This recent lockdown hadn't impacted me so hard to start with, i think with it starting deep in winter, i nested down and took advantage of fires, knitting and the calm after the Christmas chaos. Around March time i found that slowly changing and could feel a decline in my mental well being and general readiness, the cold still felt long and winter was staying put. It felt good to be around others at work but the work didn't feel quite the same with face masks and having to stay 2m apart, which in periods of distress feels inhumane to not reach out and touch the arm of a client, a lot of changes were occurring and slowly i started to feel more disconnected then i have for a while, recognising my old friend was starting to appear and i was struggling to keep him at bay. I started to realise i wanted to sleep and stay asleep for some time which for me is my first trigger, i knew that wasn't possible with a toddler but i could feel the urge, things started to feel very overwhelming and i was finding myself repeating situations that had upset me over and over, my next trigger, not being able to process. I feel very lucky Sam and my Mum recognise these triggers quickly and start making me talk and share asking me what i need and how they can help. I started to realise my postnatal depression hadn't gone and now this attached to my low mood periods, intensifying life and motherhood and how i coped with days where loneliness/disconnectedness sunk in strong. I started to recognise where i was unhappy and what changes i needed to make to stay focused on myself and what my needs were as a women, mother, wife, friend and counsellor, if i am struggling all these areas struggle too and suddenly i can't be who i need in each situation. I sometimes feel a sad shadow and hear negativity creep in which isn't where i feel comfortable.
I began to listen to what i share with young people and attempted to take action, look at what was happening and make a plan for what i needed to do, recognise what changes felt possible right now and were in reach to manage. I took my journal out and started to process and began to move my body which felt good, i threw myself into the activities i enjoy, growing, making and being outdoors and recognised sometimes i needed to put me first as without putting me first i couldn't be present for those around me.
We also managed a holiday, an actual away space and its been 3 days but being out in the dales already has grounded me, slowed me down and let me hear what feels right. I have took holidays over lockdown but for some reason or other work has creeped in, not by choice and the holiday hasn't felt the space i needed to fill myself back up, for me a holiday is a time away, exploring and being in open spaces it isn't being back in the four walls of my home, feeling trapped, i have felt trapped for a year now with limitations being put on us of how we should behave and act. I have never realised the importance for physical contact this year, the sense of being close to others, the embrace of a friend without asking 'are we hugging' and constantly feeling an upset or anxiety that your too close to someone. This year has brought such change, such judgement and great sadness and i am ready for it to be over and a new time to come.
The year ahead i have made plans, plans keep me focused and allow me to look forward to good times, it helps my mental health stay put and allows me to be at my best on most days. I have considered going to the doctors to talk about medication but have made the decision to wait, i have a few things occurring and if those things go the way i hope then that may help and change how my brain reacts. A friend asked me the other day if i would rather stay in one stable place rather than feel the big loves which then come with the depressive lows, it was such a great question and i realised i wouldn't change it, it's what makes me who i am and because i feel lucky enough to recognise my triggers then i feel more able to keep going as i am. As always with mental health this may change, it reappears in the strangest of ways and at times of real stress i will always move, talk write and be outdoors.