I can't remember which kind soul once told me this.
It was in the days I was blogging about mental health, having worked with a branch of Mind.
Now I have found myself reflecting on this simple yet striking sentiment many times in recent weeks.
I have been having the most vile flashbacks to things that happened to our family and feeling overwhelmed by sadness. My memory continues to be very problematic. This has made my usual daily routine of writing and looking after customers, almost impossible.
Being keen to continue at work has created more problems than it has solved. It's a bitter pill to swallow.
I so want to wave a magic wand, to feel okay, to live life to the fullest for me, my children and my lovely Neil, and find it very hard to accept that it's not possible. So I end up beating myself up for being useless. This has to stop.
Last night as I lay in bed, memories cascaded through my mind. But they were happy memories. This has to be a step forward. I have been trapped a little in bad, bad memories, genuine, aching trauma that my mind and body has struggled to process.
After an initial burst of getting on with things at work and declaring I was now going to be 'braver' in business as a result of my situation, I have come to a grinding halt.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, I can't make my mind up which) medical professionals agree. I am clear and they are clear, that I'm not depressed, but I continue to feel anxious and invent negative scenarios purely through stress. My GP sent me to an emotional well-being service (lovely name, so much better than mental health) where I burst into tears at the start of the session, when the question "Who do you live with?" was the trigger. It didn't take long to be told I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
People who care about me asked what happened next and how this will be treated. It makes me laugh that actually I can't remember! I think I'm on a waiting list.
Meanwhile I fight every urge that says PTSD is a load of nonsense and urges me to get a grip.
I've also been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, following in the footsteps of close family members. My high blood sugar levels have affected how tired I have been feeling and I'm on medication.
This makes me feel crap too - I have been overweight for far too long. But the tablets are working and I am starting to feel more alert. The connotations of laziness and greed that lie behind a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis inevitably play on my mind but I have to be positive and optimistic about my health. For me and my girls it's imperative, now more than ever, that I continue to lose weight (I am a good two and a half stone lighter than I have been.) I don't want to stay on the medication long term and have already significantly lowered my blood sugar through a change in eating habits.
So often I have dished out advice, to family and friends that they need to be kind to themselves.
I need to do the same.
I've been told everything I'm doing, including work and going on holiday is a distraction and that I need to grieve properly. "Shut the door and cry," were the exact words.
So that's what I have been doing. My head feels like it's full of candy floss.
I've also booked some complementary therapy. What would I say to a friend who has been through all I have? I'd say give yourself a break and stop judging yourself so harshly. Give yourself permission to take time to heal.
Grief is something that has to be let in properly to then be let out, this I try to understand. When I think about what I'm still seeing, I have to acknowledge overcoming that needs strength. But that strength means being strong enough not to pretend to be okay. My neighbour tells me even being upright when faced with such pain is an incredible achievement.
I need to start to believe her.
It's okay to not 'get a grip' or 'get on with things' or pull myself together sometimes. I am doing my best and that will have to be good enough.
Thanks for reading.