My mental health story

Whilst baby and I are sat at home stuck with a stinking cold, I’m somewhat uninspired for a blog post , therefore in the spirit of mental health awareness month I’m going to write my story. 

When speaking to my family they always remember me when I was younger for being the joyful smiley child, rarely I was moody or upset, unfortunately like a lot of people this all changed in secondary school. The years of judgement and feeling like “I’m not pretty enough” or “I’m not skinny enough” that’s why nobody likes me. Everyone has clear skin why do I have spots all over my face. It got to the point where one music lesson a boy (no name telling, two wrongs don’t make a right) stabbed me multiple times in the face with his pencil, repeatedly saying “you’ve got a spot there”. I cried my eyes out after that day. 

Then year 8 and 9 came about and that’s when the change started to happen, with the pressure of school I started seeing the school councillor , it got to the point where I spent majority of my lunches and breaks in their room as well as sessions on top. Year 9 was when the self harm started and it got really bad, to the point of attempted suicide, then it happened again in year 10 and year 11 even my first year in college. Year 10 was when I started seeing things on the wall in blood and hearing voices all the time telling me I would never be good enough. 

That was when the running began, at first it was just to be healthy and have a better body that I was proud of, that had a different affect, it became obsessive I would go on an hours run at 5 in the morning and do an extra hour of working out after school. What started out with good intentions turned into something that was destroying me day by day. 

Looking at the photos above I realise I had gotten too skinny, i wasn’t eating enough at one point or I binged on everything bad for me. But on these photos everyone was saying that I was looking really good and how was I doing it. I point blank lied to everyone saying oh it’s just exercise and eating right. All lies but the compliments made it easier for me to trick my mind into making it seem like I was doing it in a healthy way. I managed to believe all my lies. 

College it still continued to be bad but I had my ups more than my downs, the down days would hit me hard and slam me into a brick wall. HOWEVER that was when i made the decision to drop out and change my life for the better, I wanted to be better, back then it was just for my mum and my sister. When you’re 18 CAMHS send you off, I was then moved onto Italk. I put my hands up and surrendered, admitted that I had a problem and give them credit as I’m not the easiest person to deal with in the those sorts of situations they helped. I never considered CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to work until I decided to just try. They made me realise my depression triggered my anxiety and not the other way round 

After being in therapy for years I’m finally out. If it wasn’t for the likes of Lewis and my family I wouldn’t of deleted my suicidal themed tumblr which used to trigger the hell out of me. Now that I’ve had my baby boy, mum said I’m turning into my happier old self again and she’s seen a change and I agree. Yes I have scars all over my body but not as bad as some have it and yes Dominic will grow up with a mummy that has scars on her. Life is better and I made it, mental health is a serious matter, you never know what people are going through. It’s not something to be made seem normal or ok or something beautiful because it’s not.  It’s absolute F***ing hell. Sometimes you have to visit the deepest worst place in the world to learn what life really has to offer and how to handle the bad better and embrace the positive and be grateful for it. 

This was a very brief insight into my story maybe one day I’ll be able to explain everything that happened or explain some causes of everything, I’m not “recovered” but I’m definitely a lot closer to it than I ever have been before. 

Big love to my family and friends for making me see my worth, and to Dominic who is the absolute light of my life. 

Abi xox

Life is too short 

After recent events (A fair few) life has hit me smack bang in the face with a new perspective. No one knows how long anyone is going to live, so why do we worry about the little things? Everyone speaks out about living everyday like it’s your last, enjoying and being grateful for what you have but how many people go through with that? 

What happened to making time to see the ones you care about instead of just texting them or picking up the phone to check up on how people are doing? The art of conversation has been lost through technology, everyone is too busy on their phones or laptops to enjoy the time and the quality of people around them. Live in the moment. Take every mistake as a lesson. 

