It has been a busy and difficult week....
Firstly we finally did our (me, and my friends Rowan and Elaine - along with the PTFA) clothes sale at school. This clothes sale has used up the majority of my energy over the last month. Firstly, we had the clothes donated, then they came to my house to be sorted. Then I collected 12 rails from a church nearby (with my friend Nairn), and 400 hangers from the local shopping centre. It was a lot of running around for me, and a lot of sorting over the past few weeks. However, as much as I ached and felt tired, I got through it! The actual clothes sale wasn't quite as busy as I would have liked, but we made about £200 which was good. The whole experience was really full on, but I do feel a sense of achievement after it. I was worried it was going to put me off joining the PTFA, but it hasn't. I have realised that I need something to keep my mind busy once Ed starts school in September. Without something to keep my mind busy, my anxiety shoots through the roof! It's tricky though because talking to people I don't know makes me feel anxious, so joining the PTFA could be anxiety inducing....yet I'm doing it because I'm hoping it will help my anxiety! Catch-22. I think the reason I want to make myself do it is because it will hoping put me out of my comfort zone, ready for me to do hypnobirthing training and setting up the business next year.
Only time will tell whether it helps.
Talking of anxiety though, there have been two brilliant documentaries I've seen recently about anxiety and depression, that I wanted to tell you about.
The first was Louis Theroux's: Mothers on the Edge, which covered mothers living on a mental health unit after giving birth. It made me feel extremely emotional because it brought back how I felt after giving birth and beyond. The anxiety and awful depression, did, in my eyes, impact on my relationship with the children when they were young. I always felt a lack of connection because of the depression, and found it all just so overwhelming. As one mother said, you're taught that you'll receive this rush of love when you see your child, and for me, and her, it just didn't happen. Obviously I knew that I loved them, but the depression and anxiety got in the way of those feelings and just put thoughts of self-doubt into my head. It was a tricky time, and the documentary brought it all back.
The second documentary, was Nadiya: Anxiety and Me. This followed baker and celebrity Nadiya Hussain as she started CBT therapy for her anxiety that she had been dealing with since a very young age. Weirdly watching it, made me feel more anxious myself. Nadiya suffers worse than me, but it brought those feelings home again. Like me, Nadiya found that she needed to keep busy to combat her anxiety and panic attacks. Luckily I haven't had a full blown panic attack for a while, but I often feel on the edge of one. One interesting tip was not to breathe in and out to try and calm breathing because often this can make things worse. Instead you need to go to the source, of why you are panicking in the first place. As I learnt in my CBT training, you need to stop, take a step back, assess the situation and try and look at the feeling objectively.
Now I've calmed down a bit though, I thought a spot of writing would help - hence this blog post.
One great thing that happened this week, was that I met up with my friends from the Living with MS course I took last year! We finally got around to it, and it was lovely.
It was so nice to be around people that you know really 'get' MS because they live and breathe it too. Hopefully we'll be meeting up again soon.
What else happened this week......of course! It was Ed's birthday!! (I told you it was a busy week!)
My little man is now 4 and growing up at the rate of knots. It was a lovely day, and full of all things Lego and Star Wars related. I made his cake after a final clear out and tidy up at school after the clothes sale (I never want to see a rail or hanger again!!) and impressed myself.
Ok, so as with all of my cakes, you never want to look too closely at the details (I can't ice a cake to save my life!) but Ed didn't seem to mind. He was just chuffed he got a Jabba the Hutt to add to his Lego collection. :D
So there you go, it's all been whirldwind of clothes, cake and birthday fun. We've got Ed's proper party on Saturday then hopefully we're going away to West Bay in Dorset again for a few days in half term. Living life to the MAX. :)
My not-so-little boy, with his not-so-little cake!