I must admit today I was a little taken aback today.
I was speaking to a woman about a genuine housing issue, which we agreed on and then she came out with:
"You know, every time I come and look through your window it looks really messy and you seem very chaotic. Are you coping?"
I felt instantly hot.
And a bit like my mum had caught me doing something I shouldn't have.
Then I felt cross.Is it not bad manners to go deliberately looking though people's windows when it is otherwise avoided?
Was she actually trying to help or was she being a nosey bat? Previous experiences with her and other residents experiences with her very much point to the latter. However innocent until proved guilty. Maybe.
"Is your Health Visitor helping?"
Am I coping? Yes, I would say I am. Coping. That is all. I wouldn't say I am doing much more because clearly, I have things to get on top of before I can rise to the next level of whatever comes after coping. I know that I am not not-coping because not-coping is horrendous. Not-coping means not even noticing mess or not caring about anything. Not-coping means barely being able to move. Not-coping means not speaking to anyone but Wriggles or barely leaving the house. Not-coping means panic attacks and horrible thoughts coming thick and fast. So I am coping. I am able to keep not-coping at bay and get through the day. There is a start, a middle and a finish. Not-coping eclipses all time. My coping might look like someone else's not-coping, but I know for me, that is enough. After a much better time recently, I know I have taken a bit of a stumble suddenly again. But I know also I will pick myself up sooner or later. And that is coping: knowing there is not just a tomorrow but a day after that too.
When people, other than very geuine people close to you who would help in an instant, ask the dreaded "are you coping?" question, I find it a little irritating. Mainly, because exactly what are they going to do if you say no, no I'm not?
Would they for instance, find me a partner?
Would they pay for a cleaner?
Would they give me an extra pair of hands?
Would they find me more hours in the day?
Would they be able to answer the eternal question, of why toddlers empty things?
Would they iron all my fears out straight?
Would they remove my scars of bad memories that don't go away?
Would they teach my daughter to eat?
Would they wave a magic wand?
Would they take some of my tasks off me so I had a little less?
Would they give me just half an hour to help?
No, they would not.
So I'll just keep on coping until I'm better than just coping. And in the meantime, I might even finish the washing up.