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,
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.
Nausea and sickness.
Constipation or diarrhoea when ovulating or on period
Pain when peeing or pooing on period or ovulating.
Difficulty getting pregnant.
Back pain and pelvic pain.
Pain during or after sex.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One thing I’ve noticed about talking about depression is the stigma that if your depressed that means you have to be depressed 24/7. You can’t have days where you smile because clearly that would mean your faking your depression and that you’re clearly an attention seeker. This is not true.
Yes many people are in a constant loop of depression where there is no escape but some of us have days we feel okay and then crash down to the pits of depression a hour later. We can be fine all day. We can be smiling, laughing, making jokes and seem really confident. A few hours later something clicks and we can’t even move our muscles to form a smile because that’s too difficult.
We are human. Those without depression experience more than one emotion. They experience happiness, brief sadness and anxiety then they go back to happiness. So why is the stigma still there someone with depression cannot have a good day. When you put that stigma on someone it makes them think they have to fake being happy 24/7 or the opposite. The opposite is feel like they aren’t allowed to be happy. I’ve experienced this. I’ve had people make comments when I’ve had days I feel a bit better and have somewhat been told my depressions gone then! no. If my depression was gone believe me I’d be shouting from the roof tops about it.
This also works for if you have time of work with depression. A few years ago I took a few weeks of work when I worked in care because I was depressed and being bullied. When I came back to work I was treated as if I’d faked my depression as I’d came back and was even accused of not being depressed anymore because I had to pretend to be happy around my clients who picked up on negative emotions. I felt like I wasn’t entitled to smile. I wasn’t entitled to be anything other then a sad emotional mess.
People seem to get annoyed whatever you do with regards to depression. People moan when your depressed, they moan your boring or anti social, or an attention seeker. They moan if your happy. There will never be a pleasing everyone.
But know this. If you suffer depression. It is not what defines you. If you have a few days in bed down in the dumps that is okay. It is also okay to smile again. It’s okay to be happy too. You’re not an attention seeker because your chemicals in your brain have allowed you to feel positive today. You should not worry about others opinions. Why? because the only persons who’s opinions matter is your own. Because other people are not educated enough. Because until someone experiences a patch of depression themselves they will never understand what it is like to be judged for every emotion they feel!
If your reading this as someone who doesn’t have depression. Remember that they are suffering even behind the smiles. Always try to bring them up not down. Be the hand to hold, the phone all at the end of a bad day. Be a friend. Remember storms always have bright periods before the darkness creeps back for another storm.
So this is a bit of a hard topic to talk about. As you know I am always talking about my mental health in the hope that others feel somewhat more normal in their feelings. I’ve never really divulged into the extremes my depression takes me too sometimes and perhaps it’s out of judgement, perhaps it’s the fear that I don’t want to accept I’ve ever reached that stage but I guess it’s more I’ve had a few of my friends come to me recently saying they feel the same. They also feel like they want to die at times.
Lockdown has obviously been crap for mental health. There’s been no upside in relation to mental health or physical health to me personally and it’s really taken it’s toll on me. Many others have felt the same. Without any real interaction other then via phones it’s really hard to communicate how we feel through a text. My counselling has been cancelled with no light at the end of the tunnel, no communication and no online sessions. I would normally take Elijah out daily and we’d see friends at-least 3/4 days of the week to get out and about . Now we are all stuck in with no communication. There is just no ability to feel better and being stuck at home means I’m stuck with my feelings. Many, many others are in the same position.
I have many times in my life become engulfed by my depression. Where I wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning, where I would rather die then start the day again. I wanted to die. I thought about how quick and easy it would be. I never wanted to kill myself. I never wanted to do anything about those thoughts but I did feel the world would be better of without me. I wanted to stop the pain. I wanted to stop the dark clouds that engulfed every moment of my life. It was hard. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of leaving my husband and son behind. I sort of became a human on autopilot not really thinking and doing things such as cooking and cleaning away and talking but not really being present to experience it. My body was here but I wasn’t. I was watching over unable to feel.
I hit a point I couldn’t take it anymore and had a breakdown. I found having a breakdown and ugly crying helped. Talking about my feelings to my husband is what was the breakthrough. Getting the words out, getting the feelings out was what I needed. The hurt, the pain and my feelings all in the air and I felt heart and safer. I spoke to my gp and my anti depressants fiddled around with again.
It is so important to speak when you have these thoughts. To tell your loved ones and get the thoughts and pressure off your head. It is okay to feel this way and while it’s not normal you can talk about how you feel. You are loved, somebody will always care about you and there is always someone you can talk too even if you don’t know them.
If you feel this way always speak about it. The people you speak to won’t judge. You can always call 111, the Samaritans and many other charity’s. You can call your friends, family, doctors or even just look online about your feelings. The storm will pass. You will breath again and feel better one day, it may not be today, tomorrow or next week but the calm will come. You will not be judged for having these thoughts. You will not be sectioned or anything like that for the thoughts. Feeling like you want to die is different to being suicidal and taking steps into it or planning it. If you ever get to a stage you are making plans it is time to take yourself to a hospital or talk to anyone who’ll listen.
