Saturday, 22 August 2015

A slight rant.

 By doing this blog i completely understand that i am opening myself up to peoples thoughts and opinions of me and what i do or say. I get that and i am absolutely fine with that. I know people aren't always going to agree with me on some things. And i totally respect that.

What i am not ok with is it being assumed that i cannot possibly be a decent mum for no reason other than the fact i have a mental illness. That even though my daughter is a thriving, happy little girl, i must be doing a shit job because I'm "mental" or because "i have issues" (Yep, people have used these very words to describe me).

How dare anyone put me, and effectively any other parent with mental illness, in the same category as those who neglect and abuse their children simply because i suffer with depression. An illness. Something i cannot help.

This is exactly why there is such a stigma attached to mental health conditions. Why so many people suffer but won't ask for help for fear of being judged. Why so many new mums struggle every single day with post natal depression, pretending they are ok, but ultimately missing out on so much because they are constantly at war with themselves. Why people find themselves in awful scary situations because they are too afraid to reach out for help. 

And what irritates me so much is it is people who have NEVER experienced any form of mental illness that are so SO quick to judge those of us who have. 

Since when has it been ok to constantly criticise and speak badly on a matter you have no fucking idea about? To label and stereotype a potentially very vulnerable group of people because you are too small minded and ignorant to see the bigger picture? 

I am so completely and utterly sick of hearing it. 

The only advice i can give to these kinds of people is the following:

1. Educate yourself - 

2. Stop reading my blog. 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Rock Bottom

This is a post i have had in my drafts for a long time, but i haven't had the courage to publish. Only a few close friends and family know what you are about to read. I have spent a very long time being ashamed and embarrassed about it. Feeling weak and pathetic and undeserving. I have finally accepted that this happened because i wasn't in my right frame of mind, i wasn't 'me'. It feels totally alien to read it now. I should also warn some you that there are some potential triggers within this post. 

If I'm honest suicide is something that i haven't ever really fully understood. Ive never been able to get my head around how someone can feel like death is the only way out of a situation, no matter how bad a situation they were in. Particularly people who have family and friends around them. I have found myself in awful places in my life where i have felt like i will never get to the other side, but never suicidal. 

And yet this is exactly where i found myself when i finally decided i couldn't continue with my relationship with Betsy's dad.  

I couldn't carry on being in a relationship with someone i didn't love. Someone who deserved so much better than me. 

I couldn't live with the guilt of admitting this to him and breaking his heart. My heart. Ripping our family apart.

I couldn't even begin to comprehend how i could continue to live my life on my own, when i struggled so much with things already despite knowing i have someone by my side to help me. 

I couldn't bear the thought of Betsy having to be stuck with me and only me when i am having bad bad days and the thought of leaving the house makes me want to cry. With no one to walk through the door in the evening and sort everything out.

I just couldn't do any of it. All that stood before me was the longest blackest tunnel, with not even the faintest hint of a light at the end of it. 

And so, on that day, i very calmly decided i would simply remove myself from the situation.

I had the loveliest morning with my girl. I arranged for her Nanny to pick her up for the afternoon. 

I wrote my notes. One for Ashley. One for Betsy. I begged them to forgive me, to not forget about me. I tried to explain why this had to happen. I cannot remember exactly what i put. I was numb. I was emotionless. 

And i went upstairs. I went into Betsy's room, picked up her pillow and took it into my bedroom. I sat on the bed and clung to it, staring into space. I thought about what i was going to do. And i panicked.

I called for an ambulance. I told them i was not safe to be left on my own, i told them exactly what i planned to do to myself. I cried, begging them to help me. The rest of the day is a blur. 

I was taken to hospital. I was met there by Ashley, who had rushed straight from work. My notes had been found and read, he knew why i wanted to do it. He knew i didn't love him. He told me he didn't care, that he will always be there for me. That it wasn't my fault i didn't love him. He continued to be amazing. 

He reminded me that i was a mother to a beautiful girl, a girl who adored me and loved me. 

I hated myself more then i had ever thought was possible. For the many hours i was in that hospital, i wished desperately i hadn't of been such a coward, that i had gone through with it.  

 I was broken. 

I was spoken to by a doctor and nurse. They weren't sure whether it was safe for me to be allowed to go home. They spoke about sending me somewhere, I've no idea where. Ashley left me briefly to go home and get some things for me. Eventually i saw a member of the mental health crisis team within the hospital. I will forever be grateful to this lovely lady and the things she said to me. I was terrified they were going to take Betsy away from me, that was all i could think about. How could i be allowed to be a mother to her after all of this? She reassured me that this wouldn't happen. And of course it didn't. After a long chat we agreed that it would be ok for me to go home, provided i wasn't left on my own. 

I'd had a complete breakdown. I was tearful, i shut myself off. I struggled to be around Betsy. I hated her seeing me in this way. I just needed time away. I needed to get myself sorted out. Ashley rang my best friend and told her everything, and she drove down to collect me and i spent the weekend with her. And gradually i started to feel better. 

And now i understand. I understand how it feels to be so desperately out of control of everything that suicide seems like the only way out. To have so much to live for, yet be so blind to all of it. 

When i think back to how i was that day, it doesn't seem real. Huge parts of the day are blurred. I feel ashamed to know that i was prepared to leave my daughter without a mother. I feel sad to think of all that i would have missed out on. But most of all i feel absolutely determined to never ever allow myself to get to such an unbelievable point ever again. Nothing is ever that bad. 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

A little update

It feels amazing to finally be blogging again, i have missed it so much! If there is one thing i have learnt these past few weeks, it's to never ever take wifi for granted! 

Anyway. As most of you may know (if not, you can read about it HERE), me and Betsy's Dad have separated. My last few posts have been somewhat negative about this. I have struggled with so many things in so many ways. 

Its something that i am still getting to grips with. For the most part me and her Dad get along wonderfully, we have had a 'family day' since it happened and it was great. It is so important to us both that we get along for the sake of Betsy. She is and will forever be the most important thing in all of this.

Going it alone hasn't been quite as tough as i imagined it would be. I have surprised myself with how well i have generally coped. My depression and anxieties have been manageable. Admittedly there have been a few occasions when her Dad has had to step in to give me a break, and i am forever grateful to him for helping me, but i generally feel like i get on alright. That's not to say that it isn't unbearably hard sometimes. The days are so long and the evenings drag with no one to tag team it with. There is no more taking it in turns to get up with her, when she's with me i have to get up regardless of what the time is or how early she had me up yesterday. If i don't feel great, it's tough. The pressure is solely on me when Betsy is in full on meltdown mode. And as much as she drives me utterly insane, i wouldn't have it any other way now. I love our time together. I feel that in knowing there is no choice but to continue with things on the bad days, i manage better. And knowing i have the time to recharge when she goes to stay with her Dad is always in the back of my mind too. 

We are totally settled into our new home. I love that it is somewhere completely new for us both. Betsy settled in straight away and excitedly chants our door number as we walk up to the front door. She seems totally at ease with having two homes and there is never any fuss on 'handover'. Generally as soon as she see's the other parent she is saying bye straight away to the one who has her.

Myself and people around me have noticed a change. I am a more positive person. I spent such a long time in a situation i wasn't happy in, pretending and trying, thinking i was doing the right thing. It has taken a while but i have learnt that you cannot force feelings that do not exist, no matter how much you try. I will always feel sad for the break up of my family. I will always feel responsible. I will always feel guilty, and i hope Betsy can understand when she gets older. But i am finally at a point where i can understand and accept my feelings and begin to move on.