This morning I noticed an ambulance go past my office window, it did make me pause because this is not the easiest of roads for a large vehicle to navigate and there are quicker ways into town than this. In fact, as I write there is a mini traffic jam and a few swear words from cars outside as they try and negotiate the one car wide road, low overhanging thatches on the cottages and general ‘bad day at work’ attitude.
As I left for my site visits and I glanced right before pulling out, I noticed there were in fact three ambulances pulled up outside the park which sits across the road. Thinking no more of it, I went about my day. Later that evening I found out that a young man had hung himself in that park. Also on the news that morning was the M3 closure. Police had said a 45 year old man had died at the scene in a crash involving a single vehicle. Although I was heading into an RG postcode that day, I was not travelling the M3 for once. This got me contemplating life and how fragile it really is. That 45 year old man from Bournemouth left for work on what was a normal day. I daresay that he thought about what he was going to do that evening, or some other future event that was planned in his life.
Wallowing in the bath that evening I thought about this, but mostly I thought about that young man who suffered with such overwhelming thoughts that he felt he had no choice but to end his own life. Looking down at my legs I see a number of scars that I have gained throughout my 46 years on this planet. Scars from motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, climbing accidents. Scars from childhood falls from trees, spills off ponies or tripped and scraped knees. None of us get out the other end in one piece. It is logical that if we sustain so many physical scars, we would collect an equal amount of emotional ones.
Some of my scars are more severe than others. My motorcycle scar is quite noticeable, that one involved an air lift to hospital in a helicopter. My childhood ones are just faded lines.
It stands to reason therefore that each and every one of us has a cross to bare, we have emotional wounds, sometimes deep ones which rear their ugly head throughout our lives. Some struggle with feelings of inadequacy some self confidence others feelings of unworthiness or failure. I don’t believe there is one ordinary person that hasn’t had feelings of insecurity at some point in their life. These are the things that make us human, relatable, fallible and in some sense keeps us humble.
I am an emotional person, I always have been that way. A joy to be with on a good day. Run for your life on a bad day. My temper is a lot better now I am older, I don’t loose it with random strangers anymore, but coming off medication which helped me through an abusive relationship has had its challenges. This is my sixth or seventh attempt? There are days since when the rage in my stomach churns like a Tasmanian devil, the physicality of it is indescribable and very irritating, to have that churning rage in your belly is distracting to say the least, on days like that I need to lay low and not make any rash decisions (doesn’t always work out that way). There are days when my mood is so good, I love the world and everyone in it, but it is equally an unstable state which can quickly derail with bad news. This is, in the main, the result of detoxing from my medication. I have found an equilibrium at the moment which has me feeling like ‘me’ again with the help of a number of minerals and vitamins. I still have bad days, and I expected to have them, I am only four or five weeks into my detox and some people can still experience withdrawal symptoms up to two years later. When I look back, I was taking those tablet for 12 of the 17 years of that relationship, sad really, obvious when I look back, not so obvious when I was there, that my issues related to swallowed anger and lack of control which gave me anxiety. Most normal relationships weren’t like mine.
So, on my evening walk this evening I wanted to count the things I am grateful for. It can be challenging to do this when you are at a low point in your life. I read the ‘perky’ Pinterest feel good Christmas cracker memes with a whole hearted cynical ‘bullshit’ attitude. On a good day they are the perky little ‘pick you ups’ that I post, ironic really, they irritate me so much when I’m down and resonate so much when I’m up. However, despite our circumstances, each and every one of us has things to be grateful for, even if it’s just “I’m still breathing” So here was my little list:
I am thankful for where I live. The beauty of the location, the fact that 5 minutes out of my front door I have beautiful country lanes or a pretty town and pubs.
I am thankful for my health, I have not been physically ill in a very long time, other than the odd migraine as a result of my medication. I have not had colds or virus infections and remain healthy.
I am thankful for my family. I love my mum and my dad. My grandma is doing well, my daughter is doing well.
I am thankful for my career, the opportunity to help others, the faith placed in me by my boss, the freedom and trust given to me to work from home and manage my workload.
I am thankful for my husband, although he can be the singular most annoyance in my life, he is a good man with a good heart and he loves me unconditionally and has been by my side throughout this detox journey despite my foul and sometimes volatile moods.
I am thankful for my cats. I love them both very dearly and they are a pleasure to live with.
I am thankful for my religious freedom, my freedom of speech, my ability to work as a woman without prejudice or suppression
I am thankful that I have the ability to pay by bills, feed myself, have a roof over my head and money to enjoy life.
Need I go on?
You get the gist.
It is hard to find this place when you are in the dark hole that is depression. I am sad that people feel they have no alternative other than to end their lives. What I do know from experience is that nothing lasts forever, no feelings, no situations and no circumstances. Yes, the loss of a loved one is always there, but as time goes by there are more ‘normal’ days. Time heals all wounds. It may sound trite, but it is true. So if you are at the bottom, the only way is up, you may need help getting there and that’s fine, but remember you do have friends, its scary to open up sometimes, but, as I have found, people are actually quite nice.