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.

“Mum it’s the wedding day”

“Mum it’s the wedding day” are the words that greeted me yesterday morning at 6:15am when I got up with my two boys (5 and 2). I’d been up since 5am and had little sleep all night due to coughing up my lungs. But I left my husband sleeping in bed (I was feeling guilty for coughing all night and disturbing him).

“Mummy are you excited?” “Yes of course”. Whilst inside I was thinking I feel horrendous, my voice is barely back after laryngitis, my chest hurts and I just want to crawl into bed. Add the anxiety thrown in of all the peopling I will have to do; can’t wait!

So here is my day:

1. A two year old is always right?

Having an early lunch I say to the boys “after lunch we will get ready. In the church we need to be really good and quiet. ”

My 2 year old screams “no mummy, we are not going to church we are going to a wedding”

I try and explain that the wedding is in the church and the dancing he is looking forward to will come later in the evening.

What was the point? Don’t try and reason with a 2 year old. It never works. He just kept shouting:

“No we are not going to church but the wedding. I WANT TO GO TO THE WEDDING!”

2. Getting ready and out of the house.

I ask the boys to play whilst I get my make up on. 5 mins that’s all I wanted. I have perfected the ‘that’ll do’ in my own looks department. Mascara was interrupted by “come see my dance moves.”Eyeshadow was disturbed by screaming as the eldest jumped on the youngest. Lipstick nearly got applied before “mummy I did a poo” (in my pants).

The next half hour took a rather chaotic turn:

  • I got boy boys changed and ready whilst my husband sorted himself. I mostly said “stay still” on repeat.
  • Now ready the oldest decided to put a hanger through my tights.
  • The two boys ran around at my feet whilst I tried to pull my dress over my head.
  • The eldest got threatened “you are not coming to this wedding” probably 10+ times.
  • Me and my husband snapped and shouted at each other over how to parent!
  • I polished the eldest shoes whilst they were on his feet as I noticed they were brown not black seconds before we went out the door.
  • Youngest got snot on the eldest’s trousers.
  • Husband has started the car but I’m still sat on the stairs not being able to do up my own shoes.

3. The wedding at the Church

For the first 20 mins (before the wedding began) the eldest clung to me, hid under my jacket and pulled down the front of my dress (always a great one to show the self harm to the whole world). He is majorly sensitive and anxious in social situations (just like his mum).

Through the ceremony I felt like a broken record, whispering “stop it” “don’t do that” “stand still”. The pew in front of us was pushed and pulled in all directions (lucky no one was on it). The knee rest went flying in all directions. I was hugged, pulled, kissed, asked can I have something to eat and is it over yet, several times.

However during the final hymn there was one of those wow mummy moments. Both boys (stood on the pew) hugged into me and each other and stood their cuddling for the whole of the hymn. Bliss. Moment to treasure.

Whilst the register was being signed I turned to my youngest child’s god mother to have a chat. Obviously not acceptable in the mind of my two year old. I got told off “mummy stop talking”.

4. The wedding reception

“Mummy can I go there?”

“Mummy can I have this?”

“Mummy can I have something to eat?”

“Mummy can I run around?”

Mum mind goes into overdrive. Where are they? What are they doing? Who are they upsetting? Are they safe? Are they being well behaved?

I always struggle with the fine line in parenting between letting your children have fun and hoping they don’t cause chaos or upset anyone else.

Dancing, running, colouring, full on wrestling, chasing each other, hiding behind curtains! A tantrum about not having a colouring book, a tantrum about not wanting to eat, a tantrum about sitting at the table. So much could possibly go wrong.

“They are boys, it’s perfectly normal- it only gets worse” people say! Heaven help me!

5. The disco

My boys are divas! They definitely take after their dad! With their pyjamas on. The lights dimmed. The disco lights circling and the music blaring my two are lording over the dance floor. Complete freedom. Not a care in the world for them. Just expressing themselves however they wish. Watching them, joining with them- such joy!

6. Being a mum

My boys are my world. They may: pull me in every possible way, test my patience and exhaust me but they are the light of my life. My joy. I am so proud of them. I love them both for their special quirks and characteristics. I wouldn’t change a moment.

And boys I do try my best. It’s the hardest job in the world being a mum but also the most rewarding.

Depression: living with self doubt.

Self doubt strikes me everywhere. It plagues my brain, invades my being making life tough. It is almost every other thought I have.

It doesn’t discriminate. Too many times to mention. In meetings, conversations with friends, time to myself and even during the weekly Tesco shop.

I seriously see so little value in myself so often. I am super critical of every word I speak. I beat myself up for acting/not acting in a certain way. I replay so much of my life with a overly critical brain.

I blame myself for everything. I often cannot see anything good in who I am. I fail to realise any positive actions I might take. I only see the negative.

I see the worst of me at all times. Boring, ugly, fat, shy, introverted, self centred, moody…the list could go on and on.

I’m not at all surprised when I lose contact with people. I know it is my fault. I can think of so many reasons why people don’t want to see me anymore.

The self doubt causes me to push people away. I’m so scared of losing contact that I often initiate it unwillingly feeling at least this way I am in control.

I consistently fear my husband will get fed up of me. I worry he will want to walk away.

I even spend time pondering how the unconditional love my two boys have for me will one day change. Perhaps when they are aware of my failings.

This crippling self doubt stops me from being myself. It stops me doing what I want to do in my career. It affects the relationships in all aspects of my day.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.