Pictured: IKEA products form a minimalist office

I built an IKEA chair today

We’ve had a lot of dealings with IKEA of late, since we moved into our new house. There have been all sorts of bits and pieces making their way into our new home, but finally some larger pieces are starting to land.

My ineptitude for building IKEA furniture

We got a daybed a few weeks ago, which we’re using temporarily while we decide on exactly what bed we want for our bedroom, at which point the daybed will return to its function as a guest bed. The idea was that we would build it together but fairly early on I lost a screw and misused one of the finicky bits, rendering it useless.

I also proved myself to be pretty useless when it came to deciphering the instructions which are, let’s be honest, basically just pictures. So eventually Cat just stopped giving me jobs to do and it became clear that I was just watching her build the bed. I volunteered to clean up downstairs instead, while she did all of the dreaded IKEA wrangling.

We’ve also finally got ourselves a wardrobe, although it’s still currently in two boxes residing in my childhood bedroom in Glenvara Park. It won’t be able to come live here with us and fulfil its wardrobe function until I have space in the car to bring it home with me. Or, indeed, we borrow my mother-in-law’s much more spacious car, but that would mean enlisting the help of too many O’Briens. For now, we’re just happy knowing that soon there will be a wardrobe in our future.  Maybe I’ll even be allowed to build it with Cat this time, if I’m laser-focused and in the zone for furniture-building. 

Hopefully I’ll have proved myself today, when I built my own office chair. Sure, it was on a simpler scale than much of the IKEA furniture, but it’s 100% serviceable as far as we can both tell. It’s also yellow, which was one of the key selling points as I strolled through the showrooms with my Mom.

I'm better at writing than building, but...

So now I have my very own seat at my very own desk in our joint office and hopefully that will return me to my former enthusiasm for writing Confessions and articles and my novel.

I was doing so well for a while. Even on my bad days, I found relief in writing something, but lately I can feel myself declining. I’m definitely not as bad as I have been in recent history, but I’m just generally quite tired and lethargic and there’s always a hint of a headache threatening to emerge. Although I’m getting some respite from reading the lovely works of Jaime Admans, I feel my substitute IKEA bed pulling me towards it more and more every day.

But so far, I’ve mostly managed to be up and about. Even if I head to bed early or have an extended lie-in most mornings, I’m still spending the bulk of the day roaming the house. There’s even the occasional errand, if I’m feeling inspired in the moment.

I’m also managing the occasional social engagement and I do wonder what my loved ones must think of me. 

Knowing that I’ve taken time off work for mental health reasons, how do they think I’m doing? I still smile and laugh and make jokes, so they must think I’m on the mend. And maybe I am, it’s hard to tell. But it also feels like with one wrong move I could fall apart at any moment, like a shoddily-built IKEA chair.

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