August 10, 2017

a picture of ellie with the caption: Imagine that you have lived for 39 years often feeling the  sort of upset that others may feel only  once in a lifetime.

Hi. This is me. I am 39, a primary school teacher, lesbian, mum to a Labrador and two house rabbits, hockey player, student working on an EdD, outdoorsy girl and emotional! I mention this one last because it is what I want to talk about today.

I have a diagnosis of anxiety and depression. But to me, it is more that I am emotional! I feel things hard and this can be amazing or it can be horrendous. When I am happy, which is generally the majority of the time, it is amazing. I love with all of my heart and I enjoy and appreciate what may seem like the smallest of things. Offering to make me a coffee will get an excited response or bringing me flowers totally melts my heart. I listen to every word people say and am constantly trying to think about little things I can do that, I hope, will make others smile. I have so much love to give and I willingly give it away without saving too much for myself.

Then there is the flip side. Things that others may think is not upsetting may make me tearful. Unfortunately, tears are not something I can always prevent, however hard I try. The key is to know this. Tears are not a reflection on those around me.

If you say something and I get upset, then first of all, you matter a hell of a lot to me! Secondly, I don't need you to do anything about it. I would never want you to feel bad. If you can, then sit with me at peace and wait it out. When I stop, I will be able to explain to you what has happened in my head. It is not for attention or to try to change what you are saying, in fact that is the furthest thing from what is happening in my head. I am also not going to totally lose it, in fact the tears generally help me to pull it all back together. It is water falling from my eyes that often helps me to reason things out eventually.

The confusing bit is that it may not even be something recent that has upset me. It could be my head replaying some negative feeling that I have experienced. It could be worse because I am tired or hungry. It could be a general anxiety thing about something to come... or it may be because I am worried that I have upset someone.

The fact that I cry easily and feel things strongly does not make me weak. Never make that mistake. Imagine that you have lived for 39 years often experiencing the sort of feelings of upset that others may have felt only once or twice in a lifetime.

This is not bipolar or BPD. I know this. This is me – an emotional soul. A soul that will love you unconditionally and care for you more than anything , that will seriously appreciate what you may see as the smallest of things, a soul that wishes for your happiness and will try to do anything to help to achieve it. In return, I don't need you to solve any problems for me or dry my tears even. Just understand that they will come and they will go, and being with me through them would be awesome if you could but if not just walk away and come back.

I manage much of this by taking some time out to read or walk Molly (pictured) and I can start these activities being very fed up with something because of overthinking and ending realising that I am being unreasonable or in fact totally wrong! I shut down at these times and if I am with you and doing this then I am doing it to protect you and me from the meltdown and I am so sorry if it hurts you.

At 39, this is not something that is likely to change. I am not sure that I want it to in many ways. I will take the rough with the smooth and hopefully surround myself with people that are able to cherish both aspects. If you are not able to, then I don't see this as a reflection on you in any way. I am much more likely to reflect on myself and consider what changes I can make. But at the end of the day, I will do whatever I can to make you happy if you are in my life. I can't change those intrinsic bits. They are me. If I lose the pain then I may not love and care about those around me in the same way.

This is the way my mental health effects my life and I just want to explain a little to start with. Thank you for reading.

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