Frosts Father Christmas

Frosts Garden Centres – Visit to see Father Christmas

We have been coming to Frosts to see Father Christmas for four years now and always get in early to help us get into the festive spirit and to let the children pick some new decorations for the tree. Frosts always put on great seasonal activities for the family and we had already been the month previous for pumpkin carving and the Wizards school.

The booking process is online and very straight forward and I’ve always found the parking to be good. I love how every year something new seems to get added to the display, which always makes it feel fresh and exciting. We really loved the snowman the children could climb into, which make a great picture opportunity and if you are like me and like to get in early, you have the advantage of getting some lovely pictures fit for Christmas cards. The children always love to see the real reindeer’s and Jasmine loved being able to pet one of them.

We headed off to Santa’s grotto and were met with some very welcoming elves who took us in to a beautifully decorated room for sing-song and a few jokes. From there we were led to another room ready to decorate gingerbread men. Tristan loves gingerbread men and loved decorating his and he even managed to sneak a few sweets to keep him going. The elves then lead you in to see Father Christmas one family at a time, which I really appreciated as it make it feel personal and special. As always the Father Christmas you see is very authentic and has the most amazing real bead. He’s very jolly and seemed to really be enjoying himself. The look upon my two children’s faces is priceless and always makes the trip worthwhile. The children were presented with a lovely book and two gifts, which you select in the booking process, which are decent and age appropriate.

After we said goodbye to Father Christmas and the elves and headed out to explore the rest of Frosts and let the children choose some new decorations. The displays in Frosts are stunning and very Instagram worthy. After all the excitement we decided to head to the café and let the children pick some Christmas biscuits and us adults had some large hot chocolates. You really could spend a few hours looking through all the wonderful decorations and displays and we even headed back outside again to say goodbye to the reindeer’s before we headed off home.


Thank you Frosts, you never disappoint and we hope to see you again in the New Year for some more seasonal activities for the children. Visit Frosts Garden Centres website here to look at all the events going on right now.

 

*I was gifted services for this blog post for a review. All opinions are my own. 

 

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frosts garden centre review

Frosts garden centres pumpkin scooping and wizards school

Last week was half term for us and I thought with it being Halloween we should try to get some seasonal fun activities in for the children. We always choose Frosts Garden Centres every year for our trip to see Father Christmas and when booking up for our annual visit I noticed that Frosts had some great Halloween events coming up, which I knew would be a massive hit with the kids.

Unfortunately things didn’t quite go as planned as our youngest Tristan who is three was up the night before being sick, so I had to stay at home whilst my ex husband took our oldest Jasmine to Frosts. Jasmine was very keen to report back on her experience to me and her dad made sure he got some lovely pictures.

Pumpkin Scooping

The first event planned was the pumpkin scooping, which for me is great as it’s not something I enjoy doing at home with the children. I’m not a fan of the smell of pumpkin and always get lumbered doing all the scooping and cutting. This year the adults didn’t need to get involved, unless they wanted to, as Frosts Garden Centres had a great team on hand to assist the children and help them make their pumpkins. The children got to pick their very own pumpkins, they had all the tools they needed to make the perfect pumpkins and it involved no washing up from me (win, win). The children even got a nice cup of witches brew to enjoy after all their hard work. Jasmine’s pumpkin was excellent and I was very happy to notice it came with a battery tea light ready to go straight outside for all our neighbours to enjoy. The whole event was well worth the money and really made it an enjoyable experience for us all. We’ll certainly be coming back again next year, fingers crossed with two germ free children.

 

Wizard School

Jasmine who is six was especially excited for the Wizard school and from what she has reported back to me, it certainly didn’t disappoint. She was extremely keen to show me what she had learnt and the first thing she said when getting in the door when home, was that the professor was a real Wizard, who knew real magic. The Wizard school event is 35 minute experience, which is run by the professor of the wizard school, who will be looking to see if you have the right stuff to make it in the world of Witches and Wizards. Jasmine loved making her chocolate apple and really got involved with the entrainment and songs on offer. The Wizards school had been decorated beautifully and really captured the magic, which tied in beautifully with Halloween. Jasmine is very proud of her achievement and has been quick to tell anyone who will listen about her newly acquired certificate from the Wizards school. I really think Jasmine was the perfect age for this event and with her new found interest in Harry Potter, I am certain It would be something she would love to do again next year.

