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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

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depression

Maternal Mental Health

[Trigger warning for suicidal thoughts]

If, like me, your social media feeds have been full of ‘shouty selfies’ (my opinion on selfies for ‘awareness’ is for another post, another day) and incredible stories of brave women overcoming PND you’ll be aware that this week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. Something that I (obviously) feel very strongly about and am 100% behind.

However when it came to sitting down and thinking about my own input into the conversation I found myself a bit lost. I didn’t know at all where to start.

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I’m not ok, is that ok?

If you’ve ever been pregnant, looked at a parenting blog, read anything, anywhere about growing and pushing out a baby, or just paid attention to the press surrounding childbirth and postnatal experiences you’ll have heard about postnatal depression (PND) or postpartum depression (PPD). It’s discussed a lot. As it should be! Awareness and understanding are essential for people to feel safe discussing their own experience with mental illness and seek help. There’s been another big push on PND awareness recently, with Chrissy Teigen’s amazing open letter about her experiences (which is incredible and spot on and so honest and everybody really should read it) to the recent surge in reporting of the 1 in 10 statistic. PND is having a moment, a moment I wish had happened before the birth of my daughter, it would have made things much easier and I would have gotten help much sooner than 12 months postpartum.

That statistic, however, is the same during pregnancy. 1 in 10 pregnant women will experience depression during their pregnancy. The same amount of women and yet we’re still not talking about it.

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My Body, Imperfect

Each body is different.
Each body is a map of where the owner has been. Routes taken. Shortcuts gone wrong.
Each body is a book. Chapter after chapter of tales of life.

My body is no different.
My body tells a story.
Of highs and lows.
Of ups and downs.
Of good and bad.
Of pleasure and pain.
Of life. In all its real, awful, hideous, beautiful forms.

Each inch a different chapter, marked and scarred and freckled with life.

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Somewhere in the Middle

I’m having a bit of a personal crisis at the moment. I feel like I’ve lost my way and I cannot work out where it is I belong. I feel like I’m forever somewhere in the middle, never coming first, never being the best at something, never being the most important. Straddling the middle no matter how hard I try.

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Just Be There

Learning somebody you love has been struggling with their mental health so much that they needed to go on medication is hard. You can feel useless and to blame and question why you’re not enough to keep them off little white pills.

The thing is, right now, this isn’t about you. Right now they need your support. Right now hearing long, emotional speeches about how difficult this is for you is only playing into every single negative thing they’re already thinking about themselves.

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2015

I didn’t know whether to do this post or not, or really where I wanted to go with it. But I do know that the year just passed has held the most changes, the most hardships, and the most wonderful moments of any I can remember (except maybe when I was eight and Geri left the Spice Girls just after I got her bloody doll).
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Social Media and Mental Health

When dealing with mental health issues, social media is something of a double edged sword. It has its pros, its ways of helping you heal and offer support, but it also comes with a huge array of cons and can often make things worse. I’ve experienced my fair share of both sides of this sword, making my personal relationship continuously switch between love and hate, often within the space of a few days.
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An Unbalance of Kindness

I answered the phone the second you called,
And never ignored a text.
The moment you needed me, there I was,
You were always my first thought.
Continue reading “An Unbalance of Kindness”

Mummy’s Feeling Poorly

I’ve learnt to not be ashamed by my struggles with mental health. I’ll talk about them openly and honestly now, it helps me and who knows it might help others. However I rarely talk about how it affects my parenting, how it might affect my daughter.
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