It’s been a long time since I posted, and when I look back over this blog I can see it has a pattern. Less blogging in the summer and more in the winter. Less blogging when everything is going well, and more when I’m right on a precipice.
I don’t think it is as simple as ‘we are all happier in the summer’; but, there certainly does seem to be a seasonal element to both my husband’s depression and anxiety and my own mood.
So, what’s been going on since Easter?
Well in the main there isn’t much to report. Barring some quite understandable bad days (given that his mum has passed away at Easter), things are pretty stable for hub. He’s been seeing a talking therapist since around March through the NHS and it seems to be making a much bigger difference than the CBT he’s had previously. The therapy finishes next week, so we’ve been talking about how we maintain the resilience he’s built up once he hasn’t got that weekly check-in point.
We’ve finally got a good relationship with a GP who seems to understand our whole family (not just hub’s mental health, but my aging mum and dad with dementia, as well as the toll that caring can take too). Let’s just hope she stays in the practice as there seems to be such a high turnover of staff across all the GP practices in our area and across London more widely.
We’ve only had one wobble with the GP since Easter and that was when hub’s prescription ran out. He was without meds for about 4 days (and didn’t tell me until he started getting the debilitating ‘brain zaps’ which are so common when withdrawing from SSRIs). He called in tears after the kids were late to school, he’d forgotten the littlest one’s lunch and the pain and exhaustion of the brain zaps were too much. He had called the GP several times, and the receptionist was refusing to sort the repeat prescription because he needed to come in for an appointment. But there were no appointments available for a fortnight. Hub was not in a good way. It was a ridiculous situation, but eventually after I called and explained just how bad the situation was, we ended up with a repeat prescription and regular GP appointments. This has happened before, (see my previous post on males presenting with mental health issues), and I just wish there was a better understanding that if someone is calling saying they need help with a mental health issue, even if they sound very together, it is something to be taken seriously.
Anyway, that event made us both realise just how important both the combination of medical, psychological and physical support is to hubby’s continued health. And since then things have been pretty good.
My business (which I started when my parents moved in with us last November) is going well. I know I need to do more to prioritise working at home and saying ‘no’ to work and ‘yes’ to home. I also know I need to focus on being more present in the moment and to stop rushing about ‘doing things’ all the time. My kids are constantly calling me out for working or doing housework and gardening when I’m supposed to be in family mode.
But when I’m the only one earning, and when I see house-stuff piling up I do find it difficult to prioritise sitting down and watching TV or playing a game. As we hit the summer holidays I promise that I am absolutely going to rebalance my priorities.
(Just want you to know that I rewrote that last sentence about 6 times. It started off as far more wishy washy – ‘I know I need to try…’ ‘I am going to try’ before ending up with the much more resolute – I am going to nail this! So much research shows that being positive, intentional and stating your commitments out loud to other people makes it much more likely that you will achieve them, so I’m taking a lead from that research…. I am going to be more present at home, I am prioritising home over work and I am going to have a fantastic summer. Hope you all do too. xx