Things can get better

Sometimes I find it hard to believe how much progress I have made over the years since being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I have two things that have happened over the past few days that I want to talk about.

Dave received a Facebook message from someone I have not been friends with for nearly 3 years a few evenings ago. I have spoken about this person. She was one of my bridesmaids when Dave and I got married. But when I was at my lowest, she made my life even worse. She made me feel guilty, didn't respect my boundaries and only cared about herself.

I made the decision that I did not want or need this person in my life. So I was surprised to find out this person messaged Dave acting as if nothing was wrong, asking how we were and congratulating us as she (somehow) knew I was pregnant.

Dave worried so much how I would react that he got in touch with my sister. She reassured Dave that I am stronger then a lot of people realise.

My first response when Dave told me was to laugh. I can honestly say that I have not once missed the friendship. I questioned the motives behind her getting in touch in the first place. Plus, the message acted if nothing had happened when it was quite the opposite.

Dave and I both agreed to ignore the message and that he would block her on Facebook. I am so happy with the people in my life. My family have always been amazing. I have the nicest and supportive friends. I didn't see the point in trying to be friends with someone who made me more ill and turned out to be an awful friend when I needed them the most.

I know for a fact that this message would have triggered my anxiety and depression when I was still struggling. I would not have been able to stop ruminating about it, quite possibly had a panic attack and it would have made my mood come crashing down. I would have brought it up continuously with Dave. It has been quite the opposite. We have not talked about it since Dave received the message.

Yesterday I went for afternoon tea for a friend's hen do. In the past, I would have automatically said no to something like this. I used to actively avoid situations like this; too many people, being with people I didn't know, a busy place etc. The only person I knew was the bride. But I went and had a good time. I chatted away to people I didn't know and they were all lovely.

To think there was a time that I was suicidal, struggled to leave the house and was constantly anxious and my mood was low is hard to believe right now. I am proud of how far I have come. I want to stress how it has not been easy to get to this point. There have been a lot of tears, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and being honest with myself and others when it is not always easy. I can recognise if I am starting to struggle and do things to help myself feel better.

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27 Weeks

I am now 27 weeks pregnant. My pregnancy feels like it is flying by.

Last week, I didn't think Jellybean was moving as much. She just seemed a lot quieter than usual. I decided to phone up the hospital that I am giving birth at. They were amazing and said for me to come in so they could check everything was ok.

I ended up not telling anyone at the time and went the hospital on my own. I messaged Dom's Dad as I was due to pick him up for 10am and he said to collect him whenever I was ready.

Looking back, I have no idea why I didn't tell anyone in my family. I just calmly phoned the hospital, had a quick cry and drove myself to the hospital.

Jellybean was and is absolutely fine. They put a doppler on me and gave me a clicker. I was asked to press it whenever I felt Jellybean move. The midwife went and got me a drink and as soon as she left the room, Jellybean started moving! I was given tips on how to get Jellybean to move in future if I feel like she isn't moving as often.

So I did eventually tell Dave and my family that I had been to the hospital. Not surprisingly, I was told off by them all as they felt I shouldn't have gone on my own.

Since I have been into the hospital, Jellybean has been making up for having a brief quiet spell. She has been moving so much! I love feeling her move. It is one of the most incredible experiences.

I finally got round to doing yoga last night. I absolutely loved it. I have been continuing to do this pilates, zumba and bodycombat. I also continue to walk Walter each day. I really believe staying active will help me during labour and after Jellybean is born.

I have my 28 week midwife appointment next week. They will start measuring my bump. The week after we have our 4D scan. I can't wait to see Jellybean. I am doing a hypnobirthing course through the hospital which starts on Sunday. I have heard good things about it so hoping that will be beneficial when I am in labour.

Besides pregnancy, we really enjoyed having Lola here for two weeks (as did Walter). We managed two dog play sessions and loads of nice walks.

Still spending time with my family and friends regularly too. It is good to spend time with good people. Jellybean will be so lucky to have these fantastic people in her life.

