Mental health

Being alive

14 years ago today, I woke up in hospital. I was still alive.

The night before I had taken numerous packets of ibuprofen in an attempt to kill myself.

I can’t describe in words the desolation I felt that I had not succeeded. That I was still alive. That I had to carry on living with the endless turmoil and numbness of depression.

14 years on, I am glad that I did fail.

Because at the grand old age of 38, I am alive. And I have a lovely life.

I have things in my life that I have longed for. And I am happy. I am very happy.

But I can never be 100% happy. And that is because of mental health and the way I see myself.

I know that people must think that I talk too much about my depression. Maybe they feel that I exaggerate the effect that it has on my life.

And that could be true.

It is hard to equate the smiley and generally happy person I am today with the empty shell I was then.

But the truth is, at that one moment, the moment when I was swallowing pills, I was completely alone.

I was alone with my thoughts. And I was consumed with hatred for myself and my life.

Only I know what it felt like to take those tablets.  Only I know the thoughts that whirled through my head that night. And only I know how devastated I was the next day to still be alive.

I live in fear of visiting that place again.  I am terrified that one day I may be consumed with those thoughts once more. On that day the depression will have taken over and won. Lucy will disappear into the background.

So I will never forget what happened 14 years ago. I cannot forget. Because the moment  I forget is the moment I run the risk of becoming that person again.

That is why I can never just “be”.

I question everything.

Every thought I have. Every emotion I feel and every action I take. And most of the time I battle and I struggle with myself.

Today I woke up in a bad mood. I could not find the happy.

I couldn’t work out why I felt this way. But it seemed that my subconscious knew something I didn’t.

Then I looked at the date and I remembered how I felt 14 years ago today.

And I haven’t really been able to shake off the feeling since. So I am doing something that I know will make me feel better. I am writing.

I’m, selfishly, writing this post for me. I am writing as a form of catharsis. To put my emotions into words.  To send them into the ether and then to move on and forget about them.

You see, I am a very different person from the young girl I was 14 years ago.

I have changed. I have grown up. I have become strong.

But one thing from that time still remains.

I have always wanted to be better than I am; a better person, a better woman, a better wife, a better mother and a better blogger.

I am constantly comparing myself to other people and falling short. I’m left wondering how they do it all and why I am so crap.

And I am constantly setting myself unattainable goals and targets that I just can’t meet.

Because I’m never going to be a different person from the woman I am.

I am never going to look like Liv Tyler.

I’m never going to be an amazing Pinterest mother.

I’m never going to be a fantastic wife.

Given the choice, I will choose sitting down with a cuppa and cake, cuddling my children and watching an episode of Gilmore Girls over cleaning the house.

And I will feel guilty for making that choice.

I am always going to wish that I were prettier, smarter, more organised, less annoying, a better wife, a better mother and a better person.

But I am who I am.

And 14 years ago today, I woke up and I was still alive.

Being alive is hard. It is filled with struggles. Daily struggles. And life is filled with huge earth-shattering emotions.

Being alive is fucking hard. You can’t pretend it isn’t.

But being alive is a gift. And I am grateful, that I did not succeed in throwing that gift away.

Hugs

Lucy

xxxx

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Steph D
    March 12, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Such an honest post. I never have the right words but just wanted to share a *virtual* smile and hug. Oh and I love your blog! x
    Steph D recently posted…Creating a fun Space to Play for Babies that are on the MoveMy Profile

  • Reply
    Adam
    January 18, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever read a post that I can see completely relate to.

    People don’t realise that you can never completely relax or let it go. Even when you’re good, when you’re happy there is always that gnawing anxiety that it may come back, that you may be caught off guard, that the good times may be the calm before the storm because ‘you went off watch’.

    I’ve been having bad dreams, sleepless nights and a gnawing feeling. Oh it’s January. You’re subconscious always knows.

