Looking back over my shoulder...
Wake up challenge this time was to look back over past challenges to see what worked.
This challenge was to look back at what we forgot from the first year of Wake Up.
Mark asked me to remember what we had forgotten. To be honest as I read a lot of my posts I found it hard to believe how much I had forgotten. Autopilot has a lot to answer for. How much of my life will I forget or have forgotten. What struck me most was the personal changes I achieved within that wake up year. I moved in with B after 16 years going solo and I went back to Uni. How could I have forgotten this wake up conduit of change.
There are a few challenges that have come to be part of my daily life, get up and hour earlier to achieve something, go outside in the morning first thing, and the other one which was to identify the one big thing for the day. These three things really help me every day. I’ve made no secret that I suffer from what I call ‘low moods’, this is something that I have learnt to ‘cope’ with sometimes with or sometimes when it’s not so bad without medication. These are the things which have become my coping mechanisms. There has been radio silence from me (Mark – I apologise) but I’ve had a bit of a bad black hole period. I think it triggered by my Mam not being well and anger and frustration towards some of my siblings and just life in general. I won’t go into details but it was all that was needed to knock me off my equilibrium ‘coping’ state. When I had cried every day solidly for a week, had a couple of real road rage incidents, turned back halfway to work unable to imagine myself getting through the day and then spent the rest of the day unable to move, I knew it was time to go to the Doctors, I was thinking I was menopausal ( you see I am still find it really difficult to admit that I do suffer from depression) blood tests deduced I was not and the doctor had to tell me yet again she really did think that I needed to go back on the medication. I felt defeated, and felt like I was letting myself down so much is my own prejudice about my own mental illness. A couple of weeks into medication all I can say is I feel a WHOLE lot better. A different person even. When you feel better it is difficult to imagine how bad it really was in the black time. This is why, I think people who have never suffered from depression find it so difficult to empathise and say ridiculous things like – ‘you do it to yourself’ and ‘pull yourself together’.
As it is with life timing is a funny thing. Sometimes something or in this case someone good comes a long just when you need it most. In the last month I’ve reconnected with an old school friend. She doesn’t live far away but between careers and families at different stages it would be fair to say we have lost touch over the last ten years. We’ve had lunch and this week we went on a rainy woodland hike and talked. She asked me how I got on with my blood tests , I decided to come clean and tell her the outcome. She then confided that she too was on medication for the last 12 months and it had really helped her. She went on to explain how she thought about it, she said her husbands’ family was one of weak knees and hips, all of them needing operations in later life. ‘ My family’ she said ‘ and I suspect yours too, just doesn’t produce enough serotonin, that’s all it is.’ Thinking of it this way has really helped me. Life can be tough with all the responsibilities, as women we wanted it all, most of us got it but sometimes we got too much for one human being to handle. There’s no shame in admitting this and sometimes we all need a little help and understanding and even medication and if we do and it helps, so what?
So Mark, I forgot wake up for a while and how to have fun with life but now I am back.