All the time, every so often I genuinely wish that I didn’t care as much as I do.

I suppose I feel that it’s a strong explanation as to why I found this post so hard to publish. If I’m being honest, I’ll admit it’s due to the simple fact of fear.

I think fear is what controls many of my days to day actions, or loss of control? Worrying about how my actions might affect my future or what people think of me?

I start typing and all of a sudden the words start flowing and I find myself opening up like a flower does in spring. Before I know it, I’m then scattering my tears and emotions like the pretty pink petals of our magnolia tree. Apart from the fact that life is not always as beautiful as fresh blooms, sometimes like those blooms, we find ourselves greying and unable to lift ourselves back up.

When my mind wonders I start to think where it all began or what the trigger was? There are moments that I think it may have stemmed from a childhood of being bullied and the emotions of self-loathing that follows. Or was it when I started using social media more and put more pressure on myself to be able to do everything?

Or maybe it was the climbing accident back in 2012, where I was stuck in a position where I genuinely had no control? For those few moments, I had no idea of the outcome or how it would affect the rest of my life. I could hardly remain compos mentis and I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like it, I still lay in bed reliving that moment, watching him fall and the silence that followed. I  don’t ever want to feel that way again.

On the face of it, I have and have had a pretty charmed life. If you were to look at me now,  maybe you’d think it was complete madness that I feel this way. I have a handsome, loyal and honest partner, we own a beautiful home, and we rehomed an entertaining and charming Bengal cat who is my baby substitute. I have a good job, which I dread getting out of bed and going to, I have friends, only a handful but they are stable and positive influences.

Oh, I have stuff too! Everyone likes stuff right? You know, when you buy something and promise yourself in that moment of indulgence that it’s going to make you ‘really happy’?

I’d set myself a target to stop buying more stuff, I wasn’t gaining anything and there’s only so much Ralph Lauren and Sweaty Betty you can buy before you realise enough is enough. You see, when I was younger I’d buy cars, as a status symbol. Then nicer my car was, the more expensive my shoes and bag would have to be to match, my debt was somewhat impressive too! I tackled that, put it to bed from time to time, I wonder if it’s worth splurging? I don’t and I won’t. Take it from me, when I say It won’t make you happy.

I would wear my tiredness like a badge of pride, like ‘I’m so exhausted because I live a life that requires so much from me, admire me fitting it all in’. There’s no grace in being too tired to enjoy the little things in life that really matter, or having the energy to give something my all or even 50% of me. Or having ‘energy boosting‘ binges which roughly translates to a diet of coffee and sugar, which reflects in my increased waistline and decreased self-confidence.

I have one talent, that’s pretending everything is just fine and putting on a confident, happy and self-assured act. I’m that person writing all these ‘love yourself affirmations and not actually putting a single word of it into practice myself, that’s a bit disappointing isn’t it? It’s not as Pinterest friendly to write ‘get out of bed, dress, face the world and pull yourself together’.

Saying no is tough for me. I have acted like a doormat, attending events I don’t care about, meals out and social evenings where I just get ‘spiked’ with comments that stay with me for days. Gradually I’ll learn to say no, learn to put me and my emotions first.  I did, however, have a stage last month where I said no to everything. I had a complete confidence lapse, no I won’t help you with that project, despite the fact I’d love too! I won’t attend your cool sounding event, cookery class and open day. It wasn’t meant to be, or I just couldn’t get myself out of that funk or find the energy to say yes.

Due to the fact I allow myself to drift into an irrational mood when I think I simply cannot fit everything in and allow myself to get frustrated rather than sensible, I tend to break things. I don’t know why I’m so accident prone or why it always happens to me? But it does. This weekend, I found myself in our garden, sobbing my heart out over the fact we’d had our lawn scarifier for 30 minutes and I’d managed to completely destroy it.

Depression is a complex and deeply personal way of feeling. I don’t walk around under a rain cloud, most people don’t know there’s anything wrong at all because we all experience it differently. I’m still able to turn up (nine times out of ten!) and face life full on, I’m tired of being held back and I want to move fowards. Not just for my sake, but the sake of those I love and the quality of life that I want to enjoy.  I don’t really want to take anti-depressants, I’m trying St John’s Wort and less caffeine as my starting point, I’ll evolve if I need to.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed that so many people start working out to beat mental health issues, and running used to be my escape and would set my mind at ease. At present, I have to really push through the invisible barrier that makes me not want to go at all, the wall I built between myself and really enjoying being outside. I just think ‘I can’t run as fast or far right now, so why should I bother at all?’ – There’s always another reason to try again.  I’ve started ‘boxing’ as we now have a punch bag in our garage, the day after a punching session I really ache, but I feel a sense of relief once I’ve finished my workout.

I hope that by talking, or in this case writing about how I feel and working hard to find a solution, I will gradually start to heal. In the meantime, I’ll just potter along this crazy world that I call life, smile at the little things and try to learn how to put myself first along the way.

If you have anything to offer in terms of advice or a story to share…I’d love to hear!

Katie

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