Over the past week I have done alot of thinking about mental health and why I think that there is such a stigma surrounding the subject. As children we are all taught there is a way that things are done, we are taught the basics of how to function in society like walking, talking and eating etc. We are conditioned to believe there is a right way of doing things, you go to school, get good marks and then go to Uni. You pass Uni, go travelling and meet the man/woman of your dreams and make amazing plans for your life. You come home to your dream job, a long promising career and then buy your first home. You get engaged and plan your dream wedding, go on a once in a lifetime trip for your honeymoon and come home to find out you’re expecting your first child. The first of three wonderfully perfect children, who grow up to become wonderfully perfect versions of yourself, doing all the things in life that you did (if not better) and then you grow old gracefully with your life long partner and die peacefully in your happy place. The end.

Two words….. FUCK OFF!!!

It’s no wonder we all have this warped view over mental health if we are aspiring to be this concocted version of Stepford lifestyle. This is the reason why people are constantly questioning themselves, why people are always subconsciously in competition with each other. Surely we are not hoodwinked by this? Surely not. Why is this version of perfection sold to us as children, not just by our parents (who are not entirely to blame as they probably had it fed to them) but by society? It continues on throughout our lives, through Instagram and Facebook etc. Who’s opinion of perfection is this anyway? It’s certainly not mine. I was a little naughty in school and not a straight A* student kind of girl, I most definitely didn’t get the grades to go to Uni and there was no way they would of accepted me at the time due to the fact I was pregnant!! That’s right I was a pregnant teenager and get this… I was an UNMARRIED pregnant teenager!! Shock horror!! As if this wasn’t a stressful enough time for me as it was I had to put up with the judgments of others who thought they were so much better than me, thinking that their one way ticket into a university made them so fucking superior to me. Whilst they partied and went on group holidays, I went from one crap job to the next just to get by with my son and in my disastrous relationship I clung on to the thought that if I stayed in this relationship, everything would be ok. Now this is not aimed at anyone in particular by any means, and I am the kind of person that thinks if you ever get the chance in life to travel, party and go off to uni then you should take the chance, grab it with both hands. However if that chance never comes your way, or it’s not in the correct ‘order’ that society deems correct then that’s ok too.

After having my son when I was just a baby myself, in a tragic relationship I suffered from post natal depression. Which thankfully, even though I was young I recognised quickly and managed to pull away from but not before it had spiraled into actual depression. Now people assume depression is something that you only suffer with if you’re sat alone in your house, rocking in the corner crying with the curtains closed. This is the very reason why people no nothing about mental health, because people have the totally wrong impression of depression. Depression is the guy at work who makes jokes and gets everyone laughing, the guy who is everyone’s best bud but goes home alone to an empty house and is desperately lonely. Depression is the single Mother with 3 kids, a full time job and is on the PTA. She is always smiling in the playground and on the school run, you always applaud her for her beautiful make up “How do you find the time?”. However when the kids are fast asleep she cries into large glass of red wine, because she has been so mentally trodden on that she believes no one will ever love her again, because who wants to raise another man’s kids anyway?? This is what depression is. It’s just as likely to be your friend as it is someone crying on their knees, alone in the dark. Society is far too busy teaching us how we are expected to be living our lives and what we should be aspiring to be, rather than considering that we might be happy with the way we are or unhappy for that matter. That we may need a little help, instead of alot of judgement. I am so sure that this kind of prejudgment about right and wrong way to live is why racism still exists, why homophobia still exists. It is because we are trying to live someone else’ version of perfect.

