It is okay to talk about dark thoughts.

It is okay to talk about dark thoughts.

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.

My inbox is always open. Charlie x

The power of forgiveness.

The power of forgiveness.

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

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

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

Like a flower the sun helps my mental health

Like a flower the sun helps my mental health

It may be the fact it’s beginning to feel a bit more like summer and although we can’t sit in a beer garden or eat al fresco at a restaurant we can do it at home. We still are lucky enough to be able to go out for our one type of exercise a day if we wish too and that allows to enjoy some of nature’s absolutely glorious beauty for absolutely free!

Now it may be the fact that my body’s finally absorbing some of the vitamin d it so badly needs or just wanting to experience the outside world a bit more and spark my curiosity. But I feel a bit healthier. I feel a bit a bit more untuned into my body and my emotional needs. I feel when I need a break and sitting in the garden for a little bit can make me feel a lot better then sitting inside. I feel the sun helps more than the rain clouds and although I burn like bacon I enjoy being dry as a raisin as apposed to drowned like a rat. I’m enjoying the suns morning glow lighting my living room and bedroom each morning it feels a bit brighter and happier under the warm sun. It’s helping my heating/lighting bills and my soul.

I’m enjoying watching elijah running around playing around in the garden. I never thought we’d have a garden and here we are homeowners with a garden who would if thought! We enjoy running around after each other when we go for walks. I’ve always enjoyed photography so love to take photos of nature and of my family. It really helps me focus on the pretty things and takes my mind of the rubbish. I enjoy looking back on those photos and enjoying the beauty and memories brought back by them.

The days are longer with the sunshine and we don’t feel a need to go to bed earlier or rush to get inside from the garden at night. It feels nice to enjoy reading in the garden with natural light instead of slumped on the sofa under a lamp!

Although I still struggle with my mental health and still have days I feel so overwhelmed I do find the sunshine really does help me personally. It may not help everyone because it’s not a cure, it’ll never cure me. I’ll still be sad when the sun shines and sad when it rains but that’s life. Some days are better then others. But sometimes the sun does make me feel better when it hits me be it inside under a window or outside in the garden.

Do you think the sun helps you sometimes?

How to support someone with depression.

How to support someone with depression.

Just because you see the world a certain way doesn’t mean everyone else has too. Some people see the world in a black and white way and some see the colour. Everyone is allowed to have their own feelings and that’s okay. If I say I’m feeling down. I don’t need someone telling me all the positives of life right now and things I already know. Like I know I should be grateful I have a family, people have it worse and bla bla bla. I mean do people honestly think it’s helpful to try and tell people how to think?

Here’s a fun fact if you try to make someone feel a certain way they will probably go the opposite way. You can’t make someone feel happy by telling them to be. Medication isn’t a magic fix for depression and nor will it ever be.

When someone’s feeling down talk to them. Ask and VALIDATE their opinions. Don’t tell them what to do. Don’t ask about their medication. Because that’s gonna piss anyone off. All you need to do, to be a friend is listen. Not give advice. Just listen. Let someone moan to you. Do not make them feel guilty. Your issues are different to someone else’s and imagine if someone told you how to feel if you where feeling down and what to do because their opinions are different then yours.

There’s been so many times over my life where I’ve been told how to feel, to suck it up, someone has it worse. But you know what it doesn’t matter how someone else has it because they are not currently living your life. One thing I’ve learned from counselling is that I am entitled to feel down. I do not need to bury my emotions and if it helps to talk about them then that’s what I bloody well should do! When family or even friends say someone has it worse I now say the conversations over and I don’t care if someone has it worse my feelings are still valid.

Some people have different views than us on life. Someone who is depressed will see the world as doom and gloom and that’s okay. Instead of forcing positivity on them just ask how they’re feeling. Just listen and say I know that must be hard. Don’t try to compare to your feelings. Don’t try and tell them what to do because it doesn’t help. You can also be more than one person. You can be positive then depressed because as humans we can have this ability to be positive and then crash, hard.

You also don’t have to talk about their depression. You can just ask them what they’ve been up too, change the conversation. Talk about films and movies you’ve seen. Talk about anything else then there depression this helps take their minds of things. Depression needs a distraction the more your focus on it sometimes the worse it feels. Your friend is still in there. So continue to treat them as normal and as there friend be there for them. Hopefully you’ll never need to have them be there for you in the same case.

If you’re really concerned about someone or yourself you can contact many charity’s such as Samaritans exetera. As always my dms are always open. Stay safe, let’s get through this together.

Three more weeks of hell

Three more weeks of hell

The government is expected to put us in lockdown for 3 more weeks as I type this and I can’t imagine anything worse at the moment. Obviously protecting everyone is why we stay at home but I don’t know how much more I can take and why aren’t police and military stopping everyone leaving houses and roaming the streets all day to prevent the spread. I’ve had enough of looking out my window and it is completely packed on my normally quiet road. It’s full of groups going out and about people ignoring lockdown.Cars moving around all day, My neighbours in and out like yo-yos and children from different households playing in the street. I’m seeing people travel to family and friends households online and it’s really getting to me now. Do you think I stay home so you can swan about thinking you’re above the law and the virus? No. No I don’t.

My mental health has SEVERLY taken a steep jump of a cliff (perhaps Everest). Honestly me and my son are getting on each others nerves now and although I love him to pieces I don’t half need a break. Or a six month holiday. But I can’t even go and see friends and vent. I can’t cry to family and I can’t handle much more. We’ve been potty training so that’s been absolute hell but his behaviour is something else. I know obviously we are in the terrible twos but the people that act like it’s normal haven’t experience the terrible twos in isolation where you can’t take them out for a distraction. Where you can’t go see family and friends. Where you can’t have a date night or go out alone at times. I can’t go to my counselling sessions which I am really, really missing. I started to make such good progress and now I’m left wanting to sob on Fridays because I should be going to my sessions and feeling better each week but instead I’m feeling worse each and every week.

I have no idea how to get out of this funk. I don’t feel grateful for being a mother right now. I am so jealous of people who don’t have children some times that it physically hurts. I get asked by a friend have I seen this or done this? No I haven’t because my entire day is plagued with screaming and tantrums and trying to entertain him to avoid such events.y nights are spent so exhausted sometimes I just sit there in silence staring at a wall. I’m jealous of people who get to have lay ins and late nights, people who get to do what they want when they want and only have to clean up after themselves. I miss ever taking silence for granted and my freedom. I feel like i have a pressure here to say I love my kid. Because others might judge me but why should I care what others think. Of course I love my child and just because I’m having a bit of a complaint does not make me any worse of a mother than anyone else.

I miss my old life. I miss sitting in a grotty bingo hall ordering terrible chips that tastes awfull but I couldn’t help ordering it. I miss sitting in a restaurant and my food and drinks made for me. I miss no washing up. I miss going to soft play with friends and letting my kid run and run till he passed out asleep from exhaustion. I miss having people over and going to others for dinner. I miss seeing Elijah with his friends and his family having a laugh. I miss the shitty bus journeys. I miss trips to the supermarket and looking around. I miss dunelm and bnm shopping buying loads of cleaning products( which I now cannot buy anywhere). I miss shopping trips and not being judged on what I buy and when. I miss everything. I miss long days out and now everything’s pure hell.

Hopefully things change soon. I don’t know how I’m going to cope anymore I really don’t. I’m struggling. It’s like I’m not here anymore I’m just on auto pilot. I’m sick of it and I’m sick of being stuck on repeat. Stay the feck home and stop making everyone else’s life hell because you wanted to see family or you wanted to buy something non essential.