There’s something that I have been dealing with for some time that most people who see me would never know just by looking at me.
It’s not something I talk about very often and a lot of people who know me don’t even know about it.
And I’m going to be honest it is a bit nerve wrecking sharing this with you.
I feel this is something that really needs to be spoken about far more often and more people need to feel that it’s ok to talk about it.
From the day I give birth to Little Bear I have been carrying a weight around.
That weight is the thing that keeps me up at night, the thing that makes my heart feel like it might come out of my mouth, the thing that makes me shy when really I want to be outspoken, the thing that makes me feel and think about the worst scenarios, the thing that makes small fears seem huge, the thing that makes me feel like the world is closing in and that I genuinely might suffocate.
If you haven’t already guessed, that heavy weight I carry around is Anxiety.
To be honest it’s something I don’t talk to people about enough, obviously it’s not really something that just comes up in conversation very often.
So here I am today telling you that quite often I have days were my anxiety is quite bad. Thankfully I am learning to deal with it much better than I did years ago and I have more good days than bad days.
Anxiety is a little package that came along with Postnatal Depression, and although I managed to kick Postnatal Depression out of my house, anxiety never left.
Anxiety is part of the huge umbrella that is mental health illnesses.
I bet when you read the words mental health illnesses it made you feel a bit awkward, and I don’t blame you for one second!
Mental health is such a huge stigma! It’s something that is being talked about more but still something that people feel so awkward about.
Something that so often is only spoken about in secret or only ever talked about when a tragedy has happened.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m only recently becoming more comfortable in talking about mental health and what I have went through and what I still struggle with.
I think it’s the fear of being judged by other people, the fear that people will think you’re “crazy”, the fear that they will think you’re talking rubbish or they will think that you’re a weak person.
Well I can tell you that is not the case!
During my journey of recovery from Postnatal Depression I have come across women of all different backgrounds.
Mental health does not discriminate and it will knock on anyone’s doors!
The women I have met are far from weak! They have the biggest hearts, empathy and strength I have came across.
Very often I think people believe that anxiety is made up!
I can tell you that it’s very real indeed!
You can’t tell a person who is so worried, that they feel like they might throw up, they’re so worked up that they’re heart is beating beyond fast, they feel like the ground beneath them is about to collapse, that anxiety is made up.
What about waking up in the middle of the night so convinced something will happen to your child that you stay awake all night to check they’re breathing every 5 minutes.
Taking your child everywhere with you because you’re convinced if they’re away from you something bad will happen to them.
These are all very real things that many people deal with on a daily basis and many don’t speak up or seek the help they deserve because of the ridiculous stigma attached to mental health!
If you had any other serious illness people would be asking if you were ok and if you needed anything.
They would be making sure you were well looked after and would do their best to support you in every way they could.
So why can’t we do the same with mental health?
Our body may well keep us going but without a healthy mind we really can’t function.
A healthy mind is so important, I can’t stress that enough!
It’s time people start making a big deal out of mental health and start to educate themselves.
Don’t ever be ashamed of yourself for having any mental health illness, it’s not something you asked for, it’s not something you brought upon yourself, but it is something that can get better with the right help and support.
So if you are suffering please seek the help you are very much entitled to and deserve, and start making way for better days.