Winter Moods

Well haven’t I been an ignorant blogger?! I’ve only just seen that my last blog was in September. I can’t believe that so much time has passed but I will confess anxiety has played a huge part in this. With the cold winter months I have been feeling down in the dumps (honestly some days I’ve been a right grumpy cow) and I didn’t want to project these feelings towards anyone else. I have started writing a couple of blog ideas but after one paragraph I would think to myself ‘No, you’re to miserable and negative, stop it now!’. The longer I took to write anything, the more anxious I was getting, thoughts like ‘How can I call myself a blogger when I don’t write anything?’ and ‘Nobody wants to read your grumpy material.’ constantly crossed my mind. But each day that passed the more anxious I got because I wasn’t publishing any joyful content for you lovely readers. So here I am saying bugger it and I will try and catch you up a little without boring your socks off.

As I said earlier, my mood has been rubbish over the winter, it always is when it’s cold and dark for many reasons that I believe everyone can relate too. Don’t get me wrong I love certain parts of winter like Halloween, fireworks and Christmas but for most of it my aches and pains get so bad I miss out on the fun stuff anyway. With the shorter days and everyone hibernating, the lack of social events mean I’m alone a lot more and so I feel lonely and sad (boo hoo I know). I thrive with company and having someone to talk to (anyone who knows me, knows I talk way too much) so with less opportunities to stretch my vocal chords I get even more grumpy, then I get anxious, paranoid and worried people think I’m too grumpy. I could ramble on about this vicious circle for a long time but you get the picture. At my lowest point before Christmas I started to write about my feelings, one of my many occasions where I stopped my doom and gloom writing, but I’ve decided to put what I did write in this post. Mainly because all too often we brush over the really dark emotions and I believe it’s important to be open and honest during those times. If you don’t it’s all to easy to get lost in those emotions and feel completely alone. So here it is…

For weeks now I’ve been wandering what to write about that’s upbeat, positive, funny. The one thing on my mind is not that exciting you see and it’s way too deep and depressing, in fact the one thing on my mind revolves around depression and anxiety which is a difficult subject to make upbeat. So I have closed myself off to blogging life because I didn’t want to bring down any other poor souls with me because the mood I’m in is well…grumpy, sad and damn right miserable.

However….

Right now I’m led in bed at 4 am unable to get comfortable, unable to sleep thanks to the red hot pain in my right side and feeling so incredibly sad and alone. So I’m thinking to myself, there must be so many people out there going through something similar, yet no one really talks about it for many reasons, maybe you don’t want people to think less of you, you could be staying strong for someone else, or you could be terrified of opening that little box of thoughts or feelings to someone and never being able to put the lid back on. Whatever your reason for not talking about it, that’s ok, we all have our reasons. My reason is simple, I’m embarrassed and ashamed. The things that go through my head everyday can be dark, trivial and so very depressing and I don’t want others to see that side of me, I’m worried they will secretly be rolling their eyes at me thinking pull yourself together.

I recently saw a GP and admitted to him that I was having suicidal thoughts that were scaring me. I confessed that I had a plan to end my life, told him what my plan was and that the only thing preventing me from doing this was my children. I didn’t want to affect their lives anymore than I already am. I told him I didn’t know what to do and that I’d been in this place once before and I couldn’t remember how I got out of it. His response shocked me and left me feeling so deflated and unsupported like he didn’t believe me or that I was just attention seeking. He asked me ‘What is it you want from me?’ In a tone of voice that made me feel like a child. I replied that I didn’t know, he was the first person I had told and I felt I needed help of some kind and the only thing I could think of was to see a doctor. I’m already on antidepressants so he said there wasn’t a lot he could do with my medication. We discussed counselling and I told him I’d already had the CBT offered and it hadn’t helped previously. So he just kept asking over and over what I wanted him to do to which I replied I don’t know I just know I can’t pull myself out of this alone. He didn’t offer any support or advice that I didn’t already know and I left with nothing but an even emptier feeling.

Reading back and reflecting that time, which wasn’t so long ago I feel so many emotions but mainly sad and scared. Luckily I’m not in that dark place right now, but I’ve been in that place a few times over this winter and the winter before and it terrifies me that I could be there again. I can’t tell you how I pulled myself out of it. I did open up to Mike and tell him, and eventually I did tell a couple of people I trust. Telling someone is really hard but it also felt a little bit like a safety net. By telling them they are more likely to keep an eye on me so that I don’t act on my thoughts. As the days went by I tried to focus on other things and then I got lost in organising Christmas. I felt numb the whole time and although I had a lovely Christmas, my heart wasn’t truly in it. I just focused on the kids and making them happy and eventually other stresses took over my thoughts.

We are having quite a hard time at the moment, mainly financially, as well as Mike dealing with his own health problems (that’s right, I’ve broken the poor man). So over the Christmas holidays I focused on a New Years resolution for myself. Just a simple one, to do as many school runs as possible. The only way I can get out of a school run is if I literally can’t move or stay stood up, no excuses. I chose this for a few reasons, to help take a small load off of Mike but also to enjoy the last couple of years I can do school runs as the kids are growing up so fast I won’t have the chance for much longer.

After a six week term I think I did pretty good. I only missed five morning school runs and about ten school pick ups. Not only was I doing school runs but also taking Dora dog with me in the mornings and taking her for a long walk after dropping the kids off, I’ve even been training her to walk off lead without running after cats and squirrels. It’s all been bloody hard I won’t lie and I’ve barely managed to do much else but I am so proud of myself and I’ve loved the mornings (apart from the getting up part, that’s the toughest part). The kids have been so much happier for it too and bless Hayden, he is constantly telling me how proud he is of me. My poor mobility scooter is not coping, it’s been very entertaining seeing it deteriorate with use. The batteries aren’t so great but we are too skint to replace them. It no longer reverses, it keeps slowing down at regular intervals and if I stop on a slope or curb, when I try to go again it rolls backwards instead of going forwards. Also if it doesn’t move straight away I have do almost jump start it with a forward jig to get it moving. It’s been….fun.

My new routine has helped my depression more than I realised too. Reading through what I wrote only a couple of months ago, I realise I pulled myself out of that black hole just by making one change to my routine. I’m not saying it’s as simple as one change, that is just what has worked for me this time. The past week, while the kids have been off for half term I’ve had a horrible flare up and been stuck bed for six days now. I’ve missed plans with friends, the kids as well as missing a funeral that I felt I needed to go to to say my goodbyes. I’m frustrated, bored and peed off, BUT I don’t feel that overwhelming abyss that usually comes at times like this. So I want to say to anyone feeling sad, alone, depressed or like there is no light at the end of the tunnel…there is, you just need a little help to find it. Please please talk to someone, anyone and keep fighting for just one thing.

I would like to say a special thanks to some amazing people who brighten my days and always have a listening ear when I need it. They don’t always know how much they help me but I love you guys. So Chloe, Jackie, Helen, Kim and Tracey, you girls are amazeballs.

Below are contacts of organisations that can help in times of crisis. These are just a few, there are many out there. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. Lots of love and hugs xxx

If you feel you are in immediate danger of harming yourself or acting on suicidal thoughts please dial 999. If you are safe but need immediate mental health support please dial 111

The NHS website has a list of helplines and support groups offering expert advice at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

Samaritans call 116123 or visit http://www.samaritans.org/

Mind are a mental health charity call their info line on 0300 123 3393 https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/about-suicidal-feelings/

Rethink mental illness https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/about-mental-illness/learn-more-about-symptoms/suicidal-thoughts-how-to-cope/