The more you talk the more it lifts. The more better you feel. The more that heavy ness melts away with our tears. We get into our heads that everyone will judge us and that it’s not okay. Like we can’t have these thoughts. As parents we can’t have these thoughts because we’ll we’re parents. We apparently can’t ever have feelings of being down and can only ever be happy. This is not true. Anyone can experience depression. It doesn’t make you weaker, it doesn’t make you crazy it just means you feel so deeply that sometimes you can’t get out of those feelings. You’re not an attention seeker. You’re loved. You’re wanted, you’re existence matters and the world would be a shittier place with out you in it. Yes we can’t stop the worlds current situation, we can’t stop the bad news, the hurt and life events. But we can talk about it. We can process it and we can fight another day.
Disclaimer : I am writing this from a more comical side then serious side. I don’t hate my child by posting these facts. These are things I believe that everyone should know before planning a child. Why? Because having a child is not all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s poo and tantrums galore.
So to kick this of I am Charlie-Jane. I’m 25 we planned and tried for a baby at 22 and Elijah was born whilst I was 22. Elijah is now 2 and a half and sometimes I think he might be slightly possessed with his temper at times. Clearly doesn’t have my temper because I’m of course a angel. Ok perhaps not a angel but not someone who thinks rolling on the floor will in fact allow me to have cake for breakfast. Anyway these are some of the things I wish I new before I had a child. So I could of mentally prepared.
Number one: There is less we time and me time. Your days become worshipping little evil spawn. Instead of having a zen bath or going for a date with your loved one your life revolves around being a snack bitch or cleaning the path of destruction that your child’s created. You find conversations normally revert back to your child and your so drained from parenting you really can’t be bothered to do anything. Enjoying peace and quiet is a thing of the past and conversations always interrupted.
Number two: You will only ever hear children’s tv show songs in your head. Inside my head is a collection of blippi, andys adventures, waffle doggy and mr tumbles greatest. You will get really into kids tv. You find yourself sticking a episode of hey duggee on and having a laugh and then realising your child’s having a nap. You start conversations with talking about the latest kids tv series you watched not the latest show on Netflix. You find yourself wondering how does Justin have so much time to dress up as all these characters and I haven’t even washed my face this morning???
Number three:You will never have a relaxing meal or drink again. Infact you’ll make a cup of tea and your child will distract you so much that your tea is ice cold and your full of disappointment. Eating your dinner peacefully? Forget about it! Your child wants to throw food at you, eat your food or get down. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had a drink hurdled into my meal or my child ran of with my last sausage or smushed his food into the walls and across the floor. Eating at a restaurant becomes stressfull keeping you child entertained and on their best behaviour and sometimes you’d rather not eat out with them atal!
Number four: You will never have privacy. Your child comes everywhere with you. Staring, watching, planning their next attack! If you need a poo? Well child is coming too and going to throw a giant stegosaurus at your face. Trying to talk on the phone? Child decides all of the sudden they want to sing at the top of their voice! Just minding your own business shopping when your child decides nows the time to lift your top down and show everyone your boobies! Note to self, always wear a bra after the Morrison’s incident.
Number five: Kids are expensive. Always growing like some hyped up sunflower! One minuite they’re tiny and the next they’re twenty feet giants that weigh 77 tons. You go through clothes quicker then you can buy them and that expensive toy you brought well it’s been five minuites and it’s trash to them now. There’s always some new thing they’re into and new toys to buy. You’ll be really glad when you spend loads of money on something and they don’t care about it atall.
Number six: You’re always tired. Of course the sleep steeler cry’s all night or apparently like my child sings Elton johns can you feel the love tonight at 3 am like that’s the norm. Of course I want to be awoken to Elton John mate thanks! Your days start before the sun and yeah that coffees going cold so there is no help with the fatigue. Your running round all day playing and cleaning and your so stressed you don’t know how to function. Your mind is tired, your body is tired, you don’t know what day it is anymore. 9 months was not enough time to catch up on rest like they tell you!
Number seven: Your child will have a meltdown over ANYTHING. They picked up the wrong toy, you don’t have doughnuts in the house, you won’t let them lick a trolley while out shopping. ANYTHING. There is no reasoning with them either, everything is a complete battle at times. Want to get your child to put their shoes on? Cue half hour screaming meltdown on the floor wiggling around like a worm that’s been cut in half. Oh and yes they’ll be plenty in public and yes it’s humiliating!
