Happiness

Three weeks ago I started on a new antidepressant (Citalopram) after being off medication completely for 4 months. The first week was horrible with side effects including sickness, dizziness, nausea, headaches and a general feeling of being a different planet. But since that first week things have started to turn a corner.

This week students in one of my re classes said “I was the happiest teacher they have ever had”. A sign of perhaps how good I am at putting on an act. In my head I thought if only you knew; last week I was contemplating suicide! It is mostly easier for me to put on an act (especially in the classroom). As I said to them “well I try to be happy in every lesson as it isn’t fair to you to bring anything in from outside”.

Yesterday though someone else remarked “your so happy today”. I had come into work and felt well. I had gone to see the lady who arranges all the cover for teachers who are off because a member of my department was off and I wanted to see who was doing her cover. She had lots of teachers off and I wanted to help her. I offered to cover a lesson for her and two registrations. My quiet day had suddenly got much busier! But it felt good.

Minutes later back in my classroom I took stock. This week hasn’t been the easiest with my husband away on a school trip and the house being in chaos as we were having new storage. But I felt happy. What was more staggering was I didn’t particularly have a weekend to look forward to; but I was still happy.

I sat there questioning what’s going on? Today I have a doctors appointment first thing -always a cause of anxiety for a doctor phobic like me. Then my husband is going away for the day and night to see a mate. Meaning I have my two gorgeous boys on my own and have little family time. This afternoon I have a play date with one of my eldest sons friends and his mum-another cause of anxiety because of peopling with someone I don’t know that well. Then Sunday when he gets home my husband will be preparing for a job interview he has so once again little family time which I love.

All of this and I was still happy. I sat there in my classroom wondering what on earth was going on? I feel positive. Happy. Level. This isn’t my normal!

Maybe just maybe the tablets are helping. I have never felt they have before in 10 years taking them on and off. Maybe just maybe this is what they are meant to feel like when they do?

I feel like I’m coping. I feel level. I feel in control. I feel like I could be affected by good, bad events or tiredness like any normal person. I’m hoping so much this is not a short term thing. I hope this is more than a day!

Keep your fingers crossed.

Positive things…

I’ve had a good couple of weeks. From the depths of depression I have once again managed to find a way out. The ladder was there. The last week has been a positive one which is nice to share.

It started with my brother in law’s wedding last Saturday. A wedding not normally an event I look forward to because of the anxiety that lots of people causes me. But I had a lovely day. I was in a positive mood going into the day which helped but it was truly relaxing and enjoyable as well.

My boys made a huge difference, they were amazing. They made me smile and laugh. Both were kings of the dance floor! Also my husband’s family are so lovely. I am truly lucky. Thankfully they get me and there is never any pressure and people just make me feel at ease.

The working week then passed without much drama. Friday turned into a bonus day off where I managed to get loads of work done, the joys of motherhood. I was mid teaching period 1 when I received a phone call from my son’s nursery requesting someone pick him up immediately because he had been ill. Hence the day of tv and me managing to mark all my year 10 mock exam papers. I felt productive. I was pleased to have got that job out of the way.

Saturday and the normal events of swimming lessons and time in the garden on a gloriously hot day were great. Just the chilling out I needed. Saturday night a date night with some friends. A lovely curry. Great company and even a newly planned holiday for 3 weeks time!

Sunday involved an hours drive to Hemel Hempstead to pick up my 97 year old nan. She has had a bug. My grandad, who is also 97, has been in hospital with it as he has to manage dialysis 3 times a week as well. Bringing her back to Bedford for a few days break staying with my mum and dad. After that job was done my husband and I enjoyed some cinema time watching the new avengers whilst my mother in law babysat. Then an hour planting in the garden with the boys=Bliss.

Bank holiday Monday and once again we have been blessed with a beautifully hot sunny day. A bbq for my mum, dad and Nan. Time in the garden with my husband and the boys. Relaxed and fun.

I wanted to share how life with depression can be positive too. It takes it toll on me a lot of the time. There is no guarantee whether tomorrow will be a low or high day. But this last week has been a good one and sometimes it is about taking the positives when you can. Even trying to hold onto them when the depression curse strikes from no where.

8 things that inspire me.

This post has once again been inspired by something I saw on another blog I recently read. On the road to recovery from depression this list is helpful to keep going in the right direction.

1. My children.

This one is pretty obvious. Each day my two boys give me energy, life and strength.

They make me laugh. Tonight it was My four year olds declaration “he doesn’t need teaching anything” when talking about learning Italian at school. His pronunciation of volcano as tolcano. Thomas’ constant mischief at the moment, dragging the plastic table and chairs in from outside because he can!

