14 May 20

By Dominic Byrne

Single Parent Getting After It

I’m in a mental rut. I feel like shit. Why?

Last year I focused on having more good days than bad days. I felt if I could achieve this overarching objective while still in disbelief and shock I’d be somewhat winning.

It was a given that I’d have a bunch of tough days and dealing with the grief would be a rollercoaster. As it was. However, I predicted that the better days would consecutively lengthen out and the struggle-street days would slowly be diluted. It’s been the opposite.

Over the last few months; my positive state of mind, my energy, my motivation, my happiness has all regressed considerably.

In March I touched on how over time, the rawness is replaced by reality, but I think my thought process was merely scratching at the surface of the bleakness that was brewing.

I’ve been hesitant to write about being stuck in a rut because every week I think I’ll be better.

Commentating on the positive elements of our journey, the children’s progress and ongoing testaments to Lou is easy and therapeutic. On the tougher end of the paradigm, it doesn’t feel natural to open yourself up to the desolate days, however, teasing apart the reasons why may steer me back to a more positive mental state.

Ruminating on where my head is at has presented itself with a collision of issues with each concern exasperated by COVID-19 and the disruption in its wake.

  • I mistakingly thought that once I got through ‘the year of the firsts’ I would instantly start to feel better. I’m not sure why I assumed this or put that pressure on myself to do so
  • The end of last the year was such a crash of celebration and bereavement
  • Having such an epic, although emotional holiday with the kids in The USA for seven weeks followed by the blunt adjustment of returning to reality
  • Sending Evie off to big school
  • Having a couple of work opportunities not go our way
  • Attempting to get my business back on track and build momentum and then having both kids at home in Isolation due to COVID 19 which generated additional obstacles
    • Homeschooling is both challenging and a pressure
    • My structure and routine was dismantled
    • I was getting into regular exercise which instantly ceased
    • No time on the motocross track to reset my brain
    • I wasn’t getting any work done which brings on financial worry
    • All of the above is managed through a collective period of sensitive milestones; Lou’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Jon and Billie’s birthday, my brother’s wedding, mothers day……

I think with so much going on, so much disruption and navigating through it all when you are sad due to a loss, well it’s hard. When you do all that you can to ensure the kids are happy and cared for, sometimes there isn’t much left in the tank.

The feeling of flatness in debilitating. It’s like trudging up-hill, on soft sand, with a backpack full of bricks.

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