Constant failure

Why do small little words bury so deep? Why do good intentioned thoughts and wishes affect me negatively? How can something so meaningless make me double over with depression?

“I hope 2019 is a good one for you! Positive things coming your way.”

“Are you feeling better?”

Two completely innocent statements! The first I felt a real love and good will from the person. I felt like they really cared. The second again from someone who I know loves and cares for me, just willing me to be well.

What does my brain do? Twist them and make me feel like a failure. For both I end up feeling why do these people have to KEEP asking? Why do they have to wish me well?

The reason is because I’m continually letting them down. Over and over I am a failure at my life. How must it feel to be my friend? How must it feel to be a family member? When consistently I’m not well or I’m up and down like a yo-yo.!

My mind then makes it worse. Do they think I’m making this all up? Do they think I’m seeking their attention? Do they think I like the limelight? Do they think I’m a waste of space because I can’t get well.

Then I start to plan how I am going to increase the efforts to be well and put on a front. Then I am going to try harder to not let them see what is happening inside.

This in turn makes it worse. I spend even longer internalising the feelings than normal. The self harm triples. The isolating behaviour increases. The sense of failure intensifies.

So what’s the answer? Please don’t read this and think you shouldn’t ask how I am or wish me well. Please don’t stop. My rational brain is still in there some where feeling good that people care.

The problem is I have to live with this illness. Most of the time I have it in control enough to function which I have to be grateful for, as many don’t. I have a loving family, great friends and a good job.

The honest answer is I haven’t recovered from my horrific depressive episode 2 years ago. I have in the sense I’m coping and functioning, but inside it’s still messed up. I will keep working on it. Please don’t give up on me.

The best colleagues for the mentally unwell.

Exhausted. I’m writing this in my bed (at 8pm). Shattered. Very much due to my 2 year old being up intermittently for 3 hours last night for no other reason than he is an utter scamp! Oh why can’t he be a good sleeper like his older brother?

In between the various get ups for “Mummy where’s my water?” “Mummy my cover!” “Mummy dog dog gone!” “Mummy I have a cough” … you get the jist, my mind raced. Everything screamed at me, you can’t teach, you are a bad mother, your husband hates you etc. I cried and cried. In the middle of the night I was so convinced that I couldn’t go to work today.

Awoke at 6:15am my mind was still at war. On days like this it is literally like I fight a battle all before 7am. On days like this it is desperately bad. Having a voice constantly tell you how awful you are in every way and you can’t possibly teach is like a 6ft wall to climb before breakfast.

So I text my friends in my department. My job share and one other. I explain that today is a truly horrendous day and I’m battling to get in but just giving them the heads up that no way am I great at the moment. I explain to them it’s my impending guilt and feeling bad for the students that is driving me into work kicking and screaming.

At this point I should explain. Things still aren’t great at the moment. They seem to have come to a head the last few days and I’m very snappy and wobbly. I know some including my husband would be advocating a visit to the doctor and a return to the antidepressants but hold your horses!

Yes I’m struggling but in a weird way I’m ok with the emotions that seem to be much more freer than normal. This is a general problem for me and something I still see the counsellor for so I’m kind of trying to roll with it.

I’m incredibly anxious, which I’m actually learning is the start of the problems and seems to bring on the depression not the other way around which I had always thought. Some current concerns:

  • Mum worry is through the roof. All I want is for my children to be happy but it seems to be such a daily, weekly, monthly battle with so many external pressures to ensure that happens.
  • News about a friend and her career choice brought me into floods of tears and has rocked me in so many unexpected ways.
  • Constant emotion connected with my dad’s Alzheimer’s and the pressures on my whole family.

So back to my colleagues. By the time I had got to school one had offered to teach my year 13’s period 5 so I could go home and get some rest. The other was straight in to check how I was.

By lunchtime I had taught 4 lessons which I had handled fine and generally gone well (I have this ability to teach well even when I am extremely unwell- most would never notice). Inside I still felt like I was being torn apart and the negative voice was still on full blast. But knowing I had got this far I was determined to keep going.

In the staffroom at lunchtime another colleague asking how I was got a perhaps unexpected honest response “I’m not great at the moment”, “what’s up?”, my response was to point to my mucked yo head! She immediately offered to have my children sometime if I needed the space and proceeded to give me her telephone number.

The original colleagues offered to collect my student who was in after school detention and let him work with them so that I could go home straight at the end of the day to get a little bit of a rest.

They also reassured me that I wasn’t a failure or a let down. They said I could have been puking and then I wouldn’t have been apologising I would have just gone and mental health is no different.

The rest never quite happened as a petrol pump incident and a poorly, over tired two year old conspired against me but at least I was in my pyjamas earlier than I would have been!

Thanks for caring. Thanks for making a huge difference to my day. Thanks for understanding that I live with a mental illness and it’s just as valid as a physical illness.

What a liar.

Last night my mental health hit rock bottom again. I feel so upset with myself. I keep going backwards.

