Work and Play

Friday 14th August 2018

So here we are. It’s the penultimate Friday before I return to work.  I have next week off and then I’m back into the hum drum of the corporate world… I can’t wait. If I was the sort to make high pitched noises, I would. I’m not so I look like I’ve got trapped wind instead but TRUST me; I’m happy inside… and also a bit terrified.

I know it sounds mental to be desperate to work. I reckon most people would give their left arm to be getting a salary for doing nowt during the summer months but believe me, when it’s not a choice of your own making there is no freedom and there is no fun. You have not won the internet. You spend your days feeling guilty and just not good enough – it’s soul destroying.

I spoke to our Doreen from the insurers for a fucking HOUR the other day. It turns out she’s not in the slightest bit employed to rehabilitate me; as I suspected she was there to gauge whether I had lazybasatarditis and was planning on swindling income protection for however many years while I was fit and well and should be working. Fuck me did she get a shock when I started to tell her about what was going on, and she turned out to be lovely about it all to be honest. Our Doreen, who isn’t really called Doreen but Mary, is a nurse with no specialised knowledge of M.E or it’s offshoots so it was a bit of an education for her I think. Her sole purpose was to gather enough information to pull together a medical report for the benefit assessors – who will then decide whether or not I should be covered by the group scheme. Now like I said last time round, I’m hoping it’s just semantics and I won’t need it but fuck me it would be a scary place to be if they said I’d not be covered.

I’ve gone into full overdrive in “getting shit sorted” mode which can be counterproductive for me in some ways; I have a list of thing to sort or to do to be “ready” and by the time I’ve fucking finished them I need a lie down. I am genuinely shite at normal life these days. What I have done though is write my gaffer a pretty comprehensive email this morning. We chat back and forward about my illness but I’m a proud twat and will always try and make it sound less of a pain in the flaps than it is, which is stupid, because it means that he’s no idea how much I’m struggling and then it’s a shock when I crash. So I’ve laid it all out, bare bones, and been very honest about the bits I can do, the bits I’ll likely struggle with and how noticeable it will be to the guys I work with. The problem with “not looking sick” is that often you don’t sound sick either, and given that I work behind a laptop in my front room how the fuck is anyone to know what’s going on unless I tell them? So I’ve had a word with myself and decided that pride needs to shelved in favour of honesty if I’m going to align his expectations with my currently ability. It’s a dicey move if I’m being truthful; the company is always going through cycles of change and we’re right bang in the middle of one now – if I don’t prove my worth there is a very real risk that I’ll be shown the door via whatever legal road there is available. Not so much by my gaffer I don’t think but by the big cheeses who I often have a lot of exposure to.

Therein lies the problem with chronic illnesses though aint it? No fucker wants to put their hands up and ask for the special snowflake treatment but it’s also not going to go anywhere – I may not even be at the bottom of my crash yet. Asking an employer to take a chance on you is a big ask, and this is the second time I’ve asked.

After my initial crash and diagnosis last year I was so so ashamed that I couldn’t be the person I needed to be at work, but now I look back on it I think I covered my tracks pretty well – very few of my close colleagues really understood the extent of my symptoms. Of course the irony now is that I’d be HAPPY getting back to where I was last year – it was infinitely easier to manage than where I am now. Don’t get me wrong, it was bad, I’ve written about it before HERE but as a recap; it was a really scary journey and it’s fair to say that both Christiaan and I were shitting ourselves with the “what if’s” when going through diagnosis; especially when brain lesions and tumours were in the frame. Day to day though I was far less affected by the actual symptoms than I am today. Most of my battles last year were trying to adjust and understand what was going on, it seemed like a hard fall from grace from this uber organised, efficient, articulate professional to what I’d become but ultimately it was about accepting I’d not see “normal” any time quickly. This year my resilience has hardened;  I’m far more determined and less frightened than I was a year ago –  but I’m physically and cognitively able to do less.

Funny how that goes aint it? You’d think that I’d wailing and gnashing my teeth having lost more of my mobility and brain power but, whats the fucking point in that? It’s not going to change owt, in fact it’s going to use really valuable energy I could use scratching my arse later… and we ALL know how frustrating it is not to be able to get an itch.

