I’m writing while eating a toasted Warburton’s crumpet topped with a sliver of salted butter. Sometimes you need the simplest things to be brave. This is the blog post I didn’t want to write, the words I didn’t really want to see on a screen in front of me. But I also want to be really honest about the journey, about what it’s like to try and rebuild your life after mental illness.
I’m in the middle of a relapse. My least favourite bedfellows, anxiety and depression, have made themselves a residence in my poor tired brain once again. At times it has felt like a complete disaster. I’ve grieved for the freedom and joy of the woman and mother I was in France just a few weeks ago. But it’s not a complete disaster. It’s bloody hard work but I have a daily decision to make: I have to choose to live life. In the midst of it all I’ve been finding ways to give and receive comfort. To notice the smell of little one’s hair when she’s fresh from her bath. To bake cheese scones with Eldest so that we can eat them fresh from the oven while watching the Bake Off final. Small things, small gestures, small but essential comforts. To weep and hug with Gallant Husband and Eldest, who both know how hard the road of relapse can be for us all.
It’s not the start of the gap year that I’d expected, but there is still comfort to be found. And I hope in the future there will be enjoyment and adventures to blog about. But right now is for living gently, and for trusting that relapses do end. Today I wore my softest red knitted jumper and on the walk home from school, the girls and I stopped to notice how many different autumn colours we could find.