Tag Archives: mental health

Curly Mum On The Mend

I’ve had a long while off from blogging. I felt I needed a break and it feels great coming back to it all again. It has reminded me of why I started blogging to begin with, and I’ve loads of ideas that I’d like to write about over the coming weeks. I’m really looking forward to reading the blogs I love again, and hopefully finding some new ones too! If you know of a blog that I should look at, let me know :)

I’ve been a bit up and down over my break, working with the doctor to find the right medication and dosage for me. He has been helpful and understanding throughout, and it seems like now we’ve found what works for me. Over the last couple of weeks I have felt much better than I have for a long time, and I’ve been returning to the things that I love. I’ve been doing a lot of baking, inspired by a book my mother bought me. (‘The Cupcake’, available on TheWorks.co.uk)

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I’m also knitting Baby Turtle a blanket for her first birthday. I had no idea what to buy her as she already has so many toys from when her sisters were younger and I know my relatives are likely to shower her in gifts too, so I thought making her something that she can hopefully cherish for years to come was a nice idea. The only problem is that her birthday is fast approaching and I’m not sure I can knit fast enough!

The biggest news though, for me at least, is that I’ve finally managed to tell my parents about my depression. It took some mumbling, pausing, and a lot of help from my wonderful husband-to-be, but it’s done and it’s a weight off my shoulders. My mum has been as supportive as I knew she would be, and I should have told her much sooner. It’s a big step for me to talk about it, but it feels easier now that I have done it once. I feel much more happy and comfortable, and I think that’s really helping me to recover better. I urge anybody keeping their mental illness a secret from those that love them to try and muster the courage to talk about it, because it really makes a difference not having to hide, and having the support of others while getting better.


Curly Mum and the Doctor

Three weeks ago, I plucked up the courage to call my new doctor about my mental health. On Saturday, I finally had my appointment.

On Friday night, I barely slept. I was filled with nervousness and dread. On Saturday morning, I woke up long before my alarm and lay in bed waiting for it. When it finally went off, I crept around the house getting ready, careful not to wake the family. I got about halfway to the doctor’s surgery before I seriously considered turning around and going back to bed to hide. I kept walking. I was there about ten minutes early for my appointment and sat in the over-hot waiting room with my heart thundering in my chest. I thought about getting up and leaving. I watched the doctor arrive, walking in and out of his office for a few minutes sorting things out. It felt like an age before the notice flashed up telling me I could go in.

I sat down in the doctor’s office and it took me a minute or two to actually speak. I tried a few times and all that came out was shaky nonsense. The doctor was incredibly patient and waited for me to calm down a bit, then asked questions and prompted me which made it a lot easier to talk about everything. As the appointment went on, I felt more relaxed and able to talk. The doctor was listening. He was taking me seriously. He wasn’t going to tell me it wasn’t that bad, or that he couldn’t do anything. He actually wanted to help me. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Eventually I cried. The doctor didn’t mind.

He said I should try some anti-depressants, so we went through his medicine guide to look at which one would be best for me. He was understanding of the fact that I don’t want to stop breast feeding Turtle, so we found one that wouldn’t cause her harm. It was such a dramatically different appointment to the ones I had with my previous doctor. This doctor was patient, understanding, and took my thoughts on my illness and treatment into account. I didn’t feel at all upset, belittled, or crazy. I have to go back for another appointment in two weeks time, and I’m not nervous at all. Actually, seeing the doctor again is something I’m happy about. It’s reassuring to know that I’ll be able to discuss anything that I want to, and that I have support there if I need it.

I’ve been on my new medication for a few days now, and have had some of the most common side effects – nausea, some anxiety – but nothing too difficult to deal with. I’m feeling less nauseous today than yesterday, so that’s good. Today I have cleaned most of the kitchen, done some laundry, and enjoyed reading in the conservatory while the children played outside. I know I’m not going to recover overnight, but right now I’m feeling positive. I’ve got some help, and that’s taken a weight off my shoulders. I feel like I can get better, one step at a time.

The Crazy Mum Returns

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while. I’ve tried writing posts, but somehow it hasn’t worked out. This is about my fifth attempt at writing this post. I’m struggling with a lot of things at the moment. I don’t want to sound like I’m having a whinge, but I do want to try and be honest. I hope that if anybody reading this feels, or has felt, the same way, my honesty will help them, even if it’s just to know that they aren’t alone.

