Depression: I didn’t choose it, it chose me…

I guess sometimes it takes strength to look at yourself in the third person and question your actions, your habits, your behaviour and an even stronger ounce of you to change it.

I realise that I hardly ever find the words to offer those close to me a glimpse of where I’m at or what’s going on inside my mind; but usually my words are inadequate. I realise that at times like this I’m withdrawn, nothing is clear and I sink deep into myself, and then the words don’t come at all. And still sometimes, I lash out. I want people around me but I don’t want people around me. I want to be on my own but when alone I don’t want to be alone. It’s confusing.

But above all, this is not how I want to be.
This is not how I want to be with everyone I care about.

So I am sitting quietly, trying to get this all down, to tell you everything I want you to know. It will not be perfect, but it will be real. It will be the best snapshot I can give you of where I’m at:

I didn’t choose this. No one would choose to feel this way, I promise you. It’s part of me, my DNA, a big part of me that I hate with a passion, that takes over me like a cloud and takes hours to days to weeks to pass and lift so I can see the light. please know that though it might not seem like I’m doing enough to lift myself out of this, I’m not choosing depression. It chose me.

Please be gentle with me and don’t ask me what’s wrong a million times over- my thoughts and words are usually not clear after the first moment of dropping into this haze. I know I look the same on the outside, but inside, I don’t feel like me. Or rather I feel like the most uncomfortable edges of me; right now, I am made of all doubt and fear and feel at my most vulnerable and fragile.

I know this is hard for you I guess to you all it’s like I’m not bothered, pushing our friendship away and uncaring of others thoughts and feelings. This isn’t true. I love you all so much and I guess it’s just easier to not see people or paint that perfect picture and smile and act like everything is rosy than answering questions that most of the time I have no answers for. As much as I’m ashamed I’m not stupid to think this doesn’t affect you too.

I can’t think of much besides my own pain right now. This is one of the most devious parts of it all—it’s so selfish. I like to think that I’m not a selfish person. I would be penniless to see someone else happy and put my own needs aside to help another- probably a big contributor of me being here. The reason I’m acting selfish is because I’m in constant emotional pain. Imagine your leg was broken, your bones in shards, full of stabbing pain. When we’re in physical pain, it’s hard to think of much else. It’s the same way with my emotional pain. My mind chases its own tail, coming back to the same stuck place over and over. I can’t stop thinking about how much I hurt, because I just hurt so damned much. I can’t break things down to understand them because it’s all as bad.

Most of all… please understand You don’t have to fix me. I know when we see someone we love suffering, we want to stop it. But you can’t. You can’t fix me. Not now or ever. I’m not sure even I can fix me. I tried and tried for a long time but it doesn’t help.

Some mystery of time is usually the only light to see me out of these patches. What I need from you is your patience, your love. I need walks with you in the sunlight or sunset. If I don’t want to go, try your best to get me there. But when it’s really bad I need to just sit with you and watch something funny, so that I can hear the sound of you laughing, to remember the vibration of joy. To feel your happiness even if it isn’t my own.

At times like this I become the worst parent ever- to actually have to be responsible and patient and understanding when your mind is telling you you’re better off not here doesn’t quite work. I’m everything I never wanted to be in a parent when I can’t function and I see how Dylan’s behaviour only mirrors my own. I’m so sorry for that.

Above all, Please be patient. I have always said that having depression is like being nearsighted. Everything is blurry, distorted, shapeless. I can’t see clearly right now. But I have been here before, and I will probably be here again. I am worried about so many things that life itself is one humongous struggle.

Truth is beyond all of this my guilt is the biggest anchor. Guilty that I’ve spent my life in dangerous, violent situations and gone through as much out of relationships and for the first time I’ve found someone who doesn’t cause me physical or mental torture yet I’m still here, with this problem. With this constant drag to feeling like I’d be better off not here. I feel so much guilt that I should be happy and making the most of the amazing person I’ve ended up with. All anyone says is “you can’t dwell on the past” you have to enjoy and make the most of now. This i struggle with. The past is ultimately still inside me. I can’t get over it and at times unhealthy aspects will place themselves inside my mind and it’s all I can think of, it’s like it all happened again.

I know you will already understand most of this as depression is talked about much more, but because of my inability to get it out in words to your face this is the most I can do. To acknowledge your struggle with me and at least explain why I’m not the person I was before.

