PTSD, Anxiety and Worries

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)… Whenever I’ve heard those words in the past, I thought about a solider, someone who has experienced a traumatic event like a car crash or someone who faced trauma during a life-changing experience, maybe giving birth. The condition has been far away from what I thought I’ve been going through for a long time now. And I never knew that everything I’ve been feeling is associated with it.

For a while, I’ve been in therapy and I’m finally in a place where I’m not ashamed to share that. Talking is healthy, especially for me now that I can discuss things I didn’t realise still bothered me. It turns out, that I’ve been dealing with stuff thinking, it’s okay because I’ve done this before or I’ve experienced worse so surely everything’s fine. You know, those kinda thoughts? When in reality, I haven’t recovered and part of that process to be able to, means talking.

Towards the end of my most recent session, my toughest one so far, I got my diagnosis. I was told I have PTSD. And I wondered why. I remember my therapist asking me in my first session if I’ve ever experienced trauma. My answer was something like, erm… I don’t think so. Little did I know, talking to him was going to get me the answers I wasn’t expecting.

I feel sad in the sense that I waited so long to speak to someone. I can’t tell you how long I’ve challenged thoughts running through my mind and telling myself it’s just me, it’s all in my head. To be completely honest, I can think hypothetically at times and often create a scenario that hasn’t or doesn’t happen… but this is real. It’s raw and it’s extremely difficult to deal with at times.

Through my appointments so far and after a trauma assessment, it’s all there. And when my therapist explained, it all started to make sense. The continuous nightmares, flashbacks, saddened days, sweats, uncontrollable feelings on top of anxiety and low self esteem… I get it now.

It’s hurt my head wishing I would’ve done something about this years ago. Sometimes though, you don’t speak about it enough to realise the harm it’s done/or doing.

As hard as it hit, it’s given me a lot more strength than I had months ago. I feel stronger. There’s a long way to go but I’m getting there. I can see that I’m a much braver person now. It’s all a work in progress but it’s for me to lessen my fears, to try to reduce nightmares, and to become a happier person on how I see myself and feel. I know what I’m dealing with now and I will reach my goals (I hope).

Ever since Danny became such a significant person in my life, my world has been a safer place, in the sense that I have someone who loves and protects me no matter what. But sometimes, things are in my own hands to get to grips with. No matter how much support I get, it’s also down to me, to help myself. Although, without the love and understanding from Danny, who knows if I would’ve made this step.

Now that our lives have become even more meaningful with our son, I have more reason to do what I’m doing. They are my everything. And I’ll always do everything in my power to work for us, whenever it be emotionally, physically, financially, whatever.

Life can have a habit of throwing hurdles. There will be things that just don’t help, like health problems that find their way to worsen how you feel, or a particular event/memory on repeat no matter how hard you try not to think about it.

I never thought I’d see such a different perspective about what really matters. I’m so grateful for where I am today and if my journey has taught me anything, it’s these three things:

– Your health is more important than you think

– Asking for help isn’t something to be ashamed of

– It’s never too late for new beginnings

To the person reading this, I hope you’re okay. And if you’re not, remember you can always speak to someone – a friend, family, a neighbour, your GP etc. I wish I would’ve sooner. By no means is it easy. I think it’s one of the hardest things to do but it’s the outcome that makes it all worth it (for me that’s the case anyway).

I’m thankful that my son gifted me with the reminder of all the precious things in life and who/what you should hold close to you.

Notepad with silver pen and mug

Things Do Get Better

Recently, I feel like I haven’t got everything figured out. I took some time to think, I don’t mean a few hours here and there, I’m talking over a month. I didn’t know what I was searching for. I felt lost and a little sad. But things have a way of turning themselves around…

It hasn’t come without struggles but I have took this time to gain a better perspective. It’s helped me put things into place – both mentally and physically. It’s been pretty hard. I’m feeling more positive now though.

I’ve been able to spend lots of mornings with Freddy who lights up my entire world. He has given me a different start to each day, reminding me that no matter what happens, him and his daddy are there, always.

In the last month, so much has happened. Our baby boy turned one, he’s been walking around, had his first hair cut and other exciting moments.

I’ve realised how easy it is to get caught up on life and lose track of what really matters, that not being how people see you. There’s much more to life. My focus is to be happy so that my son and partner can be happy too. And to talk, whenever something gets to me, knowing that they can do the same to me (Freddy when he’s older).

Things do get better and the future has so much to hold. Sometimes the unknown of what will be can be scary but it’s also exciting and gives you a new challenge.

Earlier this week I went to my grandma’s funeral, she sadly passed a few weeks ago. Before I was leaving, someone said to me, “Be happy”. Those words will stay with me. Two words that mean so much and actually made me think a lot.

Here’s to my new job which I start next month and knowing it’s never too late for new beginnings.

Silver, red, and purple balloons

Almost One Year of Being a Mum

My baby boy will be one year old in over a couple of weeks. Wait, how, what, when? Yep, he’ll officially be a toddler and I’ll be wondering where the last year went.

