Sometimes I’m Not OK, but that’s ok

Sometimes I’m Not OK

This is something that I’ve toyed with writing for a few days now and have been putting it off because I worry.   I worry what people think of me and I know that I shouldn’t. Sometimes I’m not ok.  People in my on-line world only see what I write and I’d say 99% of the time I’m always full of fun and adventures.  Perception of togetherness. Imagine seeing a duck calmly swimming but under the water its legs are going crazy.

Autumn has set in and it’s bloody cold outside and this duck is walking on Ice.   I’ve touched on it a couple of times in my Happy Days posts on a Saturday.  I’m just a little moody, a bit down.  Everything seems a bit dull and I’m doing everything I can think of to make it OK.

It’s a very British thing to say “I’m fine” when asked how we are.  When really we’re screaming inside and just plain miserable.  It’s like a feeling of emptiness and you’re wondering what is the point.  Why bother doing anything, doing “anything” is just too much.

Well that is how I’m feeling a lot of the time at the moment.  I hide it, I hide it in my writing, I hide it in my walks, I hide it in my play.  I just hide behind this “positive” person and sometimes the cracks start to show.   A real roller coaster of emotions. Up and down every other minute.  It’s making me tired.

a grey picture of morecambe bay, a bit SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder  SAD

Winter depression.  At it’s worse in December, January, February.  While I’m writing this post I am reminding myself of this time last year.  I had my 5/6 month old and I remember being pretty low then too.  It’s a pattern forming, that Winter pattern…  If you’ve never come across SAD before then you can check it out on the NHS website.

I’m pretty sure that this is what is wrong with me.

I started writing this blog last February and I’ve been on a high doing so, I love my blog.  I love writing about my life and our family adventures.  The fact that I’ve been a little out of favour with it the last few weeks is just another reason I know something is wrong.  It’s difficult.

I’m a parent now

Why at the young age of 34 do I think that SAD has come into my life?  Honestly, probably because I am a Mum, a stay at home Mum.   It’s hard work.  Not because it’s 24 hours a day, but because it’s not work.  There isn’t any real structure to my days.  In the past I’d go to work, be out the house for 8 hours, have tea, repeat.  There was a structure there.

Now I have different days, I fill them, but they are always changing.  I could go to the park now, or in 15 minutes.  The washing up needs doing, well I’ll do that later.  Nothing NEEDS to be done.  Will the Robot nap, won’t he.  Will he nap for 20 minutes or 2 hours?  Everything can change in an instance.  It just adds to that rollercoaster.

People say to time block and get things done, but when the only person you are accountable too is yourself, and your small person, it’s no fun.   But it is OK!  Seriously it is ok.   I love being a Mum more than anything in the world.

My Solution

There is always a solution and hopefully that ever important positive spin to things.   Honestly, I don’t think I have it that bad, I know something is wrong and so does Dave.  I’m not going to the Doctors as to quote the NHS:

You should consider seeing your GP if you think you might have SAD and you’re struggling to cope.

My low moods are just that, low.  I am coping!  I have plenty of highs to counteract them.  There is plenty that I can do to improve my mood, that tried and tested are working:

  • Write – Did I mention I love my blog!?
  • Talk – Dave knows, I talk to him a lot, he listens and advises.
  • Eat – I know this should be healthy but chocolate is soooo good.
  • Exercise – I’m limited to walking with the Robot.
  • Get outside in daylight – see above walking with the Robot.

In the past week I’ve read two blog posts by Catie from An Imperfect Mum; over on Mindful Mummy Mission and one called Beach Therapy.   Both of these mention Catie’s love of the beach as somewhere to reflect and recharge, a love of nature we both share.   She inspired me to get my beach on too and although my beaches aren’t as pretty as hers, it’s still the sea and I’m still outdoors.  Outdoors and exercising in an inspiring location.

Sometimes I'm not ok - Karen Selfie at the seaside

but that’s ok

If you’re feeling low like me, it really is ok!  I’ve been putting things in place to counteract how I’m feeling and I am ok.  Recognising something is wrong is a good first step.  Writing about this today has really helped me.  Hitting the publish button is going to be a hard one for me to do but this is my online place and for all the happy postive posts I write, one little low one isn’t going to hurt!