My depression is getting worse, I think. There are times where I can’t face anything, so I just sleep, and I feel like those times have been more frequent lately. When I am awake I am often very down, don’t know what to do with myself, or panicking about nothing. I hate that feeling of anxiety, and I get it more and more lately. Sometimes I panic for a reason, like money or being late, or most often, using the telephone.

I’ve never really liked the telephone. It’s always made me a bit nervous. I’d rather talk in person or even better, communicate in writing. I’m quite shy and I always seem to stumble over my words on the phone, so I’d rather avoid it. Recently though, it’s been worse. I’m no longer a bit nervous about it. I’m scared. I panic when the phone rings, and I can’t bring myself to make phonecalls. I don’t know exactly what I’m scared of. With companies, I am often scared they’re going to spring a surprise bill on me. With personal contacts that they will remind me of something I have forgotten or failed to do, that they’ll think badly of me. I forget or fail to do a lot of things, usually because I’m too busy being miserable. I can’t tell them this though, which means to them I just look lazy or stupid. All of that aside though, I am just really frightened of talking on the telephone. To anybody. I wish I didn’t have a telephone.

Something else has cropped up lately as well. I don’t know what it is. Paranoia, I suppose. Fear. I’m frightened a lot of the time. Thoughts just come into my head and then I’m frightened. On the way to one of our parent/child groups, we go down some concrete steps. This would not have caused me a problem before. I would have walked down the steps, and warned E to walk carefully so as not to fall and hurt herself. Now, suddenly I’m thinking about how easy it would be for me to fall and hit my head, and what would happen to me. What would happen to Bird and Baby Turtle without me there to guide them home. Then I am walking down the steps in fear, taking every step with utmost care, holding tight onto the railing. This isn’t the only example of this kind of thinking. What if a car swerved while I was walking on the pavement? What if I accidentally dropped Baby Turtle? I know we mothers are natural worriers, but it’s not normal to be scared like this all the time, is it?

I don’t want to be like this. I don’t want to be depressed or anxious, or scared going about my daily life.

I finally plucked up the courage to call the new doctor. This was a victory, because:

  1. I used the telephone.
  2. I didn’t chicken out when I was put on hold
  3. Seeing a doctor is scary even without the telephone part, especially after the last time.

The receptionist was very apologetic when she told me there were no appointments available. I could call again the next morning, or take a pre-booked appointment. I took a pre-booked appointment for the end of the month. If I’m feeling brave I’ll try and get an earlier one and cancel the one I don’t need.

I hope this will be the beginning of getting better. I hope this doctor will help me, because I don’t know what I will do if they won’t.

Because this post is pretty miserable, here are a couple of positive things about the last couple of weeks:

  • We now have a dining table so we can have nice family meals together in the evening. I think it helps us all bond, which is very much appreciated as I often find it very hard to feel close to my children when I am down.
  • I have a Thorntons ‘Love Fudge’ Easter egg waiting in the cupboard. I am looking forward to devouring it when the time comes.

I hope you are all doing well!

Happy Birthday, Curly Mum!

Today is my birthday. I am twenty-two years old. When I was younger, as a child and young teen, this is not how I imagined myself at twenty-two. I didn’t think I would be lucky enough to have met a wonderful man who would propose to me, and who would father three beautiful daughters for me to carry and raise. I didn’t think I would be packing up ready to move into a lovely new house, and planning how to make the garden nice for the children, and whether we could try growing some of our own vegetables. We don’t have very much money, but I feel like I am living the dreams of the younger me. I have what was and is most important to me. I am so very grateful for these things.

I also didn’t expect that I would be struggling with my mental health, and finding myself frustrated that I can’t always appreciate the things I listed above. I am feeling thankful though that I realise that I’m ill, and that I’m determined to get the help I need. When we do move to our new house, I’ve found that we will be able to change to a new GP, a surgery with one doctor that specialises in mental health issues, so I’m hopeful that I will be taken seriously by my new doctor. I’ve also found that on the NHS website, where you can leave comments and reviews about a surgery, that my current surgery has a lot of people saying that they haven’t been taken seriously. This is very reassuring as I now know I wasn’t just being over-sensitive about my visits there.

