So today is World Mental Health Day.
I’m writing this after a really difficult week. I’ve been very stressed and emotional this week, due to work and personal stuff that’s going on. It culminated in a total meltdown while driving on Thursday. I came off the motorway on to a multi-junction roundabout, took the wrong exit and ended up on the motorway again, going back the way I came. And I lost it – TOTALLY lost it. I was stuck in the traffic, crawling up the motorway, crying hysterically, shouting at God.
It wasn’t pretty.
On calmer reflection, I know that I had a massive over reaction to taking the wrong exit on a roundabout. By that stage I had moved into straw and camel’s backs territory, and I think that is because I didn’t manage the stress as it built. I was out or busy every night this past week. I’d left some writing deadlines to the last minute (plus 48 hours in one case), and I hadn’t had enough sleep. There were other things during the week that I had no control over, but I hadn’t handled the things I could control.
I’m not beating myself up, I’m just trying to analyse the week in a productive way, so I can avoid the future risk of a charge of ‘driving without due care and attention’.
What concerned me as I thought about it after, is how easy it was to pass the tipping point. How quickly I found that there was nothing left; nothing spare that I could harness to deal with my angst. So, I came home from work last night and decided not to go to an event I’d planned to. I had already decided not to go to to a meeting today – even though I REALLY wanted to go.
I know I need to look after myself better; last week was a clear sign of that. And I think I got the answer to all the, “why, why, why” I gave to God as I drove up the road. It’s because I was so tired and brain-addled that I couldn’t even think straight to negotiate a roundabout! That needs sorting.
So, as I am doing, I would just encourage you to think about your day and your week. Take today – to think about your mental health. Make a list of the week ahead and see if there is anything that can be crossed off. Reach out if you need help with the stuff that can’t be changed. If you’ve ever been tempted to pray to God, then do it; prayer is powerful and restful.
And take good care of yourself – especially if I’m on the roads!