Home is where I lay my head.
I’ve had homes in a lot of places. For the first nine years of my life, home was a semi-detached house in a small village in Kent. I have a few very vague memories of playing with my best friend and going to school there. After Kent, we moved to High Wycombe which is the place I call home-home. It’s where I did most of my growing up and where my mum and sister still live. I go home-home as often as I can. After High Wycombe, came Bath. I studied at the University there and did a four-year tour of student accommodation. I got married there and lived in a fourth-floor flat in the city centre for a couple of years – just up the road from the Haagen Daz cafe! I also had my babies there, and we bought our first house there: a teeny-tiny terraced place on a hill overlooking the city. During my studies, I travelled a bit too; I spent six months in Israel and then six months in Salisbury – not quite as exotic! Now, I live in a semi-rural village in Hampshire, just around the corner from my in-laws and just over an hour away from my mum. We are now in our second home in this village … We moved in to our current home in October last year.
I’ve always been a homebody. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not unadventurous, but home is where I usually feel most comfortable. Home is where I go to recharge my batteries after I’ve been adventurous. Home is a sanctuary. Home is a haven.
Or it should be …
Depression, unfortunately, is no respecter of home. During my teenage years at home-home, both my mum and dad battled with it. Our teeny-tiny terrace house in Bath was where I first suffered from it, and our home before this one was where I thought I’d recovered from it but found that I still had a long, long way to go. On my journey back to wellness, home has been a place of rest and recovery, but it has also, at times, felt like a prison from which I desperately needed to escape. The trouble is, wherever you go, there you are, and there are some problems you can’t leave behind.
Right now, I am well, and home feels like a happy, warm, light, open and joyous place. Should my mood dip again, and should I find myself pacing like a tiger in a cage, I shall remind myself that it’s not home that has changed; it’s the chemicals in my brain.
- Time to Change
- Mind, the Mental Health Charity
- Stress, Anxiety and Depression, NHS Choices
- YoungMinds, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing
An explanation of my AtoZChallenge theme can be found at Me and My Mental Health – It’s Time to Talk.