Pen-pal for your mental health!

Pen-pal for your mental health!

For years i wanted a pen pal then all at once i had quite a few, from all over the world. I simply put a call out online and now here i am with new buddies from many interesting and exciting places. I’ve wanted a little something to give me joy and something which allows me to rediscover my love of writing and reading. I have always wanted to write, perhaps a book or write for newspapers but it is my anxiety and my dyslexia that gets in the way. My handwriting is questionable too. But despite my lack of skills in grammar and spelling i still love the allure of writing.

The thing i love about pen palling is learning about others, getting to know someone. Not through social media and through cryptic tweets and photos but threw someones heart, their souls they spill on to paper and send to you with complete confidence of your secret keeping. I have often spilled my life down on paper to a complete stranger turned friend. It is slightly like a therapy sessions at time. Whilst i often talk about emotions, the struggles of me and my mysterious writer i always like learning about their life. Its so interesting finding about what people like and dislike. It’s interesting finding about culture and food from other parts of the world.

The stationary usage is well worth it too. I love buying cute stationary but never have a reason to use it. I love receiving the pretty little notes from another person too. When i write back i always love putting effort into my little notes. I love being crafty and working on my little project. I often make little lists with books my pen pal would enjoy. I also put in some lists of songs/artists i like others will like. I put in mental health promoting cards and positive words and affirmations on sticky notes. I also send over some photos that make me happy and even put a poem in each letter. As well i like to put a little pick me up in the post too so they can enjoy a flavoured tea or coffee or even a sweet.

Life is to short to live behind computer screens. Write to new people, live in someone else’s life and escape reality while you are reading their letters. Talk about you, your life in the purest way. It gives me a short relief when i get too write to someone. I love waiting for and receiving the letters. I love buying bits for my pen pal letter and things to put inside. I love being able to be creative and not being judged for it. So do it! Find a pen pal, send them a letter and make a friend.

Thank’s for reading! Charlie x

Social anxiety about solo parenting in public.

Social anxiety about solo parenting in public.

Sometimes we all have such busy schedules that we never really just spend the day with our child out and about on our own. I am forever guilty of spending lots of time with friends or as a family out and about. This isn’t a bad thing because Elijah loves spending time with others and asks to go out everyday. However normally on days we have no plans we stay at home watching tv and learning. Again this isn’t a bad thing either as we love spending time together at home. But one thing i have always been anxious about is going out just me and my child. When he was a baby it was fine. I loved pushing him around in his buggy and going to community centres and baby groups. However as Elijah got older the tantrums started.

Of course it is natural for children to express their emotions in the form of a tantrum. With the amount of emotion they are feeling and the incapability of explaining their emotions they become upset and warrants a screaming on floor session. However i have always been someone who cares about other peoples opinions whether i like it or not. So a tantrum would cause my social anxiety to go into over board if i was alone because well all eyes would be on me and there would be nobody else to help distract him.

The thing is when a child has a tantrum. It is natural to stare and look, not to judge as so many people do but to see where the noise is coming from. Curiosity always wins, if someone was to scream in a supermarket or shop would you not ping your head round to look for the route cause of the noise.When you have social anxiety if anyone looks at you it is your worse nightmare. Frankly i dislike being in any sort of a attention platform so also don’t really like when we are out and Elijah is being good and many people come to talk to me about him. I don’t mind being nice to others and speaking to strangers but it does make me feel uncomfortable. Especially when people touch him (even before covid) or don’t take the hint the conversation is over.

Because i suffer from a chronic illness as well i sometimes don’t have much strength as apposed to other parents. I can’t always pick him up and carry him long when he flops to the floor. We have also gotten rid of his buggy because he wouldn’t sit in it and also i think he is too old for it. He is sometimes tired which causes more tantrums and because we often go for nice long walks he can sometime get bit touchy. However when i go oit without james i never take him anywhere which will over tire him because of this.

I always panic about taking Elijah to restaurants because when he is bored he acts up and misbehaves. But however i have found that if i take him a bag of toys out with us he is normally quite well behaved. I have been known to take games and even playdough if needed. But being alone again is still stress full.

