Funding mental health with open eyes

I am so glad to see the news today that Theresa May is planning to invest millions into helping fund mental health care in England. This a great step in the right direction for mental health to be taken seriously like any other physical condition. They have said every secondary school will receive mental health first aid training, which I thing is such a positive thing. 1 in 4 people suffer with a mental illness and many mental illnesses start through teenage years.

Looking back at my teenage years it is now quiet clear to me that I had mental health issues, but I was completely clueless on how to deal with them and often suffered with depression. I remember listening to someone say that once you were on antidepressants that you would be on them for the rest of your life, so I felt to scared to even ask the doctor about them. I suffered with terrible PMS right until I started antidepressants, I would have fits of rage, breaking things, hitting and the followed by feelings of shame for not being able to control my emotions. I would feel fine one minuet then it was like I was possessed and I wasn’t able to contain my emotions. If I knew what I knew now I would have started taking antidepressants to help with this alone as since starting them I am so much more relaxed and no longer get angry about silly things

For anyone following my story they will know after battling postnatal depression for 18 months I had a breakdown and ended up under the crisis team care. Since I was discharged back in November I have had no other contact besides a ten minuet phone conversation with someone from the Iapt team. I am still waiting on a priority list to see someone and have been prescribed antipsychotics and benzodiazepines to take when needed. I have kept myself positive and have used support groups on Facebook and called Samaritans when I have needed extra support. I find it quiet shocking that someone can be left with no care for so long who was previously suicidal and self-harming.

Since I accepted I have postnatal depression when Mr T was 5 months old and let go of the initial guilt, I have now stopped worrying what other people think about me and I am doing everything I can to help lift the stigma around mental health. I could hide what I went through, but for whose benefit besides the people who find it uncomfortable to talk about it or the ones who do not believe it is a real thing.

Mental illness sucks not just for someone going through it, but for the family and friends who have to support you through it. Everyone can probably relate to it or knows someone who has dealt with it and the more we are open about it, the more we can help each other. I hope the Prime Ministers new plans to invest millions into mental health will help lift the stigma around metal illness so we can progress in this ever challenging world.

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New year and a new start

A New Year and a new start

Just a few days left until I can say goodbye to 2016 and roll on 2017. 2016 has been so horrid for so many people I know and so many people I don’t. I do have some great memories, but unfortunately everything has been clouded in between. This year I did get to go on one of my best friends amazing Hen Party in Cambridge, then her fabulous wedding where I was a bridesmaid. I also got to go on two holidays and a few days break in England. I saw Miss J grow up and leave me to go to school for the first time and have subsequently watched her blossom and grow with confidence. I do unfortunately have many unhappy memories especially a particularly dark time in October, when I had a break down.

Mr T turned 1 this year.

This year my confidence and self-esteem have been shattered and I have doubted myself as a parent and a wife. Postnatal depression brought me to my knees and caused me so much suffering, that I’m sure will have a lasting impact to me for years. Anxiety had ruined my day to day life and the depression had made me doubt everything I thought I knew about myself. I have been a pretty crappy mother and only met my children’s basic needs for much of year, consumed with my own battle.

In Cambridge at one of my best buddies hen party.

I found my blog this year in September and found my own little space that was just for me. I have my own website where I can write whatever my heart desires. I read back through old blog posts and can see progress and I can make sense of my feelings whilst typing them out. Blogging has been my saviour in a world where I had no time for me anymore.

My favourite family picture of the year when I was a bridesmaid.

I know I can leave this year and hold my head high knowing I did the best I could in the situation I was in. I have let go of guilt, excepted that things don’t need to be perfect and that it is ok to not be ok. I have got my confidence back and I have learnt so much about myself in this year. I have always sought approval and still do to some extent, but I have also learnt that I need to love and look after myself before worrying about others opinions.

I am not one for resolutions, but this past year has changed me so much that I am willing to try new things. I plan to get fit, not lose weight, not starve, I mean get fit and lose inches and gain confidence. I will not being standing anywhere near my scales and will be committing to the gym. By getting fit I also mean mentally, I will be going for counselling, investing time into my self and caring about my wellbeing.