I think I’m ready. I don’t know if I’m capable right enough, but I’m not sure that should be my main focus right now . I don’t know, what I don’t know, and there may never be a right time to return but I’m sure as fuck going to try.  Every medical professional I’m talking with is sucking their teeth and asking if “I’m sure?”……of course I’m fucking not, but what are my other options? Lie in my bed forever? Give in? Not a fucking chance –  I’d rather try and fail spectacularly than conform to everyone’s expectations that I’m not capable.  I’m doing it.

So, my email is sent, I spoke to Doreen/Mary, I have another appointment with our occupational health to get through and then I need my gaffers nod of approval and then FINALLY I’m going back to work. Very slowly. Very VERY slowly before building back up to “normal” working hours in about 6 weeks.  I know I’m going to get frustrated with the speed I’ll be able to go, and the things I can’t do, but I’ll be off the starting block and that counts for such a lot when you’ve been waiting to go for so long.

In other news Eli has fully recovered from his fake news bug and is back at nursery hooorayyy! I swear that kid had me demented on Wednesday, I so needed to chill out and he broke it.. and me actually. I spent most of yesterday in bed feeling like I’d done 10 rounds with Dolly Parton screeching in my ear – that fucking woman makes my teeth itch. She sounds like a pigeon going through a mincer. I watched trashy telly and had a 4 hour “nap” – i.e. passed out before getting up for 8 hours and then going back to bed again. Marvellous.

This morning has been busier though, because I needed to take Eli to nursery for the day, go and get nappies (for bed time) and then “get shit sorted” for work, so it’s 12.48pm and I don’t think I’ve switched off since waking up this morning… I’m knackered BUT I wanted to tell you all about all that shit up there and also to share something with you.

I’ve decided I’d quite like to write a book. Not about me, not about my illness, but just a daft book. Something you pick up and read for entertainment without any personal investment. Some of it is based on personal anecdotes or people I’ve encountered but by and large its mostly fiction.

It’s worth saying that I have NO idea if I’ll continue to write it, or want to finish it so I’m not saying it’s my new venture; it’s a hobby and I enjoy it so I’ll keep going until it becomes a chore and then, well, I’ll stop and that maybe before I get to the final chapter. Or I may try and get it “out there” for rejection and ridicule – who knows, it’s all part of the journey innit? Will I be a lazy bastard or will I clothesline J K Rowling and her smug chops from the top spot?

I’d bank on the former rather than the latter but here, have a wee sneak preview. The formatting and grammar needs some work but you get the idea, it’s very… me,I think?


Chapter 1

I knew it was coming, I could tell by the way she was eyeballing and me and trying to hold my attention that she was eager. I wish she wouldn’t, I really wish ….

“We should do coffee sometime!”

And there it was. The final nail on the fucking coffin. Coffee. 

If there was ever an outside chance that Kirsty (donned in her lycra) and I were going to friends;  she had just shat all over it. That invitation proves unequivocally that she is one them. Coffee? No, she is not my people.

I have no idea why women in saggy leggings everywhere are flocking to their nearest over-priced, fake shabby chic/shite nest to drink a cup of hot arse tasting fuel. The only reason I tend to drink the stuff is to encourage my bowel to get its groove on before fat club; my body is so desperate to get rid of the coffee that I literally nearly shit myself and that my friends, is epic news when the scales are calling. We call it turd charmer in our house actually, it has an actual purpose, and that purpose doesn’t nurture socialising, well unless you’re an exhibitionist, which I’m not,  I like to shit with the door closed, so the thought of paying actual money to sit on some hand painted, seen better days chairs and drink what is essentially a laxative to me is madness, even if there is cake on offer. In fact; especially if there is cake on offer.

