I caught the ‘mums’ – but there’s a social media cure for that.

My body.

It’s an amazing thing. It grew and housed another human. It provided food for that tiny human. It expanded, it shrunk, it contracted. It really is a source of amazement – I’m pretty amazed at just how much weight I managed to gain and carry when I was pregnant. I took the guidelines of ‘expected’ weight gains and ate them along side my two lunches before my 3 course dinner. Being pregnant really was a great time (*rain check, other than eating like a hungry horse, no it wasn’t). Continue reading “I caught the ‘mums’ – but there’s a social media cure for that.”

I want to believe

I want to believe I am the best thing since sliced bread.

I want to believe every heart felt word or encouragement from my partner’s mouth.

I want to believe I am the best mum for my daughter.

I want to believe what my daughter so freely shows, that I am her idol.

I want to believe I am the mum that she sees.

But I don’t believe it. I know me better than that and I believe I am toxic to my child.

Isn’t that fucked up? Continue reading “I want to believe”

I’m all about the rage, bout the rage no calming.

There’s been something that I have thought about writing about for a while. It’s something that so many people, those affected by mental illness and those that aren’t, experience and deal with on a daily basis. But, well, it’s a little taboo, a little shameful, something that I probably wouldn’t like to admit. It’s been drummed into me, for obvious reasons, that it is something a person should hide, to never be and to prevent at all costs. After all, it can be dangerous.

I’m talking about rage.

Recently, I came across a blog or two discussing rage, in relation to post natal depression. And like many aspects surrounding my mental health ‘adventure’, the penny didn’t drop until I seen the words ‘rage’ and ‘mental health’ in the one sentence. How stupid of me, considering I have been ‘angry’ at life for approaching three years now.

But rage is a strong term isn’t it. Most likely when you think of rage you have the image of the incredible Hulk smashing a building or two, or you think of a cartoon character with steam coming out their ears, or you might even think of that poor chef desperately trying to place the olive atop the stack. People describe being ‘blinded by rage’ which lead them to commit a terrible act of violence or destructing, ones they would never, in their right mind, commit. Rage, by it’s definition is a terrible, threatening, destructive force, so those that feel enraged, with no apparent reason for such strong emotion, well they must be terrible too? As children we are discouraged from acts of aggression (well, most people are, there are some that slip the net judging by the monster kids at soft play), we may even be physically scolded (hypocrite) for lashing out or losing our temper. I would know, I have zero patience and a whole load of temper. As a child (and adult) I was often told off for my outbursts, stamping, tantrums and cries. Rage is bad, to be avoided at all costs.

So you can see why a person might be less than forth coming admitting to their rage. Nevertheless, it’s something people should talk about, I’ve been suffering from depression for 2 years, granted to a lesser extent now, and it was only within the last few months that I read about rage in relation to depression. Speaking about mental health can be extremely challenging and intimate, there are still days, really tough days, when my partner asks ‘what is wrong?’, in my head I will be screaming the answer, desperately wanting to explain and be comforted. Yet, my mouth won’t open, I twitch, I become vulnerable and so uncomfortable that I will kick around the truth, maybe give a snippet of the truth, but not the whole story. For the most part, these tough days revolve around feeling too much pressure on my shoulders, feeling the weight of responsibilities and a lack of optimism for the future. Those are the ‘easy’ tough days. But there are days when I’m a beast, days when I want to tell my partner that I would love nothing more than to knock my head into a concrete wall, days when I feel full of anger and rage.

How do you talk to another person about such a taboo topic? What do you say without fear of judgment? Do I even have ‘the rage’, it is a very powerful word, I wonder if it applies to me, after all I haven’t harmed anyone, nor myself. I haven’t trashed a room. I haven’t lashed out in Hulk like state. Like most aspects of mental health, I believe it to be on a scale. I have depression, yet never considered suicide. I have anxiety, yet never had a panic attack. I experience rage, yet have never physically hurt someone – mentally hurt another person out of rage, sadly, yes. Can I really say I have the ‘rage’?

Whenever I try to describe how I’m feeling to my partner or my close friend, the term I normally use is ‘frustrated’. I get very, very frustrated. There will be periods of time, days, weeks to a month, where I am, at best, frustrated. At what? I may not even know. All I know is I have a short fuse, no time for shit and I couldn’t care less about how you might feel. The fuse is short enough that, a minuscule, none ‘thing’ will cause me flip. I become angry, I will lash out in the form of, on a good day, being rude and cutting. On a bad day, I’m spiteful and intent on causing whoever caused me grief some form of hurt, emotional hurt. Not enough hurt that they push me out their life, but enough hurt that I will deeply regret what the fuck I’m doing and apologise…usually.

