Monday, 13 January 2014

Asking for help doesnt mean you have failed

So for the last few weeks I have been struggling, I have been trudging on, got through Christmas ok, even enjoyed myself on occasion, but in the background a familiar feeling has been brewing. I'm tired, feeling overworked, its all getting on top of me. Last week it came to a head, I just reached the point where I couldn't go on, this isn't the first time I have felt like this, previous episodes of depression have left me feeling like this and ending up being very ill and off work through stress. Well last week I reached that point, I try so hard to be positive and 'just get on with it', and I just couldn't. So I ended up having a few days off work to get my head together and going back to the counsellor and doctors.

I feel like a failure, well that's a lie, I FELT like a failure, we live in a world where you are just meant to get on with things, where we pretend hurt and dispair don't affect our every thought and feeling and where mental health is not seen as a valid illness rather as a 'get out clause' We put so much pressure on ourselves to not acknowledge grief, to pretend its not happening, to pretend that we are ok when we are far from it. Speaking to my counsellor, shes the only one who makes me feel that not being ok, is actually fine. That feeling the way I do is normal. 

I, we, lost a child, no that's not right, we didn't lose Lily, She died, she spent 6 months growing in my belly, she was all our hopes and dreams and we suffered a MASSIVE trauma, I suffered a MASSIVE trauma, I gave birth and our baby died while I was doing that. She made me feel like its ok if I'm not doing great, that if I'm struggling that is fine. She makes me feel like this is normal, this is ok, and its not going away quickly. Also that everyone is different, that the fact some may see me as 'weak' or 'lazy' or 'crazy' is wrong, that I'm doing the best I can. That they way I cope is fine, its not wrong. 

So after a few days off and thinking a lot I realised I cant keep working as much as I do, that leaving the house at 6.30am and getting home at 6pm and pushing my grief to one side isn't healthy, and its ok that I cant do it but I need to face that and deal with it. So I did, I dealt with it, I asked for help, knowing that as temporary staff they don't have to help me, knowing that I could end up without a job, I did it, I asked for help. Luckily I managed to get it sorted so I can work less hours so hopefully this will help me be able to cope better.

When I went back to work it was never about money, it was about finding a job that I liked, in an environment that supported me, hence I do an admin role, some I know see it as a step back, I am trained in accountancy but I needed something different. I went for my interview and just got a feeling, I started my job, and although I hated it the first day, it was like coming home. 

I love my office, I love my job, that to me is worth everything, its worth the travelling, the pay cut, the endless cups of tea I make, I have worked in crap places, for crap bosses and its horrid, to find the complete opposite is worth anything.

So the point of my post today, well that its ok to not be ok. That to ask for help doesn't mean I have failed. To not be able to cope, is normal and its ok. So ladies, if any of you are struggling, if your 6 months in from your pprom and your thinking 'I shouldn't STILL be like this' you know what, its ok that you are, your not going to be back to 'normal', lets be honest we never will but don't beat yourself up for it.

Love yourself, love that you are where you are in your journey and don't give up, take the plunge, ask for help and you may be surprised at the results.

Much love 
(From a rested and happy mother to Lily)