Blogging about my experiences with mental health really is providing the opportunity for reflection that I hoped it would. Pushing myself to write daily is making me search through my feelings day-to-day and to process them into an edited piece of writing. It is time consuming but worthwhile, although it does feel that I am spending most evenings with my computer rather than my husband. Fortunately, he is very supportive and I can already see benefits from this exercise.
This afternoon the dog had to be left alone for two hours whilst I was at work and my husband ran an errand. Unfortunately, during that time she had an accident, referred to by Miranda Hart in her book Peggy and Me as a ‘poocalypse’. Thankfully, the dog is fine but usually this scenario would greatly unbalance me, especially having felt quite low yesterday. However, I didn’t think about the surrounding areas, the dog’s paws or even consider not petting her when I got home. Another day might have seen me trying to disinfect every surface in the house in one go, bathing the dog and compulsively washing my hands every time the dog approached. Not only is this an observable improvement in how I respond to such situations, but is thanks to developments in how my husband reacts.
I am very fortunate to have a very supportive and loving husband. He has always been a great source of strength and tranquillity for me at times when I have been stressed, anxious or depressed. But until he met me he had very little understanding of, or experience with, mental health, so this has been a shared experience in learning how to cope with my mental illness.
Today, he simply removed the wooden floorboards where the accident occurred. This isn’t as drastic as it sounds. As I mentioned yesterday, we are undertaking refurbishments and had already removed the threadbare sludge-coloured carpet from the landing. We are intending to sand and varnish the original floorboards but two of them were in need of replacing after a botched job of laying new boiler pipes by the previous owners. Thankfully, these were the ones that were affected by today’s incident. It was the best response as the wood had not yet been treated and so difficult, if not impossible, to properly clean and fortunately were going to be replaced anyway.
I was intending to write about something different today, to delve into some of my darker experiences and what could have occurred if any part of 2016 had turned out differently. If the events that led to my husband and I meeting hadn’t happened. If I had been alone on the 3rd of April. If my husband was a different sort of person. But I am enjoying the more organic origins of my posts. Of sitting down to write and almost letting my subconscious choose the direction. I have said before that I am not usually good at reflection, perhaps this is the start of a new (good) habit.