It’s ok to not be ok

Well hello there 😊 Welcome to my first blog post … it’s been weeks if not months in the making…

I’m 36, blissfully married with two cheeky monkeys. And I have the most wonderful tribe surrounding me. Life’s good … really bloody good. But let me tell you this year it hasn’t been all good,I have faught a battle I thought I would never win. I haven’t been ok.. I’ve been so far from ok reflecting on it scares me. But I must push through this aniexty and hurt because I want to spread a message … that it’s ok not to be feeling ok .. we as mothers build ourselves up to be these superheroes .. tough strong fierce and able to do anything and everything … well at least that was me. I took on the world and left no time for me. I got so busy doing everything I thought I was supposed to do as a mother as a wife, friend, daughter and sister. In this process I lost who I was and the joy in wearing all these amazing caps. I crashed … and when I say crashed I burnt out completely I became a walking zombie consumed by tiredness, lack of motivation and ability to see the light. I was broken… broken in a way I could have never imagined … it was so dark I felt I was about to let go … i was in shutdown mode and there was little anybody could do to help reboot me. I just wished someone could have convinced me that it was ok to not feel ok and that the light would reappear after the storm.

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Look how far I’ve come!

So it’s been a while between blog posts … life’s got crazy busy … uni is back … and I’m working full time in a job I adore! Throw in a few kids and brilliant husband and you get a beautiful chaotic life πŸ˜‚ no but really It’s a good life … a great life I have and I guess it is just time to stop and pause.. think about how far I’ve come. This time last year my life began to unravel… the pressure was building and I was headed for ultimate destruction! 

Now look at me I’m adulting all by myself! No more being told to eat and shower … yes I was that bad! I am even making decisions by myself and not feeling shitty that there the wrong ones … well sometimes but anxiety will always be a part of my life so for now small victories are celebrated and owned. I’m learning how to say no … as a complete sentence… no follow up backing evidence to support my decision … just being comfortable to say no and not feel guilty I’m letting someone down … this is huge for me! 

I’m learning to care for myself … I mean really care. Putting yourself first is essential, I am no good to anyone when I’m unwell so for me self care and taking time out for me has been a revelation. Another big thing is owning my illness and sharing my story .. it has liberated me to no end. I feel I no longer have to make excuses or hide who I am anymore. The mask is slowly coming off and I feel free. 

However the biggest joy is definitely in the messages I get from all my followers, people I know, strangers, people who live in other continents and those who really feel my story. A story that resonates strongly with so many. I love helping people to get help … I love telling them with the utmost sincerity that things can get better. Your story matters! To me it helps me to feel not quite so alone and isolated. Your stories inspire me and keep me going. Your support along my recovery journey keeps me fighting. 

I am now proud to say I’m a fighter… battling my fears and demons head on. I have learnt to embrace life, be grateful and humble of my achievements. I feel empowered and supported by an amazing tribe of humans that have my back. Without you I’d be lost! Again I say thank you I need you and I love you all πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ
I’m realistic that My journey isn’t over and I’ll be honest the struggle is real … everyday. I’ll never be cured of this illness, there is no simple solution or treatment that will save me but for now I’m heading in the right direction, living life on my terms and pushing through the pain inch by inch and embracing life to its fullest.
#ivegotthis #thankyou 

Toxic people

This week I’ve struggled with letting go… I’ve let toxic people fill my head with there selfish behaviour and arrogance… it stops now! Time to raise the rent in my mind and stop letting them control my thoughts. I’m struggling with this but after some long thoughts and discussions with my husband I’m going to let it go. Well at least try … (just being honest!)
Why is it we pay so much lip service to those who break us… why do we care so much about what they have to say or perhaps more importantly don’t say. Why do We let these people control our thoughts and stop us from seeing the beauty in my life. It’s something I find hard to grasp and something I need to work through. 
Selfish people live everywhere in our world .. they often disguise themselves as good people .. putting on a front to the rest of the world that they are good people… to outsiders they appear to have it all. But in reality they have nothing. No love no empathy no kindness in their heart. I guess what hurts the most is they are family… well they used to be … time to free myself from them and their toxic ways! 
Family isn’t always those who are blood related … I have found out through my struggles that my tribe.. my family are the ones that were there when all hope was lost… when I was at my worst they were right beside me cheering me on and celebrating my small victories. They held my hand and told me I was beautiful even when I looked like death. They were just always there … to me that’s the true definition of family πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ€˜

