mental health

a n x i e t y | the beginning

Life had spiralled, everything seemed messy but I just figured that’s what happens sometimes. To control the thoughts whirring through my head, I was going out more often than normal, drinking more alcohol than normal, partying for longer than normal. Somewhere along that path, having fun with my friends had turned into a blur of miscellaneous thoughts the next day. Recollection of being a bit of an arsehole and countless questions as to why and ‘fuck, did I really do that last night?’ – even with these thoughts, I continued on. Drinking, partying, stumbling home, throwing up, hiccuping, room spinning, waking up with a huge sense of unease and an even bigger headache.

One ‘morning after the night before’ I was finding that dealing with these thoughts suddenly wasn’t so easy. My heart was racing, my chest felt like a gorilla was standing on it, my arm was tingling – I just figured it was a really awful hangover. I lay down on the sofa, thinking I’d just sleep it off. Every time I would drift off, the only way I can describe it is that I would feel like I was dying, dropping off the planet – jumping from a cliff edge. There it went, my mental stability – bye!

Granted, I panicked – obviously that did not help. I drove to A&E, told them what I was feeling and maybe dulled it down a little as “I LITERALLY FELT LIKE I WAS FUCKING DYING” was maybe not the best opener. The Doctor told me that I had low blood pressure and he put it down to the amount of alcohol consumed the night before. I felt so uncomfortable and dramatically judged. I walked out of A&E with my head hung and generally feeling like I had just wasted the time of an A&E Doctor.

That night, all of the same feelings remained but they were accompanied with horrifying thoughts and the only way I could get by was to move constantly. Whether it was rocking back and forth in the same place or wandering around and around my home. The fresh air helped but clothes made me feel trapped so I’d go outside wearing barely anything and shiver – regardless, I felt better than I did when I was inside. I’d leave the windows open in the harsh December air just so I could lie with no duvet on and shiver in the freezing cold to get to sleep.

I finally decided to get a Doctors appointment and almost immediately he told me it was an anxiety disorder. The thought that all of this physical pain had stemmed from a mental illness was so overwhelming to me. He gave me pills, I took them. I took a pill once a day every day whilst also seeking the help of a psychologist and attempted to get back to some kind of normality. My mental illness had affected my relationships, my career – I had disappeared and I had to figure out how to construct myself all over again. My personality was different, what I enjoyed doing was different and there were a hell of a lot of things that I now couldn’t do because I was just terrified. How had this happened overnight?!

I’m still taking pills, I’m still going to counselling, I’m still rebuilding my life from what I can only describe as the rock bottom of my brain. If I did it, so can you. Seek help – family, friends, therapy, medical professionals – there are even phone lines that are dedicated to helping people with mental illness. They are there for a reason, they are there for you.

Anonymous

lifestyle

“My hair does WHAT?!” – What they don’t tell you about postpartum life

Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 17.00.10

I always knew I’d struggle to adjust to life with a newborn – it was a phase that (contrary to what others pushed on me) I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy that much. Don’t get me wrong – I was infinitely happy about how my life was about to change but that whole fourth trimester thing just didn’t appeal. A human so tiny that I was constantly worried I’d drop or pick up the wrong way and snap in half?! I was so protective of my little bear that I was even scared of myself. How many times can you poke a baby in a 24 hour period to make sure they’re still alive?! Turns out – A LOT. So, off the back of this small paragraph intro that probably makes no sense, here goes the list of ‘What they don’t tell you about postpartum life’ – all of this is channelled from my own experiences and EVERYONE’S fourth trimester is entirely different I’m sure:

