Writing and I have been on a break for a while. As have my physical and mental health and me as well. I mean, sure, it’s coincided with the bairn but she’s just a rocket of joy now. I can’t tell if she’s happier because I am or if I’m happier because she is, or just because there’s more daylight and the planets have aligned and I have something to watch on Netflix and I can see I am lucky enough to have some gorgeous family and friends so I no longer feel in the depths of doom.
Lots of things have made me angry: continual wheezings and suffocations of misogyny and malodorousness in the media; feeling judged by other mums; childhood angst; the unravellings of my shitty health over the years which has overwhelmed me (and, just like when you work and work and stop and you get flu and bedridden and feel like you probably have ebola, now I’m feeling physically better, hello past trauma and blackness). So I guess the depression started with a kind of rage. Which I reckon only allowed itself to come out after losing half my blood in childbirth and post 9 months of probably 20 mins sleep max in one sitting. A rage I directed at myself – eating crap, insomnianic nights laying there telling myself how pointless I was, not asking anyone for help, crying in private, hiding from friends, so very sad at certain family situations and nowhere to put the sorrow etc etc.
I could tell you the ins and outs of a forceps delivery, the oxymoronic joyful terror that comes with becoming a mum when I never believed it would happen, the days and nights I wanted to run away because I just didn’t believe I was worth anything, the choking guilt. Hit me up if you want this fun chat. But something deep inside me knew I wanted to live and live well, though it was buried and smothered underneath so. much. shit.
So the steps were small. Start to talk. Go to the doctor. Have some blood tests. Address the piles (come on, why hide these delightful things) and the anaemia. Talk to my counsellor. Take anti-depressants. Reconnect with my family. Get back in proper contact with my friends. Get off facebook (if we all had the lives we project on fb, girl would the world be both utopia and hell). Back up my photos (yeah this sounds needless but the thought of losing them makes me feel sick). Start tutoring again. Remember what brings me joy: reading, writing, tutoring, meditating, eating well, stupid GIFs, seeing radiator people instead of drains, cuddles, hot cups of tea, choccywoc, going for walks and coffee, Oliver Bonas window shopping. Fitting this in around a child is haaaard, hashtag middle-class problems. I just completely lost myself. Hated myself. I’m not out of it yet but I’m getting there.
I think there are plenty of people who think anxiety and depression are modern buzzwords, a sign of complacent laziness and a chosen inability to help oneself. These and obesity, overdrinking, drug addiction, xenophobia (i.e. pro-Brexitness 😉 ), plastic surgery etc etc are not the end point of an issue, I reckon they are all symptoms of the same underlying thing: unhappiness. That’s not from laziness. People don’t need to be told to just get over it, to get their chin up. We all need to be listened to, feel valued, to like ourselves, nay love ourselves. Any ideas on how to get towards that are very welcome.