Tuesday 28th January 2020

Making Progress Is Not Linear. 366/41.

Making Progress Is Not Linear. 366/41.

I’ve been making progress with my mental health, adjusting to my new (to me) life here on the coast and to the ‘newness’ of being fully retired.

There is no doubt that this has been a challenge for me.

My husband is most understanding of my changing moods which are usually short-lasting for the negative ones and getting much longer for the better ones.

This is what I call progress.

But then something occurs, or I just wake feeling somewhat anxious with no reason and it can be a difficult day spent worrying or actually getting overly stressed about having an episode of Irritable Bowel Syndrome’s diarrhoea.

That’s when I think “I am not improving”.

I also berate myself a bit and wonder why I just cannot get myself right and not go back to the older, anxious me.

Then, when I look through a lens that is not clouded with the views of the past, and I have better perspective I can see the improvements as I note them over time in a journal.

It just takes me some hours, or even a day to regain this confidence and perspective.

I now also acknowledge that grief is playing a part in the sometimes changed mood. I miss much from my past that is true. I do not regret that I have finished my paid working life, nor sold our home and moved…and I have to say, that on balance we are glad to be out of Sydney.

Of course I miss my family and ‘old way of life’. But that too is part of the past. The family is growing and changing and we, the 2 of us, are making our way in our new life together.

Just as I am unsure sometimes about the now and the future, I am also more than sure that everything will work out for us.

I just wish that progress was more linear instead of this up and down..down and up journey called LIFE.

Do you ever feel like this in some way?

Tell me more so I know I am not alone!






  1. Oh Denyse, you are so not alone.

    My ups and downs are for different reasons. But I feel the core issue is the same.

    Change and the loss of an old life and the uncertainly and challenges of a new one. A new baby.

    Finding a new path in life I think can be daunting and now that I have my little girl, my life, my life with my husband is not the same and nor will it be again.

    I have to grieve the easy no child life we had. The dual income life we had. The not being tired to be “romantic” life we had. The “hey let’s go here or there ” life we had.

    All of that is changed and no longer the way we roll.

    So some days, I’m ok with this and think I am so blessed to have our little girl,a husband that loves me, and all the small blessings that she brings us. She fills our hearts with joy and she is the most beautiful, perfect, loving child. My heart if full and my life is complete.

    But…. then I get sad for the times I cannot go and do things by myself any more. I am constantly thinking about her and I need to do for her, is she ok, what is she up to. I am no longer me, I am her mother.

    But.., then I go.. ahh life is perfect 🙂

    I think change is a hard thing some times and we need to go through a certain process to get through it. Realise its ok to grieve what we once had, its ok to have these ups and downs. We are not bad people for missing what once was. Acknowledging that loss is a good thing, Once we know why we are sad, down depressed we can then look at ways of moving on and making those bad times less and less each day, so that it becomes weeks, months, years and then we go “gee, what was I ever so upset about”

    Fill our lives, hearts, home with new friends, new adventures, and new goals and accept the new you, that you are becoming. And remember, you are loved 🙂 xo Cause deep down.. All you need is love…

    • You are one insightful and awesome person Tanya and I value our reconnection very much. These words are very telling and frank and maybe just what I needed to read for my reassurance too…that none of us is ever really alone….we need to reach out more and not be ashamed to do so. I struggle a lot with the notion of vulnerability and the fact that I was ‘brave’ enough to write this post was a challenge. After all, I’ve been writing my script as a person who’s a teacher, run a school, been this and that…and yet, it doesn’t feel ‘enough’ to validate me now as a person. For some this may seem self-indulgent but it isn’t, I am genuinely wanting to be more satisfied with the now, and into the future of my life. This will take much more time…and some effort of acknowledgement of what I am to do so. Thank you again, these words are so helpful. Denyse xx

  2. You are certainly not alone my friend, and how timely that we both post about similar topics this week! When I met you I knew you were a special person and any challenges you may face I’m sure will help you grow every day.

    I am a born worrier and also need to think about the now, not three years down the track! Enjoy the moment I say xx

    • How lovely to see you commenting here Michelle…yep, great minds and all that. Thank you for your kind words..and I hope you keep blogging again too. Miss your words! Denyse xx

  3. I think you are right with any big change there is a period of grieving that you need to go through. I’m doing that myself with my ongoing health issues right now. Some days are better than others.

    The move has certainly taken its toll on me both physically and mentally and I’m really needing to work at a slower pace for a little while.

    • So true Raychael and even nor knowing what you are managing on top of your own health…it is true we can be ‘overloaded’.
      I went down that path as a school principal and it did not end well.
      I really hope that you can take some good care of yourself now…because for more time than I can recall, everyone else has come first. Take care, we need to look out for each other more don’t you think? Denyse xx

  4. Beautiful and honest comments. We do grieve jobs where we believed we were making a difference and helping people. But it is still early days since you retired and left Sydney Denyse – major changes take time to adjust to, as you know. And, of course, stress is a trigger for IBS. I love that you have found paths to help you be kind to yourself – with art, photography etc. It is a major change to put yourself first, isn’t it? The kindness in your smile seems to say that that is what you have always done. I hope you find more pathways. I admire your courage to change your life so dramatically when it would have been so easy not to step outside the square. All the best.

    • Thank you for your kind understanding Jan. You have captured so much truth there. I tend to be a ‘hurry up and let’s get through this’ person but this is different. I am processing a lot at the same time and the comment that keeps coming back to me is “feelings take a lot longer to catch up to actions/events”. Helps me a lot! Readers such as yourself are very helpful to me in terms of ‘seeing’ aspects of me that perhaps are harder to assess Once again, an insightful and helpful comment and connection tonight! Warm wishes, Denyse