We are happy to report that Frosts Garden Centres once again went above and beyond to deliver fantastic events for all seasons. It really has become our first choice when looking for seasonal events throughout the year, which are reasonably priced, entertaining and authentic. We can’t wait to see you again soon for Santas Grotto.

 

*I was gifted services for this blog post for a review. All opinions are my own.

 

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Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice Dream Big – Book Tickets Now

I am so excited to hear Disney on Ice is back in the UK and for the first time ever it will be including the fearless Moana and the much loved demigod Maui. Disney on Ice will also include the classic characters of Rapunzel, Elsa & Anna, Olaf, Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Belle and Cinderella. To book tickets and check locations click here. Plus, arrive early to join a special 90th birthday celebration in honour of Walt Disney’s ‘True Original,’ Mickey Mouse.

For us as a family this will be our first visit to see Disney on Ice and we will be going opening night (21st November) at Nottingham, which I think will really kick start us ready for Christmas. For our family Disney and Christmas go hand in hand (you should see our Christmas tree) and we even named our oldest Jasmine (our cats called Gus Gus). My Disney mad family and I will be writing a review on our experience and as my partner is disabled in a wheelchair, it will also be a great opportunity for us to see what the facilities are like for disabled people.

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big will be skating into Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham and London from the 21st September 2018 to 6th January 2019. For the complete list of tour dates, head to www.disneyonice.co.uk

We hope to see you there and keep an eye out for our review.

Disney on Ice

 

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ACCEPTING THE GUILT OF POSTNATAL DEPRESSION

Accepting the guilt of postnatal depression

Guilt is a five letter word I hate and something that has consumed me for 3 long years since I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. I didn’t choose postnatal depression so why do I feel guilty about it and why do I struggle to let it go?

The thing is every mother feels guilt to some extent and we’ve all heard of the phrase ‘mummy guilt’, but the guilt you have from postnatal depression is magnified, it’s like it becomes a core belief and even after the trauma of postnatal depression has gone the guilt can still linger for years after. I’m writing this post as a way to try to heal from my own guilt and hopefully help others, because that is what my blog is to me, it is my ramblings and most importantly it is my therapy.

The most important thing we need to remind ourselves as mum’s is that a perfect mother does not exist, she is a fictional character we may have appeared to see in the flesh or on social media, but the reality is she is faking it and it’s a big lie we are selling to ourselves. We all know now that social media is not real and that we only include the best bits of our life and we all know that we can all appear on a good day to have our shit together, but it is not sustainable for every minute of everyday for anybody. Everyone has their own struggles, own problems and own tears, just some are better at hiding it than others.

Guilt is a destructive emotion and when it sets in, it is hard to hold it back. It causes us to feel inadequate, unworthy and flawed. It can start to define who we are as a person and as a mother. What I have learnt through therapy is that we do need to sit through these emotions, but we do not need to accept them as fact. All emotions serve a purpose however painful they can be. The emotional of guilt for a normal purpose is to remind us we have done something wrong, which makes us fix our mistakes, in the hope we do not make the same mistake again. Guilt can serve as a very helpful emotion to help us re-evaluate ourselves to be better. Guilt through postnatal depression serves no purpose as we are mentally unwell, we have not done anything wrong and there is nothing we can fix, as we didn’t choose this mental illness. The guilt stops us from bonding with our babies and getting the support we need from others around us. All we are doing is punishing ourselves for something we had no control over.

When the postnatal depression has gone how to we get rid of guilt forever? For me something I felt I needed to do was to apologise. I told my baby I was sorry that mummy wasn’t well, I said sorry to my daughter for not being there as I should and I told my now ex husband I was sorry. It was healing, even though I know now I was unwell and I couldn’t have done things differently, I felt better to have apologised. What I did next was I said sorry to myself, I listened and I accepted it.

Once I was able to apologise to myself I realised that the guilt wasn’t just guilt it was a lot to do with regret. I regretted not having those moments with my baby, that instant bond and I was mourning the loss of the time wasted whilst sucked in by postnatal depression. The expectation you had versus the reality was not what was expected and that is something you regretted. Once I realised it was more about regret than guilt it took the need away for punishment. I had successfully changed the emotion to something that was far more easier to process.

