Walking on the tight rope.

Walking the tight rope

Mental health is a bitch. It is a reactive, sensitive balancing act that, for some, seems like no problem at all and for others can be a precarious tight rope walk, just waiting to fall and hoping there is a net somewhere deep below. 

I was on that tight rope for a long time. I suffered with depression for many months, if not years and I suffered from post natal depression (PND) and anxiety with maybe a bit of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) thrown in there after having my daughter. Every now and again I feel like I’m back on it, wobbling. Not very often thankfully but every now and again. Today is not one of those days but I can completely understand how someone feels up there. 

My blog name is theperfectjuggler, which, for the most part is a ‘tongue in cheek’ name but, sometimes that extra ball can be the difference between having good mental health and it all going down the pan very quickly. 

The government have, this week, said that they will be putting more funding into mental health care. Perfect timing as Monday 16 January is known as ‘Blue Monday’. The most depressing day of the year. 

They want to make workplaces more able to help and support those with mental health issues, they want schools to teach about how to maintain good mental health and for teachers to know how to be aware of children who may be developing mental health issues and how to deal with those who already have them. They are also upping the funding into mental health services for pregnant women and new mothers. All of which have been seriously lacking. I agree with this focus and hope that they actually see this initiative through. 

Ironically I have just had to tell the department I work for that I will no longer be able to lead their Wellbeing group as my own mental health was suffering. This one added responsibility which I was passionate about and enjoyed, was the ball I could no longer juggle, and before I dropped it I had to put it down voluntarily.

I know lots of people that are suffering with ‘bad’ mental health, 1 in 4 of us will suffer with a mental health issue in our life time and I just want to say, I get it. I get feeling so low that you want to hide. I get that you don’t want to talk about it. I get that sometimes, it seems like the best way for everyone would be if you weren’t around anymore. I get that you didn’t think you could cry anymore but you do and I get that some people don’t get it. 

I also get that it can get better by focusing on the good things in your life and removing some of the bad ones, by not letting yourself become insular and selfish, by helping yourself climb back up the ladder to the tightrope, even if it’s just one tiny step at a time. It can get better by seeking help, and support from professionals, from family and from friends. By developing resilience techniques like mindfulness, meditation and exercise, to use when you next have a wobble. And lastly to realise that you can’t necessarily change what happens to you but only you can change how you deal with it when it does. 

Things will get better, I promise, I’m proof that they do. 

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The only way is up..?

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Well, these last two weeks have been the hardest in a very very long time. Every time I think I’m just about coping I get another kick and, to be honest (as I should be in my blog) my optimism and ‘Joie de Vivre’ which I pride myself on, is slowly sliding away. So far it has involved the ex contesting the divorce for no reason I can understand, a male ‘best friend’ managing to hurt me in so many different ways all at once, a flat tyre, a speeding ticket, work generally and a letter from work telling me they’ve over paid me nearly £400 and that they would be taking it out of my October pay (that’s nearly a third of my take home pay!) Just to top it all off I’ve gone off wine and can’t seem to bear drinking a drop. I know!! Nightmare!!

I won’t bore you with the details but I’m pretty sure I’m at one of my lowest points in a long time – my heart is severely battered, my anger is bubbling very close to the surface all the time and my bank account is empty – more than empty actually as I’m well and truly in my overdraft. I can only presume I was a mass murderer in a previous life and am now paying for my sins. I feel like a teenager but, unlike my 15 year old self, I can’t just crawl under the covers for a few days and cry my eyes out. I have a daughter, a dog, a job, a house and my sanity that needs to keep going and be looked after. I know I’ll recover, I am resilient and I know there must be some good days soon but I wish I could just press pause and get my shit together. I can’t let my daughter see me angry at her dad or crying because I am lonely and have been let down, so I need to breathe, adjust, pour a strong G&T and move on to the next challenge that will no doubt be facing me.

Someone warned me that the first year in a separation would be the worst but two weeks into the second year and I’m not sure I believe them yet. People also have been saying that all this crap must mean I’m due for something really good and I really want to believe this!! Win
the Lottery, a Knight in shining armour, a new job? Come on fate…I’m waiting!!

Single Parent Pessimist