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Who will sit with me in the dark like the Mad Hatter?

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With no discernible reasoning and being happier in my life than I have in years, I have felt myself sliding towards the rabbit hole the last few days.  For the first time in months I had to take a couple of my beta blockers last week. (I told you didn’t I that it never goes away).

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My mind has been racing with loony thoughts and tick-tock tick-tocking back and forth between feeling absolutely fine, to being awake late at night or in the wee small hours with a head full of utter rubbish. Crazy half dreams and visions. Thoughts that made no sense whatsoever, interlaced with rational thoughts and worries (but nothing you could deal with at 3am).

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I have been distracting myself with Facebook, AKA the thief of time and the devil’s own tool.  Not helpful truth be told. I should bomb the fucker off again for a mental cleanse but I need it for the Koolkids page, thus making it far too easy to get sucked into the newsfeed. Like this, comment on that, post the other. Must have recognition. Must spout views. Must post flattering photo so everyone knows how fabulous we are even though usually, we look like homeless elderly tramps. Must have instant gratification of a thumbs up or a smiley. Hello, hello, I’m here. (Where are you?) I’m here (Where are you? )*

This week I am distracting myself by dogsitting my friend’s pug. What an odd looking ugly  little fucker he is, bless him.  He is currently on time-out in his bed for being too giddy and jumping from couch to couch laughing at me and he is now snoring like Bman whilst asleep sat up.  The cats are not impressed with his presence but they’ll have to get used to it until next week.

Meanwhile I will take my life one day at a time and try not to overthink things, overeat, drink too much, or chew my nails down to the quick. I must remember that life is good (despite the Brexit balls-up) and that I am loved and not a complete waste of space or air. No, I won’t change the world but that’s okay. As long as I do alright in my world then that’ll do.

*one for the Pulp fans there

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That time I lost my mind & just did jigsaws with a blanket round my shoulders

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It has been 2 years since I was off work for 3 months after having a bit of a breakdown/losing the plot/ dropping my basket/going a bit cuckoo – call it what you will.
I don’t think I have properly addressed why this happened.  So this post could end up being quite the cathartic exercise.  Read it. Don’t read it.  I don’t care TBH but I need to write it.

Essentially it was school that broke me. 

Feelings of imposter syndrome. Not feeling as though I was backed up by senior leaders. Children!  The children! Oh man.  Please people, if you are well aware (or pretending you don’t know) that your son/daughter can be an utter twat, please try and sort that shit out before they break someone else.
Teachers do not go into the profession to yell at kids or mete out punishments, keeping children in at breaktime and all that shite.  They do it because they love working with young minds. They want to bring out the best in your children. To teach them and teach them well. It’s not about long holidays. Every teacher will tell you how much of their holidays they spend sorting out paperwork and planning for the next term. A lot of which will never be used to its full potential, probably because they end up wasting air giving the usual suspects a coating for fecking about, being rude, acting out and generally being a fucking nuisance.  Meanwhile, the select few are sitting there patiently waiting to hear what they need to do. They want to work. They want to learn.  We need more of those kids.  Sadly, more often than not it’s just a firefight until it’s time to go home where you can cry into a gin and spend an hour on Indeed.co.uk wondering if it’s too late to retrain as a Prison Guard because god knows you already have the behaviour management strategies and restraint technique training*.

* do not push me, or so help me I will take you down before you even know what is happening.

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SIT THE FUCK DOWN & SHUT UP YOU LITTLE BASTARDS!

I was not a soft touch.  I could stop poor behaviour with a stern look.  Not a Trunchbull. More of a Snape.  

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I’d split up fights, calmed situations down.  Sure I’d had my glasses kicked off my face and my arm slammed in doors and been called every foul name under the sun.  But the ones that liked me, still like me even though some are now in their late teens. Some of them hated me  and will always hate me- probably because they were the little fuckers that continually needed to be given a toasting.  I don’t give a shit about them.

Essentially, after always having suffered from the Black Dog but always managing to snap out of it and mask the darkness with humour, I was broken at the end by a request for assistance which went unanswered. Well, it was answered, but via a whiteboard message which told me to get on with it and deal with the situation myself.  Thanks for that!  I stopped myself having an actual hissy fit infront of the children.  In my head though, I was trashing the classroom and slamming heads in the fire door whilst cussing like a sailor.
    Day over and children out of earshot there followed a tirade of tears and screaming in the staff room and eventually being led to the carpark by a friend who drove me home.

