When Women Support Each Other, Incredible Things Happen…

“When women support each other, incredible things happen.”
This quote popped up in my newsfeed this week and it inspired me to write this. Being a mother in this day and age is difficult – not only because being a wife and mother is difficult (sometimes) to begin with, but also because we have so much pressure put on us by social media. Whether it be influencers telling us how to raise our kids or what we are doing wrong or ‘experts’ telling us we should hug our kids more one week, then telling us to let them cry it out the next. On top of that we have Mum’s in the comment section of every ‘Mummy page’ tearing each other apart for their choices. It’s not just mothers either, it seems to be in every niche or hobby women seem to feel the need to tear each other down. Whether it be with fitness and eating healthy, to how someone looks or does their makeup, to what clothes they wear and what they choose to spend their money on. Why do we as women feel the need to constantly compete and tear each other down? Why can’t we be happy enough within ourselves to be able to live our lives how we want to live them without telling others who live theirs differently that they are wrong?
Recently I was watching one of my favourite YouTubers, Samantha from Batalash Beauty on periscope and she made a fantastic point about the fact that YouTubers, beauty bloggers and Instagram ‘stars’ constantly receive comments that all have the same theme; ‘She’s really pretty BUT…’ Or ‘She looks awesome BUT…’ Or ‘She’d be prettier if she…’ What follows on from those statements varies with things like ‘she needs to lose weight’, ‘that hair colour doesn’t suit her’, ‘her nose is too big’. The theme with all of these comments is the authors of them are already admitting that they like the person/thinks she’s pretty etc but feel like they can’t make a straight out nice comment like that without the need to add something negative to the end of it. 
Why is it that in this day and age we feel so threatened by others’ success/beauty/whatever it may be that we can’t give somebody a compliment without adding something rude or negative? The problem these days is that we are constantly flooded with images on social media of people who seem to be ‘perfect’. Whether it be on Insta, Snapchat, YouTube or Facebook, most of us follow successful people on one platform or another. Now, depending on the sort of person you are and how you view your self worth, you will either be inspired by greatness or knocked down by it. I know first hand that when you don’t have confidence/have low self esteem and don’t *cringe* love yourself (I know how cheesy that sounds but it’s true) it’s easy to feel jealous of other people’s success. But what I have learned and what you need to remember is that you don’t see anyone else’s whole lives, you don’t see their family troubles or the struggles they went through to get where they are today. You don’t know that they aren’t as confident as they seem. Everyone has flaws, but is how you view them that makes a person. If you look at yourself and point out everything that is wrong with you; maybe you have stretch marks from having Bub, maybe you have freckles that you don’t like or maybe you have an incredibly crooked nose (like myself), you won’t ever be happy. I have always been someone who lacks confidence and struggles with self-esteem and self image. I have anxiety because I’m scared of people judging me. However, I am learning to overcome those issues and forget about what I can’t change. I’m starting to focus on only the good things and what I like about myself. When we start seeing ourselves how our loved ones see us, we realise what incredible women we are. When we love ourselves, we appreciate others more and are confident enough within ourselves not to become jealous of others. I have never been one to comment nasty things on people’s photos/videos etc because I’ve always been one of those people who looks at things like ‘if i wouldn’t like it if someone said/did that to me, then I won’t do it to them.’ So although I have been jealous at times, I’ve never expressed it in a nasty way. 
Nobody became successful by being nasty to others and even if they did, would they really be happy? Chances are probably not. Learn to love yourself and you will be a much happier person all around. Ignore the flaws you can’t change and work to change the things you can. What also makes a big difference is who you follow on social media. If you’re following someone who constantly makes videos/writes blogs or shares photos that you don’t relate to or offend you, don’t follow them anymore. Even if some of the things they post are good/encouraging, there’s no point following someone who shares something that really upsets you. Follow people that you feel you either relate to or can be inspired by and cut out the rest. You will be a lot happier by doing so! You’d be surprised how much of what other people post can influence your mood and change how you feel about yourself. 
Finally, if you are inspired by somebody, appreciate their posts/pictures/videos or just genuinely really like them, tell them! You’d be surprised how far one nice comment goes. Like the quote says, ‘When women support each other, incredible things happen.’
Love yourself. Be kind to yourself & be kind to others.
Kimberly xo

R U OK? Signs of Post Natal Depression & How You Can Help

Hello my lovelies!