Why does everyone think they’re a master baker these days? I blame Mary Berry – she’s convinced everyone they can do it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for encouraging and even harnessing enthusiasm but fuck me, if someone is a shit or even an average baker do NOT encourage them to open a bastard tea or coffee shop. I can guarantee you that you’re enabling them in all the wrong ways; no one ever sets out to be a failure and the moment I walk in, and am charged £3 for some homemade fucking monstrosity whilst being made to drink coffee, and sit on a painted uncomfy chair is the moment they stop finding their work “fulfilling”.  No, stop playing bakers and learn your trade; just because you have a worktop mixer and a pinny on it doesn’t make you a professional. If you’re serving me Home Economics style Victoria Sponge then I’m paying school prices – 50p take it or leave it. Make me mouth-gasm or go home…. And take your cup of hot turd charmer with you.

Fuck, she was still there. Kirsty – she was still there, and I knew I should answer but fuck me, I’d zoned out and now I’m wondering why I’d never noticed her eyebrows until now. They were obscenely precise, in fact…. Wait a fucking minute! Has she drawn those on? She fucking has you know! Fucks sake Kirsty! You were born with eyebrows you utter balloon – what the fuck have you done with them? Lost them? She might have lost them to be fair, I know nothing about her, what if she has alopecia? Shit, I bet that’s it. Fuck. I need to stop staring. Like now.

“Jo? Are you alright?” Kirsty barks out, I could be imagining the concerned, bordering on hostile tone in her voice right enough but…. No… No… She’s definitely furling those Crayola brows at me.

Busted. She knows. She knows I was staring at her lost eyebrows and I feel fucking terrible now. Her with her alopecia and me being all insensitive and starey.  

It came out all at once before I had the chance to stop it:

“What’s the deal with your eyebrows our Kirsty? Have you drawn them on?”

I could tell from the shock all over her face that she had no idea what say, but at least we had finally found our common ground because I had no idea what to say either. Why the fuck I can’t have a normal brain to mouth filter like everyone else is beyond me, it doesn’t half get me into some difficult situations. Like asking the question that everyone else wants to know the answer to but doesn’t ask because it’s really really fucking rude to just ask. Especially if turns out she does have alo-bastarding-pecia.

I should have expected what was coming next, it’s not uncommon when I’ve been unwittingly rude but it does always take my breath away when it happens so I stood there like a mute and let it play out. Kirsty eyed me up an down, shifted her weigh from her left hip to her right and then launched into talking at me faster than an 90’s MC.  She was trying to diffuse a very awkward situation by making it seem normal.

“Ahhh do you like the colour? Its Chestnut Conquers All. I got them done in the new place next to the gym. It was only like, £30 and I thought, well I fancy a change and it’s not like Dave doesn’t spend money like it’s going out of fashion at the pub. That bloody bandit, honestly. He was there for 4 hours on Friday you know? 4 bloody hours! After I’d been on my own with Mason ALL DAY. I said to him, I said Dave, this is not on, I cannot continue to be your mother with a 2-carat diamond ring. I need to feel cherished and like I matter in your life……”

Marvellous, now she’s off on some merry fucking rant and I’ve still NO idea if she has alopecia. I should learn to tailor my questions more specifically but instead I’m stood here trying to work out if they’re even or if the lefty is a bit more suspicious looking than the righty.

I tried really hard to look interested in what she was saying but I knew, and she knew, that I was still staring at her eyebrows. When had this even begun being a THING? There are places popping up all over the place offering to give me High Definition Brows – I don’t want fucking High Definition Brows, I have unruly fuckers of my own thanks very much and trying to make them look like ironed out slugs is not going to do anything to improve my image.

I looked over at the table next to me and noticed a small 3 foot midget curled on its haunches near the floor.

“Kirsty, I need to go – Josh is curling one out and he’s not got a pull up on”

There that sorted it. She looked panicked, shut the fuck up, and ushered me away with her 2-carat diamond ring and perfectly painted nails – there is nothing like the fear of a toddler shitting all over the place to stop play.

I reached over and picked up my tiny shitter mid squat, before pushing my way to the church toilets but the damage was done; he’s shat his pants. Again. It was infinitely more welcome than Kirsty and her eyebrows though; give me a ridiculously small baby changing table, a 2 year covered in its own shit and only 4 baby wipes every day of the week over another eyebrow debate.

