The last six weeks have been difficult. More than difficult, sometimes unbearable…impossible. Many days have been dark – perhaps not the darkest I’ve ever had (that accolade is clearly awarded to the weeks following Caterpillar’s birth) but close. Filled with terror and sadness.

And I’m labouring under no illusions that those dark days are gone. Never has it been so clear to me that recovery is indeed the awful snakes and ladders game we’ve discussed before. Mental health problems are often clarified in terms of good days and bad days but in my experience it’s more like good moments and bad moments, and that every day is made up of both. It’s exhausting to say the least.

But clarity has been returning, in painfully brief windows. I’ll be labouring in the dark when all of a sudden a skylight will open, flooding this stuffy, oppressive room with fresh, clean air and white, crisp daylight. For a short while the truth is revealed, the anxiety clears away and I’m able to think and breathe and believe.

After too short a time that window slams shut and the familiar fear and dread flood in. But perhaps not quite as strongly as before. I look up and the window has gone, the black ceiling has seemingly healed back over. But if I concentrate and look really hard, an outline of that skylight remains. And somehow that’s just enough.

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