I had a visit this week from a friend I don’t see often. He lives about 70 miles away but drove down stupidly early this morning to have a coffee and a catch-up for an hour or so, before turning around and going back to start work. He even provided the coffee.
|This is me on top of a mountain.
When I got sick and went a bit mad, C came to see me a few times. I also went and stayed with him a few times, and he made me climb a mountain with him. Well, we’d agreed to do it before but damn him, he held me to that agreement and although he didn’t physically carry me to the top, he definitely carried me mentally. That day was the turning point for me; when I realised I was capable of climbing a mountain I realised perhaps I was capable of life after all, and perhaps things weren’t so bad. Since that summer I’ve not seen him a great deal; we live too far apart, I don’t drive, he has a busy life.
When S was born he came down to visit one day. I barely remember him being here, except that S was very small and slept through the entire visit, and I felt bad he’d come to see a baby who wasn’t even aware he had been. That was the last time I saw him, until this morning, when he rocked up with coffee and croissants and the kind of bear hug that makes you wonder if perhaps he’s trying to kill you. But in a good way. Everyone needs to be squeezed to within an inch of their lives every now and then!
Any way, the point of this post is something C said after he’d left. Because he’s one of the few people who saw me at rock bottom, and saw how bad I was before the medication kicked in, he’s always taken an interest in how my mental health is, especially now that I’m off the medication (14 months and counting!!). Every time I see him, he asks if I’m still off the meds, and how I’m doing, and tells me he’s proud of me for doing such a great job. Sometimes it feels strange to be reminded I was ever on medication, to be reminded of the things he can remember about me – because it all just feels like it must have happened to someone else. Today he texted me saying that S and I both look happy and well, which means I’m doing a brilliant job. I told him that having a baby was the best thing that could have happened for my mental health, because I simply don’t have time to sit and be depressed any more. His response was:
I can’t believe it took a baby for you to realise how brilliant you are and that you can manage without drugs…
Just lately, there have been a few instances where I’ve done things I didn’t think I could. I cooked Christmas dinner without killing anyone, and people seemed to enjoy it. Visitors over the festive period have commented on the good job I am apparently doing with S, which is always a good thing to hear. I never thought I was capable of keeping a house clean and tidy, or of cooking a proper meal, but I’ve been doing both of those for a while now. HYM helped a lot in this; the fact someone else ate my food and thought it was ok was a novelty to me, since nobody else had really sampled my cooking before. Also the way he behaved as if he was lucky to be with me was a major confidence boost at a time when I felt like I would probably just go ahead and stay single forever. This blog is a major confidence boost as well – the fact people actually read the bilge I come out with, and then comment on it as if my opinion is of any consequence, really makes me feel pretty good about myself – even when they disagree!
So perhaps I am brilliant. Perhaps I always was, like C said, and I just never knew it until S came along and showed me.Thanks for reading! If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends using the buttons below.