However i have been trying to go out of my comfort zone a lot more these days . I have been forcing myself to overcome my anxiety and take Elijah out just the two of us at least once a week. I started by taking him to the library, then to soft play and then out for meals and trips into town. I have started to slowly build up my confidence and i just try to keep myself calm if Elijah does have a tantrum. I try to remain calm and speak to Elijah calmly and explain things clearly to him, i try to distract him or structure my day so we don’t go out when he is sleepy or going to get tired walking around too much. I will not let my anxiety control me or my sons life. Lock down affected me a lot in regards to going out because i am so scared of covid but the more i go out the more i journey outside the more i feel a bit more comfortable. I teach Elijah to distance as well as hand washing regularly. I just have to accept this is the world we live in now and it’s not healthy to stay in one place for the rest of our lives, so long as we are careful and i overcome my anxiety then we are able to live a relatively normal life.

If you are feeling anxious about going out solo with your toddler remember you are not alone. Baby steps can help at times and things do get better. Things are not always as bad as our head makes it out to be. Yes there are times i take him out and his naughty but sometimes he can be a complete angel. He will be the best behaved little boy ever. It is rare he is naughty but when he is the odd time it makes me still feel anxious and stressed but i try to remember this is just a bad day and we will get through it.

Thanks for reading, charlie x

10 signs you might be depressed.

10 signs you might be depressed.

Sometimes when you’re depressed you can’t even notice the signs. A lot of people just think of depression as sadness but also as just a emotion that passes. This is why I put together some small signs I have presented which you may recognise in yourself that indicate when I am feeling depressed.

One- You struggle to find motivation in household chores. You can’t find the energy to make the bed, chores such as washing up are exhausting and you put of jobs as long as possible. Your house gets more messy as your mood drops.

Two- Your personal hygiene may fail you. You may find having a bath or shower the absolutely last thing you want to do. You may say tomorrow to having a wash. You may go a long time without washing or brushing your hair. You may stop washing your face because you lack the motivation to do it. You may wear the same clothes for days because they’re comfy and you can’t be bothered to change them.

Three-You loose interest in things. Watching tv becomes boring and draining. You don’t enjoy reading, texting, or anything else you normally would enjoy. You get overwhelmed forcing yourself to do things you normally enjoy.

Four-You loose focus. You’re unable to take in information. Unable to concentrate on conversations. Your mind wonders and you don’t follow what’s said.

Five-You’re easily confused. You are unable to remember things at times and situations confuse you. Sometimes following simple instructions is confusing as you are unable to concentrate on the task at hand.

Six-Your easily upset. Other people upset you easily. You find offence in a lot of situations and you don’t know why. You randomly cry sometimes for no reason.

Seven-You could struggle to sleep or sleep too much. Choosing to sleep in instead of getting up and ready. You also may be wide awake all night.

Eight-Finding negatives in every situation. Thinking you will fail or things will go wrong for you all the time. Loosing hope in the future.

Nine-You may also suffer from anxiety which you didn’t suffer with before. You may become worried constantly. Anxiety normally comes hand in hand with depression.

Ten-You think what is the point of life. You question why your here. If it would make a difference if you where gone. You may feel you’ve become hopeless thinking about your death and existence.

If you are feeling like some of these things I’ve listed you may need to contact your gp and get some advice and help. You may also want to talk to someone about your feelings. If you are thy inking about death it is very important to speak out now and seek the help you need. You can find help with mind.org or calling the Samaritans on 116 123 at any time of the day or night. My emails are always open too.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Mens mental health is as important as a womens.

Mens mental health is as important as a womens.

When mental health is spoken about sadly I see a lot of women speaking about it more then men. Why? Because sometimes they can be more comfortable talking about it. It doesn’t mean men don’t have mental health issues but they are a victim of sexism in the form of being told to man up. Which is only more damaging to someone already not in the best of places. A woman may get a lot of sexism in the way people can say it’s hormones or women are just sensitive. Yet men are stigmatised thinking their genetic make up means no sadness is allowed to be felt.How often have you watched a film and seen a man cry? I don’t think I ever have. Yet I see so many films and tv series when woman cry all the time.

One person dies of suicide every 40 seconds. Now we know that did you know that more men commit suicide then women?

With media and social pressures to be a manly man there is no real help out there aimed at men sometimes. Counselling is normally advertised as women with girly fonts and colours. If a man was also to say he was going to counselling it would be more judged then a woman saying it. We need to normalise crying, emotions and allow our men and boys to feel as deeply as they can without feeling judged.

With facts like this it’s hard to ignore that men need the care and love women do. Why is it we have so many people that go around spreading love for the women and for women’s mental health but not for men. Men are barely ever spoken about. The issue is simply men have always been seen as in charge. This is a generational thing as long as history goes where men have been seen as the ones who have to have it all together. To support others and to never complain. But we don’t live in the fifties anymore. We live in generations where the burden shouldn’t be on the men as much as if we can learn from everything else that’s gone wrong in the world, we can learn to respect one another’s sex and support them and their emotions as equals.