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I did not go back to work the next day or for many weeks. I stayed at home, signed off by my GP who pretty much took one look at me in the surgery and said “Nope! Here’s a note for 4 weeks sick and that’s just for starters”.
I did not often go out, sometimes not even to the bin.  I got up in the morning to check my children were up and ready for school. Then I went back to bed where I often stayed until just before they were due home. I got up then, so they didn’t know I’d hidden in bed all day.

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It had been building for a while if I’m honest.  Like I said, I’ve always had bleak dark moods.  I get it when I see it in others.  Some people don’t.  Platitudes such as, “Smile it might never happen” or “Chin up love”  “What do you want me to do about it?”  “Nobody died so what’s your problem?” etc – our standard ‘go-to’ phrases – are not especially helpful. but we reel them out anyway because other people’s mental imbalance scares us.  This is why we need to talk about it.  Especially men.  Women do usually talk to one another about this shit.  Dudes not so much. 


Anyway, I’d been getting THE FEAR for a long time.  I used to love my job. Love going into work. It was fun. I felt like I made a difference. Then people starting to leave. They moved on to better pastures. I felt left behind.  The fun wasn’t as frequent and the poor behaviour changed.  Sure,  we weren’t wrestling on the floor with the little fuckers quite as much but it was worse TBH.  More and more giving you lip. Walking out of class. Telling you to your face that there was fuck all you could do to them so essentially they could do what they wanted.  They weren’t wrong if I’m honest.

I ended up dry heaving on the way to work daily.  Had to change my route to work to delay the point when I would see the school building because the moment I did see it, the heaving would start, usually in the snicket next to the (open) gates.  But you paint on a face for the kids, head straight to the loo and heave a bit in there before setting your face straight. Show no weakness or the cunts will take you down like a wounded gazelle.  You get through it while a bit of your soul dies a little more each day, but sometimes you just come to end of your tether.

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Depression lies to you.  It tells you that you’re not good enough. It tells you that you’re useless and that the world would be better off without you in it. That your friends and family will soon forget you. They’ll crack on regardless and get on with life without you.  At its worst, you might consider some kind of escape clause?  Pills?  A noose?  Most of us don’t go to such an extreme but we all have those edge of the kerb moments.  When you think, I could just step out into the traffic and that’d be that.  But then you think, “I’d probably fuck that up aswell” so you don’t. But you thought about it. You think about it a lot.  You’re not the only one thinking about it…

I was lucky. My family rallied. My husband was helpful and not critical.  He took me out for lunches. He let me just sit around and do jigsaws. He did not judge.  He made sure the children were doing the right thing.  I drowned out the voices in my head telling me I was a waste of air by listening to Metallica a lot. Not my usual music taste but I found it helped enormously.  Exercising helped get the old endorphins pumping.
At least once a month I had to go into work for meetings.  This scared me.  The children scared me.  The staff who didn’t ask after me pissed me right off, even though I knew they were probably just feeling awkward about what to say (or maybe they actually didn’t give a shit?)  Senior leaders were helpful, patient and kind.  I wasn’t afraid to talk openly about how I felt and what meds I had been given.  I did not feel rushed to return to work.  I felt justified in being off. I was both irritated and amused in equal measure at the fact that school had to go through around 7 different supply teachers to cover my role because they kept leaving.  SEVEN!  And these were professionals with Qualified Teaching Status.  Not a Higher Level Teaching Assistant like me being paid half as much for all the work.  If they couldn’t cope and were saying “Fuck this. I’m off!” after a few days then I surely deserved some kind of medal for sticking with it for so long.  It’s a sinch I hadn’t gone postal before and started taking hostages right?

No point shutting the gates.  The nutters are already on the inside man!

What if I hadn’t had such an understanding and loving family. What if genuinely nobody had asked after me?  What if my work weren’t so helpful and trying to ease me back into it? What if I didn’t want to be around for my girls?  This is how it is for some people.  I’ve always found it easy enough to talk about feelings.  I’ve been blathering online on this platform since 2007 – a very therapeutic exercise indeed.

