Breaking it down: my mental health isn’t great

It didn’t hurt when I ran into the sandstone wall at full pace. Not immediately, anyway. I was able to regather myself a little bit and for a little

while. Pushed on some more, moved in what I thought was a forward direction. But I couldn’t outrun the beast as well. Squeezed between a rock wall and a vicious black dog, I belatedly raised the white flag. And here I am.

I’ve taken leave from my job in order to focus on addressing my mental health. It’s a cyclonic time for me at the moment and everything in flux feeds into the state of my head; getting it right is critical for everything else.

My marriage has recently ended, though it wasn’t a sudden shock; things had been moving in that direction for a while. We needed to decide whether we thought that was best or not, and in the end, we do and did. So after 11 years and with three beautiful children we’ll continue to raise in collaboration, we separated, and I moved out of the family home. The person I was closest to for over a decade now can’t be that person, at least for a while or longer, as we adjust to our separate lives.

I’ve moved to the edge of the city, nearer work and where I’ve been spending time watching and performing comedy. Removing the commute will save me two hours a day – a gift. I am sad not to be closer to my kids, but the reality is that between work and extra-curricular pursuits, I was seeing them for] around 30-60 minutes at the end of the day, 2-3 days during the week, and then on weekends. We’ve arranged a roster of rotating weekends with our kids and a weeknight visit for dinner as well. It’s a little less quantity in time

but should be a much greater quality of time.

Professionally, I’ve been giving thought to my future for a little while, and in heeding medical advice to take a solid break from work and focus on my personal health, I’ve semi-paused that thinking for now. But I know once I’m more sound and stable, I will need to work through and determine my professional hopes and plans, and work them into the context of the different life I’m adjusting to.

A silver lining of this medically-enforced time out is that a big part of me feeling satisfied is to be creative and stimulated. And while it’s not number one or two at present, it is something I can dabble in a little as I build myself back up.

What’s ahead for me is unknown. The immediate priorities are working on getting healthier, and do as best I can to be present and available for my children now I no longer live with them.

Best get on with it.

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