One of my biggest issues is leaving Dominic to go out by myself and just have time with friends and I, going for a drink or going clubbing. Yes he is growing but I need to grow still too. Everyone needs a break but I am grateful for every moment I have with him. Life is too short. If you want to travel around the world, save up and do it. A career or dream you want to do- work hard  and achieve it. Nothing is ever impossible when you put your mind to it. 

We all care too much about others opinions and not enough of our own. Do something for your happiness and not everyone else’s, there is always going to be someone that has to speak up and disagree or say something nasty about what you do and your lifestyle choices. Be selfish. It’s ok to be selfish every now and again, you may want to please everyone but unfortunately you never can. 

Do it now before it’s too late as you will never know what tomorrow brings. Live everyday as your last it’s not worth missing out of opportunities you were able to do. 

Be grateful for what you have and make the most of it. 

Abi xoxo

Family isn’t always blood.

This is probably going to my most personal blog post yet but it has to be written. 

I’m currently sitting in the waiting room of the doctors, sunlight pouring in waiting for my last therapy session. I’ve been waiting for this day for YEARS. Now I’m actually sitting here, it’s quite daunting knowing this is it, time to face the world by myself now, how will I cope? When this is all I’m used to, there’s one answer for it. 

Family, I’m not talking blood related, I’m talking the ones who are always there for you when you need them, the ones who never let you down, will always pick up the phone and know how to bring you back up into that happy place. That’s friends but also family. My baby boy, my partner and mums side of the family they’re the ones that get me through everyday. 

Even mums friends, half of them are my second family, when mum went away whilst I was pregnant they were there for me, not my father nor his side of the family but my mums friends. Then there is my step dad who has been an absolute treasure as well as his family that I’m proud to call my own, some of the most caring and funniest people I know. 

The last session of therapy is a massive up yours to the one that is my dad, to this day he never has and probably never will support my sister and I in the way we need/needed him to. Just like him and his family said “we may be blood related but we are no longer family”. I must say now I’ve come to terms on it, this has opened my eyes as to who my real family is. Thanks to that I’m in a much better place, a much happier person and a nicer person to be around overall. 

So I thank you dad for teaching me this lesson, if you read this please take this from me: treat my baby sister better than you treated us.

Therapy is done and I’m never going to go back to needing it again. This is a thank you to my family the ones who fight to see me, ask me how I am and support me through everything. 

However to dad I hope you realise the pain you caused but know it taught me the truth, I’m no longer mad about it, but still up yours. I’ve made it and I’m doing it without you. 

Abi xoxo

Where I want to be 

Where do I want to go? In life? With my body? Friendships? Jobs? Happiness? 

With my life who knows, when we’re younger we all want to be princesses and firefighters. Then we get to school and we are told we have our whole lives to sort out what we want to do as a career yet by year 10 we’ve got to make decisions on our education that effect our career choices for the rest of our lives no matter whether we are in a good mental state or bad. As for me? Now with a baby making a career seems hard but I still want try and educate myself about nutrition- let’s just see how that one plays out! 

With my body I’ve still got 15kg pregnancy weight to loose. In the photos the top one was 3 years ago, my lowest mental point- eating 200 calories a day, exercising for two hours a day. NOT HEALTHY. Yes my body looks great but I was miserable. The middle photo was when I was 36 weeks pregnant, the highest weight in my life 92kg. Happiness comes at a price, Dominic was worth every second and will continue to be. Now the third photo taken a couple of weeks ago- stomach sucked in, lighting and good lighting. I want to get back to the top photo but do it properly this time. That way I can be happy, healthy and feel like I still look good, gain the confidence to put a pair of shorts on again this summer. 

Friendships- so important. This is my time, the opportunity to re kindle some, let go of a couple and create more. Keep the people that make just as much effort as you, make you smile, support you and not knock you down. I’m so grateful for those around me, they teach me so much, all the individual stories and conversations are fascinating. Quality not quantity. Forgive but not forget. Most importantly- don’t regret. 

