My mental health journey

So, this is my first official blog post, post-baby and in general in a really long time since I had my blog.

I cannot stress the importance of mental health. A healthy mind means a happy mind.
I am no stranger to mental health issues. I am very open about my demons and that is Mrs Anxiety.

I think with mental health and trying to understand why you are the way you are, a person will need to look at what they have overcome and experienced over the many years as certain events, key moments and memories really do shape us. These can really affect our mental state.

For me, I think I have always suffered Anxiety since from a young age but I don’t think I understood it. All I remember is me, being the eldest of 5, having a mum who’s English was pretty limited, a dad who not only was the breadwinner but did everything else and living in a council estate that was rife with racism… that was my childhood.

A lot and I mean A LOT was expected of me so from a young age. Pressure was something that was fed to me and when you are young dealing with pressure you have to find ways to deal with it and for me, when it got to much I would cry. Trying to show I was strong was never the case as I wasn’t so I would cry – much to my dad’s dismay who pretty much expected me to just do as I was told, in fact do more. Anyway, it is fine. It was and is expected after all I am the oldest and so these things are expected.

Growing up I never really thought I was good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, there was always this pressure to show that I could do no wrong, being the eldest it was ‘call the Dr’s.. make an appointment’ or ‘call this bank for your mum, as mum’ or ‘help your siblings with their homework’ or ‘tag along with mum and act as interpreter to places’ or ‘when people come to the house, answer the door’. or ‘any issue, tell her’  I mean the list goes on and it just became apparent and normal in the end.

Fast forward all these years pre prgnancy my anxiety levels were at an all time high for mainly
– Wedding stress
– Work, my ex manager was a micro managing freak
Leading up to my wedding from May 2016 (after my Nikkah) up until the big fat british – bangladeshi wedding in November 2016 I had about 7 very severe panic attacks. After my wedding between November 2016 – April 2016 I had about 4 panic attacks.

Panic attacks are no joke. They are awful. When I get them my body stiffens, my breathing quickens, my face and fingers get really tingly and then my face goes through motions of paralysis, as do my fingers because they clench up. The after effect is an achy left arm (its always the left arm) and I cannot move it freely for a long time.

I am a people-pleaser but on top of that I can be really hard on myself when I do not meet an expectation or do something wrong.

Alarm bells rang when I had to be signed off work for stress/anxiety reasons. My GP genuinely beleived I was depressed and perscribed me with anti-depressants. I did take a couple but I stopped, I really did not like how they made me feel and well I knew then and now that I am not deressed. One thing I did attend was councilling sessions which were great but because Inhad a wedding coming up and also with work I couldnt commit to them properly.

After I got married, my anxiety became worse in a different way so when I registered with my new GP again I was given anti-depressants and this time I belived that maybe I was depressed. I tried them for 1 day and hated how it made me feel and my hubby saw this also for himself. He was very open and advised I stop because he knew I wasnt depressed, he fully understood my anxiety was something else and that I had depression tendencies but I wasnt depressed. I had attended some counciling sessions which were good and did help however again I wasnt able to fully commit with work and everything.

With councilling, Being full open is never easy because talking about certain things can be hard. Trying to find the right words to describe, trying to justify it all so it makes sense saying it out loud can be daunting and confusing. And boy there was for me a hell of a lot of crying. Its all these untapped emotions which are locked away, freed so the tears just keep coming.

While pregnant my emotions and everything were pretty much all over the place however that is only common the 1st trimester, into my 2nd trimester my mental state was really bad. It was so bad the midwife team I was with changed and from my 2nd trimester on-wards I received specialist midwife care which focused on me and my mental health. While I was pregnant there were days I was always crying, which is common in the 1st trimester but this was the case throughout my entire pregnancy, there were days I would be feeling so low, uninterested and just sad not just that other days I was stressed, so stressed I made myself ill worrying. I was anxious to the point I was imagining all these worse case scenarios that were really not healthy. But really, the biggest issue for me, which impacted a lot while I was pregnant was my relationship with my husband.

So, it is so important that you have a great relationship, your partner is supportive and really takes their time to understand your wants and needs.

It only took towards the end of my pregnancy for him to really support me but prior to that the level of support and care received was very limited and it really took its toll on me. Men are men, I didn’t look pregnant so he would forget I was. Come baby no 2 he will know for sure what he needs to do and how to be after all he will be the one looking after baby no 1 (but baby no 2 is not on the cards anytime soon)

With me I am a pretty needy person, for some it can be hard to deal and come to terms with and so I guess this was the case for my husband. He was going through his own ups and downs with getting ready for the upcoming baby, his lack of attention on me for me I found that hard but as I said that did change.

My mental state after I gave birth was something different which I will need to talk about on a separate post

I think also with mental health awareness is key. Some people are not aware that they have say anxiety or depression and try to deal with it how they can, on their own by going about their lives as best they can.

Nower days, It is great that campaigns are visible for awareness about mental health and that people are more open to talk about it, to understand it.

I know I am not alone when it comes to mental health issues and concerns so be great to hear your views, your thought as well as your experiences. With mental health I feel its important that we stick together and support one another.

Hugs,

Yours always,
The Soul Tamer x

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3 thoughts on “My mental health journey

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