Who would have thought that this time last year I was signed off work for what was to be a three month break. Depression and anxiety had crept back into the forefront of my mind following six months of true unhappiness in the day job. I had broken up for the festive holidays a few days before Christmas giving me the time to dwell over what had been happening. I remember dreading Christmas as I often did since experiencing debt problems; wishing we had the money to do the simple things like take the children to see a decent Santa or buy the latest game or toy they had asked for without breaking the bank or sacrificing our weekly food shop budget. Christmas to me was no more festive and joyful, it had been replaced with sadness, dread and often jealousy at seeing others openly spoil their families ridiculously (whether they could afford it or not is a different matter).
This bout of depression saw me return to medication. The idea of taking the ‘happy pills’ again brought about feelings of despair, failure and a lost sort. I rarely take medication other than the odd pain killer for a migraine but this depression illness has made me weak and vulnerable enough to have to take prescribed medication. Even on such a low dose of 20mg it sure does make some difference to my mood; it could be more psychological than physically helping me but if it works and gets me to feel ‘normal’ than that’s ok with me.
The thing about depression is you can’t just sit there and let the medication do all the healing, it just doesn’t work like that. YOU have to make changes, ‘I’ had to make changes to my lifestyle in order to get back to being ME again. Something that had lacked in my life was the horses. I had plenty of opportunities to see friends with their horses but it just wasn’t the same since losing my boys in 2013. The owner of Rouxb who I had been riding had returned from a medical problem and wanted to start riding again, so I gave her back all of Rouxb’s tack and it felt like it was the end of a chapter but one I will definitely treasure for life.
In March time I posted out an advert on social media asking for a horse to ride for free as the cost of regular riding lessons was out of reach for now. I had many people message me with opportunities, some better than others but needless to say it dawned on me that there are plenty of people out there who need help with their horses and ponies so there should never be an excuse not to ride if you’re keen enough. I chose to meet a lady who lived very local to me and hee owned a Thoroughbred gelding who was a bit of a project as well as his companion a Shetland gelding. Eddie is now being prepared for a new riding career. If you want to watch our progress then remember to subscribe to this blog to get updates on our journey.
Small changes made to personal thoughts helped me heal from the inside out. Good friends and a very supportive husband means I can often talk about how I feel, even now, without being made to feel awkward, a freak, a burden and slowly my self confidence increased. I started to self heal; making small changes to my lifestyle, diet and daily routine all contributed to the change in me. I started to accept myself for who I was, move on from the past and almost forget what broke me and concentrate on making a better me. It’s a work in progress and certainlk not something that will happen over night.
This year has been filled with some excitement too. Around Easter time we found out that our daughter had been accepted into her first choice of secondary school. This choice of secondary school had caused a rift at my day job but I most certainly wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction of winning THAT battle. Alas our daughter has settled into her new school really well, enjoying both her academic subjects and the vast array of extra curricular activities (who knew we had such a sporty daughter) and already exceeding way past her set targets for this year. Our son has moved up a year in Primary school also and taken up the guitar but now excelling the art of being extremely forgetful; obviously our daughter organised him when she was there too but now he’s on his own he can’t seem to think for himself, lol 🙂
Another amazing event happened this year also. One I never saw coming in a million years was getting Olly back. I always knew where he was as I had gifted him to the Blue Cross four years ago following our financial crisis and I had to sign a no contact contract which meant I was never to find out where he was fostered to and I was not allowed to keep badgering the centre for updates. As it happened I had received a letter from the Blue Cross in September 2016 advising us that they were changing their policy on fostered ponies, which meant if they had been adopted for two or more years and both parties involved were happy, the fosterer was given the opportunity to be adopted and given official ownership of their equine. I could not cope with this possibility and therefore replied to Blue Cross telling them I disapproved of their intention and that my mental health had suffered since giving Olly up and therefore I wondered if it was ever possible to have him back in the future then I would be interested. Little did I know this was going to become reality 11 months later. Read our story here.
In September my little business The Lady Saddler turned one years old. I had not pushed it heavily at all due to the day job but there was always a steady flow of work and customers needing something done which has provided me with perfect practise tools and network 🙂
October and November 2017 saw me hand my notice in at the day job and then wind down slowly. It has been the best feeling ever.
Going fully self employed has been a learning curve for me. Not only have I had to finish some bespoke leather work ready for chrsitmas, I have done some freelance work for a farm company and also at a local country estate.