I always regularly ask my husband if he’s okay or if he’s too stressed. I ask him to be honest with me and when I can see signs he’s stressed I try my best to allow him to talk about it or get rid of those emotions the best he can. Whether it be playing video games all night or perhaps we sit and watch a film together with our phones off. Or we go out for a long walk as a family or he even goes out with his friends for a drink. I try to actively look for signs because I always worry he won’t want to talk to me about it if he did feel low. We all need to look out for our loved ones and notice changes in their behaviours. We should all talk to each and ask how one another is doing.

Knowing I am raising a boy I want to know that he will grow up and talk about his emotions to me. I want him to know his emotions are as valid as anyone else’s and there is no need to ever man up. I want both my son and husband to always know that I am here to talk. I am always here to listen and I will never judge.

If you’re a man reading this and you have felt the stigma to not show your emotions then just know that it is okay. It is okay to cry. It’s okay to admit you may be depressed. It is okay to go the doctors to seek help. It’s okay to have medication. It’s okay to not want to go out with the lads sometimes. It’s okay to struggle and when you struggle you can and should speak about it. You can talk about it and blog just as woman do because I promise you this, you are not alone. Other men are felling the same and are also creating fabulous support groups for other men out there and blogging to show just because their a man doesn’t mean they can’t feel.

I’m hoping one day the stigma fades away as we are the generation of change it is how we raise our children that determines how the world goes on. I’m hoping for a more loving and understanding planet for all where emotions are felt without any stigma and when you can drop your mental health issues into a conversation without worrying what someone else will think I’m hoping for a planet where I see more men crying in films, where men talk as freely as women without stigma.

If you ever need someone to chat to my emails are always open.

If you are ever in crisis and need someone to talk too contact Samaritans here on- 116123 or check their website here- https://www.samaritans.org/

You can also get help and support from looking on the mind website here- https://www.mind.org.uk

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Weighted blanket review – The kalm koala.

Weighted blanket review – The kalm koala.

Disclaimer this was gifted in exchange for review:

If you like me have seen the many, many adverts out of weighted blankets you will also of been interested into what they’re really like. I was intrigued into if they really work or if they where pretty much a money making scam. But i was offered one in exchange for a review so how could i say no. All opinions in this post are my own and honest. As with any post if i do not rate a product highly enough too talk about it i always tell the company and offer to send back and explain i won’t be reviewing it. However this is not the case with this product.

Weighted blankets are advertised to use weight to relax your central nervous system to relax you. They are advertised to help anxiety, depression and autism sensory overloads.

So first of aesthetically it is very pleasing. The cover has a warm and cool side. The quilted side you use in winter and the silk side in summer. The Silk underneath is navy so looks lovely too. I use it as a runner in the day and it fits over the both of us with our feet hanging out the ends the blanket goes from my shoulders to ankles which is good because its weighted and feet with pressures not the best combo. so perhaps socks in winter if not using another cover on top. I mainly use it however not at night but as to sit on the sofa with if i am particularly stressed or sit in the bed in it. The quilt is heavy so it really is weighted i was surprised when the post man dropped it off. I got the largest and most weighted due to my weight.

Does it relax you? It feels like a cuddle and like some pressure. Considering i hate cuddles it is quite nice to be able to have that tight compression feeling without the emotions and people involved to make a cuddle happen. (yes i cuddle my husband and son). You can really feel the weight and it feels like a weight is not only taken of your body but your mind when you take it off too. For it too work i take myself quiet or watch or read something i like to relax myself. I really do notice a difference when i use it to calm myself the added weight is quite nice and also warming too when i need the warmth. I sort of only really concentrate on the weight for a little while which enables me to calm a bit and i only use when anxious so i know it is something i can use.

I haven’t used it overnight much because it has been too hot to exist and i have been in hospital but i used it two nights and it certainly relaxed me. It felt like all of my body was being pressed down and i felt at ease. I fell asleep with it. It still took me a while to shut down but my insomnia reacts to nothing. It did however take less long to fall asleep which could be the blanket or the fact i am still poorly.