Many of you will know that today, 10th September is R U Okay? Day in Australia. This is a day where people are encouraged to ask family members, friends and even strangers, are you okay? Three simple words could change someone’s life. I encourage you to ask at least one person today if they are okay, even if you don’t think you know anyone struggling, still ask. As someone who suffers from anxiety and PND I know that you can hide it extremely well from mostly everyone. Someone who may appear fine could be struggling internally and desperate for someone to show that they care. As a follow on from my blog post last week where I shared My story with Post Natal Depression, I thought I would share the signs of PND, some possible causes and some ways you can help if you suspect someone you love is struggling with PND.

Did you know that 1800 parents are diagnosed with post natal depression every single week? That’s almost 100,000 people a year; this includes 1 in 7 new mothers and 1 in 20 new fathers in Australia alone. Keep in mind that this only includes people that seek help; this doesn’t include those who are too scared to ask for help. Which is why it is so important to ensure you offer support if you suspect someone you know is suffering from Post Natal Depression. I have listed some of the most common signs to look out for;

  • Change in appetite
  • Crying for no reason OR feeling like you want to cry but cant
  • Feeling overwhelmed or like you can’t cope
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Frequent Negative thoughts
  • Fear of being left alone OR withdrawing from friends and family
  • Memory difficulties
  • Feeling guilty or like you aren’t good enough
  • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Feeling miserable

Not everyone will have every single symptom on this list. For example, I was extremely irritable, anxious, feeling guilty and miserable and often crying for no reason; however my appetite didn’t change, I didn’t feel exhausted and I didn’t have a fear of being left alone, nor did I have memory difficulties. Now obviously a lot of these symptoms you wouldn’t pick up on in someone else unless they told you but there’s a few signs that you may notice such as irritability – they might be snapping or getting worked up over little things, being withdrawn – maybe they don’t answer your calls or they keep declining to go for coffee etc. and they might seem to be more negative than usual. If you notice these symptoms in someone you care about, I suggest sitting down and very gently approaching the subject. Ask them straight out, “Are you okay?” I honestly feel like that is the most direct, yet gentle way to ask the question. If they admit they are struggling, here are a few ways you can help;

  • Suggest they see their GP to discuss treatment options – such as seeing a psychologist or medication if required
  • Offer to take care of the baby so that Mum can have a break
  • Encourage Mum to have a long bath and/or take a nap while you watch bub
  • Encourage her to go for a walk and offer to go with her and push the pram for her if she doesn’t want to go by herself – sometimes some fresh air and gentle exercise can make the world of difference
  • Offer to help tidy up/do washing/dishes/cooking or even do the grocery shopping – especially if she is suffering with anxiety as this can make it extremely difficult to leave the house. Even offer to just come along with her while she does the groceries so she has the extra support there if she were to become anxious.
  • Try to be there for her as much as possible and remind her that you are there – it can make such a difference just knowing you have someone you can confide in when you are really struggling

While it isn’t exactly known why some women develop PND and others don’t, there are a few factors that contribute to it such as the following;

  • Previous mental health issues
  • Lack of support from family/friends
  • Difficulties with money, housing and/or work
  • A difficult or traumatic delivery and/or health problems with yourself after delivery
  • Having a baby who is born prematurely or unwell

If you know someone who is dealing with any of the above issues, even if they seem fine, ask them if they are okay. It won’t hurt and could actually save their life.

Hopefully you can take something away from this blog and feel like you are more aware of the signs of PND.

Please remember you are ALWAYS more than welcome to send me a message on Facebook if you need support or just for a chat.

Love,

Kimberly Xo

 

Post-Natal Depression ~ My Story

 

Hello my lovelies! Today I have decided to write a different kind of blog. I have been going back and forth contemplating whether to write this for quite a while now. Many of you know if you’ve read my previous blogs that I have struggled with mental illness since having my son. I’ve finally mustered up the courage to share my story of struggling with Post-Natal Depression (PND).

