In These Shoes

I used to hate cookery, but now I love it 😀 
From time to time, I’ll see someone who has attempted to end their life on Social Media.
That sentence already looks odd having written it, but I know that’s how the modern world now works: people who have no connection to the ‘reality’ they live in and feel closer to the virtual friends they’ve never met, but end up being more confident talking to. Those who don’t feel they have ‘friends’ to turn to in reality, but know if they cry for help via Twitter or Facebook? Someone will hear them. Except that’s not a certainty, not even close to one. Throwing your life into the lap of strangers? That’s not something I think I’d ever recommend to anyone, and still an increasing number of people feel this is all they have. So this makes me wonder why, and so I go back to my personal issues for answers.

As someone who was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression, I feel I ought to try and give a sense of what it does to your mind, but no two women are the same. It isn’t just psychological circumstances either, geography and pride play equally significant parts in the equation. For a long time I’d just avoid the issues altogether or pretend they didn’t exist, or find ways to avoid going out, making myself a deliberate prisoner in my own home. The straw that broke me was the day I ended up alone having had both kids safely in other people’s hands, and realising I was physically scared of even going to the Supermarket. I sat in the car and sweated for 30 minutes before forcing myself inside where I felt so sick and confused I ended up having a full on panic attack. Then I knew: this was ridiculous. I was 42. I couldn’t live normally like this, and I needed help. So I went and found it.

Fossils are a hobby I also enjoy 😀

As a Mother, you’re always judging yourself, pretty much from the moment you wake until the time you sleep. Nothing you do is ever good enough, how you act and what you feed your kids, if they’re happy or unhappy, how you discipline them, whether you should shout or not… the list is literally endless. Then there’s the moment when you genuinely stuff up or something happens that is out of your control… and you’re screwed either way, because your brain will inevitably decide this shows the world what a terrible mother you are. Everybody’s a critic, nobody seems to care, and you’re expected to just deal with it all like everyone else does. Except, you can’t. 

You need to ask for help. And the Internet, beautiful and brilliant as it is, is not necessarily the answer  everyone will need.

Rocks in all their forms are beautiful

In fact, and this may not make me hugely popular for saying, I’d argue that the better option for many is not to reach out to the people who seem to care more, but to actually try and talk to those who seem to care less but exist in your reality, because those are the ones who you’ll need to work with to improve your situation. A cry for help is all well and good, but it does not actually solve the real issues you may feel you are facing. Yes, it may also get you the medical attention you need, but sometimes it is far better if you can find the strength within yourself to reach out yourself without having to resort to the drastic. Because if there’s nobody to hear you? If you pick the moment and nobody hears the cries?

There is no second chance.

I cannot stress this enough: for all the stories of the people who got lucky and managed to be saved, there are the countless people who take their own lives and are lost forever. Brilliant, beautiful people who never come back, who cannot be returned to their friends and families. Suicide is absolutely the last place you should ever go. You should never let yourself get there, and you can absolutely prevent even needing to be the cry for help. You need to find the strength inside yourself, and that is I know the hardest thing in the whole World to say or write, but it is doable. I know this, because I’ve done it, and I know countless people who are living, walking attestants to the same. The hardest thing you will ever have to do in your life is ask for help.

The best thing you’ll ever do for yourself is asking for help early, and often.

So, I took an hour out of my holiday today to sit here and write a post to remind people they are never alone, even if they feel they are. It isn’t impossible to ask for help from your husband or your mother, however much you might hate them for coping better than you do. You don’t need the Internet to be there for you, however seductive the notion might be of using it to grab some attention (and I know that’s not what you’re thinking or how it works, but some people will assume that’s what it is.) Mostly, what you need to do is find a way to help yourself that means you get better, and you’re able to live to fight another day. Because that is pretty much what matters more than anything else. You, living. Because you are brilliant, and special, and there is always a better way than simply deciding you’ve had enough.

Every day is worth living as best as you can. Take it from someone who understands how it feels to be that person who needs help, then took it, and has come out the other side both stronger and better as a result.

People want to help you. You need to let them try.

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