I’m not ok and I haven’t been for a long time. It has taken me years to realise it. I haven’t told anyone this, in fact the first time that I honestly admitted it to myself was only a week before writing it all down!
I have been living in a fog. Playing with my children but not truly engaging. Talking with friends but not truly participating. Spending time with family but not truly being there. Life has been going on around me but I’ve not truly been a part of it. I’ve not been unhappy per se, it’s more that I haven’t really had emotions. Everything has been dulled as if hidden behind a veil. There is a constant headache and life can seem as if it is happening in slow motion. Some days it is all I can do to get myself and the children ready and fed whilst other days are fairly normal but there is always this fog. That is the only way I can describe it really. A fog. Sometimes thick and sometimes misty but always there, surrounding me.
The fact that it has taken me years to realise all of this is perhaps unbelievable for some. I suppose that I knew something wasn’t right at first (or maybe I didn’t, I can’t remember) but it just became normal. It was how things were and I just got on with it. I learnt to cope and put on a smile and act how I should act in social situations. It is my life and I just carried on.
Realising that how I am feeling isn’t normal has come about slowly. To be honest I’m not sure when I first started to realise or why but it has slowly become clearer. Things are improving now that I know. I can stop blaming myself on the bad days and really make the most of the good days. I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel, some sunshine after the storm.
I’m not ok but I will be!
She laughs and smiles, playing with the children, happily chatting away. Nothing much to say about what’s going on with her but the children are doing great. The eldest won a dance award and the youngest is cutting a new tooth. Full of questions about your life, she listens intently, nodding, smiling and offering words of encouragement if needed. She’s happy, right. Life is great – she said so herself. She smiles all of the time and always knows what to say to cheer other people up. Of course she’s happy!
You go home and she is alone with the children. She loves the children but she hasn’t got the energy to play with them. She flicks listlessly through the TV channels. Nothing captures her attention and it wouldn’t matter anyway because not much really interests her at the moment. The house is a mess and although she knows that she needs to clean it, she just can’t face that chore. The youngest child comes over for a cuddle. It brings tears to her eyes. She knows that the children love her unconditionally yet she can’t bring herself to be the full of energy Mother that she once was. Where has that person gone? Where has the love for life gone? It was there not so long ago, she’s sure that it was. The eldest child wants to go to the park. Getting out of the house might do everyone some good she thinks so coats and shoes go on, changing bag is packed and half an hour later everybody is ready to depart. The park is bright and sunny with children running around and parents happily chasing them. She looks enviously at the happy families. They look care free.
A friend spots her and approaches to say hello. She laughs and smiles, playing with the children, happily chatting away. Nothing much to say about what’s going on with her but the children are doing great. The eldest won a dance award and the youngest is cutting a new tooth. Full of questions about her friend’s life, she listens intently, nodding, smiling and offering words of encouragement if needed. She’s happy, right. Life is great – she said so herself. She smiles all of the time and always knows what to say to cheer other people up. Of course she’s happy!
Do we really know how people are feeling inside? According to the World Health Organisation more than 350 million people worldwide will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. This doesn’t mean that all of these people will receive help and support however. Mental Health issues such as depression still have a social stigma surrounding them even in this day and age. Many people hide how they feel for fear of not being taken seriously. Depression is an illness and if we can raise awareness of this, then maybe more people will seek the help and support that they so desperately need.
Mental Health Awareness Week
16th – 22nd May
Image Credit – http://quotesgram.com/quotes-about-hiding-sadness/