Bitches be crazy

According to the internet it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and since I’m, well, mental, I thought I would chip in.

What do I have to say on the matter? I have a terrible confession. Sadly, I once believed that a certain mental health issue, depression, was a lot of bull! People feel sad? Like, eh why can they not just get over it and stop being moody. Granted, I was much younger when I thought this, late teens I think. I didn’t get it, couldn’t understand why a person would choose to be so dour faced (Scottish for sad/grumpy/miserable). They should pull their boot straps up and get on with it!

Turns out, that opinion is fucking ridiculous! And karma has something to say about it!

Hi, my name is Kirsty and bitches be crazy. Depression and anxiety crazy. Don’t let my poor attempt at humour fool you, I’m a 29 year old human currently battling my version of depression via medication and therapy. I deeply regret my immature teen view that I certainly do not hold now. Mental health (or lack of) is real, important and something every single person will struggle with in some shape or form in their life.

From my limited time being a parent, the past year and a half, I have learned that having a child will increase your chances of becoming batshit crazy. Now, I’m not blaming children buuuuut pretty much every parent has lost a screw or two. I must have missed the high mental health warning in all those baby books…that I didn’t read.

Seriously though, apart from the obvious life changes the addition of Jess has brought, my mental health has been flipped upside down since having that wonderful ball of rage and tantrums (that might be a bit harsh, she is brilliant fun with a cracking personality. But woe-betide you if you don’t give her a biscuit when she demands it).

I’m not sure if everyone has a ‘moment’, a time you came face to face with your mental, but I do. Jess was only a month or two out the womb and I broke. My partner saw the signs of my struggling before I did, he was worried about me. To cut a long personal story short, I broke down in tears early one morning telling David I couldn’t do this anymore, I wanted him out my life. Since we had been happy, loving and committed for 10 years, you can imagine the shock and hurt this caused us both. And that was my ‘moment’. He knew it and I reluctantly agreed that I was not coping, something was wrong, very wrong and I was depressed.

Since then I have been ploughing my way through the complex world that is depression, and to a lesser extent anxiety. It has been a steep learning curve, considering I was one to think that depression wasn’t even a thing, something you could choose to be. What a tit. The greatest thing I have learnt is empathy and the sheer strength of some people. Luckily I have never had suicidal thoughts, but I get it. I have never looked to alcohol, drugs or any other form of escapism but I get it. It’s not an act of weakness to reach for any of those things, it’s an act of numbing, to be released from whatever dark pressure you are under. I completely understand, now, why people are on that path. For those fortune enough to free themselves from any such vice, I am in awe. They are the strongest people I know, I can’t begin to imagine their struggle, their strength and determination. There are a few people close to me that have struggled and I see now what amazing people they truly are.

I’m beginning to realise my depression story has only just begun, I’m 20 months in (poor Jess, she gets blamed for all my grievances) and although I have been making progress, I feel I still have a long way to go. Most of the time I don’t even understand what is going on in my head. Am I depressed? Am I ecstatic? Am I anxious? Am I fine? Am I the definition of mental? Yes to all of the above I guess. Depression isn’t something that is the same in each person, it might not even be the same month to month. One week I will have quite severe anxiety regarding David. I worry he’s not attracted to me, that he has a crush, that he just puts up with me, that he can do better. The next week I’m worrying that I don’t love David, I’m a terrible partner, I’m failing as a mum/friend/person. Theeeen the next week I worry about Jess, that I will pass on this crazy, that she bugs me, that I need a break. Then the next day I’m cracking all the jokes and I have no idea what the hell I was thinking previously. When I’m up, I really struggle to understand or explain my thoughts. They don’t make any sense, I’m happy why would I think David doesn’t love me? It’s crazy. However, days like today when I’m still a tad dark it’s easy to type out the darkness, those mentioned are only the tip of the ice berg.

So you see, I’m mental. It’s OK (you can touch my butt – have you seen that video?), I’m making my peace with this, slowly, kinda, well a little. It’s reassuring and also terrifying that I am the only one that can fix this. It’s up to me to work towards smashing my frame of mind out the negative court and back into the positive. I never had these thoughts before Jess, Dave having a crush? Are you kidding me? If he did, I’d tell him to go pump her, wouldn’t bother me, it’s his lost. Now? Well, now he comes home late from work and I’m sniffing him, looking for evidence of foul play. Poor guy looks down and I’m all CSI on him telling him only lairs look down when they talk. Turns out he was only looking down to talk to Jess, but still, I’m on to him! I’m struggling to fix my warped perception, everything is negative, a chore, pressure, stressful. Some days I’m optimistic that I will be able to regain my ‘I’m awesome’ laid back approach to life, other days I’m convinced I’ll grow more and more negative, pushing friends and family away in the process.

Whether it’s Mental Health Awareness week or not, people need to share. I honestly believe reading other people’s experiences has helped me keep me shit together (for the most part). Even if it is just a parent describing how they call their kid an arsehole (I would neeeever do that……*pats Arsehole’s tiny hand from the laptop) when said kid won’t stop being an arsehole! How they sat in the bathroom and cried when they couldn’t handle watching another Peppe Pig (OK OK, it might have been over something other than Peppa, but that pig is annoying after 20 episodes). How a new mother did not fall madly in love with their newborn.

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Jess being an A hole, screamed while I changed her from her dress into PJs. Then she demanded the dress be put back on!

We need to hear this. Mums, dads, friends, partners, everyone. We need to smash the stigma surrounding mental health. I’m not usually shy on many subjects, but I do feel a little guarded surrounding my mental health for fear of judgement. Fear that my boundaries are a little lax and I will say something too truthful (i.e that I would rather work full time than be at home with my kid) and make someone recoil in horror at my words. I don’t need to other people to look at me the way I already feel about myself.

It pains me to think others are in a less fortunate position, suffering from any form of mental health, too fearful to share. If we all share our experiences people will be less likely to take exception. No stigma, no shame, just healthy and normal. You know, kinda like the free the nipple campaign on Insta? We all get our nipples out and it’s just a nipple, nothing erotic here to see? No? That’s for another blog?

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