  1. Regardless of how you delivered, you will bleed from your hooha and SOMEWHERE will hurt. Begging my Mum to buy me a kids rubber ring to sit on 2 days PP was definitely not my finest hour. I remember lying in the hospital with my catheter and my spinal wearing off thinking ‘hey! this isn’t that bad’ – MAN! I was so wrong. The journey home was horrendous, my Mum tried to meticulously avoid all bumps in the road but even with her extreme care, by the time I got to my front door I genuinely thought my vagina had fallen out. I was permanently in a state of anxiety that I was going to get an infection and constantly attempting to remain as clean as I possibly could. Alongside, the worry that I had a vagina that resembled scar face and asking Andy to check it approx. 17 times a day. (Sorry love!)
  2. In my case, I was happy to formula feed. I knew I wouldn’t have much time off before going back to work and didn’t want to mess with my tiny humans mind by letting him adjust to breastfeeding and then implementing a bottle within a few weeks. I thought naively, that my supply wouldn’t be the best anyway as I had read articles about bustier ladies having trouble with their supply. I (again) was so wrong. I had bazoombas like Pamela Anderson and everytime I bent down they poured milk. They were painful, engorged, I could barely wear a bra never mind breast pads! Rex wouldn’t settle on me easily as he was entirely pissed off that I wouldn’t let him drink from my chest. (Sorry buddy!)
  3. Night sweats. I don’t even think I have to explain for all you Mamas out there. I would wake up in the night to feed my new little human and I would be absolutely DRENCHED in sweat – I’d have to grab a towel and dry myself off before even attempting to do anything because the minute I got out of my warm bed I’d be absolutely freezing – it was basically as if I had just emerged from a swimming pool. This continued for at least 6 weeks and I was genuinely begging for it to end. I’d be freezing in bed drenched in sweat and I couldn’t keep up with it as hard as I tried. Apparently it’s the pregnancy hormones being drained out of you – then how do you explain my next point…
  4. Crying. Emotional wreck. I’ve had jokes made many times by my friends that I am the ice queen – heart of stone and “none of us have ever seen you cry” – well sweet jesus that took a dive when I had Rex. Anything, everything – made me so emotional. Especially if it was concerning my tiny tot.
  5. This last one is happening to me right now and I’m genuinely in awe. I have thick curly hair and THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT because it’s falling out, in clumps, constantly. I can run my hand through my hair and have a huge handful of hair – washing my hair has now turned into a game of ‘can you unblock the plug hole fast enough for the water to drain enough so you don’t drown’ – tad dramatic but y’know, it happens. Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 17.01.41

I am more than sure a few more will crop up as time goes on but for now, I will leave you with those 5 delightful facts about my postpartum life. OH! And a picture of Rex for good measure of course!

N x

Pregnancy

“It says you’re pregnant!”

Well… it’s been 71 days since I found out that I’m expecting my little ‘June bug’ and it has been a W H I R L W I N D.

First of all, while maybe the timing is a little off, this baby is so incredibly wanted and loved already. When we found out we were pregnant, (whilst I actually still don’t believe it) we were absolutely elated and adding a little mini-us to our team of weirdos is the best news.

Right, stop rambling, queue the actual *finding out* story:

My body is insane, TMI – my periods are so sporadic, it’s impossible to track anything and a few days late for me is NOTHING. However, on this occasion, I was two days late and just felt ‘weird.’ There is genuinely no other word for it and I remember lying in bed on said night and thinking ‘I’m pregnant.’

The next morning I woke up and thought it was just late night craziness, I couldn’t be pregnant – just forget about it. However, whilst out at lunch I decided that I would pick up a pregnancy test “just in case” – I was at work all day and was short staffed (my fault as I run my own business!) so I was running around like a crazy b*tch. I peed on the stick, put it back in it’s little packet and placed it in my bag, continued with work and completely forgot about it!!! (SO many people have asked how I could have possibly just forgotten about it, but honestly, I did)

Jump forwards an hour and a half, my restaurant is fully set and I have a minute of reflection – umm I should probably check the pee stick, right?! Well, there’s no mistaking this little gem, is there?!

BFP 1

*Queue the frantic phone call to my Mother*

‘You will NEVER guess what?!’ ‘…you’re pregnant’

– WHY DO THEY ALWAYS JUST KNOW?!

We decided we would take a couple more tests together just to be sure – sitting in my house, waiting for the bloody egg timer to do it’s thing (I did not realise how long 3 minutes can be when it’s something as big as whether you are going to grow a human inside your body). My Mother decided she would video the egg timer’s impending result and was absolutely flabbergasted when she missed it (because of her heels being so loud that we didn’t hear the beep of the PT alarm) that she forgot to actually tell me what the result was?!?! “It says you’re PREGNAAAAAAAAAAANT!”

Three tests later and it was confirmed, Clearblue told me very efficiently that I was ‘Pregnant 1-2’ – it’s honestly amazing how your body just knows that something is out of the norm.

Honestly, this might be the most boring blog post some of you have EVER read but for me, this is about documenting all of these moments before a newborn comes and blows them all out of my head with their cuteness and perpetual crying.

Thank you for reading, guys. As I’ve said, the last 71 days have been a whirlwind and more blog posts will definitely follow including some week by week pregnancy updates, what they DO NOT TELL YOU about being pregnant and a few cute little scan pictures for good measure because this is an incredible experience (despite the throwing up!)

Nadine ♥