Yesterday was #worldmentalhealthday and unhelpfully I couldn’t finish this post because I was struggling, in particular last night I found myself a bit like a startled rabbit in headlights- irrational fears and paranoia were swimming around my head.
The truth is, like many of us, I have good and bad days. The good days definitely outnumber the bad, so on the whole things are pretty good. On the whole my blues can be swept away in a world of belting out power ballads in my bathroom, dancing along to 90s tunes, meditating on a verse, laughing and crying at steel magnolias, breathing slowly and deeply and stomping out the negativity on a walk.
But sometimes the blues are more like a dark purple, almost a black and they are too much. I have found rather than just hide through those times-I am trying to acknowledge what they are, to try and disarm the fear and shame which is by far the worst part of it all.
So here it is, the best and worst of my mental health:
The best of me is chatting freely over coffee with my mum, laughing and understanding our different situations and learning from each other. When neither of us get annoyed and defensive of each other and then consequently leaving the conversation with regrets and confusion as to how we ended up being so unkind.
The best of me is feeling free-to laugh at my ridiculousness, sing loudly to 90s tunes, swim in the sea/do exercise and not be fearful of what others think of my body or how heavily I breathe, speak out my truth and reflect on how I got there, share generously and not worry about the cashflow, let my creative thoughts spark without embarrassment, be vulnerable with those around me, have open hands and an open mind without feeling threatened or overwhelmed.
The best of me is loved by wonderful people and loves them too.
The best of me-is the me I want to always be.
But the worst of me lingers around the edges; the worst of me drowns my evenings in a concoction of fear and anxiety over the worry that I have hurt someone and I don’t remember it.
The worst of me is found after tiredness has worn me down, and I cannot find anything in me but anger and that clouds all other emotions. I am mostly angry that I can’t see a way out of feeling this anger.
The worst of me is eaten up with jealousy and bitterness about not having and not getting, as if by some magic that if I get it then life would be sweet.
The worst of me is an unwelcome guest, who I manage to keep at a distance most the time. But no matter the length of time apart the guest always manages to turn up again, always unannounced, and makes an absolute mess of things-like a wild kitten you catch and bring indoors (said with experience).
This is my mental state.
Maybe one day it will be calmer and the bad times will be less and less.
But for now, I want to acknowledge that they are there, and a part of me, but they are not the best of me.
The best of me is about to go out and splash in mud and puddles with my daughter.
Also I love this picture-a bin filled with joy and colour-feels like my mind-but possibly mine has the odd smelly nappy in too?