You’re more than a piece of paper!

It’s that time of year again, RESULTS DAY!

The day that students nationwide find out how they did over the last year. I can barely remember mine to be honest but then I suppose it was a century ago! No in all seriousness, I can’t but I’m not sure why. Maybe I was that anxious my brain has kind of deleted it, or maybe I was incredibly chilled as at that point I was an “adult” and it didn’t matter? I’d do what I wanted any way and I had found the joys of alcohol and boys! Nothing else really mattered now I finally had a taste of freedom that many of my friends had had for a couple of years before me.

If I look back, yes I know I could have done better. Up until the last year I suppose I have given myself a hard time for “messing up” and basically living my life arse over tit. But, and it is a Kim Kardashian of a but, I didn’t mess up! I know that now!

It can seem like those results on that sheet of paper are your whole existence, crammed into a few grades. Yes, I know that for certain courses and futures, grades are important, to a degree (pun not intended but suitably amusing). The thing is, that sheet of paper is just 1 tiny fraction of who you are. If you have got what you need, CONGRATULATIONS!! That is truly fantastic and I wish you all the luck and success in the future.

However, here is the important part. If you haven’t, it might seem like it, but it is NOT the end. You are NOT a failure. You are NOT a disappointment. You are you. And in the words of Dr Suess, no one can be youer than you! You have so much more to offer than a few grades. There are always other options. There is always an alternative route. There are always people who will love and support you for WHO you are, not what grades you got.

OK, I got decent grades. I just didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. Well except for have fun and do all the things that I felt I had missed out on growing up. So I basically just bumbled through life. Now I look back though and I think, these experiences, the job roles I have had, have all shaped me in some way. They have gave me skills that I may not have otherwise gained. My favourite part is the people who I have in my life though, because of these jobs. Hand on heart I am in touch with practically no one from school or college, apart from being “Facebook friends” maybe. Let’s be honest, I am certainly not the person they will have known either, looks wise and the rest (I like to think I have slightly improved with age!)

Bar Manager. Travel Agent. Business Support Officer. These are the roles I had. Good roles, for large organisations. I got there on my own merit and in some of them worked my way up from the bottom. I did that! NOT my grades at school. Me! Through hard work, through my personality, through wanting to do a good job and not letting anyone else in my team down.

But here is the best thing about my little education story, well in my opinion anyway. I am a 33 ( nearly 34) year old, I have a nearly 14 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. I have mental health problems – Depression and Anxiety mainly BUT I am about to embark on possibly the biggest educational challenge I have had to date. I am going to university! Yep, me!

Yeah I am concerned for various reasons but I have worked hard over the last year to get to this position. So what if I am in my 30’s? I think this actually gives me an edge. I have life experience. Jeez do I?! I am learning because I WANT to, not because my family or society EXPECT me to. I know exactly what I want the end result to be so I can focus and keep my eye om the prize. I know exactly what route I need to take. In fact I am as in control as I think anyone at this point could be.

Whatever happens at university though, I know now who I am. I am beginning to realise my self worth. All the things that have happened in my life have happened for a reason and I believe finally, despite all the pain, anger and suffering I have endured, I am on the right path.

You have to make mistakes sometimes to learn. You have to experience failure to really highlight to yourself what you want. Were you bothered that you failed at so and so? No? Then ask yourself if it was the right thing for you. Yes? Then you know that that is what you want and you start again! Life is not a computer game. There is no limit to the amounts of “Start Again”. Keep going until you get to where you WANT to be.

If you don’t know what you want yet, that is OK! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And certainly do not live your life for someone else. It is great that your Dad wants you to be a doctor, but, do you??

Age is but a number. Grades are but a letter/word. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be happy.

You may not be feeling what I am saying right now, but please keep it in the back of your mind. If you feel down, hopeless, worthless or upset, if you feel anxious and scared for the future, reach out for help. There will always be someone there to listen.

If things haven’t gone the way you wanted today, there is always tomorrow. Always a blank page. Always a Plan B.

Love

CC xx

 

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“How are you?”

How are you? A compulsory day to day question! Everyone should ask at least one person a day this very question and actually MEAN IT! Then actually listen to the answer, don’t just hear the words though, look at the eyes, acknowledge the body language. See if the non verbal communication matches the verbal response.

