So, I guess it’s that’s age-old story of opening the flood gates.
I’m such a cliché – Once you start you can’t stop? Just like a tube of Pringle’s.
I have so much buzzing around in my head – now I have an outlet – I just don’t know where to start! I’m now the epitome of the creative type; sat with lap top and glass of wine until the early hours of the morning (because that’s what all creative types do). The desire to let out what’s in is greater than the desire to sleep, which is a little unfortunate seeing as I have a full day at work tomorrow and a 32km race (very hilly off-road) on Saturday for which I should be getting plenty of rest. But fuck it.
It’s really hard to know where to begin; with the tale. I have a story. I’m just not yet sure how much I am prepared to, or can literally, share. I struggle to talk about my issues with mental health. Not because I am embarrassed or ashamed, but quite simply because I sometimes struggle to find the words. You will only ever understand the fog, the black dog, the panic, the worry, the struggle, if you’ve ever experienced it. And I’m sure not everyone’s experiences are the same – so how can I describe mine? I don’t know how to explain how I was feeling, or how I still sometimes feel. Write it. How?
I am OK.
I am – on some days – bloody brilliant. But I can be Wonder Woman and a little ball of tired, scared fluff – all at the same time. I am low, stressed and anxious, then the strongest person on the planet. Fierce. Then back to the broken girl of old……
Bent not broken. I’m not broken.
I am bold. I am brave. I am brilliant.
I am weak. I am wobbly. I am wandering.
But I am better.
I have to be careful how I approach this exercise. I truly want to share my journey with my depression, and then, in the later years, the anxiety. I want to share the battle that has been fought, but never won. I want to help other people understand that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But, in doing all of this, I have to be careful I don’t just leave the taps on.
I went for some counselling – about 6 sessions I think – a good few years ago now. She was bloody amazing and I won’t be lying if I say she saved my life. In lots of ways. It was life changing. In amongst all of the tears and the talking, there were 2 very important messages (the other one I’ll get to at a later date).
When you shut out the darkness, you also shut out the light.
The self-preservation numbness has to be gently erased in order for the light to shine back into your life. Bit corny? True though. And if you turn the taps on full blast – what happens? You get soaked with emotion, overwhelmed and unable to cope. I am comfortable with being vulnerable, but it’s not time to leave the taps on just yet.
Eek it out, a little at a time. Gently open the tap, and then close it for a wee while. Then perhaps, the next time, open it a little more. It’s a gradual process.
And so it shall be.