Just know beyond all this I love you, I’m trying and I’ll be back soon

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The boy with a mum, a Nic, a dad and a dad’s girlfriend

What’s ‘normal’ when it comes to families these days?

Back when I was little most families had the typical mother father and 2/3 kids per household yet now it’s not unusual to find any denomination of the above as well as half sisters, step brothers two dads, two mums etc etc. A society which yes thankfully makes it easier for me to be accepted.

Pride this year got me thinking about the children in these same sex households and the impacts it has on them. The first thing my dad said when I came out was “I’m worried he’s going to be bullied at high school” once I’d got past feeling shame for my sexuality- I realised that in his day this would have been the case, it may still be now….but in reality I’m not going to live a heterosexual life to prevent mean words said to my son.

My boy knows we are two women in love…he finds it disgusting when we kiss then 5 minutes later wants a cuddle and kiss from us! My boy knows his dad is straight and has a girlfriend…he finds it disgusting when they kiss but my guess is he will want that affection from them too. My boy is loved more than anyone I know. He’s a nightmare at time 8- with the arguing skills of a 16 year old- but he loves wholeheartedly and adores his family and friends.

So just because his mum loves another woman- does this make Dylan any less of a human, are we any less of humans for loving each other? I don’t think so.

Surrounded by same sex families at pride this year made me see first hand just how far society has come, we aren’t fully there yet and in many countries and for many religions we never will be-

did you know that 90% same sex couples do a risk assessment before holding hands in public? Did you know the full extent of hate crime towards sexuality in the world? Did you know the highest number of suicides were due to homophobia comments? My son will not be a statistic nor will I. We are people just like everyone else.

We work 40 hour weeks and enjoy the little time we get with our family. We add to society just like everyone else and rejection should be a thing of the past.

Love my boy just as we do. He will go on to do amazing things and we are right behind you Dylan x

My words to you…

In a world of cheerios be a fruit loop….

There are billions of billions of people in this world and only one of you. Have you ever thought of that? How unique you actually are? That there will never be anymore than just the one of you? There will never be an identical replica of your family or friends or even me…your Mum. 

Remember your first job in life is to be you. “There is no one alive more youer than you” so be yourself, find yourself and don’t be afraid to be different. Growing up I never really knew myself. I never followed suit but I never knew what I wanted either.

Set yourself goals and give yoursef challenges because truthfully as much as you play the silly sausage deep down behind those big brown eyes you are the kindest and smartest soul I know. How do I know? 

Because I’m your mother, and mothers know everything. 

“I’m not a nurse”

This is a line that so freely escapes her lips whenever asked what she does. “I work in the community” is her usual line for her job role. And each and every time I hear it I want to butt in and say “she’s a lifesaver!”

Still to this day, I don’t give her the credit and encouragement she needs…to know how proud I am of the work she does.

How hard it must be somedays to walk into a family…broken…lost…and feeling like their whole world has gone and try and help them. How hard it must be to weigh a baby so small that you never know whether the next time you come into that family the child will be alive. How hard it is to put up with families irate and frustrated because they want a solution and a cure for their child and it isn’t there…

Whilst I’m sat at a desk worrying about numbers, artwork, print times and spreadsheets- she’s comforting a mum, Dad, filling forms out so a family have income whilst they care for their child or collecting equipment no longer required as that child has grown their wings.

To me and many more she is a glimmer of hope for help. To make a difference…. to me she couldn’t be any more of a person than she already is….

And on top of that she comes home, cooks tea, cares for our boy and loves me. She is ten fold the woman I’ll ever be and I love her with every inch of my body.

Finding our ‘nest,’ office antics & smuggling her in

8PM last night we had a house viewing. We loved the house, perfect area on a quiet little cul-de sac and my son Dylan had already memorised the address and told everyone our new home was 11 The Crimbles, even after being told several times that we were “just looking.” I’ve realised now, kids don’t understand time in any factor. They see it, they want it, they have it. If only life was that simple eh??

Living at my parents for almost 3 years after my split from my ex I’ve felt an increasing sense of suffocation from being at home, under their rules and feeling like a naughty child if anyone comes back. I’m grateful for their welcome arms which took me back in all that time ago but i’m like a caged animal at the minute, clawing to get out and be in my own house. Falling in love has given me an added sense of want and need for my own place to come and go as we please and feel ‘at home’ something I’ve not felt for some time now.