However, frustration is merely a comfortable and acceptable term I can use to hint that I’m a little bit of a angry monster at times. It’s easy to say I get frustrated, I’ve always leaned more towards the frustrated and impatient side of character traits, laid back and easy going aren’t really on my C.V. If I’m completely honest to myself, I have felt rage, and I do feel rage. I felt rage at my daughter, my newborn daughter, on more than one occasion. Never was she in harm, I was in enough control to prevent that from happening. I did scream in a rage, a confused, upset, tired and what I now know, a depressed rage. At the time, I had never felt like that before. So angry. So confused. So isolated and so ashamed. More anger snaps occurred as Jess grew. Depending on my emotional state, the length of my temper changed. More often than not, there was no give or take in my temper. I could be, seemingly, fine one minute and snap the next. To this day I struggle with my impulsive temper, the quickness in which I go from zero to verbally ripping someones head off.

Frustration is what I feel, angry and rageful is how I act. Not all the time. Only when the pressure build. Pressure being how I feel mentally. When I’m placed under pressure I will physically look angry, it’s easy for anyone to read. Anger can build so quickly, and without, any apparent real reason. Once, I seriously considered mounting the pavement while driving. I was so fucked off with the traffic, that I felt justified to drive on the pavement, past all these bloody arseholes causing congestion, to get to where I needed to be. And where I needed to be was no where. I wasn’t late for work. I wasn’t late for an appointment. I wasn’t late for anything. As much as I would have loved to John McClane all over the street, what the fuck was that all about? I scared myself. Who seriously thinks that is an acceptable thing to do? That’s mental. I’ve been so full of anger and rage that I have, again while driving – maybe I should see someone about my road rage issues – split up with my partner. I don’t know why. I don’t remember what happened before hand. I do remember being so incredible angry, and I wanted to hurt him in the only way I know how to really hurt him, by ending our relationship. Luckily he’s very supportive and understanding, and hasn’t let me actually end our 12 year relationship.

There doesn’t need to a ‘big’ event or fall out for rage to manifest, when I’m in that pressure filled frame of mind. It’s almost as if I’m hormonal, that one time when, as a female, you get given a little more leeway. You’re a bit on edge, you know it, he knows it, your friends know it and if you’ve got a face of fizz like me, then even your co workers may know it. You may as well have a sign on your back saying ‘Approach with caution’. At least then, there is an obvious explanation for your behaviour. You wake the next day with the ‘ahh, so that’s why I bit David’s head off for eating my Cadburys Twinpot’ – to be fair I was heavily pregnant and dreaming, the whole way home, about eating it. Only to get home and find that absolute horror had eaten it. I went mental, cold shoulder, angry, huffy, the whole shebang – to this day I’m still bitter about it. Who does that?! He doesn’t even like them! Dick. Lately, I’m that same angry, hormonal woman, minus the delicious treats. I experience rage over nothing, really nothing. And it’s almost as if I can’t control it. As quick as you would try to catch a falling glass, I will snap and react to Jess knocking something over or needing to repeat myself or the bin not being emptied or the bin being emptied abut no fresh bag in it’s place. Annoying things for sure, but do they warrant clenched fists and mutterings under the breath, or really REALLY audible mutterings? No, of course they don’t. I know that, but it comes out quicker than I can police. And in all truth I don’t want to police it, I’m angry and feel justified in my horrible behaviour.

The very worst rage offences always, always, prompt sadness and regret. Self loathing. Why can’t I just be normal? Why do I need to snap? Why did I do that? It’s a vicious circle. One I cannot control. I can acknowledge it, apologise. But I cannot stop rage from filling my veins, of course you can’t. That’s the point of it surely. What I can do is work on the who, where’s and whys of my depression – something that has been lacking for a while. Mental health has taken a back seat, after all I do feel so much better than I have in a long time. I’ve been complacent, and life has become fast paced and stressful at times. Everything my therapist taught me has gone out the window – me time, mindfulness, relaxation, promoting self love and acceptance.

