So I’m sat in Costa, I’ve dropped the boys off for their last day at school this year and I have hot chocolate, all great things I hear you say. Yet I feel glum. I can’t get my head around it and it occurs to me that it’s possibly total brain overload processing that another year has nearly gone by and all the changes it has bought.
It has been a colossal year which has been so full of change for me that at times it has left me in a head spin. This year I decided when at the lowest I’ve ever been to stick two fingers up to depression and anxiety and to finally fight the battle I’ve been successfully avoiding all my life.
This doesn’t mean as you all know from my many posts before now that I’m ‘cured’ but that I choose now to face my demons and take them for what they are as opposed to hiding from them and letting them control me. I’m not alone, millions of people everyday are fighting battles that you know nothing about and this year has made me see this more than ever.
We see what people want us to see, we hear only some of what they have to say because that’s how we as human beings are. To tell a casual acquaintance you are on your knees and struggling to get out of bed because you feel useless and a burden on the world is simply not the done thing. Our stiff upper lip and attitudes towards mental health have stopped us being open for decades now.
The thing is though that since I have been writing about my depression and anxiety people who don’t know me, people who know me but not very well and even those closest to me have said how nice it is to get an insight into the thoughts and feelings of someone who suffers the way I do. This I imagine is largely because so many deal with friends or family who are struggling themselves and have no idea how to help them or how they are feeling.
I’m not saying that we should be telling all and sundry every thought or emotion we have but I do think a world where it is okay to say you are not okay is much better than one that tells us to keep it to ourselves and that we should all carry on regardless.
This time of year is full of joy and happiness yet for many it is tinged with sadness. Memories of those we have lost, regrets that some things haven’t ended up the way we thought they would and for some total loneliness. I’ve put myself under so much pressure this year to get it all done, to keep up with all the school letters and social events and to have a tidy home and yet I still have more than half the presents to wrap, school letters I’ve forgotten to send back and a shit tip of a house. But what I do have is worth it’s weight in gold, a family who love me, two beautiful boys who although drive me to tears at times also make me prouder with every passing day and a life full of possibility.
I feel very fortunate to have provided the tiniest voice in a world full of people now talking about mental health. I’ve always said if just one person reads what I write and takes something from it then I’m happy and if you take anything from this post let it be this. I am the woman who earlier this year had a crisis and decided to fight it, the woman who wouldn’t sit in a cafe on her own for fear of people looking at me, the woman who still wakes up everyday knowing I have the ability to be down but using the resources I have gained, the wisdom I have fought for I realise that a bad day won’t make a bad life and actually as far as lives go I really don’t have much to grumble about.
If you feel like you are ready to talk to someone particularly over this time of year please do, the Samaritans offer a 24/7 phone line on 116 123, your GP can help, someone you trust will listen and can help to keep you safe. You have the power to take on anything. You are amazing and you are worthy.
Happy Christmas xxx