People have mental health problems, some develop and some are born with it. Some are milder than others and some completely destroy a person, but I truly believe that if we as a society weren’t so caught up in the ‘perfect version’ of how life goes we would see that really there is nothing to be ashamed of. That’s the reason people don’t talk about it, because people with it are afraid of being judged and people without are far to quick to judge. We are all subconsciously trying to live up to these unachievable heights. Now I am not saying that everyone is closed minded and I know that I am probably going to get some backlash from this post but in my experience with my own mental health and my sons mental health, most people just cannot talk about it. We should not be hiding away from talking about it because we either think it’s bullshit, or because we simply just don’t know what to say. If you have a friend or family member with any kind of mental health issue ask them how they are. Ask them to try to explain how they feel, because it’s ok for you to not instinctively understand. It’s NOT ok however for you to not even try to. I feel like I am in a good place now mentally, I still suffer with crippling anxiety but other than that I am all good and I’m proud of myself. I am however constantly battling for the rights of my son and his mental health, he is Autistic and people are just as unwilling to talk about that as any other mental health issue. If you don’t get it, just ask me. I will gladly try to explain the best way I know how so that you can understand a little better, so that step by step and day by day the world becomes a more tolerant place for everybody to live in.

Lots of things throughout my life have added to the depression I carried around for a long time, I am now in such a good place and somehow I fought my way out of it but I know it’s not always that simple. I hate the thought of people having the added pressure of people judging their lives because I’ve been there and I know exactly how that feels, it’s pressure that is simply not needed. So please just stop it. If you have ever thought for one minute that it’s “all in their head”, please just stop. Take a minute to think that the mind is a closed door and you never know what goes on behind closed doors, and you will never know how hard it is to open that door to someone when your mind is pushing it tight shut. Depression, post natal, PTSD, autism, schizophrenia and every other mental health condition is real. Just ask. If you are suffering from some form of mental health condition please know that you are not alone and even though it may seem like there is nothing you can do to help yourself, someone somewhere wants to help you. Just ask.

Mental health is just as valid as cancer. Stop sweeping under the rug, and stop trying to achieve someone elses ‘perfect’.

Chat soon

Natalie Abraham AKA Mostly Mummy

xoxo

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I cry because I’m scared. Scared of a world that might not understand how difficult it is for you just to be you. I cry because I worry what the children will say to you when I’m not there and I worry will you ever say anything back? Will you ever say anything at all, will you talk? Tell me your happy, scared, lonely or just fine Mum thank you very much. I cry because I feel selfish wishing you could talk, focusing on something you can’t do instead of all the wonderful things that make you, you. I cry because there will be a time when I’m not here anymore, who will make sure you eat when you refuse for days on end? Who lay with you at night when your brain won’t turn off and it’s dark and too quiet? Who will know which way you have to have your cucumbers cut and what order you have to go through doors? I cry because in a world of such desperate, terrorising times will you know how to be safe? I cry because the people stare at you when we sit on the floor outside in the rain, because you just can’t move and can’t tell me why. So when we lay there with the rest of our little family I start to think. Think of how amazingly lucky I am, and I start to cry.

I cry because I am so inspired by your complete love of life. I cry because I am so proud of how far you’ve come despite all the obstacles and the doubt. I cry because I am in awe of how you smile through tears when I know how much it’s hurting just to hear noise. I cry with laughter as you spin around and around, flapping your hands with glee as your little sister looks at you and belly laughs because she loves you so much. I cry with pride at how fiercely protective your older brother is of you, and how much he loves being with you. He knows just how you like to play and doesn’t care when people whisper about us as we do our shopping. I cry with happiness as I watch the way your Father looks at you when your together. That deep loving look in his eyes, the look that makes me fall even more in love with him each time I see you together because I know he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in this world than with you. I cry tears of joy when you laugh hysterically at the same video on repeat, and at that look on your face when you watch your favourite film and realise Woody’s saved the day again. The way just dance around with your eyes closed and a grin as wide as your face, but most of all I cry because I can’t believe you chose me to be your Mum. That I am that lucky, I get to see this life through your eyes and know the true meaning of unconditional love. That’s why I cry.

Chat soon 

Natalie Abraham AKA Mostly Mummy 

xoxo 

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Hi folks. I am completely aware that I have been a bit awol of recent and not been consistent with posts but if I’m being honest, life has completely got on top of me and been directly in the way. It’s not easy this Mothering lark what with it being half term and I’ve started a course (and had homework *gasp*) time has just run away from me. 

