So, it’s mental health awareness day.
I wrote this when pregnant with my wee man but seems appropriate to share again.
I've now been medication free for over years and doing really well.
I do tend to get overwhelmed and of course everyone has bad days. But I can always bring myself back from the edge.
Always be kind, you never know what demons someone has. Offering a smile or a nice word can make someone's day.
Many people know me as a happy, smiley outgoing person, this is only what you see. Many people don’t know that I have severe social anxiety! Yes you can laugh! Most people assume I’m either hyper or drunk, depending on the event. Also my way of breaking the ice, is hugging. So always expect a big hyper hug!
This is because I’ve worked hard to harness my anxiety and channel it into energy. So I may sometimes seem over the top and excited, but this is my way of managing social events.
After many years of missing out of things and having panic attacks it had got enough. There are many events and gathering that I missed out in over the years because of the anxiety. I also left a few jobs because of it!
I also used to be on daily medication that had horrible side effects although helped my mood most of the time.
I decided that I didn’t want that to be me and I needed to do something. I had lots of CBT sessions over the years but it didn’t work for me, I tried meditation and mindfulness and that does help.
Before the birth of my daughter, mentally my mood had taken a big dip, it didn’t help that I had a lot of physical issues and problems during pregnancy. Soon after she was born, I was diagnosed with PND and also PTSD due to a traumatic birth and her being in SCBU. (This will all come in another blog) I was given lots of support and I had my family and partner who were amazing. My medication was increased as safely as possible as I was breastfeeding. I had weekly counselling sessions and had a lady come visit me at home for mindfulness sessions too. This lasted the whole first year of my daughters life, as she had medical issues that made things harder as a first time mum. (She had severe reflux and milk intolerances that were not taken seriously)
I’m not sure when things changed, but they did eventually get better, my medication was lowered, I didn’t need my weekly sessions and I was coping. I still had bad days and even weeks, but the good always evened things out.
Fast forward to today, pregnancy with my second child, I’m obviously aware of how things can come back. I had a fantastic midwife and support team already. We have had great chats and have a plan if needed. I like to be prepared and organised, so preparing for the worst puts me as ease because everything else will be fab!
I have been medication free for about 2 years now, I practice mindfulness and always make time for myself. I have the odd bad day of course but nothing like before and I know tomorrow will be better.
I love to chat, and I feel I can easily relate to those who may be feeling the same. I can usually spot signs that you may be struggling as I became a master at hiding them. I’ve had many consultations where we end up just chatting about being a parent and things no one mentions, because you may need that and I’m there for you to unload.
I have learnt techniques for myself to deal and love to be that friendly ear if needed.
If you are struggling, please reach out, even to a close friend for a cuppa! I know the anxiety panic of asking for help, you think your baby will be taken away! That’s the last thing any medical professional want, they would rather help and support you to get better and be there for your baby. Sometimes maybe a night away might help just give you that bit of breathing space, but don’t be afraid to ask!!
If anyone ever needs a chat or wants to stay after a sling meet, please just ask! If I don’t have monkey then I’m usually not in a rush. Also I give great hugs! So they are always on offer!
Hopefully this will be of some help to others, there is always a silver lining. Sometimes you have to hit the bottom hard, believe me it’s not a nice place to be, but everything gets better from there! Always look up and Coorie in to those babies tight!