So we found a house close to the motorway so Nic, being new to a longer commute, can cram a little more sleep in on a morning. It’s close to school so I can get Dylan there on time without anymore added fuss than we already have; it takes him a good 10 shouts and 20 minutes to get ready on a morning, that’s just getting his pants and socks on not factoring in that he eats at the pace of a snail and argues with me about every finer detail so everything takes twice as long. My sister also lives close to there and although she is the furthest from maternal i can think a woman can be, its always good having a little family support on your doorstep in times of need – like if we’ve run out of teabags?

Basically we had our hearts set on it being our dream home from 5 internet pictures. Nic was already working out costs of her house, footing her mortgage as well as this home and i was gearing myself up for the big sacrifice- no longer being able to buy myself “treats” at the drop of a hat and “doing lunch” at £40 a time. We walked in to meet Nick, the friendly next door neighbor who ran his own letting business and thought he’d earn a little more cash by finding tenants for his next door neighbors. He was a happy chap with a bald head and a slight awkwardness about him but nice enough. We then met the owners of the house, the ones who would be rinsing us of money each month in return of living in their home. After a little small talk and shake of hands, we started the viewing…..”its TINY!” We both thought it but coming from a large 4 bed detached house at my mum and dad’s, with my own living room, bathroom and bedroom and Nic coming from a huge Terrace with a converted cellar and attic we were prepared for a slight downsize, not quite this much however.

Now we may be picky. It’s our first viewing together so there’s still hope yet to find the right one but seriously, no wardrobe in the main bedroom?? Where are my 12 pairs of heels going to go, not even taking into account the 5 wardrobes that currently house all my clothes. After poking her head in the loft which had no light and knowing how clumsy we are would no doubt have ended in an entrance disaster, there was also no storage up there either.

We came out a little frustrated to say the least. After a quick discussion about it being a big fat NO we decided to head for a drive thru coffee. As nothing in our lives ever goes to plan, (in fact nothing in our whole relationship since day one has been simple, but it’s given us lots of laughter)I managed to get a dodgy tea cup and scolded myself, leaving lovely wet patches all over my crotch area whilst trying to show Nic the sights of my hometown and possible home locations. We sat for a while outside a house we like, completely off the scale out of our budget unless we sell Nic’s home, and i got a job as a stripper when I got a call form the boss saying an email hadn’t sent. Its 9PM at night? What does she want me to do? Go to the office?….. of course she did!

9:30PM brought us to my office. Something that had come up in many naughty conversations over the past year, however, as nothing is ever to plan, i had spent the day being sick and looked and felt horrendous. As I slunk into my office chair and loaded up the laptop Nic pulled out the chair opposite me and sat herself down. I glanced up at her, her hair lovely and straight and wearing a white blouse that showed off her boobs perfectly! She was completely and utterly distracting! I got the email sent, called the boss and slunk round to her side of the desk. Safe to say we made the most of being alone in the office and I now will never be able to look at my boss’s desk in quite the same way….i really hope there is no CCTV in there or i may be looking for a job as well as a home.

Time was a ticking and i’d ditched my car at the ‘no’ house. 10:45PM found us back at mine deliberating and wanting more than anything for her to fall asleep in my arms and wake up right there this morning. I plucked up the courage to stand my ground, all the while thinking ‘mum and dad are going to kill me.’ Something you shouldn’t have to be thinking after you’ve become a parent yourself and you’re 26! But like a good daughter i respected that it was their home.

Morning came and the dilemna of getting her out the house arose. Dad leaves at 7, she needed to be on the road at 7. Instead we were awoken by a screaming 6 year old upset that he’d awoke in his own bed and not mine.. Trying to calm Dylan and get him to be quiet and not cause attention suddenly i heard footsteps followed by a “What’s wrong with boo boo bear.” My door opened, just slightly, just enough for me to recognise dad, just long enough for Nic to  hide under the sheets and play dead as she had done before when we were caught in an uncompromising position.

“Dad you do know nic’s in here?”

