This date last year was the start of a perfect storm. A good friend who I relied on massively for support was emigrating, I was coming down with the flu (real, actual flu, not a cold!), in the process of changing meds so in withdrawal hell and depression was far from under control. Work was a living nightmare. Hubby also had the flu, the kids were sick, and my folks were away so we were really stuck for help.

I remember that morning, I had decided to go in late to work as I really wanted to see N before she left for Canada. I went over, stayed just briefly as we both got very upset, then proceeded to cry the whole way to work. I stayed in the office for a couple of hours, which I don’t remember at all, then left in a state at some point in the afternoon. I knew I wasn’t well physically, so figured that was probably the biggest part of the problem. If only!! I do remember calling Mam that night, after N had left, and just sobbing down the phone. The next few days were particularly nasty – looking after young kids while sick yourself is incredibly challenging, never mind when there’s the added bonus of depression at play. There was a distress call Saturday morning to my sister, we just couldn’t manage without extra help, and fair play to her, she dropped everything, got a bus into Dublin, over to Galway, and out to Oughterard. The journey took the best part of the day, but I am forever grateful to her because I honestly don’t know how we’d have coped otherwise. Hubby was as sick as I’ve ever seen him and I wasn’t much better. The following Tuesday was D’s birthday, and we had planned a party for him for the Saturday. I don’t remember most of that week at all, but the Friday is very clearly imprinted in my mind.

I had gone to bed on Thursday evening, and I remember consciously thinking, ‘I don’t care anymore. I give up’. I didn’t get up Friday morning. Hubby was off for some reason – maybe he was still under the weather as well? – so he got up with the kids. At about 11 he came up and dragged me out of bed, and I took the kids out to the playground. We must have been gone for an hour or so. By the time I got back, he had spoken to my GP, and arranged to bring me in that afternoon, with a view to taking me to hospital. That was a really hard conversation. I went upstairs to put a few bits in a bag, and outside I could see one of my neighbours washing her windows. The sight of that actually tipped me over the edge. I honestly couldn’t see a point in the future where I could even imagine doing something so ordinary, so simple – I couldn’t see a future at all.

My GP was lovely. I had seen him the day before, and apparently scared him, because I had said I didn’t care any more. People telling them they’re suicidal he can handle, because it gives him something to work with. But being beyond caring? Not good. He referred me to A&E, rang ahead to let them know I was coming and I was seen within 5 minutes of getting there, admitted within the hour. The rest is history, and needless to say poor D’s birthday was cancelled.

So why am I writing about this today? The last few days have been tough, and I’ve been struggling a little. But if I look back, I’m worlds apart from where I was this time last year. So while I might be feeling shaky right now, I want and need to keep it in perspective. I’ve been worse, so much worse. I’ve learned an awful lot in the last year. No doubt I’ll slip again, but hopefully never so badly. So for me, today, while I’m remembering a particularly horrible time, I still think it’s an anniversary worth marking, because it helps me keep in mind how far I’ve come. Change from the chaos, right??

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