So thank you if you sent me a kind text.  Thank you if you sent me a gift because you “saw this and thought of you”. If you checked up on me via Messenger with silly gifs and quotes about cunts because you know I love the word even though many people hate it.  If you ran round to check on me because I hadn’t answered a WhatsApp straight away and the blinds were down and you thought I might have been swinging from the light fittings.  Thank you if you saw me at the store or putting my bins out and jokingly asked if I should be outside unsupervised.  I won’t lie, the staff ‘whip round’ for a ten quid M&S voucher was poorly thought out and a bit cheap if I’m honest.  That’s not even a quid per staff member you tight bastards. Also, y’all have met me right?  Do I look like a ‘Marksies’ kind of woman? and even if I was, I was off work living like an agoraphobic hermit, not waltzing around the fucking White Rose Centre buying cardigans.

🙂

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I don’t really have any point to make with his post other than floating it out there.  And if you are having an edge of the kerb moment or your black dog gets too big to keep on the leash, then like Terry Tibbs – Talk to Me!  

I’m listening.  I might make inappropriately timed jokes and try and crowbar the word cunt into the conversation but I promise not to tell you to “Man up”  or “Pull yourself together” because us crazies have to stick together.  It gets better but it doesn’t go away. I’m much better at the moment because I left behind the main source of the problem at the time but only because I was fortunate enough to have another skill to make a living from. (As a swim instructor just in case that wasn’t clear)

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Don’t bottle it up motherfuckers

So buckle up MoFos, I’m still here and not planning on bailing out just yet.  Enjoy the ride people because you never know when the theme park is going to close down.

PS. If you stuck with this post – well done. I probably owe you a drink.

Xx

 

in need of something but not sure what

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I was meant to be heading south this weekend to visit some pals and have a curry and some drinks.  There was even loose talk of getting hold of a “hot tug” and sailing it to Harlow, but I don’t think that came off.  Maybe next time, when it’s warmer.

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Stock Photo from Google Images

 

As it goes, I haven’t gone.  I started with the snots when I got back from Chester over the Easter Weekend, which was awesome by the way (the Easter weekend in Chester – not the snots).
I also had a clairsentient gut feeling that I should stay home & leave it til another time.  I’ve learned it’s best to pay attention to these things, so here I am.  At home. In the rain. Not ever wanting to see another Easter Egg in a long time and feeling rather cross at why people can’t just commit to a long planned arrangement or answer a text from time to time in a civil, unfacetious fashion.

I know everyone has their own little lives and shit but FFS!

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So what have I done instead?

    Ventured to Sadford Town to return a pair of silver Doc Martens.  Not mine I hasten to add.  Seems my eldest wants to go for the Gary Gliiter, Glam Rock aesthetic for her birthday this year.  It’s not ’til June, but these boots she wanted were on offer in Foot Asylum. 

Ordered them. They arrived.  But are neither the right size not the requisite shade of silver apparently.

FML!

Had one lovely spring-like day on Wednesday so ordered some new garden furniture.  Natch it has pissed down ever since.  Furniture currently clogging up the hallway and kitchen ready to be assembled.

Still no washing machine because the fucker needs yet more parts.  Bastarding Hotpoint.  ‘Oh we’ll replace your washer if it can’t be repaired’.  Repair dude just laughed at us and said that almost never happens.  It can be repaired….eventually….when he comes back for a third time on Wednesday.  That’ll be over 3 weeks since it initially broke.  I’m running out of neighbours to impose upon to wash my smalls, my mediums and my larges!

So anyway, the trip into Sadford, usually a cure-all when you’ve got the blues, did not help in any way whatsoever. It was like accidentally stumbling through the set of the Walking Dead.  Normally this type of thing makes me feel less inferior. Better about myself.  It could be worse etc.  Yesterday it just made me feel sad and full of gloom that I was doomed to die here. That I had failed as a mother and I had condemmed my offspring to a miserable life in a miserable place.

“Hello is that the Emergency St John’s Wort & Evening Primrose Oil hotline? I’d like to place an order please!”

