Now reading this title – “Why can’t I just be normal?” – there are sure to be some people who will no doubt be responding;
“There is no such thing as normal!”
“What is normal anyway?”
Which is fine. Ok, I get that but there will also be people who understand exactly what I am talking about and maybe even say it to themselves.
Living with mental health issues is hard, really hard but being being friends with someone who has mental health issues can also be tough.
I have lost many friends over the years because of my mental illnesses but I have gained some fantastic ones too. I think, looking back, the reason these friends left my life is down to lack of understanding. Me not truly understanding what was ‘wrong’ with me but also those friends couldn’t understand why I would do the things that I was doing, why I would overreact etc. They never mentioned it or asked me about it. I have learnt not to dwell on this and that some people are just not meant to be in your life – it was just not meant to be.
Those of you that follow my blog will probably know that I am diagnosed with anorexia. I have lived with it most of my life despite only being officially diagnosed 4 years ago.
I am pregnant right now and actually I am still suffering. I am not restricting food or putting myself through any periods of starvation because I don’t want to harm my baby in anyway. However, I can feel anorexia still there in the background waiting like a coiled spring to leap back into action once I have had my baby. The point I am trying to make is that eating disorders – along with all mental health issues never leave you. They may lie dormant, sitting quietly in the background for weeks, months or years at a time, but they remain with you for your entire life.
I am currently 23 weeks pregnant – wow where of earth has that gone?!
I must admit I completely underestimated how different being pregnant the second time around would be. Running around after my 4 year old son who doesn’t understand the concept of “Lets sit down quietly for 5 minutes” for the last 7 weeks of the summer holidays has been tough!
You may have already seen on my other social media channels but I wanted to share with you my very exciting news …..
We are having another boy!
Mental illnesses effects your mind, of course, we all know that but it doesn’t just leave you feeling down, sad or low in mood, it can also effect your concentration and your memory. This can leave you feeling worse and that you are a failure or can’t cope with simple day to day things. I know this is true for me.
I have written before about pregnancy, pre and post pregnancy with my son and my current journey at the moment. I have been honest about how I am coping and how it is ok not to love every single second of being pregnant – and I still stand by that!
But sometimes in pregnancy you really do fancy a glass of wine or bubbles or like me are a total caffeine addict who can’t function without at least 6 cups of tea or coffee! Without your favourite things you do start to feel a bit fed up at times – I believe it’s totally OK to say this too!
When things start to get busy or life gets tough self care seems to be the first thing to go. I’ve written this post, 25 self care ideas I have used, to hopefully help with that.
Self care for me was always seen as self indulgent and selfish. Why would I think it’s ok for me to relax or have some ‘me’ time if there are jobs to be done?!
Something about it just didn’t sit right with me and I do still struggle at times now. If I had the choice of working, doing housework or helping someone else vs self care, I would almost always chose to work.
Over the past few years I have been to hell and back and really have hit (and lived at) rock bottom. Self care is something I have had to learn – albeit very slowly – is an absolute necessity!
I really like the quote “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Which is so true. How can you expect to keep on giving and giving if you have nothing left in you!? You need time to recharge.
I have high functioning depression and I have suffered with mental health issues most of my life. But when I finally gained the confidence to begin talking about it and telling others I had it, I was more often than not met with comments such as
“Wow I would never have known!”
This is part of the difficulty for people living with high functioning depression and often why they are not believed or misunderstood.
Suicide has been in the media a lot over the past few years, particularly very recently with some amazing, talented, seemingly ‘happy’ celebrities taking their own lives. But suicide is still hugely misunderstood.