So i would recommend this blanket. Id suggest a smaller one for single use however as i got this to be a runner at the same time. This product would be excellent for those who suffer sensory overload particularly autism suffers as the pressure can calm the body without physical contact,

Thanks for reading, charlie x

My endometriosis #wombstories

My endometriosis #wombstories

I have endometriosis. If you’ve followed and read my blog posts over the year you will be more than aware of the fact that i have endometriosis and it rules my life at times. One day i can feel completely fine and go about my life as normal then the next moment my stomachs swollen like a balloon, i am in intense pain and i am crippled by it sometimes even hospitalised. But it’s a weird thing being a endometriosis sufferer, i used to feel so alone but now i know i am not alone. Since starting my blog i have made so many connections with so many beautiful people who also suffer with endo. We all know what it is like to be sick but not look sick. We know each others struggles and go through it together. Like some sort of badass period gang. There is a reason they call us endo warriors. It is because we get up and start the day despite at times feeling like we are dying. It’s that a lot of us are there to give support and talk about what we are going through in the hope that it helps someone else.

Did you know that 1 in ten woman can be suffering from endometriosis and that it can take around 8 years for a diagnosis?

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis or endo as many of us call it is when the material of your uterus grows elsewhere in your body. Causing internal bleeding, scaring and in many cases damage to organs. The only way to know how severe or diagnose is through surgery. It is barely ever picked up on ultrasounds and you have to be extraordinarily lucky to have it found in other ways. There is also no cure for endo. You can have patches of it burned of but it just grows back like weeds and sometimes it comes back worse.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain, intense pain on periods.
  • Heavy bleeding.
  • Nausea and sickness.
  • Constipation or diarrhoea when ovulating or on period
  • Pain when peeing or pooing on period or ovulating.
  • Difficulty getting pregnant.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Back pain and pelvic pain.
  • Pain during or after sex.
  • Lots more.

My story.

Growing up i found periods uncomfortable but it wasn’t until my twenties i started to have more intense periods. I would also get very frequent urine infections which would burn. I’d sometimes live on the toilet. Once i had elijah i found out i had endometriosis through my c section. Which in turn caused my endometriosis to get way worse and start presenting severe pain more than ever before. As I started to fuse back together my endo grew with it infesting my insides and destroying my life. Every month on the return of my periods i started to notice extreme stabbing pain in my side. Like i had a knife inside of me. I would also always describe it as having a burning hot ice cream scoop inside of me scooping away at my organs and pulling at the flesh. I would be exhausted, bed bound and in so much pain i would cry on the floor. If you’re a endo sufferer you also know that the pain your in is determined by how low to the floor you get. If you can stand it’s a okay day. If your laying on your stomach or back in pain on the middle of the bathroom or living room floor it’s pretty unbearable.

I also loose my appetite for days and feel sick the whole time. I bloat and look pregnant whilst also suffering intense bowel and urinating issues. I have hot sweats and cant do anything to soothe the pain. I spend the week of my period attached to a tens machine, cooling pads or in tropical temperatures with a hot water bottle resting on my stomach. The more severe the flare the more it causes me to feel so week I feel faint and unable to concentrate. The worse thing is when I feel shaky and unable to function .

I was one of the lucky ones who had a diagnosis. Only on a accidental find. But being told i had endometriosis wasn’t the end. Even though i had a diagnosis doctors would still make me believe it was in my head i would turn up to their surgery in so much pain i couldn’t stand up properly hunched over and i would be made to think it was all in my head. I’d be prodded over and over and cry in pain as touched where it hurt. Over and over i would attend a and e begging for help thinking i was going to die. Turned back to my gp after a day of sitting upright crying or writing in pain needing the floor or a bed. I would Rarely be Admitted to gynaecology where after having scans seeing cysts I’d be sent home later that day when i could barely stand and had been drugged up to the nines.

The medication never really helps sure it sometimes takes away some of the pain but a lot of the time it barely scratches the surfaces. I’ve often had the strongest medications you can have and still lay writing in pain on the floor crying pressing into my stomach in the hope of stopping the tsunami of cramps and pain. Many times i have had to give up going out because i am bleeding so heavy. I’ve leaked in public and been forced into adult nappies. I become anaemic every month because i loose so much blood and have massive clots. I run on empty feeling faint because there is no option when people can’t see your problem but to get up and carry on. The condition also messes with my hormones causing mood swings and extreme depression and lets not even go there with the beautiful spots i inherit from aunt flo visiting. I often feel like a failure as a mother and wife because sometimes i just don’t have the energy. Sometimes i struggle to get through the day and sometimes im laying on the floor crying like some crazy woman. I know often i should go to hospital when it gets overly bad but with the little understanding of doctors in the hospital i am treated terribly and would rather writhe in pain at home just praying that this isn’t it, that i’m not actually dying this time.

