Very few people know this about me but as it is R U OK day on Thursday 13th September and I am blogging and being open and honest and that will sometimes mean allowing me to be exposed I thought I would discuss my semicolon tattoo!
Take Care! We all say it to each other and we mean it for the other person, but do we actually check if they R OK…. and what about ourselves? Why are we not kinder to ourselves, why are we not checking in on ourselves to and asking AM I OK?
We as women are notorious for NOT looking after ourselves, be it our physical health and/or our mental health. I always tended to put everyone else needs first and as I was living in a very destructive and abusive relationship trying to hold it all together with 3 young children and wanting to ensure the outside world believed this “happy family” charade that I worked damn hard at to protect I certainly came last in the ‘self care’ department.
- was everything going ok to ensure nothing would upset the head of our household
- were the kids needs looked after, were they well dressed polite clean etc
- was there a meal on the table for dinner
- was it the right meal (never forget the full plate hurled while I was holding my baby)
- Ensuring I was still performing well at work and holding down a good job, there really was no time for me in the schedule.
I gained weight, did not exercise, did not leave the house unless I had to and certainly did not eat well, often finished the kids meals too. I did not realise I had post natal depression with my 2nd born and was finally diagnosed with my third, by then it really was almost too late. I avoided hospital and was placed on medication to help me get through each day. and it was only because my Health Centre Nurse asked me If I was OK? and listened with not only her ears, but her eyes too, noticed I was withdrawn and behaviour changes – that I am still here today
I was desperately unhappy but did not share this with anyone, I was shut off from my friends, and to the people I did see, I played my “Happy Families” charade while praying every day that I would get a knock on the door to tell me I was a widow and I could publicly grieve and privately celebrate. (I sound crazy even to me) Every day I wished I would not have to wake up, and thought often about how I could end this life, I felt often I was a burden to everyone as I was not coping with even being able to perform the duties of a wife and/or a mother, and barely able to hold it together at work (yes I continued to work). At home I was constantly reminded about how fat I was, how stupid I was and how no-one else would ever want me, I was not of value and I
felt everyone else would be happier without me.
Thiswas over 23 years ago…. I did not go through with any of my dark thoughts and when I did get the courage to leave, sought counselling, and accepted that I needed medication to deal with my depression over time I became the person I am now.
I have my semicolon shaped as a lotus flower as for me I rose out of that time in my life where it could have ended, but it didn’t it was only a pause and I had a new beginning and a new story to take on everything wonderful in the world. I have l have grown stronger every day since then and launched mnew Business and it is going fabulously well.
Make sure you ask the people you love “R U OK?” and please listen with your ears and your eyes – It could save a life.
NOTE: I am on medication again at the moment and seeing a psychologist again due to what they say is PTSD and this is due to flash backs and memories arising from that old life but I am doing great and I have people around me now who ask me all the time if I am OK?I say I am OK to most people (even on days when I’m a bit down) as it is simple. I have never shared this story before as it’s easier to just say I’m fine than go into details… I still feel I will be judged, considered crazy for having days where I don’t want to leave my bed, and because people see my wonderful life now and I appear always happy they just would not understand what is going on behind the smile, in fact sometimes I don’t even know why I have those days.