I never knew how much stronger I could be until I gave birth to Freddy. The light in my life, the littlest person with the biggest smile, he is our (mine and Danny’s) everything. I’ll be honest, sometimes, I’ve woken up and wondered if I have the strength to deal with whatever the day will bring. But no matter what, I’m reminded that I am a mummy and I can do this.

Motherhood brings a whole lot of changes. For me, it’s changed how I think massively. Being a parent has shown me what’s important and what really matters when I have a bad day. There’s always a tomorrow and for each one that comes to see our baby boy grow, is something I’ll forever be thankful for.

The cries, tantrums, neediness, and seeing your baby unwell is hard, it’s tough. You feel hopeless because all you want to do is make everything better but I’ve learned that sometimes, just a cuddle and soothing Freddy with our voice is all he needs.

I’ve challenged myself mentally since becoming a mum for the first time. I wonder if I’m doing things ‘right’, especially in front of people. It has made me feel a little nervous at times, you know? Then I stop to think, I’m our baby’s mummy and we, as a family, know what he needs.

I’ve noticed that it’s harder to judge someone since becoming a mum. Sometimes, it comes no naturally to us, that you can do it without realising. It doesn’t even mean you’re not a nice person but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never done it before. I just feel as if I am more considerate of what someone might be going through, no matter how their life seems on the outside. And that counts for whether their child cries in public, isn’t acting their usual, or whatever. You also realise that not everyone has had a great night’s sleep.

I remember not knowing how to feel about the judgements of formula feeding versus breastfed babies. Let me tell you something, our baby had his 10-12 months check last week and the health visitor said, “He’s doing absolutely fantastic. I’ve heard words, I see he loves moving around and he is a very happy baby.” Day made.

Another huge thing – the role of parents as a mum and dad. I get it, mummy has a hard day but why isn’t there a lot of credit out there for daddies too? Everyone’s parenting experience is different, including when it’s for the first time. But I’ll be 100% honest, I couldn’t have imagined having a more loving and supportive man by my side, my Danny. It’s 50/50. I wouldn’t be the mum I am without Danny. Our son, Freddy, is a part of the both of us (even if he’s the double of his daddy). It’s our aim in life to give him our all. And when the tiredness hits, we know the other is there to help.

I’ve had days where I’ve felt alone but I know there’s other mums out there who will relate to this. I know some things are hard to explain. And through it all, it’s the most magical time of my life. In just over a couple of weeks, the baby I gave birth to, our handsome baby boy, will turn one year old. A whole year and more in our lives (including pregnancy).

Believe people when they say, “It goes so fast.”

A Weight on my Shoulders

Around us all, there are messages out there on tv, social media, magazines etc. about the ‘perfect bikini body’ or how to ‘lose those pounds’. I never used to let these things bother me so much when I was younger but now, as a full grown woman, it gets to me.

When I was pregnant, I loved my body and my baby bump. It was one of the most magical times seeing our baby boy grow and the weeks flew by. After I gave birth though, I wondered quite a bit about how my bump would go down.

Whenever I scrolled on social media (and still now), I see adverts about losing weight. You know, ‘getting rid of that mum tum’ and all sorts. I was also privately messaged on Instagram from people with their schemes. I shown no interest at all.

Have you ever felt anything towards either of these?

  • Lose weight
  • Don’t lose weight
  • Be comfortable in your own body
  • Put some weight on

So, which one is it? Sometimes I feel confident enough to eat all of the yummy food and snacks I’d like. Of course, that’s with healthy bits in between. But then again, if we are supposed to maintain a healthy weight, how do we maintain a healthy mind too? I don’t know about you but at the minute, I feel like it’s either or. It won’t always be the case. I feel stuck at how much I weigh and I guess that’s okay. My mind though, I need to work on that… I am working on that.

Just the other day, I said to my partner, “Oh, I think my sides are back!” He smiled because he knew what I meant but he has never looked at me any differently. Isn’t it funny how we can see ourselves in a completely different way? Your own perception versus another can be the opposite. Yet, I wouldn’t see or think of how I see myself about another person? The human mind can be a baffling one to say the least.

Today, I looked in the mirror and the positive thoughts I had only a couple of days ago had changed. I seen flaws, imperfect sides, and a very stressed and drained person.

I’ve learned that I need to try and focus on the positives wherever and whenever I can. To be truly happy, I can either accept my weight and embrace it, or if it’s really bothering me, get motivated to do some more exercise.

No matter how someone else sees you, I think it’s so easy to criticise and put a downer on yourself, whether it be physically or mentally.

I’m going to try to remember that being me is what matters, not the unrealistic images we’re supposedly influenced by. Also, I get married next year and I have never felt as amazing as I did when I found ‘the dress’. So, I’m going to keep that memory in mind and I’m sure it’s going to feel like a dream come true when I’m wearing it on our special day.