But, and here is my conundrum,  what do you say when, to be completely honest, you don’t actually have any idea how you are?! That is where I am right now. Where I have been for much of this past week to be fair. I am not bad, I don’t think. I have loads going on and to be honest, a lot of it is incredibly positive! I am working hard, reaching out to people, being brave, or as I like to put it, not being a shy bairn. The worst thing that anyone can say is No. I can handle rejection, I’ve certainly had enough of it *ahem*.

But I feel, empty. Not sad, not angry, not confused (well no more than I usually am haha) but not particularly happy, relaxed or excited either. And I know I SHOULD be! I kind of just feel like I am existing at the moment. Which, don’t get me wrong, from some of the places I have been in my head, this is still a great thing! I want more than that! I want my moods to reflect what is going on in my life. What I am grafting my arse off to achieve!

Am I doing my whole self preservation thing again? Am I not so much expecting the worst at the forefront of my mind, but also not feeling very secure with where I am actually am? Thing is, and I know CBT is helping me slowly with this, but as I have said many times before *yawn* how the hell can I change 33 years of a certain way of thinking? Where, lets be honest, most things have fucked up!

The last few days I have been listening to more Elvis Presley again. Screenshot_20180615-123305.jpgStarted off by a programme I came across on TV. Thing is, I don’t always make the connection but after some reflecting in the bath this morning, I realise that when I am not feeling the best, or where I feel a bit lost with myself, I go back to him and his music. His voice, so familiar, so comforting. I may be a little raver girl, but Elvis is my one first, true love. Thing is, as much as he is a massive comfort, a massive musical hug, as much as he can make me feel safe and smile, he can also make me cry. Very much. There are a few songs that no matter what mood I am in, they reduce me to childlike sobbing. Yet, the pull of them, I cant resist. It’s like a compulsion, I HAVE to listen to them.

  • American Trilogy – absolute shoulder shaking sobbing
  • The Wonder of You – if you know, you know why. A VERY important song from my past.
  • Always on my Mind – love many versions of this song, but this one is the only one that brings the tears
  • Separate Ways – heart breaking. If you haven’t listened to it and actually HEARD the words, I urge you do!

There is an important day coming up this week, and to be honest I didn’t think I cared, although it seems maybe I do. Maybe after that day, the frustrating clouds will break again.

Fathers Day.

Now, I wrote a blog, a letter to my Dad last year. And I still stand by everything I wrote. I have drawn a line under that part of my life as much as I possibly can. And I have truly stopped blaming myself for all that. It was NOT my fault he was who he was, I was no less of a daughter just because I was not enough to be a choice over alcohol. But, hand on heart, I miss him. A lot. Not the greasy alcoholic he will no doubt be, if he is still alive. But my Daddy. The thing that pains me the most is, I never got to say goodbye. The last things I said to him were not very nice, yes he was being a dick, but I never knew that when  I walked away that day, I would never ever see or hear from him again. How do you honestly deal with that??

Yes, I miss my Nana more than words could EVER describe but I know I have somewhere I can go to feel close to her. I can talk to her when I need to (although I haven’t for a long time and I don’t know why 😦 ) and at times I can hear her voice, see her face as clear as the last time I saw her and feel her. With my Dad, I cant. As every day goes by, I lose a little bit more of him. It’s like my memories are starting to fade out, like that scene at the end of a film. I suppose that is why Elvis is so important to me and always will be. It is the only thing I have left of him.

Don’t get me wrong, it does help that Elvis was the most gorgeous man to ever walk this planet, with a voice like Galaxy chocolate! It’s certainly not like its a hardship loving him so much!

Ah there it is, my fail safe humour mechanism kicking in. The one I use every time I feel like I am getting too emotional. The thing is, it is one of my mind protecting qualities. I am not quite strong enough, even to this day. I think there are some things, some emotions I am just not ready to fully tackle. Just yet.

Maybe I just needed a bloody good cry. As much as you all know I hate it, sometimes it is like a cleansing thing. There is a lot in my life I cant change, many questions I have to accept I will never get answered. But I have to accept that I am allowed to feel this way. I am allowed to miss him, I am allowed to wonder what would have happened if things were different, I am allowed to feel that twinge of jealousy when I see ‘happy’ families. I am allowed to feel anger, hurt, disgust even.