Just as sadness, isolation and confusion are all my ‘depression’ and not me, so too is my anger and rage. I don’t feel guilty or ashamed for being sad, so I shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed for flying off the handle. It’s not an excuse, but it is a reason. Nothing will improve if I constant berate myself over my temper, constantly comparing myself to others that, seemingly, don’t lose their shit over their kid bouncing on the bed when they’ve been asked a hundred times to lie down and sleep. It will only serve to increase my hot head temper. Plus, I know for sure that most parents lose their shit on a daily basis, and feel just as shitty about it as I do. Most of us don’t really like to admit we would like to pull our eyes out when our kid is being a class A pain in the arse. Maybe it would help a lot of people if we could all be honest with each other and just say it like it is, I know it makes me feel better to hear that other people struggle with life and feel the same as I do. It’s a weapon removed from my depression arsenal. The big D can’t hurt me with feeling like a failure for shouting at my child, if the majority of other parent’s lose their temper after a long day from time to time. From time to time I break down in tears, life is tough, depression is tough, but I never feel silly, embarrassed or ashamed when I do. Everyone breaks.

Maybe, in time, we could change our perception of anger and rage, especially in relation to depression and other mental illnesses. There doesn’t need to be a ‘it’s ok to scream your head off’ campaign. There just needs to be an awareness and open minded approach to the subject, and at the very least acknowledging rage happens. We’re all in this messed up, pressure driven life together, the least we could do is be honest about how shit and hard it can be at times…and actually, maybe we should have a ‘scream your head off’ campaign, a national scream the word ‘fuck’ day (I did hear, recently, that saying the F bomb relieves stress and releases feel good hormones) that way I might be able to get a some rage out without considering a little Grand Theft Auto style driving on the pavement.

Im 30 and I like it

Well, like is a bit of a strong word. But what really are your options for turning the dreaded 3.0? Like my dad says ‘you can like it or lump it’. I’m going to tolerate it. I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to be one of those club 30 people, those people that fester on their age, believing the end is nigh, dooms day is fast approaching after the turn 29, the last year of their twenties. I promised myself 30 would just be a number, nothing important, just another orbit around the sun I have endured enjoyed.

In equal measures, I can’t say I was dreading nor excited about turning 30 – part of my elaborate mind ruse to make this ‘special’ year like any other birthday. Never did it occur to me that I was 29, swiftly about to leave my twenties behind, strange for such a sentimental person. There’s a plethora of weird shit I have kept throughout the years, who doesn’t have cinema ticket stubs, love notes (anniversary cards with brief boke inducing words) and the tag from your first hospital admission. I mean, who wouldn’t want to remember that time they got a tube up the colon? Me, apparently. But I can’t say I gave the last year of my life thirties that much of a send off.

My twenties have been and gone, I’m 30. I almost feel sorry for the thirties, they don’t seem too enticing. Your teens are celebrated as the years you get to do whatever you feel like and get away with it. I could eat my body, BODY, weight in food every single day and not gain even a micro, heck, an atom worth of weight. In fact, there was a point in my teens that I attended the doctor in hope of finding out why I couldn’t gain and maintain weight! That moment has passed, as is evident with the laptop being perched on my tiny, yet growing, jiggle belly.

The twenties are heralded as the years you need to calm down a bit, you can still have fun, but you better start reining it in, otherwise your body will rein it in for you. Two day hangovers start to make an appearance. Aches and ailments begin to appear and by the late twenties, the thought of pulling all-nighters out clubbing are enough to make you hyperventilate in your fluffy house coat. Night time is for binge watching TV, eating cooked dinners and getting a relatively early night. For the most part, in your twenties you are still seen as a kid, trying to figure out life, you can get away with the ‘I’m still figuring it out’ and peers will tell you ‘you’ll get there in the end’.

Your forties, as I’m lead to believe are the new twenties? You get lounge about on your non ikea sofa drinking which ever acquired taste liquid that takes your fancy. Cava? Herbal teas? Expensive coffee? You can have it all. You’ve been through all the thirties shit, now you can reap the rewards of your hard labour. You are over, or more acclimatized to, the tiredness that plagued your twenties and thirties. Basically, I’ve been sold that your forties are Samantha from Sex and The City (cani wait).

Being in your fifties looks good, more than likely your kids have pissed off and only return when the want something. Granted, they might come back demanding money, or worse, ask you to provide free child care, but over all being in your fifties looks a bit chilled out. Minus all the health worries, scares and general decaying of your body. But they got pills for most of that carry on anyway. Bones, joints and libidos are all easily fixed with modern medicine. The way I see it, being in your fifties is just like getting ready before a big night out. Getting everything fixed and ready, limbered up for the big night, retirement.