    Thankyou x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      January 18, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you for your comment. You are so right, your subconscious does always know. No matter how happy I am in November, I am always “off”. Things just don’t feel right. And I too have bad dreams that leave me feeling exhausted. I hope that you get through this month okay. Big hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Bella
    December 4, 2016 at 11:54 am

    There’s loads of us who feel like that about being a better this that and the other – so you’re perfectly normal there! I’m glad you’re still here too. Not just for your family but for you. You’re doing more than ok. And when the time comes (eventually, not just yet) nobody has “cleaned the house a lot” on their headstone – they have “loving mother”, etc. Xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      December 4, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I am very glad to be here too. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    RachelSwirl
    November 28, 2016 at 12:22 am

    You are so very brave to share this, you are also so very lucky to be here. I am so glad that you are x

  • Reply
    Jenny @ thebrickcastle
    November 26, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    I’m so glad that you are still here. Your post is beautifully written, and by far the best thing I’ve read in ages, so don’t put down your own writing, especially when you are doing it for yourself.
    No-one makes memories from cleaning – not very often anyway – and a Pinterest perfect house is not a home, but your children will always remember snuggles on the sofa and movies with Mum. That is what makes you a great parent – you are giving them your time xx
    Jenny @ thebrickcastle recently posted…WATCHU GPS Tracking Smart Watch For Kids ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Megan _ Truly madly kids
    November 25, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I’m lost for words. This post is so brilliantly articulated, and how incredibly well you manage your mental health and far you’ve come. An inspirational post, lovely. XXXX

  • Reply
    Katy (What Katy Said)
    November 25, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I wish I lived around the corner. I’d happily sit and watch Gilmore girls and scoff some cake with you! I am so glad you didn’t succeed Lucy and I am even more glad that you are able to see that your life is a gift. You are lucky to be alive yes, but we are lucky too- lucky to know you xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 25, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Oh my gosh, Katy, you are so lovely. Thank you for your kind words. I wish you lived round the corner too. A Gilmore Girls and cake date sounds like my idea of heaven. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Laura @ Mama, Eden & Me
    November 24, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I’m glad you’re still here. I’m glad you woke up. You’re doing a wonderful job being just as imperfect as the rest of us xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 24, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Awww, thank you so much. I am very glad too. And now I feel calmer and happier, I realise that being imperfect ain’t that bad. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    EssexKate
    November 24, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Hugs x
    EssexKate recently posted…Dear All The Bad MummiesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Thank you so much. Hugs are always appreciated. Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Alan herbert
    November 24, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    A great post Lucy.

    Like you I felt that same feeling when waking up alive in the hospital after my last suicide attempt.

    Some days it is so hard to find “the happy”

    Glad you are in a better place. Don’t stop writing about your depression, if it helps you and someone who reads it, then its worth it.

    Alan
    Alan herbert recently posted…24 Blogs of XmasMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 24, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Alan, thank you so much for commenting. You are always so lovely and supportive. That feeling is the worst feeling in the world. And I think it is that more than anything else that I remember and that makes today a struggle. But although life is hard and sometimes I really struggle, I will always fight to make sure that I never feel that way again. And by writing this post today, I have discovered that writing my thoughts and feelings down is a definite weapon in the battle. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    November 24, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    I am who I am is something I have been saying to myself a lot lately. I am constantly trying to be better, to be thinner, cleverer, funnier, more organised and I trying so hard to let that go and be happy. I’ve never reached the depths of depression you have survived (though I did lose my father too it) but I do struggle daily just to be, as you do. I’m glad you failed all those years ago and hope that you never reach that same low point again. Being alive is a gift and unfortunately that is not something my father could ever see, so I’m glad that you can. Xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      November 24, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment Caroline. I am who I am is a great philosophy. I wish I could apply it to my life more. I am so sorry to hear that about your father. That is really shit. I realise how lucky I was back then. And I am very grateful to be alive. And although I have my dark days. I do still recognise that life is beautiful and there are so many reasons to be cheerful. Hugs Lucy xxxx

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