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.