Absolute hate

Right now that’s how I feel,

Feel about myself now,

This emotion is boiling,

Bubbling up inside me.

I feel very inadequate,

Words and looks from others,

Increase the guilt and pain,

Made to feel bad about all.

My children playing up,

My fault, I hate myself,

Problems with my work

My fault, I hate myself.

Worst daughter in the world,

Worst mother in the world,

Worst wife that there could be,

Worst friend that there could be.

The depression talking,

The illness playing games,

Hatred dangerously high,

Feeling out of control.

Trying to cling to me,

Being close to my husband,

His relentless love helps,

Thank you for loving me.

A good day but still poorly.

One good day can feel amazing! It can be so refreshing to be feeling happy and content with how the day went. It doesn’t mean that my depression has disappeared though. Today I just held it together better. Today lots of positives made life feel better.

Today has been rewarding for the head. I have taught lessons where I feel like I made a difference. With my year 13’s they seem to be enjoying the topic on the ethics in Luke’s gospel as much as I love teaching it. With my year 11’s it was a real pleasure to welcome to my lesson an assistant head who is Jewish and was willing to answer all my students questions about her faith. They loved her openness and honesty. They were engaged and respectful.

I was busy today. Productive. In fact I didn’t have any lunch because I was so caught up in jobs. But that’s ok because I felt like I got a lot done. A colleague of my leaves for maternity leave today and I sorted all the cover for her lessons th rat if this week.

Today I also supported a very angry and distressed student. After being asked to leave a colleagues classroom he became very angry and upset at the same time. The boy is only 11 and quite clearly very young and not in control of all his emotions. Half an hour later after a good chat outside on a bench we had resolved the issue. I had calmed him down and succeeded in exploring with him what had happened.

Today also involved two productive meetings with different bosses. I felt like I had managed to articulate myself quite well. I believed I got across my concerns and made progress with future decisions.

Finally I managed to talk myself into a run. Something I hate doing. I even invited along a colleague who is really struggling at work at the moment. It turned into more of a walk and run but I know it enabled her to vent and get things out in the open.

Tonight I’m exhausted. Happy. Content. Proud of my day. BUT underneath all of that is the depression bubbling. Bursting through the seems.

Some people think you can’t be happy when you have depression. Some people think you can’t have a good hour or good day. They are wrong. Depression isn’t sadness. It is a deep emptiness or abyss. It is like living in a black hole. But there can still be glimmers of light.

Today was a glimmer.

A shout out to good friends!

Yes I’m pretty low again at the moment. It always amazes me how some friends are so good at times like this. My mind tells me I’m worthless, everyone hates me, no one wants to know me so it surprises me when some rally around.

I wanted to do a positive post even though I’m feeling poorly. I want to say thank you to some friends. I won’t mention any names here, but I know my friends will know who they are when they read it. In no particular order:

Friend a: I might not have known you long, but I feel you understand me well. You are very kind and good at listening. Your hugs are amazing and alway lift my spirits. Our boys love to play together and I hope theirs and our friendship lasts for years to come.

Friend b: you have always said you don’t know much about depression. You always claim you don’t know what to say. You took the time to read my book to help you understand. Let me say you are amazing. The little texts show you care. The fact you are another teacher means you understand the pressures schools can be.

Friend c: over the last year you have been there through everything. Your late night chats have saved me from suicidal thoughts. At the moment I know you are struggling too. I wish I could help you like you helped me. I know things are tough in your life right now. I will always be there for you whatever.

Friend d: you sparked this post. Today you made an amazing difference. I always push you away when I’m poorly. But you are relentless (and annoying lol). You never fail to be there for me. You have seen me at my worst, been there at my lowest ever point. You probably understand my depression better than anyone as you suffer the same. I know I have helped you in the past but the friendship feels a little one sided right now. I’m sorry about that. Having worked at the same school at me in the past you have a good understanding of people and issues. It helps to rant to you. But most importantly your advice today was spot on, I just wish I had the courage to do it!

Friend e: finally this isn’t one person in particular but the collective! There are too many to mention them individually. But these are all those who listen, take time to support me, send me words of encouragement. I appreciate it all. It makes a massive difference. From the Facebook message from France to the what’s app message from a colleague to make me laugh.

Sometimes there is a lot of negativity around the support for mental health. I do feel it is lacking in many areas, that is a post for another day. But I want to recognise that many of us do have great support from friends and family and without them we wouldn’t be here, or we wouldn’t be coping half as well as we do. Thank you.

