Thankfulness…… 

Do you ever get to that point when you get a bit sick of yourself? When for whatever reason you know you can’t keep thinking the way you do and actually it’s all getting a bit tiresome.

In life we would walk away from something draining us but what happens when that something is you? 

I’m getting to the point where I feel a bit like that about myself, being depressed is all getting a bit boring now! I’m sure this is a recognised phase in most people who are ready for the next step but not quite there yet (still no start date for cbt) but I’m seeing it as a good thing for me. 

This last week I’ve tried to focus so much more on the little things, the things I always try to get others to notice but so rarely pay any attention to myself, the things we see but overlook each and everyday and the small moments that we will never get back and should savour.

I’ve not gone as far as writing these down mostly because when I’ve been seeing and feeling them there hasn’t been the opportunity but I feel like I’ve made progress in acknowledging these small moments of gratitude and thankfulness. 

At the end of this post I will ask you what little things you are thankful for over the last week, I wonder how many you can think of? 

So in no particular order here goes……

Little thing number one: my awfully behaved children, now I know these aren’t little things, in fact they are two of the few most important things in my whole life however they behave appallingly most of the time. They don’t listen to a word I say, they wreck the house on an hourly basis, they go in the sea knowing full well I have no way of changing their clothes afterwards, they help themselves to all manner of food which was not bought for them, they climb into our neighbours gardens to retrieve their balls even though they know they aren’t meant to and they always say exactly what they are thinking even if they come across as rude or offensive. But….. they are two very unique, high spirited individual boys who know their own minds and feel so massively comfortable in our love that they will do all these things knowing full well that they will always be looked after and loved unconditionally. Even if their parents look like they have aged twenty years in the last twenty minutes. This brings me on to…….

Little thing number two: friendship. Those people who are committed to being there for you and will stand with you through thick or thin, awful decisions, sadness, happiness and when you genuinely are the hardest to love or even like much because that is when you need them the most. 

Little thing number three: nature, the thing that just gets on with it no matter what else is going on, the sun sets and rises again, the seasons change, the weather does its thing and we just Potter along around it. But when you stop to really appreciate it you see that it’s the most amazing thing in the world. Nature and all it creates is absolutely breathtaking and a few minutes spent just looking at the nature around you is extremely good for the soul.

Little thing number four: my husband, this week we have been married for twelve years. This isn’t an event which will go with much fanfare this year due to work and other bits and pieces but it’s been such a tough year for so many reasons and lots of those are due to my issues and yet Karl still stands with me, sees me at my very worst and still believes in me and the amount of love and respect I have for him and all he does for me and the boys is immeasurable. Marriage is never easy and I thank him for sticking with us.

Little thing number five: my mum, there is so much I could say here and it would take me hours to write it all down so I will simply say this, ‘you are my sunshine’. 

Little thing number six: Nutella and crumpets, I couldn’t have got through the last week without you! 

Little thing number seven: Instagram, the amazing community where I have made many friends and can lose myself in a world of beauty and flowers.

Little thing number eight: my Dad, often grumpy yet has the biggest heart I know. This man doesn’t understand a lot of the issues I have been going through and yet is there no matter what with a joke that isn’t really funny and amazing dinners. He knows how much of a pain in the arse I am and yet invests so much in my little family. I love you so very much Dad.

So…… how about you? If you fancy let me know what little things you are thankful for this week, you can email, catch me on IG, Facebook or Twitter. Or just write a couple down to look back on next week, I promise you it will be worth it.

Please remember, it’s okay to be a glow stick, sometimes we have to break before we can shine. 

Mental Health and Me…..

This post is going to come with a disclaimer…… you might find it tough to read or get extremely bored. Please read on if you are happy with that!

Since I was twenty I have had a very interesting relationship with my mental health. So much so that it has at various points throughout the years since (I’m now thirty three) been something that I have been unable to ignore, that I’ve been able to work around or in general we have worked quite harmoniously together however it has always been something that has been a big part of me.

I have always felt envious of people who never seem to struggle with negative aspects of their mental health, who are able to get that balance right and not to be pulled down by their overwhelming emotions. I salute those people and commend anyone who is able to deal with their own wellbeing in a positive and efficient manner. Of course it will be no big shocker to you that I am not one of those people. I am in fact the polar opposite of this and have been made acutely aware of this again recently.

