It’s all a bit surreal now but I wanted to blog about this in case it helps someone, a reader, or even a friend out. Less than four weeks ago I was wondering what the point of everything was? And why I had to fight so hard in life in most respects. I was mentally unwell, ‘down and out’ and rationale never came into it. I had lost perspective and a will to fight and I wanted to die. But today I’m still here and I’m so glad that’s not the end of my story.
This week I got to go home from hospital. I slept in my own bed. I listened to my own music on the back deck. I cooked and did washing. I went shopping for food. I drove and after four weeks as an inpatient even the crazy Melbourne weather smelt of freedom. Yesterday was the point when it finally clicked about the need to fight and keep on trucking irrespective of anything else that happens in my life.
My four year old son and I sat down together and wrote a magical letter to Santa which he decorated with his stickers. We went out for baby chinos. I took him to his childcare Christmas party. When I was getting ready he told me he loved me and that I was beautiful. And then we left the house hand in little hand.
To begin with he would barely let go of me. It’s been a long four weeks for him too not having me around. But kids are resilient and if you are unwell you need to make yourself a priority so we can in turn nurture others the way they deserve. Soon he relaxed and did colouring, painting and was given a present on behalf of the ill fated Santa who got caught up in the storm by all reports. I watched my little guy cuddle a friend goodbye as we left. When we came home he told me, “that was great.” And not long after my little social butterfly headed off to another birthday party.
So, that is the point or at least a major one. I have a little angel in my life and I am his world. I am also my own world and my sometimes broken soul has somehow managed to shine a light into many others as well… I have openly shared my journey here before including overcoming morbid obesity to completing my first half marathon back in October. The fact that it took well over 3 hours is irrelevant in my books. I bloody earned that medal.
Tomorrow I’m going back to work. But I wanted to share this message with you all. People need to be heard both in what they say and what they don’t. Life is so bloody fast and busy. It’s too easy to get swept out to sea in the tide.
And in a digital age surrounded by the photoshopped pictures of perfection and accomplishments of others we sometimes need to take a step back. We really need to stop comparing ourselves to others and instead focus on being the best version of us we can be. Let’s take time to nurture our own rose gardens before we compare them to those on Better Home and Gardens.
When people are mentally unwell special holiday seasons (like Christmas) can be the worst time of year. I get that and I have felt that. The loneliness and isolation can be amplified amidst the cheer, hype and the general craziness can literally drown people out especially those in need.
It’s all relative. It’s all about perspective. Most people at one stage or another have some kind of demon to battle inside their own hearts or head. I just urge you to remember that when they steal your car spot, are Christmas casuals in retail with no flippin’ clue or before you get into a Boxing Day biffo.
Don’t park in disability permit zones unless you are entitled to and just try not to be an arsehole. Remember my message with good nature and grace when you deem your Kris Kringle present inadequate, your sister rubs you up the wrong way or someone sings too loudly at Christmas Eve mass.
You will never know what is going on inside that persons head. They might really need their moment. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes especially when vulnerable and impulsive. It’s what makes us human. A bad day is not a flat tyre, a cancelled appointment, a bad hair cut or style, a forgotten gift or shitty shopping experience. All those things can be easily rectified.
A bad day is when you can’t reconcile the point of living. I am fortunate that I can see clearly now. The point of life is whatever we make it. It is whatever we want it to be. I’m going to shine a light in the dark and say it is whatever lights us up. I have made many mistakes in my life but willing myself dead is certainly the most catastrophic in terms of potential consequences.
I’m not blaming myself because I’d be pissing in the wind if I was. I am merely pointing out that an impulsive misstep could cost you everything. I urge everyone not to sweat the small stuff this Christmas. Don’t push yourself into overwhelm. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself and reach out to others if you need help. Also if you want to wear an ugly sweater and don your Christmas hat upside down just flippin’ do it. It’s what makes you! Don’t take life too seriously, no one gets out alive.
The only person you are truly accountable to in this world is yourself. Make sure you are living a life aligned with your values. I can assure you it will naturally create a happier existence. I’m not a preacher but coming from someone a year sober who couldn’t trust herself around alcohol try not to outdo yourself if that’s a vulnerability or weakness. The last news you want to wake up to on Boxing Day is that you punched a family friend over the last bit of pudding or a personal insult from a bonbon joke. (Violence and aggression is never ok).
Be kind and generous with your time and heart. It really is the most precious thing you can give. And if anyone in is struggling to reconcile emotions at any point I personally can highly recommend calling Beyond Blue or Lifeline. I will be proudly completing the half marathon for Beyond Blue as a champion ambassador at Run Melbourne in 2018. It’s a new challenge that excites me.
But for now I just wanted to let everyone know there’s no shame in feeling helpless overwhelm or depression. Just don’t ever succumb to those impulsive emotions the black dog encourages. The rest of your life is waiting for you on the other side of the temporary black hole. You’re more loved and important than you will ever know. Stay safe and well… there’s so much to live for.