My mental health

I’m low this morning.
Physically, I feel unable to do anything.
My mind is tired.
Figuring out why I feel low, I am going through the pieces in my mind.
Why I am tired? Am I eating enough? Am I sleeping enough? What are my responsibilities of the day? Yes I’ve a lot to do as a stay at home Mam, but what does this really mean? Besides the usually housework and bill paying and dog-walking, horses and never mind the poor neglected husband……
Lets start with Yasmin, the main focus of my mind and my last child aged fourteen and who I still refer to as my little pet. She’s a great girl. She has a delayed mental development and has to work extremely hard in anything she does. And she is a hard worker, there is no doubt in my mind.
But I am her organiser and planner. Her physical assistant, her emotional couch, her resource teacher at home in helping her do her homework.
And it’s a lot of work.
Yasmin has just started secondary school and I need to be on top of my game to be on top of all her work. So I basically turn into Yasmin’s teacher at home. We read through each subject’s exercise for that day and we do the homework involved.
Yasmin’s brain is like scrambled nerve endings. Her processing of information has to travel a lot in order to reach it’s area of figuring out. And she doesn’t like to do it. For her, it’s like Chinese torture.
But it can be done and Yasmin can learn. I’m reminded of that in the early years of primary school. It was so difficult for her to learn her letters and her numbers. It was so difficult to learn to count and to learn to do words. And it was so difficult for Yasmin to learn to read, but Yasmin learned to do all of these things. It just took taking things slowly and constant repeating and constant going over what she learned until it stayed inside her brain. I remember I had to give her constant breaks every five minutes on the trampoline in order for her to be able to sit and try to learn her letters and her numbers. I had to drink many cups of coffee and a few glasses of wine!
And I had lots of outside help as well who reinforced all of this learning.
And I can proudly tell you that Yasmin can read very well today.
She’s not a lover of it, as for her, it’s like reading it from Russian and speaking it as English. She still has to unscramble it, but she can do it.
So now, because of the content of reading involved in secondary school and now that Yasmin is a teenager, she’s trying to figure out ways of avoiding all of this work. So, my reinforcement has to be stronger now. I can now understand how difficult it is for other parents who don’t know how to help their children in secondary school, or how they would find the time, especially if they are working and especially if they have other children, but I also understand, it is so important, now more than ever to find the time and the energy to help Yasmin.
But the benefits are huge. Yasmin is settling in well in secondary school because, she knows she has her homework completed well and she knows she has an idea of what the topic is about. And she may feel a little bit confident that she might know the answer if asked.
Her folders are all packed in class order. She is organised.
And although she still has her sensory condition and still hates water,  she has learned to wash herself properly in the morning (with me sending her back into the bathroom if she’s not!) so that she looks and smells clean. So, she is fitting in. She is appearing to be the same as everybody else and she is quite content going into school each morning knowing this. Because the most important thing for teenagers is to be the same as everyone else. They don’t want to stand out in the crowd for being different in any way.
So, I can take a deep breath when I drop her off.
You know, as I’m reading this, I begin to feel a little bit better in that things are ok.
I know I’ve been worrying about whether I am doing enough to help Yasmin and am I strong enough to keep going for her and that is a big worry.
So I’m going to practice what I preach and bring it back down to the moment in time and to try stay in the present and realise that for today I am doing everything I can.
And I am going to slow myself down today and do the things I have to do, like pay by bills and go see my mother.
Thank you readers out there who inspired me this morning to share with you my mental wellbeing and for re-wakening in me the positivities of life and struggle.
I love this quote of Aristotle, ‘We are what we repeatedly do, Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’
And I remind myself and my daughter of this every day.
Jean xxxx

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