2017 I am ready for what you have to offer and ready to fight for my happiness. I will leave this post with a quote from the amazing late Carrie Fisher, who sums it up all so well.

I don’t feel particularly messed up. I’ve always been quite sane about being insane. Carrie Fisher 21/10/56 – 27/12/16

 

 

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Loving myself and happiness that I deserve

Something that I’ve really struggled with all my teenage and adult life is loving myself. I have always had a low opinion of my self and lacked confidence, but with postnatal-depression my self-esteem really took a bash. Not only did I not like the person I was, I was also doubting myself as a mother and how good of a parent I actually was. I am currently trying to build my self-esteem and confidence to become the person I want to be. It’s all about believing and knowing what you deserve and I know I deserve happiness. I know some days will be hard and some days I will struggle to believe in myself, but it’s all about picking yourself back up and not letting those feelings linger and not letting them work their way in so you believe them.

I’m finally feeling well enough to enjoy parenting again and am able to appreciate my children. I can now feel emotions of love and happiness and not just pain and sadness. My children are my main focus through this and I need to get better for them not just myself. I need to love myself so they can grow up knowing how to love themselves. I need to be the role model my children deserve and the support for them when they need encouragement.

I am taking this time to focus on myself and putting my needs first. I am no longer doing things just to make others happy. I am looking after myself, I am taking the time for long baths in peace so I can unwind and relax after a day, going to the gym so I can feel healthier and doing something for myself, writing my blog as its therapeutic and puts things in perspective, taking time to do my make up and hair so I can feel more like me and occasionally treating myself to something I want and not just need. I have dedicated 18 months of the last five years growing humans and 2 1/2 years breastfeeding them and it’s my turn to be a little selfish and start focusing on myself. I have given everything I have to my children and can no longer give as much, unless I start looking after myself. I am Michelle and not just mum and need to focus on what makes me happy from time to time.

These last 18 months have been extremely hard on myself, but they have also been enlightening. I have learnt so much about myself and why I am, the way I am and what makes me act in certain ways. I know I will never been perfect and I am letting go unrealistic expectations and starting my life as a new blank page. I am fortunate that I feel love everyday from the family that I have helped create and I am rich in so many ways besides wealth. Life is good and my happiness is reachable.

 

 

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Blogging – my therapy

I feel like in these short 8 weeks I have achieved more than I have since leaving school. Not only has this blog been my therapy it has been my salvation. I started this blog to purely write down how I felt about things and after some encouragement from friends I decided to make it public. Just two months ago my self-esteem was at its lowest it had ever been. I was still battling PND, anxiety and my confidence was rock bottom. I’ve not been magically cured over night, but I feel so much better in myself and can now see light at the end of the tunnel.

Since I can remember I’ve always had a habit of starting something, but when things get too hard I throw it all in, but for the first time in my adult life I have done something that I have loved and carried on past the first hurdle. I believe I still have so much more I can do with this blog and plan to keep going as long as I have an audience.

Two weeks ago I faced my biggest challenge and decided to go from my wordpress.com blogging platform and become self-hosted, I used https://www.tsohost.com/ who have been amazingly supportive and helpful. I was out of my depth completely and spent many an hour googling and reading eBooks on how to achieve what I had in mind. I have had to learn about widgets, plugins and SEO’s and if I’m honest I’m still not sure, but I am enjoying learning.

I have made something that is my own, my own little space in cyber space where I can write about anything I like. I love that I can do something for just me and have time out from just being mum, even if my biggest inspiration and topic is about being mum. When my head is filled with ideas on what to write and I am desperate to get them typed out, I feel like a child again writing a story where I am excited to find out how it will end. Having a creative outlet is so fulfilling and rewarding and something I recommend.  I don’t know what’s next for me, but in this moment in time I’m enjoying the ride and plan to carry on. I want to thank my friends for their words of encouragement, new blogger friends for their advice, followers for comments and re-shares. I appreciate you all and giving me a massive confidence boost when I’ve needed it most. Thank you.

 

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