Today I have found myself stalled, almost wallowed in a state of depression and anxiety. About 12 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, a condition which I worked very hard to overcome, however over the past few years it has re-emerged it’s ugly head, particularly in this time where I am still going through alcohol withdrawal.
It is staggering to think that in Australia, over 1 million people suffer from depression and 2 million people suffer from anxiety every year. I find myself to be a complete enigma, on one hand I am incredibly hard working, incredibly ambitious, motivated and active, but deep down I am and have suffered. I would love to know really why I suffer so much internally, is it hereditary? Is it environmental? Is it circumstantial?
As an outsider looking in on my life, you would never know that I have suffered so much, there has been some trauma, but in comparison to so many other people my trauma pails in significance. I know that my alcoholism has stemmed from self medication and probably social anxiety, but I cannot put my finger on why.
Social media has brought much joy to my life in that I can keep in touch with people I have met all over the world, yet at the same time it is the root of my evil. On days when my kids have tested me to my limits, or when I have been feeling blue, I will log onto my facebook or instagram accounts and see only the happy highlights of people’s lives.
Mummy bloggers certainly haven’t helped promote or encourage my mental wellness, sure some of them will reflect on postpartum depression or the stresses of motherhood. I find it hard to take them seriously when they are trying to be relatable in their perfectly manicured houses, with spray tans, full faces of make-up and a perfectly curated picture, this is not how life really is for the ‘normal’ mother.
Since I became a full-time stay at home mum, my designer work wardrobe of Cue dresses, Saba Suits, Marcs casual’s and Wittner pumps and stilettos has been replaced with Lululemon & Lorna Jane active wear. I can’t recall the last time I wore my hair out ‘done’ because after dressing two girls under 4 leaves little time to spend on my own appearance.
I don’t know whether I am feeling depressed and anxious because I have stopped drinking, or whether I was only drinking to mask my depression and anxiety? I am still highly functioning, I take my kids out, I socialise with other mum’s and I hit the gym 4-6 times a week and eat extremely healthily, but inside I just feel empty.
I feel like I am a duck, I look calm on the outside but underneath the water my legs are paddling hard just to keep afloat. I know that I am doing all the right things to overcome this feeling, I just need to have faith that it will pass.