It’s ok to say No

For most of my life I’ve been a yes girl… yes I’ll help … yes I’ll have your kids … yes I’ll stay back… yes I’ll work that shift … yes I’ll do it. Even when I had nothing to give … I’d give it all … now that’s not necessarily a bad thing in my eyes … it’s something I pride myself on. Helping other people. I love it. I really do. 
However sometimes I just wish I had of said no … no I can’t help … my own family needs me … no I can’t have your kids … I want to spend time with my own. No I can’t stay back … I got no sleep last night and I’m exhausted. No I can’t work that shift because I have something special already planned. No I can’t do it because I really need some time for myself to recharge. 

But I didn’t say no … and in hindsight that was my weakness… a weakness that overloaded me, pushed me over the edge and ultimately made me come undone. You see I overloaded myself with far too much. Work, full time university and running a new small business and helping everyone but myself. I think I managed to get 4-5 hours sleep every night… I was tired but felt invincible. I was riding a huge wave and forgot that eventually something was going to give and I’d crash into the shore. 

My poor family suffered.. I was to busy… I said no to them … something if very ashamed of. I was moving at a pace they couldn’t keep up with. And that’s not ok. Reflecting I feel so sad and ashamed of my behaviour. They should have been first on my list … always.

So that’s why I’m learning to say no … not to be rude, unhelpful or unkind… to put my family and myself first. I’m slowly getting there with my confidence in being able to and it’s truly liberating. Finally I can say I’m learning to understand it’s ok to say no and not feel guilty for doing so. I can still help others but put my family first and that’s what I’m all about.. I’m being true to myself. Whilst I still have a long way to go with leading the life I want to live … I’m heading in the right direction… finally πŸ’œ

Reaching out

So this morning I’ve woken up to a beautiful message from someone who randomly found my blog… it’s Bought tears to my eyes and made me even more passionate about spreading the word it’s ok to not be ok!!! It’s made me realise how we mothers isolate ourselves… either knowingly or unknowingly … we do it … we box ourselves up and put such high expectations on ourselves … we set ourselves up to fail! We put everyone else first and you know what that’s ok because I do it too … but somewhere in this madness and chaos we MUST take time out for ourselves. 
We must show our daughters it’s not selfish to make yourself a priority in life. We must teach them the importance of self love. We must also show them our fragile and weak sides… so they don’t grow up thinking they have to be perfect at everything!!! Teach them how to reach out and have real open honest conversations. There watching us all the time!!!
But anyhooo I’m getting off track … yes one of my many talents!!! Lol. I received a message from an amazing mum just doing her best to stay afloat .. feeling like she was sinking but not giving up. She thanked me for making her feel not so bad about her days when she struggled … she thanked me for pushing her to reach out and speak … get the help she deserved and needed. She’s a single mum doing her best to provide everything for her baby boy and with little support she just kept swimming going about life day by day. But she said whilst she loves and adores her little man she cries almost everyday.she has panic attacks that something will happen to him and us unable to leave his side. She’s exhausted and feels alone. But she says my blog made her realise it ain’t weak to speak … reach out and get help.
Her story is so familiar to me … minus the single parenthood (god I’ve been blessed with the best hubby ever!) but her struggles through motherhood resonate. You see I had post natal depression with my first baby girl 13 years ago. I felt consumed by ensuring she was happy, content and well loved. I didn’t make anytime for me and stressed myself out when I wasn’t near her. I cried a lot … I Remember feeling very alone. Until I met the wonderful ladies at the parent and baby unit who took me in as their own. These angels supported me through a very rough time … opening their Hearts and arms to my baby girl and I. They brought me back to life and with support I finally enjoyed life again!! I met mothers going through the exact same thing and firmed friendships that would last a lifetime. 
So I guess in summary what I’m trying to say is thank you random stranger for making me feel like I’m making a difference … thank you and good luck on your recovery journey xxx