Also the events in the last few weeks here in Britain have had a hold on me to tell the truth. I’ve been preoccupied with spending as much time as humanly possible with my little family and reflecting on how incredibly blessed I am. I think it’s fair to say that anyone with a shred, an ounce of humanity in them can say that these acts are barbaric and unforgivable. I have been anxious, sleepless and just sad about the whole situation. I have however been overwhelmed by the power of love in our country, our little island and our people have come together to show that we truly are GREAT Britain. The people have come together, taken a stand together and it’s been an incredible thing to watch. Everybody…. all races, all backgrounds, all classes! We are all together and it’s been so moving and comforting.

Is this world really that bad a place? Sometimes I think so, but the brave acts of our emergency services and general members of the public during these horrific events have shown me that there is some good in this world. Lots of it. Even when it’s hard I’ve been trying to remember this. Yes there are some evil people, some unfair judgements and some shameful behaviours but overall we are good people. These ‘people’ (and i use that term loosely) dont want us to love, they dont want us to care for eachother, they dont understand our way of life. They choose to behave the way they do because THEY are racist. Racist against humanity, against the human race but there are far more good people in this world than bad and as corny as it sounds good will conquer evil. I truly believe that.

So that’s where I’ve been, I’ve been using this time to write more about life. My life and the things I want, do things for my family and spend as much time loving as i can because I’ve learned these last few weeks you just cannot take anything for granted. This post isn’t about dwelling it’s about moving forward, these tragedies have taught me that as long as good people keep doing good things we will win this ‘fight’ against this evil force that is trying to change the future for everyone. Things have to change if there is any hope for our children. So I am going to start here in my house, am I going try each and every day to spread the love and teach my children that there is good left in this world even when it seems dark, and that it’s worth fighting for. Kill them with kindness.

Chat soon 

Natalie Abraham AKA Mostly Mummy 

xoxo 

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Nobody feels like this do they? That’s what I used to tell myself. I always felt alone. Alone in feeling this way I mean, I’m never alone really. I have three brilliant kids, a husband who loves the bones of me and so many approachable friends and family members, I’m so lucky but they just won’t get it. I can’t tell people about this they’ll think I’m fucking crazy. What am I supposed to say?

“I get nervous watching TV dramas”

“I lay awake at night stressing about bills I might have forgotten to pay”

“I don’t like leaving my kids”

“I can’t stand the thought of going in to a supermarket that I haven’t been in before”

Ridiculous right? Yes, but all true I’m afraid (and this is just some of the many pathetic things I get stressed about). People who don’t suffer with anxiety don’t understand anxiety, not really anyway. They try their best and they sympathize but they just can’t understand that sinking feeling. That knot and twisting drop of your stomach, that lump in your throat, those sleepless nights and those constant butterflies in the pit of your stomach. I honestly thought I was going mad at first, when I first noticed it. I thought that no one would listen or even care because it sounds like made up bullshit but over the last few years I’ve noticed more and more people (both people I know and people on TV) sharing their experiences with anxiety and I realised I’m not alone. Not by a long shot.