The problem is I don’t think I have ever got over what caused it to first rear its head 8 years ago. Part of the breakthrough I had with my counsellor on Friday showed me that I have actually been ill for an awfully long time. Yes I managed to push it to the back of my mind for 7 years whilst I found my husband, got married and had my children but really it was still there. Hidden under the surface.

Today I have hidden this anguish and pain. I have hidden how poorly I feel. I have hidden the desperation. I have hidden the wish to give up. Many times I have been asked “how are you” and each I have lied “good thanks”. I’m sorry for lying to you. I’m sorry for not being honest and open.

I have got on with my job today despite not wanting to go on anymore. I have held meetings. I have taught classes. I have even volunteered and done extra duties to help out a colleague.

I’ve done all this without showing anyone how I really feel. A burden. A failure. Absolutely exhausted. The depression absolutely overcoming my soul.

Why I’ve been hiding…

Blogging has been taking more and more of a smaller role in my life recently. There are many reasons for this but perhaps the main one is I’m hiding. But more of that later.

Firstly, football manager has come into my life again. A game from my childhood; I used to play it on my pc years ago! I recently downloaded the latest version on my iPhone and I’m hooked.

Yes I know I’m a girl but I love football (I keep it well hidden from some). Well anyone who is a fan of the game will know how addictive it can be. I have take Crewe from league 2 to the premiership, won the fa cup with them and I’m also now managing France.

Ok so many of you have switched off now. Boring. But in reality, just like Netflix also works for me in the same way, it has been my way of drifting off into a different world. Forgetting how I feel. Moving on from the emotions riddling through my brain. It’s a great escape.

Secondly then is the hiding going on behind the lack of the blog posts. Over the past few weeks I have been struggling to write because I am scared of being truthful with others.

More than anything I don’t want people to know how in really feeling. I don’t want to let my husband down. I don’t want my friends to think “not again, is she ever going to be over this?”. I also know friends who want me to see the gp are perhaps right but I’m happy in my denial of it all phase!

The problem is I’m so pleased my husband shared my blog with family and friends but now it becomes more scary when I write a post. My writing comes from my heart. My writing is full of honesty. My writing is who I am. But ask yourself this how many of you pour your soul onto paper? Out of those how many of you share it with people who know you? I do but sometimes it is hard to cope with.

When you feel like a failure every day of your life it’s so hard to open up and share that with people that see you. With people that know you. With people that see me coping. To tell them it’s all a lie or a front is very difficult. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to be a failure. I don’t want the depression to win. I’m sorry.

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?

A troubled past

Last week was half term. This meant a week off school (work) for myself and my husband and a week off school and nursery for my two children. What a wonderfully happy week it was in so many ways. Great family time including visits to soft play, lunch with my parents, time with friends and also some quality couple time for me and my husband.

We all really needed the break. Exhaustion and illness had certainly made life at home a challenge over the past few weeks. Everyone was tired, stressed, and very very grumpy.

The holiday gave us all space. Time to just be. To chill. To relax and take stock of the last few weeks. Within a few days everyone seemed to be more relaxed. There was certainly less stroppy behaviour from my children and the adults were more reasonable as well!

But by the end of the week I realised despite enjoying myself and having a very happy week I was still struggling with the depression. I realised that deep under the surface the total hatred of myself is still very much alive.

So I started to think about why. I began to question the feelings. Why within me is this deep well of hate? Why do I feel so poorly? Why do I self harm every day? Why do I question my every judgment? Why do I think about suicide?

It made me think even more about why i have these feelings. It made me explore more into my past. With my counsellor I have spoken about some events that have clearly impacted on me but there are other things that I have never discussed with a soul. Last week has made me realise I might need to open this very difficult door if I am going to heal.

So Friday in my counselling session I broached the subject. It was extremely tough and I only scratched the surface. I haven’t even opened up about all of it yet! I also feel like my memory of events are a blur. I feel like I have blocked so much away. I feel like it has truly affected who I am.

My counsellor said how proud she was of me for sharing. She explained what a long journey it will be. She reassured me she will always be there to listen and help me through it.

Many have a troubled past. Many have it much worse than mine. Many have things that affect their present. I hope to start to overcome mine so I can stop hating myself.

Being a mum with depression

Illness illness everywhere,

Coughs and colds and virus’

Sick bugs, fevers they all are striking,

Making my children too stroppy for my liking.

Is it me? Am I the cause of their behaviour?

Is it me? Have I led them down the wrong path?

Is it me? Am I such a bad mother?

Is it me? Would they be better off with another?

Every evening my house has felt like a battleground,

It’s hard to keep calm when we are all so tired and uptight,

The depression means I lack as much patience as usual

The depression means blaming myself is completely normal.

I’m longing for spring and the warmth it brings,

I’m longing for spring and the end of the illnesses.

I’m longing for the depression to disappear

I’m longing for strength to come near.

Next week is half term a break from work,

Next week my eldest son can have time off school to regroup,

Next week is a chance to have some family time

Next week let’s hope the depression is last in line.

