I am a self confessed over thinker! I literally cannot stop my brain once it gets going. Sometimes I don’t mind too much as it enables me to get answers others can’t but unfortunately majority of the time it’s a nightmare.
Living with anorexia is hell! It’s hell because of the obvious, starving yourself, calorie counting, obsessiveness, over exercising, laxatives, diet pills but also because there is still so much stigma and misunderstanding around it. Yes that’s right there is still stigma there! Despite many people telling me there is no stigma – there is.
Going from a size 8 to a size 12/14 when I was pregnant, was so hard the second time around because I was so aware that I wasn’t just going to pop back down to size. I was so anxious as my bump (and everything else) grew. Learning to accept my body changing was so hard, clothes not fitting me was hell! I would get incredibly anxious at just opening the wardrobe.
Anorexia is also incredibly lonely. I will pretend that all is well and that I am ok but actually inside a storm is tearing through me. My plans and rules for the week are whizzing around my head, leaving me preoccupied and forgetful. I’m planning how I will avoid foods. How will I fit in more exercise. How many diet pills and laxatives I can take. Doing this kind of planning makes me feel in control and makes me feel safe.
It’s a strange thing being open and honest with everyone about your struggles.
Especially when those struggles are something that still hold a lot of stigma – like mental health. It’s strange, anxiety provoking, overwhelming and sometimes scary!
So why do I share my mental health story?
Because it can also be so so rewarding!
So it’s been 6 weeks since I’ve posted a blog post. But I am back from a mental health break.
It’s felt strange not posting but I know why I took a break – I had to really. It wasn’t something that I thought a lot about, it was, unfortunately something I didn’t have a choice over. I had become so stressed. I was overwhelmed, depressed and anxious. At it’s worst I hit rock bottom. The black clouds had descended over me and I really felt empty and numb and that is the scariest place for me to be.
Being positive when dealing with depression is hard. Near impossible at times, believe me I know. But trying to pick out a small bit of of positivity in the sea of black can be so helpful and lead to more positivity and openness to recovery.
I can understand that reading this some people will be all for it but others might well be telling me to do one! I get it. I am, majority of the time a positive person. I always try to turn negative situations on their head. I try to find a positive reason or solution to problems, I’m a glass half full type of person, even with my depression. However, when my depression and other mental illnesses start to become heavier, when they are weighing me down and turning the world black, I too find it almost impossible to think of anything positive at all. Even the positive things people might point out to me I will turn negative and find a reason why I don’t deserve them.
BPD (borderline personality disorder) is still one of the most stigmatised mental illnesses. It is a difficult diagnosis which can also be difficult to treat given that we are on the border of being one thing or another. BPD and decision making is today’s post because I’ve come to notice, especially recently, how much it effects my life every single day!
I know that the ‘typical’ BPD person will be quick to make decisions. Making impulsive or even dangerous decisions at the drop of a hat. I do definitely do this and it is absolutely one of the things I hate most about the illness but also I began to notice my inability to make decisions. It’s one thing that drives my husband mad!
Being bullied is a truly awful thing to experience. Whether it’s physical, mental or emotional, all are damaging. Bullying and it’s effect on mental health is me talking about my experience and it’s effect on me. I completely understand that other people will have different experiences but as always, I will be open and give my honest opinion and accounts.
I have unfortunately be subjected to all kinds of bullying. From physical violence to mental abuse. This from adults and children throughout my childhood and teenage years. My life has been full of people trying to break me, and to some extent they did. I am still stuck with the memories, the feelings, the emotions, the fear and self hatred that those people instilled on me.
Bullying doesn’t end the moment the bully stops or when they move away. It haunts you. It consumes you. It stays with you every single day until you become the bully. Bullying yourself everyday into believing you deserved what they did. Believing the nasty things they called you. It’s relentless.
A bit of a funny one this. But it is a sincere one. Thank you school run mums!
I wanted to write a post on this a few months ago but for whatever reason I never got round to it. Now that the school holidays are over and the kids are back at school again it seems like the perfect time!
Whether you suffer mental health issues or not the school run can be daunting.