They inspire me to keep going even when I’m so low I can’t manage to do anything else. I carried them for 9 months and everyday since they have been born I have loved them with my whole soul. They are everything. They inspire me to be a better person so I can be a good example to them. They inspire me to do things out of my comfort zone because it is good for them.

2. Parents

They have given everything to me and my brothers. They are always there for us in every way. They have provided for us emotionally and financially. Even now they demonstrate such strength and

determination.

My dad has Alzheimer’s which has completely changed their lives. For my mum she has taken on everything at home. She is his carer. From being in control of all the money and bills to having to sort everything practical round the house, life has changed. Emotionally it is tough seeing the man you love fade before your eyes.

My dad despite his illness shows a determination to keep going. With my two boys you see the spark which made him the best dad and his grandchildren adore him.

3. Grandparents

My dad’s mum and dad are 96. They have been married 76 years! They have lost a son and a grandson. They married in World War Two. My grandad fought in WWII and my Nan gave birth to two children and was evacuated in the middle of the war. Today they are happy, determined and

stubborn!

My grandad is the cat with nine lives. He has dialysis for kidney failure which should have kept him going for five years (he is still here 11 years later). He is blind in one eye. He has cancer. He has had a heart attack. Recently pneumonia. Every time this is the end and then before you know it he recovers again.

My nan is as sharp as they come. She knows everything that is happening in the world. She loves her sport.

4. Husband

My rock. He inspires me to be a better person. I owe it to him to be the best I can be because he does so much for me. He works so hard for our family so we can have things we love. Or as Jacob says when you ask him why does daddy work…for trains and centre parcs.

5. Walking in nature

I get so much rest and recharge from this. It can inspire my creativity at times. Others it inspires my mind to rest or calm.

6. Music

So I grew up surrounded by music. My dad collected records and friends would constantly ask him questions about music. He knew everything and was definitely the person you wanted on your music quiz team. Sadly his illness has meant much of that is gone but it is still in me. I’m the opposite to him in the sense I have no idea who sings a certain song or what is the title but I do find music helps me. Motivation. Guidance. Support.

7. Children I teach

They inspire me in two ways. A) to be a better teacher so I can help them learn b) be a better person so I can show them the way we should treat others.

8. Sunshine

Just a bright sunny day. Whether in the crisp chill of winter, the green of spring, the warmth of summer, or the crunch of leaves in autumn. Sun makes such a difference to my mood. It gives me life. It gives me energy.

Maybe have a think about what inspires you. What gives you energy and life? What makes you strive to be a better person? It might help you look for the positives.

10 Things about Me

I recently read a blog post written by someone who’s journey with mental health inspires me (Ten things about me).

So following on from her lead I have decided to do a light hearted post about me for all, there is perhaps something for everyone; from those on twitter who know nothing about me to some of my closest friends who might not know all of these. It is just a bit of fun!

1. I absolutely love football. Having two older brothers who used to play it with me and talk about it all the time had a big impact here. I don’t admit it much to many men because I always think they are laughing inside and believe I really know nothing. But I check sky sports news on my phone at least 6 times a day and certainly before and more often than I check the news. I always read the sport pages of the newspaper first. I follow deadline day, football focus and match of the day religiously. If football is on tv I watch it and my husband goes upstairs (he hates football). I also love football computer games. Football manager is my favourite but I don’t have time for it now.

2. I was born in Reading. We lived in Newbury. We moved to Bedford just after my fourth birthday.

3. My favourite colour is blue! The sky and the sea are often blue how could I not like this best when I love looking at them.

4. My favourite food is hands down chocolate. My favourite meal is very hard! I love Indian, Chinese and dominos pizza is a takeaway favourite here. But more than anything I love my husbands freshly cooked carbonara with no cream in sight!

5. My least favourite body part are my breasts. People have often told me they would do anything for some my size. But they hurt my back, effect my exercise and make clothes very difficult to buy. If I could afford a reduction I would have one immediately

6. My husband and I met aged 13. We both went to the same school. We were friends. He said he first fancied me at the year 11 prom! In sixth form he asked me out 3 times and I turned him down each time. We were friends through uni but lost touch for a while after that. Aged 27 he started at the school I was working at (which happens to be the school we went to and first met aged 13). After 4 months of working together I asked him out this time. He said yes. 6 months later he proposed to me on the way to the year 11 prom we were attending as teachers. A year later we were married. A true love story.

7. My favourite place I have visited. Two places tied. I did them on the same holiday in 2010. Niagra falls. Just a stunning part of God’s creation. Washington DC for me I was most struck my the war memorials and famous sites.

8. I used to want to be a sports presenter on TV. Seemed the best job in the world. Visiting sports events that I love would be amazing.

9. My most treasured possession. My teddy Bromous. He was brought for me by my auntie pat for my second birthday. Until alan I used to sleep with him every night. He has shared everything with me and been cried on many a time.

