I can’t keep quiet

…’cause no one knows me

no one ever will.

 If I don’t say something, 

take that dry blue pill….

– Milck, “I can’t keep quiet” (women’s March) https://youtu.be/zLvIw8J8sWE

I’m down to my last two pills. 

Every time I get to a point of urgent attention for my mental health, I feel like I’m right back there again. Back to my lowest points where I’ve felt so terrified, swallowed by a black hole, unmotivated, unable to function, crying when given a moment to think. 

It doesn’t take much to slip sometimes. Just a few weeks. Just a few comments, just a few thoughts. Just a few life changes crammed into a short period of time. If you don’t check in with yourself, it comes up again. 

But I swear, why do I let my mental health take a back seat repeatedly? I have to be right at the edge before something gets done. You always only start seeing someone and start acting when you see them right at the edge. It’s easier and clearer to see from there I guess, for both parties.  

I’m not writing about this because it’s topical, I’m writing about it because it’s current. It’s right in my face and I’m dealing with my mental health today. 

I’m sat at the doctors after-hours, and I paid for a casual adult visit. I phoned a couple of places before coming in to this one, to check prices. I was acutely aware of the barrier to even making that phone call for some people. Its twenty to 6 in the evening on a Saturday. I can hear a tired toddler, periodically crying in a cubical around the corner. I watch an older lady be walked out the door by a younger woman, possibly her daughter or neice. I held the chair next to me earlier for her. The younger woman made her gratitude to me for this action known for the remainder of their visit, with a sincere smile and thank you. If it hadve been another person making that call – enquiring about the cost of an urgent casual GP visit – someone in a worse state than me, without someone else to look after their kids, I wonder where they would’ve turned to next. A support line? Googled a number if they had a smart phone with data? Rung a friend? D) all of the above? I hope so. 

It can happen so so quickly, the downwards spiral. I know it does for me. 

Please don’t forget your mental health. 

You (and your mind) are worth it. 

I’m posting this now, after my doctors appointment, and now I have more than two pills. 

Returning to work: one way to do it

Tomorrow marks one month since I returned to work full-time, after 5 years at home with the kids. I did not ease back into it. I did the exact opposite of easing back into it. Recently at a stress-management workshop, I ticked off a few relatively low-scale stressful events that I’d experienced personally in the past year. Adding them up would give you some kind of indivudal stress rating, which I didn’t get round to. The events had happened in the past two months, and considering this, we’re doing ok. 

Let me tell you what has happened in my world in the past two months in chronological order:

  • Graduated from/Left Playcentre
  • Partner changed jobs from full-time to Flexi part-time, working from home and being primary caregiver
  • Bought a house
  • I stopped being the primary caregiver of our three children
  • Brother moved out of our home
  • Moved to a new town
  • Started a full-time job
  • Sold a house
  • Started renovation enquiries.

And so on and so forth. 

I wouldn’t recommend this way of returning to work if you’ve got the choice. I could’ve been a lot kinder on myself. But I wanted a change of scenery.  I definitely have one now. The future is so bright up here! 

That nagging project over there

Yes, I have alluded  (alluded…?? more like promised!) to working on a storytime sharing project, about the collision of librarianship and motherhood, or parenthood. We’re still working out the parameters.

This post here, reminded me. And gradually I can articulate the project a bit better as my research partner and I work things through.

 I’m still working things through anyway. I work very veeery slowly, much to many of my colleagues annoyance. (Sorry Alison!)

What nagging projects do you have?