Sixties and up is one big retirement party. Shopping trips here. Golf days there. Cheap O.A.P hair cuts. Senior specials at the cinema and cafes. You can hurl abuse at people and they think you are senile, call them an arsehole and they will think you are that ‘crazy old lady’ – every street has one. It sounds delightful. You’ve been there, done that and survived it. Life is for living, enjoying everyday like it’s your last…it very well might be at this stage. But hey, least that cheap ass mortgage you got 40 years ago is done and dusted and now you get to reap the financial rewards (not that my generation will, but that’s another rant for another time).

But, the thirties? What do they have to offer? Look, I don’t like to bad mouth or point the finger, but well, it just so happens that the closer I got to thirty the more I fell to shit. In defense of 30, I did become a parent was I was 27. Jessica should get an honorable mention here as she has contributed GREATLY to my deterioration. Maybe if I had had her when I was younger things would have been different. They do say it’s best to have a child in your teens or early twenties, for biological reasons. Your body can handle it better and return to ‘normal’ much quicker after child expulsion. Don’t know how the financial and job side of that argument pans out, but hey, at least my boobs might have still been in their starting positions. Never mind.

The most alarming piece of evidence to throw in the face of the nasty thirties, is that this weekend I purchased hair dye. And for the first time in all my 30 wonderful years, the reason I purchased said hair dye was not because it was a cool ‘copper gold’ or ‘lavender melt’ awesome so hip, so Pinterest reasons. Nor did I simply fancy a wee change in hair colour. No, did I fuck. I bought it because I am sick of ripping grey hairs out of my head. They are sprouting up everywhere. And no, it’s not because I’ve become ‘more aware’ or I ripped one out and 40 sprung up in it’s place (don’t even go there with that nonsense). They are there because my body is dying. It’s literally decaying in-front of my very eyes – that and I didn’t handle becoming a mother all that well, the stress, the anxiety, the decline in mental health – but still, like I said I’m pretty sure if I was younger my body wouldn’t have retaliated with the ever growing lawn of white on my head. I thank my stars they are only on my head at this point. When they migrate I don’t know what I’ll do. But hopefully I’ll be in one of the latter decades of my life, surrounded my greying friends too. I’m not sure how tolerant and sympathetic my friend will be if I turn up at her door crying over a greying shishima just yet.

Reluctantly, and through necessity, I bought the hair dye. In previous years, the day I buy the dye I do the dye. These days I don’t have the energy for that kind of athletic ability. Christ, I made it out and walked round a few shops that day. I need at least 24 hours to compose myself for the next big event. It wasn’t until the following day, in the afternoon, propelled with the notion of returning to work with Betty White up there, that I dragged myself to the bathroom, opened the box, sighed a little at my own mortality and got the job done. My arms ached as I squeezed more and more of the age concealing dye atop my head. God, was I over it as soon as I started. Do you know how heavy wet hair is? Admittedly I have quite thin hair, so I really shouldn’t be complaining, but that just adds more fuel to my ‘eugh, I’m so decrepit’ fire. I was fucking knackered by the end. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a billboard out there warning ‘Tiredness. The leading cause of death in your thirties’. Everyday I complain how tired I am. Every day I mutter ‘why do I need to get up every morning’. Everyday I get to my desk and complain to my office buddy that I’m so tired, she humours me. She’s got 400% more child than me and still doesn’t moan half as much as I do. But I’m 30 and I’M going to moan how bloody tired I am. ALL THE TIME!

Back in the day I mind my parents giving the ‘I’m just resting my eyes’ carry on. How shit must it have been to be them? No ipads, no Kindles, no round the clock Peppa. Just videos that require adult attention at least every hour to be rewound, lest you disrupt the VHS babysitter. At least now, I can throw a Kindle in Jessica’s direction and she watches God knows what on Youtube for 2 hours while I nap. When she does decided to drag us out bed at 10am, there’s always the option of chucking Peppa on and resting those eyes for five more minutes. Dave and I work like some kind of WWE tag team, instead of tagging each other, the other one gets a boot when they snore, waking and forcing them to parent while the other sleeps. Back in the day, our early twenties, Dave would rise and shine with the first ‘buzz’ of the alarm. Now? Now he is woken with a slap to the face telling him to ‘turn that fucking thing off’. He doesn’t hear the once bolt inducing alarm. The thirties have got him good. Poor bugger is exhausted. I would argue the only reason either of us rise is Jess. Without her I’m confident both of us would have packed in work to sleep, fuck the repercussions. No one needs money if they are only awake long enough to pee and yawn.