My guilt of postnatal depression is regret and is something I am sad about. I am able to forgive myself for this as I do not deserve to be punished for a regret I have. Sadness about the situation is an emotion I can tolerate and something that is easier to manage to move on from.

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What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?

I have had a bit of a blogging break recently whilst I focused on completing my Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and wanted to share with you what I have learnt in the last 10 months. I will run a series over the next few weeks of everything I have learnt.

I would like to add that I have taken part in DBT sessions, but I am not trained and this information is for reference only.  Please contact your GP for medical advice.

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is a therapy designed to help people change patterns of behaviour that are not helpful, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking, and substance abuse and is often used as treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder, which I have. It is a pretty intense therapy and usually it’s done in a group setting, every week, in two hour sessions. 

What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? 

BPD sometimes known as EUPD (emotionally unstable personality disorder)is often seen as untreatable and is arguably one of the most stigmatised mental health disorders. To reach the criteria you need to meet at least five of the following.

  • Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, such as rapidly initiating intimate (physical or emotional) relationships or cutting off communication with someone in anticipation of being abandoned
  • A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
  • Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive and often dangerous behaviours, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating.
  • Self-harming behaviour, such as cutting
  • Recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviours or threats
  • Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
  • Difficulty trusting, which is sometimes accompanied by irrational fear of other people’s intentions
  • Feelings of dissociation, such as feeling cut off from oneself, seeing oneself from outside one’s body, or feelings of unreality

What are the four DBT Modules:

  • Mindfulness – Which for me is the core to everything DBT. Mindfulness exercises bring you back to the present moment and help you refocus. Mindfulness is not all about breathing and you will find you can do many different mindfulness exercises using different senses. Not all will work for you and they do take practise and patience.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness – This is to do with how to interact with others. It teaches you how to go about asking for what you need effectively, also how to say no and how to cope with conflict in relationships. People with BPD often have good interpersonal skills, but are emotional vulnerable and struggle under this pressures to effectively to use these skills naturally.
  • Distress Tolerance – This skill has been something I have had to use many times and it has made my life so much calmer and easier. Unfortunately sometimes we need to find a way to tolerate and accept distress skilfully and this is what this module teaches. Mindfulness plays a big part in this skill and the two go in hand in hand. With certain distresses we need to find the ability to accept in a non-evaluative and non-judgemental way with our self and the current situation. This module teaches how to survive in a crisis and accepting life in the moment. The skills you are taught are distracting, self-soothing, improving the moment, and thinking of pros and cons. Acceptance skills include radical acceptance, turning the mind toward acceptance, and willingness versus wilfulness.
  • Emotional Regulation – With BPD you are emotionally intense and this module teaches you how to regulate your emotions. To do this you learn how to identify and label emotions, identify obstacles to changing emotions, reducing vulnerability, increasing positive emotional events, mindfulness to current emotions, using opposite action and applying distress tolerance.

DBT teaches you how to manage emotions and relieve suffering to stop ending up in crisis. It is long, mentally hard, but also very rewarding therapy. I have made some great friendships within my group therapy and it has changed the way I go about life. MY BPD symptoms are greatly reduced and so is my suffering.

 

 

 

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How to practice self-love

How to practice self-love

When people hear self-love they often think someone is being narcissistic and vain, but this is not true. To love yourself is something extremely powerful and it’s something I am working on right now to improve my mental wellbeing. As humans we often look to other people to show us love and to make us feel fulfilled, which I have found out doesn’t work. We must first love ourselves to feel complete and not search for it from other people. Below are some of the things I have been practicing to self-love.

