The Red Skittle

Today was a great day. My 14 year old daughter has suffered with depression & anxiety for a long time , on and off now for 2 years. I have learnt to deal with my own sadness with her struggle – if I let it get me down then we both lose . I just have to be there for her when she wants me which isn’t often . Yesterday she tidied her room, today she tidied it again and said that she felt her depression had lifted. .

She sat outside and we looked through jewellery and chatted about stuff in the sunshine. This may seem average , but my girl hasn’t been out her room or the house for months . I asked her what had happened , if there was a trigger , a moment where she felt different and she proceeded to tell me this wonderful tale of a teenage moment of clarity. That early morning , she had woken at 4am. She was laying there and she couldn’t move very well on the floor – ( she sleeps against the door to isolate herself ) –

She then says …. “ I had my suitcase from the holiday a month ago still on the floor , then I looked around and saw all the bowls and cups under my bed , then I found a red skittle in my hair and as I was trying to get it out I realised how greasy my hair was and I just thought to myself , what am I doing? I might be depressed but I ain’t gonna feel any better laying here in a pile of shit “. Oh my , how I laughed . She is a natural comedian and we couldn’t stop laughing at this Red Skittle , which changed the world. She then spent 3 hours cleaning up all her room , she deleted apps on her phone , she said she was horrified to discover how much time she was spending on it . She changed all her depressing music on Spotify to uplifting stuff !

Then tonight , we went out on a bike ride. She said YES , to an outing. Well blow me down with a feather . “ I feel Free “ she screeched as we pedalled along.

So this simple day as been so special . It might be a one off , it might be a turning point , who knows . But it’s a taste of change and hope. I have always thought that my intuition is right with my daughter , that I shouldn’t be pushing her to do what she can’t. Professionals will say otherwise . But today , I saw what she can become , a woman with drive and passion for life , which can take time to harvest . Her time. No one else’s . As long as I can be there in those moments then that’s all that matters .

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