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I’m back….with my happy pills!!

I haven’t put pen to paper/fingers to the keyboard to post a blog in a loooooong time; I genuinely haven’t had the time or motivation to share.

Today however my thoughts and feelings and general outlook has altered immensely. My life, my Husband’s life and my children’s lives have been turned inside out and upside down.

Me – I am back on my “happy pills” and have been for the last few months. Yes the need for the antidepressants came back to bite me in a HUGE way. For a long time, maybe longer than I care to admit I had been suffering with depression. Hiding behind the mask, putting on a front and not being honest with myself.

Image result for depression

I hit rock bottom earlier this year; I have never been quite so bad. It was as if I had been in a trance. I found myself sitting on a bench looking out to sea, contemplating very morbid, upsetting and sad things. Things that to this day still make me shudder. Depression can make you feel extraordinarily alone, disposable, invisible, weak and broken all at the same time. You can’t simply snap out of it. You can’t just smile and feel the joy. And usually you do not recognise the symptoms until you are at your worst. You are haunted daily by the dread you feel the nanosecond you open your eyes, the enthusiasm you once had becomes so false and so meaningless, but it also becomes a way of life. You live in a constant denial that “you’re fine“, that you’re “just tired“, “nothing is wrong, honestly“…..

Like anything you have to come down, sometimes a long way down before you come back up. I realised I was ill again, but I didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t want to say anything to anyone, my Husband, My mum, anyone, for fear of being thought of as an attention-seeker, someone who is overreacting. I carried on, playing the game, keeping my mask securely up, working in auto-pilot. It was exhausting. Get up, get kids to school, avoid those who made me feel invisible, do housework, pick kids up, do dinner, go to bed.

The penny must have dropped with my Husband, he must have realised, because I remember him saying to the me “Please go to the Doctors“. I cannot however, remember much more than that. Everything seems muffled and jumbled up when I look back.

I know I sat in my car on the phone to my Mum in tears, worried that the Doctor would not believe me and wouldn’t help. (He did by the way)

I know I sat in the Doctors room feeling like a little child with no voice. Speaking a language that was complete gibberish. I know I felt immeasurable relief when the Doctor listened, gave me tissues and talked to me, not at me but to me. We talked about what causes depression, coping techniques, how the medication works. He gave me the tool to help me be me again.

Image result for depression

Long story cut short; a few months down the line, I am ME once more. The ME I used to like, the ME who enjoys socialising, the ME who likes people and who doesn’t shy away. I am no longer the person who backs away from others, scared to look people in the eye, scared to be in a crowd.

I can very happily say that the dark cloud, the rainstorm, the shadow which clouded my mind and the dread I carried with me have now been replaced with sunshine, love, smiles, laughing and all thanks to some wonderful man-made drugs.

Depression is not a laughing matter. I may refer to my medication as “happy pills”, but they are still medication prescribed to me to help me deal with and live a mental illness. It is a medication which allows/helps me to be live as myself again. A medication which has stopped my children loosing their mum and has stopped my Husband’s marital status being changed to Widower.

Mental illness is a disease. A disease which is very lonely, debilitating, and carries such a stigma, because it is widely misunderstood. I guarantee that there are many many people who live with it, suffer because of it, who receive treatment for it and who hide it, and you wouldn’t even know it.

I am not here writing this for sympathy or to lecture. I use this blog as a tool, as a coping mechanism. If I can help others while I am doing it, that is epic.

If you know someone who is suffering with/living with depression; I implore you just listen if they want to talk, just offer a shoulder to lean on, sometimes just having company and not being on their own will be all they need.

Please don’t lecture. Don’t brush off their feelings. Don’t put words in their mouth.

Offer support and listen.

And to all those amazing people out there who like me deal with/live with/suffer from depression or a mental illness; remember you are absolutely not alone. You are amazing and I send you a hug from behind my computer screen.

 

Big love

S xx

Sleeping companions: How many is too many?

My son is almost 4 but anyone would think he is almost 75 when it comes to his routine and habitual foilbles. He carved his niche into his bedtime routine quite soon after coming out of his cot and in to a “big boys” bed.

The sleeping companions

He has always had, since birth, as all my children have, a knitted blanket – he actually has two! I am not sure how that happened, but he has two both the same in colour, pattern and size. He has always been put to bed with them. It was relatively soon after getting his new big boy bed in late 2013 that he began adding to his sleeping companions. Enter “Iggle Piggle” (from In the Night Garden seen on Cbeebies bedtime hour), he originally belonged to my daughter, but over time she lost the love for Iggle Piggle in favour of more girly, pretty dolls; in stepped my son to adopt the now unloved and discarded blue stuffed toy with his velcroed red blanket.

Shortly after this, Iggle Piggle was joined by “monkey” – this is a soft toy which was purchased from the gift shop of Colchester Zoo on his first birthday. Monkey has previously just sat in the book shelf until my Son decided that he needed another friend to cuddle at night.

This was swiftly followed by “Football Horse” – this is a soft toy of the Ipswich Town Football Clubs mascot “Bluey” given to us by some friends whose children had outgrown the soft toy stage. My son, who had then recently begun to show an interest in football and had been to a few Ipswich Town home games, literally pounced upon him and would not let it go – enter sleeping companion number FOUR!

"Monkey"

“Monkey”

"Football Horse"

“Football Horse”

 

At this stage, it began to cross my mind that his bed was now starting to get a teeny bit busy, but try as I might I could not get him to relinquish any of his beloved friends. On the rare occasion that I was successful, and put him to bed minus a friend or two, he would sneakily retrieve them once the light was off and Mummy had disappeared downstairs. Cheeky monkey.

Over time the number of my Son’s companions has increased considerably. In addition to the two blankets, Iggle Piggle, Monkey and Football Horse we now also have;

“Doggy”

“Football teddy”

“Mickey Mouse”

“Cars cushion”

“Small iggle piggle”

“Superman”

“Action Man”

“Dragon toy”

“Little Doggy”

“Optimus Prime”

“Easter Bunny”

“Megatron”

"Cars Cushion"

“Cars Cushion”

"Optimus Prime & Action Man"

“Optimus Prime & Action Man”

"Mickey Mouse & little Iggle Piggle"

“Mickey Mouse & little Iggle Piggle”

"Doggy"

“Doggy”

"Superman, Dragon toy & Megatron"

“Superman, Dragon toy & Megatron”

"Little doggy, Action man, Easter Bunny & Superman"

“Little doggy, Action man, Easter Bunny & Superman”

Most of his "friends"

These are the names which my Son has given them, and he cuddles all of them and HAS to have them when he goes to bed.

If somehow he is put to bed without first accounting for the attendance of his friends, he will shout downstairs to me, that he can’t find….enter friends name here…..only when they are all present and correct will he allow slumber to take him.

He will still not give any of them up. He cuddles them, lays on them, dribbles on them, clings to them and gets tangled up in them. What he is unaware of is that when Mummy (me) goes up to bed, I untangle his limbs from the numerous friends, move them away and make some space for his little body to actually sleep comfortably.

So….how many is too many? My son goes to bed with 16(!) friends. What is your child/rens, or your magic number? Is there a magic number?

(Please note at the time of doing this post, I had failed to notice that I had not taken a photo of the original “Iggle Piggle” apologies for this oversight. Consider my wrists slapped!)

Thanks

S xx