A time to share

I’m sitting at my shiny new dining room table (well fb marketplace new, and new to me) with a hot cross bun and a coffee, enjoying the cool change that has FINALLY come, listening to Chance scraping through Lego, kindly directing Darby to find certain pieces for their latest creation, and listening to Quinn and Julius playing on the trampoline.

School holidays have come early this term, thanks to a three-day-lockdown in great Brisbane. When I heard the news yesterday morning, my immediate reaction was that of calm and, well, happiness. I felt prepared and relaxed. Woollies had been delivered on Sunday, the lawn had been mowed after days of never-ending rain, I had done my meal prep for the week, my wonderful cleaner and dear friend had worked her magic, and I just felt completely fine.

Reflecting on it now, I think it’s important to note what I wasn’t feeling. I wasn’t annoyed that I was missing out on my “days off”; I wasn’t dreading the kids all being home for an extra three days; I wasn’t worried about trying to come up with an abundance of activities for them to do; and I wasn’t feeling the need to drown any feelings in food and booze.

That. All that. It’s a HUGE shift for me.

After my last post, I had several people tell me how they were in a similar position – feeling unsettled and quite restless. I loved hearing from you – thank you for reaching out! – and was pleased that others could relate to my state at the time. There were also several of you who checked in on me and I really appreciate that, and I want to tell you all what I assured them; I’m really fine. I sometimes find myself struggling to find a balance between wanting to share all the things with you, and not wanting to make you worry.

I will often share things, hoping, most likely knowing that surely I can’t be the only one who is feeling this way? Who has felt this way in the past? I know I am in a fairly unique position with this blog, where I have a voice that many others don’t. And it’s important for me to make conversations like this, around mental health/mental load, commonplace; part of our every day life.

In one of my mum-chat groups recently, my friend shared with us that she is taking the rest of the year off work for mental health reasons, after a very hard past year. She knows that sharing her story will hopefully help others in a similar position.* There’s only so much we can carry on our own before we need to start sharing the load.

I don’t intend for my blog posts to ever be a silent cry for help. When I’m not fine, I know where to get help and I always, always do. Sometimes part of my healing is writing in this space, and it is never my intention to make you worry. I truly appreciate your concern, and perhaps it can also prompt you to check in on someone you haven’t heard from in a while. Perhaps it might be a reminder to check in on yourself. No matter your life circumstances, it’s important to acknowledge when life is feeling hard, and trying to work out why, and how you can work through it. Sometimes just acknowledging it, taking away its power can help.

So on this random Tuesday, I hope you are feeling prepared and calm and that joy creeps in without you even noticing. And I hope that if you are feeling anxious or down that you have people you can share this with; I can assure you, the more you talk about your stuff, the more you will realise there are so many others who can relate.

*Story shared with permission

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