We all have bad days even if we don’t suffer from a mental illness.
I think if you suffer with a mental illness the heightened emotions make it that little bit tougher when you are already down.
I have days when I don’t want to get out of bed. On these days no matter what my husband says to me, I think he’s an idiot and can’t stand being around him.
I visualise packing a bag, getting in my car and driving away.
I’m angry inside, so angry and I cry.
The next day I’m fine. Almost like it never happened.
It must be hard being with someone when you never know what mood they are in, not just on that day, but in that moment. Yes, it makes me sound like an awful wife and mother but that’s what having a mental illness is like. It sucks the light out of you. It almost takes away every ounce of energy you have as your mind goes into overdrive.
What if? What can I? I can’t? Round and round the thoughts go.
The truth is it took me a year of therapy and going over the same thing to begin to function. I needed a break. I needed to take time out to let my mind rest. I remember sitting there thinking I’ll wave a wand and magic up some spare time.
Looking back at how physically and mentally ill I was, I know now that having time to yourself and time as a couple is so important. Your marriage or partnership is not over when you have kids.
I came across my medical notes whilst unpacking a box the other day and there it is was in black and white
Sepsis. Major surgery required.
I look back and even to this day I brush off just how awful the situation was. My daughter nearly lost her mother. My husband his wife. I have days where I dwell on it and think, what if?
We don’t have any time together as a couple, so we have vowed this year we would have a weekend away starting with Paris. I’ll let you know how it was, I’m excited.
Bad days do suck.
Here’s a few ideas that may help.
Be open and honest with your partner. It will only build up inside you and they will not understand if you don’t tell them how you feel. It will be hard. But at least they will know why you are acting the way you are. They can support you and be there for you when you need them most.
When they are around take advantage of it. I struggled with this and criticised everything he did. I was over protective of her. I went over and over what I did and didn’t want him to do. Forgetting he is her parent too. It took me sitting down and explaining to him that I can’t switch off. Even when I wasn’t with her I was clock watching and thought about what he should be doing.
He understood and told me to write her routine down and he would stick to it and send me a picture or text to let me know how she was. It was the most stressful spa experience I have ever had.
After that, a trip to Costa and a walk around the shops did it for me. I could keep track of what they were doing as I had access to my phone. It took time, a lot of time, but I got there, and I began to trust certain people to look after her.
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the house have a hot bath and a lay down.
When your baby is sleeping turn your devices off and have a chat with your partner or watch funny videos together if you struggle to spark a conversation.
I struggle at times because I decided not to return to work and spend the year I lost out on with my daughter. I was lucky I could do this. I didn’t really have much conversation to bring to the table. Except. ‘I made a Playdough elephant today. Cleaned the house. Washed the clothes. Made the bed. Cooked dinner.’
The problem is we then come across like we are moaning. So sometimes a funny cat video or Netflix box set is a good idea. It sparks a conversation. Even if I am shattered and ready for bed myself. Now she’s a toddler we never get a word in, so spend our spare time talking about house related things. The only time we get to talk is on the phone or via email as she’s excited daddy is home in the evening.
It Is certainly hard and at times and frustrating when you’re both tired. Just remember neither of you are invincible, you need time to recuperate and spend time as a couple. Do what you can and don’t feel guilty for it. It will not help you. Having time to yourself or as a couple does not make you a bad parent it took me two years to realise this.
I hope it doesn’t take you this long.