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Breathing, living and surviving the first few weeks

written by Sara-Jane Morphew 22/08/2017

I relied heavily on my Mum, Dad and husband in the first few days following my breakdown. Mum would come in the morning to get the boys to school as I could not.

I didn’t know what to eat so mostly I didn’t. Tim cooked in the evenings. It is all a bit of a blur really, a blank space in my life with nothing to fill it. I did nothing, felt nothing, achieved and wanted nothing. In a dark hole, under a cloud, I couldn’t think, do, want or decide anything.


Looking in my diary it seems my time was spent taking the boys to school, when I was able to do it with, appointments, picking up the boys, breathing, living, surviving. I couldn’t think, do, want or decide anything. Mum and dad were amazing in the weeks to follow. We cleared the garden, did jobs in the house - anything to get moving, get outside, physical labour was just what I needed. Getting out in the fresh air, pulling out brambles, trimming hedges meant I was not in my own head too much. I cleared out drawers, sorted cupboards, anything to not sit still.

All those things that had been getting on top of me were starting to get done. As usual, Tim was away for a lot of September so me and the boys spent a lot of time at Mum and Dad’s. One week, we moved in because Tim was away and I went back and for to our house to decorate the lounge. The first slice of achievement I had felt for a long time. The doctor increased my antidepressants because they were having little effect and soon the cloud wasn’t hanging quite so low.

Everyone around me was amazing, old friends, new friends, family, those who are far away and those who are near.

Everyone around me was amazing, old friends, new friends, family, those who are far away and those who are near. They were all just brilliant and I probably haven’t thanked them enough for being a solid base for me in the first couple of months, making phone calls for me, organising coffee time, visiting and being on the end of a phone.

One of the first steps I took on the road of discovery, I say discovery not recovery because I believe there is no such thing, was going to the Primary Mental Health Team’s ‘Stress Control course’. It is a 4 week course about all aspects of stress, anxiety and depression. You can self-refer and it is ideal as a way of informing yourself about your illness. I learned a great deal and knowledge is a powerful thing. After this I went down the route of mindfulness, meditation and yoga. Yoga saved my life! Without it, I do not know if I would have come as far as I have now. If you struggle with depression, anxiety, stress or other forms of mental illness, try yoga. I cannot say how much it can change your outlook, clear the mind, quieten the thoughts calm the heart and strengthen the body! I love it! I cannot be without it now.

If you would like to write a blog post about your experiences of stigma or related issues, email


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