I need to remember that I don’t have to pretend to always be the strong, independent one. It is ok to want my Dad, to want my Nana, to want a hug, to break down and cry and, yeah, as much as it sticks in my throat, to feel sorry for myself. I don’t want pity, I don’t deserve it. But I can have oh woah is me moments. It does not make me any less of a person, it doesn’t make me selfish or self indulgent. It makes me human. And I am, as much as I hate to admit it, I am human. I have feelings and emotions and I am fragile at times.

So, how am I? Well, I still don’t know to be fair. Crying, yes. Wanting a hug that will glue all my broken bits back together, oh yes please!

But yeah, I’m not bad.

Love

CC xx

Right now…

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This blog is inspired by the lovely FearneCotton. I am just on reading her book, Happy (having only had it nearly a year I am sure) and the part on being in the now really spoke to me. I am an absolute buggar for thinking of EVERYTHING, apart from the here and now. I can tell you how I used to think and what happened and I can tell you what I want to happen and how I feel about things that haven’t and might not even happen yet. But I am a nightmare at being able to vocalise how I am, right now, in a moment.

So, lets give it a go! As an added bonus, today has been a canny day so hopefully you wont get the spiel of whinge that you normally get when reading one of my blogs 😉 (and yes I am aware that was a derogative comment against myself, I need to give my wrist a slap!)

So, right now. Oooo this is already quite daunting! Lets start with the physical, the fact! I am sat in my little office space, in the what was once Noah’s bedroom before he became a man child and accrued more toys than the shelves of Toys r Us. We had to have a house swap around as a single bed wont fit for love nor money in this room, so I decided to nab it and make it my own little “safe space”. I have it all set up just how I like it, quirky but organised. Photos on the wall, evidence of stuff I am proud of scattered around, and let us not forget the rather large ‘To Do’ pile of work. This room wont be mine for long, we have a cunning plan in order to switch it back into a bedroom for my teenage daughter, so I have kind of neglected the room, along with really, the rest of the house and my sanity. Today I got a random spout of awesome motivation and decided to take back control of my house. I decided it was time I got a grip and made my house a home again. I needed to stop hiding the mess behind closed doors, kind of like the way I tend to hide myself. It was a massive chore, about 4 hours in all, and I think at one point I nearly drowned in paperwork, BUT the sense of satisfaction walking round the house when I was done was AMAZING!

To see the floor in Noah’ room, to see a space where I could be productive and call my own for a small while and be able to lock out the world, to have a bath in peace and not worry about a monstrous lego tower falling on my head or a toy car popping up out the bubbles, from where, who knows! To not have piles of clothes on every surface going, to be able to see my kitchen work tops and to notice the colour of my stair carpets now they have been hovered in the first time in more than I care to admit! Although I meant to be focusing on today, and I am, it took me back to when I was house proud and I was constantly on a mission, cleaning and sorting. Everything had its place and god forbid you didn’t put something back EXACTLY where it came from if you used it. I know now, I did this because I was floundering. I felt I had no control over anything in my life, apart from cleaning and binging and purging. I had no idea what I was here for, what purpose my life held. I was grasping at whatever I could as life passed me by.

Now, things are very different. Yes, my Depression is still an absolute ball ache and I still don’t know how I am going to be one day to the next BUT I have a reason. I have a purpose, a vision, a dream! Yet, because of this, the first thing that disappears when I hit a bad spell and the last thing to make an appearance when I am feeling well again, is my housewifely duties. I have NO excuse to have a messy house. I am on full time sick, my children are at school (when they are not on one of the MANY school holidays anyway), although I still have coursework for my PT course and Nutrition course and I still do as much as I can volunteering for MIND, basically, there is no reason why my house should EVER be messy. Yet I let it, because I get to the point where I just don’t care. I go through the bare minimum motions to not be a scruff, I do what needs to be done for my kids. I just get so exhausted with the whole adult thing as I feel like a complete fraud. Sometimes I think I do it to see if anyone notices.

