Imagine you lost your mind. At that moment you lost your social circle too. The fallout was the complete loss of your self esteem. It was painful to exist and you truly believed dying was the kindest thing you could do for your family. You were a burden. They deserved better. This was me. All these things.
I remember I sat on the couch beside my husband and said to him. If you come home from work and there’s a postit note on the door between the garage and the kitchen; don’t come in the air will be poisonous because I’ll be dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. No emotion while explaining this to him, but it was important to keep my family safe.
I ended up in Belmont Hospital in a locked ward. That is the absolute lowest I have sunk. I was living a hell. It was painful and I thought death was the only release. Now with a stable mental wellness I know this was very irrational but I truly thought everyone would be better without me. This was not selfish thinking at all. I wanted to relieve my family of the burden I felt they carried. I felt so worthless. I thought there was nothing I could offer.
I know now of course that would have been the most devastating thing I could have done. What a traumatic legacy for my children to face. I love them so much and I would never intentionally inflict pain on them. I’m also so glad I’m here now.
The old Laura was not interested in doing anything. I hated any movement because I was so unfit. I’d commit to things with no intention of following through. And of course I was incredibly unhappy. This unhappiness was not from any external source. I just hated myself. I felt worthless and unable to offer anything of myself. Upon much self examination, both in therapy and writing, I know otherwise.
I revel in my new life. I commit, follow through and turn up. On the rare occasion I can’t make something, I give plenty of notice and I’m honest about why.
Take yesterday for example. I’d committed to volunteer at parkrun. I was then heading to the pool to buy some swimming stuff for me at the VICI pop up store. I also was privileged to meet Paralympian, Daniel Fox.
I then had to get fruit to cut up for my daughter’s netball team and take her to netball and score for her team. I did all this knowing the day before we’d just committed to move house in two weeks. In between this I snatched moments to cull my linen closet (how can one family need that many sheets) photograph and offer free items or sellable items on Facebook and then reply to the overwhelming amount of enquiries.
The old Laura would simply have not turned up, not explained and hid in bed. I know which life I’d prefer.
Packing and moving is a very stressful time for anyone. To be honest, I’m pretty nervous about it. My husband has wanted to move for years and I’ve resisted. It’s a big project. Two days after we move, Warren flies to China. When I think about the timing I feel sick. I also know I can deal with it.
I’m starting to back myself. I’m starting to have faith. I’m fantastic at believing in other people but never in myself. This stops now. It involves stepping way out of my comfort zone. I have to pitch myself on a professional level also. I’m doing that. I’m touching base with old acquaintances and building my LinkedIn profile. I’m both excited and terrified.
Any offers to help pack and unpack gladly accepted. You know the new Laura will always offer help in return.