But I don’t feel like that every day, and for that I am thankful.

The mind can be a dark place, as many know. A place where you can’t hide from your deepest secrets and can’t cover up the truth with flimsy lies.

The mind can also be a place of brilliance, where you work through things or discover thoughts that make you happy.

Some people’s mental health exists mainly in the dark place, some mainly in the happy place an others hoover in between or on the outskirts of good/poor mental health, Some slip and slide from one place to the next with little or no warning. It sounds a bit airy fairy but it’s how I see it.

Today is mental health day and I’m not having a good day. I’m not having a bad day….but its also not good. If that makes sense. I have , for sure, had much worse mental health days.

I’m tried and I feel worn out. I feel physically run down and I know my self well enough that its time to sloe for a day or two. But I can’t. I am a single mum of a child who is very demanding and complex. So, when I woke up this morning and wanted  to just lay there… I couldn’t. Not for long. I dragged myself out of bed this morning. I have mornings like that sometimes, where I just lay there thinking…I can’t do it… not another ground hog day.

But I don’t feel like that every day, and for that I am thankful.

My daughter wants to go out to the shops. She has her pocket money, but she will throw things my way to pay for along the way like any child. She will moan because I say no to certain  things. She will push on certain clothing . She will want to look at the Christmas decorations and the Halloween stuff in the shops. She will argue with me because she will want to keep going back to the same shops to look at the same things.

And I just want to lay on my sofa. Not like you would if you were depressed. Its not like that. I am lucky that I don’t believe I have ever suffered depression more than twice in my life. Its more that I just can’t be bothered to go through it. I don’t want to “people” . I don’t want to worry if I can afford things.  I don’t want to que. I don’t want to be out in the cold. I just want to be left alone.

But I can’t. SO, I go and get dressed.

But I don’t feel like that every day. And for that I am thankful.

We got to the shops today and my anxiety was being savage. Racing heart, feeling dizzy and my personal favourite…feeling like I will be sick at any moment. You know…I quite like the fact sometimes that we have to wear masks. It almost buffers me from the real world when I am in a state of total anxiety.

My daughter is asking a million questions. One minute she wants to show me something, the next she says its embarrassing for me to be seen with her. She comes with her own sensory issues, so some shops make her feel sick, she gets annoyed with lots of people talking, she recoils when touching certain fabrics in shops and today she announced loudly in New Look “Why do you look so old and short today Mummy”. Very loudly.

And my mental health is screaming…GO HOME. But I can’t . because I am a single parent and it’s the weekend

But I don’t feel like that every day. And for that I am thankful.

We get home and my daughter takes all the things she has bought upstairs. I grab my laptop and a blanket and head for the sofa. I need to start my dissertation. I turn on the laptop and see n email from my tutor telling me all the changes I need to make. And I just can’t do it. I want to watch Netflix and fall asleep. I want to not think about child protection and work. I want to not think about some big choices I have coming up or the pressure of next week.

Then my daughter comes down and announces she is bored and wants to go to a friend. And I just can’t. I want to just be still for a few hours. So, I say no….not today. And like any pre-teen we have stomping and moaning. She says that “It’s not all about you Mummy” and I laugh, a laugh probably a lot more bitter than internally than externally . Because right now nothing is about me. No one is helping me. No one is cooking me dinner or making sure I have self-care. No one is seeing if I am ok. Which is not true. Because I do have people that do what they can. But right there …in that instance…I have never felt more alone

But I don’t feel like that every day. And for that I am thankful.

SO, I reach out to my son. I say my son, I mean yes… he is my son….but he is also my stabiliser. He is the one-person who sees all the plates I am spinning and sees them wobble and steps in like…nope…I got that one for you. We speak about everything from Covid to Christmas. We talk through some things I am worried about and he helps me to put some rational on stuff. Like always. Then I say that I feel bad. That he should not have to be that person. He says na…he wants to be that person. And I feel guilty because I know he has no choice. That we have kind of raised each other in many ways. That I was way to young to be his mother. And he deserved more than I gave him. Yet here he is….on my side no matter what. And the guilt is massive.

But I don’t feel like that every day. And for that I am thankful.

I don’t want to study. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to parent. I don’t want to socialise. I don’t  want to worry. I don’t want to have to entertain and I don’t want to cook dinner.

But I don’t feel like that every day. And for that I am thankful.