I’m not sure when it all started for me with anxiety at least but I can honestly say that I suffered with depression more than once. At first it was post natal depression when I had my eldest son Jay and I was only 17 years old, stuck in a toxic relationship. I didn’t know it and the time and I defiantly wouldn’t be told by anyone (and believe me when I say people tried) but the relationship was built on the pregnancy and little else. I thought I was in love and maybe I was but it wasn’t right, neither of us did each other any good and I think that it was a combination of that relationship, my age and the fact that I had just become a Mum which triggered off my depression at the time. It’s a hard thing to say out loud but I wasn’t a brilliant Mum back then. I loved my son immensely but I was so young I didn’t understand just how important my job as a mother was. I liked to go out way too much and relied on parents, friends, friend’s parents, anyone really to look after my son while I went out and partied. Pretty soon I got fed up of the partying and decided to really try being a Mum and to try and make my relationship work, but by then it was a horrible living environment for me and my baby but I was led to believe that this was it and no one else would want me. So I stayed in, I mean in my flat. I barely ever left. I did the school runs, went to work and the shop but that was it. Even when my son would go to my parents most weekends I never left. For months with nothing but my own company, apart from the girl who lived below me and the cast of Sex and the City I was alone all the time. I became a constant phone/text checker because I was cheated on, I became a tiny size 6/8 because I couldn’t afford much food and even when I could I didn’t want to leave the flat and the longer this went on for the worse it got. This was depression. At first post natal maybe but it developed. I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid that they wouldn’t believe my situation or that they would think ‘Ha! We told you so’. I could see my life drifting past without me, leaving me in a relationship that was non existent except we shared a bed and a kid. I decided the only person that could rescue me was me. So I did.

For a short while it worked and I met someone else. They say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else and they didn’t lie. I felt great again. I was loved and wanted, I had a new job and new friends (still some amazing old ones too), it did wonders for my self esteem but it was short lived. Those old feelings came creeping back, am I going mad? To the outside world I was hiding the person I obviously was because this couldn’t happen all over again I wasn’t going to let it. It had to be me and something I was doing wrong. That’s the thing with depression, it gets you at your lowest and keeps you there. I buried my head in the sand about another failing relationship and after more phone checking and second guessing myself (even though I turned out to be right all along) I decided, ‘Yep. Marry this one. What a top fucking plan’ NOT!! So the wedding planning began and even though I thought I was happy, it was a mask but I actually started believing I was truly happy. All the fun, plans and future I was planning was all fake but I just couldn’t see it. So once again I was depressed. A different kind I’ll admit, not so much in a toxic way but I was playing pretend with myself if anything. Trying to create this future I so desperately wanted but I was doing it with the wrong man and for all the wrong reasons. So during this relationship, I’d say at least the last 6 months of it I was just going through the motions. I played the role of excited Fiance and I did it well, but on the inside I was slowly healing myself. I knew that this person I was becoming wasn’t the real me, I had never felt like a push over before and I’d never done what someone else thought was right for me so why was I doing it now? I felt detached from the relationship but I couldn’t just end it, I couldn’t have ANOTHER failed, long term relationship. I had a kid to consider, he would be devastated. My parents had spent money on deposits, venues and even a fucking wedding dress for God sake. I had to marry him. I just had to.

“What the hell are you doing Nat? You can’t just marry him out of guilt.” this came from a good friend, a friend who had come into my life not all that long before the time I finally admitted to myself that I was deeply unhappy and probably not in love anymore. Now in a very cliched way and most people will probably think ‘shut the fuck up’ but the book Eat, Pray, Love has a whole lot to do with why I finally called time on that bullshit production. I read the book and almost instantly felt relieved (I would advise everyone to read it and take from it what you will), I asked myself ‘What the hell are you doing girl?’ and the answer was ‘I have no idea’. So I knew I had to call time on this crap, on this relationship and on all the crap that I’d been carrying around with me.

It’s not ok to be this unhappy. It’s not ok to feel like you are constantly failing. It’s not ok to pretend you’re in love just so you don’t hurt other people’s feelings. It is not ok to be continually cheated on. It is ok though, to admit to yourself that your struggling and ask for help. Ask I did, I needed to find a way and I found one. I called time on this game that I was always coming last in but it didn’t have the desired affect. I didn’t feel instantly relieved, i was still racked with guilt, embarrassed and convinced I was going to spend the rest of my days a lonely old woman. However I found in those last few months I had grown a little as a person. I knew what was right and wrong, what I wanted and what I didn’t and it defiantly made me stronger in some way. A better Mum and someone who will never settle for second best again. Even though I was emotionally ready to move on and I knew I wasn’t in love anymore, I (for whatever reasons, I’m still unsure) just had this horrible sinking feeling that I couldn’t shake. In those early weeks I couldn’t have survived without my friends, literally could not have survived. One friend moved in with us to help me cover the bills, she slept in my bed to console me when i would wake up in the middle of the night crying and spoon fed me when I would have rather starved. Another picked up and took my boy to school every day, made sure he was fed, washed his clothes and kept him entertained all along with her job and her own son to care for. Others stayed up late talking things through and texting into the early hours of the morning. So it’s true what they say ‘You get by with a little help from your friends’, it all comes back to finding your tribe.