  • Look in the mirror and appreciate something about your appearance, however small.
  • Take 5 minutes every day to practice mindfulness. For me I like to breath in for 3 seconds and breath out for 5 seconds and just focus on the breathing. It’s extremely relaxing and helps me connect and not be stuck in my own head.
  • Appreciate when you have done something difficult even if it’s just going to work that day.
  • Do what excites you. Find your passion and do it, mine is writing, but I also enjoy drawing and baking.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. You are your own person, you are unique and special and you need to own that.
  • Wake up every day and pay yourself a compliment and mean it. Maybe you did something the day before which was particularly difficult and you handled it well.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you to succeed and also make sure you do the same back to them. My friends are a huge source of encouragement to me and I hope I am back to them.
  • Choose food that nourishes your body. That McDonalds may taste good at the time, but how does it make you feel after?
  • Treat yourself to food that makes you happy. I know I’ve just gone against the above point, but everything in moderation and sometimes a block of chocolate is good for your soul. Eat it mindfully and enjoy it.
  • Remember to pat yourself on the back even if the achievement is only small. Care for your inner child and say well done.
  • Accept your flaws. My body isn’t perfect, but it is mine and it’s grown two humans and nourished them. Loving your body is probably one of the hardest ones, especially for us ladies, but remember how amazing it is and all it’s gone through.
  • Get active. Exercise makes you feel good and there is no excuse not to. I hated the gym and running, but have found a love in team sports, which encourages me to perform and work harder for my team mates.
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone, even if it’s only small steps.
  • Leave toxic relationships. Certain people in my life did seem to project a lot of their own issues on me for a long time. Now I am able to notice it, I don’t let it affect me in the same way it used to.
  • Be forgiving of others, but most of all yourself. Don’t beat yourself up and just forgive and move on. Don’t spend time and energy going over the same thing that is now in the past.
  • Treat everyone you meet in the same way you want to be treated. Be polite, have manners, be kind and remember everyone is having their own struggles in life.
  • Don’t be alone when you need help. If you are struggling, seek out a friend or family to gain some perspective on the situation.
  • Don’t seek approval from others. I tried this for so long and it’s not helpful and constructive in any way. If someone doesn’t approve then it’s their problem not yours.
  • Let go of the past and any trauma. I know from experience this isn’t easy and may require therapy, but believe me it is worth it and so freeing to move on.
  • Shut up that negative voice in your head. I know it won’t go away, but just don’t acknowledge it and let those negative thoughts wash by you.
  • When you are feeling good write down all your best traits, achievements etc and when you are having a less than perfect day reflect back to it.

Self-love takes time and practice and won’t happen over night, be patient with yourself and remember anything worth having takes dedication.

 

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Mummy and daughter bracelet from Kaya Jewellery - Plus giveaway

Mummy and daughter bracelet from KAYA Jewellery – Plus giveaway

I was recently contacted by the lovely people of KAYA Jewellery to review one of their stunning mother and daughter sets. Obviously I couldn’t say no once I looked on their website and knew that Jasmine would be so happy with this sweet keepsake. KAYA Jewellery have generously offered a £40 voucher to my readers, so please have a read through my review and enter the giveaway below. Good luck!

KAYA Jewellery recently launched their UK web store to offer hand engraved, beautiful and timeless jewellery to celebrate the special bonds between mother and child, friends and family.

The set I choose for me and Jasmine is a mother and daughter silver bracelet set. One bracelet has the heart and the other has the key. This seemed perfect for me and Jasmine and she happily agreed with my choice.

Our beautiful set

My parcel was delivered quickly and Jasmine and I were excited to unwrap our parcel. The bracelets came in two beautiful pink satin bags and included two silver polishing cloths. The bracelets are made in the UK, have adjustable extension chains and are great quality.

This is a gift that Jasmine and I will treasure for a long time, it’s perfect for us to wear to any special occasion and is the perfect keepsake to hold on to forever. I think this would be an ideal gift for Mothers Day, Birthdays or Christmas. If you are a father to a daughter I think you could score yourself some major brownie points with this gift this coming Mothers Day.

Something that also touched me about KAYA Jewellery is that with every sale they also give back a part of their profit to the Eduki Foundation, a charity whose goal is to help underprivileged children in Gambia to get an education.

Have a look at the beautiful range of mother and daughter jewellery here from KAYA Jewellery and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a £40 voucher to spend at KAYA Jewellery.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kayajewelleryuk

Twitter https://twitter.com/AdolsonSara

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Pinterest https://uk.pinterest.com/KayaJewellery/

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Competition open to UK residents only

 

***I was gifted this product to review from KAYA Jewellery. All opinions are of my own***

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The day I tried to end it all

The day I tried to end it all

On the 7th of February last year I tried to end it all. I woke up in a hospital bed with a drip in my arm and wires across my body. I had no idea where I was, how I had got there and I didn’t understand what was going on. The day before I had sent my now ex husband out, as I needed some peace and promised him I wouldn’t do anything stupid. I had lied to him and for the first time in weeks I was emotionless, I felt no fear, no guilt and no sadness. Today was the day I wouldn’t have to feel anymore. I didn’t think of the consequences of my actions and just saw it as the only way out. I was fed up of fighting PND (postnatal depression) anymore and felt like I had lost any type of control I had over it. It was a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but I couldn’t see that at the time.

