Mindful mother, mental mummy
I spend a lot of time listening to experts talking about the various ways to avoid stress, get help for anxiety, or adapt one's diary to allow time for 'mindfulness'. As much as I respect the advice of some (by some, I mean very few) of those people, I still wonder how on earth any of it could apply to me. Let's start with mindfulness for instance - this is a concept that I have never been able to make work for me, in any way, at any time. I've tried to reign it in, but damn it, I enjoy fixating on one thing until I've come up with an idea to solve it. I get off on working towards a goal so hard I never have down time. It's how I stay on track and I thrive on it, I've ALWAYS been that way. I can't argue with my mind anymore. It's got to be better than most of the other drugs I've taken.
Up until now I've resisted the urge to be completely and utterly truthful in this blog. Because although Jeremy Kyle has made a generation 'just' be honest, for most of us it's not that easy. Screw Jezza and his trivialisation of emotion, his criminalisation of the expression of emotion and his IGNORANT BULLSHIT. If Graham is a bonafide therapist, I'm the ghost of Christmas bloody past. I'd love to show him what honest really is... But moving on. I'm a parent with a mental health problem.
I love my child; fiercely, deeply, painfully. But I find motherhood sometimes boring. There, I said it. Boring. My son isn't boring, in fact he's as loopy as they come (the poor bugger is genetically predisposed), but I'm incapable of 'being present' without also being focused on a task. As you might imagine, I clean a lot. I scrub taps with old toothbrushes, and I push vacuum attachments under furniture just to give myself a purpose. Whilst he is so independently learning about the world by opening cupboards and pulling out Tupperware, I am desperately trying not to fall into a black hole of despair because there's mess everywhere. Nobody gives you the tools to deal with this. And if you've been mentally unhealthy for many years anyway, what could they possibly offer?
People often talk about the motives behind having a child; my therapist recently asked me why I wanted a child and I admitted that it was for selfish reasons. It was then that I realised there were no other reasons. We have babies for ourselves. Maybe after they're born we transfer that to them, making them the centre of our world, but nobody gives birth thinking they're doing it for the good of mankind. I hope for so much for him - that he's clever, that he gets a top notch education, that he's healthy, and that he's nothing like me. Considering his family history he probably doesn't have a hope.
So it's back to square one. And there's nothing I can do other than hope he grows into the man I wish for him to be, the man that can take advice better than I can.