Today was the first day in over a week I got up and actually got stuck in on some housework. I'd overslept. Again. Not so much tired, as unwilling to face the world just yet. A feeling compounded by my little pickle having snuck in during night, her tiny arms wrapped around my neck and tiny face muzzled in my chest made the prospect of getting up that much less appealing. Add to that fact, I knew exactly what was waiting for me when I threw off that duvet. Pots and pans left to "soak" for a week, laundry piles so high it was questionable if I even have clean pants in the drawer, and a general swirl of clutter, both as a result of, and a reminder that I have been feeling less than great lately. I haven't been feeling on top of the world for a few months in fact, but this last week or so has seen a clear and undeniable decline in my wellness. It always starts the same; a general feeling of tiredness or fatigue. That in itself leads to a development in procrastination. As the to do list grows, so does my sense of avoidance. The avoidance allows the piles of washing up and laundry to grow, only driving my feelings of failure and hopelessness to a more resolute position in my mind. The feeling of hopelessness whirling around in my head, draining me of my energy, creates more of the same fatigue that brought me here.
I know all the things I should be doing. And some of them I am. But with varying degrees of success. Most of the time I feel like I have made progress in the last few months, but progress isn't the same as across the finish line. Something I am reminded of every time I speak to my GP and I just disperse into a flood of tears I didn't know I'd been holding back. How the simple question of "how are you doing?" from someone I can't afford to play it down to just shatters the thinly applied veil I hide behind every day.
It's not just the tar-wading sensation of fighting my depression I live against. Endlessly mounting pressure caused by the millions of questions and self doubts, falling over each other to gain my focus. The rising panic that can come from almost nowhere, just the glimmer of one thought embedding itself like a parasite sucking at my calm and balance.
By no means is my life awful. I have a beautiful daughter whose smile lights up any room and laughter bubbles up from the bottom and warms you through. But my constant fear of failing her as a mother overwhelms me at times. We have a home, albeit one I struggle to maintain to the standards I'd like. That in itself is a catch 22 bound by my emotions. I lay awake at night questioning if the choices I make for us as a family really are what's best for us or whats best for me. Knowing in hindsight that I probably went back to work too soon, focused on what I thought I needed, rather than what we needed as a family. My craving for adult interaction lead me to rush, what I thought was towards a good change, but was actually away from an important opportunity to spend time and focus on the growth and development of our mother to daughter relationship. Something that, since realising, I have worked nose to the grindstone to make up for, that still weighs heavily on me—makes me question myself again and again.
My guilt at falling behind at basic household chores, having to rush making lunches in the morning where I didn't muster the impetus to get it done the night before, it both hinders, but in some ways motivates, me to do better. To keep trying. To keep wading through that tar, shaking off that self doubt that my trying wont be enough.
This week is mental health awareness week. I'm sure I will see plenty of posts in support of those of us that struggle. Kind words that we all need to talk more about, and open up the conversation—and its all very nice. But what I need, what I think plenty of others really need, is the other truth. I need to see and read other peoples' stories. I need to see the cold, hard truths behind other peoples' struggles and suffering. Experiences and challenges I can find common themes and emotions in. To really know I am not the only one. To really feel like the conversation is open. So this was my shitty week, one of many had, and many to come. All that know me already know my door is always open, happy to make a brew, an open ear always to be found. But this is the reason they can come to me. Maybe this is why I can understand. Time to spill the Tea.