Girlfriends

There’s something deeply therapeutic  catching up with your girlfriends … something I really do adore. I think I’m far more sentimental and squishy about it now after falling so far and cutting myself off from everyone. 
You see when I crashed I didn’t want to see anyone… don’t take it personally please … well some did and their no longer really in my life and you know what that’s ok. I get it. Lives change, people change and sometimes growth occurs and you just find you really don’t have that much in common anymore … and it’s ok. Sometimes people are terrified of mental illness … they either don’t understand it … or don’t want too … they think it’s all in your head … well that’s it … it is! But you know what I’m actually ok with that too. To be honest I don’t really need negativity on my recovery journey. 
I need you … the women who came and sat with me … made me laugh so much my stomach muscles hurt … thank you girls I really needed that last night. I’m so blessed to have an amazing support crew of amazing women to help me keep on track. To listen when I feel all is lost. A super special woman called Jen called me yesterday right in the middle of a panic attack … it’s like she knew I needed her .. and she came running to my side and calmed me like she always does. She is my soul sister and without her I’d be truly lost. 
So here’s cheers to all my amazing girlfriends … thank you for the best night something I’ll cherish when I’m feeling crap. And thank you to my tribe of women who lift me up everyday … with kind words … cuddles and laughter. I’d be lost without you πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ€˜

Life goalsΒ 

I used to think setting goals was a bit naff and that it was a waste of time … just do it if think to myself. If you want it go out and get it! But that changed the day I walked into hospital. 
My first goals I set seem so small to others but to me it was the start of a recovery process I would continue to this day … forever actually. My first goals look something like this

Get out of bed

Shower … daily

Eat ..something 

Survive 

Simple but realistic goals I was determined to meet. These goals seemed impossible to meet … I felt paralysed by my illness … scared of what the future held for me and terrified of the consequences of not meeting them.
The first morning I woke up I felt so broken, so alone and so terrified. I remember clinging firmly to the starched sheets… I rolled over and contemplated we’re I was … it killed me … it hurt so much. I missed my husband I missed my kids … i wanted my daddy and I missed everything that kept me safe up until now. I just wanted my husband to come get me take me home and escape this prison.
But that wasn’t going to happen … it was time .. time to start my recovery journey … time to put myself first … time to stop pretending I was ok … time to start living again. So I started writing .. writing down all my thoughts .. planning my future. It helped get the noise out of my head… it helped me to process what was happening .. or helped me recover and stay focused. 
I started setting goals that first morning I woke up and this is thanks to Kate … an amazing mental health nurse who took me under her wing… explained everything and was there to hold me at my most fragile moments. I’ve written a whole blog piece on her … she was and is amazing!!! 
So I set goals .. still … to keep my recovery on track .. their getting bigger now and include the following 
Focus on my family 

Focus on what’s important 

Focus on getting fit both physically and mentally 

Focus on understanding my illness and triggers 
Without goals I wouldn’t be motivated. Without goals I’d struggle to find focus. Without goals my recovery would be at a standstill. Without goals I may not have been here anymore. So yes I’ve embraced setting goals … they have saved my life! 

Dear anxietyΒ 

Thanks for making me question everything … not just in a curious way … or expanding my mind kind of way … more like the following (straight from my head)
Why didn’t she text me back straight away? Did I hurt her feelings somehow? Oh my god am I rude? Does she hate me? Am I an idiot? Do I talk too much? Do I not talk enough? Why don’t you just shut up? Did I do something wrong? I should have given more. Am I not trying hard enough? I need to research that. Overanalyse it. Stress about it. I’m so sensitive. I need to care less. Let it go. Don’t let it go it’s important. Say something. Don’t say something. Why didn’t you say something? Say no. Oh god why did you say no? Say yes. Why do I say yes to everything? You need to breathe. Slow down. Go faster. I don’t do enough. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Did I mention I was sorry.

