This is Mental Health Awareness week, and while I believe there is definitely much more awareness of the condition, there’s quite simply not enough acceptance. Read More
It’s been such a beautiful day today, which is fitting considering it’s the first day I’ve felt human again for the first time in weeks. The sun was shining, I could feel the heat on my skin and my husband was by my side helping to keep a close eye on our cheeky little monkey Matthew. Read More
Mental health really is a minefield. I wrote just a week or so ago about how I was feeling really content and at ease with everything in my life. Today, I feel the opposite.
I know getting a good amount of sleep has a lot to do with how well your brain can cope, and I’ll admit to really struggling with sleep recently, but surely that can’t be the main reason for having such hard days?
With anxiety disorder i’ve found that there are certain triggers that can send me on a path towards self-destruction and normally I can avoid those triggers completely. But someone… anyone… please tell me how I can avoid my son???
Matthews birth was such a traumatic time in our lives and despite seeing a counsellor and talking through our thoughts and feelings about the entire process, there are still moments when I feel completely overwhelmed and right back in that NICU.
Yesterday I was making an attempt at cleaning out the files on my computer when I came across an album full of Matthews NICU photographs and videos, as well as a slideshow I made for his 1st birthday.
It broke me.
You think you’re over the worst of it and then 2 and a half years later it hits you, like a freight train.
I’ve been battling with my inner demons about this for the past 2 years and even told you all about asking my GP for help, which I did.
But sometimes the medication isn’t enough. Sometimes the hours of counselling aren’t enough. Sometimes you’re just going to feel it all over again and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
That’s how I feel right now.
I’m sure, or rather I’m hopeful that tomorrow will be better, but today all I can hear is alarm bells ringing. I can smell latex gloves and sterile hand sanitizer. In my peripheral vision I can see coloured screens with oxygen levels rising and falling. I can feel the delicate thin skin of my baby in my hands and I can’t stop it.
This is PTSD.
I am a highly strung person. I am not, by nature, laid back and chill. It takes a lot to get me there and by a lot I mean medication and alcohol mostly, lol.
However, I’ve really been working on my self-care since the start of this year and I have come up with some basic ideas/ practices that I try to incorporate into my life when things are getting too much to handle.
I thought I’d share these, in case like me, there are those of you out there who find it difficult to turn your brain off. These are simple little things I choose to do to relax my body and my mind, and despite being simple, they are also effective.
Simple as that. 🙂 It’s not rocket science and the most important thing to remember is that you cannot control everything. Once you learn to accept this, everything else will become much easier to handle.
As ever, take care lovelies.
What happens on those down days? How do your drag yourself out of the pits of darkness?
Oftentimes when I’m feeling particularly low and alone in my thoughts, I wonder how other people cope with feeling that way. I have a few little tricks that work for me, and they all pretty much involve getting down on the floor and playing with my son. But I wonder how other people help themselves. Do they have people they can talk to? Do they allow themselves the time to wallow in their deep, sunken thoughts and come out of it in their own time. I wonder.
Writing has definitely been a massive help in my quest for a level head and a happy heart. It has allowed all of the crazy and often irrational thoughts to come out and ultimately be released from my overflowing brain. I don’t always share those thoughts… in fact most of them will remain safely tucked away within the confines of my notebook. But it does help me. Massively in fact.
I also find that immersing myself in a good and thought provoking book is good therapy. This doesn’t have to be any specific genre… just something that speaks to me. Right now I’m enjoying The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. This might be funny to be some people but it’s providing me with the tools I need to remove the clutter from my home as well as my head.
Another book that I reach for is Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I can’t recommend this book enough. No matter how I’m feeling, whether that be sad, lonely, overwhelmed… The words written on these pages are so cathartic. Even other worldly.
Music as well. What a wonderful joy it is to have this amazing tool at our disposal. I can simply “ask Alexa” and she will deliver any and every song I need to hear at that moment. You might be interested to hear that my ultimate song at this moment is Stormzy, ‘Blinded By Your Grace’. If you haven’t heard then get yourself over to Spotify and give it a listen! Thank me later!
Anyway, these are just some thoughts I’ve been having on this Monday morning. Carry on.