Its been a tough week. It has been mentally draining and it has caught up with me. Because my mental health is good, I can recognise that today and acknowledge I am human. There have been times in my life when it would engulf me and overpower me. I’m not in that place anymore but I also know that one day I could be. And that’s OK.

We need a mixture of things to keep our mental health good. Friends, family, love, self-care to name a few. But …you can have all those things and still be struggling . Don’t feel guilty about that. Just make sure you speak out about it.

The biggest lesson I learnt in  life is that you must speak about the things that affect your mental health. You must reach out. It could just save your life.

I’m rubbish with people and like cat’s way more than I like humans. But if anyone reads this and feels like they need to talk, need to off load, need to connect. Then contact me. Let’s talk it out. Let’s check in on each other. Let’s not accept “I’m OK”.

I am thankful I have my main rock and then all my little rocks around that. My circle is small but is strong. And for that  I am thankful

I feel sad today. Overwhelmed. Like I won’t get anything done and I am drowning in responsibilities. I missed my mum and wish I had someone to run me a bath and clean my house. I feel like a rubbish mum .

But I don’t feel like that every day. And for that I am thankful.

Help and support (Including reaching out to me)

Anxiety UK

Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Bipolar UK

A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.

Website: www.bipolaruk.org.uk

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Website: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

No Panic

Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.

Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge

Website: www.nopanic.org.uk

OCD Action

Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.

Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge

Website: www.ocdaction.org.uk

OCD UK

A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.

Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.ocduk.org

PAPYRUS

Young suicide prevention society.

Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends)

Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Rethink Mental Illness

Support and advice for people living with mental illness.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.rethink.org

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. 

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk/support

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)

NSPCC

Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.

Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)

0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.nspcc.org.uk

Refuge

Advice on dealing with domestic violence.

Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.refuge.org.uk

Alcohol misuse

Alcoholics Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves getting sober with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0800 917 7650 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Al-Anon

Al-Anon is a free self-help “12 step” group for anyone whose life is or has been affected by someone else’s drinking

Phone: 0800 0086 811 (daily, 10am to 10pm)

Website: https://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/

Drinkline

A free confidential helpline for people worried about their own or someone else’s drinking.

Phone: 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm)

National Association for Children of Alcoholics

National Association for Children of Alcoholics offers free confidential advice and information to everyone affected by a parent’s drinking including children, adults and professionals.

Phone: 0800 358 3456 (Friday, Saturday and Monday 12pm to 7pm and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12pm to 9pm)

Website: https://www.nacoa.org.uk/

SMART Recovery UK

SMART Recovery UK face-to-face and online groups help people decide whether they have a problem with alcohol and drugs, build up their motivation to change, and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.

Phone: 0330 053 6022 for general enquiries about SMART Recovery UK (9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday)

Website: https://smartrecovery.org.uk/

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Society

Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.

Phone: 0300 222 1122 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm on weekends)

Website: www.alzheimers.org.uk

Bereavement

Cruse Bereavement Care

Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.cruse.org.uk

Crime victims

Rape Crisis

To find your local services phone: 0808 802 9999 (daily, 12pm to 2.30pm and 7pm to 9.30pm)

Website: www.rapecrisis.org.uk

Victim Support

Phone: 0808 168 9111 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.victimsupport.org

Drug misuse

Cocaine Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves stopping using cocaine and all other mind-altering substances with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0800 612 0225 (daily, 10am to 10pm)

Website: https://cocaineanonymous.org.uk/

FRANK

Free, confidential information and advice about drugs, their effects and the law. FRANK’s live chat service runs daily from 2pm to 6pm.

Phone: 0300 1236600 (24-hour helpline)

Text a question to: 82111

Website: https://www.talktofrank.com/

Marijuana Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves stopping using marijuana with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0300 124 0373 (callback service)

Website: http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org.uk/

Narcotics Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves stopping using drugs with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)

Website: www.ukna.org

SMART Recovery UK

SMART Recovery UK face-to-face and online groups help people decide whether they have a problem with alcohol and drugs, build up their motivation to change, and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.

Phone: 0330 053 6022 for general enquiries about SMART Recovery UK (9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday)

Website: https://smartrecovery.org.uk/

Eating disorders

Beat

Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)

Website: www.b-eat.co.uk

Gambling

Gamblers Anonymous

A free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves stopping gambling with the help of regular face-to-face and online support groups.

Phone: 0330 094 0322 (24-hour)

Website: https://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/

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