My mood has generally been better although it has been worsening during the day. It doesn’t help having a ‘back seat driver’ when I’m driving which infuriates me. I’m also having to deal with having a few nights of sleeping well then a few of bad nights sleep.
Over thw weekend I decided I would go back to one of the lunch clubs as I have been missing it. Today was my first day back and it felt as if I hadn’t been away. It’s just a shame a certain person who should have been a source of support for me over the past couple of months hasn’t. I probably wouldn’t have had any time away from it but at least I am back for one day a week as I still help out at the Friday lunch club.
I am still having my membership moved though. It’s one thing going back to help out but another to be committed to it by being a member. I care about the people there and those that are members of the lunch club but by not being a member of the church I won’t be caught up with the politics of the church.
I need to be firm with myself about posting more regularly. The past week has felt never ending but has had it’s interesting moments.
On Monday we went out for a walk with the lady from Well-Being to get us motivated about exercise. Walking as a way to keep fit isn’t my favourite way of doing this so it was a challenge. Now get me in a leisure centre ……
On Wednesday we had our JCC (Joint Church Committee) meeting which I hoped wouldn’t be as long as my first one – 2 1/2 hours – but it was. Most of it was to have updates on various church activities and finances. At one point we were asked who would be willing to be the JCC rep. for the Trustees meeting which is only held once a year. Nobody was keen to offer so I did and now I need to know when that is held.
When the community co-ordinator went through the day to day running of the activities he managed to get through it without many interruptions. That was until he said that the lunch club was ticking over and nothing to report. I ‘jumped in’, apologised for interrupting and got on my soapbox. My main gripes were not being told ‘officially’ when the lunch club has been cancelled for a week’s break and volunteers not being allowed to cover. There are two paid cooks and they shouldn’t really take time off at the same time but the senior one will take the same time off as the other as she doesn’t want to do extra work.
In the past the lunch club wouldn’t have a break when both cooks took holidays at the same time. The previous community co-ordinator would organise the volunteers to cover. This happened once after I started in the kitchen but I didn’t know until the caretaker asked if I was on holiday the following week or would I be in. I didn’t know what was happening until then so let her know I would be in as normal. Since the new co-ordinator has started the lunch club has been closed twice because of the paid cooks being off. The first time I was told be one of the other volunteers. I am glad she told me but I was very upset that neither of the cooks told me even though I realized who should have told me. Thesecond time was this week and as I suspected what was going on I confronted the senior cook who confirmed what was happening. Not only did I offer to come in but so did the caretaker who, like me, said who was willing to come.
I knew two of the volunteers were going to be in yesterday as the Day Club was still meeting up as usual. They decided to do soup, sandwiches and cake. I offered to go in and help which they appreciated as I knew what to do over preparing the soup. The co-ordinator didn’t look at all happy that I brought all this up and felt that it wasn’t right. I got back up from the other members as they feel the same way as me and the two volunteers who organised the food for yesterday. Our minister didn’t look happy about what’s been going on and assured me that this would be discussed so that this didn’t happen again. I’m just thankful that I got back up and the minister understood how we feel. She knew I was upset the last time but hadn’t known the full extent of the story. That will teach the co-ordinator not to be devious as his sins will catch him out. It’s great to win a battle though ….
I feel so tired. On Saturday we went out just to get a bit of fresh air so had a stroll round town. In the evening about 17 of us went out for a meal for a friend’s 70th birthday. It’s actually his birthday today but he and his wife are on a cruise for two weeks. Anyway the meal was lovely. I managed to wanted a finger as I had sizzling chicken which was a different plate to the rice ad salad. The dish was on a board so I intended to move it closer to my plate but touched the dish by mistake. It was entirely my own fault and didn’t spoil the evening.
On Sunday we were at church twice then went to Costa for the monthly meeting. Our neighbour met us there which pleased us. The downside was that we had another late night.
On Monday I had to stay in as we were expecting the hole in the bathroom ceiling to be fixed. It was a long day. In the evening it was the first T.O.M. (time out for men) meeting of the new year. I was on kitchen duty which entailed getting food on plates as the men arrived and we had taken some food with us. After that I just made pots of tea and hot water for coffee. I had also put some garlic bread in the oven and when I put it on the side I managed to burn the same finger as before.
Tuesday was one heck of a day. I was at the lunch club in the morning which I enjoyed. After I got home the well-being lady turned up right on time and it was productive. We had some lunch then I took my Avon round to my friend so she could pass it on to the lady who orders it. I went straight up to the hospital to see one of the ladies who comes to both lunch clubs at my church. She recently broke her hip and had been in Darlington Hospital then got moved to Bishop Auckland General Hospital. It was good to see her and she was sitting in a chair. In the evening we went to our monthly Encounter Group. It’s been almost a year since we started it so it’s almost scary knowing we only have one more session. I’ve enjoyed it and it’s made me realize how much I have grown in my faith.
