This year I’ve battled a lot with low moods.
I could count the amount of people on my hand of who I’ve spoken to when I’ve hit “almost rock bottom” but the truth is there have been more moments when I’ve “hit bottom of the bottom” and refused to talk to anyone.
Why? Because 1. I don’t want to be a burden. 2. I don’t want people to see that I don’t have my stuff together.
*Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.* -- Mind.org.uk
I’ve lightly touched upon the subject in previous posts that since becoming a young adult and mother I’ve seeked professional help whenever I’ve felt I needed the extra support. And although at this point in my life I no longer see a therapist, I’ve definitely had moments where I’ve had the urge to reach out to them again.
So why haven’t I?
I have had this gut feeling inside me telling me to try my very best to break the cycle!
I read somewhere that most people suffering with anxiety and/or depression have a pattern or loop that keeps them in that clouded fog as I like to describe it.
I know that when I’m in that particular mindset, I can’t see past that very day.
You see, more so ever since my physical health took a knock, I wake up most mornings feeling groggy, that I could sleep in for a couple more days, with a headache, aching all over from a night seizure or with severe back pain that has been a continuous problem since childbirth.
However, I have gotten used to hiding all of that to appear “normal”, (“normal”… what even is normal?”
Truth is, it’s challenging. And as challenging as it is, the thing that I try to hold on to to give some sort of twisted comfort is that actually, quite a lot of people have their own daily challenges and that I’m not alone.
Everyone’s challenges although not the same are definitely relative to those going through it.
I kept quiet about my challenges because I was ashamed to appear as though I’m complaining. After all, I have a home, a family, a partner who loves me enough to stick through all the hard times with me, I’m lucky right? Some people don’t have that.
They say “count your blessing not your trials” and that’s definitely something I try to do when things go topsy turvy. However, when both your physical and mental health are weak, it’s so easy to spot the things that aren’t going so well in your life. It’s a cycle.
Everyone has a “trigger” to what makes them feel a way. Being able to recognise and understand what your own triggers are is important,
*Are mental health problems increasing?
The overall number of people with mental health problems has not changed significantly in recent years, but worries about things like money, jobs and benefits can make it harder for people to cope.* -- Mind.org.uk
Not being able to provide financially to the extent that I want to for my children is a constant worry but I’ve learnt that the only way to fix that is by being proactive (eg. Start my own business, sell pre-loved items, organise people’s houses!).
I don’t necessarily want to be filthy stinking rich but not having to watch the numbers every single day would be nice.
But what happens to those who find it both physically and mentally difficult to work? I’m genuinely intrigued.
Like I said in a previous post I was advised by my neurology consultant not to work until a diagnosis for these seizures/episodes was given. Or the alternative was to go ahead and seek work but declare this health ailment to a potential employer.
Both reasonable advice if I look at the potential health risks involved depending on what type of job I took on but enough to give a mum of three anxiety too.
Rather than soak in my bad days – which I admittedly have done.
This is how I’ve coped so far without running back to my therapist.
1. Make sure I eat and sleep well
2. Go for walks
3. Look at my kids
4. Switch off social media
5. Talk to somebody
Might sound ridiculous, but often by doing one or even better all of these things I do genuinely feel more at ease.
It’s so easy to fall into the habit of comparing our lifestyles to those we see on social media. I know it's taken me some time to differentiate what’s REALstic and learn not to see things at face value (did I even use that in the correct context? I'm starting to brain fart...) but now that I've recognised that I’m more at peace with how my life is right now despite all the down parts.
Understanding life will never be "perfect" and finding your own way of coping in a healthy way is always a positive step in the right direction.
I thought I’d share this not only because I find it therapeutic to write but in hopes that someone out there who may be going through some kind of low will take comfort that they’re not alone.
I for one am not the super mama of three that my friends all think I am.
But as easy as it is to give up, I’m not done trying yet most of all for the sake of my kids.