I also find that i am starting to get issues with ovulating more now. I cramp and hurt and have many of the same symptoms as when i bleed but without the blood. It wasn’t enough to take a week of my month but now it is two weeks.My doctors all push for me to have another surgery to look at how bad my endo is but i refuse as i cannot bring myself to go under again after my traumatic birth. I also think what would be the point? There is no cure. It will grow back. Whats the point in more scars and more pain. So I spend my days engulfed in the fire that burns its way through me.

However in our darkest hours there is unity. I have joined many endo support groups where we all give each other love, support and advice where i don’t feel like such a freak. I talk to fellow bloggers and people i follow or follow me about the struggles of our endo flares. It makes me not feel so alone. It has also enabled me to learn about more related symptoms and that i can relate other issues to my endo.

I talk about my endometriosis not because i want sympathy but because i want understanding. I want people to understand what i am going through. I want awareness for my people and i also want to be able to help others. i talk about endo in the hope that the girl sitting on the toilet in agony knows that it is not normal to have this much pain. I talk about it in the hope of more seeking help and also being there to help. I talk for everyone. Just because we do not look sick does not mean we are not sick. Chronic pain is real and it is hard and honestly every day i wish it would go away but it never will no matter how hard i wish or how many heat packs i put on my stomach and back,

If you or anyone else have similar symptoms then i have please speak to your gp. It may be that help you need. My messages are always open and you can always dm me on my instagram @lifewiththehazelwoods or email or comment here.

Thanks for reading! Charlie x

How having a traumatic birth and NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) baby affected how i bonded with my child.

How having a traumatic birth and NICU (neonatal intensive care unit)  baby affected how i bonded with my child.

When you get pregnant all you can do is imagine bringing your perfect little baby home the day you give birth. You can almost smell in your imagination that newborn baby smell and your heart aches for time to move that little bit quicker. Of course you wait patiently because well you have no choice and wait as the excitement begins to build. Nobody expects when you are pregnant that things can go wrong. Because well in honesty you can’t predict the future. As my pregnancy progressed i was so worried something would be wrong when the baby was born. I could sense it. I was called crazy for worrying and i was even prescribed anti anxiety tablets later in my pregnancy. When i was around 34 weeks pregnant i had reduced movements from Elijah, Basically i couldn’t feel him move all day for some reason. I was made to think it was all in my head and that i was crazy. Still i did as you’re supposed too i called the midwife switch board that always told me to go to hospital to be checked. I would sit in a busy or empty waiting room panicking. I was good at hiding my emotions but inside it was pure panic. What could be wrong with my baby?

Of course nothing was wrong that was seen from fetal monitors, but i could still not feel my baby. After the all clear was given i was sent home. Feelings returned the next day but then the same happened again and again and it got to the point i didn’t want to go to the hospital but i knew it shouldn’t be avoided. I went again and again and sat and sat until one day i was taken to the labour suite and kept a bit longer, deciding i wasn’t in active labour and no feelings they arranged me to have a scan the next morning. Despite the many, many people touching my stomach they did not pick up that my child was breach until the scan and this is why i didn’t feel him. After this it was decided by all that we would try and have him turned. After the most painful experience of my life and the little bugger not moving at all we gave up and booked in for a c-section.

When we booked the c section that was it for me. Anxiety through the roof and panic. I was convinced i would die or something would happen to the baby. For two weeks i didn’t sleep and pretended to be excited despite being so nerve wrecked i didn’t know how i could go through with it all. On the day i was booked in i felt strange, i was still convinced i was going to die or something drastic but i also felt like perhaps it was all in my head. That i was wrong, it would all be okay. I was right as i normally am when my anxiety is involved and things did go wrong. Firstly the medicine to paralyse me and stop feeling basically didn’t work and you can guess the rest in regards to feeling. I was put to sleep screaming and panicking and missed my sons birth. This is something that i will never, ever get over. Missing the birth of your own child is something i cant describe. When i think of it now my eyes swell up in tears, my stomach hurts where Elijah was and my throat goes hard. It is something i would not wish upon anyone.

