I’m on a downward spiral. Things are not going well. I’m struggling.

I’m not completely sure where to start. I can’t exactly remember where I left off in my last update and I don’t care to look and find out.

I know I had a productive few days setting up a new YouTube channel. I got myself set up on a few websites and made progress on the software I’ll be using. I did pretty much everything other than create content and post. This was over a week ago and while there have been a few moments I haven’t had the time to create, the majority of the last week I have had time and just haven’t done it.

Last Wednesday Penny got me a number of someone through a friend of a friend who is a manager at a solar installation company. I called and after that went well I was asked to come in the following day for a chat. I did that and was offered the job almost immediately. Come in on Monday to do your induction and pick up your van. It was fast and while there was some relief the overriding feeling was anxiety.

I feel guilty saying how I really feel but I was hopeful for a little bit more time off work. I wanted to write, to create content, to go for walks, to join the gym and go work out. I wanted to do all of these things every day. All of these are for my physical and mental health but content creation is the only one that hopefully would eventually bring in any kind of income. I just want to clarify I don’t believe I’d post a few videos and make money; I know it will take years. All I’m saying is I will be building towards that with some kind of plan.

For that reason I want to add in that I have a few tasks I would like to get on with while I’m not in work but they are more ongoing one off tasks rather than daily habits.

I want to get back to the present and how I’m feeling right now but first I have to fill in what happened with this new job. Sunday evening and Monday morning I was full of optimistic reluctance, as oxymoronic as that sounds. I knew Penny was proud of me, and I would be actively supporting my family with a concrete amount of money each day, week and month. If I do what I want with my days there is no guarantees.

I was being picked up at 6am so I got out of bed just before 5 to get ready. I got to the office at 7 and left around 2. It went okay, nothing exciting happened. Pretty boring paperwork and not much else. The following day (yesterday) I met another installer at a job and helped him to do a not-too-difficult job. A couple of things went wrong and it took a little longer than it should but he was great and emphasised there being no rush. This was a cause of anxiety for me because in my head there was a rush; I wanted to get finished as soon as possible so I could pack up and get home. This is how I feel on every job now – get finished and get home. And that is not a good trait. Seeing how he was at work really hit home for me. He was serious, knowledgable, thorough. The job has to be right and complete, and that takes as long as it takes. He has the right attitude, and a genuine interest in the job he does. I do not.

By the time the job was done it was starting to get dark (it is January so that doesn’t make it particularly late) and I was eager to get home. I was asked to go to another job if I felt comfortable doing it but talking it through I didn’t feel up to it and the guy I was working with fully supported me in this. Rather than going home I was then asked to go with him to do an electrical pre-installation survey on a house an hour and half away. By the time I got there it was pitch black and I couldn’t gain access to the property. I eventually got in and my colleague had pretty much finished the survey. There was no reason for me to be there.

Once finished I had over an hour drive home. It was around 7pm and the kids were just about to go to bed. Shower, eat, an hour of TV and then off to bed.

I was set to be with that same colleague today on another job that, on paper, seems fairly straightforward and quick but if I wasn’t already filled with anxiety and reluctance before yesterday’s job I definitely was after.

I got out of bed just before 6am and got ready. I wouldn’t have to set off until 8 but I was awake. It wasn’t until Penny and the kids got out of bed I realised we’d had a tonne of snow. I’m on a side road that doesn’t get salted and while the snow and ice is pretty bad I probably would drive in it usually. Today, on only my second day of actual installs, I called my colleague and exaggerated the unsafe nature of the roads where I live. He told me no problem, we don’t have to be at the job too early, just let me know when you’re setting off. This was around half 7. It’s currently 9 and I just don’t want to go. More than that I feel like I don’t have it in me to go. But I feel like I have no choice. Which makes me not want to go even more.

Penny and Rosie are off today (as they are every Wednesday) and due to the snow Penny has called Spencer’s school saying he won’t be in. This makes me want to stay home more but also I feel like I’ll be judged more as they’re all here seeing me not in work, not earning money, not supporting the family, not being a good man or father.

And here we are. Back to the present. It has been cathartic writing this out but I still feel like crap. I feel empty, hollow and lost. I love my family and my home life. I wouldn’t change any of it other than having more money. I’m not bothered about having a bunch of nice things or a new car or even some amazing house. If we had the money I’d want us to own our house so it’s ours but that’s it. Predominantly I’d want to use the money either as an investment to make more or as a buffer so I could do what I wanted with my days and try to make money that way; being able to put real energy and time in to it without the worry of how am I going to pay the bills while I’m doing this.

What do I do? It’s day two of installs, day three of being paid by this new company and I already feel this way. I’m not even doing full installs yet. I’m helping a very experienced colleague doing small jobs. This is the easy part. I’m with him doing jobs that should only take three or four hours. If anything goes wrong he is there to help. Before long I’ll be out on my own doing full installs and having to figure out problems on my own. That will be much harder than this and I already feel like throwing in the towel.

Am I just going through a bit of a hard time? Will things get better? Am I just feeling dissonant because I wasn’t able to achieve the targets I wanted to before going back to work? I feel like such a mess, how do I make it stop?

I’m not too sure what else there is to say. I hope this feeling passes or I find a way to get through it. I feel desperate. The only positives I can finish on is that my family are healthy, our finances are not in the worst state and at some point in the future I’ll be posting a more uplifting, optimistic and happy update. Soon may it come.

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