I feel a little, ok very silly that I don’t know a lot about Depression, Suicide or Mental Health in general. I mean on days like to day people seem to know a lot more than me, but I don’t want that to be a reason I steer around the topic.
If I’m honest, it’s not something that I’ve ever had to battle with a great deal personally. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my moments but generally speaking I’ve not had to look the black dog in the face “so to speak”.
I wanted to be honest and clear about this straight up because I think there are quite a few people out there who are like me and ignorance is not a defence, nor is it an excuse. I know a lot of people around me whom have a lot of personal experience with the topic, both incredibly close and some whom are merely acquaintances and the only thing that all of them have in common is that there is no sure-fire way to tell what is going on for them on the inside. Some are so good at covering it up, some appear overtly happy and then plummet when left with the quiet of their own company and some just flat out wear their heart on their sleeve.
The only thing I do know is that “R U OK?” is not just a great slogan for a campaign, it is a legitimate conversation starter that has sparked many catalyst conversations for me with friends who actually desperately needed to make genuine connection with someone over their internal battles.
I haven’t needed to have the answers and at times I’m not required to even speak. It’s about being seen and then heard by the people around you. About breaking down the walls of isolation and feeling like there is someone there with you in your own personal little prison cell.
The point of this little ditty is to say that as a society we should be investing more into each other and each other’s lives. I believe we were meant to do life in community and in the world we live in we have never been more isolated. We build our three bedroom houses, drive into our automatic garage and don’t even know our neighbours. We live closer together than ever before and yet are so distant from one another. We know more about someone we follow on Instagram than the people in our own workplace.
(massive sweeping generalisations I know, but you get what I mean).
As a mum this topic is all too hot because it is something so real and tangible. We spend years building a career and an identity as an individual and overnight after one of the biggest experiences of our lives we lose every sense of identity and self for a little while. For some of us it’s longer than others. This isn’t a bad thing and it’s nothing against becoming a mum. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I went from being Kelly Field to Isaac’s Mum is a split second and I’m yet to see Kelly make a comeback. Some days that’s harder than others but either way it isn’t easy that’s for sure. We feel guilty for not loving every second, we feel ungrateful for whingeing about the harder days and we feel selfish for wanting (God forbid we should actually ask for) a little time to ourselves.
So mums let’s make sure we are checking in with each other because whilst feeling a little down, in my opinion, is a perfectly normal reaction to the situation, let’s remember that feeling is harder to shake for some people and sometimes it becomes more then that. Let’s make the space of “Motherhood” a safe one for people to be open and honest about where they’re at and let’s remember that we can all wear crowns, it’s not a competition.
Have the awkward convos and offer an awkward hug if you need to. Remember that you don’t know what that person is walking through and you might just be the reason they stay the path.