the lives of others. Sometimes I feel totally normal. I'll put the bins out or wash my dishes like normal and then it hits me: there's a horrible virus out there killing thousands of people and we haven no idea when this will end.

When I last wrote we were all still going about things fairly normally but being more vigilant. The infection numbers were lower, the death rate lower (now both standing at over 1000 and over 400) I attended my one to one meeting with my counsellor, I was still taking my children to school, myself walking to and from and still stopping in the local store for some extras I needed.

2 weeks later and schools have been shut to all bar the vulnerable and key workers. We must not leave our homes unless absolutely necessary. People who are high risk and the over 70's have been told not to leave their homes at all for the next 12 weeks. I now have my therapy appointments over the phone and make people leave packages outside my door!

There are some positives though. These actions are important and I am happy to live by them. Although I don't know what will happen to our food supply near April I hope the supermarkets will have more control back from panic buyers. We have a new temporary hospital being set up in London, companies are mostly being supportive to their hard working employees (and those that are not are being called out left, right and centre) Thousands of ventilators have been made and thousands of people are signing up to help the NHS as volunteers in this awful time.

I don't write this to scare people or make others anxious. I am simply writing this for myself. I could sit there with a pen and a piece of paper but this blog has documented so much of our family life and this is pretty major. One day people in the future will learn about the great sickness of 2020. I don't want it to be all about how amazing our leaders were and all the positives. It should also be about those on the front line, the people losing their jobs, the people struggling to find food, the raw emotions of us 'simple folk' left to lock ourselves in, wait for a daily news bulletin, ration our food, work from home and teach our children and all for on God knows how long.

Strange Times

It's such a strange time at the moment. There seems to be an atmosphere of so many emotions. At home I see the children going about things as normal, just like I did when I was younger and these big events went on.

Mr K is being his usual self. He has plans in his head in case one of us does get sick and in general he isn't losing his mind in any way, shape or form. He is concerned about James, who is high risk and he himself is potentially high risk. He does have Muscular Dystrophy but as usual with FSH we really have no idea how sick (or not) this virus would make him.

So in general the household is pretty calm. I'm sort of keeping my anxiety at bay. I continuously try to remain calm and logical and try not to engage in the news too much during the day, just the odd peek here and there. I'm far more worried about getting sick as a carer than a parent. This isn't a 24 hour bug that I can push through a little, it's a full on flu type sickness and I have to be there for my partner when no one else is, not with everything but with some things still.

Reasons To Be Cheerful #1

Okay, so we're finally at the end of January and that's probably one huge reason for a lot of us to be feeling more cheerful. I was supposed to write this post up the first week of January but as usual life got in the way: oh well.

I do have many reasons to smile despite the miserable weather and the long month. The main reason I can say this is because I have been keeping an (almost) daily journal of all the good parts of that day (even if the only good part is that I haven't gone off my trolley by the end of it!)

Here are some of my reasons to be cheerful this week:

My 2020 Tick List

Just like last year I thought I would make a new list for this year. If you read my update then you will know how surprised I was to have accomplished as many of my goals last year as I did. I am hoping that by tth eend of 2020 I will have managed to do just as well.

Here is my list for 2020!

  • Sort Martyn a new wheelchair
This will be really beneficial for us both in the long run. We have chosen a really good chair and we just have to wait for it to all be put together and fit Martyn to ensure he's as comfortable as possible. It will mean I get to walk alongside him instead of pushing him all the time, he will hopefully be able to stand up from the chair like he used to do and he will also have more independence for example, he hasn't been out on his own for almost 2 years!

Book Review ~ I Am Your Friend By Billie Bacal

I was gifted a new book to review a month or so ago and I really wanted to give it a try.

I Am your Friend by Billie Bacal is aimed at helping your mindfulness during those moments you feel low, down or even depressed.

I've suffered with low mood and depression most of my life, since I was a teenager. I've found it really difficult to find coping mechanisms that help, instead reaching out for some junk food or curling up in the fetal position on my bed. Whilst there's nothing wrong with these things in a moment of self care they are self destructive if done long term, something all those with mental health issues will agree with.

Finding things that help can be difficult. When I heard about I Am Your Friend I wasn't entirely sure it would help much.  "I can't read when I'm not in a good place," I said to myself. When I read the rest of the notes I realised the book is more of a picture book of feel good doodles and artwork, very little reading and effort required.

Our 2019...

I bet loads of people would be surprised to see me posting a positive round up of 2019. It's true it was a fairly bad year. We had a real rollercoaster with social services being involved. We voluntarily asked for help but they didn't give us any help at all. 

When we followed some advice from one of our workers we ended up in a spiral when she left and it came out she had not documented a single peice of advice or guidance she gave us. This meant that we were viewed in a very negative way, instead of supporting us they started an investigation into our family life and how we treat our children. 

Obviously and thankfully this never went any further. We ended up getting rid of the social worker who did this to us and had a final one. One who did listen, who did empathise and did see us for us. We were under her for a few weeks and thankfully signed off which happened in the end of November, officially early December. Praise God! 

My 2019 Tick-list ~ Update

Gosh, what a year. I feel like I've been through hell and back this year. The important thing to remember is that I came back. Not all the dust has settled from this awful year but I'm positive that things will continue to sort themselves out and we can move forward in a happier direction.

Family life is good. In just a few months I will have been with Mr K for 3 years already. We've had a lot of positive change, I'm now officially in my 30's, as a family we have pulled through a very difficult time and whilst like all families difficult times will always appear I know that I have a wonderful partner, amazing children, some truly great family members and friends in our corner and God truly is a part of our lives.

Now onto the actual post! Last year I wrote this post about my 2019 ticklist, a simple list of things I would like to accomplish in 2019. I had no idea how awful this year would become but even so, I feel really pleased that I managed to cross off and do as many as I did! Here's a round up of 2019's goals and how I plan to continue them in 2020.