Winston Churchill, amongst others, famously referred to his depression as his “black dog”.
I like to call mine, that bloody thing that I say snuck up on me but has really been present since January and now that I’ve righted other areas of my life it’s jumping up and down in front of me like a sugar crazed kid on a pogo stick.
Insert resigned face emoji here.
Other people have challenges with their mental health, I don’t. Clients, friends and family, workmates and even online friends have discussed their struggles with depression and anxiety but I don’t, because I’m ok, fine and great. I’ve never struggled from poor mental health, I’m strong of will, mind and temprement. Yay me.
Ha. Hahahahahaha. Ha. What a dick.
I knew something was up a few months ago, I had formed some pretty terrible relationships with sugar and wine and I wasn’t managing even the smallest bit of challenging behaviour thrown at me. I chalked it up to other things; lifestyle, sleep deprivation, the massive change that is going from one to two children, selling our houses, moving etc etc.. I could always explain it away.
But when we got to Feilding, and I made changes in the areas I saw most important, it loomed above me still. And so it was time to face facts.
A trip to my GP confirmed postnatal depression. I started a course of medication and weekly counselling visits. I’m trying to eat better and exercise more.
I am a different person.
I actually didn’t know I could be this mum. I thought it was my lot to always feel overwhelmed, and tired and frustrated. And don’t get me wrong, I still do but – and this is the important bit – it doesn’t take over me anymore. I can stop, and breathe. I’m taking such pleasure in everyday things. Life is full and simple and focused and sweet.
Please, please, PLEASE never think you have to feel this way. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed and exhausted but if you feel like its all-encompassing, please talk to someone.
I believe we completely underestimate just how wonderful we can feel. We lead such full lives and are so busy that we figure feeling stressed or rundown is just par for the course.
But trust me, it’s not. You may not have depression, or anxiety. You may need a break, or a hobby, or some quality time with people who are important to you. Whatever it is, make that time. Regularly. Don’t have a wonderful dinner with friends and say “we should do that again” and not see each other for six months. Do it again next weekend, why not? Eat gorgeous food, wear a wildly patterned dress, drink Prosecco in the sun, re watch your fave tv series, plant some flowers, walk in the bush.
Make happiness and pleasure a priority, I promise you won’t regret it.
Queen out ✌✌