I love my children very much. I chose to have them both. During my episode I found caring for them difficult until I was catapulted back into being the responsible parent by some events in their lives. Recently I thought things were getting back in focus a little and I started to go down again. I could feel the pull of some of my unhealthy but fun habits. I spoke to friends about it, but did not share the extent of my difficulties. Through my last counselling session I found out that when I get stressed my coping mechanism is the absolute opposite of what it should be. Getting stressed and overwhelmed needs calm to balance it and not more stimulation, excitement and excess. So now I am learning how to be a real responsible grown up, who can put aside the need for a quick buzz, who has learned to ask herself this question before doing anything rash ; how will this action contribute to my long term happiness? I wish I had learned that sentence sooner. That wonderful line came from the Dali Lamas book the Art of Happiness. I stopped reading that book when the current crisis erupted. I spent quite a bit of time on NLP, neurolinguistic programming, the basis of which is to reprogramme your brain. I think I need to re-frame the idea of being in crisis in my life. I could call it challenges, setbacks, or a multitude of other things but in the end it is just one of the ups and downs of life. I spoke to my x about his particular type of depression and wondered why he never really sought help. Now that he is well he has decided to accept his moods as part of his life, as he does not want to do the hard stuff that helps people recover fully. I suppose I was at the point where I just expected to stay well indefinitely but as was pointed out to me by many people who have experienced such episodes staying well is a daily effort. It is as the saying goes; treat your mental health like your dental health. I suppose I need to work out not what brings me down but what keeps me up, what energises me. I think it is better to get better at the things you are good at and focus on those so that the bad stuff is minimised. I neglected my self care again recently and sought to find external sources of calm. But the place where I belong is with myself and the place where I don't have to worry is in my own head. So I am here, albeit typing this in my freshly dressed bed in my favourite kimono, with the lovely sea breeze coming in the window. I am here by myself, responsible for my own future, my own feelings, my own actions. I am in charge of my own life and don't I deserve the best life I can give me. I would do it for others so why not myself. I think that the Irish mammy syndrome, or the universal mammy syndrome of taking care of everything else instead of your self must change. I have worked hard and overcome my episode and now I am in the maintenance zone. I am seeking the Goldilocks zone; the place where everything is not perfect but just right.
today I had my first ever trip to ikea, it was so not what I was expecting. I had imagined swish and shiny but instead it was a bit like a giant supermarket. Dear teenage daughter was with me and initially was very unimpressed but as we wandered around she got quite interested in the many a various things there. There was so much choice that we came out with nothing. But instead I came away with something priceless as day where my daughter communicated with me for the first time in ages. She shared some of her concerns and I realised that my inability to communicate for so long has been at the forefront of my relationship problems on all levels. It is so nice to be able to communicate again and to reestablish some of the links in my family life that were missing. I was so caught up in the bad behavior that I forgot to see my beautiful child's needs and wants. As parents we are the guide in our children's lives, we are responsible for their well being, their education, to help them achieve their dreams. But what if we are too broken to see our own dreams anymore how can we be guides if we are lost ourselves. I am now beginning again on life's journey. This time I am in charge of my destination. I have two little, well maybe not so little, helpers who need me to be strong and show them that the path through life has ups and down, twists and turns and that the journey is there to be enjoyed, molehills, mountains and all.
So what now , what now again, I need a wellness programme for me and an antidote to stress. Not the hitherto unhealthy ones but some really positive ways of destressing and recognising what my triggers are. I was going to say this next part of my life will be the best yet but that is setting too high an expectation. instead I will say , each day I will do only things that contribute to my well being and my long term happiness. Each day I will take each moment as it comes, and when an unexpected moment arrives I will greet it as I will the anticipated moment. We joke in my family that my father died unexpectedly as expected. Most of his forebarers died suddenly and we did not think he would be an exception. He was as reliable in death as he was in life and died suddenly as expected. It was a shock but one he prepared us for. I wonder why I am so shocked when the bad stuff arrives in my life? Surely by now I should expect it. So I welcome the good and the bad but of course not the ugly as beauty can be found in all things