Number eight: Say goodbye to your freedom. Want to go to the shops? Better pack a suitcase and load the car and pram and pack snacks and three changes of clothes and my life’s ambitions. Want to go on a romantic date? CHILDCARE!!! There’s no more dates without someone to watch your child. Want to go for a walk alone to calm down? Well you can’t! Want to wake up when you want and go to sleep when you want? You can’t! Want to go to a fancy restaurant? Well I’m sure there is no baby change or high chair facilities! Trip to the cinema forget about it! long walk? Lug a baby or buggy around or just bin it off and forget about it!
Number nine: Your body will change. You will put on weight everywhere, your face will change shape, your hips, arms, feet, hands and everywhere else! Your stomach may sag and you’ll have horrid squiggly lines scatted over your tummy. Your hair will fall out in clumps and you’ll block your hoover and drain almost daily. Your skin will get spotty or dry and itchy. Illnesses you never knew you had will come out of the pipework. You will get tired more often and if you need to sneeze or want to laugh?There is gonna be A lot of wee accidents. Wrinkles and bags under your eyes will be your latest accessories in your beauty quest.
Number 10: Your life will become filled with poo and sick. Yes you will have poo explosions where the watery poo reaches their hair. You will have the potty training poo in the pants. Your child will take their poo out their nappy and smear it all over their bedding, walls and cot because why not? It’s clearly scented paint! your child will throw up in your mouth at least once and my god a sickness bug makes you want to leave the city. So prepare for being covered, your child being covered, your house being covered and you’ll contemplate whether it’s easier to burn the house down sometimes then clean a smeared poo explosion.
Of course I love my child and I love my life now he’s in it but boy is a bit of a prick at times. Hope you had a laugh! Charlie x
It’s a funny old thing forgiveness, why should we forgive others for the way they have treated us in the past. Why should we open ourselves up to more pain and suffering.One thing me and my therapist started exploring with me before the corona virus pandemic hit was forgiveness. The ability to forgive not only others but myself too. But to forgive we have to understand why we may be feeling so hurt and against it.
When i was younger i was bullied. Relentlessly, my life became a living hell at times i even thought about taking my own life as a child myself. Because of this i found it easier to hate and hold on to anything said against me. Its why i don’t take compliments well and always see as others having some sort of secret need to take me down again. I turned my pain into anger, my anger into walls, my walls my anxiety and so forth.
Recently i have decided i would give this whole forgiveness thing a shot, thinking first about why it upsets me so much. I thought about why people treated me a certain way, Did previous trauma cause them to act this way? Is it just who the person is and that isn’t anything that will ever change? Can i relate on some level to why they’ve treated me in a certain way and then accept it that bit more?
First of all i decided to forgive people who went silent on me, a easy one. People who where your best friends one day and the next just popped of the planet like you never existed instead of being a adult and explaining why they no longer want to talk. When this happens there is a lot of questions and hurt, What happened? What did i do wrong? But in truth it doesn’t matter the key is accepting this happened and moving on. I thought about why this may have happened. Does the person not like conflict. Did i do something that might of upset them and then i thought i forgive this person because that’s what has happened and we can’t change it. Why hold on to anger that is not needed. Especially to someone who doesn’t speak to you anymore.
I then thought about people currently in my life who cause me pain and suffering not only now but in the past too. I decided to try and think why are people doing this to me. Why are they treating me in a way to cause harm and a reaction. But i decided that i know now that sometimes people are the way they are. Be it there personality or previous trauma which has caused a type of behaviour. We cannot change someone and why hold on to bitter feelings when we should learn and grow from them. Our experiences are to be learned from not obsessed over.
Forgiveness of others does not mean however we keep people in our lives that cause harm. It doesn’t mean we are door mats to stomp feet all over. Instead it mean we are the bigger person silently forgiving. But with forgiveness comes growing i have chosen to forgive certain peoples treatment towards me but decided as i have forgiven them i will move on from this relationship and not speak again to said person or to argue over the same things again. I will not inherit others drama and let it go forgiving and forgetting.
The most important thing about forgiveness however is forgiving yourself. Forgiving yourself for your feelings. Forgiving yourself for how you feel and allowing yourself to grow. For example i felt like i let myself down when i had a c section. I felt like a failure and like my body didn’t work although this was not my fault at all! I felt resentment to myself and also the fact that i put weight on during my pregnancy and i also hated myself because i suffered with post natal depression. I hated myself for previous friendship breakdowns and for who i am as a person. However now i think back and forgive my body for needing a c section and acknowledging depression is not my fault. I forgive myself for how i look,how i feel because i know that i cannot help how i feel about myself. I know that my life is not my fault and that my feelings are just and valid. I forgive myself for feeling a certain way and choose not to feel guilt or disappointment in myself.
It is so hard to forgive but it is sometimes easier if you just sit and think i forgive you in your head and breath out. Let someone who pops into your head be forgiven and grow from it. There needn’t be any real life conversations but draw a line in the sand sometimes and think i forgive you and myself. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone and every case such as serious cases but it’s something that has helped me with my more minor issues. As always stay safe, Charlie x