We believe what we tell ourselves 

I’ve been thinking about the reasons I’m feeling low again. Here’s my list so far: 

  • Autumn. Sorry Autumn I love your colours and crispy mornings but I’m not so keen on your dark nights or misty starts. Plus Autumn feels so rushed and gets overtaken about people talking about Christmas (already).
  • Christmas. Seriously it’s another 3 months yet. From my daughter asking if she can write her Christmas list to decorations appearing in shops, this occasion fills me with anxiety. Stop it now. 
  • Work. Well it’s not every day I go back to work after 13 months off so this one probably isn’t fair but it’s still been a big adjustment. We’ve had a reorganisation so everything has changed – my manager, my team, my role, even my job title. 
  • School. That is my daughter going back to school. So much anxiety – for me!! So much so that it’s the subject of this post. 

Why does school make me anxious? Mostly it’s the pressure I put myself under – she must look neat every day, she must be on time, she must do her homework, she must excel at her studies, she must be liked, she must have lots of friends, she must be sporty, etc etc. As I read this I know how ridiculous it sounds but it doesn’t stop me feeling anxiety around these things. 

I have to be very careful about not impressing my anxiety on her. She doesn’t care much about the above list. She’s her own girl. She loves playing outside, imagining she’s a princess and asking endless questions about her universe. She’s bright, curious and lively. She wants to learn through play. She’s chatty, friendly and loves talking to adults. She’s everything a child should be. 

I’m a perfectionist. I’m competitive. I want to please others and always do my best. My depression heightens these traits which is what makes me anxious. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I’m aware of this. Time to rein myself back in. Remind myself why she’s amazing just the way she is. 

The pressure to be a school mum is also immense. Especially as I’m a working school mum. There just doesn’t seem enough hours in the day. This picture sums it up for me! 

  

I tell myself I need time. Time to get used to our new routine. I also need kindness. From colleagues. From friends. From other school mums. But mostly from myself. 

Some days I cry in the toilets at work. Some days I hang up on my colleagues during a telecom. Some says I snap at my daughter. Some days I can’t raise a smile when my son laughs. Some days are hard. 

But some days I feel like I’m winning. And they’re the days I enjoy. I’ve created a little grateful wall at work which looks like this: 

  A list of affirmations to get me through the tough days. And a picture my daughter drew for me to ‘make you smile when you miss us’. She’s wiser than her years. 
We believe what we tell ourselves. I’m going to be kinder to myself. I am worth it. I am loved. I can beat depression. I am amazing.