We can only really be the creators of our own happiness, our own peace. We can try to instill happiness and peace in others, we can wear ourselves out doing so, but we can't really make others be happy. We can't give them peace. It's something they have to find for themselves.
This is a very difficult thing to come to terms with, especially if you are a fixer. If you are the sort of person who feels the distress of others, absorb it into your soul, like it was your very own pain. It's very hard to stay strong, when you are feeling spent. When you've depleated all your energy, trying to lift someone else's spirit, to fix them.
In our house we have little demons who visit us at night, when it's dark, when we feel at our most vulnerable. They torment us with visions of horrible things, don't let us rest, they steal out sleep, they steal our peace. They cause us to twist in pain and panic, to be truly terrified. So terrified that even the person you feel closest to, can't help you.
Being a parent can be full of awe and wonder, you can't quite believe you've bought this incredible human being into the world. It can also be the most difficult, challenging job on the planet. It can make you feel like the biggest failure, totally, utterly rubbish.
As parents, we don't talk that much about our young people and about the mental health issues they may have. Maybe it's because we feel guilty, after all it must be our fault, we must be doing something wrong. Parents are supposed to make their children happy, we are supposed to be able to banish demons, aren't we? Be the ones to give peace. This message is given loud and clear, if a child is sad, troubled, it's the parents fault. It's my fault.
I can't banish the demons, as hard as I try. I'm exhausted fighting them night after night. And yes, as a parent I feel a failure. Once again we will turn to the professionals and their coping techniques. Childhood mental health services are stretched to breaking point in the UK. Our children's mental health issues are much bigger than we let on.
My hope is that one day this will pass, with maturity, some new strategies, and with oodles of love and support. That eventually I will pass on this message, that whilst it's good to have people around us who love us, we really are the creators of our own happiness, our own peace.
So right now, I'm sat in my beautiful peaceful garden, enjoying the clear September light and warm sunshine, and I'm listening to the birds. I'm creating my own peace, my own happiness...I'm recharging my batteries.
Amanda :) xxx