That day whilst under the crisis team care I went into hospital to see my doctor who decided after two weeks they would discharge me. I told them I still felt suicidal and I was scared to be discharged without any other support. Just that conversation sent me into a downward spiral and I felt hopeless even though they said they would see me again in three days. I went home to end it and took as many lorazepam I had (about 10mg), coupled up with a handful of quetiapine (antipsychotics) and zopiclone (sleeping tablets), which I washed down with whiskey. I don’t even enjoy the taste of whiskey, but it was the strongest alcohol in the house. I sat back and let the feeling of calm wash over me, whilst I slipped in and out of consciousness, finally at peace.

What happened next I don’t really know, but this is what I was told afterwards. An old school friend had been checking in with me by messaging me on and off. I didn’t make a huge amount of sense so she contacted my sister and a well fair check was arranged. My husband returned home with the kids and around the same time someone from the crisis team and also a police officer took me to hospital.

The next morning when I had realised what had actually happened the feeling of guilt was horrendous. Knowing my children had seen me in such a state and that I had lied to my husband was terrible. I knew from that moment that I needed to fight, my children didn’t deserve this and if I kept going like this, I would lose them one way or another. I would either be sectioned, dead or I would lose my children and all would take me away from the children I love so much.

I was taken in to talk to someone from the crisis team and told that if I was sectioned that I would never get better. As I have BPD (borderline personality disorder) the worse thing for me, would to be sectioned, they gave me the choice, but I declined. 40% of all inpatient have BPD and once you’re in, its hard to ever get out, as this condition is untreatable with medication and the only way to over come it is to complete DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy).

I started DBT quickly after, but I found it impossible to attend as I couldn’t get help with childcare and had to quit. Eventually once my marriage broke down and I started to get help again I was able to start DBT. I am now 5 months in and it has changed my life. It’s changed the way I deal with my emotions, given me inner peace and helped me regulate when I go into crisis. Things still haven’t been perfect and I still struggle, but I am always making progress. To see where I was a year ago and how I am today, I am proud. I am a better person, I am happier and I’m back to being the mother I want to be. I know that as a single parent that I need to get better as I could lose my children if I don’t and that is my driving force behind my progress.

I share my story in hope that it helps other people going through the same struggles. Admitting you feel suicidal does not mean your children will be taken away from you. I know this was my biggest fears, but social services were actually pretty helpful to me and arranged extra support I needed.  If you need support ask for it, call Samaritans, contact PANDAS, text a friend. Please don’t suffer alone as it’s too much to take on by yourself and it needs to be shared. This does not make you weak, but actually incredibly strong. Life can change so much in a year and I am proof of it. Keep fighting, you’ve got this.

Progress is key.

Samaritans

PANDAS

 

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The strongest mum – Book review

I was recently approached by Macmillan Children’s Books to review a new book called The Strongest Mum By Nicola Kent. Book reviews aren’t my usual thing, but after reading the press release, the story really struck a chord with me.

As I have well documented in my blog, I have struggled with mental health problems, which really amplified after the birth of my second child. With having an older daughter and trying to explain postnatal depression to her in an understanding way, which wouldn’t scare her, I have found this book extremely helpful to get onto the subject.

The story is about a little bear and his mum who is the ‘Strongest Mum In The World’. To little bear his mum seems invincible and he keeps giving her more, and more things to carry and they both realise she can only hold so much and that he also needs to help. This story is a gentle reminded to children to be kind to your parents as everyone has their limit and that it’s good to be helpful and also reminds us as parents that we can only take on so much and we need to be mindful of our mental wellbeing.

Jasmines Thoughts

I have been reading this to my Jasmine who is five and half and the message has come across easily to her. She told me what she liked most about the story was the picture of mum’s handbag with ‘millions’ of things in it as it’s just like mummy’s bag. Jasmine loved the colourful pictures and really enjoyed all the different animals in the book. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been making an effort to help each other out around the house and Jasmine is now helping with tidying up time and also the dishwasher.

This story doesn’t just depict the struggles of mental health, but also the daily struggles as a parent and taking on far too much, which I think every parent can relate too.

