So here goes I am about to make a big disclosure, one that I am nervous about I struggle with mental health issues. The blog started life as a space that kept so much of my life private, even pictures of me took a while to appear. Over time it metamorphosed and I have been continually moved by the women that have reached out to me when I have shared my cancer story. Now I do not intend to share intimate details of the working of my brain but I do intend to say hey I have had many professionals line up and tell me to lower my expectations, to adjust my life goals and say “you can’t” to me. Well I may not have the most mature response for them but it is, I find the most fitting, “in your face”. I am lucky that my personality is such that when people tell me I cannot all I want to do is prove them wrong, and then do a smug dance. We are not all made the same way, thank goodness, how dull that world would be. To the people who you are ill now you don’t need to act that way. Everyday is hard for me but I have found a way to live with my voices and most people do not know that I have a mental health issue until I tell them.
I can have mood swings I can go from very happy to very sad and that is tiring for me and those around me. Although I have stabilized over the past few years I am always looking to make conscious effort and decisions about my mood. Clinical depression, being unhappy and feeling a little down are all different and all important to the person experiencing it at the time, but we can conquer our demons. I have a psychological issue that is not going away and cannot be cured it is part of me but there are still things I can do to make it better.
Last week I was waiting for the metro in Paris with my baby boy in the sling, which in truth he is too heavy for, I looked down and he was in fits of giggles because the wind was rushing in as a train approached. No one else was having that reaction and nor was I but he was filled with wonder and amusement at the situation. This got me thinking that we only enter states of perpetual un-happiness as we get older, when the pressure of work, money, school cloud us from noticing the wonder we saw as a toddler. So I decided to take note of the others things Sebastian took immense pleasure in. The sun reflecting onto a shiny surface, shadows of leaves moving, an ant walking across his path, bright lights of shop signs, watching an ant, examining a pebble, the feel of bark, the feel of an ice cube. I could go on as this list is in no way exhaustive but you get the idea. Then I took a moment to step back from the woes of the world and realised yes those things are pretty amazing, and beautiful and special.
Living life toddler style does not have to stop there, you see the other great thing about a toddler is they are not inhibited. If they want to wave they wave, if they suddenly hear a tune or in some cases the sound of a siren and do a 30 second dance they dance. Let us rest for a moment on the subject of dancing. When a toddler dances they move their body how ever they choose, they do not make a move based on what they think may make them look hot on the dance floor it is a liberating awesome dance not like grown up dancing. Try busting a move toddler style it is fun. It does not stop there they may start to sing a little tune for no other reason than they feel like it.
We do not have the freedoms they have but we can see the world through the eyes we once had, sunlight is so much nicer, rain is funny. It may look odd if we wave to everyone but why not make a pact with yourself to smile and say hello to 10 strangers a day when you are out. Use all your senses again. Don’t just look at a tree, feel the bark, smell the tree, listen to the leaves rustling. And above all have a dance toddler style in your kitchen you will not go back.
I once saw a quote on instagram, one of the many inspirational quotes that are out there but this one really does make sense. It said, “Happiness does not happen it is a choice you make”