After a fairly good and happy run along the straight and narrow path of being free of depression and anxiety, I hit a blip. Well, the blip hit me actually, in a shovel-on-the-head sort of way.
Perhaps I should have anticipated it, perhaps I became too confident that “I WAS CURED!” and I foolishly took my eye off the ball. The truth of the matter is, that for me, and for whatever reason, this is a long term war and not just a short battle, and never, never can I become complacent about my mental health.
Ahhh but how carefree I have been, how I have been feeling like a “normal” human being. But I’ve not gone to a new yoga class which I know I should do. I’ve been becoming a little ‘antsy and paranoid’ lately and didn’t get to the bottom of it. I even had a couple of glasses of the old vino – well that was a blindingly obvious schoolboy error. God, the shame of admitting it … do as I say, not as I do. Please can you forgive me? Because I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have and I’ve paid for it ..
So it’s been back to basics for the last 48 hours.
In my mind it’s been similar to when the boys were very young and all was going really well. So, I relaxed the rules. I gave them a bit of leeway, a bit of rope (to metaphorically hang myself with later on) and they were allowed to eat choco pops cereal for their breakfast, watch television before doing their homework and not tidy their rooms, and before I knew it … BOOM! I had a couple of tantrumming monsters on my hands, addicted to Scooby Doo and Lego, toy soldiers and the dreaded train tracks not just spilling out of every door, but in fact linking one room to another. I must confess to actually rather liking Scooby Doo but that’s besides the point.
So, I then had to go absolutely back to basics with them, causing upset and trauma to my first world life and remove the chocolate cereal, bad behaviour and Scooby for a few days so that normal service was resumed. And of course, it worked. They, like me are simple creatures, needing routine, structure and boundaries.
And so that is what I have been doing. Treating myself like a child who needs direction. Betty is sulking in the shed, albeit quietly now, and my mood has lifted and I no longer want to hide under the bed with a packet of ginger nuts and a secret cigarette. I have been cycling like a demon, had a bit of beauty therapy yesterday afternoon (actually I now look a bit blotchy which is unfortunate, but it was heaven at the time) and spent an hour in a cycle shop chatting to a very nice young man about tyres. I’m seeing my old Glasgow tennis friends tomorrow and will no doubt be teased again mercilessly about my ‘posh’ accent and how thick I am that I still can’t understand anything they say, but I look forward to it enormously. Exercise, fresh air, no booze, sleep and getting out of the house and talking … and also loving my wonderful friends here – you know who you are.
It’s working, but may this be a lesson to me. I must never become complacent about mental health.
And, if all else fails, a bit of Scooby Doo probably won’t hurt.
Any thoughts? Have you ever had a blip and had to work through it? And how did you do that?