And this shit goes on constantly. An internal war in my mind. Anxiety is cruel. You over think absolutely everything. I can’t make decisions .. even about what takeaway we will have. I don’t like to tell you what I need because it may not be what you need. I don’t want to hurt others and if I do I cry … I get so wound up and upset that it suffocates me.
This leads me to keeping myself busy most of the time to stop the noise going on inside my head. I don’t sleep much because I wake up overthinking.. this makes me tired most of the time because I don’t get the rest I need. But I keep going. But this also makes me extremely vulnerable. Vulnerable to overthinking situations and jumping the gun. Vulnerable to me shutting down for fear of coming undone. Vulnerable in a way that I will overthink everything you say. I may even interpret what your saying in a way you don’t intend to mean. And then it starts up again. Manifesting itself my thoughts feed off my anxiety … it’s crippling and a constant war I fight everyday. 
So next time you ask me something and I look confused or take too long to answer chances are I’m overthinking… if I seem overly enthusiastic it’s because I’m trying to please you. To gain your acceptance. If I jump to conclusions and get upset … tell me it’s ok. If I don’t sleep chances are I’ll nap to make up for it later. Just let me do that I’m trying to keep swimming. If I ask to many questions .. please be patient … I’m trying to figure it out. If I say sorry too much just roll with it it’s something I’m working on. If I can’t decide please help me don’t get angry. If I overreact don’t take it personally … I’m bloody sensitive and I won’t apologise for that. If I’m silent … reach out to me. Sometimes I just need to vent. I hope you can listen. And finally if I say I need space … just give me some. Sometimes I take time to process my thoughts … and you know what anxiety … you will not beat me anymore … this year I won’t let you shape or define me!

The wave …

It’s like a wave … it creeps up on me and I internally explode … I hate it so much my anxiety causes me to over think everything … it makes me especially sensitive to the point were I feel suffocated … I become irrational and I can’t see clearly… it’s an internal war I fight everyday … you don’t see it … I won’t let you … my wall comes up and I internalise everything … then I explode around the ones I love the most … which is not fair and for this I am sincerely sorry … anxiety is a suffocating and this year I’m learning how to channel it … make better life choices so that I can lead a life worth living . 

This year I’ve already spoken about the mask coming off … I’m going to say No when I don’t want to do something or feel uncomfortable … I’m going to tell you if you upset me … I’m going to walk away from toxic situations and people … but in my style it will be with kindness … it’s ok to say no and put yourself first …. my voice is returning slowly but until then I’m deeply grateful for the ones who ground me … keep it real and focus my living … the ones who are my voice when all ideal like doing is retreating … hiding from my problems … thank god for you … you know who you are and I love you deeply πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ€˜

PhotosΒ 

Photos 
So if you know me well you’ll know I’m obsessed with photos … taking them, sharing them and looking back on them. For me photos capture precious moments in time … memories you can look back on when your feeling shitty and vulnerable. Photos help me to keep my mums memory alive .. they help me tell stories of our adventures and are the greatest comfort when I’m feeling miserable and missing her like crazy. 
I have a whole album dedicated to her .. I keep it locked away in a safe place to call upon when I need to feel closer to her. I also have pictures all around my house of her … to keep her alive not only for me but more importantly her children. They need her and I feel they are so ripped off not having her in their lives anymore. She used to come here every night after work to bathe, read to and love them. They were her world and her eyes sparkled when she was with her grandchildren. 
I take pictures of all the joyful times in my life to look back in and smile … to remind me life’s worth living … So yes … I take lots of pictures … lol I’m snap happy … but these pictures help focus me during my darkest hours and I won’t apologise for that ever!
πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ€˜

It stops right now …

So I’ve tussled with the post all day … I’ve cried silent tears … I’ve felt angry and admit to actually deleting a friend off Facebook because of his insensitive comments … I’m talking about James Hird and his tragic alleged suicide attempt.
I’m an Essendon supporter through and through … red and black run threw my veins in fact! So hearing the news yesterday sent me into a shock wave… it stirred up my memories of my attempts … yes attempts there were several of them … that’s so hard to admit. But it’s real and I think we could all use some reality and truth in this false world we live in sometimes. 
I’ve seen some very awful posts on social media over this tragic event … I’ve even deleted people off my Facebook for their insensitivity … for their sheer ignorance and lack of compassion on this issue because it’s a illness and a absolute bloody battle and know only too well how stigma and lack of empathy can make this heartbreaking situation entirely worse. 
People stop the hate for gods sake … you may judge James Hird for his alleged involvement in the drugs saga … whatever … I think him and his team have been through enough bullshit to last a lifetime and then some … but please don’t bash or blame him for his mental illness … that’s just downright cruel and inhumane
So sorry for the huge rant it’s just something I needed to get off my chest and I think everyone needs to just stop for a second and stop judging … reach out and show some kindness for our fellow human beings … at the end of the day we are all fighting battles behind closed doors it doesn’t matter if we are celebrities or not!