Yesterday it was a relieve to have a quiet day. I managed to burn my finger a third time though, this time on the iron. I’m still feeling tired as I had lunch club this morning. When I got home we put our new mattress on the bed – it’s got springs one half and a memory mattress the other side. It is much more comfortable than the ‘old’ mattress. What is so annoying is that the bed is only a year old but the mattress wasn’t good.
My mood has been generally better the last few days and for thatI am thankful.
This week has become a blur. On Monday morning we down at the Valley M. C. for quiet time and for the men to get on with odd jobs. Duncan turned up with Molly who was her usual happy self. She is the kind of dog that makes life worth living.
The Tuesday lunch club was was a good day. I enjoy serving the food as the people are very appreciative. Cynthia still wasn’t sure if we were going to have fresh or frozen brussel sprouts so she said she would give me a ring.
Wednesday morning Cynthia rang up to let me know I could go in to do the brussel sprouts. She had already done half of them so it didn’t take long to do the rest. Cynthia had also asked me to peel carrots if I didn’t mind but nobody could find them. It was a good morning though as other people were in the building so I was able to have a chat everytime someone came into the kitchen.
Yesterday was a long day which I was expecting as it was my third year of being in the kitchen. I got in half an hour early just to get a head start on the potatoes and Catherine got in a bit earlier as well. Fortunately we had extra help with other volunteers coming into the kitchen when needed. It was funny when Peter got the volunteers down to the hall so we could receive our presents. I wore my ‘santa’ hat which has Ho! Ho! Ho! and I turned the button on so the hat had lights flashing. Peter said “Our Pip has been flashing all morning …” which caused laughter. It was an innocent comment but it was the way he said it that was so funny. I stayed for my dinner although I did leave earlier than the others.
The Valley M. C. had it’s annual carol singing rond the streets in Eldon Lane and Close House for Save the Children again. I made it quite clear that I was willing to walk round but I was taking it easy. My whole body was aching so I was glad to get home. When I went to bed I realized I had forgotten to take my tablets but was too tired to get up and take them. I slept badly which I put down to being in so much pain and being over tired.
I really didn’t feel like going to the Shildon M. C. lunch club but didn’t want to let Joan down. It was much easier than yesterday as we only had about 30 to cook for including us. There was much more washing up to do though as there was extra food including sausages wrapped in bacon.
Rick wanted to get out for a little while after I got home so I cooked him a quick meal before going out. Again I felt too achy to do much but it was worth having a look round a couple of shops.
I am relieved that I have two weeks off now to relax. It’s been a long year with little rest. It’s added to my mood being low whereas it used to help because it kept my mind occupied.
Depression does get that bad that I barely function on a daily basis. At home I can get away with being like that but when I am out volunteering have had my ‘wobbly’ moments as the people I’m with care. I simply ‘put on my mask’ and come out with some excuse such as I’m tired but would rather keep busy than go home early.
My minister is good at frustrating the heck out of me at times and over the past couple of days she has done that. A few of us need to have a meeting and she knows that I’m in the lunch time twice a week – she doesn’t know I do a third one – yet she has insisted that the meeting has to be on Thursday morning of next week. Now I have been severely depressed for about a year now with very few good days in between. The email sent me into a mini rant of why should I be forced to go in late. My minister suggested, in the email, that I swapped with another volunteer but there aren’t any other volunteers for the lunch club. She knows I go in both days and the only other volunteer that I could have asked to cover me goes in on Thursdays anyway. I have responded and told her all I could do is let them know in the kitchen I would be late.
My minister doesn’t know about my severe depression, P.T.S.D. and I also suffer with O.C.D. (obsessive compulsive disorder) which is usually well managed. I don’t know what triggered me to suffer with O.C.D. but it started around the time I started suffering with depression. I suppose, like suicide attempts and self harming, it is a way I can have control of my life. My husband has got used to it and at least he knows I can put my hands on anything we or I want except for when he decides to tidy up. At the lunch club the others have got used to me and my O.C.D. so it has become a bit of teasing time when I decide to ‘colour co-ordinate’ the boards we use or getting the drinking glasses in a certain order or start on something else. Nobody minds as it doesn’t affect my time in the kitchen doing what I should be doing. I am thankful that I do have lunch clubs to keep my mind occupied as I do believe I would have physically shut down and not just emotionally shut down. There are two people within the church who know enough about my depression to keep an eye on me and that I trust enough to talk to if needed. I also know I can trust either they or my husband will ring the crisis team if I need that support.