So now, right in this very minute, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I feel content. My house is a home again, I can hear Noah laughing and singing along to the cartoons downstairs, the birds are singing outside even though it is raining. I can here and feel my fingers on the keys of the lap top, the carpet under my feet and the cold wood on the left side of thigh. I feel lighter than I have in months, I feel ready, although honestly, I am not entirely sure what I am ready for. I made more baby steps forward in other parts of my future today but by focusing on what I need to do NOW! There are still a lot of things swirling round my head, I keep flitting to one thing or another but that is me. That is what happens. What I am learning to do is decide which bit is worth my attention. I am studying on Silver Cloud, an online CBT tool and it is really good! I am learning more about myself and how my brain works. How I can spot a bad thought or feeling and how to address it proactively and positively.

I am very aware that tomorrow is a new day, that it could be a bad day but just as equally it could be a good day. Ultimately though, it is a day. Approximately 16 hours of awake time to do with what I want. Time I will never get back. Now, I realise how much time I have spent thinking I should have done things differently, thinking about time past. Depression has taken ALOT of my time as his own. It is now where I take it from here and have it to myself as much as possible. He will have his stronger days, but every day that I take even 5 minutes more for myself, it means I am getting that little bit stronger, that little bit better at coping.

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You cant change the past but you can learn from it. You CAN change the future but only if you embrace the now.

Love

CC xx

Loneliness is worse than the darkness!

It’s always harder to write a blog when I know I have put it off on purpose for a few days as I was scared of the emotions it would bring out. Since Friday I have been all over the place and seemingly on a downward spiral. It took me until Monday to work out exactly what was wrong with me.

I am lonely.

Now, I know I have friends, and I know to be fair they are the best friends I could actually ask for. I also have an amazing online support network. I am daily extremely grateful for all of people in my life. But certain events in my life recently have highlighted a few things that I suppose I was either trying to avoid or that have been brought to my attention and have got me thinking about other things. Confused? Yeah I suppose I am too.

Growing up, my family was very close but incredibly small. Two sisters had married two brothers so there were 2 grandparents and 5 kids, me and my brother and my 3 cousins. I say close, my Mam wont mind me saying that we had a very difficult relationship, as did me and my brother. My Dad was sporadic at best then nicked off and to be honest I spent most of my time either with my Nana or at my aunty and uncles house. My cousins were not my cousins, they were more like my siblings, we were, and despite the distance between us now, still are extremely close.

I know now that I don’t think I ever actually appreciated what I had in my family unit. We had our fair share of difficulties and dramas over the years and for most of my life I had craved a “normal” family. Now I laugh at myself. Firstly, what even is normal? And secondly, the more people I meet, the more stories I hear, the more situations I am aware of, the more I realise just how lucky I actually was! Don’t get me wrong, there was a hell of a lot of seriously bad times, for all of us. But I tell you one thing, one thing that was never ever missing was love.

It has been the first time in 13 year that I really miss not living near them. I took my family for granted. Plain and simple. I know I wasn’t escaping my Mam or my brother now, I was escaping my own personal demons. Things have happened recently that have really hurt me and it has made me realise that those who love me, who truly love me, would never ever do that to me. They love me through my mistakes and my moods and my general annoyingness. That is what a family is. They don’t push you out, they don’t ignore you, they don’t make you feel bad. They may  not always agree with you, how boring would that be for a start?! But they are there through thick and thin.

I play a very good cold hearted bitch. I think I have actually played that part too well for too long as people don’t realise just how much I actually do feel and how sensitive I am. To a degree I don’t give a crap what people think about me, but then there is always going to be an element of that craving of acceptance. In an ideal world, who would want everyone to love them? And don’t lie! Of course you would. I want to be the one that makes people smile, who people can come to talk to, who people want in their life and to be around. I want to be a positive in someone’s day. I understand that I cant please everyone, I understand all to well my faults, but when I lose people that I love, that have been in my life for what feels like forever, it hurts. Like hell. It brings back so much past pain and rejection. Things that I have to start getting over but I don’t even know where to begin with it sometimes.