A day in the life of a mum with depression

It started pretty normally…being woken at 6:30am by my 2 year old son shouting poo poo- this means he has done multiple wees and his nappy is full.

I woke with dread because a man was coming to clean our oven this afternoon. My husband had arranged it. I hate people in my house and i was dreading it.

Walking my eldest to school and the day seem to be taking a very familiar almost mundane line. The normality of it all was quite refreshing. When I am feeling so poorly at the moment it is easier to drift not having to think too much.

My back was sore and aching. It’s pain was weird it was making me feel sick. This isn’t the first time my back deteriorates as the stress and depression worsen.

Normality continued : Tesco’s, washing, cleaning, tidying. The jobs that just ensure the house keeps ticking over. After lunch my mum came to look after Thomas whilst I went for some blood tests.

Well here it all went a little pear shaped. They always struggled to get blood out of me! I think it now causes me to get worked up prior to going in! It took 4 attempts for them to succeed this time. I was so embarrassed because after the 2nd attempt I came over all faint and sick. I hate being made a fuss of.

When I arrived home the man had arrived to clean the oven. My mum mouthed to me he is a little weird. He certainly was and loved to talk. I was thankful though as I had to go out soon to pick up my eldest from school, surely he would nearly be done by the time I got back.

No when I got back he was still going! My mum kept texting me asking me if he was gone. I kept saying think he is going to be sleeping here tonight. The amount of small talk I had to make was impossible. The anxiety levels were through the roof.

At 6:25pm he finally left the building! 4 and a half hours he had been on the job. Yes my oven is spotless. It is shining. It is sparkling. But seriously!

This meant everything in our house was delayed. My husband out at a parents evening. Me left feeling stressed about the time and getting the boys bathed and put to bed.

I snapped at my two boys as their own tiredness meant they had no patience for each other. And now I feel like I have run a marathon when in fact I have done hardly anything today. I am exhausted from the anxiety. I am exhausted from the adrenaline. I am exhausted of today.

p.s. I forgot on the way home from school my 4 year old declared he wanted to be Gordon (the tank engine) for number day at school tmrw. Hence the major adhoc craft process after school tonight (see image)

What’s going on in my head?

I’ve been very distant recently. Distant from family. Distant from friends. Distant from colleagues. Distant from my blog. I’ve been living in my own bubble of depression.

Things have got really bad the last few weeks. Progressively worse. Going downhill. Whatever you like to call it.

For the first time in quite a while work seems to be the trigger. There is an awful lot going on. It’s a stressful time of year what with exams for the students coming up. But it is more than that.

Essentially work becomes the problem when I feel like I’m not doing a good enough job. As soon as I feel questioned. As soon as I have to justify myself. As soon as relationships become strained. As soon as there are problems that can’t be solved.

One of the problem areas for me at the moment is exam results driven. Personally I have/am doing everything in my power to help the students achieve the top grades. For many reasons my department is struggling to meet their targets at the moment. I feel judged. I feel inadequate. I feel like leaders want more.

There is no more I can do! Revision every night. Intervention sessions at lunchtimes. Revision materials. Carefully planned lessons. Contact with parents. Practise questions. Additional mock exams.I even wrote a whole 150 page revision guide myself!

Yet I feel seriously under appreciated. I feel like I am expected to do more. I feel like there are so many factors out of my control that no one is prepared to accept.

Last year when I was off work for 6months I promised myself I wouldn’t start thinking like this again. I promised myself that I would keep doing my best and not care what anyone else thought. I promised myself I wouldn’t care about being judged for what is out of my control.

But it’s hard when judgement seems to have become a part of the main stay in many schools. It’s hard when my whole personality is about pleasing people. About making others happy. About doing my best.

It’s catch 22. I feel like I’m completely stuck in an endless loop. I try my best but my best just isn’t good enough.

So yes work is a major factor of what is going on in my head. This week:

  • I can’t sleep
  • When I do sleep I have anxiety led dreams which mean I wake up panicked
  • The self harm is out of control
  • The suicidal thoughts are back
  • The isolating myself is a problem
  • The deep self loathing is there
  • There is a lack of energy
  • There is over eating
  • I can’t concentrate for long
  • I lack enthusiasm or energy
  • I’m snappy and rude.

What’s going on in my head?