Please if you are struggling and don’t have anyone to turn too then please drop me a message, I can’t say that I’ll be able to help but I’ll listen.  If you have any good coping techniques please leave them in the comments, I am sure others would love to read them.

 

 

 

67 Comments

    1. isntitpretty

      Thank you Catie. I told you on #HappyDays that you’d inspired something! I’m going to try to get down to my muddy beach to see the sea at least once a week this winter season. Plus get out for a walk every day too, not just walking to the shops! X

  1. Ahhhh Karen, really sorry to read that you’ve been feeling a bit rubbish recently. It is tough at this time of year – especially, I think when you’re such an outdoorsy person like yourself and this option isn’t open to you so much. However, as you showed you can still get out and enjoy the beach and this does wonders for our mood. You always seem to have such a ‘can-do’ approach to life and it sounds like you’ve worked out strategies that will help you. Dave sounds so lovely and the blog is a fab outlet (I love all the messy play/creative stuff you’ve started doing recently). Thanks so much for linking up to the series too and also that’s a very kind offer that you’re there to listen if people want to drop you a line – so kind. Hope this passes quickly. Lots of love and take care. xx
    Mindful Mummy Mission recently posted…Linkys & Likes: the Art of Kindness in the Blogging WorldMy Profile

    1. isntitpretty

      Thank you Hayley. I’ve been on a real high since writing this post. I procrastinated a bit before hitting publish though! So it goes to show that writing is a brilliant outlet for helping sway a low. I made Dave read it too before I hit publish, lol! He never reads the blog! Thanks for the messy play shout out. K x

    1. isntitpretty

      Exercise is definately key. I always used to cycle to work and now I don’t get out on my bike as much I’d like to anymore. I can cycle with the Robot but find it difficult on my own and especially at this time of the year. That’s why I’m limited to walking or when the boys in bed. Bed time is often too late to get out though and too sporadic to rely on going to a class or two. We’re coping with walking for now!

  2. Well done on writing this post. It’s hard to break that British front and admit you are finding things difficult. I know because I do it myself. I have been struggling from SAD this year. It’s easing now that winter proper is kicking in. Perhaps I’ve just accepted it’s happening. During autumn though I felt very low; Watching my garden die back and the sun disappear earlier and earlier really hit my positivity levels hard.

    I wrote a post about it back in October (http://www.lifemotherhoodandeverything.com/wpblog/home-garden/darkness/). I mentioned my ways of managing it in there. To be honest your ways of coping are more or less the same. The only other thing I found that helped me was getting more natural colour into the house: flowering plants or cut flowers. I have so many plants but I needed to see something other than green. I always have cut flowers now.

    The only other thing you could consider – do you have any daylight bulbs in your house? We have them in the kitchen and I find the brighter more natural light perks me up a bit.

    Good luck managing your symptoms. It’s funny how years ago humans lived a more seasonal life whereas now we are expected to continue in the same way all year round…

    #FamilyFun
    Angela Watling recently posted…What Little H did – 22 monthsMy Profile

  3. So sorry to hear you struggle at this time of year. I really love your proactive ‘can do’ approach though, making sure you go for walks and fill your days. Being a sahm is hard and as you said; I too miss the structure working offers. It’s good you realise when your mood is dipping so you can do something about it. I’m glad writing is a bit of an outlet for you too because your blog is fab. And I really love the #MessandPlay you have started. Thanks for sharing this with everyone and eben though its hard at times, try to keep positive x
    #FamilyFun
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  4. This is a brilliantly written post Karen. I’m sorry to read about your low mood but you are so right in your approach and doing what you can to make things better. I hope it’s working and I have huge respect for your ability to recognise and deal oh and to publish xx #familyfun
    Tammymum recently posted…#FamilyFun…week 13My Profile

  5. I know how you feel – I went though a difficult period around this time last year – not helped by the Popple not sleeping AT ALL. It’s great that you have found ways to cope, though, and I’m sure writing it all down helped too. You know your #tribalchat friends are here if you ever need to talk! #FamilyFun
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…What’s in my handbag?My Profile

