As it’s World Mental Health day I obviously wanted to write a blog. I want to talk about PTSD and triggers.
Tonight I am staying out with my mum and sisters having a girlie night with wine, face masks and a take away! I’ve been so excited for this for so long until now.
I have packed so much that it warrants my huge suitcase and I’m not even sorry 😂
But as I opened it, I felt sick. The last time I used this one was when he had covid. I usually unpack them as soon as I got home, but for some reason I had left this one.
All the horrific memories flooded back.
The industrial hand gel, the leaflets about his admission, a little certificate that they give to all children who use the transport to intensive care, his mouthwash for the chemo ulcers, handheld fans because England hasn’t invented air con yet 🤦🏼♀️
On the certificate it had the date. 4th July. Independence Day. The day that changed me forever. Things could have been so very different that day. They weren’t and I’m beyond grateful. But these memories will haunt me forever.
Most days now, I feel I’m doing ok but small things like this take me right back to that moment.
I can still hear the machines, the panic in the nurses voices. The smell of hospitals and the feeling of pure fear.
I’m sitting in the safety of my own bedroom, I can hear Ellis shouting like a little girl on his Xbox 😂 but my heart is still racing. It’s like part of me is stuck in that date and won’t move on.
I’m really proud of myself and how I have coped with this year and I know this will take time but it’s the hardest bit. The bit that creeps up on you when you least expect it. The bit that lingers around and attacks you if you dare to be happy.
I know he’s ok now and I know it’s in the past. But past or not, it happened and it was very real.
Physical pain leaves scars for people to see and understand. So does mental pain, but these run a lot deeper.
How can I fix these types of scars? No amount of creams or plasters will fix these. I have counselling once a week, which I find so difficult. I can open up on my blogs, but face to face is so hard. I feel vulnerable and stupid. I feel like I don’t have the right to even be sad because things are ok.
This week we had the awful news that one of the beautiful children on the ward with us didn’t make it.
This news ripped through me like a knife. Other children on the ward have passed away during Ellis treatment, but we had spent time with this boy. His Mum and I had bonded over the gross hospital food and shared similar stories about being a cancer mum during a pandemic. We got on so well and laughed so much. During one of my hardest weeks, talking to her and her boy saved me. So to hear the devastating news last week hit me hard.
Again, with that bit of news, I was back there. Back in hell.
Hell for me will always be there. It will always be somewhere I revisit from time to time and I have to accept that.
It will never be over. But I will learn to cope with the feelings a bit better. Hopefully one day, I will be able to look back and not feel the fear pounding in my chest or the terror bubbling up in my stomach.
It will never be a nice place to revisit, but I know that one day I will be ok with it.
I still have a lot of work to do on myself and my own mental health, but being aware of that is the first step.
Mental health is not something to be ashamed of. It’s something that needs to be spoke about and discussed.
Sometimes, it’s ok not to be ok.