This will be a quick one. I almost didn’t write – again. I have been struggling lately and never know how much to share in this space, what to keep private and where the line or need is. What’s whinging? What’s helpful? What’s what?
I have a pretty good life. I have two amazing daughters and a husband who has been by my side for almost 18 years. And yet I struggle – too often (at least as defined by me as “too” often).
I have many great and amazing things going on in my life right now – great friends, paid work which is exciting, an upcoming overseas trip to my home, but amongst the other negative things good things can also be too much.
My health has been driving me insane and I am over it all.
My stress levels are high even when I work at letting go, creating tons of breathing room and practicing self care. My mind never stops, worries creep in, jumbles of thoughts tire me out.
The final straw was the realisation that although I was holding my head above water and doing “okay” it was not sustainable. I asked my husband if he had to work hard at daily living? He said no – of course he did, most people just live – they do not work at being alive every day and keeping their head above the water line. It is exhausting and the sheer effort of trying to be okay takes any of the magic out of life. A person can only tread water for so long before their legs give out.
I use gratitude and focus on the small things – they keep me going, but as I said I work at it – it does not come naturally these days.
I don’t want to have to work at living- I want to live and feel the magic and breathe with ease and not effort.
I am grateful I have previous experiences that let me now know what it feels like to walk the line and wonder if you are going to crack.
I am grateful that when I talked over how I was feeling with a few trusted people I received support that let me finally say I need help again.
I am grateful I have a doctor who does not think it is crazy to make a pre-emptive move and go back on medication rather than wait for the slight cracks to fully rip me in half.
I don’t want to be on the holiday of my dreams and crack open.
I don’t want to hold my breath hoping to get through months of my life in one piece – knowing all the while that I was using every bit of energy just to do that.
I choose to reach for the magic however that has to happen and I am grateful that I finally got past my fear of admitting I was taking backward steps for a moment and grateful I have been told it is not backwards at all.*
Find your simple,
Edited to add: I wrote a follow up post a few days later about the validity of all pain – instead of downplaying (or downgrading) your difficulties because they are not as bad as someone else’s (or as bad as they can get) allow yourself to seek support and understanding or simply give yourself a break.
* I shared my return to medication (today is day 3) because over the years I have spoken with so many PND survivors who battle this choice all the time. When you have been off medication for a long time it can be gut wrenching to decide to return to meds. I only briefly hesitated going on meds when I had severe PND, but when things are not at breaking point you are left always feeling tomorrow will be the day you declare you are ok. Whether this is a temporary return or long term need it was the right step for me right now. If you are struggling and need help please don’t ever judge yourself as failing or weak or any other bad thing we tell ourselves while we use every ounce of strength to keep going.
Image credit: by flickr user Gerry T