Love Abi xo 

Fitness with a baby 

So on the 9th February I welcomed my little bundle of joy Dominic, I never thought I would love my own child this much but I do. Now I’ll admit that the first two/three weeks were ABSOLUTE hell, would I say it’s worth it? Yes it’s taught a me a few things to say the least. But within those first few weeks I got diagnosed with post natal depression, something I never thought would happen. 

The one thing that has helped me get through all this is exercise and working out, even if it’s just going on a little walk with Dominic it’s all worth it and makes a difference (plus the walks get us out the house).   The first 6 weeks you need to let the body heal so taking him on a stroll was just about the only form of exercise I could do. After that it becomes slightly easier and you can slowly build up what you’re doing. 

Working out with a newborn can be extremely difficult though, but there are a few points that I’ve realised so I can workout and be happy and the baby can too. 

1. Put the baby under you when doing planks, so you can keep them entertained and motivate you to stay up for longer. 

2. Place the baby in front of a mirror, they’ll get distracted and easily entertain themselves. 

3. If you’re squatting or lunging or even doing calve raises use them as a weights just make sure you’re holding them properly. 

4. If you’re walking along the street with the pram (and no cars are about if you’re shy) practise those lunges again. 

My most important but favourite one is dance about the house with the baby, Dominic loves it when I do this silly move with him and it’s so entertaining watching him smile and be happy. 

The happier you are and the better you eat the happier your baby will be too. 

At pregnancy weight I was 91kg, I’m now down to 80kg and the goal is 65/70kg so let’s see how it all goes. 

Abi xox 

Sugar free diet???

Recently mum and I have been watching sugar free farm, we were fascinated by the fact people didn’t realise just how much sugar and processed food they were eating. That was until we started thinking about what we eat and buy and what has sugar in it. In the end we’ve decided to try it for two weeks and see how are health feels and test the benefits. We then went through our cupboards… 

It was worse than we thought, the amount of processed, refined and foods with added sugar we had was ridiculous, more than definitely what a daily allowance of sugar should be. My sister and step-dad are making fun of us and refusing to do it because they don’t see it as a problem, however even though it’s only been 3 days I’m already more aware of how much sugar we actually consume. 

I’ve never been one to ever agree with diets and going around preaching “count nutrients not calories” however this “diet” has been quite the eye opener and it’s not even been a week. The only way I haven’t cut out sugar completely is allowing two portions of fruit a day. Only out of preference as it’s the only bit I disagree with about this diet. 

It is however made me more aware of what I eat and what I thought about my diet being healthy turned out to not be as healthy as I thought. It shows what I need to shift in my diet and what aspects need improving. 

Updates will occur once one week is down. 

Abi x 

Not everyday needs a structure 

I’m one of those people that if their day isn’t planned to precision gets stressed and panics, it causes my anxiety to kick in and then if the day isn’t completed I usually end up crying myself to sleep. The days tend to feel incomplete without structure as I then feel like nothing has been achieved that day. 6 planners it takes me to organise my day so that I don’t get stressed, it’s obseen. 

This is not living life, it’s not enjoying the moment, yes it makes the most of the day and makes the day productive but sometimes we all need time off. We need days where you can lounge in pyjamas all day, or enjoy long walks and coffee dates with friends. Everyone needs that breather, that fresh breath of spontaneity. Plans change and they will change and sometimes you won’t get everything on your list done and that’s ok. You have other days to complete it. 

The day off will usually come unexpected when you have a fair bit planned, in my case it’s if family needs me, or I end up in the hospital from the pregnancy. Most the time that happens is because stress and worry occurs over the smallest thing. Sometimes the best days are the days you just let go and take it as it comes, accept it with an open mind and it changes everything.

Sometime that negative of everything not going to a plan turns into a positive and being something you’ll treasure as a memory for life. 

As they say “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift which is why it is called the present”. Start living in the now and try to let go of the past. 

Abi x