Warning: this post discusses mental health, suicide and depression. Mental health should not be a taboo. It’s okay to not be okay.
Husband and I talked while I was there, and he realised that he needed to change the way he worked and that the stress of his job was affecting our relationship. Stress has a lot to account for; it can overtake you before you know it’s even there.
I had to sort the relationship with my youngest out, I was no longer going to be threatened with being hit when she had a bad day. She never actually hit me but I was sick of being the bad guy. My youngest has Aspergers so has never been an easy child per say, and we have had our challenges, our relationship has been strained for years and I thought for the most part we were working through it over the lockdowns. However, the second lockdown had made our lives even harder, the home, was now a jail for us all.
Christmas was hard with the lockdown, I hate Christmas at the best of times, this year it felt like the whole world was finally on my wave length, although we did the best to make it okay.
I began to engage with my counsellor more and January turned to February, we are still all talking and things looked to be improving. March and April drifted into one, and I still found myself in bed most days, nothing to get up for and husband still working from home. Pain and fatigue over took me again, my fibromyalgia was in flare now.
I caught Covid-19 at the start of March – we narrowed it down to a hospital appointment – and I passed it onto my eldest and my husband and they were ill a week later. Took the wind out of me, I think because I finally rested and just allowed myself to sleep and sleep without the guilt or trying not to sleep because it was day time meant that my body was finally able to recover. I think it was then that I ultimately felt able to say it is okay to be not okay and believe it.
May came and husband finally went back to his actual place of work, which helped me feel a little better, he had taken time off work because of Covid-19 and been on sick for more than three weeks, it was the rest he needed too. Then a week after he returned to work, my husband found out he had got another job, more money and it would put an end to his current employment which gave him no respect and endless hours of hassle. My eldest changed her job and my youngest started a trial position. They were all out the house at once and for the first time in over a year I finally had my own space. I could breathe again and could slowly begin to stretch my mind once more.
A month after she started my youngest quit her job, the place has since closed down and failed to pay its employees. My daughter increased her agro and wanted to move out, she then spent days on end at a friend’s house and that was fine with us, but what we did not like, want or need was the constant aggression and attitude when she was home. The endless telling us we were crap parents. She cannot leave quick enough for us. Once she has moved out, she has told us she no longer wants anything to do with us and it no longer worries me, like it maybe should. My mental health and physical health has to start coming first. I need to start to matter to myself.
My husband found a keyboard that fitted my IPad, which means that I can sit somewhere other than my computer and type and it helps avoid the pain and discomfort, it also means I am not tied to the house and can sit outside. We have converted the small green house into a little chill out den, mainly for my eldest, but it works for me too.
I haven’t sewn since making scrubs for nearly 10 months, I haven’t felt like it. I had ten memory bears to make from my friends clothes, who died from a bad drug reaction after having the Covid vaccine, she was only 56. It was hard cutting her clothes up; it was even harder making the bears. After months of stressing and doing them they were finally made and given before the 16th of August, her birthday.
I cannot say I enjoyed making them as they were fiddly and ten of them were a pain to make, but it did get me sewing again. For that I am grateful.
During the course of making them – I had the clothes from April –my husband started a new job working nights. My youngest was staying away, and on his first night shift I sat down to write at my computer and it went funny and stopped working. I was so disappointed I finally had the mental and physical space to start writing again. And this time technology stopped me, or rather lack of it.
Move forward nearly four months. Daughter has decided that sharing with her friend was not working and has returned home under new terms. Her aptitude has improved, there is still stress with husband over the car, I still have no independence, but working on that one.
We had to have a brand new computer built to specifications because of my embroidery software etc. I can now write again, it took a week to install all the software and re set it up. I still cannot sit for long but things are getting better.
Will my life ever be perfect no; but I know that now it’s okay to be not okay and that I am fine with that. I take the time for me without the need to feel guilty.
I realise to cannot control the world around you, you can only control you. These last two years have been extremely hard for a lot of people, but even without the pandemic mental health has always been there, only now it is more acceptable to talk about it.
Please don’t suffer in silence, it’s okay to not be okay.
Repeat after me: “it’s okay to be not okay”, now believe it for yourself.