On Monday 5th September 2016 I snapped. That is the only, and best way, I can describe it. At the time I thought I was losing the plot, I was having a break down, I was, well I don’t know, nothing good anyway. I remember being in school on an inset day, that’s about it. I think we had a meeting in the morning and I remember coming out feeling rubbish and overwhelmed. I think I threw my new notebook on the floor. The playgroup room was a mess, I was not prepared for the children, I had a to-do list unlike any to do list I had ever written. If you have worked with me or know me you know that I love a list. My to-do lists: usually typed, in priority order and they get crossed off one by one. This one was a mess, I was swamped, and I was overwhelmed I was tired, exhausted, done! I can see now that this to do list was a reflection of the state of my mind at the time it was all over the place, jumbled, a mess. I snapped. I cried and cried and could not stop I could not bear to look at anyone, talk to anyone, show how badly I was doing. The head called me into the office and guess what, I cried, and cried. I have no idea what I said, but I left the room knowing I had to see the doctor.
My aunt had told me this a couple of weeks previously when I broke down at her house while drinking a cup of tea. I thought at that time as it was mid august, mid summer holidays, I had just had enough of my two boys and I needed to get back to school, back to routine and I would be fine. Ha! How wrong I was.
I saw my doctor the next day. Again I cried and cried, I couldn’t cope, I was a bad mum, I am horrible to my children, and I could not see any light at the end of the tunnel. I was at the bottom of a pit scrabbling to get out but just couldn’t get my footing. She asked me to answer some questions on a sheet as quick as I could, not thinking about it too much. What a thing to say, in my head I was this: “if I answer this, what does this mean?” “If I don’t say this, what will happen” , “will I be taken away?”, “ Will my children be taken?”, “you are being ridiculous, you are fine”, “you don’t need to be here”, “you shouldn’t be here”, “ you should be able to cope, everyone else does”. And on and on, round and round. Any way I answered them, and she said I was struggling with a mixture of anxiety and depression! That word, depression, it hung in the air with so much weight, I didn’t know what to do with it. I could not get out of that room fast enough, give me that prescription, that phone number for something or other, yes I will try this and that. I’m gone!
Now to deal with this diagnosis. I cannot do it on my own, who do I call. Tim, my husband, no answer. A friend, no answer. Panic rising!! My sister. Yay she answered. Oh no wait, the flood gates opened again. But she was amazing, as always. It was all going to be OK. Tim did answer the phone eventually, as did everyone else. I managed to tell my mum and dad and the extended family.
So what now?
I very quickly realised I could not work. I told the doctor I didn’t need a sick note because I needed to be in work. I needed the routine. How wrong I was. The next day in fact, I got up, I got dressed and I sat with my breakfast in front of me. I could not eat, I was shaking, and I could not stand let alone get out of the door, into the car, drive to school, look after children, teach them and nurture them.
It has now been 6 months and I am still not ready to go back!