Chester Bennington

Like so many people, I was shocked and saddened to hear that Chester Bennington, singer of Linkin Park had committed suicide. 

For those who are into rock/metal music, we all have that one band that got you hooked. The band that opened your eyes and ears to music that completely speaks to you. For me, it was Linkin Park. 

When I first discovered Linkin Park they had only just released Hybrid Theory. At the time, I was a teenager. I was struggling back then with feeling of low confidence, doubts and anxiety. I know now it was more than your average teen angst. 

Finding Linkin Park helped me feel a sense of belonging; that other people felt like me, that someone could captivate perfectly my own thoughts and feelings. I was fortunate enough to have seen Linkin Park live on a number of occasions. It’s hard to describe what it was like singing your heart out with thousands of other people. It was beyond magical. 

I have been in that deep, dark place that Chester must have been. It feels neverending. At my worst, I would spend hours researching ways to kill myself including where I would do it. It was all consuming. I didn’t see a way that the darkness would leave. I really wanted it all to end as it was unbearable. 

I can’t remember how or when, but I decided that I couldn’t go on feeling like this. I felt I was just surviving, not living. Thanks to my amazing family and friends who supported me I got the help I needed. It was not easy. Addressing the deep rooted issues in my head is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. At times, I had to take myself out of my comfort zone and trust my therapist. It was scary and exhausting. 

I am not saying that life is now a bed of roses for me. It isn’t. But I can identify triggers or when I am starting to decline. I am more open with my family and friends when things are hard. For years, I hid my difficulties which I now know made things so much more worse for me. 

Things can get better. If someone had told me a few years ago how my life would be now, I would never have believed them. No one should feel like Chester, that suicide is the only option. Please find someone to talk to if you are struggling. 

I hope Chester is at peace now. My thoughts are with his family and friends. I am sure I am not the only one who is grateful to have found Linkin Park. Chester’s voice spoke to a generation and helped us during our worst moments. It is such a shame that he didn’t feel able to continue living when he had so much more to give. 


I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real. 
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along. 

Somewhere I belong 

Linkin Park, Somewhere I belong

Money can’t buy you happiness

As someone who works a handful of hours a week, I find it hard not to think about money and get stressed. I experience a lot of guilt about it. Dave works such long days and I barely work. 

Until this weekend, I never really appreciated that having loads of money doesn’t mean you are really happy. 

I have a wonderful group of friends that I met at the gym. I can’t express how grateful I am for them. They are my cheerleaders when I am struggling, massive amounts of fun to be around and bring out the best in me. 

As I have got to know my three gym friends, I have opened up to them individually about my struggles. Doing this has seen my other friends do the same. 

We have one guy in our group and he struggles massively with mental illness. He has a hugely complicated home life to contend with. He told me in a text message that he couldn’t do this anymore and was thinking of going to A&E as he felt like he was having a breakdown.

Dave and I went and picked him up on Saturday night and I dropped him back home today. He was in a bad way on Saturday night. But he has picked himself back up. I have told my friend that he can stay in our spare room whenever he needs to. 

My friend doesn’t have the luxury of a calm environment when things are too much for him. He gave up a high paid career in London 6 years ago when his Dad had a massive breakdown. His family all have their own issues and they all live under one roof. My friend doesn’t have a loving and supportive family that will always have his back. His family are quite the opposite. 

I am so glad that Dave and I were able to help a friend. My friend told me today that before Dave and I picked him up on Saturday, he was going through all the different ways he could kill himself. 

Although Dave and I might not be rich in terms of money, we are rich in so many other ways; love, family and friends but to name a few. 

Value the people in your life. We all have different struggles to face. You might not be able to be there with family or friends during particular struggles, but you can always be there for them to make those struggles easier to get through. 

In the summer time

During the school holidays, I work more. As a result, I have been slacking in regards to my blog. Thankfully, I have been feeling a lot better since I posted last. But if I feel like it again I will be going to see my GP. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Dom and Faith more than usual. The days fly by and we have been up to lots of things. I have shared a number of photos on my Instagram account (@originalgemskibob) if you would like to see them. 

