Get Back Up, Take Step One
“Get back up, take step one, leave the darkness, feel the Sun.”
Music is so powerful isn’t it? It can be a balm when you’re hurting, it can break you, it can speak to you and make you hear something that you’ve been deaf to for too long. The line above is from a song by Danny Gokey and it’s a hugely powerful message.
Get back up. Take step one. This is reverberating in my head with every breath I take at the moment.
Right now, I am hurting. Really hurting. Last week, Alex had to write a post in place of my editor’s pick. He wrote Fleeting Fragility , and both the writing and the fact that he stepped in at a time of great difficulty means the world to me. But in terms of my mental health recovery, I feel like I’ve been knocked back to square one.
Currently I am not in a good place. Alright, I’ll be honest. I’m actually in a terrible place. I am suffocating from grief from losing my Dad this week. It’s choking me and there have been days I have not been able to cope. I am not sleeping properly, anxiety is flying through my veins, I feel like I am broken. Tears come and go with wracking sobs or silent numbness. Yet in the midst of all this, even with the darkest passenger in my head sinking its claws even deeper, I am surviving. I am coping.
Yes, some things are harder. I won’t lie to you. It is. I am even less able to cope with being around people. I am struggling to deal with seeing the sadness in my children’s eyes, see the sorrow that has wrapped around my mum and sisters. It all hurts. I am plagued because I know they are worried for me, in spite of their own pain. I feel guilty because I want to be able to bring them comfort, yet everything in my being is telling me to crawl into the darkest hole and hide away.
But I’m fighting it.
I may not be doing everything I’d normally do. There have been a few consecutive days of dry shampoo and eating junk. But if you consider that I’m trying to deal with a huge loss when I’m already battling depression, I’m not doing so badly. With the help of the most amazing friend I am getting through. Alex has been a miracle, he’s taken over chores, helped with the kids or just listened while I’ve sobbed. Thanks to him, I’m surviving. By taking on these things (which he will say is not much, but I’d argue that it’s a lot) he’s helped me be there for my children. It’s meant I can face seeing my family and brace myself to organise and arrange things so we can honour my dad.
It’s meant that today, I’ve cooked a proper meal for my children. I’ve gone and got groceries. I washed my hair. I’ve taken lots of little steps that I didn’t believe I could.
So if you’ve suffered a relapse, get back up. Even what can feel like a step back can still be progress. I can say this because today could easily have turned into one of those days; I’ve been fighting the urge to cut day and night since my dad collapsed.
But I haven’t.
I am not going to let the darkness swallow me. I have things to hold on to.
My family and friends. My children. Alex. Not only are they all supporting me, they are my reasons for not going under. They are my reasons to get back up, take step one.
After all the best way for me to honour my dad is to try to get through this without any new scars.
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