I woke up today with a job on. That’s really exciting stuff when I haven’t earned money since 2001. How can such a thing occur? Its a long story and not one to write right now. I’ve been a full-time mother, and since fleeing their dad 7 years ago I have problems with my health: namely the deepest of depression and ptsd.
I’ve spent those years first falling apart and then slowly climbing back onto my feet, got myself into college and then university, from which i have just graduated as an archaeologist. Finally being placed on the right meds a year ago has enabled me to make a recovery and start to cope with life. I’m now enrolled on a Masters in human evolution.
But there’s so much more to me than that. For the last month I’ve been in the process of being put onto ESA, now my student finance has come to an end, because of being on DLA. Filling in the forms is not pleasant. I could easily just go to bed and feel hopeless and inadequate after filling a form in about my problems and how they impact on all my living skills. But that’s not me, I’m more than my ill health.
Instead, I’ve organised a homeless heritage event, designed an children’s activity for a project that teaches about the Mesolithic (middle stone age, straight after the ice-age ended), done an activity day and now I’m
1. writing a novel
2. planning a book that tears apart the ‘ancient aliens’ show on the History channel with a fellow archaeologist
3. hopefully launching a tour-guide co-operative
4. proof reading Masters dissertations
and no.4 was my job today, proof-reading a foreign national students thesis of 15,000 words for £50. I don’t get paid until its finished and sent back to her, and I haven’t protected myself well. No down-payment and no written agreement.
This was really satisfying though.
A problem with my depression is that I disconnect from my surroundings when ill, and have trouble coping with everything. My personal resources are limited. No.1 priority is the kids: are they happy and loved, are they properly fed, are their clothes clean? This comes first. After this comes my rescue animals: 4 rats, 2 chinchillas and 2 cats. Then career. This leaves the house and garden right at the bottom of the list and most days I have nothing left in me to tackle domestic chores. Therefore I live in a pig sty, which makes me yet more depressed. My garden, this year, was a waist high jungle, 5 metres by 20 metres. Its huge.
So with degree completed, I’ve also devoted some time to the garden, especially since the neighbour told me off. Phase 1 was creation of patio, which is now finished, and its entailed getting down on my hands and knees with a hand trowel, digging out absolutely everything and their roots, at about 1m squared an hour, and using reclaimed wood for defining the areas.
Tonight I continued with phase 2, which is nearly done, which is creation of a small lawn and flower beds. Again the same thing, meticulously digging out everything, and then defining the border and sowing grass seed. This is very therapeutic. I feel like I’m digging out all the sadness and helplessness I felt over the last 7 years and giving myself a new start. Phase 2 should be finished tomorrow, and then I’m onto phase 3. That probably sounds so boring, but it means a lot to me. I’m also finding little bits of archaeology as I go along. Weirdly digging up a lot of teaspoons.
Bedtime. Though I’ve been getting insomnia lately