Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A Year On



Yesterday I realised it was a year ago to the day that I returned to work after a three month bout of depression and anxiety .  It wasn't all bad.  It taught me extremely valuable lessons, most importantly around how to demonstrate greater compassion towards others. That would have been hard to learn by any other means.  As I'm a paranoid, whinny arse when I'm ill  it's easier to accept and forgive others when they are acting in ways that would not dream of doing if they were well. Sure I see extreme examples of this all the time because I work with people with the most severe mental health problems.  But maybe the penny hadn't dropped when it came to my personal life

I also discovered that I wasn't invincible.  I didn't know that.  Each human being has a limit to what they can bear.  My threshold for stress is set very high but there was still a breaking point. Consequently I'm careful of what  I take on these days and I don't beat myself up when I need to rest.

And it's important for me to do everything possible to stay well, not just for my own sake but for Louis'.   For me being ill affected him enormously.   I could barely look after myself let alone a child as well.  Thank goodness that my co-parenting arrangements meant that I was able to take time out.  It must be almost impossible if you're a single parent coping with mental illness alone. Here's a little video that I've seen a couple of times in recent months, most recently on a safeguarding course last week.   I wish I'd know about it when I was poorly as I think it would have been helpful to share with Lou.


8 comments:

  1. It's a very good video and really struck a chord. I've got three boys (19,18 and 5) and over the last few years have battled severe depression and anxiety. Although my worst period was over two years ago, it's only in the last six months after coming off anti-depressants that I feel that I truly am 'back'. When you're in the thick of it, it's hard to appreciate the impact on those around you, and although I tried to shield my boys from the worst of it, it's certainly had an impact on them. Listening to the children in this video actually made me cry; it was the realisation that they were speaking so maturely about these issues and what they had been through. Definite food for thought. xx

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    1. This video was made on behalf of the trust where I worked. Apparently there was the same reaction from the children who made it who were proud and their parents who found it upsetting.

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    2. The children should definitely be proud. I think the upset comes from realising how your illness has impacted on them, and that albeit unwittingly, your children have had to face and deal with things that they shouldn't have had to. I guess it's a guilt thing, which then also feeds into feeling shame that you have a mental illness. I definitely feel more aware of what I need to do / can do to try and stop myself sliding back again, as I don't want to put my boys through that again. Xx

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    3. Thanks for your thoughts. I wonder if we should remember to cut ourselves some slack. Even though we can do everything possible to prevent becoming unwell we can't always help it. We can't shield our children from everything. Like us they learn resilience from the bad times. xx

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  2. What a moving video and what mature children. I applaud them.

    When I was a sufferer my daughter was too young to understand and my husband was as much use as a chocolate teapot; I did pull through, eventually.

    Well done you! xx

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    1. It's very hard for others to understand sometimes. That walking in another person's shoes takes lots of insight and practice. xx

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  3. Excellent piece of work-thanks for showing it. Day 2 of my course tomorrow and the gocus is depression and anxiety. Catriona

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    1. Hope you found it useful and applicable to daily life. Take care. xx

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