10. My biggest achievement to date. There are many education things I am proud of. My gcse’s staggered me at the time: 6a*’s and 5a’s. My first class degree and distinction for my masters are great. But for me my biggest achievement is my two boys. They will always be what I am most proud of.

A-z of what makes me happy.

I recently was reading stronger together's blog post stating the a-z of what makes her happy and I thought I would do the same https://strongertogeth1.wordpress.com/.

Depression sometimes means you fail to see the happiness around you. It is like the black dog is sitting on top of your face blinding your eyes from all the happy times. So it is good to remind yourself of the glimmers of light in your world.

A = Alan! My husband he had to be on this list. He is my rock, my inspiration, my everything. He is the only person who sees the true Becky. He is the only person in the world I feel 100% comfortable with.

B = beach. I love being by the seaside. I love walking along the beach. I can remember times where my friend Liz and I have played on the beach (in our twenties) as some of my best moments.

C = chocolate. I've never been a drinker, I can happily be the designated driver which my husband loves, but chocolate I have a real soft spot for.

D = dogs. I have never owned a dog but my mum and dad's closest and oldest friends always have. I grew up going on holidays with the dog, looking after the dog. Man's best friend is certainly true for me. My favourite are golden retrievers; poppy was my best friend.

E = education. It's been my passion always. When at school I loved it. Now as a teacher I love it. Enough said.

F = family time. I love being with my family. Spending time together. This morning my boys were chasing each other round in circles in and out of the house. It was so special hearing their giggles, sharing their joy.

G = garden. My safe haven. 84ft of it. I just sit in it and feel my self chill. I'm also proud of it as it's coming on slowly even though both alan and I are not gardeners.

H = headspace. My last post was about the need for it. It is so true I would collapse without it. I need time for my head to process the mess that is inside it.

I = ice cream. Chocolate in particular. My current favourite Tesco finest. I recommend trying it!

J = Jacob. My eldest son. Nearly 4 (I can't believe it). The most sensitive soul in the world (just like his mother). But also the kindest. Such a good reader of feelings and emotions. So empathetic.

K = kitchen. Only recently we tore off the old tile on a roll wallpaper. Our great friend Mike plastered it. Alan painted it. My mum and dad helped clean it and suddenly it is a pleasant space to sit in. It was worth the effort.

L = lie ins. Bit of a sucker for these I'm afraid. They have to be shared with alan now as someone has to get up with the boys but I do love a good lie in and it can set me off on a good way for the day.

M = Manchester United. My team. I am obsessed. It's all Dominic Rentle's fault. My dad and one brother support Tottenham and so did I until spending every holiday with the Rentle's meant I was indoctrinated into Man U worship. I wouldn't change it for the world!

N = Netflix. Truly this has been my life line over the past few months. When I was off work, I was so ill I couldn't bring myself to do anything. Bed was my haven. Netflix took me into a different world. My best was watching the series that just transported me out of the real world for a little while. Watched so many but 12 monkeys from Netflix and handmaids tale from channel 4 have been my recent favourites.

O = organisation. I like to have everything planned out. It makes me calmer and less stressed.

P = parents. This is my mum and dad and my mother in law. They are very important in my life. I love seeing my children playing with them. They also give me time to myself by having my children when I need some space.

Q = quiet time. Shhhhh.

R = running. To be honest I don't enjoy this but it does make me feel better. Recently I have been running with a friend and colleague and it makes it much easier and a little more enjoyable.

S = sunshine. There is something about the summer and sunshine that makes me happy. I love being out in the garden and a bit of sunshine helps with that. The warmth of the sun, the paddling pool out with my boys playing …great combinations.

T = Thomas. My youngest son. The cheeky chap he is. He is such a monkey. Complete opposite to my eldest.

U = underwear. (New) nothing like a new pair of pants or bra!

V = visiting friends. I love catching up with friends. Especially when they understand my depression and care for me.

W = workmates (some current and some of the past). It is so important to have people you work with who you get on with. Otherwise work can be isolating and stressful. Lighthearted relief with workmates helps!

X = xxxx (kisses). Who doesn't need these! Husband kisses. Jacob peck kisses. Thomas open mouthed kisses.

Y = Yorkshire puddings. Nothing quite like one. My favourite part of a Sunday lunch. Covered in gravy helps.

Z = zoo. Love my days out with my family at the zoo. Whipsnade and London zoo have been a regular location for family trips over the past few years.

I have enjoyed writing this post! W should have been writing as well. It has become a bit of a life line recently. Sat writing this list in lister hospital waiting to see my 96 year old grandad. He inspires me everyday! Thanks to my husband and mother in law for helping with a few suggestions!