The family upset from death of a much loved pet, late bedtimes and broken sleep at nights following that, neighbours putting in an objection to our new extension, dance class funding pulled, secondary school allocation thoughts, an unexpected school meeting and a very-near school refusal on Friday, the day I was to start my new job, all contributed to the stress and unhappiness levels rising and the mood sliding to somewhere below where it has ever been before.
Today the sun has come out and with it a little bit of worry has lifted; enough for me to see my way through the fug again. But it's left me thinking of all those other people who will be having difficulties, today and next week, and wishing I could help.
I was feeling depressed, and it's the closest I've been to not being able to drag myself out of it, but I wasn't actually depressed. Many people see their GPs and request medication to help them function every day. In the world of 'Special Needs', I have come across many mums (and probably dads) who are struggling to get through every day thanks to the additional challenges they face. It's not just in the Special Needs world though; there are many reasons others have challenges which they feel unable to face too. It's nothing to feel bad about, and there is some comfort and safety in numbers, and knowing others are in that place too.
One thing we can do, is to talk about it. Mental health is such a wide and varied topic, but if any forms of it can be discussed out loud, more can be understood. Mind.org.uk is a great charity with lots of information and resources, and their website is a good place to start. There's advice and support on everything from anxiety and panic attacks, depression, seasonal affective disorder and schizophrenia to sleep and self-esteem issues and it's well worth a look. Another charity I hadn't heard of is SANE, and they also have a great website. It's good to reach out to real people though
It could be that the quiet mum at school has a lot on her plate and doesn't know where to start; maybe she is feeling lonely and as if she has no friends. Either way, a coffee and a chat may be all she needs - sometimes even a smile is enough. I'm fine, this post isn't to get people talking to me, I just hope that we can all be a little more tolerant of, and helpful to, others around us.
I'm dedicating this post to our beloved Stampy; our adventurous ginger cat, gone too soon.