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I’m about to go for my last counselling session after not having written anything for a week and after not having time to myself for a week either.

Summer holidays are increasingly difficult as we cannot get away due to 2son and the less well 3son and 4son get on, the less fun being at home together is. Although 3son has vanished for a few days going to his friends he’s reluctant to go on days out and they are both less easy to entertain out.

I still don’t feel that I’ve caught up on sleep since the holidays began and am struggling to achieve the minimum level of work I need to over the break. I’m barely cooking and really just can’t be bothered.

2son had written a couple of messages of self-hate above his bed and I was dismayed to realise that 4son had added to it, calling 3son “self-centred, greedy, brainless, fucked-up, disgusting, gay”. He’s so good at being nice that I forget what’s lurking beneath the surface.

I caught up with Ruby Wax’s Mad Confessions (available to view until 21st August) last night. I’m not sure at getting people to come out at the workplace with mental illness without knowing that they have support in place to turn to for a year or so in case they need it. Her visit to the Priory was interesting but not as informative as it could be. The one part that really got to me was where she said that her overwhelming achievement had been to not pass on her depression to her children, exactly what I fear I haven’t done.

The other interesting point she did mention in passing was that she coped with her depression using mindfulness based cognitive therapy based on current research at Oxford. This is something I’ve been tentatively groping towards from intuitive eating and HAES but, quite frankly, I haven’t given it the time it needs. They do 8 week courses, none of which are accessible to me so I’ve ordered the book and we’ll see.

I’ve also booked myself in for an eight week vocational course in September for one evening a week, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while but not got round to.

I also decided to get a cleaner after the holidays. Life is too short. I just have always felt it to be a luxury that I didn’t deserve.

My one achievement this week has been to finally get some decent garden furniture. Now I have to learn to persuade myself to go an stretch out on it when we get some sun rather than dutifully carrying on working.

One thing has been on the increase over the last six months: ripping/tearing/pulling my toenails until they bleed. I’ve always bitten my nails and go through phases of doing it less or more. While my finger nails are a lot more successful my toes really suffer and it’s been getting worse, with several nails seeming to have vanished altogether now. This is my physical self-harm.

At the moment I feel that the whole family is falling to pieces with the relationships between the three becoming more and more difficult. I’m struggling to not feel that I am a failing mother and I’m not succeeding.

That last sentence is so hard to write but I feel that the only areas of my life that I am really managing with or doing well at are the external ones whereas I am sliding steadily downhill when it comes to looking after myself and my family.

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