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This weekend gone, I felt so incredibly lonely and isolated. I felt like life was passing me by, everyone had someone and was doing their own thing and I was just kind of stuck. I suppose this is where all this has came from. Too much time being lost in my own thoughts is no good, especially to an over thinking, catastrophizing head blag like me. I realised I didn’t have anywhere I could just “pop by”. I didn’t have any family I could go and annoy for a little while. The lack of car and money meant I felt absolutely stuck. If it wasn’t for Noah I actually do wonder what I would have been like and how worse things could have been. I realised I don’t really have a support network, in the sense that I cant just go for a run or pop to the shops or have a drink with a friend. I was Noah’s whole world. Now don’t get me wrong, what Mam doesn’t love being the centre of their kids universe. But sometimes I crave a bit of flexibility. Something I don’t feel I have. I feel like I have to plan anything ages in advance, I cant be spontaneous. Yet when I do plan, I struggle to get excited as 9 times out of 10 something comes up and plans fall through.

I don’t want to spend this whole blog whinging. It doesn’t get me anywhere but I do feel a bit better getting it off my chest. It might sound pathetic and non important to people but to me, these are my thoughts and feelings. I don’t like them either but I have to deal with them and ultimately face them. It’s a pain and I still try and run away from things but when I do that I just eventually end up taking out my emotions on someone or something else and making things times worse normally!

Look at me learning!

Loss doesn’t have to just be people who have died. You can “lose” people who live round the corner. Is the pain comparable? Suppose it depends on who you talk to and the situation. I don’t think anything is ever really comparable as everyone is different. One thing that all this is teaching me, is to REALLY appreciate the people in your life. I love my family very much, even if we are all completely bat shit crazy. It makes us the awesome people we are and I wouldn’t change any of them now for anything! We may not live as close anymore but I want this year to be the year where we connect again properly. We don’t have to see each other all the time like we did but I don’t want to miss out on my great cousins growing up and I want my kids to be part of the family and know who these amazing people are and how important they are, especially to making me the woman I am today.

My friends will always be my family, but I need to start remembering blood too.

Thanks for never giving up on me

Love you all the world

CC xx

(For my Mam, Aunty Lesley, Uncle Vaughan, Mickie, Steven, David)  Nana and Grandad *RIP*

Just some things I felt like saying

It’s one of those days where I have the strong urge to blog and to get things out but at the same time I am not even sure what I actually have to say. Bit of a strange feeling to be honest, but as usual I am going to let my fingers do the talking. They do a much better job than my mouth anyway!

Maybe it is the fact that college is coming to an end that has got me pondering on things. I still remember the day vividly that I decided to take the leap and go back into education, after my volunteering and my story about exercise and running helping my mental health started the ball rolling into what is now a solid plan for my future. It has been a tough 9 months in a lot of ways. Our class got off to a bad start but we have made it to the end. We unfortunately lost a few people along the way but I am sure they will agree, we have made friendships that will last a long time. Even if I am the only one not studying social work haha.

What I rediscovered is, despite having to fight for motivation to get things completed sometimes, the downfall of doing these kind of things while fighting a tough mental health battle, is just how much I do really love to learn. I feel like a sponge. Of course there are parts that have little or no interest to me, but I take the rough with the smooth. At the end of the day, this was just a tiny stepping stone to where I need to end up. Am I nervous about starting university? Freaking terrified if I am completely honest. It’s not like I am a fresh faced 18/19 year old. I am a 33 year old, mother of 2 who is still fighting some pretty massive personal mental demons. But hey, one thing you should all know about CC by now, she is no quitter, she thrives on the pressure, even if it because it distracts her from the parts of her life that ultimately feel like a huge crash!

I know I need to give myself a break. I know I will do everything I can to succeed as becoming an Exercise Psychologist and working with those with mental health issues is quite honestly too important to me now. It has went from a tiny flicker of an idea to an “I want that and I will stop at NOTHING to get it!”. But the other parts of my brain, you know, my mates Depression and Anxiety, they need gagging! I am so sick of hearing “why are you bothering?” “no one is interested” “people are just sick of you now” “go back to the shadow of your former self” “you’ve never been worth anything to anyone before, what makes now so different?”

Vicious aren’t they? Who needs enemies?!

