Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

When the nightmares come…

on August 2, 2015

Sometimes for absolutely no discernible reason, the little voices in your head decide to turn up the volume and tell you in no uncertain terms what they think of you. They tell you that you’re useless- a rubbish wife, a dreadful mum, a second rate mate and an excuse for an off-spring.

They whisper in your ear that people think you’re an up yourself idiot for writing a blog, they think you’re a loser for having a jobs history longer than War and Peace and they remind you that whilst your friends and your family and everyone has something to offer you, you have nothing- nothing to give to them and you are frankly, a useless, needy, worthless idiot that ought to just shut up and fuck off.

Urgh, they are dark, dark moments when they come- seemingly from nowhere, to tap you on the shoulder, smack you in the mouth and leave you winded and in a heap of tears on the cold of the bathroom floor at 4am.

These moods and these times have punctuated my life since I was a teenager so I am now far, far better equipped to deal with them and, as I have opened up/slash bored people to tears on this topic previously I find that people have been more open with me so I know I’m not on my own which is as nice as it is nasty in a way.

One of my biggest fears about my weird and sometime malfunctioning brain is that it will have a negative impact on my babies or, worse, that they will experience the tap on the shoulder too. That would be pretty tough to take. However, in the interests of proving that I didn’t strap all the time and money I spent on counselling to a firework, I think I would be able to offer them if not words of wisdom, then at least some empathy, lots of love and a cup of tea.

Here’s my tool kit for the dark times:

1) Write- When my brain is overflowing with thoughts, there is no hope of sleep and I can’t clean the house for fear of dropping a pan or waking the family, writing has been my saviour. Getting everything down on to the page to be chucked or re-read when your mind is less mangled is cathartic. Emotionally draining but cathartic.

2) Talk- To thin air, to a counsellor, to the Samaritans, to God (who ever yours might be) or to someone you know. Expressing the way you feel and haring things out loud can put a totally different spin on things and they can help you see things from a different light.

3) Do- Thinking is an absolute bastard and sometimes the very best thing is to simply do something that requires your attention or will take a little piece of your brain somewhere else for a while at least. A long time ago when I was pretty bloody low, my lovely mum quite literally got me out of bed everyday and took me swimming. Every. Single. Day. It really, truly helped.

4) Be Kind- Caitlin Moran writes brilliantly about this in the July edition of Red. I am not quite as articulate or funny as she is which is doubtless why she is a famous writer and I am not (yet) but, the basic premise of the article is to treat yourself as you would a pet- with love and kindness. Give yourself walks and good food and a nice tickle on the tum (or similar). I have searched for the article on line but alas can not find it. Find it and read it though- it is perfect and utterly true.

5) Keep hold of these truths- This WILL pass. The darkness will lift and in the meanwhile you are not alone.

(Plus this is a genuinely funny picture!!!)

melon collie

With lots of love,



8 responses to “When the nightmares come…

  1. Gretiana says:

    My last post is titled “what’s that voice in your head?” If you can visit my blog just read it. it’s familiar to what you just shared.


  2. Honest Mum says:

    What a wise, touching post, I relate to all of this, and can often be my own worst critic but I’m learning to be kinder too ( I must read that CM piece in Red)… to treat myself as I do my friends, to not overthink and worry so much. I think I was a born worrier! Like you, my blog and many, many unpublished drafts that sit in my archives have helped me through so much and sometimes, like last night the words just come and I feel brave enough to share the harder times (that being the toughest of my life to date)…It’s easy to write about the good times and I love to celebrate life but last night was cathartic for me and I did it to help others.

    I feel so grateful for the life I’ve built, my kids, husband, our health, the job I have and I’m happy most of the time, but there are tougher, darker times too, frazzled times, when juggling feels hard and I’m drained- it’s important those are shared too so we and others know we’re not alone. Thank you for this. I swear by Rescue Remedy, camomile tea, yoga and a good run to help balance and clear the head. Plus low GI, balanced meals, staying away from sugar and taking vitamin B12 and 6 and filling my life with the real, good eggs and bidding goodbye to the rest, much love and thank you for your honesty, a beautiful post xx


    • Mumaleary says:

      Thank you so much for that Vicki, honesty is hard as it exposes our vulnerability but it is so important to help us and others realise that everyone is real and fragile and dealing with their own stuff.
      As you say, mostly things are good but to know what to do when you are feeling all at sea is so important. Yoga is a total tonic for me too, as is running but the key is kindness I think. Treat yourself as a pet will be my new mantra! X


  3. Jane says:

    Hi Tanya, it’s Jane (Nic Gillhams friend from Nottingham). I really enjoy reading your blog, you are so open and honest and very funny too.
    I work with individuals who speak very similarly of experiences to yours and I often speak with them about getting out how the feel on paper, especially if they struggle to stay it out loud. I wanted to say having just read your blog (When the night mare comes), I want to send you a hug. I’m sure that many people will read it and feel hopeful and not alone after reading it. Take care x


    • Mumaleary says:

      Dear Jane- thanks so much for your kind words. I love to hear that people enjoy reading it.
      Writing is an amazing tool for me when talking would be impossible due to the embarrassing cry talk snort issue and not wanting to upset others. It works for me and if this post can help anyone else I would be chuffed.
      It can feel like you’re the only one when you’re in the midst of it so to know you’re not is comforting (but sad). XxX


  4. Jayne Keay says:

    Just read your Blog.. ‘When the nightmare comes’..Oh so true! Is all I can say…you are quite right there must be so many people who relate to it..they are not human if they don’t! The meloncollie also sealed things for me! Loved it!


    • Mumaleary says:

      Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment Jayne. I think the more we talk and are open about feelings like this the less frightening and isolating it feels for others in a similar position. The Melon Collie is a total winner isn’t it!! x


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