Elijah was fine at birth and everyone was in love with him. James and my mum told me how beautiful he was but i was so gone from the drugs i thought i had imagined this whole thing and couldn’t really accept the baby was mine. I mean how could i? I hadn’t seen him be born. They could of stolen him for all i knew. It was weird to accept and everything still felt like a dream i barely remember this wet thing latching and trying to appear present when i was still so scared and didn’t know what was going on. As i said before i am very good at acting like everything is okay with me when it really isn’t. As I started to come round and after James parents had visited the baby he became unwell. Quickly. His blood sugars dropped dangerously low and as i had started to look at this new child and start to warm to him he was ripped away from me and taken downstairs to the NICU. I sent James with him because to be honest i didn’t know what would happen and didn’t want the baby to die alone if that was to happen. Obviously i couldn’t move. I was paralysed from the drugs. I sat in worry not knowing what was going on and nobody would tell me. Everyone had left, nobody came to tell me what had happened and those few hours where the hardest of my life.

Eventually James came back with basically no information and someone came in and said i could see Elijah in the morning but i explained if she wasn’t going to help me into a chair i would fall to the floor and drag myself there. I was helped into a chair and wheeled down to see him. Nothing will ever prepare you for seeing your newborn baby in a incubator. Nobody will ever be able to explain what it’s like watching your child’s chest rise and fall as machines and wires come out of every limb and bit of skin you can see connecting to medicine or monitors that alarm constantly causing a panic. I thought then and there he would die. Immediately i closed myself off to him because i didn’t want the hurt.

As the days went past Elijah would get better and then worse again. I had no hope past the third day. Seeing your child scream in pain as blood test after blood test and heel prick after heel prick is done. I struggled to breastfeed. I mean i couldn’t i was of course unsure of how and being in a busy ward with other people constantly looking at wires and alarms going off every time i tried put me off. I tried to get him to latch but he would barely ever. He would scream he couldn’t get enough from me and refuse to remain latched. I remember sobbing trying to pump and getting barely anything out. I would pump all day long to get as much as i could for him which was barely anything so i would have to top up with formula.I had never felt like more of a failure as a mother and as a person. Why didn’t my body work? Why could so many others do it and i couldn’t? Why where there people who refused to even try! I would frown when i would give a pathetic amount of my milk to my child and rely on something else to feed him. I wanted that bond of feeding him everything he needs but I had failed him.

My body was so exhausted from the surgery but i never rested i would sleep four hours a day and stand as much as i could possibly bare to change and feed Elijah. I wanted so hard to feel like his mum and not like another nurse on the ward to him. I felt he didn’t know who i was despite the fact i stood there feeling my stomach rip apart as i soothed him when he cried. I didn’t like being away from him i was terrified he would die so would barely go back to my bed to sleep or eat or drink only when doctors did there rounds.

Even when Elijah started to get better after a week i was sure he wouldn’t be. When they said we could go home we still had no answers as to why he was ill and i couldn’t accept no answers. My rational mind had nothing to hold onto. When we got home it wasn’t the glowy memory i once had it was panic. I sat watching him breath panicked that sids would happen. I was meticulous about him drinking enough and sanitising anything and anyone who entered my house. I was worried every time he made a sound or moved. I was so adamant he would die. I was worried we would be back to the hospital every time he didn’t finish a feed or had reflux down me.

When James returned to work and i was alone i had never been so scared. A part of me wanted so hard to love this tiny human but the other part of me was in panic and was controlling my feelings out of fear of being hurt. I was on auto pilot just doing everything for the baby and not being present in my mind to enjoy it. I don’t remember much from the early days except the pain of over exerting myself when i was recovering whilst also trying to keep everyone around me happy. I remember having many visitors and seeing family because i was worried i’d upset someone when inside i was so panicked someone would get him ill and he’d be back to square one. I remember needing to be alone but in so much company I was alone.

As time went on and Elijah grew i eventually learned to stop panicking as much. I realised Elijah wasn’t going to die any time soon and i calmed down. Slowly i became more attached to him. I accepted that he was my son and that i was his mum. I stopped trying to not feel hurt and accepted it and in time i became more and more of a mother. Then one day it just clicked and i suddenly knew that i loved this child with all of my heart and that i would die for him. I realised all that worry he would die was because i was being his mother and caring. I still doubt myself as a mother everyday and i think everyday how would my relationship of changed with Elijah if i was to see him be born and then to of took him home the same night healthy and happy. Would i of breastfed and bonded better? Would i be less worried even now almost three years on when he gets a cough or cold or goes to spend time in anyone else’s care but my own?

Who knows but all i know that is that the experience effected me to no bounds. That i wish that things had been normal and that i could be normal but they weren’t. I wish i has someone to talk too about it. Explanations and reasons why things happened. I wish i had understanding when i would have to tell my health visitor that i had to give formula as my body wouldn’t work. I think this post has been one of the most raw posts i have ever wrote. I may even show my counsellor this because i am having counselling for my traumatic birth!