The thing is, the more I share my story, the more I put myself out there, the more I worry that people are just getting fed up with me. I am literally getting everywhere at the moment. I do share a lot, I post constantly, I put myself forward for pretty much everything. Why? Because it is important! I have been judged and talked about and the rest pretty much all my life for various reasons, sometimes even by the people who are meant to care about me. I am so sick of trying to be what everyone thinks I should be. So I am being me. In all glorious, technicolour annoyingness! And if you don’t like it, tough! Unfollow me, unfriend me, ignore me (oh wait, some of you already do that!) I don’t care anymore. If you cant support me at my worst, if you cant understand why I am doing this, if my fight to end stigma and shout about mental health illness at the top of my voice irritates you, you don’t deserve my time to be honest. Those that TRULY love me, are proud of me, support me and all the rest have now made themselves clear to me. So those are the people that deserve me and my time.

I realise now I have put a lot of time and energy into people who just quite simply didn’t deserve it. I watched a little video on Facebook today and it got me thinking. Time is free but it is also priceless. I have been giving it to people who used it, and me, to be honest. They knew I would be there for them and would always listen, yet when the tables turned, they were nowhere to be seen. I try not to swear so much in my blogs these days but this needs to be said:

FUCK YOU!

Wow, that felt good!!

If you think this might be about you, think about why you think it is. Are you the person I am talking about? The people actually be to be fair. If so, are you happy with how you have made me feel? That you have helped heighten those feelings of worthlessness, that you have made me shed tears, that you have actually hurt me? Do you actually even care?? Probably not. And now I can say, it says a hell of a lot about you as a person than me.

Hands up, I am not perfect. God, far far from it. When I am struggling I retreat, but then at the same time I use distraction and avoidance as methods of coping (using CBT to help try and combat this) so I am always busy. But if you need me, I will be there in a second. I wont always reach out first as I worry that you don’t need my crap and that all I will end up doing is whinge. I wont always tell you what is wrong, I will still pretend that I am good, because I can use this blog now to get my worries, thoughts and fears out. This to me means I can be a much better friend to you. I hope.

So, I am now making my first step into the next chapter of the crazy life of CC. I am reaching out through various avenues. I am studying for things that will ultimately help me support others. I am loving that I can redo my PT course and the nutrition one is very interesting! I will be a bona fide full time student as of September. But I am going to be personally stronger, emotionally stronger. I have got this far being honest, sharing my story to help others and I will continue to do so, because to me, that is the right thing to do.

Recently, a few doors have definitely closed. I know now though that they were meant to and for good reason. I cant keep focusing on what is behind me, not when I, and only me, have the power to make my future and my life mean so much more.

Until my next rant……….

Love CC xx

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#MaternalMentalHealthAwareness

It is always harder to write a blog when it comes to things that concern my children. They are my life, my reason for breathing, my reason for wanting to help change the world so that they can grow up in a safer, more understanding society. A society where you can talk about anything, especially how you are feeling, whether you are old or young, boy or girl.

Thing is, how do you get rid of the gut wrenching guilt that has clouded you since the very first day you found out you were pregnant? The first thing you thought was not how happy you were but how scared you were. How you knew you couldn’t do this. How you were barely capable of looking after yourself, never mind a baby!
That is how my story starts and is something I have struggled to deal with ever since.
Let’s go back, I was 19 years old. I had moved over 70 miles away from my hometown in Chester-Le-Street to Harrogate. I upped and left everything and everyone for a lad I hadn’t really been seeing for very long. The fear of the unknown though was more appealing than the life I was living at the time. I needed to escape. So, I did. It was very much a whirlwind, I was away from home for less than a year when I found out I was pregnant. I panicked. Selfishly, I had only just tasted freedom. I was only just living for myself for the first time in my life and just like that, I was going to be back to having to put someone else first.
They talk about post-natal depression, and I will talk in a moment about that as I can be honest now and say a lot of my problems stemmed from me suffering once my daughter was born. But what people fail to mention and help you with is when you are clearly struggling when you are pregnant. Looking back, it was completely obvious I was struggling, badly. I treated myself and my unborn baby appallingly. I was in a hellish place, yet I felt so stuck and so alone. I had no voice at all. I had to do what I do best, what I had done all my life up to that point and stick a massive fake smile on my face and pretend everything was A OK. It was very far from OK. I felt like all my decisions were being made for me and I had no say in my own life. I just got dragged along this terrifying pathway into motherhood. One I had never expected to be on. Family, marriage and children had never been on my radar. I wanted a career. I wanted to travel. Now, I felt like I was constantly tied in a straight jacket. Just nodding and shaking my head at the allocated points needed to show I was still a semi functioning human.
9 month later, my beautiful daughter was born, 4 days early weighing a tiny 6lb 6oz. 2 days before my 20th birthday.
You read about these overwhelming emotions of love and adoration and all the rest. I waited. I expected to feel it straight away. It didn’t happen. Ok, maybe I am just tired. It will come once I have had some sleep, I had been in labour for 72 hours after all. No. It never came. I waited days, weeks, months. That “new mam” feeling just didn’t surface. I did love her, she was part of me. I was incredibly protective, I didn’t want anyone else to go near her. The feelings of jealousy when anyone was holding her were insane. Yet, at the same time I didn’t want to be with her either. It was an internal struggle and the noise in my head was insane.