Little did I know that once you become happy with yourself and what you have at any one time, you attract what you wanted all along (your vibe attracts your tribe – one of my favourite quotes ever). I projected what I wanted, made me happy again, built the life I wanted for me and my son and BOOM… I was caught completely off guard by the love of my life (but that’s another blog). I believe that when you meet the person who you’re truly meant to be with your soul mate, you never even question it you just fall for it straight away. I never ever question the trust in our relationship, it never comes up. We want and have wanted the same things in life from the word go, we are just one. I can’t explain it other than that and it won’t make much sense outside of us but that’s it. I am him, he is me. I don’t feel ‘depressed’ anymore, well I don’t feel the way I did at least. I think I was quite lucky that I found the strength to pull myself out and it wasn’t easy, it was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but I was lucky to have support and the belief in myself enough to do it even when it hurt. Most people aren’t that lucky. I’m sure I read once that depression never really goes away, that it just lays there dormant in your brain. Well I don’t know if that’s true or not all I know is that I must be prone to it, not depression maybe but emotional baggage. I defiantly where my heart on my sleeve and I get very quickly emotionally attached and I invest, I mean I really commit. If your my friend then your my friend and I mean it, you can always count on me and the same has gone for men (maybe that’s why I got my heart handed to me through a blender!?). Anyway what I mean is I give 100%. I feel all the feels.

So it hasn’t come as that much as a surprise to me to find that I’m suffering the way I am with anxiety. It started so simple I never even noticed it, I’m a worrier. I always worry even when I can’t do anything to change the outcome I just worry. I can’t help it.  I get anxious now over pathetic little things and it escalates into absolute nonsense, but then it’s not nonsense if it’s sense to me. It’s real to me, that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and that feeling in bed where it feels like your falling and bang you have to try to catch your breath, to the point where it makes you wretch. To me it’s real. There are lots of different things that trigger off a panic attack for me, little everyday things and big massive things that our family has to go through all the time but I’m lucky that I have friends and family to talk to. I know that some people don’t and I will always be grateful for mine. I still haven’t got a grip on it and I’m not positive I ever will but I do have coping methods and it does help ease my mind, like writing it down for example. It heals me.

I wanted to write this blog to show that you never really now what goes on in a person’s life unless they choose to tell you and most people only choose the good stuff, like the Instagram life. More people than you know suffer with depression, anxiety or some kind of mental health condition that they are struggling to hide. Well they shouldn’t have to hide it, I say share it or at least the parts of it that help you to move past that one area. The more people talk about it the more people will realise that it’s more common than you think and that it’s not a dirty subject and that there is NOTHING wrong with needing help. It’s ok not to be ok. So there it is folks, I’m Natalie and I’ve been depressed, I suffer with anxiety and I’m not afraid to share it.

Chat soon

Natalie Abraham AKA Mostly Mummy

xoxo

 

**

If anyone ever needs anybody to talk to, you know where I am.

https://www.mind.org.uk/

http://www.samaritans.org/

http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Mentalhealthhome.aspx

 

 

 

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Dear Natalie,

There are few things you should know and I wanted you to hear them from me. When you read this you will probably believe that you are totally and utterly, head over heals in love. Let me be the first to tell you, your not. I know it feels like this is it, your forever and ever but you’re young and it’s true what they say “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince” and believe me your going to kiss A LOT. I want you to know that it’s not always going to be easy but nothing that turns out good ever is. Keep enjoying your time now because it’s true what Mum says, high school is the easiest time of your life. So enjoy, get drunk, stay out late, go to parties, make friends and have fun. Most importantly (and it does help) if you listen in school. We are never going to be a brain surgeon but just getting some better GCSE results will help a little. Look after your friends and invest in your friendships, you will learn later in life that your tribe doesn’t really emerge until much later. That doesn’t mean that your friendships aren’t real but you will only take true friends with you through life, best friends. There will come a time where your friendships will be tested and you will learn the meaning of a true friend. The friends you will one day meet are well worth the wait.

