Isn’t life wonderful, everything in the garden is rosy. It’s a perfect world, nothing ever goes wrong for me and I’m as happy as can be.
Or so social media would have you believe.
The pressure we put on ourselves to present the best version of ourselves can be crippling.
It’s all bo*%&$ks of course, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there, niggling at the back of our brain. Eat better, lose weight, see this, do that, buy this, buy this, BUY THIS!
I feel it and I’m one of life’s annoyingly happy people (according to several members of my family that is). Whilst I no longer spring out of bed (I have RA that’s never going to happen again), I do get out of bed every morning feeling incredibly grateful to be spending another day here and would very rarely have an ‘off’ day. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for my daughter and it’s not within my power to change it either.
Life as a mum was so much easier when my kids were little. A magic kiss and a big cuddle was all it took to put most things right. We’d dance on the sofa with the music turned up loud, play silly games or chant daft rhymes and whilst we’re not the sort of family to let age get in the way, one or all of those things isn’t enough to keep the little black rain cloud at bay.
My daughter is open and honest about the struggles she has with her little black rain cloud (that’s what we’ve always called it). She has a blog Say Little Think Much, where she writes her musings, mostly for herself as a kind of therapy, so I don’t think I’ll get into trouble writing this here. However, I can only talk about what it’s like to be a mum to someone with depression.
Puberty, as we all know, is a bloody awful time. I mean there are some wonderful things too, but an awful lot of what happens can be difficult. When D entered puberty something sort of changed, as it does, so I just put everything down to hormones. Looking back now, I can see that it was much more than that, it was probably when the little black rain cloud first came into being.
Watching your child struggle with their mental health is ‘difficult’ to say the least. I don’t use that word to be underwhelming, but because there probably aren’t enough words in the dictionary to truly explain the roller coaster of emotions you feel, knowing your child is in such pain and you can do sod all about it.
Mid to late teens involved appointments with mental health professionals (never the same one twice), misdiagnosis, different medications – some of which did horrendous things and lots and lots of frustration. You wouldn’t treat a dog the way she was treated on occasion, so is it any wonder D, like many other people with mental health issues, has turned her back on western medicine?
Instead, she’s chosen to accept it for what it is and deal with things as best she can. It works to a point, until it doesn’t and that’s when I wish I had a magic wand.
I’m her mum and I can’t fix it, her partner can’t fix it, it can’t be fixed. She doesn’t need fixing, but when it gets so bad, I’d sell my soul to the devil to make it all better.
So, I do what I can to make her smile, which this week meant using the closest things I have to a magic wand.
It might look like just a hat to you, but to me it represents sunshine, warmth and there’s love in every stitch.
“Tut, Tut, it looks like rain.”