I went back to working 48 hour weeks when she was only 5 month old, I started drinking a lot. Far too much. I started to rebel. I wanted a life. I couldn’t handle a baby. I was a terrible mother. What kind of mother didn’t want to be near such a gorgeous baby who was no bother at all? This cycle went on for years. She was a good sleeper, she was happy and content. Yet I couldn’t take any credit for this as I just had no interest. I went through the motions as I was scared someone would take her off me. Which considering how I actually felt was quite ironic.
I lied to everyone. I lied on the health visitor’s questionnaire. I lied to all the health care professionals. I was telling them exactly what they wanted to hear. Yet inside I was screaming. I just wanted someone to call me out and tell me they knew I was lying. But no one ever did.

It got so bad, I felt so out of control, so lost, so worthless and such a disgusting human being for the way I felt, it was at this time that I decided my daughter would be better off without me. I needed to leave her with people who could give her all the love and the support and happy life that she deserved. I had a very difficult childhood myself for many reasons, her Dad had had a very different experience. It made sense to take me out of her equation and leave her to grow up like her Dad had. So, I got very drunk, argued with my daughter’s dad, locked myself in the bathroom and the next thing I remember is a lot of blood and being rushed to the hospital in a police car.
Was it a wake-up call? Eventually yes, after the soul-destroying feelings of disappointment at still being alive waned. Did I suddenly have an epiphany and dote on my daughter? Sadly, no. Although love slowly and steadily grew over time, it took many years to have what I would class as a mother-daughter relationship. The thing I must deal with now, which became very apparent after the birth of my son, is just how different our relationship is. She is very much a daddy’s girl. He is her universe. And for many reasons he deserves to be. He has adored her from the minute I confirmed I was pregnant. I just hope it is not too late to salvage some sort of true bond before she flies the nest and becomes anything she wants to be.
They may not have been in my “plan” but I am very lucky to have my children, who I do truly love with all my heart. I would die for them. I want to be a better person because of them. I want them to see there is good in this world. That they can be anything they want to be. I will always be their number one supporter.
My daughter is so beautiful, so kind, so very clever. Despite everything she has had to deal with in her 13 years of life, she is so resilient and balanced. I worry as she has my way of bottling things up and just trying to deal with everything herself, but I am so proud and so in awe of her bravery, of not letting anyone dictate to her how she should think. She sticks by what she believes in.
Post-natal depression is no joke. I applaud everyone who is speaking out about this and putting themselves out there to raise awareness. To highlight the flaws in the system and what needs to be done. Thank you to those who are supporting the people who suffer and helping them realise, it is like any other illness. It is not your fault. You are a good person and a good mother/father. It is your illness telling you otherwise. You can beat this, I promise.
I ask you, please, reach out. Tell someone that you are struggling. You are not alone, you don’t have to struggle alone. Be honest. Take that soul crushing weight off your shoulders.
CC xx

 

 

#getinspired

It has been ages since I have blogged two days in a row! And two pretty positive posts at that! Get me! But after watching the London Marathon again, I was just overwhelmed with so much emotion, inspiration and motivation. I am seriously in awe of those people, who completed those 26.2 miles in the hottest recorded weather. Who all have their individual stories. Some of pain, of hurt but of determination and the passion to succeed and raise money as well as awareness of causes close to their heart.

