The morning after is always hard. Physically and mentally drained from the crying, the overthinking and the negativity. Not knowing what kind of day today will pan out to be but absolutely desperate for it not to be the same as yesterday.
But if I’m not careful, the replaying of negative thoughts begin all over again…
“Remember when you said that?” … “You really shouted at the children” … “You still haven’t sorted out X” … “You don’t deserve all the nice things you have”
These thoughts are so difficult to deal with and become a vicious circle when they take over. That’s what happened first thing yesterday morning. The only time it seemingly took a break was when I went to the gym (although, even going there, caused an anxiety attack beforehand). By yesterday afternoon the thoughts were coming more and more, chipping away at me. Sucking away any happiness.
By night time it was at its absolute worst. I felt as though I was possessed. That’s the only way I can describe it. I felt all consumed by such sad, negative and, at times, incredibly dark thoughts. I felt empty, worthless and broken. I shouted and I hated myself for shouting, I willed for the day to be over and once I put the kids to bed I just cried and cried.
When my husband Pete got home he found me curled up under a blanket on the sofa. He didn’t say anything – he already knew what he was coming home to – he just sat down next to me and held my hand.
He waited patiently, letting me just sit quietly with him as I took in the warmth from him and squeezed his hand tight. He listened as I described how I was feeling and how I had realised the day before that a bad day was coming but how I couldn’t find a way to stop it. He then just held me tight, stroking and kissing my hair, as I broke my heart over feeling this way and the injustice of it all.
Then, just as it had appeared, the intense negativity left my body and the really dark haze that surrounded me disappeared with it too. It left me feeling so worn out though and still vulnerable to anxious and negative thoughts. Earlier today, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Pale and withdrawn. My face, especially my eyes, wearing the effects of the many tears I shed yesterday.
Today has been a slightly better day. I’ve been busy at work and I enjoyed an evening with the kids. There have been times throughout the day when I’ve felt things building up, but rather than letting them take over, I’ve sent a quick text to Pete, who’s replied with love and reassurance.
I’m sharing this to show that we can ALL be affected by mental health issues. Recognising the triggers or signs, learning ways to cope and manage things and not being scared to seek help and support when it’s needed, are all so important for us to maintain good mental health and wellbeing.
We also all need to be a bit more mindful of others too, as we don’t necessarily know what else is going on in someone else’s life. That person who might be a little short with you, the colleague who has forgotten to do something for you, the friend who has become withdrawn and has not replied to a text, just think – are they actually ok?
And, finally, we all need to talk. We need to talk to our partners, our children, our family, friends and colleagues. Yes, talking about mental health makes it more real but it also gets it out there, it stops it being something people should be ashamed of, meaning more people will seek and get the help and support they need, and hopefully, one day it will help towards ending the stigma that surrounds it 💜
#BeKind #MentalHealthAwareness #Strive2Thrive