This perpetual tired thing isn’t entirely related to being a parent. I have a few friends, scrap that, all my friends, ages with me, that are all about the naps. Even if they aren’t hardcore committed to napping, they are committed to having their PJs on as soon as their feet hit the front door. Bloody hell, I have one friend that is so tired even her dog is a proficient napper! There’s weekly pictures of them both, wrapped up in fluffy throws, napping. Any time, any day, just napping.

Strangely, I do feel like my friends have ‘caught up’ with me in our old age. Never was I a huge one for doing much, sure I’d go out to pubs and clubs, but my favourite place has always been at home, stuffing my face whilst watching box-sets. I do like going out, but given the chance I’d think up any reason not to head out the house in the evening. FOMO has never been a curse of mine, I’ve never really cared that much. People do my nut in, I don’t care for making new friends and all that small talk bullshit. Not that I don’t like people, well, that’s half true, my ‘dickhead’ radar is exquisite, but I’ve always just thought ‘what’s the point’ – that makes me sound like a right cheery chap eh. More like, socialising requires a lot of energy from me, so unless I think we are going to make a life long. loyal bond, I’m probably not going to be too interested, coz anxiety is a drain.

I’ve always felt like the auld grump of the group, cani be arsed going out, needing to justify my lack of enthusiasm at the prospect of a night on the lash. But recently, something is a foot. My friends are becoming me. The thirties got them thinking, it got them saying ‘do I really want to get home from work, get all dressed up and then head into town, do I?’ the answer is no my friend, get that cross-stitch out and get the tea brewing coz there’s a box-set with your name on it baby! More and more I’m hearing ‘I can’t be arsed’ or ‘I’m so excited for this weekend, I have no plans!’. Midweek drinking has long gone. Midweek catch ups over coffee are in, as long as they end at a respectable time, before 9pm, plenty of time to get home and snuggled up in bed before 10pm. It’s a given now that if someone is working the next day, that no wild drinking will be happening, if the meet up even happens in the first place.

More frequently, my friends and I ignore each other. We both know the score. We make plans, enthusiastic at the time, but when the date arrives, both parties much prefer a date in their PJs. There’s no hard feelings, in fact, it probably strengthens our friendship, both respecting each other’s need for recuperation from life. If we do bother to acknowledge we previously agreed to meet, mundane predictable excuses are not needed. Just an honest ‘I can’t be arsed today’ will suffice, message received, I feel ya.

Maybe being thirty isn’t going to be so bad. At least now I’m too tired to give a shit about most things that would have horrified my teenage self. Wearing uncool clothes, shit hair, tired complexion, trying to keep up with the latest trends, missing a party, stress of life (ha), that stuff is enough to get 15 year old me in a flap and listening to the latest morbid song about life, protesting my ‘depression’ at all of it. Now, well I’m still fucking depressed, but now I just don’t give a fuck, well, not enough fucks to alter my behaviour that much. Life is stressful, you just get on with it the best you can. I’m over the drama of it all. I’m too tired to exhale any energy into looking good or actually washing my hair. I give less shits about someone thinking my hair could do with a wash. Most likely they do think it needs a wash, but fuck, they are as old, if not older than me and they know. The just know.

I don’t live for the drama of life anymore. I live for the take-aways and the finest snuggle gear one can buy – within reason, I’m thirty in one of the most financially difficult times for my age group in modern history, I’ve got my limits. But do I worry about it, naw, that sounds too much like energy that could be spent on the weekly hair wash.

Here’s to complaining my way through my thirties, coffee and the end of skin elasticity. It’s going to be great.


Depression – soon you might be an old friend.

Guess who’s back, back again, Kirsty’s back, tell a friend.

This is quite a bizarre feeling, I didn’t even realise it until a few weeks ago, but I feel ‘fine’. Not sure if ‘fine’ cuts it, I feel ‘great’ – Tony the tiger great.

depression friends honestk

For someone diagnosed with depression, who monitored her every feeling for fear falling back into the ‘darkness’ I sure did miss the turning point in my mental health, much like failing to see the dark path into depression. But I think, think, there’s light ahead, I’m pretty sure I see a flicker of hope and normality, in the not too far future.  Continue reading “Depression – soon you might be an old friend.”