A coffee? No fucking chance Kirsty. I’d rather boil my own labia while watching Cher perform.

“Mummy, my go back and play?” asked the wee man expectantly from the changing table.

“Josh my boy, you have made the biggest faux pas that can ever be made at a social gathering… you have defecated yourself. There is no return from here. We have no option but to go home, via the shop for cake, close the curtains and watch Dino Zombies until your Dad finishes work and Mummy can have some special quiet time. What do you think?”

Josh, with his ridiculously beautiful blue eyes looked up sensing he had room for manoeuvre; we’d only been toilet training for a few weeks. He knew that up until when the “big boy pants” were unveiled with much ceremony and excitement that he was allowed to shit his pants quite freely without being chastised; this was new territory and I think he sensed deep down that I did NOT want to return to the toddler pay session because of Kirsty and her fucking eyebrows.

“My want a cake AND chocolate” he said, a smile curling at the edge of his mouth.

“Sold”. That’s my boy – smell the fear, exploit the fear.

Why did I ever think I had nothing to teach this kid?

So there you go… chapter 1, be kind.


I’m off to make burgers because, well it’s Friday innit?

Have a good weekend folks.

S x

  • Highlights
    • I’m getting shit organised and getting in the zone today… it’s a fuzzy all over the place zone but it’s a zone none the less
    • I’ve started writing again creatively – this has been off the agenda for a few years now and it feels good to be back doing something I enjoy; albeit I’m v rusty and probably utterly wank at it
    • Today is Friday, and not any old Friday but the Friday of a bank holiday – so I have 3 days with my boys and only 1 solo day parenting next week
    • I’m going to try really hard to get out again this weekend but not go too mental and end up in bed for 3 days. I shall be steering clear of home baking I think.
  •  Low lights
    • I’m shitting myself about work. Truly shitting myself. I do not want fail but I do not want to not try either.
    • There has been no miraculous recovery or lottery win, which is disappointing.
    • Nothing is improving and i feel like I’m fighting a losing battle if I’m honest… I have no idea what to try next?
  • What’s on the menu Mellars?
    • Breakfast –  Boiled eggs again innit and two bacon medallions on a Bfree Pitta thing
    • Lunch – Negative – I’m not hungry
    • Dinner  –  COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN, It’s FRIDAY. You KNOW what’s for dinner on Friday. If you don’t you should be utterly ashamed.
      • I post pics regularly on my Instagram account if you want pics of some of this grub by the way – you’ll find a link to follow me here: CLICK HERE my pics all look like road kill but if I post a pic it’s because its tasty. OR wank and you should avoid making the mistake. Whatever. There may also be pictures of cats and kids. Not included in the meal… I’m not an animal.

Are you new round here?

If you’ve just stumbled across TryingToDoItAll and have no bastarding idea what’s going on you should probably go back and read a few blogs from the beginning. Don’t panic, I won’t ask you to read them all, but these few posts will help explain. Oh stop sighing, it’ll only take you a few minutes. Fucks sake.

  1. Well you’re here, so you may as well get comfy
  2. Can’t stop M.E. now…. ahmm having such a good time, ahmm tickling your balllssss!
  3. When are the grown ups coming?
  4. Major surgery…again?
  5. You’ve got to be kidding M.E.?

#mecfs #meawarenessuk #mewarrior #silentillness #swearymum #meblogging #mummyblogger #losingweightwithme #losingweightwithcfs


ME Blogger extraordinaire… a bit of a shit one, granted.



2 thoughts on “Work and Play

  1. I’m behind with your blog posts so only just read this but I wanted to say you are bloody amazing, I’m rooting for you all the way for your back to work to be a success. Plus I love the first chapter of your book, it has an easy read vibe to it, something you set aside for a beach holiday 😊

    Just in case you’re interested I signed up to your blog after you did a guest appearance on Two Chubby Cubs so I’ve been reading for a fair few months.

    Go kick ass (albeit gently and with as many rests as you need…)


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10



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