Its the little things that add up and make a difference. I’ve seen first hand over the last few months how lots of little negative things can add up so much that they go from being a small annoyance to being a weight too heavy to bear. Suddenly the little things are no longer little, they have gathered in number, weight and mass and are squashing and drowning you. Its so hard to explain how there actually wasn’t one thing that made me decide to leave my husband. That it doesn’t even make sense to say oh it was lots of little things because in the end it wasn’t even that.
It was everything and at the same time it was nothing. I just couldn’t cope. It feels as though I was standing out in the rain and suddenly I realised that I was up to my neck in water and couldn’t breathe. I had to get away from that before it was too late. The only way I knew how to do that was to leave. Nothing would have changed if I had stayed. It wouldn’t have worked. I still believe that now. Someone said to me last week that I couldn’t hope to heal when I was not in the same house as hubby but I respectfully disagreed. Well, what I actually did was shake my head and say I had to do what I did, it was the right thing and it would not have been right any other way. Because I do believe that.
I can see now that what I should have done was to move out of the way a long while ago while the raindrops were up around my ankles and not just ignore it until it threatened to drown me. But lots of things stopped me from doing that. Partly the depression, I know now that depression causes inaction and makes sufferers ignore what is happening in their lives. I know that depression can make you put on a happy face and pretend to the rest of the world that everything is OK even when it isn’t.
It wasn’t just the depression for me though. It was the depression together with a learned behaviour (not necessarily CORRECT but learned and believed) that I had to be perfect. I couldn’t ever admit to not being perfect, or having problems, or needing help because if I did SOMETHING BAD WOULD HAPPEN. Not a specific bad, but just something that would hurt me. And who wants to be hurt? It was easier to just pretend that everything was OK and not admit to anyone, especially my husband, how hard things were for me.
I was a prime candidate for depression before it started. See?
Learned behaviour which told me to put on a brave face and pretend that everything was OK when it wasn’t.
Sole owner of a big company which sucked about 80 hours of my life each week
Not communicating with hubby about what I needed from him
Childcare, cooking, etc
Limited circle of friends
No hobbies that were not connected to family or work
Is it any wonder that I fell apart? I’m still hoping I can pick up the pieces and put myself back together. Who knows what the new me will look like, probably not like the old one but that’s OK. I can’t go back to being the old me. At this point I have no idea what the new me might be like, I hope I still like her, and its a big and scary risk to take. But going back to the old me would eventually have been the end of me. I haven’t ever planned to end my life but I’ve certainly believed that my family would be better off without me. I no longer feel like that (well, not every day anyway!) but its scary to know that the old me believed that and was edging towards being totally convinced of it. I have no idea whether I would have done anything, I hope not, but I can’t be sure. Scary. So the new me that I am working on at the moment will be different from the old me. How different, I just dont know.
I started by saying that little things can add up and become big things, and then went into the negative example. But its also true for good things.
My 2yo is lovely. Totally crazy but absolutely lovely. We ventured out this morning and spent a very short amount of time in a shopping centre. She wasn’t in her pushchair and I told her we could go in 2 shops before we had to go home. She chose the build a bear shop and we looked at EVERY bear in there and loved them all and then went into Clinton cards and bought a birthday card. She chats all the time and is so sweet and funny. When we were nearly back at the car she asked to go up the escalator. I said no because our car was parked on the same level we were and that we didn’t need to be upstairs. She looked so sad that I quickly changed my mind.
We spent about 10 minutes going up and down the escalator again and again with her giggling and holding onto my hand and whispering into my ear that we should do it “just one more time, mama, just once more”
It was crazy and silly and a very non mum thing to do but it was lovely. She chatted all the way back to the car, telling me some long story about a fox that was chasing us and wanted to eat her unicorn. I admit to not really listening as I realised that if I could get enough of these little happy moments surely they would do the same thing as all the sad moments did.
This weekend was full of happy moments. I was persuaded by the kids to go on a zipwire at the park yesterday. . It made them all laugh. I need to do something silly and fun and crazy every day I think. If I fill my head with fun and happiness then I can maybe get the same overwhelmed effect with goodness. Its got to be worth a try, right?