  6. I actually found your post extremely inspirational and I am sure many others will too. No need to worry about publishing it, because your writing is so clear and so insightful. I think that many of us suffer with a touch of SAD, but as you say, we just get on with it and find the positives – which you do and you are and just hearing that you are will inspire and help others to do the same. Your description of being a SAHM really resonated with me, albeit a few years ago for me now. You voice perfectly how I and so many others feel/felt. That lack of structure can be a mind numb-er, but you can also use it to your advantage, like you rediscovering the beach. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for hitting, ‘publish’. Alison x #FamilyFun
    Alison (MadHouseMum) recently posted…A word that roarsMy Profile

  7. So glad you wrote this. It is definitely ok not to be ok. I’m findg life pretty tough at the mo…winter is definitely a factor but you have reminded me of my happy places too…there’s something about the sea isn’t there. I’m going to book a visit into in the next couple of weeks. Tell me off if I don’t…I’m getting a bit stuck inside. I like the idea of more greenery in the house too…I wonder if Christmas trees count!?
    I hope the chocolate, The walks, the talk and the writing all help you over the next few months. Virtually here as ever! X
    Lucy at occupation: (m)other recently posted…Surviving. Not ThrivingMy Profile

    1. isntitpretty

      Ahh Lucy, it’s taken me a week to get round to my comments. I know you’ve been to the beach today so no need for me to push you to do this. I think the Chirstmas tree will count as long as its not plastic! Thanks for your beautiful comment. x

  8. Oh I’m sorry to read this – you come across as such a positive person I don’t like to thunk of you feeling like this. I don’t think this time of year helps – forced frivolity – it’s definitely a time for reflection. It’s also horrid cold weather which we would be far happier hibernating in but this isn’t good for the soul – we have to make more effort to get out. I do agree with the idea of beach therapy – that sense of place in the power of the elements can be very calming. Wishing you well lovely and thank goodness for the gorgeous blogging community around you xx #familyfun

  9. Well done for sharing. I’ve battled depression on and off since my teenage years and last year, for the first time, it manifested itself in a serious panic disorder. Imagine me, outgoing, outdoor adventurer, climber of mountains, chaser of sunsets unable to even go to the supermarket! With help and the support of those around me, and after many months battling demons, I won. I feel on top of the world right now but I’m always aware another low point will hit sometime in the future. However, when once I was anxious about this, after receiving proper help, and admiting I needed it, for the first time, I’m no longer worried by it. It part of who I am (this, for me was my biggest thing to admit and overcome). Stay strong, positive and talking to people. Admiring there is a problem is the biggest hurdle.
    #familyfun
    David – Potty Adventures recently posted…Family Travel: The YHA Snowdon Pen-y-PassMy Profile

    1. isntitpretty

      Ahh David, thank you for sharing. It’s such a postive thing to realise and work through it and talk about it. Glad you had/have the people around you to help. I do too and I am eternally grateful for that. Thank you.

    1. isntitpretty

      Thank you Katy, other people have suggest day light bulbs so I guess the clock is a similar thing. I’ll keep doing what I am doing but I’ll discuss with Dave about this as a solution. Thanks

  10. Wow thank you for sharing this Karen! It’s really brave to open up and admit that things aren’t always picture perfect, and that it is okay! SAD is no fun, but it’s very real, I used to have it, like clockwork when the darker nights and short days started I would feel my mood drop, December always picked me up, but then January and February hit me like a ton of bricks. Fingers crossed I haven’t felt it yet, I hope I can be free of it this year! I can only join in and say that getting out in the daylight was such a good remedy! Get as much daylight as possible and if you feel that you’re starting not to cope I’ve heard great things about ‘sun lamps’ in helping through the worst parts of winter. Thank you for sharing! x #familyfun
    Josefine recently posted…Christmas Pancakes and Rice Porridge!My Profile

    1. isntitpretty

      Thank you for your comment Josefine, it really is suprising about the amount of people that have come back to this and said how it effects them too. I hope that you can get through this season without it. All your baking must be helping!!