The best part of the day was when I smuggled some tech into an allegedly haunted shop in my handbag, for a mini lone investigation, Sadly the recorder failed. Coinicidence? Supernatural? Or operator ineptitude?  You decide.  Either way, it had a most oppressive atmos (but did sell the most amazing bits, bobs, tat and oddments).  There was a man in there talking to the shopkeeper about his imaginary friends as she listened unjudgementally and with sound advice.   I may have found my spiritual home.

🙂

Boyes store however lit up my K2 device like a gay pride parade.  Too many mobiles on in the vicinity? Or it being so full of the elderly and infirm that the veil between this life and the next is ridiculously thin – the afterlife almost tangible through the smell of wee, lavender bags and the scent of decrepitude?  Again – you decide.

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from Google Images

 

I didn’t want to be one of those olds.  Complaining in the cafe upstairs in Boyes that the tomato soup was sold out, or that so and so hadn’t turned up today and did they think she might have died over the weekend.
But I also felt like I was skidding quickly towards being one of those people (but with less friends).

This time last year we were in Orlando, yet it doesn’t seem two minutes since we were only just planning it and it was 18 months away!

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Poss my fave pic from last year’s hol

 

Life is short.  Do stuff.  Fun stuff.  Sometimes wrong stuff.  But stuff. Be kind.  Be nice. Go out. Have fun. Make some memories to keep you warm when you’re waiting for death in a cafe above Boyes in Bradford and the soup is off and your mate hasn’t turned up.

 

                                         Gravitating towards the water, as per

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A year in the life…

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One year ago today I flidded out at the end of one shite working day too many. I was driven home by my friend in tears after ranting at the school secretary.  I sobbed on Bman and then took to my bed.

I then didn’t go back to work for 3 months.

Some people cared enough to keep in touch and come visit me.  Some sent love tokens.  Some sent not particularly helpful but nonetheless thoughtful texts of encouragement.  Some people did bugger all. Couldn’t even be fagged to send a text.  Maybe they didn’t give a shit.  Maybe they were scared of what to say, because people are afraid of mental health issues.  

My family were fab.  The usually reticent, emotionally stunted, least empathetic man I call my husband, was surprisingly caring and patient.  He didn’t want me to return to work at all but I’m too used to earning my own money to rely just on him to pay the bills.

I don’t think I was really aware of how low, crap, sad, worthless, tired and unhappy I was  in my life (mostly, but not limited to, my work) until I stopped feeling like that.

I won’t lie.  I sometimes feel myself slipping again.  Particularly in my work. Especially lately.  I do often feel like my soul is being sucked from me.

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But I won’t let it beat me.

 

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People are a bit more open these days to hearing that you suffer from the Black Dog from time to time. Although of late it’s a lot more fashionable to have been touched up by a male co-worker or boss (Weinstein Effect) than to be a bit cuckoo.  I wonder what next year’s trend will be?  People will start coming forward to admit to secretly masturbating to Storage Wars or something. #Metoo (that’s not true BTW – I don’t!)

Don’t listen to me, I’m a bit mental remember.  (Just not quite at the juicy fruit stage yet!)


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


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Stay happy y’all.  Life is short.

Xx

Let’s go round again…

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Well it’s almost time to begin a new academic year.

It doesn’t seem that long since last September and the last academic year. But what a year it’s been.  Going in all cylinders blazing last September, ready to take on the system. Lead my new, (albeit smaller) but fabulous little team.  Ready to jump in at a moments notice to impart knowledge and wisdom with a smile and pocket full of amazing lesson plans.

Yeah. That lasted til Spring and then it all went west side.

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Me, from March to June in my kitchen

 

Until recently when I no longer felt like that, I hadn’t really realised how low and off-kilter I actually felt.  Let’s not go there again if we can possibly help it.

My philosophy at this juncture can probably best be summed up by this meme:-

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Am I right?

🙂

There will always be plenty of people having a shittier day than you, which is crap (for them) but a silver lining on your own grey cloud. That’s as good as it’s probably going to get for most of us – and that’s okay.

