In the run up to the end of the school term there are so many events and things going on with baby bear at school that I feel as if I'm balanced on a knife edge, scared stiff I'll forget something as my brain is just a complete mush of madness and consternation.
Last week I lost my house and car keys for forty eight hours, only to find them outside on the wheelie bin lid on full view to every Tom, Dick or Harry car thief and burglar that might have happened past my way.
I stand for minutes on end wondering what I'm meant to be doing or even thinking. I know some of you will say this is just down to age but trust be it borders on dementia. The Fibro fog pads out my brain much like a teddy who is filled to bursting with kapok. I'm like an iPad that needs a software upgrade, slow to respond and freezing up a lot!
Worse than that though I'm constantly cross and agitated which means baby bear is having a rougher ride of things than normal as I seem to be nit picking at her over the smallest details of life. Every time I see her crest fallen little face it chips my heart a bit more. This damned illness, be it the depression or the Fibromyalgia it's got a lot to answer for, which in a world where I'm trying to learn to like myself and give myself permission to exist just leads to more self loathing which isn't at all healthy.
Mental Health is like the spiders web, and I'm the fly stuck in its clutches, struggling for freedom, panicking that I'll never be free.
I used to be confident, capable and a force to be reckoned with, yet now I'm a wreck, a mere shadow of that former self. Things that I wouldn't have blinked twice about doing in the past now cause me great angst and self doubt. The racing heart, the shortness of breath, the dizziness, the mental fog and that's before we even start discussing my swollen and seized up joints. What a sorry state of affairs to get oneself into.
The more I try and focus on what I should be doing the further away the idea seems to float, it's like when you can't remember a fact that's 'on the tip of your tongue' the harder you think the less likely you are to recall it. Well that's just life in general inside my brain these days. What's even crueller in some respects is that I still sound and look normal because I feel anything but. I feel disabled, I feel mentally challenged, I feel diminished. I think I'd need an appropriate adult if brought into custody. What a state of affairs!
I've been wondering if I had listened to myself more down the years, if I'd paid attention to the depression and anxiety instead of ignoring it, would things have gotten this bad? No probably not. Should I have spoken up sooner? Yes of course, well I kind of did but it wasn't the politically correct thing to do so I just made jokes about myself being mad.
If you're suffering you have to do something about it. I spent two years driving to work hyper ventilating and crying through the anxiety of being at work. I battled on but to what cost to my health? When you leave the police service and we all will what are you left with? Yourself and without your health you're screwed. A good friend said to me last week, 'Don't give them any more of your sanity'
'Don't give them any more of your sanity'
and she's so right. Battling on, hiding the symptoms, self medicating on booze or pills, eventually something will give and I think there would have been less damage to my health if it had been a controlled melt down as opposed to just falling flat on my face!
It's okay not to be okay
Think about that statement a while. When I first admitted to myself I had depression it felt good, it was as if a burden had been lifted. The hiding of it will only seek to let it fester. When I went back to work after my first break down two years ago I talked about it openly and although some people were very uncomfortable with that it made me feel good. In fact the less they liked it the more I shouted my mouth off! It's not a cure though, there was part of me that couldn't fathom out why it didn't bugger off once I'd acknowledged it. But accepting it does mean you can look at methods of dealing with it. Much like with addiction, the addict has to admit the problem before help can be sought. It's okay not to be okay.
Even now I've learnt about lots of self help tools I'm not going to kid you, it's a struggle. The black dog is that weighted bag around your neck whilst your swimming, dragging you down, trying to put you down. But you have to keep fighting, I need to be here for baby bear, although she deserves better than to have a broken mum.
Try not to get as far along the line as I did before admitting you need help. Hopefully the sooner you get help the lighter your weights will be.