When I found out I was pregnant, I was so overjoyed. I had always been told that I wouldn’t fall pregnant naturally, so it came as a surprise, especially seeing as we had an appointment with a fertility specialist that very month. After the 12 week scan and being told everything was okay and bub was healthy, I started buying lots of things for bub and daydreaming how life would be as a Mum. How I was going to be the best Mum I could be, I would only cloth nappy, I would breastfeed for 12 months, and I would only ever make bub’s food. I had so many goals to be the perfect wife and mother. At 21 weeks we got the news that I’d need emergency surgery to place a stitch in my cervix (also known as a cerclage) as I had a shortened cervix. We were also told to be prepared for a premature delivery and that I may need to go into hospital on bed rest. After a scare at 23 weeks, we were told we had to move to Toowoomba ASAP as it was too risky for me to stay in a small town that didn’t have the facilities for premmies. We packed up and moved away from all of our friends and family the very next day. At 28 weeks, I indeed was put into hospital on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I was told by numerous midwives and nurses that I was at very high risk of PND due to my history with mental health issues (Anxiety & Panic Disorder), the stress of having a high risk pregnancy and also due to having no support around us(family and friends were all in our home town). I always shrugged everyone off and thought I’d be fine because I would be so grateful to have a healthy and happy baby, how could I possibly be depressed after what I’d overcome? I gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 33 weeks & 6 days. The labour & delivery was incredibly traumatic and filled with complications, however bub was born breathing on his own and required only 9 hours in a humidicrib. The night I gave birth I had only 20 minutes sleep as I kept having flash backs of the delivery. I remember saying to the nurse that I couldn’t even look at the photo they’d given me of my son (as he was in the NICU) because it made me think of the pain and trauma I’d been through and she reassured me it was normal and I’d get through it. The next morning I refused to go to the NICU with my husband. I could barely walk and just didn’t want to see my baby. My parents came down mid-morning and managed to convince me to go down with them to see my son. After walking in and seeing my husband holding our tiny baby and seeing the look on my dad’s face when he met his grandson for the first time, all of the trauma from the birth melted away and I felt mentally normal again.

Three days after I gave birth, I was warned of the “baby blues”, something a lot of women experience when their babies are 3 days old due to a dramatic drop in hormones. When I didn’t experience that, I thought I was so lucky and had managed to escape any sad feelings, due to the immense love I felt for my child. Fast forward to 3 weeks post-partum, we got to take our son home finally. We were so beside ourselves with excitement it was incredible. 3 weeks later, when bub was 6 weeks old, we went back to our home town to visit my parents. Everyone kept saying how shocked they were with how well I was doing. I was so proud of myself for mentally and physically feeling so well and healthy. Then at 11 weeks post-partum, my period returned. I’d given up breastfeeding at 6 weeks due to issues with feeding (my son had a severe lip-tie that we didn’t know about until after I’d given it up). I was immediately transformed into a completely different person. I started really struggling with anxiety again and would often have days where I thought “What have I gotten myself into?” I was struggling immensely, but was too frightened to tell anyone, for fear of being judged for not being grateful for my healthy baby and to be honest, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that I was struggling, embarrassed I wasn’t doing as well as everyone thought I was, embarrassed that I wasn’t a good mum.  I wasn’t doing anything I’d promised myself I would. I’d given up breastfeeding, I’d given up cloth nappying and I was giving my 5 month old food out of a jar. I felt like a failure as a mum. When my son was about 5 & 1/2 months old, I decided to go to my GP to go back on the pill as hubby and I had agreed that we didn’t want any more children for a few years. Getting ready to go, I was having so much anxiety about just leaving the house by myself with my baby, that’s how bad it had gotten. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without having a panic attack. Once I got there, my GP asked how I was doing with everything, and I completely broke down in front of her. I told her I was having a really hard time with everything, that I was anxious all the time and that I wasn’t a good mum. Thankfully, she was brilliant and quickly told me that I had the signs of PND & severe anxiety and that there was help out there for me. She set up a mental health care plan and gave me the number of a local psychologist. I went home and told my husband what had happened and to my surprise he said he’d noticed I was really struggling but didn’t know how to approach me about it. He knew something was really wrong for a few months but was hoping it was just hormones and I would get over it. About a month later, I went for my first appointment with the psychologist, who felt I didn’t have PND or anxiety, but more Panic disorder. I figured because she knew what she was doing that she must have been right. I had 2 sessions with her and felt like they just weren’t helping at all. Around the same time, I managed to make a new friend. After a few weeks of talking, she invited me out for lunch. I didn’t know what to say because I didn’t want to turn her down but at the same time I knew I wouldn’t be able to go due to my anxiety. I decided to take a leap and tell her about everything that was going on with me and that I understood if it was too much for her to handle. Luckily, she told me that she completely understood and that she would be there for me whenever I needed her. I have to be honest here and say that she is one of the main reasons I am able to leave the house and actually have a life. I am so grateful to have such a beautiful caring and understanding friend, I honestly don’t know where I’d be without her.

