Overdue

I haven’t posted properly in a long time. For once I can’t blame motherhood or having to work or have a social life (ha!). The truth is, I’ve had nothing but time on my hands of late. My only commitments have been the various doctor appointments.
I’m still in a fog of new drugs, getting used to them, I want to ensure they stabilise before I attempt going back to work because I don’t want a relapse.
I’m starting to have more days that are OK and relatively good as opposed to days that are bleak and numb.

I didn’t want to start 2014, or even end 2013 by having a mental breakdown. But I did and now I need to concentrate on getting better and managing my illnesses.

When I was pregnant and I had Emma, I was very closely monitored, having a history of depression meant that I was likely to get postnatal depression. So my doctors, obstetrician and the Community Mental Health team were very proactive in looking after me. I felt great, that after 6 months or so that I was doing great, no signs of my illness. I was managing.
I went back to work, so the strain of working and being a new mother was difficult, but I managed.

My job isn’t hard (mostly) but sometimes it brings unique challenges in the form of confrontation. After a very unpleasant incident a few years ago, I do try to avoid aggressive conflict where possible. Until I had an experience which triggered memories of the incident a few years back. PTSD my doctor said, PTSD my psychotherapist said, and referred me for CBT.

Eventually, no matter how hard you try to survive, the way that others treat you, impacts greatly, and eventually you crack. It takes a lot of glue to try and hold the cracks together, and just one misplaced thought, action, situation can send things shattering.

Recently I have had some of my darkest days, days where I sobbed endlessly, days where I could hardly breathe, days where I contemplated whether or not I’d be better as a psychiatric inpatient. I reached out for support and some people I expected to give it, did not. Some 5 weeks later, I am still waiting for some my “friends and family” to ask me how I am.

I get that when someone has a breakdown, or a bereavement, that it can be difficult to reach out to those people. But in reality, all that person wants to know is that you are there and have time for them. That you text/call to say “I’m here if you need anything” or “how are you doing today?”

To the people who got me through my dark days, thank you.

I’m still finding the pieces that I lost when I shattered. They’re around here somewhere.

I found a glue that works, in the form of a select few people and some pharmaceutical assistance.

Four wonderful amazing women, a fantastic husband, my father in law and his partner, my mum and aunt and my grandmother and of course, Emma, who is my reason for living.

I’m slowly piecing my mind and psyche back together.

I have postnatal depression, anxiety and PTSD, but they’re not who I am, and I won’t let them control my life.

2014, you may have been a crappy start, but I’ll be damned if I finish up 2014 like I did 2013.

Friendship

Have you ever stopped to think about how long you’ve been friends with your friends?

I don’t think of myself as old, after all I’m only 27 and that’s not very old at all. 95 is old. But when you look at your friendships and you realise how long you’ve had them then it really hits home.

My friend Sasha, I’ve been friends with her since I was 10. I am 27. That’s 17 years! Although we don’t live near enough to each other to visit on a regular basis, we keep in touch via email. She lives 7,000 odd miles away.

Then there’s my friend Angela and her sister Melody. We have been friends since I was 8. That’s 19 years!! Next year will be 20 years! 20!!!!! Saying you’ve had a friendship for 20 years absolutely astounds me. They live in Ohio and Colorado respectively, even further from London. I miss them dearly.

Toni, my first friend when I moved to London at the age of 12. 15 years ago. 15 years is a long time.

Then there is Kerry. We’ve been friends since we were 13. That 14 years. That’s more than half our lives.

Then there is Beth. I’ve been friend with Beth since I turned 18. Nearly 10 years. She’s one of my dearest friends.

These women have been my close friends for almost or more than half of my entire life and slowly but surely, over that time they have become more than my friends. They are family. They are my nearest and dearest.

There isn’t a day that goes by in my life as it is, that I don’t think of them.

Some of them are married, some have kids, some have bought houses, some have worked hard at their careers, but all of them have remained my friends and will do so until I die (which hopefully won’t be anytime soon!)

I can’t wait for the day when I can tell my kids/grand-kids about these women and how they’ve shaped my life and helped make me the woman I am today.

Girls, I love you all and I will be your friend always.