You’re going to be a Mum much sooner than you think. I’m serious. A teenage Mum to be exact, but again there’s no need to stress it all works out brilliant in the end. It will be hard. So hard, in fact the hardest thing you will ever do but it’s amazing and the good always out weighs the bad. It turns out to be truly wonderful, so wonderful that you’ll do it again and again. Being a teenage Mum is tough and again let me be the first to tell you that no, he’s not the love of your life. Not the baby i mean, the Dad. Trust me, not even close. It doesn’t work out the way you think and you will be alone, sometimes it will be so dark for you but you don’t need to be afraid because you can 100% do it on your own. You will do it alone, for a long time and you will need help so don’t take the closest to you for granted. Also never let ANYONE make you feel that being a single Mum is a bad thing, or tell you that no one will ever want you because I promise it’s going to get good. So good! (be patient).

Guess what? Another relationship!!!!! Yep that’s right another “love of your life” (just kidding – it’s really not as good as you think it is) but it’s great for your mind. Makes you feel wanted and worth something again so let it happen, only for a short while though because it turns out that is toxic too. Now I’m not telling you these things not to scare you or make you feel like it’s never going to get good because it does. It really does. I’m telling you these things because I never want you to loose hope, sometimes you will feel like you are never going to get your happy ever after. I want you to know that there are frogs, lots of frogs but one day when your not even looking a Prince will come. Your Prince. A cliche? Yep it sure is, but honestly your world will change and you will never look back.

Everything happens for a reason apparently and you believe it, you don’t always know what that reason is and maybe you never will but it just seems to be that way for you. One day a man is going to love you like no one ever has and no one ever could again. One day you will find someone who adores you that much, that sometimes it almost seems like you are floating on air and only he is there with you. Embrace it. Don’t let anything hold you back, no matter what people say because they have a lot to say about it. They are all wrong. He is the best Dad you could ever ask for for your children, even your first born who not for one single minute has he not loved with every single piece of him. You will have more babies and it will be very hard sometimes, a different kind of hard to before. It almost seems like your being tested. You will need to be strong even when you think you have no strength left, you will find some I promise. There is no one like this man, he will be your rock. Continuously going above and beyond for your family, you will need his strength in your life. There is nobody better for the job than him.

Like I said before I’m telling you all this to make you stronger, to tell you to enjoy life and everything it has to offer. Even the bad times, the dark times because there will be some ahead and it’s important that you ride it out. Don’t regret anything just learn from everything, what you go through in life makes you the person you are today (that person is pretty cool. Your a good egg.) So keep doing what you’re doing, bare in mind what I’ve said and you’ll be just fine kid.

Lots of love

Me, You….. Us

xoxo

 

P.S

Some very important things I missed out.

  • Don’t pluck your eyebrows
  • Nobody looks good in Adidas poppers
  • Stop dying your hair
  • Think long and hard before your first tattoo (and the one after that)
  • Don’t watch too much pop idol/X factor. It goes on and on and on and on….forever!
  • Don’t give up the goods too quickly kid (he doesn’t love you no matter how many times he says it)
  • Scrapped back hair with WAY too many little clips and two raggedy bits of hair hanging down at the front LOOKS RIDICULOUS!! Don’t do it!!
  • Stop drawing on your hands in school…LISTEN MORE.
  • Save money (boring but true)

 

(Chat soon

Natalie Abraham AKA Mostly Mummy

xoxo)

 

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