Found this poem and stunning picture on Pinterest.com while browsing.
Absolutely love it!!
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.
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.
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.
So on a hot Monday morning after I had dragged the kids around the various banks, queueing up in the heat, paying in money and paying bills; I treated them to a milkshake in “Pop-pins” a 50s style cafe and ice cream parlour, Connaught Avenue, Frinton, Essex. (www.poppinsparlour.co.uk )
They loved it and the milkshakes were delicious 😋.
My five year daughter, is a complete girly girl. She loves everything pink, sparkly, glittery, princesses, fluffy, purple, cute; you get the picture.
She already at the tender age of five is very clearly not an outdoorsy/sporty/messy/untidy type. She hates anything outside, hates wildlife and insects, she is even spooked by birds. On the rare occasion when she is outside she will insist on wearing a party dress and party shoes
She has very clear ideas about what she likes when it comes to what she will wear and will not budge from these, unless she absolutely has to. Even when it comes to her school uniform she will NOT wear a summer gingham dress unless it looks “pretty”; she HATES wearing her navy blue pinafore during the winter term.
If this is not even enough, she now has discovered make up! I am not sure when she started watching me when I was putting mine on in the morning, but I remember the first time she asked me “why do you have to wear make up mummy?” – I was driving at the time, so I could not give her my complete attention but I tried. Sitting in the passenger seat was my then 17 year old step-daughter who is a complete mirror looks obsessed teenager, and who does not go out without make up on, EVER! I told my daughter that you don’t HAVE to wear make up, but I liked wearing it and that it had become something I did every morning. That was that, or so I thought!
Then a relative very kindly bought my daughter a childs play make up set for her birthday. Fabulous NOT! So now I had to not only answer questions and try to field question after question about why this and why that, I now also had to deal with her walking down the stairs grinning as she had “just done her make up”…..by this she looked like a psychedelic maniac clown. It wasn’t long until she wanted to put it on every day, until she wanted to put lipstick on before leaving the house and then the straw that broke the camels back……it wasn’t long until she started playing with MY make up!!!!!
That was it, I knew I had to do something to try to douse the flames of this obsession before it grew to big.
It was during the Easter holidays I chose to do this project….to wear NO MAKE UP AT ALL! To anyone reading this who has blond eyelashes, you may appreciate that this is difficult to do. I think that I look like I have piggy eyes when I don’t wear mascara, but I had to do it.
Advanced warning and apologies for the following photo…..I am wearing NO MAKE UP!
So without advertising my little project one day I just didn’t wear make up, and to my surprise she didn’t notice. In fact it took her three days….?!?!?!?! I was noticing. I’d forgotten how quickly I could get ready, I was noticing how nice and clean my skin felt, and I also realised that no one else really cared if I wore make up or not. My daughter noticed on day four when she was in the kitchen helping me make bread. She looked closely at me and asked why I didn’t have any mascara on. I replied that I didn’t want to wear any. I then asked her “Is mummy prettier with or without make up?” Her answer…..”You are pretty both ways mummy”.
Since then I have worn the absolute minimum of make up. Below are photos of what I have worn up until recently….
Now…..or since then I have been wearing only tinted moisturiser and mascara, sorry I can’t do without mascara!
But I have noticed that my daughter hasn’t once asked for her make up, or for any to be put on her at all. So, is she only interested with make up because Mummy is? I believe so and although there is nothing wrong with wearing as much make up as you want – everyone is different; there are no rules – I do think that a five year old who is slightly obsessed with it and putting it on is a step too far. And so I am going to endeavour to keep it to a minimum for a while for both of our sakes!