I thought, once upon a time, that the idea of having a counsellor or a therapist would be quite appealing.
Images of a hot tea to my side, and my body laid out on a chaise longue, and a handsome looking Swedish chap writing down my woes and worries sounded oddly romantic.
What I never quite thought about was the road one would have to travel to get to meet a mental health professional in a counselling capacity.
Turns out people, that road is hard.
And the end destination isn’t a tea and a chaise longue, but instead a plastic chair, in a Doctors surgery, with an educated woman a fair few years younger than oneself, and my mother by my side.
No sign of a brew anywhere….
Should I back track…
Anyone who has been lovely enough to read my internet ramblings over the last 9 years, may have noticed a silence on the blog.
Because, put simply,
In August this year, I started crying, and simply couldn’t stop.
I know – me.
No one was more surprised.
Than me – except maybe my friend Sam, who was flabbergasted when I broke.
Me – if you don’t know me, let me tell you about me.
I have ran 3 marathons, scaled mountains, raised three kids, brought them up in the face of some nasty conditions. I have taught myself to be a pancreas to manage my daughters diabetes, I became an expert in syndromes such as complex regional pain, hip dysplasia, and major mastoid surgeries. I have laughed and joked through life, survived a divorce, and worked solidly thought out my life, carving out a weird and wonderful career when circumstance meant a 9-5 job was impossible.
I may not be a financial success, or someone to inspire others, but feck me, I have always been a coper.
Until August, when some bastard turning the coping switch off and released the water valve.
And the anxiety kicked in.
I am not talking your run of the mill worries here.
Nope – I am talking the type of anxiety that creeps into your soul, puts a fist around your heart and squeezes until your brain cries for release.
For around 3 months, most mornings I have woken with a sense of impending doom, where the world has been grey and my eyes bloodshot. It has felt like living in a weighted vest.
Some of the worries have been grounded in fact, we have faced some challenges as a family that have been tougher than anything that came before. (Apologies, that is a bit of a “I’ve had a shit day” Facebook status – followed by “DM me hun”) But some stories are not mine to tell.
Some worries have led from financial woes – because money, whilst not being the most important thing, is still something of importance. And some have come from feeling old, and tired, and having the fight knocked out of me.
I have been a hard friend to have, and thankfully for me and my sanity, I have an incredible bunch of friends and family around me who have refused to let me sink into a well of despair. In fact, my friends and family, have turned up with shovels and spades to dig me out of any hole I have tried to sink into. Christ, one even wrapped all my Christmas gifts and stayed with me for 48 hours – just to make sure I was ok.
People have astounded me with their love, and others have slipped away as I have been less present.
Today has been a good day.
My fourth in a row.
For four days, I have only cried when meeting with my counsellor, and at a Christmas advert which was fecking emotional even for someone without a “low mood” diagnosis. I have laughed with my kids instead of feeling like I have failed them. I have trained at my gym, and smiled through the pain, because for an hour – I got to be me again.
And finally, I have started writing again….
Because I have been embarrassed.
I have been ashamed of how I felt, and an inability to simply snap out of it. And life has simply felt painful, suffocating, and sad. At my lowest point, a GP asked me if I had suicidal thoughts…
The answer was no,
But at the same point, thinking that every day would be filled with this much terror, anxiety, and sadness was almost too much to bear.
Put simply, it has been a really hard 6 months, and I am hoping against hope that I have turned a corner. Because I am working really hard to getting back to being me.
I suspect as this is my first post in a while, it will be the last of 2019.
I hope very much to be back as a story teller in 2020 – and to be at peace with myself and this new journey.
Merry Christmas everyone.