I haven’t posted on the blog for nearly 2 weeks. Not the first time that it’s been that long but it does feel a bit weird. Sometimes gaps have been because we’ve been busy. But sometimes it’s because it can be hard to admit to what I’m really thinking.
Hard thing to admit # 1: I’ve been struggling with a low mood lately. If I’m honest with myself, I’d been struggling since Christmas. I’d been so pleased with myself for having things on a relatively even keel after the emotional trauma of diagnosis year that the dip felt like a failure. How could I feel bad when other people have it so much worse? How could I have a lovely time with friends and then weep as I drove away? How could I have so many things on my to do list, yet get home and feel the hopeless inertia take over?
It wasn’t as if anything major was going on, just the ongoing stresses of daily life with Pudding, worries about his future, fears about the new politics of fear and division, inability to sort out other people’s problems. Just the standard cares of the world really. In the end I burst into tears in front of our homecare nurse and admitted that I’d cried every day for the last two weeks.
The world didn’t end when I admitted that “failure”. In fact, just saying the words helped immensely. I don’t have to be ridiculously strong the whole time. Caring for a child with additional needs IS hard. And I am looking into finding a talking therapy and addressing some of the underlying issues that have been worrying me.
Hard thing to admit # 2: I enjoy having time away from Pudding. I have six hours a day of course when they’re at school. But that goes surprisingly quickly when you’re tidying up and doing other routine stuff.
T and I just had a weekend away with my family up North. As soon as we got to the Hotel of Mum and Dad (I wrote about this before), T ran off with his cousins to the other end of the house and I could relax knowing that I didn’t have to be on constant alert. We had a civilised trip on the train to visit more family and eat lots of lovely food. A lovely time for relaxation.
And the highlight for me was a trip to the beach. As I emerged from the dunes on a beautiful spring morning my soul opened wide and drank in the sand, the sun and the endless sea. ‘I’ve missed this!’ I shouted. I meandered along, picking up shells, while the others kicked ball and ran down sand dunes. The remaining stress ebbed away.
The healing won’t last forever, but it’s helping me get through half term with relatively little shouting and no tears (well, not from me anyway). Maybe the learning point from this is I need to add in a little dose of nature to my routine every so often. Landscape that doesn’t throw things or hit or judge. Landscape that just is, and is beautiful. Healing for the soul.
PS. Dr Google told me that I didn’t have depression, and he was right, but ignoring my own needs could have led to it getting worse. If anyone reading this is struggling themselves, please, go talk to someone – a good friend, GP, whatever. Don’t feel you have to stay strong whatever the cost.