STORIES I DON'T WRITE DOWN

STORIES I DON'T WRITE DOWN

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 12.51.24.png

My mental illness journey began a long time before I became a mother, so it's just coincidence that I happen to be both mental and a mutha. 

I've always had an active imagination. I started drawing at 4 & wrote a 'novel' at 10. My head runs away with daydreams of careers I don't have the dedication to achieve in real life, but they're good entertainment for walking with music blaring in my ears. 

There's a thin line between daydreams and intrusive thoughts. Like the dream that starts off well and goes awry; a romantic date with your celebrity dream crush leaning in for a kiss and then suddenly a wasp is chasing you & you're naked & freaking out. 

I've been lucky in that my intrusive thoughts are never about harming the children. Instead, I'll be walking along the river and suddenly start imagining a mugging, and they push the buggy in, and I bravely fight them off with my Buffy-esque moves. I consider the angles and space left if the buggy was upside down and if the gap between child and water would be big enough. I picture wrapping them in my coat after hoping that seeing their mother killing an assailant doesn't damage them. 

There's scenes where they've been kidnapped and I burst in, with the power to harness elements, and burn the villains inside out. 

Someone once jumped in front of a tube six feet away from me - now every-time a train or tube pulls into a station I see it again, I see myself covering their eyes & turning them away. I don't want them to know the world they live in is a world where people would rather die than live. I have a similar fear in Westfield, a tightness in my chest that someone will jump from one of the floors.

I know these situations are extended from my own illness, and sometimes-thoughts. 

I can put it down to a mother assessing threats or hormones but it's almost like some torturous self harm, poking and prodding my anxiety until I spiral & I don't control the thoughts anymore, they are turned toward me, and I'm inside my own head, and it's a scary thing, that. 

I think one thing to note about mental illness is that there usually isn't one 'fix'. You can change your diet, do some exercise, have a bath, whatever other advice people give you, but bear in mind I have eaten healthily, exercised and even bathed over the last twenty years. These are helpful at the time, and usually just surface fixers, like cello-taping the skin over a protruding bone and saying 'it's better.' It is a constant work in progress and a journey.

Enjoy the highs of recovery & don't beat yourself up for the relapses; take care of yourself & talk to people you trust. Ask for help.

Written by TERESA LAW

FOLLOW TERESA

Instagram


 If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.

Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.

MENTAL MUTHA MEETS VICTORIA BAYNTON - WILLIAMS

MENTAL MUTHA MEETS VICTORIA BAYNTON - WILLIAMS

MENTAL MUTHA MEETS TRACY BULLOCK

MENTAL MUTHA MEETS TRACY BULLOCK