“There’s a mountain top that I’m dreaming of, if you need me you know where I’ll be”, I love this line from George Ezra’s song Shotgun. It sings to my soul. I’m an introvert. That means I need a lot of time on my own, with my own thoughts and lots of silence. Having a husband and two kids has meant an absence of all of those things. Until now. (Don’t worry…they’re not dead).
When the kids were little I used to long for peace and quiet with a physical ache. Thoughts of escape plagued me...the idea of sitting under a rock on a Tibetan mountain side was not unappealing. But with no extended family close by and minimal disposable income, my options were limited. At it’s worst those feelings turned to thoughts of escaping life (aka suicidal ideation). But mostly they were just thoughts of being left alone, by myself, somewhere quiet. I found myself wondering what it would take for me to have an extended stay in hospital. Broken bones were out because they’d just patch me up and send me home and then I’d have to parent with a plaster cast...umm, no thanks! Appendicitis? Weird tropical virus? Probably best just to soldier on.
If I couldn’t have a stay in hospital then was it too much to ask for a Narnia-esque wardrobe that I could disappear into? Minus the evil witch and eternal winter, of course. I would even have settled for a sound proof room that locked from the inside. I’m not hard to please.
That was quite a few years ago now. Lately, something strange has been happening in my house and as a result I seem to be having a lot more quiet time. My kids are growing up. At 12 and 13 it seems they are settling into their independence. They want more time on their own and can do a lot more for themselves. It helps that they each have their own computer and prefer to hang out in their own rooms (don’t worry, I make sure they get plenty of fresh air and sunshine). The lounge room that was once the arena for epic battles over the tv, toys and my attention has now become a ghost town...I can almost see the tumble weeds. Oh, wait, that’s just a giant dust bunny, never mind.
I used to want to run away to an isolated mountain top but I’ve discovered that contented, self sufficient kids and an empty lounge room is possibly, maybe, almost as good.
PS I’m aware that this is most likely a temporary state of affairs. Beggars can’t be choosers so I’ll just enjoy it for however long it lasts.
PPS In all seriousness, if you’re having thoughts of self harming it means that you’re overwhelmed and need help. There are plenty of people who want to help you. If you have a good GP start with them or you could try a mental health helpline.
Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636
Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Please find the help you need. If you’re not comfortable with reaching out to a helpline or your doctor just yet, send me an email (email@example.com). We can figure it out together. And if that horrible little voice in your head tells you that you don’t deserve help, tell it to shut up! You’ve got mountain tops waiting for you.
PPPS I actually wrote this some time last year but didn’t post it because my Generalised Anxiety Disorder was scared that I was inviting something bad to happen. Well, the bad thing has happened and we’re all surviving it so now feels like a pretty safe time to post this. More on the bad thing to come. But just so you know, it involved me getting twelve days in hospital. So note to self...be careful what you wish for.