Mental health brain fog

Mental health brain fog

So as it’s mental health awareness week I thought I’d talk about my personal struggle today with one of the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Brain fog. Basically confusion and a inability to focus or really understand what’s happening at times. I did this post for the lovely Ellie over at https://alifetwintastic.blog and wanted to add to my blog to in hope it may resonate with someone.

I’ve suffered mental health issues since childhood and really sort of came to terms with it as I got a diagnosis in my teenage years. I was diagnosed with ocd, depression and anxiety. Yeah three lovely things to have all at one but hey ho. Medication and therapy later I go through stages of feeling okay and then a bit crappy again. 

Since lockdown started I’ve kind of been stuck on fight or flight mode going between the two constantly. Trying to accept what’s happening and then not. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster on my emotions and truth be told being in lockdown with children can be a bit rubbish. I don’t love my son any less by admitting he can be a handful at times and that doesn’t make me a bad mum, but sometimes I wonder if he just enjoys being naughty at times. Obviously this has had a huge toll on my depression and anxiety and I’ve sort of developed brain fog again from it. 

My brain fog sort of stops me talking to people at times or making no sense when I talk. I tune out. I can’t be bothered, I just can’t be in the moment. I can’t watch telly or read a book or really engage in any adult conversation at times. I often get confused on things I have to do like replying to messages and just don’t have the energy to go through with it. I often also just get the biggest headaches from it too. Don’t worry I’ve already had a mri and no Tumor (well yet). 

I find brain fog really hard to deal with because sometimes I feel like I’m not living my own life. I’m surviving but it’s like I’m watching myself like I’m on autopilot as I write this blog post now I’ve been planning for days i just don’t feel here or present.  I sometimes feel a bit light and complete sensory over load and can’t concentrate until it’s fixed. I feel clothes might be tight, noises are too loud, being touched makes me feel on edge and being spoken to constantly completely drains me. It’s hard to turn of and just relax. My brains defending myself in its own little way from a incredible amount of stress the way it knows how. 

Obviously it’s not normal and not great so I reached out to the doctors. Of course the doctors upped my medication and I have a review in a weeks time. If you ever feel like this I strongly suggest you reach out and give your gp a call to try talk through your symptoms. 

I think we always talk about our mental health but never the toll it can have on just living at times. Mental health isn’t just emotional it turns into physical symptoms. Take my Functional neurological disorder for example. I can loose function sometimes to my body and that’s how my body deals with stress. So for now I’m stuck in the what’s going on stage but it is okay. I know I’ll come out the other side. I’m functioning, living and talking normally just having problems processing it all. I’m grateful to be here safe and well and for my brain hanging on as well as it can. 

Thanks, Charlie xx

Mental health week. That week everyone acts kind for a few days.

Mental health week. That week everyone acts kind for a few days.

So we’ve hit mental health awareness week which is such a brilliant idea. It inspires the conversations that need to be happening and it normalises mental health that little bit more. People are being brave and coming forward with their story’s and the love is being shared.

However it’s that week where for a few days people pretend to care about others. To act like they care about being kind and sharing love. Come next Monday normality will come again and the trolls will be out and ready to play. The people that pretended to care go back to ripping people down now they think they’ve got their good person badges for a few weeks.

What I’m trying to say is, be kind. Don’t put others down. Always remember people may be fighting personal battles behind closed doors. Don’t only check on friends and family this week, check on them every week. Share the love you would want if you where suffering. Don’t just share a post and think that’s me done, I’m a incredible human being and the world knows it! Be kind to others and share your time with them.

Ask someone what they’ve been up too. Talk about the weather, a series you’ve watched anything. Reach out to those who have gone silent. Appreciate that although you may not see their mental health issue it does exist and it does hurt mentally and physically. Do not belittle people on medication and don’t identify someone to their mental health conditions.

I want you to join me in sharing the love everyday. Always reaching out, always caring and always doing what’s right. If you don’t like someone simple, cut them out of your lives don’t make them feel bad or make digs to try upset someone. Bring others up not down. Here’s to mental health I’m not glamourising it but you bloody deserve some sort of reward for suffering with it!

Thanks Charlie x

I’m loosing patience

I’m loosing patience

As a mother you develop a sense of patience. A limit to how much you can handle and how long you can keep calm and a level head. As they get older your patience grows. However now more than ever my patience is being tested to its absolute limits. Elijah has become quite obsessed with pushing boundaries at the moment. I understand that yes this is part of his development but he almost seems in complete overdrive at the moment.

I mean I’m struggling because I can’t go anywhere without him. I go to the toilet he decided to shove something in my face while I beg for alone time. I cook dinner he’s at the stair gate screaming. Clearly he’s developed a attachment to me more now which is flattering but at the same time really annoying. Everything he seems to do is something to grab my attention. Normally something he does is quite negative such as I sit here right now in my little mind full corner he’s being told of by his dad for constantly jumping of sofa and throwing things. The sarcasm from that child is something else completely.

I know he’s in that development stage where he’s learning who’s the boss, what’s right and wrong and what he can get away with it. The terrible twos certainly are living up to their reputation and breaking me. It’s causing my depression to creep back in with the exhaustion that comes with it. I am struggling to have the energy to argue anymore and he’s worse behaved when I don’t argue to tell him to stop being bad.