So before I return to the coal face and my optimism and enthusiasm die a fiery death wane within weeks, I’d like to celebrate the great things that happened this year and the people who stopped me from totally losing my mind. The ones who sent me notes, hunted for spooks with me for fun; sent me memes, love tokens; not always helpful but somehow amusing texts; sent me jigsaws in the post. And thanks to my husband who, despite his usually unsympathetic nature and poor inference skills, managed to be kind, thoughtful and not get annoyed when I didn’t appear to have moved for hours.  Also my Childerbeast for not freaking out at their mother freaking out.

Naturally I have to summarise in pictorial form because , as my childerbeast told me recently, “Mum, you photograph everything”  Good job really. Then I can look back at images like these, on the days when everything seems pointless, and I’ll remember that it’s not.

In the words of my childerbeast…. “Blessed”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So back to school tomorrow.  I am going in this year with no expectations. That way I can’t be disappointed or annoyed. I’ll go in. Do my thing. Hope for the best and then come home, sleep, then go back the next day and try again.

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Bring it on Booms!  We can do this.

 

And to end a perfect summer holiday of sun, treating myself to a new vacuum cleaner (small pleasures) visits with friends, festivalling, glitter and music – my parents dropped by today for an impromptu visit.

Good times.

😀

Life (today anyway) is good.  Not always. Not for everyone. But today, it’s alright for me & mine, & that’ll do.

Ciao MoFos

Xxxx

 

Bring me sunshine

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Had a weird week where I hit a major low a couple of times.  Became obsessed with the idea that every time I had a massive dip in mood and self-worth (which is different to self esteem apparently), that some kind of horrendous disaster occurred to someone else.
I felt shit about myself – Manchester bombing.  Had another slump. – London stabbings. Last week, went to bed full of woe and gloom and self-depreciation for no apparent reason I could justify. Black dog snapping at my heels.  Boom! Grenfell Tower fire next day.
Began to feel like a harbinger of death, a bit like Richard Burton in ‘
The Medusa Touch’. Now I daren’t confess to feeling down in case it causes karma to slap me in the face with another horrifying news story of death and mindless waste of life.  Life shouting at me,  “BUCKLE UP FUCK NUGGET! SOME DAYS ARE A BIT WANK. DEAL WITH IT.  SHIT COULD BE WAY WORSE. LIKE FOR THESE POOR FUCKERS, CHECK IT OUT!”  Cue next news story of gloom, doom, hideous untimely death and sorrow.

Life can be a bit of a cunt at times (and depression lies!)

But life can also be beautiful. Kind. Loving. Funny. Worth it.

Today we had a very sunny family day in the garden for Father’s Day.  I swung in a hammock with a glass of Pimms and a new book, and life was good and I was glad to be alive.


And again this morning. 

🙂 

 

 

Forget Black Friday – every day can be black for some.

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Had a fairly miserable week last week, which wasn’t all to do with the return of the Bman and his poor effort at love-tokens from Thailand (keyring, mirror, weird vest).
It was one of those weeks when even the smallest setback or criticism seemed to feel like a massive issue. When you just feel rubbish, useless, irrelevant and surplus to your own existence.

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Worst.  Feeling  Ever!

😦
So I did what any woman would do and ordered self some amazing shoes, new boots and 2 new dresses. 

🙂

I also dragged myself to the Childerbeast’s high school to watch my youngest in her Christmas production… which made me feel considerably better.
 She had downplayed her role and initially refused to let me go and watch.  After having to say that unless I got a ticket, she couldn’t be in it, she relented and got me one – on the proviso that I didn’t acknowledge her in any way during the evening.  She was, naturally, brilliant and had many more lines than she had let on about.  Well done Schmoo. You were fabulous!

I was particularly amused at watching my eldest and her pal being all coy and coquettish as they lolled about near a particular staff member during the interval.  I text her to ask who it was because they were quite buff & attractive.  How entertaining was it to watch her face as she read the text and showed it, with horror, to her mate.

Apparently, telling your children that one of their teachers is fit and then waving at him is not the way to behave, and is one of the reasons why they don’t like me going to events at school.

Who knew?

😀

For now, the Black Dog of the festive season is being kept at bay on a short leash. Hopefully he will stay away.  Feeling rubbish for no reason is rubbish –  especially in light of global dismalness as it stands.

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