The First Steps

Back in September last year, I was hit by the most awful depression and anxiety. Looking back, I think it had been building up for years. Caring for two young children, running the PTA, adopting a dog with severe separation anxiety, trying to do my husband’s accounts and the boredom and frustration of staying at home with no outlet for my intellect was all too much.

Out with a friend one day, I started to cry and poured out all my worries. Concerned, she told me to go to the doctor straight away and ask for some help. Just going to the surgery started me on the road to recovery. To my disappointment the doctor┬ádidn’t give me any tablets but listened sympathetically and ordered lots of blood tests as she was worried how tired I was feeling.

Back at home, I realized that I would have to make some changes if I was going to cope better with the strains of my busy life. Although I felt like I was letting people down and knowing that I may loose some friends, one of the first things I did was to resign as chair of the PTA. Whilst it had previously been something that had given purpose to my life, after 6 years it had become a terrible burden and a truly thankless task.

Fighting tears, I plucked up the courage to go and see the Head Teacher and tell her that I wasn’t able to carry on. She was really sweet and told me not to feel guilty because I had already given countless hours of my time to the organisation. Gradually the feeling of guilt passed and I know that it was for the best. It is far too easy these days to put everyone else first and forget about your own needs!

Chatting to a friend in the playground shortly afterwards, she mentioned that she had found out about a computer course in town and was thinking of enrolling. “Let’s go together”, I suggested. Both of us have been stay-at-home mums for 10 years and felt like it was time for a change. A decade is a very long time to be out of the workplace and we both felt completely out of touch with technology and lacking in self confidence. Doing the course has been fantastic! We’ve been going together and helping one another out and after six months are both about to graduate.

Singing has also helped my mood enormously. I have been a member of Rock Chorus for just over a year and I can honestly say that I have never had such fun before in my life. I grew up in a musical family and learned cello and piano to quite a high standard. As a shy child and one who hated P.E., music gave me the social outlet I needed. I have played in orchestras since I was 10 until I had to give up due to a chronic shoulder injury about 7 years ago. Thinking about why I was feeling so low, I realized it was partly Imagebecause I had no music in my life. Unable to play my cello, I decided to try singing. Well, it has become the highlight of my week and something that I do just for myself; I have realized late in life that this is much more important than I thought.

Now that the computer course is over, I have found myself in the house alone far too much, with my mood spiralling down again, so I’m hoping that this blog will once again give purpose to my life, while I contemplate the next hurdle – getting a job!

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