Hearing their stories is so inspiring. You really cant ever know what is going on in someone’s life until they open up. People who have lost loved one’s, people who have nearly lost their own life, people with loved one’s in hospital or treatment. Yes, running something like the London Marathon is a big personal achievement and recognition of Snapchat-35456296.jpgsuch a feat is deserved, What I also think, especially for those running for others, it is such a selfless act. For those who are not trained athlete’s, it is putting their bodies through some serious work, even pain! Wow!

I watched with so much pride for my country. Proud to be part of the London spirit, even from my sofa in Teesside, I could feel it. The hashtag was #getinspired and I so have! I was gutted I never got a place in 2018 but looking back now, I know I hadn’t been in the right head space at all to train, so it would have either ended up with me deferring or (more accurately due to my stubborn streak) being dangerous for me. Mentally and physically.

I am so determined to run it though. I have one of my bucket list run’s in September – the Great North Run. Training has started already. To get a place in 2019’s London Marathon would be the icing on the cake for this year. To be able to run the most famous marathon in the UK and raising money for Mind would be utterly amazing. Certainly one of my greatest physical achievements. Especially as I wouldn’t call myself a runner so to speak. I just do ok.

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The thing is, I want to push past my own limits. It is easy to fall into a comfort zone and just do what you know you can, what you know you are good at. I know I can bosch off 5km regularly in under 30 minutes. I know I can squat with the best of them and can sweat my tiny baps off on a circuit I create myself. What I want is to push past what I believe to be my limits. At the moment even the idea of 13.1 mile is daunting! But I know I can do that, because I already have. In a decent time too!

I want to beat my demons and I want to inspire others. I would LOVE to be the reason that made someone take up running or taking up a sport or fitness routine that they have always wanted to. I would love people to think, well if she can do it, I can do it too! Of course you can! You can do anything you want to. You can’t let you tell you otherwise. It wont be easy but then I believe that anything worth having never comes easy. There will be days, even weeks where you simply cant be arsed but you know what a success is? Doing it anyway! In fact, most of the time, those runs/games/workouts are the ones that end up feeling the best! Even if you are cursing yourself in the middle and wanting to quit.

There is so much help and support out there, if you want it. Maybe you are like me and apart from helping others, you prefer to work solitary. That’s fine. It’s about you. What works for you. What you want to gain from your experience. Whether it be finishing a particular race, raising money, setting an example for your kids, trying to lose/gain weight or just simply to get fitter. Maybe you want to be inspired to do something that doesn’t have anything to do with sport, exercise or fitness. Maybe you want to start volunteering? Or how about a career change? What about going back into education? Or simply learning a hobby that has always interested you. Inspiration comes in so many forms and means something different to everyone.

To me anyone who does something to help someone else is a MASSIVE inspiration. Yes, being selfish is necessary for your own mental health. I 100% agree with that. You cant help anyone at all if you cant help yourself. But those that dedicate their lives to others are just hero’s in my eyes. The emergency services, the army, those that volunteer, those that fundraise for good causes and those that are just there for those that need them, whether it be a simple message, a cuppa and a friendly ear or taking someone away from reality for even just a small while. These people don’t do these things for recognition but they sure as hell deserve it and they deserve a massive well done and a hug!

Today, I challenge you to think of one thing that you would love to do. Anything at all. And I want you to believe that at some point, whether you start now or in the future, that you will do it! Start a little action plan. Do a mind map. Do some research but ultimately, take that first step into the unknown and you never know how your life might change. This time last year I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be in the situation I am now, with so many new opportunities on the horizon. Some potentially very exciting ones! Each step forward is a step to my future, even if that step is a stumble or a fall. It’s still forward.

I cant change the past but I sure as hell can change the future and I will. I was put on this Earth for a reason. Plain and simple. And it wasn’t just to annoy the hell out of people! 😉

Thank you to all you AMAZING runners today. Enjoy this moment. You deserve it. Be proud!!

Love

CC xx

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