As a child I was happy, I lived in the countryside and had a huge cow to play with. She was our dairy cow and lived in the front garden of my grandparents home in Ireland. I climbed on her, made daisy chains to go around her neck and sometimes spent hours staring into her giant watery eyes. I loved her but never named her. She knew all of my secrets, hopes, wishes and desires.
One day a neighbour came to pick me and my brother up from school. We jumped on the back of a hay cart, it was a glorious day and I lay down to watch the sky as the horse trundled along. It is the most exciting thing that I can remember from those early days but I don’t remember anything else until I arrived in London.
We moved into a tiny house in a tiny road which was near to a graveyard and a railway station. I hated walking under the railway bridge which was dark, dank and noisy. I was scared by the greyness of my new home. Everything was grey, the roads, the walkways, the bridge the houses and even the people seemed to be grey.
I was used to bright greens hundreds of shades of green and blue, dark brown bogs with bright coloured flowers, white houses surrounded by apple trees and rows of vegetables. Skies seemed to go on forever and fields surrounded us.
In London, when I looked out I saw houses, more houses and the graveyard!
I realise now that as a child I was depressed. That depression lifted when I wrote songs or stories or when I chatted with family. I had no friends, I was weird, my clothes were weird, I spoke with a weird accent and I didn’t fit in. It took me several years to make friends and eventually when I moved to a new school I made lifelong friends.
Today I am feeling sad. I wondered if I was depressed but then I realised that today would have been my fathers 83rd birthday. He died when he was 59 so I have been without him for a very long time. I cannot imagine him as 80+ I have no idea how he would look or sound because no man in his family, that I know of, lived that long.
Mental health has been in the media extensively this week and I am so sad that anyone would feel so bad that they could not go on. My heart goes out to all of those people, their families and friends. Today my mental health is a notch lower than usual, but thankfully its still intact and that is because of my husband, friends and family. I am lucky.