This blog post has taken me nearly two weeks to write. I have drafted and re-drafted it and then worried about posting it, and then changed bits and then put them back in again. I have tried writing about something completely different, but then ending up coming back to this. I feel now that I just need to get this published so that I can move on.
Last week was a tough week. Not in the sense that something bad had happened or that the girls were particularly hard work, but because I had one of “those” weeks and one of “those” weeks for me, is a different kind of “tough” week.
I remember getting feelings of anxiety and heart wrenching panic when I was at school. I remember getting worked up about silly little things and not knowing how to cope with those feelings, or how to rationalise them. It was at university, though, when I felt what it was like to feel depressed. I ended up dropping out of university and it was the start of a decade that was incredibly difficult for me.
Even though I have worked hard to overcome the really bad times, I don’t think that, in some capacity, it will truly ever go away and that is an awful thought. I think that I have merely got better at understanding myself, what my triggers are, and perfecting my coping strategies. I have a better understanding of being able to recognise when I am starting to “slide” and most of time I can pull myself back up and things are ok.
There have been times in the last few years where things have really got bad again and I have been on the verge of going back to the doctor for help.
There have been times when I have felt like the water was rising and the gap for me to breathe was getting smaller and smaller.
There have been times when Sydney has asked me why I am crying, when I didn’t even realise I was.
It has been hard, as even though they are feelings I recognise; feelings I have felt before, I never know how bad it is going to be or get and how long it is going to stay around for.
I hate the fact that it feels like depression is always hiding in the shadows, waiting to trip me up, or waiting until I am feeling vulnerable. I hate how quickly I can go from feeling a little bit low, to feeling like my heart is physically heavier making it harder to get out of bed, to walk, to sit up or to talk.
I hate how betrayed I feel from my eyes – sharing to the world how I am feeling, making it impossible not to cry when my friends ask me if I am ok. It is easier not to see anyone sometimes, as I know that they will know what I am desperately trying to hide, just be looking at me.
I feel weak and embarrassed.
When I was in my twenties I used to write poetry just to get all of my feelings out of me and onto the paper instead. I still have books and books of poems I have written. They make for uncomfortable reading.
Feeling depressed when you have a good life, a loving husband and two gorgeous children and nothing particular to feel depressed about, is frustrating. I feel frustrated with myself.
It is the main reason I am so organised – it is my main coping strategy. When things are organised and methodical and in order, everything else seems to work better. But, the moment the tiniest thing goes wrong, it throws me off course, makes me stressed and anxious and I find it harder to deal with even little things.
However, there is no doubt that the main things keeping me grounded and make those tough days better, are my girls.
When I look at them and when they call out for me in the morning, or need me to comfort them when they are sad, it puts things into perspective, and things just don’t seem that bad after all. It feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel.
They are definitely the sunshine behind a dark cloud.