Janome PS1030 from John Lewis

On a less serious note, my partner has bought me the sewing machine that I wanted for my birthday! I’m utterly thrilled with it! So far I have managed to thread it all, and sew along two edges of an old tea towel, getting tangled up about four times in the process. It is great fun! I’m really loving getting to know my new machine, which I have decided to name Sigrun. I don’t know why I feel that my machine should have a name, but there you go. Now I am on the lookout for any good books or resources for absolute beginners, and any really easy projects I can have a go at. I’m also looking for really cheap fabric to practice on, so I’ll be having a look at my local fabric shop tomorrow, but I’d love to hear of any websites that sell cheap, easy-to-sew fabrics that I can learn with.

From other people, I have been given a provisional driving license, a huge box of chocolates, a massive bag of funky craft buttons and some spending money. My partner is currently in the kitchen cooking a nice meal for me, and then we are going to curl up on the sofa and watch some of our favourite TV shows. I’m feeling very lucky right now!

Crazy Curly Mum

It’s taken a while for me to pluck up the courage to post this. I didn’t start this blog to talk about my mental health. If it had been, then perhaps I would have been not-quite-sure-of-herself mum, or at worst downright-crazy mum. This blog was really meant as a place for me to natter about my experiences as a parent raising my mixed race children, and a little about me and my hobbies too. After stumbling upon the #groovingmums blog-hop it became about my (re?)discovery of myself as a woman as well. So it feels now as if it’s just about me, all round. A big part of me at the moment is my mental health, so I think I should talk about it. I think more people should talk about mental health.

My mental health at the moment isn’t very good. I spend a lot of my time thinking and worrying about how I’m not coping. Naturally this makes me more unable to cope, but I can’t help worrying about it. I am very sad a lot of the time, and I cry a lot. When I cry, I feel stupid because I don’t really have anything to cry about. I don’t have much money, but I do have a caring partner and three beautiful daughters, and we get by and manage to treat ourselves sometimes. I feel guilty for being so sad all the time, because I know it makes my partner feel like he doesn’t make me happy, which isn’t true. I also tend to snap or shout at him over silly things. Things that aren’t even things.

I find it hard to find my get-up-and-go most days. A lot of the time I don’t know what I want to do with my time. There is plenty of stuff to be getting on with, but I find myself making excuses or just pretending it’s not there waiting for me to do it. When it comes to things that actually need to be done, I just feel very anxious. I dread doing the school run and I don’t really know why. It’s not particularly fun, waiting for the bus in the cold, but really it’s not that bad – so why do I feel so on edge for half an hour before I’m due to leave? Things like that are the worst, I think. I feel like a failure of a person because I find it so hard to do such simple tasks.

Of course, when the simple things seem like mammoth tasks, the things that take a bit more effort barely get a look in. I don’t do nearly enough with my children. My flat is in desperate need of a clear out, especially as we’re supposed to be moving next month. Sometimes I make plans to change this, but they never quite happen. I can’t find the motivation. I see other people just getting on with their lives, and I wish I could do the same. I just end up putting on a show a lot of the time. Other times I just avoid people altogether.

I’ve come to the point now, with the help of my partner, where I can see that I’m not a failure as a person, I’m ILL and I need help. Now it’s just a case of getting it. I went to the doctor but she didn’t seem to take me seriously in the slightest. She was the same doctor I saw three weeks after Baby Turtle was born with my concerns about PND, who tried to put me back on anti-depressants before I loudly informed her that I couldn’t take them while breastfeeding, and who then gave me a therapy referral form but said it was unlikely anybody would see me any time soon because it ‘wasn’t that bad’. She denied saying that this time. She said I must have misunderstood. I think not. That meeting with her before is etched into my brain and it upsets me still now to think about it. I never filled out that referral form. She gave me another this time around, when I was done crying in her office, and this time I filled it out before I left the surgery. I don’t know if or when I’ll hear anything back about it. Until then I just have to cope. Just keep going, keep busy and hope.

Perhaps the worst thing about all of this is that I know I’m not the only one that suffers this way, struggling with life and doubting my own mind. I know I’m far from the only one who can’t get the help they need, which is a sad and scary thought.