It is Blue Monday today apparently.
What a blooming miserable phrase. Talk about reinforcing basic misery!
When I first read it this morning, I was like, “ahhh, that’s why today feels like a struggle…”
Then I gave myself a virtual slap and highlighted the reality of the situation to myself.
Today feels like a struggle because….
I decided I was cured of anxiety, and didn’t take my tablets for 3 days – and therefore welcomed back heart gripping anxiety.
I have not been to train in forever – work and life are getting in the way and I more than anyone know that exercise is a great way to feel better.
My diet is shite.
And on the weekend I hosted a birthday party for 45 teenagers – if that doesn’t tip one into a depression – I don’t know what does!
So let’s explain a bit more about the anxiety.
Because, in my life before anxiety – I was rather clueless as to how it felt….
Now – my heart goes out to anyone whose worries go out past the realm of worrying and into the panic persona that comes with being anxious annie.
In July/August – I started to notice a wobble in my confidence. My confidence is a fickle thing at the best of times – I present like I have in an abundance, but those who know me closely, also know that deep inside I have very little self belief.
I also developed a lethargy towards “stuff”…
I didn’t host my annual BBQ – I know, middle class traumas, but this one social act I do each year keeps me involved with my married friends community – and I have never bailed on it before.
I also drove to Cornwall, and fretted for six hours about where I am in my working life, where I am against building a pension (not that far), and how I was utterly destined to lose everything through incompetence and end up with the kids living in a box under a bridge somewhere in the North of England.
Once in Cornwall, nestled in the bosom of my friends I laughed it off, and wondered how I could dedicate so long to worrying about a future so far away.
Turned out – 6 hours of worrying was nothing compared to what was to come.
Pretty much from the end of August through to November, every moment I was awake, I was gripped by a paralysing fear that I had made such a hash of this journey of life that I was destined to fail, that my kids would be without a strong leader, and most of the time – without a home. The sadness that engulfed me was like an ice that started at my toes and froze me to the core. My brain would flip from lack of pension, to the worry of being self employed, to raising kids alone. And then finally when I had exhausted worrying about all those options – I would turn to my wonderful parents, and worry about how much longer they would have in this world.
Consequently, every time I turned to my parents, I would leave in a state of panic that this may be the last time we were together.
And that is no way to live.
I cried enough to flood a small village and found my only retreat for normality lay in work – which was ironic since my self perception was that I am not good at what I do!
My parents, and friends and family have been a pillar of support that I always knew I had but never envisioned I would need this much!
Scariest thing about it all – was the utter lack of perspective I had, the inability to believe that although the world and his wife told me I was being irrational – I simply couldn’t see it.
When I last saw the mental health team – we discussed this and I said I couldn’t quite believe how crazy I was. She replied that fact that I know now that I felt like i was going mad meant I had come on leaps and bounds – because the real worry is when you are potty and don’t know it!
So why am I sharing this now?
Well – Blue Monday has wound me up. Why we need to reinforce negativity is beyond me, plus for many people – the blues are a part of life and linking it to the entire world diminishes what they are going through.
And secondly, because writing this down is cathartic, and I am hoping will help shed a light on how true anxiety feels, because the lack of understanding on how ball-achingly terrifying it is – is incredible.
I waited until I was at breaking point to see a doctor – because I knew I was stronger and I was disgusted in myself that I couldn’t drag myself out of the fog without asking for help.
I think I was a lucky one, as my brush with this condition has been short-term – seven months, and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Admittedly bailing on my anti depressants this week was a mistake – but it confirms they are doing the trick.
And some of my worries are grounded in reality – and need plans – which I am slowly doing. Because, the constant return to the fact that the kids have had a rougher start in life owing to their medical needs, isn’t an excuse for fucking up later on.
It is a bit intimidating putting stuff like this online, but I am hoping that it creates awareness that will do some good.
I would write about the party for 45 underage teenagers – but I have not fully recovered yet, the doctor says the ringing in my ears could take days to subside.
But I will tell you that I am grateful for all I have on this Monday, for my wonderful three children, two of whom have a birthday tomorrow. For having clients I love working with, for having food in the fridge and my name on a mortgage deed.
So bollocks to blue Monday – I am embracing the day!