For anyone who has ever suffered with depression and anxiety issues you will know that there are good times and bad. There are times when doing anything other than laying under a blanket and pretending that the world outside the front door doesn’t exist is impossible and other times when you feel you could climb a mountain and do a pretty good ‘Sound of Music’ rendition when you get to the top. There are also times in between in which you cope relatively well and are aware of any triggers to your issues and can deal with them accordingly.

I bounce around between these and every couple of years or so end up at a real low and some of you may have noticed here I am now! I’ve been grumpy, miserable, made bad decisions, upset people and generally been a pain in the arse to anyone that knows me (except Alf the Cat, thank the lord for him!) I now find myself in one of those phases where I could literally shut the whole world out and really wouldn’t mind doing so.

Of course we can’t do this, when it was just Karl and I this wasn’t an option and now I have the boys they need me to be the best mum I can be (yes I know, middling at best!) so the only option is to deal with it. Sounds so simple doesn’t it, pick up the pieces, move on, grin and bear it, keep calm and carry on (insert a million more inspirational quotes!) But how do you actually do that?!

Well I took the first step and referred myself back for counselling. Something I haven’t done for two years when in the middle of my last down phase I decided it would be a fantastic idea to stop eating. This consisted of a phone call to one of the suggested local practitioners and answering some questions trying to ascertain how urgent my need for help was and how long I could wait. The nearest available appointment for an initial telephone conversation was in a months time. I of course took the appointment and as I jotted this down in my diary tears streamed down my face. Its such a horrible thing to feel like you have made no progress at all and you are back to square one.

I acknowledge of course that this isn’t square one, in fact I’m not sure the squares even have numbers. They are just slightly different colours to the ones I have been on in the past and I need to work my way out of each and every shade. I cannot do this on my own hence my asking for help. I hope that this time I will be able to enter into a new, brighter period in my life where I can acknowledge that its okay to need help and to ask for it when you need it.

It is massively hard just being a grown up in our world and the amount of pressure on each and every individual is vast. When you add work, home, family life, parenting, friendships, money, politics, education, confidence, self esteem and just managing to all of this I think it is understandable why so many of us can at times struggle with our mental health. Women are particularly bad at allowing themselves to feel things for worrying that they will look weak, lose respect of others or be judged negatively because of their actions.

I wonder how many other mums like me today walked into the school to pick up their children feeling inadequate, like they aren’t good enough and embarrassed to hold their head high. I feel like that more often than not at the moment and it can be debilitating. I know deep down of course that people probably aren’t thinking all the negative things about me that I am and that they are just going on with their day and probably struggling with or through something themselves.

I wonder if you would notice should a friend or family member be displaying these behaviours, would you be worried? Would you question their welfare and see that they were not quite themselves? I imagine many of us wouldn’t as we get so wrapped up in our own lives that it’s easy to see past what appear to be tiny things. I ask you to have a look around you, if you think someone is low say hi, crack a joke, ask them how they are. You never know that might be the only time that person smiles that day. If that person is like me running after a small child up the High Street the best thing you can do is offer cake (its one of the few instant mood elevators in my book!)

I enter this new phase with uncertainty, I am determined to pull myself out of this current lull but I’m not quite sure how to do it yet and how long it will take. All I ask of you is patience, love and understanding and I promise I will give the same back.

When someone who struggles with depression is at their lowest they can often be tough to love, it’s hard work with little or no reward. I assure you though this is the time that a person who is suffering needs the most love and understanding from you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. It has been hard to write and believe me I would love to just be writing about the number of parenting faux pas I’ve made this week (27,000 and counting) how I managed to spend fifteen minutes trying to put my jeans on backwards, how I poured milk in the kettle and the worlds worst bit of parallel parking you have ever seen witnessed by open mouthed members of the public who almost laughed and pointed but I needed to let you all know that I’m not okay and for now that’s fine.

I as you know love a quote and am a huge fan of Sex and the City, one of Carrie Bradshaw’s most profound moments was this…. ‘ As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost and when that happens I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda buckle up and just keep going’.