Sometimes the things we believe are fixed and firm like a rock that we know will never move. Sometimes however, things we believe are fluid and you never quite know where you will end up.
Here are 10ish things that I know right now:
- That I love my kids fiercely.
I know this seems pretty obvious as a mum but loving them fiercely doesn’t mean that I always like them.
- I have had some giant fuck ups in recent years.
While everyone around me has moved on from these fuck ups I am still really struggling with them. Somehow I need to get them down from Mt Everest size to a speed hump that I need to step over.
- That mental health battles can be incredibly lonely.
Even though I know I am loved and incredibly supported. It can be incredibly difficult to explain what is going on in my head day-to-day. Sometimes I don’t know how to put into words what I am feeling and when I do it never really makes sense.
- When you have no licence after 28yrs it can be a huge loss of independence.
An aspect of many mental health issues (such as depression, anxiety etc) that is rarely spoken about is the cognitive impairments that come along with the depression & anxiety. One of those for me has been the confusion for many reasons but this has meant that my Dr felt that I really wasn’t fit to drive. I am starting to feel within myself that I would be ok to drive but now I need to convince the Drs!
- There is a difference between having depression and being depressed.
For me the easiest way to explain this would be that someone can have asthma and take their preventative medication and still at times have an asthma attack and need more support. So having depression means that day-to-day life is generally low but there are the normal ups and downs like everyone else my start point is just a bit lower than yours. But then being depressed means that there can be times where it can feel like you are drowning with concrete shoes on and the more you struggle to keep your head above water, the harder it gets to stay afloat.
- That regardless how long someone you love has been gone your heart can still ache.
Over my life I have farewelled far too many people in my life (I went to 28 funerals in 8 years between 1990-1998 so 18-just 27yrs). Death is a part of life and the older I get the more I understand this, but it is never easy especially when you love them dearly. Sometimes this can be really hard for other people to understand.
- Sometimes there is no such thing as closure.
Closure of events in life is such a crock. Whether it be a mistake you have made, a diagnosis you get, a death or whatever, closure where you lock things up and throw away the key doesn’t exist. Who wants to truely pretend that a loved one never existed, or to not learn from your mistakes. Closure is a nice catch phrase that implies it is possible to wrap things up into nice little packages but in truth life is pretty messy.
- Being an introverted extrovert is really hard.
People are so used to me being the life of the party but the truth is I am actually dying on the inside. I really struggle walking into a room with no purpose so I will avoid like the plague going to events where I have no job to do. Basically I am certain that everyone just humours me and is nice to my face but would really rather be talking to their “friends” but tolerate me. So if I have a a job to do it doesn’t matter if no one talks to me. Also, the more time I spend in my own company the more I am finding I actually prefer the quiet to being around lots of people.
- That sometimes things are not always as they seem.
We often assume or think we know what is going on in someone else’s life because on the surface they look successful or have a nice home, car, kids, or a book deal or any number of things that we associate with success and happiness. Often the truth is that all of the “things” are hiding dark secrets that sometimes they don’t know how to share. When someone trusts you enough to share their story with you, that is an honour and a privilege. I know because it can be really hard to share snippets of your story, even when the collapse is quite spectacular and public, doesn’t make sharing your story any easier.
- My story is not over yet.
Most days life is really, really difficult. I more often than not start the day with the thought “bugger I made it through the night.” That isn’t to say I want to end my life, I just feel like such a burden on my entire family and friends that they would be better off if I wasn’t here any more. Once I can get through all the negative self talk I know that regardless my family are better with me here than not.
There are so many things left to do like write a book or two, open up my dream tea shoppe with baskets of wool, knitting needles and crochet hooks around, handcrafted teas, beautiful little sugary treats, fine bone china, overstuffed lounges, and books to read. Start up a mental health conference/support business where the organisers are those who know. To watch my children grow up and be everything they want to be, to grow old with my loving husband. So many things.
After really struggling to get out 10 things I have a couple of sneaky extras.
- You never know where life will take you.
Through a public breakdown that I couldn’t hide from I have had so many people tell me their stories (partly I am sure because unless I write them down I forget all their details the next day so my mind is a bit like a vault!) But through my own battles and struggles with mental health I have met some of the most beautiful souls that I know will be with me as I walk through this next phase of my life, in my corner cheering me on and willing me to succeed. Some of these people are the very obvious ones like my beautiful family and some dear friends, some of them are new friends who have become so treasured. Equally sometimes people who once were very integral in your life can’t quite cope with life being quite so open and you find you just can’t count on them the way you always believed you could.
What I have learnt is that we need to accept that life sometimes sucks hard but if we are up for it there can be amazing things out there too.
- That my beloved Sharks has a big case of the Yips!
The boys have been playing so well and hard this year. As a lifelong Sharks fan I had hope that after 15 wins on the trot, this, the 49th season, might finally be the season that brings home the silverware. Now after a draw and three losses on the run it feels like the Yips are setting in. I haven’t given up yet but seriously how long do we need to wait!