I am very much a woman of two halves… I have my joking, clown half that everyone knows and I have my deep, private side that only a few close friends get to know.

My humour is my shield, my protection, get past the humour and you meet a completely different person… someone who loves closeness, theatre, classical music, art, reading, writing and conversation.    This is the part of me that keeps my balance, my peace with the world and the part of me that can and has been torn to pieces when I have lost my peace.

Over the past 9 months or so I have found it harder and harder to find my peace, my place in the world.  I have been stressed and I have been so damned tired I just didn’t realise how much.  I knew I was “fed up” .. I knew I felt irritable.. I knew I had no patience, I just felt worn out.

My holiday in Spain, with a bunch of close friends brought it very starkly home to me.  For once I managed to relax, the tiredness and clouds in my head lifted,  and I realised just how far away from “me” I had become.   It certainly made me stop and think.

It came as a shock to me to fully understand how unhappy within myself I was and the realisation that a few things I believed had in fact been because of how I had been feeling and not reality at all.

I worried about everything, about everyone, I took it on myself to feel responsible for other people, I took the slightest thing personally, I just could not understand … because I could not understand myself.

To say it was a wake up call is an understatement.   I am a deep thinker but even my thoughts were being affected by my “mood” that I never realised I was in.

I have a lot of friends that I adore but sometimes it is hard to find the words to speak to someone when you don’t understand things yourself.  I was lucky I had been speaking to a close friend about how I felt, how the feeling as if the waves were about to crash and I was about to drown.. funny enough .. I had dreams about this too … I think she knew there was something wrong a long time before I did.   To say I owe this friend a lot is an understatement.  She bore with me, listened to me, agreed with me, told me off and called me a fool *smile* ..

I took the plunge and spoke to my doctor, who I have to say has been fantastic, she helped me realise that sometimes there is no shame in asking for help, something I am not good at, but need to learn a bit more.  She also explained about how stress becomes like an addiction, some stress is healthy but too much becomes harmful and destructive.

I’ve heard people describe times of their lives as “dark times” .. I understand that now .. this is how it feels, that the lights have been switched off, that the darkness has descended and that the dawn seems so far out of reach.

I am not yet back to me, I still have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I can’t describe, the closest I can think of is it is like a very deep sadness and I can’t yet shake.  I know I have to work on this and I will, but I do know I have to find this thing called “patience” too .. and let things sort themselves out.

I know I have a wee bit of a way to go, but the tiredness seems to be lifting, the great burden of emotional turmoil is settling down and most of all I can sense that the dawn will rise again.