Yesterday I did just that, and although it’s not gone completely, I am stronger each day and giving anxiety (and a possible ongoing battle with depression) a run for its money.
Isn’t it funny how the universe works? One minute you’re walking down a dark passage and then suddenly a door opens and the light floods in. Do you pass the door grateful for the temporary warmth and light or do you go through the door, not quite sure what’s on the other side?
Where am I now? I’m sitting on the floor cross-legged facing toward the door, I’ve got a smile on my face, a sense of calm and hope in my heart.
My darling Grandpa passed away very recently, his funeral is next week. He was the perfect Grandpa, I’ve spent literally hours and hours listening to him recounting stories from his youth and years in the police force. It wasn’t until the very end that he’d repeat himself up until then his mind and memories had been so strong. He was strong. Not once did he moan about his cancer or wallow in self-pity. He always asked how everyone else was and listened intently, adding to his database-like memory. He has left a huge hole in my life and I miss him dearly.
The dark corridor
I knew where I was headed, I’ve been there before. This time I was exhausted, mentally drained, so getting there was quicker than I’d anticipated, I had no time to claw at the walls to prevent me from entering too far.
Each day dragged, chores piled up, dogs went without walks, the outside world looked scarier than before and when out of the house my entire body ached to be home again. I slept, my God did I sleep, up to 15hrs a day if I could. Mealtimes ceased to exist; children helped themselves, uniforms left unwashed. I’d wear the same thing for days and didn’t hold a hairbrush for longer. Brushing teeth was too strenuous and mirrors were avoided.
These were the days following the 30th September, that was two weeks today, I’ve sunk possibly deeper than I ever have and yet here I am writing with a renewed strength and positivity.
The open door
I’ve had lots of kind words of comfort, offers to meet up for coffee and chats, friends who have checked in on a regular basis. I love you all to bits and am so grateful and pleased I have you in my life.
But there’s one thing that someone said that’s resonated with me, here’s the mad thing, it was three simple words
Just be happy
I kid you not; just be happy.
The universe reached out and hugged me just when I needed it and delivered me three words.
Can I just take a moment here, if you are in the dark corridor or down that cold well or whatever images your struggling mental health conjures? You could be thinking one of two things right now.
You may be feeling a little spark of hope too at reading this, you may feel unsure about what it means or what to do with it. If you do feel a spark make a list; every little thing that makes you happy. I’ll give you a few examples; the smell of cheese on toast, a vase of flowers, bare feet on a fluffy rug, a long hot bath. Think of those things and notice more each day. Just be happy in those moments and the happiness will grow.
You might also be thinking ‘what is Rebecca talking about’, trivialising people struggling with mental health issues and spouting some crap about three words; THREE BLOODY WORDS. What exactly does ‘just be happy’ mean anyway, if I could do that don’t you think I would be right now, as if I have a choice, I didn’t choose this, it chose me…
…If the latter is you then I worry for you, please, please talk to someone. Has someone offered to pop over for a cuppa recently? Did a friend suggest meeting at your old favourite café? Did someone offer to do your shopping or take the kids to school? This person is a listener let them listen. Have your ‘escape plan’ ready; you know the one, ‘Oh! I forgot to do this’ or ‘that was a text about a delivery’. But if you’ve got yourself a listener and you’ve made that first step to talk, I’m pretty confident you won’t need to escape, you will talk and talk and talk. And that is the biggest step but you DID it.
Going through the door
I’m happy just being here at the moment smiling with the daylight on my face, I don’t care if it’s raining, I love to walk in the rain. I have a few hurdles over the next two weeks, one being the funeral but before that a small operation for me. Once that is done and dusted and everyone’s happy with the results I’ll be ready to walk through the door. I’m already taking notice and enjoying the littlest of things, my footsteps are lighter, I feel taller and I feel more energised.
Please feel free to comment below or email me if you need to talk firstname.lastname@example.org