This photo was taken during the Easter holidays, at the start of April. I’m not going to lie, April has been a tough month. Ordinarily I love the school holidays, the break from our timetable of school runs and extra curricular activities. But this Easter was hard for me because I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety.

During the two week break I gradually felt more and more anxious, and less able to cope. By the second week I was crying in bed in the morning and struggling to achieve anything. The children were fine, left to their own devices they conquered video games and mastered hide and seek. I think they actually appreciated the slower pace of holiday and got a much needed rest.

Realising I needed to take action I leaned on my lovely circle of friends for support, and took myself off to see the GP. She was lovely, and prescribed anti depressants and rest. It would seem my life has gotten way too busy and stressful for someone with a physical chronic illness and a predisposition towards anxiety.

That was three weeks ago and I’m feeling better. My depression is gone, I’ve stopped crying all the time, and I’m feeling chipper about my lovely life. But the anxiety has stuck around, been intense, and difficult to live with. The GP said in her experience depression does lift first with these meds so hopefully the anxiety and panic attacks will bugger off soon.

The rest of the family have been wonderful, particularly Mr Purple who has juggled his busy work schedule with helping out at home to reduce my load. The children are happy to have Mum back and more functional.

Other news from the Purple family;

It’s been a good month for Super Kid who won his school Yu-Gi-O (a card game similar to Pokemon but more complicated I’m told) tournament, and proudly displays a large shiny, silver (slightly phallic I have to admit) trophy made by his friend and organiser of the tournament.

He also ran a tabletop stall with his friend selling clay creatures called Akidos and Konekos. He made some money, learned about selling things and generally had a blast.

Robo Boy has been doing daily training session with Coco the Purple pup, and is having success with the commands. He’s doing brilliantly and is such a caring considerate dog owner.

Wonder Girl has been working hard in school and making loads of progress with reading. She has been taking part in music therapy for the last nine weeks, and with her last session approaching I can reflect on how brilliant it has been for her. It seems to have improved her confidence, and she is definitely more settled in school.

Mr Purple has spent most of his free time in April working on a super pump for his fish tank, but despite many moderations unfortunately it isn’t working. So he’s admitting defeat, until the winter, so that he can concentrate on his other passion, as the weather improves, gardening.

Heading into May;

As we head into May I reflected during this mornings yoga session that perhaps the slower pace of life that mental illness has forced onto me is actually the way forward for me. Between slowing down and setting clearer work boundaries I definitely feel calmer, and more able to cope.

I’m someone who tends towards perfectionism and set goals for myself based on what I feel like life should be about, big experiences and not missing out on anything. However I’m finding that the smaller things, like the pleasure of a Sunday roast dinner, a cuppa with a good friend, and a dog walk are perhaps the secret to a happier life for me.

Whatever you do with your May I hope it’s a good one for you and yours. I’m hoping for mental peace and clarity, and a successful smoking quit next weekend!

Coco Cavachon