I am as time goes on healing slowly and i hope one day that i can accept what happened to me. But i think there will always be parts of me that constantly worries about me as a mother, my son and the bond that we have. Whenever Elijah has been ill in the past my brain flips out i want to take him to a hospital straight away and when a hospital in past has confirmed he is ill and needs admitting my brain had shut off again taking me back to the newborn stage where i was present but not feeling and incredibly closed off. But for now i am so proud how far me and Elijah have come with bonding and he is not just my son he is my best friend who i love with all of my heart, something at the start i could never of imagined. Although I will perhaps never understand what happened to us both I will be forever thankful we are both here today and healthy.

Thanks, Charlie x

My social needs still exist after becoming a mum.

My social needs still exist after becoming a mum.

One thing that is a constant since having a child is that once you have a kid, the kid is all that is spoken about. Even when I’d just had my baby and had recently been ripped open and feeling awful at home the phone calls never started with how are you? it was hows the baby? It’s something that still happens today. Straight away people ask how Elijah is and never me. Or people call and straight away say can I speak to Elijah or hows my boy before I’ve barely even answered the phone.

There’s no talk to me just Elijah. Also many people are disappointed if I see them without the kid. If I pop by someones while child free or meet up with someone they moan that they wanted to see Elijah and they’re disappointed and I’m like sorry? shall I just go home then? I forgot I don’t exist other then to assist my child’s social life.

If I try to talk about myself it’s kind of returned back to the kid. It can be really frustrating and a bit upsetting to be fair. Sometimes it feels like your existence doesn’t exist beyond your kid. My friends are quite good and don’t start conversations with hows Elijah because they know I exist and have feelings too. Although my friends adore my child they would never dream of telling me they’re disappointed it’s just me who’s come to see them.

I still want to be invited out too. I found since having a kid I had lost a few friends because people just thought that’s the end of Charlie. But no it wasn’t. It was the birth of me. Having a kid enabled me to be more confident in myself. To want to actively go out more and have a social life instead of hiding in my room on my days of work. I wanted freedom to be alone and be me again in the strongest light. People worried all I’d speak about is the baby and I don’t think I’ve ever been that person to only gush about my kid either. If someone asks I tell them but I know lots of people who don’t have kids just don’t care. They’ve in fact told me they love that about me that I don’t bore them with talking about my kid all the time. People without kids just don’t care. Like I didn’t when I didn’t have kids.

I still have a personality. I still want to meet up with my mum friends with our kids but I also enjoy meeting up with friends and family alone at times. I like being able to talk about myself sometimes. I’m not vain but it’s quite nice being able to talk about adult subjects without a little earwigger.

I choose to become a mum but I did not choose to not exist beyond that title.

I still enjoy going out for meals with friends, cocktails, date nights and shopping trips. I still love the cinemas and going on walks too. I miss getting dressed up and not being dressed down because my child will destroy my outfit.

Just because we’re mums doesn’t mean we can’t struggle to. Ever noticed that a lot of mums don’t talk about themselfs so therefor don’t express their own feelings. It is so important to appreciate that there is someone behind the child. Mental health issues exist in the silence and it’s because this that depression can hideaway. I know for a fact my depression got so much worse after a child. Because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it’s sleepless nights, puke and a lot of attitude from your child.

Tbh my child is pretty cool and I could talk about him all day but tbh I don’t want to. Not only will I bore others but it also creates that weird online vibe where people think another kids better then theirs. Or worse I’d come across as one of those parents that I hate which think their child is a god and the best child to grace the planet ever. No child is perfect. Sorry not sorry. You also look like a bit of a tool. Still not sorry.

So when your friends and family have a kid ask them how they are. Ask what they’ve been up to. Talk about things not related to their children. Ask them if they want to meet up with kid or if they prefer child free time. You do get the odd parent who never wants to leave their child and that’s okay. Start a phone call talking about the person who’s number you rang and then ask about the child. Never tell someone your disappointed their child isn’t with them. Remember they existed before a child and they’re still the same person. You don’t have to meet up with the child all the time either. It’s a bit nicer for a parent to not have to worry about the child’s behaviour all the time so seeing someone in their child free time is a privilege which shouldn’t be wasted insulting them and making them feel bad about themselves.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

100 days of lockdown.

100 days of lockdown.

Can you believe it. It’s been one hundred days since lockdown began. Whilst things are slowly being eased it’s still so surreal to accept that lockdown even happened in the first place. At the time it was announced as a time line of only three weeks and the world would go back to normal. We believed the earth would keep turning and normality would return. But the days grew to weeks and the weeks grew to months and here we are 100 days later.