The Strongest Mum is available to purchase from the 8th February 2018. Click here to order.

The Strongest Mum
Jasmine approves

About the Author 

Nicola Kent graduated from the prestigious Cambridge School of Art MA with a distinction and was Highly Commended in the Macmillan Prize for Illustration in 2016. She worked for ten years as a television producer at the BBC and Channel 4 before following her dream of becoming an author and illustrator of children’s books. Nicola lives in London with her partner and two children.

The Strongest Mum

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A marriage over and new chapter

A marriage over and new chapter

Writing about how I feel and be honest is something I have found incredibly difficult since my marriage ended in the summer. I feel like I lost my voice and I needed some privacy, whilst I sorted my own head and feelings, but as time has gone by, things have moved forward, emotionally I have found it difficult not having an outlet. I know I need to write for my own sanity, but having the pressure of coming up with content, that reflects me in my current state, that is honest and true to my blog has felt like a massive burden that I have put off. Today I have decided that I need to take the plunge, stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and do something that I love for myself again.

I don’t want to go into too many details, but since my marriage broke down, the months that followed have been the hardest of my life, but also some of the best too. I know I made the decision for the right reason and although painful, it was inevitable. For me my marriage had been over since my suicide attempt at the end of January, but it took months of discovery to finally realise that it was un-fixable and for my own mental wellbeing I needed to end things. Once you fall out of love with someone I don’t think it is possible to ever get it back. I still have the so much respect for my ex husband and think he’s a wonderful father to our children.

A marriage breakdown is incredibly hard and co-parenting children is its own battlefield. With the best intentions of keeping things amicable it’s not been easy for either of us at times and we have pushed each other to the limits. I hope now that we do keep moving forward and keep things amicable for our beautiful children, that we will always share together.

Another big thing to happen in the last few months is to date again, which with two children comes with its own challenges. The right time to date again after a relationship breaks down is different for everyone and I am the first to admit I did move on quickly, but like I have said before I had fallen out of love and hoped to just get back out their and date again. I haven’t dated since I was 20 and I would quickly get bored and move on, but I also found it lots of fun meeting new people and going out for drinks and meals. I took the plunge and went on a date with a guy who I had been messaging and it really was the best thing to happen to me last year. I have met someone who adores me and my children and makes me want to better myself. I now feel like I have a team-mate and someone I can be honest with and doesn’t judge me.

I am well aware for anyone to have a relationship with me isn’t always easy (hats off to my ex for dealing with me at my rock bottom, I do give credit when due), so to find someone who is accepting and wants to understand me better is rare and beautiful. I have borderline personality disorder (also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder), so as a person in a relationship I know I can be pretty draining at times and hard to understand (romantically and also in friendships). My emotions at times can be all over the place, but with the help of DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) things are far easier to manage than before. I have DBT as a group therapy for two hours a week, which involves lots of homework. I am learning new skills that I am now able to put into practice and although not easy, it is so rewarding being able to see how far I have come in such a short space of time. I still have months ahead of DBT to complete, but I am hoping it’s something I can stick with and I can change for the positive.

Since November I have been getting extra support from the childrens centre and also the health visitor, who have been able to help find me resources and advice that I have needed for the various things going on in my life. I was visited today and after a crappy couple of weeks I was feeling on the teary side, but thinking back now to the conversations we had I think I should be pretty proud of myself. I was reminded constantly today of the various things I have done for myself and children to make our life easier, the extra support I have asked for and my proactive attitude I have had. The problems I have had I have actually managed to fix myself with little help. I have not only been meeting my childrens basic needs, but I have also been meeting their emotional needs. My children are given cuddles, read to, played with and reassured, which may seem small, but those selfless actions help shape them and make them feel secure. I was today reminded of something that I often forget, that despite everything else I am a really good mother to my children and they are loved.

Reflecting back on these last few months I have grown so much and managed to go through an incredible hard things, yet stay positive for the most part. Things are far from perfect and I am forever battling with myself, but I know I am getting things right and I am progressing and learning on the way. I am going to keep writing for me and doing something that I love. I am doing the best I can and that is ok. Leaving 2017 I do have regrets for how I handled certain things and people I upset, but for my own wellbeing I can’t keep dwelling and I just have to accept, learn and now move on to a better 2018.

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