My son will be 1 in less than 2 weeks and I am still struggling. I am doing much better with my PND, maybe because we have finally moved back to our home town and I now have a lot more support around. Maybe it’s because things feel like they are back to normal now we are in our old house. Or it could be the fact that we no longer live in a city. I still struggle with my anxiety too, but I am definitely getting better. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a support person that you can trust and rely on. I still have panic attacks when I go down to my local Woolworths and when they happen I send my best friend a txt and tell her what’s going on. Having her just reminding me to take deep breaths and to distract me makes the world of difference.

The reason I decided to share my story is because I know a lot of women suffer with PND and are too frightened to tell anyone. You do not need to feel ashamed because you aren’t doing as well as the other Mum’s at mothers group or because you spent the day crying even though everything around you seems to be going well. You can’t choose whether you have mental illness or not, but you can choose to seek help to get better. Talk to a friend, your family, your partner, your GP, anyone you trust. For me, I think it helped that I had a new friend to tell I was struggling, because she didn’t expect anything of me and also because she wasn’t there in the first few months when I was mentally well so I didn’t feel as ashamed that I was struggling. Please remember you are ALWAYS welcome to send me a message on Facebook. I understand what you are going through and sometimes talking to someone who doesn’t know your friends and family can really help. The last points I want to end this post with are these;

You are NOT crazy.

You ARE a good Mum.

Do not EVER feel ashamed to ask for help, EVERYONE needs help at some point in their life.

Having mental illness does not mean you are weak, you ARE STRONG enough to get through it.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Please feel free to share this with anyone you think may be struggling, it may give them the courage to seek help.

If you’d like to share your story, feel free to send me a message and we can discuss posting your story on the blog (your story can be posted anonymously if you’d like).

Love,

Kimberly xo

Mothers At War – Judgemental Parents and The Link To PND

Cry it out vs. Attachment Parenting, Cloth Nappies vs. Disposable, Bottlefeeding vs. Breastfeeding, Working Mum vs. Stay at home Mum, the list goes on. These are all things mothers commonly debate. But my question is why? Why force your views or opinions onto another Mother? What gives you the right to judge another Mother and tell them what they are doing isn’t right because it isn’t what you would do? Why do you feel that it is okay to make another mother feel terrible about themselves because they aren’t parenting their child how you would like them to parent?

These are all questions I am constantly asking myself. Why? Because all over social media, there are constantly arguments about what parenting technique is best, who parents better, what is considered “cruel” and what is considered being a “helicopter mum” (apparently a helicopter mum is someone who hovers over their child not letting them be independent). My simple statement is WHO CARES? As long as the child’s needs are being met and he/she is loved and obviously not being abused then why is it anyone else’s business how a Mother parents her child? Surely I cannot be the only one who feels this way? As a first time mum, I have bared the brunt of a lot of criticism because of course, “I have no idea what I’m doing” and yes most of the time that is true. I learn new things about being a parent every single day. However, just because this is my first child doesn’t make me an incompetent mother, nor does it give anyone else the right to tell me what I am doing is wrong. Sure I make mistakes, we all do, however that is how we learn and grow, in any part of our life, not just as a parent. I have always been of the opinion that being a Mother is hard and as Mothers, we need to support each other, not put each other down. What about those of us that don’t fit it into any of those categories? I am going to give a brief insight into my parenting methods so you can see what I mean.

I breastfed my son for the first 6 weeks of his life. Not only that, but whilst my son spent 3 weeks in special care in hospital, I pumped every 3 hours and had to take my milk to the hospital twice a day. At about 5 and a half weeks, my milk supply dropped dramatically and I had to wean my son and put him on formula. We discovered about 3 weeks after weaning that my son has a severe lip tie, and if it had been cut I could have continued breastfeeding. To say I was devastated doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt. I still feel saddened by the fact that I cannot breastfeed. So does that make me a bottlefeeding mother or a breastfeeding one? Just because you see a mother formula-feeding her child, doesn’t mean it is a choice she wanted to make. Nor does it mean there is anything wrong with choosing to bottle feed over breastfeeding. Giving a mother filthy looks while she formula-feeds her child at the supermarket is certainly not going to change whether she breastfeeds or not. It simply makes you look like a judgemental cow.

