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by Miss Penn about a month ago in family

Ramblings of a struggling mama

My happy bedtime buddy

It’s bedtime.

Sometimes I don’t want to go to sleep because it means starting all over tomorrow.

I never used to feel this way. I used to love going to bed, the feeling of exhaustion, the soft fabric of my pillow and the release of tension from my body as I drift into sleep.

I used to love waking up. I was an annoying morning person, the kind who had most the their day done before “normal” people had even stumbled out of bed.

I loved running in the quiet darkness of the morning and watching the sun come up. I melted into my first sips of my morning coffee, content to be awake and feeling alive.

Now when I wake up, I’m still tired. My eyes ache the moment they open. My heart is always pounding and it’s physically exhausting. I toss and turn all night long. I shake and shiver while soaking through my pyjamas and sheets with sweat.

I’m usually awoken to a crying baby with imminent needs that take precedent over my own. I’m so desperate when I get to my cup of coffee that I gulp it quickly and I barely taste a drop. It isn’t untill the afternoon that I can convince myself to dress, maybe leave the house and exercise.

I feel nauseous and heavy all day long. I take simple pleasure from moments with the dogs and my daughter but only after I convince myself to relax and that they are all that are important. I spend the day trying to push crazy thoughts out of my mind, to slow down and assess my to do list. So many medial tasks which I’ve given to myself and then placed pressure on myself to complete. They have become my purpose...

Everything has to be perfect. There can’t be a speck of dust. My daughter must be perfectly cared for. Home cooked, perfect meals and sweets. Counting. Always counting, bartering with myself. Clean, keep cleaning, clean for two hours and then take a shower, three hours later and still cleaning. My body dirty and exhausted. Eat something, take a moment. Can I eat that? How much should I eat? If I eat it, I have to go for a run. I can’t believe I ate that.. I’ll run 5 km to balance it. Just 5 km.

I’m running, I’m exhausted but I’m moving. Literally all my strength and energy goes into one step at a time. I’ve run exactly 5 km, I planned it perfectly to end at my house. I kept my speed up, checking constantly and maintaining a pace of 6 min/km or less. I arrive at my house but I can’t stop. I’m still thinking about the sandwich I had for lunch. Bread, I shouldn’t have eaten bread. I can keep going, just a few more minutes... I’m not near home anymore, why not a couple more km.

My watch buzzes, I look at the time and am shocked. I’ve been gone for two hours. My husband is texting to find me. “Are you coming back soon? Should I get supper ready?”. Supper...

I feel dread. I slow. My toes are numb from the banging against my running shoes. My bad knee is aching, as my body adjusts to my slower pace I feel the knee lock up. I limp home.

We eat together. Always a healthy meal we cooked together. Fresh produce, meat and whole grains. I can’t eat white... I just can’t.

Everything hurts. The baby is dirty from eating. She needs to be cleaned, she needs her pyjamas and her night time routine. I reluctantly haul my body up and hold my sweet girl. I would have liked to eat more, but with that thought comes the feeling of dread. I have more to do before bed, I shouldn’t be eating, if I do, what will I eat? Will I stop with just one serving?

Most nights I push the thoughts away, I move on. I care for her and after a long process, I carefully place my sleeping child in her crib. I kiss my husband. I clean the kitchen. I feed my dogs. Every action a struggle, while I fight the feeling of exhaustion.

Some nights the constant thoughts of food are too much. I want to feel good. I need a break, a reward for pushing past the exhaustion and the pain. I should get something for completing the daily list. Ice cream, I deserve it. I love it. Each creamy mouthful of cold sweetness frees my brain from the stress to focus on the pleasure.

Afterwards, I feel sick. I hate myself. I stand on the scale and weigh myself. The number always makes me want to vomit. How could I? Why did I eat it? If only id just gone to bed..

But if I go to bed, then tomorrow will come and my struggle will begin again.


Miss Penn

A lady with a pen @myth_penelope

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