Since the start of November I’ve had a vague intention to not miss writing days and to get back up to an unbroken streak of 100 days in a row, but life and work and exhaustion keep getting in the way and there are holes all through the last few months. I’ve kind of had enough of the level of work overload, but there’s nothing I can do about it right now except work through until it’s done. Next year? Do less? No extracurriculars? No committees? It feels difficult to resign from them.

***

Twin2’s deafness seems much worse this morning. We put some oily ear-drops in last night in the hope that it will clear out some wax. The doctor said she’s not a fan of syringing, so we’ll have to give it a week to see if the wax gets cleared out. I hope it’s just waxy build-up, but it’s difficult not to worry that there’s something more permanent and concerning going on.

I hate feeling powerless in the face of my children’s health. And I guess it will get worse, right? As they become teenagers and need to spend more independent time in the world even though they’re still immature with underdeveloped frontal lobes and pretty much guaranteed to get themselves into trouble and danger.

I know I did.

Add in the issues with mental health that I’ve undoubtedly passed on to them, and which I have no way of preparing them properly to deal with – okay, sure I can make things a little less scary than they were for me, but at the same time, until you experience those feelings and live through them and come out the other side, no amount of description and talking about it will make it real.

How do you tell a 13 year old that sometimes over the next ten years they’re likely to experience complete lack of joy and motivation? How do you communicate that sometimes the world will stop feeling real, that they might believe they’re the only human (or only alien) in the world, that they’ll feel trapped under glass and unable to touch the world. That sometimes people will seem like scary meat-suits. That they might “hear” scary voices at times. That they might forget what happiness and contentment even feels like.

And then, how do I tell them that that’s all okay. That it’s just a bad trip – but with no drugs taken, that they have to ride it out and come through the other side, because it does pass, and it does get less intense.

Even at 40 years of age, when it hits, in the moment, all I can do is cling to the mantra that I’ve welded into my brain that it will pass. Because it has to, because I don’t allow myself any other options ever. But I can’t say I believe it in the moment. It feels like I’ve just bound myself to the mast of a ship in a storm, with faith that eventually the storm will pass, and I’ll still be there, battered but alive.

How do you get that level of commitment into a teenager’s mind? Can it even be handed down to you from someone else, or does each person just need to find it for themselves?

I’m terrified that they won’t get through those early years.

But maybe they won’t have the same issues. And maybe they’re early upbringing will give them a type of psychological resilience that I just didn’t have at a young age. Maybe they constant knowledge of the support of their parents and our absolute and unconditional support, maybe that will be present for them like a rock, or a lighthouse in a storm (which of course are nearly opposite things in this metaphor, but bah! It’s my blog and I’ll mix my metaphors if I want to.)

I feel like there’s something funny and witty to say about metaphors being like drinks and how you should only mix them if you know what you’re doing.

***

Just two days left in this week and then it’s going to be a true Christmas countdown. I feel “behind”. Last night, after a long slog of correcting I put everything away and watched a tv show instead of sleeping. And for once it was the right call. Sleep suffered, but I got to feel internally that I’d done something other than work the whole evening away. Which wasn’t even a true fact anyway, but it felt true in the moment.

Moral: finish the day on a relaxing note.

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