Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day and so I wanted to share with you a personal post. Mental health is something that is still such a taboo subject, but why? Why should we feel too vulnerable to share and discuss our feelings? We should never be subject to judgement just because we’re suffering. In fact we should be loved a little harder.
I’m so thankful to have a great network around me that has supported me through the hardest time in my life. Becoming a mother is the toughest role I’ve ever taken on. It’s made me more anxious and scared than I have ever been and at times I’ve felt too upset to carry on, even though in the same breath I’m happier than ever.
Anxiety doesn’t take over my life all of the time. In fact, some days I feel happy, content and dare I say confident too? But then other times I sit there and cry because I’m so overwhelmed with emotion. So frightened to admit to myself that I have a problem. A pretty big problem at that.
Some days I want to hide every mirror in the house because I hate seeing my reflection staring back, I don’t want to leave the house because I hate seeing all the pretty, glamorous people around me. And others I can’t bear to take off my clothes because I hate the body I see.
But I am trying to overcome these negative feelings.
I’ve been feeling so much better lately. More like myself. I’ve made more of an effort with my appearance (something which shouldn’t, but does mean a lot to me), I’ve tidied around the house more (which has surprisingly made me feel so much happier – and I think I’m possibly addicted to bleach now) and I’ve just tried to generally relax a bit more and not let things get on top of me too much.
It’s been refreshing.
There are obviously far worse things people have to live with than anxiety but it’s a pretty tough thing to cope with on a daily basis. The thing is, with other illnesses (yes anxiety and depression are an illness) people can see you’re in pain. If I happened to be sat in a wheelchair with a pot on my leg, you’d know that I’d clearly hurt myself and I was suffering. But because this pain is internal, it’s hidden and often I do a pretty good job at covering it up even more that you can’t see how hurt I am. You can’t see how sad I am, and how low I’m feeling. And so everyone just assumes I’m ok. But I’m not.
The worst part is, I don’t know what will set my anxiety off. It could be the most harmless comment from a friend or dropping something off the shelf in a shop and I will feel helpless. It would be so much easier to live with if I knew the cause, but in realty anything can trigger these feelings. One day I may simply wake up and feel worse than the last or on the other hand I could wake up and forget any stresses and worries and feel totally happy.
Some days I can’t see any good. Anything good about me, the way I look, the way I am, my life, everything. I know how ridiculous it all sounds because I have everything I have ever wanted but still some days it’s hard to see past the thick fog of anxiety in front of me.
Every day is a struggle to be positive. To find the good in even the small things. Tiny milestones have to be celebrated in order to make me feel like I have actually achieved something in the day. Otherwise I just feel like a complete failure.
I’m starting to settle into motherhood a little easier. We’re in a bit more of a routine and I understand Archie’s needs better than before. This has helped me have a more positive outlook on things because I feel like I can finally do this.
It will take time, but I know I can do this.
A step forward
This month I have decided to take charge and begin a journey towards happiness, and hopefully one day life without anxiety. Although it may seem an unreachable goal right now, anything is possible if you believe it to be and that’s what I’m telling myself.
So I urge you to be that caring friend. Reach out to someone in need. Ask them if they’re ok and hug them a little tighter than usual. You never know who is suffering in silence, so please be kind.
Big hugs and love to you all x