Are the mums going to be cliquey? Will they ignore me and stop talking when I turn up? Will we never be invited to anything?
But I have been so lucky. Every single mum – and dad for that matter – have without exception be so lovely. I’ve never been made to feel uncomfortable or left out at all. In fact, quite the opposite.
I have suffered with PND (post natal depression) with both of my sons. Much more severely with my first son but it has still been present this time around. My son is now 8 months old and I am only just coming through my PND, with the help of medication and some amazing friends and family. These friends and family members are awesome but in the main part they didn’t know, at first what to do. They didn’t know what to say or what to do so that led me to this blog; How to help someone with PND.
PND effects women very differently. The way PND effects me enables me to look after my sons and their needs. I am able to look after my husband and keep a household running but I will completely neglect myself. I feel like I don’t deserve the time and effort I put into everyone and everything else. If there is a small window of time I will almost always fill it with something to do with housework or my sons or husband.
Exhausting doesn’t come close.
Now that the holidays are a distant memory I am able to take a step back and really consider the school summer holidays and their effect on my mental health.
If I am being totally honest I struggled with my mental health almost the entire duration of the school summer holidays. And although it pains and upsets me to admit it, I really didn’t enjoy them this year. I didn’t anticipate how difficult it was going to be with a 5 and half year old and a 7 month old baby. The age gap made it near impossible to do anything that they both enjoyed.
Most of my days were filled with guilt. I felt guilty for not spending enough time with H, it was his summer holidays, his break and it was filled with me saying “We can’t do this or play that because I need to look after your brother.” Then there was guilt for not spending enough time with T. It felt like more often than not he got sat on the living room floor surrounded by toys or left in the pram for the day if we did venture out.
I felt guilty that the house was a complete mess and that I rarely managed to cook proper meals. I couldn’t write and blog as I was feeling so overwhelmed by everything, not a moment to myself and just wracked with guilt!
I spent most of my days desperately trying to split my time fairly between the boys. T had pretty regular naps so my morning would be playing with him and H, only, not doing anything that H wanted! Then as soon as T went up for his nap it would be this manic rush trying to cram as much time in with H doing what he wanted to do. This would repeat during the day until the mad dinner time rush and I would only get a minute to breath when my husband arrived home at 6pm!
I still look back and feel like a crap mummy for this years rubbish summer holidays but having spoken to a few friends I have realised I am not the only one who has struggled. A few mums have said that they really struggled keeping children entertained for the 6/7 weeks even without the age gap!
I think there is so much pressure on parents to have the most amazing summer holidays, filled with breaks away, days out and lots of activities. But the reality is that this is not really possible! Firstly, it’s bloody expensive and two it’s mentally exhausting!
Having come to the start of the new school year and thinking about the school summer holidays and their effect on my mental health makes me realise what incredible pressure we all put on ourselves! I made myself so poorly by trying to do everything and provide what I believed was the perfect summer holidays! Obviously I couldn’t sustain it and started to struggle.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I hated every moment. I did enjoy a lot of our days together, we had play dates with friends, saw family and chilled out together. Plus we did have an awesome last week of the holidays as my husband had the week off and we had several amazing days out. Also, with my husband off I was able to take a few moments to myself here and there which really eased the pressure.
Since H has returned to school I’ve realised how much I crave routine. It seems to stop my anxiety reaching the crazy levels that it did and in fact I think it helps us all.
My mental health has improved dramatically this past week. I have caught up on housework, I am writing, working and functioning so much better overall. My mood has lifted and it feels like the sun has come out again. I can see my purpose, I am excited about things and enjoying time with my husband and my boys.
I am sure you’ve seen that post floating around on social media about there only being 18 summer holidays in your child’s life so you need to make the most of them! As if there’s not enough pressure!
I am going to equip myself so much better next year and try to not beat myself up too much about not doing everything that I want to. There’s no such thing as perfect!
I know my boys are not bothered at all about this years holidays at all so why should I be?!
If you do ever find yourself in a position where you are struggling Mind are a fantastic charity that can help. Click here to get in touch.
Try and enjoy everyday. Worrying only steals today’s joy.
Lots of love,