The mental merry go round

Saturday March 16, 2019

The mental merry go round is in town again. Yipee. The rides are always free but never wanted. And then it stops. And you get off. And think to yourself... phew... they're off to claim another victim. But as soon as you get yourself back on some kind of even keel, bam... they are back again, claiming your sanity, your sleep, your very soul.

It suddenly reminded me of a dream I had a long time ago which kept recurring... when I lived in Scotland as a young girl. It involved little boxes which had legs but were like tiny houses which would come marching around to the house I was in and I could hear them chanting "we are the mental houses and we are coming to get you"... quite a scary thing for a young girl. Even if I was upstairs in the house they would march up the stairs to try and get me.

I do three jobs now – two caring jobs and being a Civil Funeral Celebrant. Recently I took a service for a gentleman who had lost his wife through cancer. She was 48. I started my funeral business in April 2014, when I was 49 and it was ground-breaking... terrifying, life-changing and emotional at times. However, as a professional you have to manage that emotion and there have only been a couple of occasions where I have felt close to breaking down.

At the service, I found my anxiety levels were worse than ever... and the chapel started to fill... and then there it was, I had to go out and do it. And I did it, as best as I ever could... and the family and the Funeral Director were over the moon. But it took its toll. I felt utterly spent when I got home... I often describe it as like my guts were being pulled out. My husband used to be a Funeral Director but he now drives for a living. The stress of the role nearly took its toll on his mental health and was probably one of the driving forces for us moving 500 miles away to Scotland to start a new life and leave that all behind. I only do this role occasionally but I found that in a more religious and quieter area where no-one knows you, trying to get established has been very difficult and has in some respects affected my confidence e.g. why does no one want to book me, why are they ignoring me, why have they not replied to my email – again anxiety inducing stuff.

And here I am, unable to sleep, so much going through my head I have decided to write this blog... BUT when will the merry go round stop? Is it time to give up the celebrancy? What will I do for the rest of my life if I don't do what I am really good at even though it is exhausting me on an occasional basis? How did I ever cope with previously doing up to 14 services a month? Answers on a postcard please...

A Moodscope member.

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