This evening I’m really tired. I haven’t slept well the last few nights and I can really feel the impact it’s having on my mood, and my ability to cope with stress – prime example, my two year old daughter’s pre-bedtime meltdown (it’s a phase, it’s a phase, it’s a phase…………)
On a day that I’m well, that I have perspective, I can see this for what it is. She’s two. She’s testing the limits, seeing how far she can push, determined to get her own way. This is normal behaviour, although she does have spectacular willpower – I’m convinced she will actually rule the world some day. Leaving aside her future leadership qualities, there’s nothing out of the ordinary with this, and in general, I can handle it.
Then we have an evening like this evening, where I’m tired. I’ve mentioned a few times now how quickly I lose perspective when I’m tired, and I’m really aware of it this evening. My mood has been dropping steadily, I’m less patient. I saw the tantrum building in her (her flags are almost as obvious as my own), but this time I couldn’t think quickly enough to distract her, and I struggled to keep myself calm in the face of it. I just wanted her to listen, to do what I was asking of her, so I could go to bed myself and try and catch up on last night. But two year olds are not generally open to negotiation. She didn’t want to co-operate, and the more I pushed, the more she dug her heels in. This could have gone one of two ways. I could have stayed where I was, kept fighting, and all hell would have broken loose. Or, I could have walked away for a minute, calmed myself down, and come back to her with a clear head. Thankfully, I chose to do the latter. By the time I came back to her, she was ready to admit defeat. We cuddled, had a story, she went to bed. Crisis averted.
But, the fact remains that all it took for things to get tough this evening was tiredness. So now I need to be careful. I need to look after myself. Even as I’m writing this, I can feel that my thoughts are less ordered, and I’ve a sense that I’m not articulating this as well as I could be. I probably won’t notice fully until I read back over this another time. So the point? This is life with depression in the background. I need to look after myself, as do we all, but especially anyone who is prone to depression. I know my limits, but more than that, I need to be aware of when I’m approaching them. Like now – I need to get myself off this blog and into bed!! I’m really hoping I can sleep tonight and see things a bit more clearly tomorrow.