Talking to other people about the stress I’m feeling at the moment keeps somewhat being put down. “Oh I remember when mine was 2! It wasn’t so bad!” Well yes I imagine it wasn’t. Why? The simple difference is that not only is my child 2 he has also not left the house other then for a walk for almost 3 months now (we started isolating at the beginning of March with Elijah) . I mean yes it must of been hard your child being two but imagine not being able to go out and let your hair down. Imagine not being able to go to your mums for a cuppa to unload or be able to have a night or day off it it all got to much. Instead it is 24 hours of the repeated arguements, tantrums and mood swings that leave you in a frazzled sleepy state of mind.

I’ve noticed I can’t concentrate much at the moment as I’m trying to keep my head above water and focus on keeping together. At times I zone out to try keep myself from failing. My head is a constant headache and sometimes I can’t concentrate on tasks I’m doing. I grow impatient very quickly now and I have become bored of the same thing everyday. I’m hopeful I’ll regain more patience as more things are lifted with the restrictions but for now I’m exhausted and tired of it all .

Just because someone has it worse of then you doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to your feelings .

Just because someone has it worse of then you doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to your feelings .

We’ve all heard it before. You tell someone your feelings and someone’s immediate response is “someone always has it worse“. I am not arguing that people experiences are different on this planet and people do in fact have it worse. However…. they are not you. They are not living your life, someone else’s experiences being worse does not effect your emotions. You are entitled to your feelings as they are not living your life. Every emotion you have is valid. You do not need to see things in a light where things are worse and be positive. It is not healthy.

When your feeling sad you do not need to feel how others have it worse like you’re not aloud to complain. Of course you’re aloud to complain let it out! Keeping emotions in is hard and also more upsetting. Let it out. If you hear someone say but someone has it worth. Just day I understand that but this is my life and my feelings are valid.

Growing up I was always told someone had it worse. Normally compared to African children starving or children being abused at home. Which is a wildly different scenario to saying I’m upset about something. You’re not going to become a desensitised robot and feel instantly better because someone told you you should be grateful for not having things worse.

Our emotions are different to others. Some of us feel things way worse than others and that’s okay. It’s part of who we are, our personality. Never feel that your opinions and emotions are worth less than anyone else’s. If you need help or want to talk to someone don’t be afraid to! It is the most natural thing talking about our feelings and more people should be more willing to both share and listen.

As always I’m always here if anyone needs a chat. Charlie x

Guest post by @alifetwintastic- A new routine:

Guest post by @alifetwintastic- A new routine:

Ellie is a mum of three from Gloucestershire, UK. A wannabe perfect housewife, to-do list checker and mental health advocate with dreams of a healthy lifestyle, unburnt cookies and mini adventures. Find out more at alifetwintastic.blog here.

I’m usually all about the routine. It’s embedded into my DNA. The need for structure and organisation. To know what’s coming next and to feel a sense of control. Routine has served me well in the past {hello baby twins} but as with all things, life changes and routines adapt.

When the boys were babies I quickly realised in order for me to survive {mentally} I greatly needed some stability and control in the way of a routine. This worked to a certain extent and it got me through that seemingly impossible first year but not without sacrifice. I became highly set on our schedule, blinkers on and my anxiety at an all time high. I struggled to see past the next job on our list and became irritable and stressed when the routine was messed with {including snapping at my mum in the car one day when I was trying to get the boys to nap}. Having the boys in the same routine was my coping mechanism. Being a first time mum of twins and being naturally inclined to like control and structure caused a huge wrecking ball type effect.

It’s hard to admit it but those days were dark. Postnatal depression crept in. Not accepting any kind of help, feeling like a failure and distraught

With Penny I have always been more relaxed. Be it being a second time mum, a single baby or her generally chilled personality. I don’t know. Again probably all of these things. Penny’s start to life was anything but straightforward. Almost constant morning sickness throughout my pregnancy, a breech baby, emergency c-section, diagnosis of hip dysplasia and subsequent Pavlik harness and then CMPA. But these things didn’t phase me in the same way as they probably would have done the first time round. Don’t get me wrong it was hard. There were dark days but overall the whole experience was much more relaxed and enjoyable.

We have never had Penny in any kind of routine. She woke up when she liked, slept when she liked and fed on demand. She fitted in with our lives as younger siblings do. As a result we were all a lot calmer and relaxed. She made her own daily routine and adapted it when needed. I felt like I could read her better and knew what she needed. This is not to say things were easy. Another bout of postnatal depression hit but this time I was more accepting of it. I accepted help more readily and didn’t blame myself in the same way.

Fast forward to today and I still have a strong sense of routine {on paper} however my mindset has shifted in recent years. Be it an age thing, a family thing or personal growth – probably a mixture of a lot of things. The boys have just turned 5 and P is in full toddlergedon mode. We are in the midst of a National pandemic which has seen us basically locked up at home for the past 7 weeks.

