International Women’s Day triggered my mental health difficulties
Last week I really struggled with my mental health. Nothing seemed to trigger it, other than perhaps I was exhausted. International Women’s Day was, however, the icing on the cake.
I berated myself for not being a role model for all the girls growing up around me. I felt like a useless role model for my son, Callum, to help him better understand, respect and appreciate a woman’s worth as he grows up.
I didn’t even feel like a decent mother.
I just hated my body and how I felt it limits me.
Overall, I was riddled with self-doubt and anxiety.
I wanted to write down my thoughts but my mood wouldn’t allow me
I wanted to write it all down - how I was feeling in that exact moment - so that maybe one of you might think, “yeah that’s how I feel too” and not feel quite so alone. Plus, writing these thoughts down is always a great way to get outside of your head. Unfortunately, my mood wouldn’t allow me.
So, deep down the dark tunnel of despair, I literally just sat on the sofa and did nothing. I didn’t even have the telly on. Callum came home and I was unnecessarily snappy with him, which always leaves me feeling guilty.
At bedtime, I eventually mustered just enough enthusiasm and courage to text my friend. We have a reciprocal deal, where if we just need to get something out of our heads, we send a text starting “Just need to say this out loud” and then we don’t expect a reply, or even want one. A modern way of writing it down, I guess.
Remembering some great advice
It was at this moment that I remembered some great advice I was once given: What would you say to your best friend if she were having these same thoughts and feelings? You wouldn’t run her down further, or agree with her.
So I told myself:
You’re a great mum; you adapt and overcome whenever chronic illness meddles with what you need to do each day.
You are enough; you have a child that feels, above all, loved.
You live everyday with an ileostomy and when people find that out they are often in awe of how you manage.
You are stronger than you think.
Don’t forget to be your own best friend.