It’s 10pm, I’m reading about post-structuralist feminist theory and the theme tune from Mr Tumble’s Something Special randomly jumps into my head…”it’s good to see you, I say hello…”
ARGH! I think I might be going slowly mad!
Through a mix of determination, counselling and some hilarious failed attempts at mindfulness and meditation (what? you’re not supposed to just crash out asleep on the sofa listening to the CD, it doesn’t work like that, really!?) I had reached a point where most people I met might consider me to be relatively sane and in control of my OCD. Just blogging about this I’m aware of the stigma, what if someone who doesn’t know this about me reads this? A few years ago I’d have been mortified, last week I cheerfully told a lady at the swimming pool I had recovered from postnatal depression, didn’t die from embarrassment when Joss threw my knickers at another child and sang the loudest and tuneless of everyone in the group, it’s good for the soul, just putting yourself out there, I’m a while away from donning a ‘I have OCD’ badge but don’t mind so much being honest about my mental health, after all we all have mental health, whether sunny and delightful or occasionally we get a visit from The Black Dog.
So I was starting to feel a bit unhinged, a bit ‘uhoh it’s back’ and a bit anxious, which tends to make me feel hot and ill, nice! I thought of Mr Chartwell, Rebecca Hunt’s brilliantly conceived of metaphor for Churchill’s depression, creeping Black Pat. She captures the weightyness so well:
‘I understand that we share a wicked union, and I know the goblin bell which summons you comes from a tomb in my heart. And I will honour my principles, labouring against the shadows you herald. I don’t blench from my burden, but -‘ here he let out a deep breath, laying the glasses down gently – ‘it’s so demanding; it leaves me so very tired. It would be some small comfort to me if I could ask how long I must endure this visit. Please, when do you leave?’
“It’s hard to explain. With Churchill we know each other’s movements, so we have a routine, I guess. I like to be there when he wakes up in the morning. Sometimes I drape across his chest. That slows him down for a bit. And then I like to lie around in the corner of the room, crying out like I have terrible injuries. Sometimes I’ll burst out at him from behind some furniture and bark in his face. During meals I’ll squat near his plate and breathe over his food. I might lean on him too when he’s standing up, or hang off him in some way. I also make an effort to block out the sunlight whenever I can.”
I know why it’s back, trying to do too much and the old rusty brain thinking, hang on, can’t catch up, too many thoughts so it just grinds to a messy halt. In short, I get a bit lazy, the fight to keep the lights on gets tiring.
A call to self-refer, the words relapse and obsessive and I’m feeling like I have a safety net in place again. Mammywoo blogged about the turning on of a light earlier this week, flickering through the dark, ironically I bought a S.A.D lamp later that afternoon fearing the return of winter, dark nights and the dark places we sometimes go to, my brain and I.
A few days on I feel a bit better again, Joss has enjoyed a bit of TV, the world didn’t come to an end because she watched a bit of ITNG whilst I took a few deep breaths, a bit of time with Daddy and the revelation that even if I feel really really shitty her grin stops me in my tracks is a relief, it’s really life enriching this new family life and having someone else depending on me is a huge relief, it’s easier to ask for help and easier to seek support when you have someone so dependent on you that you can’t go off the rails, however tempting.
So for today I feel OK, a good coffee, a spot of retail therapy and a grin from my man and girl are keeping me going.
I would have totally discounted this TV show, it sounded like it was going to be one of those reality TV fashion shows but I did a double take when I saw the listing and am really glad I did! Did you see it?
I think Channel 4 do some really promising documentaries, and this was definitely substantial as well as stylish. The notion that you have an identity and a valued sense of self at 70, 80, 90+ has been quietened in favour of the ‘little old lady’ and these feisty ladies were keen to campaign and fight back, they have a voice and they want to be seen as well as heard!
Jean’s turn to working in fashion at the age of 70 was so refreshing and I loved that Channel 4 let this play out without seeing these women as eccentric or kooky, they were simply loving life and embracing all of its colour instead. Gillian’s wise parting words on ageing…”Don’t let it in!” was triumphant, spirited and left me feeling uplifted, inspite of lifes knocks and turns all six women were determined, words like campaigner, artists, fashionable and humourous are not only the domain of the young, and this programme was a breath of fresh air.