This is a time of surviving and supporting. People are putting their health at risk to keep the majority of us safe. Routines have changed. For us it’s been a time of stepping back and slowing down. Time to spend with our little family and letting the days merge into one. No alarms set. No set bedtime. No real routine. There has still been work and homeschooling but everything seems to have slowed down and relaxed. Increased flexibility it will be hard to let go of when life gets back to normal. Different ways of connecting and supporting one another. Retreating into our bubble and taking time out from being constantly busy. A taste of what life could be. Maybe not all the time but certainly some of it. Time out. A new normal. A new routine. 

Ellie xx

www.alifetwintastic.blog Instagram: @alifetwintastic

www.alifetwintastic.blog Instagram: @alifetwintastic

How avoiding the news has helped me.

How avoiding the news has helped me.

So it’s been about a month since i stopped watching and reading the news. I deleted my personal twitter, disabled the news notifications on my phone and went out of my way to avoid listening and talking about the news. Why might you ask? Well in short Coronavirus.

I decided that watching the news all day and reading the news all day was causing me to get unnecessarily anxious. Why? Well if people only talk about death and what others are doing you are no doubt going to get yourself worried and in a bit of a situation where you are glued to your screen. I found that i was becoming increasingly more angry at the world and the people not following lock down rules. It was causing me to watch the news more and be more angry if i saw online someone was perhaps not following the news to the absolute t.

Of course there was the worry i’d miss something big but i realised i follow so many people on all sorts of platforms that if things really changed i’d see a news link on someones profile being shared and click on it. This is what i have been doing to educate myself on the virus and the new lock down guidelines as they change but to also not find myself watching that god awful press conference everyday where i want to pull my own hair out at the lack of leadership and confidence i have in the people running this country…

I have found since i have been avoiding the news that i am a lot more happier in ways, I don’t see as many sad stories. I don’t read about all the horrific crimes and incidents happening. I just read what i want to and that is less than a article a week and only if i have seen it a few times. The only press releases i’m excited for now is a local takeaway opening up again and i see that on pages i choose to follow. I have also noticed a abundance of trolls. It’s nice not looking at the news online and seeing horrid keyboard warriors pulling apart each other from the comfort of their sofas while they dunk their hobnobs in their teas and go about their day as normal. The amount of negativity i have cut out of my life from this change is amazing .

If i can recommend one thing to anyone it is that you try to remove as much of the news from your life as you can. Unfollow news pages such as your local news. Turn of notifications and listen to the radio instead of the morning news or programmes that talk about the news such as good morning Britain. Check once a day and then try cut it more. Read the news that you’ve seen a few times shared by peers as this means it may be important but other then that try to avoid it. If you feel you need to watch the news there are plenty of happy news channels out there too so get your fill of cute puppy instead!

Stay home, stay safe and as always i am here if you need me. Charlie x

Will my social anxiety ever be the same?

Will my social anxiety ever be the same?

I have already touched in previous blog posts about my anxiety and how it effects me in social situations. I touched upon how i always feel anxious around others and worry about being in groups. I also touched upon how i always feel others are watching everything i do even though i know deep down inside they clearly aren’t and wouldn’t care. But that was before the corona virus and now that anxiety has changed to a bit of survival instinct around others. Not only am i now concerned about others views of me and being around other people but now i worry about the current pandemic as well.

Being around others in public in situations where i’m social distancing (i.e exercising or shopping for essentials) has started to become a bit of a bother, Although there are easy rules to follow in the fact of social distancing in public i find that a lot of people ignore the rules and get too close for comfort. Its quite simple to keep your distance but runners want to get shoulder to shoulder and shoppers seem to want to barge through to get there cheese that bit quicker. The way the world has changed has been quite scary especially in supermarkets it causes a fair bit of anxiety. I find it feels like we’re in some sort of war with the virus and with everyone else.The changes to queuing and where you can and can’t go can be quite overwhelming. I also find the checkout the place where i am most anxious and have my panicky moments. The rush to load and unload your trolley while also having no choice but to touch dirty items just sends me into overdrive i worry about the person thinking i am taking too long, the Que behind me and the germs and i feel so overwhelmed the whole time till i’m out the store and can catch my breath. I find that i get quit anxious when people get a bit to close for comfort i get really hot and i feel a lot of pressure to run away to sanitise. My ocd seems to come back in the form i have to change shower and wash my clothes immediately after leaving the house too because someone may of coughed or breathed too near me.

After the lock down ends i wonder if i’ll always be in this state of anxiousness around big groups and being around strangers. Obviously for as long as corona virus is around i am sure i’l be sanitising till i’m red raw and avoiding being too close to anyone as much as possible. It causes a lot of questions. Will i be able to Que without getting hot and sweaty. Will i be able to shop without feeling like having a panic attack? Will i return to the doctors for medical issues that are non urgent but still need treating out of fear of infection? Will i feel comfortable travelling or going to shows with big crowds? Who knows. All i know the world has changed and as humans we have to adapt but for us anxiety suffers it really is hard accepting all this change. Especially the change in routine, Hopefully we can move forward soon and the lock down be eased slowly so that we can slowly ease ourselves into civilisation again!

As always here if you need anything, Charlie x