Dom has enjoyed spending time with Walter. We have taken him for walks and all enjoyed some lovely ice cream. Dom, Walter and I visited my sister at work. Walter was fussed over and Dom made sure everyone was working! Tomorrow he wants to bake a cake for my birthday at the weekend. This is the first time Dom has asked to do anything like this for my birthday. 

Faith and I have done loads this summer; colouring in, played board games, dog walks in the park, watched DVDs, been the cinema, shopped, workshops at Pets At Home and started a reading challenge at the library. 

As I mentioned earlier, this weekend it will be my 31st birthday. Dave and I are having time off work and having some much needed time together. We are seeing a mortgage broker on as we are desperate to have our own house. We are also spending time with our friend and her two little girls and having a meal with family. 

In terms of my mental health, I am doing well. I still experience a dip in my mood and anxiety but I am able to deal with it. It helps that I have a really good support network around me. 

One way I know that I am in a good place is that I am really broody. Dave and I have talked about having children. Once we are settled in our own home, we are going to start trying for a baby. As excited as I am, I am also terrified about having a baby. A huge concern I have is my medication. I would not be able to take the anti depressant I am currently taking. I have had a long struggle to find the right medication for me so the thought of having to talk to my GP about this fills me with dread. 

The black clouds have lifted

On Tuesday I managed to go back to the gym. I did bodycombat and bodypump. It was noticeable that I had a break from the gym. But even going to the gym was an achievement in itself. I was really sore for a good few days this week. 

I also managed to do a proper food shop. When my anxiety and depression are bad, I tend to eat whatever I can grab. I bought some veg, fruit and generally healthy food. I managed to start cooking healthy, filling meals too. 

Last weekend I couldn’t even face leaving the house at all. Today, I was able to take Walter for a walk with Dave. Tomorrow afternoon we are going round to our friend’s house. 

When depression rears its ugly head it robs me of all interest in anything. It’s like the world is bleak and grey.  Through this recent low, I had support from Dave and two awesome friends. They kept checking up on me, reassuring me and letting me know that they were there for me. I am so appreciative for them being there for me. 

A new opportunity

Thank you for all the supportive comments on my last post. I didn’t know how to respond to them. But I hope you know that they were a comfort to me during last weekend. 

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster since my disastrous assessment on Friday.

It took me until about Sunday to fully move forward from the assessment. Friday evening I had to take it five minutes at a time. I was worn out but had to take a sleeping tablet. 

I was still in such a bad state on Saturday. So much so that I couldn’t face the gym. I didn’t have the strength to exercise or to face people. Dave had to make me go with him to take Walter for a walk. I’m so glad he did. It helped me to begin to clear my head. 

On Sunday I suggested that we take Walter for a big walk. I felt much more able to face the world. Walter loved meeting lots of new dogs. A group of young children were fascinated with him and I managed to get him to do a few of his tricks much to their delight. 

On Sunday evening I received a text that boosted my mood. At Dom’s mum’s wedding, there was a 13 year old girl there with Down’s Syndrome. I spoke to her during the day and also danced with her during the evening. Her mum had mentioned how she would love to have me working with her daughter. 

I decided to bite the bullet and text Dom’s mum expressing my interest in supporting this girl. On Sunday evening her Mum text me to see if I was still interested. My head was trying to tell me to make up an excuse, that I wasn’t up to this, that I would be rubbish. But I ignored these thoughts. 

So tomorrow I am working with this girl! I spoke to her Mum earlier on and I am actually looking forward to it now. I will be helping this girl get ready first thing in the morning to get ready for school. I will also be supporting her for a few hours after school. From speaking to the girl’s mum, she sounds like a right character. 

It’s funny how certain events can help change your mood for the better. I really hope working with this girl will help me as much as her. This could be a great opportunity for me. It could help aid my recovery. 

I am in the process of switching my medication. I have lowered my dosage of Citralopram from 40mg to 20mg. Next week I will be taking 50mg of Sertraline each morning. I do have my doubts whether this is the right thing to do. But I am willing to at least try in order to stabilise my mood.