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Time to dwell on the past isn't always easy

I was waiting to find an up moment to write in this week. But where's the honesty in that? You have been reading for years about my struggles with depression and, lately, I've been having a hard time to get the black dog back on its leash.

There are times when life has the better of you and I have the pyjamas for wearing all day to prove it. I took a duvet day yesterday to get on top of a conglomeration of items: sale of house in negative equity, card embezzlement, rotten cold and family upheavals.

For the past few months I have been revisiting scenes of my past, many written about in this paper. It set me back to realise just how naive I can be in thinking I have made headway. That's what sent me under the duvet with a box set of Judy Garland and cakes made by my friend.

She's one of the brilliant support people who make the crap bits of my life less crap. The children are at the age where they have a sense of who they are and need less of my time. Having the time, seeing them out of early childhood, getting hours back for things like figure skating should I wish to take it up, has been something I longed for. But when I got it I just didn't have a clue what to do with it.

Time off is what we look forward to and when it arrived this year I placed so many expectations on it the strings snapped.

I know I am most likely never going to have another baby. I know I am going to have to find my way out of this hundred-acre wood into one where rap artists live and the bedroom doors stay closed instead of the endless calls for assistance in finding that missing bit of Lego that will make the whole model hold.



stranger

The missing piece, for this week, is me. I am looking in the mirror at a stranger who grew up on paper with readers, and went through all her formative adult experiences in column inches. I never had time to think when I was writing, just react to what was happening to me and the world I saw. Reading back over years of material I see the pattern of naivety throughout, but the force of my honesty has kept the Herald employing me, God bless this paper.

For 10 years I've been telling you about me. You've been writing to me about you. It seems lately we're all in the same boat. Less to spend, less to work at, has given us time to dwell and we're all playing catch up with bits of us buried in busyness.

Now we have to get creative it's frightening. My friend says everyone should have a small amount of running away money. I didn't need money where I went in recent months. I ran away in my head and revisited my 30s, the decade in which I knew my worst depression and challenge and it took out some of the straw I had stuffed myself with.

It was the decade that brought the biggest gifts. My family and my choices in friends and life.

I wouldn't have got any of this without that shitty time I went through.

Thanks for being there for it.

Suzanne's memoir Heart Lines, published by Londubh Press, can be ordered on the website www.londubh.ie and is in bookshops at the end of this month


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