Friday, January 24, 2014

Being honest when others don't want to hear it!

Now my children are at secondary school I am enjoying so much more freedom. No more school run, no more school gates and no more having to take the children with you when you need a bottle of milk. Bliss.

I started the New a Year making commitments to a new exercise routine, work and mental well being goals. I was enthusiastic about starting Janathon, (writing and exercising everyday.) I had a pretty fab start to the year and then....

.....daughter number one became ill. 

It began with the high temperature and general tearful outlook. Then obvious to the naked eye swollen glands. It ended with a near trip to the hospital asthma attack. The result was me being trapped in the house with a sick child for five days, slowly going stir crazy. 

No Saturday run which I hate but does energise me. No gym, dance class or yoga. No just popping out for a walk round the shops or meeting someone for coffee. Being trapped indoors happens a lot when the children are babies, but how quickly you forget what it's like.

I was suddenly back to sleepless nights, and dozing listening for a call in the darkness.

The result was my mood dropped dramatically. I usually force myself to go out and walk everyday to help fight the depression. Unable to leave my daughter I didn't even walk the dog. I felt blue to my toes. I know from past experience that I will need a little time to get back on an even keel.

I have been told that I need to be honest with others about mental health issues. I am not suppose to pretend that I'm alright. But what do you do when you are honest with others but others only listen to what they want to hear?

This is sort of transcript to some of the conversations I have had today.

I ventured in to the outside world. Some understood that it was a terrible week. Others did not.

'You're looking a lot better!' Person x exclaimed.

'Actually, I've had a bit of a bad week and my mood is quite low at the moment.' I replied.

'But you are OK now,' person x said.

'No, but I'm sure once I get back into my routine I will feel better,' I said.

'But you are such a happy and optimistic person,' person x said.

'I do get described as that, but actually I suffer from anxiety and depression.' I replied.

'Yes but you do cope with everything,'  person x said.

I have actually made up the conversation from two people's comments. They certainly didn't want to hear things weren't OK. I suspected both people were hoping to ask a favour, they didn't. Deciding to be honest meant that I wasn't pretending that I was alright, and I was in a better position to say sorry I can't take anything else on at the moment.

When I first walked away I did think, what's the point in being honest if other people don't want to hear what you have to say. But on reflection I have decided it was worthwhile.

 I feel better about myself. I wasn't pretending I could cope. I wasn't putting on a fake smile. And best of all that horrible feeling of resentment wasn't there.

Honesty has taken away the fear of trying to be perfect and trying to be everything to everyone. Best of all I have been honest with myself. Which means I have decided to be a little kinder to myself about my to do list.       

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