What a huge heading to attack. I have never been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, but I have certainly without a doubt had moments of both.
I have always considered myself a confident and resilient person. I always felt I had my head screwed on well. That was until I was alone with 3 children, whose husband was away on deployment. That is when I realised that I am not coping very well.
For anyone that is raising children as a single parent, or has a partner that has to go away for periods of time for work- Then I take my hats off to you!! Oh My Goodness!! I can say this with all honesty, it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. And even when you have family and friends around to call on, I have never felt so alone in my life.
I am not writing this for sympathy or to prove how hard I had it, I am simply sharing this because up until a few months ago before my husband left me for many weeks with a 3 month old, 2 and 3 year old, I thought I was a woman who knew herself pretty well. I thought I had my shit together!!
My depressed moods and feelings of inability to cope led me to the doctors, who referred me on to a psychologist. Next thing I know I am pouring my feelings out to a stranger, and for the first time in weeks, I felt myself again. Because it occurred to me that I was only human. That it was okay to feel completely out of your depths, and to feel like it is all too much to handle. I only saw the psychologist a few times, after a few sessions I felt like I had gotten everything I needed to get off my chest and had nothing more it talk about. She helped me to untangle the thoughts and feelings in my head, and help me understand exactly what it was I was feeling.
My husband returned from deployment shortly after that, and it was then that I told him the honest truth. I was not cut out to be a single mum to 3 little children. Essentially being a navy wife, is living a single mum life when they are away. When they are gone for weeks and months, you need to adjust to life without them- sink or swim. I sunk like a dead weight the last time he went away, and I recognised then that I was never going to be able to get used to this way of life.
People say “oh but that is the life you chose when you married him!”. Yes in one respect I married a man who was in the navy, so obviously with that comes time apart. But what people forget is that I fell in love with my husband because of the amazing man he is, not because he is in the navy. I would have married him regardless what he did for work. So although I knew what I was in for, no one is really prepared for what the future has in store. I was willing to face that challenge if it meant I could be with the man of my dreams.
The main message I am trying to say in this post, is that we are all only human. We all have strengths and weaknesses, but what we all have is limits to how much we can handle. It is okay to put your hand up and say “I am not coping” or “This is too hard!!”. Because I guarantee that someone around you is thinking or feeling the exact same thoughts, but too embarrassed or scared to speak up. I am glad I did speak my truth. Suffering in silence is a bitch, and just not right.