I wanted to try and write a more optimistic, upbeat post today. As regular readers of this blog will know, poor MH has blighted me for most of my adult life. Like everyone else, there have been better times, times where I’ve managed to live a reasonable existence and successfully negotiate the obstacles that life will inevitably throw before us. But recently I’ve been struggling a lot, anxiety and depression both testing my strength, endurance and determination yet again.
In such times, I’ll do what I can to alleviate my distress. I like being swathed in fleecy blankets and rubbing silky ribbons, I like a hot mug of tea, I like to walk on the beach, listen to music and do puzzles. Sometimes these things work and sometimes they don’t. Only one (actually two) thing(s) help EVERY time. My cousins two little boys, aged 3 years and 7 months.
My cousin has been a massive support to me recently, so I’ve spent a lot of time with both her and her boys. Of course I’m eternally grateful to my cousin for all the practical and emotional help she continues to give me, but its the boys that will invariably put a smile on my face.
The three year old, in particular, is of the age where his personality is starting to emerge. He has just started attending nursery and is full of new information and curious about everything. His favourite word right now is ‘why?’ and , I promise you, he uses it ALL THE TIME. I never cease to be amazed at some of the things he remembers – his brain is like a sponge, absorbing anything and everything. I remember being told that toddlers are the most ‘mindful’ people on Earth and I really believe this. To him I am a playmate, a Lego buddy, a trampoline,…whatever he needs me to be! He doesn’t know anything of my illness, he doesn’t judge me, ask me questions that have no answers. I could tell countless stories of his antics, and often find myself smiling or chuckling inwardly while thinking back to specific incidents.
The little one, too, is a massive comfort. There is nothing like a cuddle with a baby, with that unique smell they have – a combination of warm milk and baby bathing products. He’s a very contented little chap, will happily be nursed by anyone and especially likes to try and remove my glasses or strands of my hair. I like that he depends on me (and others, obviously) to provide him food and comfort, that there really is another person who, categorically, NEEDS me around.
So I can take all the psych meds or try all the self-soothing techniques in the world, but my best medicine definitely comes in the form of two tiny people. I reckon if we could bottle the personality of a three-year-old, we’d make a killing in MH pharmaceuticals!