The aim of this is not to be preachy or to proclaim that this is how I live my life. It is definitely not. I am what you’d call a “glass is half-empty” kind of gal – but in the most constructive of ways. I’m not a ‘Debbie Downer’ or an overly negative person, but I definitely see myself as being realistic in terms of what I consider to be the outcome of certain situations.
It’s only recently, since I’ve started to work on myself and my “self-care” that I’ve realised, this might not be the best way to look at life, and here’s why.
Not allowing yourself that inner hope and excitement for what may come, is just plain cruel. Yes, its good to be realistic as then your less likely to be disappointed, but letting yourself think that the impossible is sometimes “possible” isn’t a bad thing. It builds confidence. It tells your inner self that “you know what, you can do this… you are worthy of this”.
Just some thoughts I’ve been having recently that I wanted to share. I hope that anybody reading this, if you’re like me and always trying to be level headed and not get carried away, that you cut yourself some slack. Let that dream you have, seem even a little bit more possible. It might encourage you to work a little harder to achieve it, and more importantly it will let you believe that you are worthy of achieving it.
Sitting down at my desk to write this post, and I’m not entirely sure as to how much I’m going to share. I don’t want it to be one of those “woe me” posts but I also don’t want it to be a ridiculously happy and fake one either.
So I’ll just take a swing at it and hope that it all comes out making some kind of sense.
I’ve been an over-emotional person my entire life.
This is no surprise to my friends and family at all, in fact it’s old news.
So when I fell pregnant with my son, I felt every ounce of hormone changes in every possible way. It was a whirlwind of mood swings, over-bearing love and eventually anger at my body for what happened.
It was obviously heightened considerably during my sons hospital stay and it’s had its peaks and troughs throughout this last 2 years.
It’s something that I’ve always dealt with myself and never thought about getting help with. However, known only to close friends and family, it all came to a head a few months ago.
I’ve never been able to control it, but I’ve always found that I’ve been able to cope. This changed when my sons “Autism” symptoms became more and more apparent. I found that instead of crying a couple of times a day at random adverts or songs I’d listen to, that I was flying off the handle and getting aggressively angry at the tiniest of things. I’d be filled with so much anxiety that I didn’t want to leave the house. I felt like everyone was looking at me, judging me… thinking the worst of me. On the rare occasions I did venture out I’d have panic attacks, and if I was without my husband and son it would be even worse. I wouldn’t go so far as to say my thoughts were venturing towards anything dark or that I was a danger to myself, but there were certainly moments where I thought somebody else would do a better job with my son than I could. I felt worthless.
So I got help.
It wasn’t easy to ask for it, but it was necessary and fortunately my doctor was brilliant.
He diagnosed me with Anxiety Disorder and PTSD (this in particular was a result of life in the NICU). He prescribed a small dose of anti-anxiety medication for me and after several months I can say for sure that it has made a world of difference.
I feel much more level headed about life in general and feel like I am capable of facing any problems we have full on and without fear.
This doesn’t mean I’m “cured“. Not at all. In fact, this last fortnight has been a real struggle, but I’m always hopeful that tomorrow will be better.
I’m sharing this because I’ve done my research. Mental Health, even in 2018, is still such a taboo subject. Being told you just have to “get on with it” is such an ignorant and old fashioned way of thinking. We are all built differently, and what works for some doesn’t necessarily work for others.
Being a mum is the most wonderful and rewarding aspect of my life. I mean it wholeheartedly. But it’s hard.
I only have my son to base this on, but he is 100 miles an hour, every waking moment of the day. The only reason I’m able to write this is because he’s playing in his playpen – and by playing I mean he’s throwing all of his toys out of it onto the floor and screaming at me to give them back so he can do it again. Peppa Pig is both a life-saver and a curse. I hate her because she is obnoxious beyond reason, but she gives me half an hour of rest-bite throughout the day to get things done, so she can stay. He hates his playpen with a passion, but if I need it otherwise my trips to the toilet would result in the utter destruction of every precious and breakable item in my home.
I’m not the perfect mum, not by any measure. I have flaws and I struggle like everyone else, but I think it’s about time we were able to admit it without all of the judgement and calls for public flogging.
Just some thoughts I had on this dreary morning. I’m now away to lift my screaming child out of his playpen and watch him in awe while he tears my livingroom apart in 30 seconds.