I am very lucky in the fact that my son has always settled himself to sleep. Rarely do I have to rock him to sleep unless he is teething. However, sometimes he is over tired and will protest cry because he thinks he doesn’t need sleep. As I am his mother, I know that he is fed, changed, not too hot or cold and isn’t in any pain, therefor I will leave him to cry in his cot for anywhere up to 15 minutes before going in and picking him up. I check on him every few minutes to make sure he is okay. Some may call this “cruel” and using the “cry it out method”, however I call it doing what works for my child. If you aren’t there with me every single night then you have no idea what my son’s cry sounds like, nor do you know how often I check on him or how it makes me feel having to let my child cry. Now, I may seem like a “cry it out mum” but I’ll have you know that I cant handle my child crying/whinging for much longer than 5 minutes whilst he is awake during the day and have often been told “you hold him too much, stop carrying him around, he isn’t a handbag”, these comments were from family members and I brush them off as they don’t mean any harm and are just trying to help, however if it came from a stranger I would be furious. So because I hold my son a lot during the day does that make me a “helicopter mum”? But wait, that cant be if I let my child “cry it out” at night time? Are you starting to get my drift here…

I am a cloth nappying mumma, as well as a disposable nappy mum. I do what works on the day for me. Whilst I care about the environment, I don’t feel guilty about using disposable nappies. In turn, I don’t think using cloth nappies are disgusting. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion most definitely, however there is a huge difference between sharing your opinion and being nasty and judgemental. I have seen many arguments on forums about cloth nappying, whether it be that a mother feels using disposables is “wrong” or whether they think using cloth is “gross”. If you aren’t the one doing it, who cares? Not your child, not your problem.

Now, when it comes to child abuse obviously that is a whole different kettle of fish. However, this is clearly not what I am talking about in this blog. I honestly don’t understand why people have to be so damn judgemental. By sharing a glimpse of how I parent my child, I think I have shown that you don’t always know what “type” of mother someone is and how ridiculous it is that Mothers are given labels and are put into stereotypes.

Studies show that 1 in 7 mothers in Australia are diagnosed with Post Natal Depression (PND)*, I am one of those women. I honestly believe that some of it has to do with how we are judged and compared as mothers. For me, my PND stems from severe anxiety (unrelated to having a baby) but also the fact that I constantly feel like I am not good enough. I don’t bake as much as this Mum does, my house isn’t as clean as that Mum’s is, I am constantly comparing myself to other Mum’s and wondering why I am not doing as well as they are. I have a friend who has recently had her third baby, I had been thinking of her constantly since she had her bub hoping she was doing okay and wasn’t struggling, as with just one child I found getting anything done very difficult. After visiting her recently, she told me how amazing she was doing. Her newborn baby was sleeping through the night most nights, breastfeeding was going great and she was still managing to bake, cook dinner, take her child to school, do the gardening and have an incredibly clean house. I am ashamed to say that when she told me this I immediately felt sick and had to try my best not to break down and cry right in front of her. Whilst I am so glad that she is doing well, I instantly felt jealous and like the most useless wife and mother in the world. Why am I struggling so much when I only have one child and she is doing amazing with 3? Why is my son still waking every 4 hours when her newborn is sleeping through? Why do I care? I honestly feel like the reason why I compare myself to her and other mothers is because I feel like I am constantly being judged by society. If women just supported each other instead of constantly having a go at each other, I honestly believe that the amount of women with PND would decrease dramatically.

I may cop a lot of flak for writing this blog, however I feel like it needed to be said. The message I wanted to get out there by writing this is to SUPPORT EACH OTHER! Mothers often don’t show that they are struggling for fear of being judged, which can turn into PND. My advice is to ask the Mums you know whether they are okay. Ask if they need help (only if this isn’t going to add stress to yourself) and if you are the one struggling ASK FOR HELP! For me personally, I don’t have much of a support base here. I only know one other Mum (who is so nice) but we are only newly friends and I don’t feel right dumping my crap onto her, but I wish I had more people to rely on. I feel like it would make the world of difference. If you are a judgemental mum, then cut it out. It doesn’t help anyone and most times you are doing more damage than good (do you really think condemning a mother for using disposable nappies is going to make them want to use cloth? Yep I don’t think so either).

As always, feel free to message me at any time on my Facebook page (link is in the sidebar) and please share!

Be kind!

Love,

Kimberly xo

 

*Information obtained from the following link http://www.panda.org.au/images/factsheets/Women_and_Postnatal_Depression_Fact_Sheet_14.pdf

Suffering in Silence…Living with Anxiety

Note: I chose not to re-read what I have written for fear of choosing not to post it, so please excuse any grammatical errors (or sentences they may not make sense)!

