I make it to playgroup most weeks nowadays!
Contemplating slow, gradual recovery, I thought of a CBT technique... a scale 0-100.
0 - is ill, depressed, sad, unable to work, unable to care for boys, crying, a very dark place.
100 - is happy, like Pharrell and able to be normal with no mental health issues.
Where am I on this scale? Some days I'm 50, other days I'm 80 (and some moments, I'm at 90 or even 10). I'm getting a little bit better every few weeks.
How do i know that I'm getting better?
I don't dread being on my own with the boys quite as much - trips out with them are enjoyable, rather than being a source of stress, arguments and misery.
How does every other mum seem to get nice pictures?
I can manage the day to day logistics of the two boys without much upset - and I can stay in the house with them and not feel like a failure!
We get the paints out, we bake (never playdoh, I'm not super-mum!) and although the boys have increased their knowledge of the CBeebies/ Disney offering, I don't feel guilty.
We read more books, I don't feel like I have to put the TV on as soon as I get up every morning - I still do most mornings, but it's a choice.
I don't eat chocolate for breakfast *round of applause*. This is huge, for well over 18 months, I have eaten a small chocolate bar as soon as I arrived downstairs - I eat a proper breakfast, every day!!
I still have moments, hours, afternoons where I don't feel ok, or I create a huge argument over nothing but I'm now sure that these lows don't happen as often and aren't as deep when I fall into them.
Getting better has been a hard journey, and the first little while, I didn't notice much improvement. I'm not sure if MrB has noticed that i'm improving... But then he still gets it in the neck when I've been nice to everyone all day, and when I am just so so angry at myself, for keeping all of my stuff inside, it all spills out with the slightest provocation.
Onward and upward - my CBT has finished with the plan for me to:
Practise unconditional self compassion.
Accept my emotions (rather than analyse and feel guilty).
Restart my self-care writing - with a focus on treating myself like I would others on Twitter.