Ever the comedian, his response was ” yes that’s who i’m talking to!” followed by an awkward chuckle

And in that moment i was back….to feeling like a naughty child, my dad not knowing what to do, my girlfriend playing dead next to me in bed in her underwear and my son sobbing because he hadn’t slept in my bed.

Always an adventure -i’m sure its moments like this that we will look back on in 10,20 years time and reminisce… and no doubt laugh our heads off!

 

 

 

I’m a survivor…

Ever experienced something so life changing that your whole world is never quite the same? A thunderstorm that sweeps in and takes all you have leaving only broken pieces of a former life?

My guess is many have! Everyone I know has experienced brokenness…heartache…loss and its the hardest thing to deal with.

Picture this. Brimming with confidence, young and naive, bold and carefree- like every other teenage girl when one night someone decides to play with fire, do something bold and stupid and take away every inch of that personality. A girl once carefree with a love for life tormented into a broken, fucked up woman. That’s exactly what I became. Did I deserve it? I’ve asked myself so many times. Truth is, you sit and question a million things when something life changing happens. Whether it could have been different…truth is yes it probably could! But how can we plan the future. We don’t get out of bed each day knowing point by point what we will experience, witness or say.

Healing they said, it’s a journey. A long one and a hard one and one which will have many diversions where you will feel you’re back to where you started. Kind of like a depression. You sometimes don’t know why you feel so low, you just do. The more you try and make it better and not get anywhere you feel like you’re back at square 1 and it’s a vicious circle of self discovery alongside a constant fear of slipping off the edge. I’m not going to lie, at times I’ve wanted to be pushed off the edge. But each time you seem to find that slight part of survival in you which makes you fight your mind just a little more. 

I think sometimes people need to realise with trauma nothing can really be healed. It can just be helped! Life for me is nothing like the life I once had For many reasons. I’m more cautious, a little more reluctant to throw myself in situations without a little clue of the outcome. But is is a bad thing? I’ve learnt to accept the change even if I don’t love it. 

People don’t understand why one minute you seem fine and the next you want to curl in a ball and hibernate but that…as I’ve realised after years of frustrations…is because it’s your journey, your self help and your mind which needs to be helped, not theirs. They will never understand and don’t expect them to, just appreciate the ones who try. 

I’ve pushed many people away. Mostly because I’m scared to let them in. I’m scared of people’s reactions and I’m scared of how they will feel when I can’t function at times. I’m scare of myself, not coping and letting down the hard exterior I’ve spent years perfecting.

But fuck it! I’m human, shit happens to great people every day. I’m surviving….and I have every right to be.

Sleep’s for wimps!

Sleep. You either love it, hate it, get it or don’t. I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever laid in bed until lunchtime and not woken beforehand.

For 6 years I can’t quite remember a night where sleep has come and stayed easily. It’s like my arch enemy. The type that you want to be friends with to feel better but then that time arrives and you want to slap it in the face for depriving you of energy and motivation.

Why does the whole world and your whole existence seem 10 times worse when you haven’t had a decent nights sleep? Medical professionals would probably say that most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep at night to function properly. Lack of function….tick! But what about this god awful haze which appears after a bad sleep. where you wake thinking you’ve entered another realm. You went to bed feeling like yourself and awoke from a rubbish broken sleep feeling like Gollum from Lord of The Rings, where sleep really is your ‘precious.’

This morning after a night convincing myself there were thieves outside the house about to get in and steal my child I managed to drag my half naked body downstairs and pour orange juice in the teapot and put my phone in the fridge, preceding then to search frantically around the house having convinced myself i had lost it. It’s not an uncommon occurrence for my phone to go walkabouts but the juice tea was definitely a new entry to the book of slack!

As a mum of 1, remembering the pure exhaustion of those hourly kips and cramming every nap you could in in the day I really don’t know how mothers cope with more than one child. I resent the fact that my child is no longer of the age to snuggle into me under a blanket on the sofa and pull back those hours of sleep a little at a time during the day. I instead have to get up, get ready for work and drag my ass in the car and get on with it. A small aspect of life which so many people have to do, yet one of the BIGGEST challenges.

Hats off to you ladies! Lets raise a toast to those 2am wakings and further years of finding your phone in the fridge, bread bin and every other random place it shouldn’t be, and letting your mind drive you to insanity whether your thoughts are completely natural or not. Who needs sleep anyway?lack-of-sleep