It was a really hot sunny day in Spring and I was sat in the car with my mum, parked up outside of where I used to work. I remember looking around at people walking past, laughing and eating ice cream. I longed to feel as positive and care-free as them. I longed for the mental stability of a regular teenager. But that was nothing but a dream at that point in my life.
I recognised myself in Emily the moment she was placed on my chest. It was there in her eyes and in the shape of her mouth. Six weeks later she had my smile. My genes dominated her features, and when she grew into an inquisitive toddler I realised we shared many of the same personality traits too.
I have a child who suffers separation anxiety. In his words, he likes it when we're "all together". Now he has such an extensive vocabulary and chooses to verbalise - in pain-inducing detail - how me leaving him makes him feel sad and how much he misses me, my guilt at leaving him to work is greater than ever.
The patients I met along the way also taught me so much about life and how you should never take anything for granted as you don't know what's around the corner. I learned very quickly to never judge a book by its cover within a few weeks of being in an adult psychiatric unit.
I just want people to understand why it can be helpful for some of us. Hopefully I explained it well enough, and if I didn't and people still argue with me, that's fine because I've got the sweet, sweet thought of death to comfort me. Lol.
As if he could not go up in my estimations any more I saw an interview he did discussing his battle with depression. It was very honest and inspiring for so many others especially young men who tend to hold back about their emotions.
Does finding a car parking space increase your anxiety levels? I definitely get stressed out when looking for a space. I know it might sound sad and I...
Set one up and spend the time you'd otherwise clock up on your daily social media safari doing something that, instead, fills you with joy; call your best friend, go for a riverside walk or bake something delicious!
I don't know if this is specific to my own type of anxiety, if it's common amongst those who suffer in general, or if it's just standard in even the most calm natured of mothers, but every day I have to process my daughter's death.
When I think of the how breast cancer has affected me, the most imminent questions that come to my mind are: 1. Should the cancer have changed me? 2. For the worse AND the better? 3. What should my 'profile' look like? Stronger? Weaker? Both? If both, then how can weak and strong live together in harmony?
Being with somebody with anxiety is not a burden in any way. Neither of you are victims and if you chose to be with a person experiencing an anxiety disorder, life won't be too much different. However it may require a little more patience, care and a better understanding of one another - Which will only bring you closer together.
We must address the stigma associated with mental health. We heard from many women that they fear being seen as a 'bad mother' and having their child taken away from them. Women are frequently made to feel guilty that they're not the 'perfect mother.
I'd love to float around in ethereal white robes with nothing but tranquil thoughts swishing around in the motherhead, even when shoes are being wedged up Build-A-Bear's bum. But that's just not reality.
I didn't know it was World Mental Health day when I booked a rare GP appointment last autumn. I found out later, after I'd emerged from my ten allotted minutes with the clock-watching locum, clutching a prescription for Citalopram and feeling surprisingly peaceful at having finally said it out loud...
Until I started therapy recently, I had no idea that this was even a thing. I explained my situation and various bits and bobs and my therapist told me she thinks I could be suffering from attachment anxiety. I'm like: 'what?'.
The lack of urgency to make a positive change to the world of mental health treatment in this country terrifies me. Children's mental health cannot continue to be undermined or neglected. The government is failing our next generation, as well as the 1 in 4 adults who suffer from a mental illness. Change NEEDS to happen, not just talked about. After all, actions speak louder than words.