Friday, 10 October 2014

I think I'm better, sort of!

Black and white thinking is a hallmark of my depression - 'I'm depressed', when will I be 'better?', 'I'm rubbish'. 

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. 


  1. Absolutely love this post. Thank you for guest posting. Beautiful pictures and I'm so pleased where you are at. You've been a great help to me through my dark hours. I dam massively relate to most of what you've said too. It's so nice not to feel overwhelmed and worried and actually enjoy every second of motherhood. Xxx

  2. Hello. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I have suffered from depression since my early 20s and so much of what you say rings true. Every day is different. Some are good and some are bad and there often isn't a reason for either. It sounds like you are doing well. I don't think anyone is Pharrel Williams "happy" (not even Pharrel himself) but it is those small achievements which add up to us living our lives. And that is amazing! Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment - stories of recovery (and illness) have helped me through the ridiculously rough times when I have scraped myself out of bed and through the motions of a daily routine.

      And you're spot on, no one is that happy, all of the time. The black and white 0-100 scale shows that while you rent re worst, that what you think of as being 'ideal' is actually perfection and probably not possible. I really got into this CBT thing xx

  3. Thank you for being so honest ...These are the real life, REAL stories we need to know when we're standing in it, we're not alone. x

  4. Thank you for being so honest ...These are the real life, REAL stories we need to know when we're standing in it, we're not alone. x

  5. Love the 0-100 scale, that's a really good way of looking at it. I think it helps put it into perspective that some days are good and some days are bad and hopefully the good days outweigh the bad ones. So glad that things seem to be improving for you and you are feeling better. Thank you so much for sharing x


Comments are welcome, and it's nice to be nice.