When I got home on Saturday 20th December, I was a mess.
I knew exactly why I was a mess, and I couldn't do anything about it. And on top of that, I had a cold- and I never get ill. As a result, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I couldn't think, and I spent days acting like a zombie. I curled up on the sofa, drinking endless cups of tea, and dreaming about the things I wanted to say. I almost completely shut down.
But it's improving. My big brother arrived home a couple of days after I did and made me feel instantly better. I slept in a bed that doesn't squeak, and in a room that gets properly dark at night. I played the piano for hours upon hours, pouring myself into it. And then on Christmas Eve, the extended family arrived and I was thrown into Christmas chaos, with no time to think about anything but the celebrations at hand. I laughed with my brothers, drank champagne with my cousin's girlfriend, sat on the kitchen floor snuggling with the dog (who sadly isn't mine at all), and a smile spent a lot of time on my face.
It would seem, therefore, that sleep, family, and tea have come together to pull me back together.
I adore living in London, but it is HARD. I have a tendency to over-do it, and it leaves my work colleagues, family, and housemates worried about me. I push and push and do and do until the circles under my eyes take on a kind of permanence and I spend meetings ducking my head and trying not to yawn. G looks at me worriedly when I tell him that I'm away again at the weekend. E looks baffled when I explain that I spent my "quiet evening" baking enough cakes to feed a small army. D tells me I have to slow down and look after myself. And I'm not very good at listening to any of them.
The week I have already had at home has done me the world of good- and the second week I am about to spend here will surely do the same. I feel rested and calm, my thoughts are ordered and sensible, and while obviously my demons are still there, they're a little quieter this week than they have been for a while. I am exceptionally lucky that I have got these two weeks off work- my work is actually closed now until 5th January, so I couldn't work even if I wanted to. It's blissful.
I'm inevitably going to spend the next week busily building myself back up to return to the Big Smoke, but that's okay. I need a bit of busy to counter the calm, and vice versa.
But I'm feeling much more like myself again, and for that I am incredibly grateful.