In someways I’m thankful for the lockdown. I’m thankful it’s protected my family and friends and it has protected many lives. I’m thankfull the world has slowed down a bit. I’m thankfull for taking the time to appreciate the worlds beauty once more and learning what is truely important in the world. I’ve become thankfull for my old and new life in many ways. I’m thankful that I am able to appreciate how lovely my life was before. How loved I was and didn’t see. I am able to see how much I love my family and friends and how lonely I feel without them. I’m thankful for knowing now that the experiences of going shopping trips and eating out are a treat and something I never will take for advantage again. I will always now have more respect for my fellow human beings and a sense of community I never had before.

We as humans will never be the same. Whilst things will open again next week and normality creeps in again there will always be the anxiety of the what ifs. What if I catch covid? What if the businesses shut down from loss of earnings? What if we are placed on a second lock down? Although I highly doubt another nationwide lockdown will be impossed I know that the anxiety will long linger for many months and years to come.

Obviously lockdown has been hard with every postive there’s a negative. Being stuck in with your own thoughts all day and no physical contact in many cases can be hard. I don’t think I’ve wanted to cuddle my friends as much as I do now and I’ve never been one for personal contact. My mental health has been on a rollercoaster. I’m not afraid to admit there was times I didn’t want to go on anymore. Where getting up in the morning was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But you know what I got through it. I’ve spoken to so many others who have experienced the same emotions so know that your not alone. It’s okay to feel lonely, it’s okay to feel anything other then positive right now. You don’t have to do something with your life like develop a new hobby all you need to do right now is survive and that’s way more commendable then learning the guitar or some other pointless hobby someone has got.

While there is still no end in sight but lockdown restrictions are lifting it is okay to feel scared. It’s okay to question everything. It’s okay to be scared of meeting friends and family. It’s okay to worry about going shopping. It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to have relapse of health anxiety and panic every time you go out. It’s okay to be concerned. So do what’s best for you and take your time. Do not feel you need to rush into things just as restrictive measures are taken away and someone tells you what you should be doing. Ease yourself back in slowly. If you want to wear a mask, wear one. Let’s try not to focus on what others are doing as it only gets us more upset and everyone knows the risks. Let’s try focus on just us and what’s right for us.

So here’s to 100 days. I can not believe it has been that long and it blows my mind even typing it. But we will come out the other side. We have survived and we will continue to survive. One day we will feel normality once again.

Do you journal?

Do you journal?

So before lockdown I started a journal. I’ve been told for years I should start one by many healthcare professionals after battling with my mental health. But I’ve always felt this sounds stupid and why should I do it? Nobody will ever read it so it’s a waste of complete time.

But after a paperchase sale near me a cute journal caught my eye and i couldn’t put it down. Sure I do the five minuite journal and self help journals but have I ever just unleashed myself in full? Let out my emotions I feel without saying the words and fearing judgement? No.

As a child I had one of those super cool diary’s you know the ones that had a electric lock and key and when you opened it there was a light and everything. Very swanky and perhaps the best Christmas present of my youth. Of course I wrote about pointless crap like how my day has been and how I hated my parents over something stupid like not letting me stay up late to watch ima celeb. But as I got older the beautiful book went and I was never to capture my love for writing again.

So coming back to it. At the start of lockdown I had nothing to do and I meant nothing. So I pulled out the beautiful bargain and started writing. At first I started documenting lockdown in some sort of justication that one day my diary may be read. Then I realised no this is private and I can go into my feelings. My real feelings. I wrote down things that upset me. Things people did that upset me. I wrote about my feelings and why I felt like that and shortly I’d written pages apon pages and didn’t realise. A small weight was lifted at the acknowledgment that I basically had somewhere to express and leave my darker emotions. There’s a reason why the mean girls called it a burn book I guess.

I kept my journal a place to write my emotions and my troubles. To express myself without a fear of judgement. I couldn’t judge myself as I will never read it again. I may even burn it when I’m done as therapy. But the release I felt. Obviously I wrote positives too but I have a lot of positivity journals I kind of keep this one as the feelings book and try not to feel I have to build myself up and I know it’s okay.

So you know what? I journal and I don’t care. Buy a pretty ass cactus covered or whatever you like journal and sit down for a bit and spill your feelings. Don’t read it again. Don’t hold back. Ask other members of your house not to read it or hide if you feel the need. But my god when they say it’s therapeutic they mean it.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x