Please not again

I feel like I’m sinking. There are still glimmers of light, but they feel small and difficult to hold onto. At work I actually seem to be coping ok. Still enjoying the job. Mainly thriving with the pressure and stress.

Outside my world is seriously falling apart. My poor husband. Tonight all I have done is snapped at him. Tonight all I have done has made him feel useless. Tonight all I have done is boss him around. I feel so horrendously guilty for how I have been treating him.

I can’t really explain what is going on. I don’t really understand why this is happening. All I can say is I feel incredibly unwell again.

Today has been very difficult. Being at home with my youngest son has been very quiet. Nobody to have a conversation with. Having a stranger fixing something in the house unsettling as I couldn’t relax. My mind has completely wondered into the deepest darkest hole.

Today I have had a deep and all consuming urge to sleep. I have been desperate for my bed. Craved it. Unfortunately it hasn’t really been possible. A 2 year old has kind of put a stop to that!

At the same time the binge eating which is really another sign of depression taking hold has been spiralling. It is an awful catch 22 situation. I hate my body, but yet I can’t stop the binge eating which makes it worse.

Today the self harm has been rife. Today the anger with my self is high. Today my mind is at war. Today I feel like giving up.

The depression curse: I’m really poorly.

I haven’t written a blog post in over two weeks, the longest period between accounts since I started this blog back in May. Depression is overcoming me. I am isolating myself. I am absolutely exhausted.

To the outside world I’ve been well. Certainly at work I have been thriving. With no time to think. Being constantly challenged. Trying to support a colleague. I’ve managed to take control and shown the best of me. However, perhaps inevitably the stress, pressure and high workload are having an effect on my mental health too.

In other ways I am also being an amazing actress again. I’ve started running again. I’ve been going twice a week with a colleague and friend and at home I’ve tried to do one exercise session at the weekend (usually with two kids jumping on top of me). It would appear to others that I am well, motivated and getting stronger.

Nevertheless this all feels like a show. It is taking enormous amount of effort to keep these areas going. Combined with the image I am trying to portray with friends and family, I feel like I could hibernate for the rest of the winter.

Well it’s time for some heartbreaking honesty. I’m poorly again. I’m struggling so much. I’m feeling very low. It’s so hard to admit this at the moment. This post is almost impossible to write. I feel like I might delete it even before I post it.

I am scared of certain people reading this. Friends and family. I think my husband has already worked out I’m not great at the moment so this probably isn’t a surprise for him. To others there will be disbelief or shock. I’m breaking the illusion.

So what’s going on? I’m not entirely sure. I’m feeling so very low. Completely numb. Devoid of emotions. Almost like I’m sinking into a swamp of confusion. Almost like I’m lost in a dense fog. Almost like I’m being tortured by my own brain.

I hate myself. I hate my body. I hate who I am. My self esteem and self image are not existent. I don’t believe there is anything good about me. I pick at every hole. I pick at every decision. I pick at my own body, the self harm is rife.

Externally I am very snappy at my children. I feel like I have lost all patience. With my husband I am constantly pushing him away, feeling consumed by my own world. With friends I refuse to talk about anything with feelings or emotions. I am there on the surface but underneath my mind is wondering. I have lost enthusiasm for my Facebook group, twitter and communicating with people I have started to know.

Mostly I’m absolutely shattered. I feel so so tired. I have a deep wish to spend a week in bed. I would probably sleep for most of it. I want to hide from the world.

I’m also upset with myself. I’m very angry with myself. I’m cross that this illness is consuming me again. I feel like a complete failure. I feel like I’m worthless. Im sorry I have let you down.

Feeling lost.

Emptiness. Alone. Being eaten from inside. That is how I feel today.

Everything is so hard.

Worried and anxious for a family member. So stressed that tears flow and they look physically drawn. They are struggling so much. But I feel completely helpless. I feel useless. I feel like more of a burden than a support. I don’t know what to do to make things better. I don’t even have much time to talk. My life seems so busy at the moment. I am barely coping with me. Surely I am making things worse for them? The guilt is so hard handle to process. The feelings of I “should be doing more” overpower me. The worry for the person follow me throughout the day. I’m constantly thinking “what can I do to make things better?” But I have no answer.I have managed to cope with the day. Housework, Tesco shop, playing with my 1 year old, doing the school runs. I even hosted a play date this evening for one of my eldest’s school friends. That meant 4 extra for dinner and feeling on edge the whole time.

Right now the worry and guilt is back. I have sat down this evening and I actually feel sick with the emotions that a flowing through me. My husband who has come in from parents evening is being so lovely but I seem to be pushing him away.

I know I’m poorly again at the moment because of my reaction to him. I am struggling to sit next to him on the sofa. He is snuggled into me but my body wants to scream and push him away. I have no idea why.

He is done nothing wrong. He has only been loving. Perhaps it’s I don’t feel I deserve being loved today. I don’t deserve his care or affection. When poorly I also push people away. It is so hard to be with anyone.

I’m desperate for this to pass. Please please don’t sink low again. I was doing so well. I’m really struggling right now.