You know by now that I like my social media bubble to be a happy, positive place.
I’ve always said “I don’t need to see someone’s bad days to know that they have them.” and that remains true, I don’t think anyone owes 100% of themselves to the world at large. You do not have a duty to share every tear and squabble alongside your smiles and memories you want to hang on to.
I rarely share my lows, not because I want to pretend I don’t have them, but because by next week I won’t even remember them (the only upside to having a terrible memory!) so I’d rather not hang on to them in my virtual scrapbook.
Last night I had the happiest time scrolling back through my pictures from the last year, the baby giggles, yawns and stretches, the smiling family waving back at me through a haze of happy tears. This year has had so many struggles, but now they fade into obscurity, leaving only the good bits. Which is how I like it. If my husband had taken pictures of my many exhausted meltdowns, instead of cuddling me and telling me it was going to be ok, it would feel very different looking back.
But the trouble with having a happy social media bubble where you only follow happy shiny people, is that you can start to think that their lives don’t have the shadows or shades of grey yours does. That they’re living in glorious technicolour every second of the day and you’re the odd one out.
So in the name of balance, this is a post that makes me feel a bit nervous. Like I’m willing my fingers to type the words, rather than letting them run like spiders across the keyboards as I try to keep up, which is how my usual posts are written.
As wonderful as this past year has been, and it really has been, I have also really struggled. I’ve been battling the darkness for a while, and some days I haven’t been able to see through. Though objectively I can see that there’s nothing wrong with my life, I am extremely privileged in so many ways, I found myself hating it. Crying often, too tired to function, snapping at loved ones, generally seeing the worst in everything. Basically PMS but longer! It wasn’t constant, I would have periods of optimism, my old self would shine through and I’d race around getting stuff done, take pictures, write blog posts, see friends, I even signed up to a gym. But I would get drained so quickly and need to retreat back into myself.
I few weeks ago I went to the Dr, she suggested anti-depressants which I declined, not because there’s anything wrong with them but I wanted to try other attacks first. We chatted for over an hour and did a lot of blood tests, we talked about my extreme morning sickness, where I couldn’t keep anything down for months, the pregnancy I found so difficult, almost a year now of exclusive breastfeeding. It makes sense, she said, that I would be drained. That I’ve been giving away so much and not replenishing it all. However good my diet, I haven’t made up for all that I’ve lost.
So while we wait for my results (we’re sure my hormones are out of whack but we need to wait ’til the labs reopen to find out!) she put me on the same cocktail of supplements she makes everyone take, magnesium, probiotics and vitamin d, along with a post-natal multivitamin (I don’t know why no-one suggested this when everyone suggests pre-natal vitamins) and I added collagen and hyaluronic acid for good measure.
I bought a sunrise alarm clock to battle the miserable dark mornings we’re treated to on this wet little island. And a light panel that mimics sunlight, it’s on next to me while I’m writing to you.
I’m keeping up with my walking everywhere, and lugging Lily up and down stairs is enough of a workout for me at the mo.
I can’t say the last few weeks have been the most scientific of tests, so it could be all down to the mince pies and country air, but I already feel so much better. I really feels as though the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders. I feel funny again, I feel sociable, excited to get back to work.
Maybe I just needed a break, or maybe it’s the supplements and faux sunshine. I really don’t know.
But I’m working on getting back to myself. On looking after myself just as well as I look after Lily and everyone else. It’s easy to give away so much of yourself that you get lost, so just remember that you matter. Your feelings are valid. Everyone needs a break. Everyone needs to ask for help.
But most importantly, please remember that every single shiny happy person you follow on social media (without exception!) has grey and black days too. I promise you are not alone.
I (hope) I’m coming out of the clouds now, but be kind to strangers. Everyone is fighting their own battle.
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