This is a blog I have been contemplating writing for a very, very long time, however I have never had the guts to do so…until now. Today I have realised how serious my battle with anxiety has gotten & I feel like it is something I can’t hide anymore. The reason I have been so hesitant to share this is that a lot of people won’t understand and the fear of people mocking me or thinking I am insane. Funnily enough that is my motivation for finally writing this. The stigma associated with mental illness means less people seek support and help which in some cases can lead to suicide. It’s not nice to feel alone and feel like nobody understands you and at times that’s how anxiety feels. I will try and keep this blog short enough that it doesn’t bore you to tears but I also want to make sure that at the end of reading this you will have a better understanding of what anxiety sufferers go through on a daily basis. So let’s get into it…

When I was about 10 years old I had my first ever panic attack. I was sitting on the couch watching the news and all of a sudden I felt very frightened for absolutely no reason. At the time I didn’t understand what was happening and as a normal kid does when they are scared, I started crying. I couldn’t explain to my parents what was wrong so they took me to bed and read me a book until I calmed down enough to go to sleep. The next day I was completely fine. About 2 years later I had my second panic attack on my first day of year 7. Now here is where I am going to tell you what my anxiety is based around, and I want to remind you that this is a realistic fear although you may think its stupid (and to be honest so do I). On school holidays the summer before school returned, I had bad tonsillitis and had to take some medication before heading to Rockhampton with my parents for an appointment. On the way there the medication had a bad effect on me and I ended up vomiting everything in my stomach. In the car. In the middle of Rocky. Since then I have had a very intense fear of vomiting. Stemming from that I have a horrible fear of vomiting in public. So on the first day of year 7 I showed up to school terrified I would throw up there. Long story short, I ended up with a severe eating disorder and weighing merely 28kg at 12 years of age. I managed to “get over” the fear and gain back a decent amount of weight. In 2005 we moved to Chinchilla and I changed schools, even then my anxiety didn’t return. I managed to live without anxiety until around September 2007 where I had an ovarian cyst burst and became very ill. I missed a lot of school and ended up dropping out due to constant panic attacks and not being able to catch up on the work. After quite a bit of Bowen therapy I managed to overcome my anxiety and get a job. I was once again fine until my boyfriend (now husband) proposed. Then I turned into an absolute wreck. I was waking up every night having a panic attack and could barely eat. This anxiety has continued on since then, with only very brief periods of normality.

My anxiety definitely isn’t as bad as what it has been previously, however it is at the point where it is significantly effecting my life. I am unable to go to large shopping centres on my own, even going with Jamie takes a lot of convincing. I get nervous going to small things like Doctor’s appointments or even taking Hunter to the Chiropractor & swimming lessons. I’ll try to briefly explain what happens when I have a panic attack, but I will write a separate blog in the near future explaining it further. My panic attacks generally start off with my heart racing and my breathing speeding up, I will then start shaking and sweating, when it gets close to its peak (which I will explain more in the other blog) I literally feel so frightened that I feel like I am going to die. The only way I can explain it that you may understand is, think of the fear you would feel if someone were to break into your house, think of how that would make you feel. Now imagine feeling that fear every time you go to a shopping centre etc. That’s what it’s like to have anxiety. It is exhausting mentally and physically. It is also extremely debilitating. It can absolutely ruin your life if you let it. Which is why I chose to write this, I want others to know it is okay to reach out for help. It is okay to admit you are struggling. Having anxiety doesn’t make you “weak” or “insane” it just means your mind has a different way of coping with stress.

I am currently doing up a mental health plan with my new GP (who is so amazing, I’m so glad I’ve found her) and will be commencing counselling within the next few weeks.

Today has been a very difficult day. Whilst I have known for a while that I have been suffering severe anxiety, it is still very hard to have a medical professional tell you that you need to get help. Today I feel like I am failing as a mother and wife because I can’t be like everyone else. I wish I could just snap my fingers and be “normal” but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. That is why I am getting help. I want to be able to take my son to whatever he wants to do, whether it be sports or any other activity. I want to be able to go to a mother’s group or even just have the confidence to meet new people. Having anxiety makes you very isolated and definitely makes it difficult to make new friends, being in a new town where we barely know anyone makes it even harder.

Anyway that is all for now! This has been one of the hardest blogs to write and it will be even harder to click “Publish” on, but it is something I have to do.

Thank you for your continued support!

Love you all

x