  11. Oh I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling. I have struggled with SAD on and off for a number of years. Have you considered getting a Light Box? It’s a special light that mimics daylight. They can be a little expensive but I would DEFINITELY recommend one! It has been a real life-saver to me and has meant I’ve been able to keep the SAD under control. It’s also very easy to use one as a blogger because you can just turn it on every time you sit down to blog 🙂

    I’m glad that you’re coping, but make sure you keep on looking after yourself #FamilyFun
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Bloggers Bluff #10: 3 Little ButtonsMy Profile

  12. suz

    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling yourself. Winter is a difficult time for many people – myself included. I found swapping to daylight light bulbs helps – and you’re already on the ‘walking outside’ idea.
    The lack of structure to your day can be hard to get used to – especially with a young child. Try to organize something like playgroups/swimming/coffee with friends so that you have a focus to your day rather than just drifting. Easier said than done when you’re feeling low.
    Sending hugs xx
    #familyfun
    suz recently posted…Christmas books for children to win for Free with GoodreadsMy Profile

    1. isntitpretty

      Thank you Suzie, I have structure to half of my days most of the week which is good. I tend to get stuck inside for nap time in the afternoon though so not much other than light boxes I can do about this. or walks with a sleepy buggy rider of course!

  13. I think SAD is a lot more common than we think. And it’s understandable, i agree with what you said about staying at home and not having structure not helping. Try to find a routine, Exercise will definitely help. Online videos are great. The Boy likes to do them with me! #familyfun
    donna recently posted…Christmas GingerbreadMy Profile

    1. isntitpretty

      I need to find an online video and stick to it really. I know that the little man would join in too! Definately common isn’t it with the amounts of comments I’ve got! Thank you x

  14. It’s really not fun to feel like that. When I lived in the UK I felt suffered with SAD lots and so did my husband. There is just not enough daylight as soon as Autumn comes. We bought ourselves a SAD lamp and used to eat breakfast every morning in front of it. I think it helped but I remember well how miserable I felt! Hope you feel better soon x #familyfun
    Pat – White Camellias recently posted…Living Arrows 48/52My Profile

  15. It’s brilliant you’ve written this. Can’t be easy to write down the thoughts that are at the back of your head and just press ‘publish’. As you say, it’s a first step to admit there’s something not right. I’m sure others will get in touch now you’ve welcomed it – a really cool thing to offer as you can share experiences.
    Hope you get to enjoy a little bit of sun even on the chilly days, keep writing because I love your blog!
    Kimberly x #FamilyFun
    Kimberly (Media Mummy) recently posted…A day in the life of: Two TV Mums.My Profile

  16. snap! I am finding this time of year particularly difficult. I think it’s because both my kids birthday are around this time plus christmas. And I’m trying to blog and I’m a train driver and I like my house to be clean and I just put way too much pressure on myself. Maybe we need to chill… take some time out for ourselves and recharge them batteries. I hope you feel better soon x
    shaney (imummyblog) recently posted…A blogging mess!My Profile

  17. It is not easy to admit when we feel down lost or depressed, but it is so important that we do, writing honest blogs like this will help you get it out and also help you realise you are not alone. When I was lost a couple of years ago I found blogging really helped and still does. Being at home with a child is beautiful but let’s afce it it does feel isolating too, so make sure you get out! walks are great, or head to a cafe and drink coffee or a nice hot chocolate. Grab a great read too, a good uplifting book can take you anywhere anytime. If you have some spare cash head to the shops and buy yourself a new outfit, or a new lippy. Even if you are at home pop on a little lip gloss or blush to brighten your face and mood.If you are good at art, draw, if you are not try an adult colouring book to distract your mind. Music is great too, pop on happy songs and dance!!!! Always see your doctor if it gets too much. And feel free to buy an airline ticket to Australia and come stay with me and enjoy the sunshine for a couple of weeks! #familyfun

  18. It is horrible when these moods move in and you feel out of touch with yourself and everything around you. Getting out is so therapeutic and like you when I feel like this I will take myself off for a long walk through the parks nearby and generally I find it helps to lift my spirits. I hope you start to feel more like your old self soon. #familyfun
    Jo (Mother of Teenagers) recently posted…The Value of Female FriendshipsMy Profile

  19. You’re right Hun, it is ok. We all have our down days and if you were positive all the time it wouldn’t be real. I hate the winter months too, the dark days and darker nights do affect my mood. Hope you enjoy those beach walks. Xx
    #familyfun

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  21. This is a beautiful post and you are not alone. I quite often change my hours in the winter because I cannot bear the thought of travelling to and from work in the dark, but I also force a walk outdoors in the winter. Apparently you can purchase daylight lamps which are supposed to help relieve the effects of SAD. For me its not about visiting a doctors, it’s remembering to do what makes me happy in every season but winter and thats being outdoors in whatever daylight we have. Great post x
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