Not Always Mind Over Matter

Not Always Mind Over Matter

Anxiety

In this fast pace world we live in with all the opportunities available; and all the talk of tolerance and acceptance, Anxiety and depression still seems to get a hard rap. Those with Anxiety and/or depression are told to “harden up” or “you just need to keep busy” or “Think positive”. These are nice statements and are most likely said with the best of intentions. Sometimes though its not as easy as that.

Sometimes you can try to “Think positively” but it can be a battle, even when you have a great support network; turning off negative thoughts can seem impossible. How anxiety or depression is portrayed can differ from person to person. How a person gets through it at a particular moment can differ from person to person, what works for one person may not work for another.

A person with anxiety can get anxious over what may seem a trifling issue; however the workings of the persons mind can be in overdrive. Sometimes it feels like anxious thought/feelings and common sense are battling each other and you really want common sense to win but that can be a hard outcome to achieve.

Those with Anxiety/Depression sometimes seemed to be deemed as weak, however that can be further from the truth that you know. When a person battles with Anxiety/depression daily they are actually quite tough with every day that they don’t give in to the Black Hole.

The attempt to always seem happy can be a battle as well, when you are smiling and laughing on the outside but are screaming on the inside; or when you’re spiraling downwards but you are afraid to let people know so you work even harder at putting on a happy face; some may do this through being comical.

A person who’s affected by anxiety/depression needs support and not judgment. They need to feel supported and that they are not a burden when they ask for help. Sometimes people dealing with anxiety/depression won’t ask for help either because they feel ashamed, or they don’t want to burden others. When you offer help let it be genuine and selfless and not about you earning “Brownie Points” so to speak.

 

More Prose than Poetry

More Prose than Poetry

This “novel” is me truly opening up and baring more of myself than I would normally do.

When I was younger my literary outlet was writing poetry I’ve found in that I was still able to hide from myself. I don’t know when it started but I would try to be who I thought people wanted me to be and in that was very rarely myself. I put on a mask so much that I think I forgot who I was.

I was bullied at school so became very introverted my my self esteem was very low, I became the type of person that wanted to please people and never disappoint – which I now find interesting as in life I have felt disappointed by people and sometimes it wasn’t the other persons fault.

I grew up in the church and for some reasons thought I had to be this little christian girl – but really I didn’t know what that meant, I could spout out many bible verses and I was the kid who because I felt lonely would say “I’m not alone, I’ve got Jesus”

I remember one night I prayed that I just wanted Mum to be happy – previously that year she had attempted to take her own life – the next morning my Grandparents came and told me that Mum had passed away; she had succeeded (if you can call it that) in taking her own life. I was 14 when this happened and I started going back to church again as I felt that’s what my mum would have wanted, I felt like I was the one responsible for my little sister and brother and to pick up where mum left off. In doing this I think I forgot more about me.

Being a teenager is hard enough, but when you’ve got to go through those years without anyone to really guide you. The next year when I was 15 I had to change schools, the year after I had little choice but to move out as my step-mum and I did not get along, so I moved in with my Granny who’s an awesome woman, but my life felt so topsy-turvy and I felt so alone even with the family around me.

By the time I got to my early 20’s I was starting to feel a bit normal and could manage; or so I thought, I still was not being true to myself which also meant that those around me didn’t really know me either. When I first met Rob he thought I was some “holier than though” girl, and in a way I was though it was more of a way for me to hide my low self-esteem from not just those around me but to myself as well.

Go down the track a few years and Rob and I are married and expecting our first child, however at 20 weeks we find that she is not likely to live. By 42 weeks I went through a traumatic birth  and Zoë  was stillborn, and I felt let down by God, by friends, by myself. I was angry at everyone including myself. My self-esteem took such a beating that it took a while for me to be truly happy again.

A year and a half later we had our first son and my self-esteem started to slowly come back. Then 20 months later our youngest son arrived and it took a long time for me to bond with him and I almost hated myself for it, but eventually things turned right. Now last year we had our gorgeous wee girl who I feel so protective of and would do almost anything to make her happy.

Even after all this joy I am still having to work on my self-esteem and that fact that I struggle with anxiety. Most days I can keep it in check but there have been times when things just feel too much and I almost break. One thing I think I was good at was pretending that everything was fine – because aren’t I meant to be happy, after all I have beautiful children, am married to a great guy and have some pretty good friends.

Even though I have all this, there are times when I feel alone – not all the time of course but in those bad moments it feels really bad.

Lately I’ve been focusing on positive events like the first birthday of my precious wee girl who when she smiles brings so much joy. One thing I’ve tried to do is to not let my boys get worried when I have my bad moments as I want them to be as carefree as possible. I want them to not grow up too fast.

 

Your Story is Yours and No-One Elses

Your Story is Yours and No-One Elses

Honestly I find it interesting how over a couple of days I can have a number of blog post topics running through my head but then when I write it down it turns out different from I thought.Photo 2

Anyway, I was talking with a friend today and we were talking about our lives and how we had both had difficult times but in different ways. That got me thinking about hardships and how they are subjective; for example what one person goes through can seem worse or even better than someone else’s hardship.

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I remember my parents telling me a a kid when I didn’t want to eat a particular food that there’d be starving children in other countries that would love to have what I have, and that’s true.

There are things I wish my kids could have which they don’t yet they also have things that other kids may wish for. What we are going through at the moment with my husbands medical condition is difficult, but there are probably people out there who are alone and wish for a family, there could be those that couldn’t handle everything my family ‘s going through and they might throw in the towel.

Often I may not be in a situation to give financially but there are other ways to give. I can give to others my time or if there is a need my kids old clothes. Or if someone has a particular skill set that could be used to help someone out.
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If someone is going through a hard time sometimes all they need is a listening ear, or just to feel that someone cares. In my opinion the worst feeling in the world is to feel like no-one cares, to feel isolated, to feel lonely. Words can sometimes feel empty; but selfless actions, a listening ear or a hug can mean a whole lot.

 

Child milestones – Subjective

Child milestones – Subjective

Often in mum/parenting online groups I see that the topic of milestones are raised, “when did your child do this/that” I have found that amongst my own children that milestones are very subjective. My boys are 20 months apart and when it came to the crawling/walking milestones they were pretty close in age when they reached them. When it comes to being toilet trained however – my eldest boy Jason has taken longer, he still wears pull-ups at night; whereas his little brother Alex has been dry at night for about a week or so now, but still chooses to wear pull-ups.the-kids

My 7 month old baby girl is already crawling, the boys didn’t crawl until they were around 10 months old and then walked around 17/18 months old. Jason was on solids at 5 1/2 months whereas Alex didn’t take to solids until about 7/8 months. Little Miss Rylee is slowly getting used to solids but as she still has the tongue reflex its still a bit of a trial.

When Jason was crawling his friend who’s a few months older wasn’t crawling yet, his friend though started walking before him.  Miss Rylee has a friend who’s 8 days older than her and is sitting up unassisted quite well yet not crawling whereas Rylee can’t sit unassisted.

When milestoevery-child-is-specialnes are reached is determined on the child themselves, yes we may be able to help them to get reach them however it is still up to their abilities as every child is different, so unless it is known that a child may have difficulty reaching a particular milestone more often than not a child will eventually reach it.

Comparing children I’m guessing many parents are guilty of whether it be between a child and their siblings or a friend’s child, I’m having to work at that with my own children and I’m hoping that I’m slowly ceasing the comparing.

One of the reasons for the comparisons is that we as parents want to be doing whats right and if our child isn’t doing what another child is doing then we may doubt our abilities as parents. In my opinion if we compare our children to other children whats to stop them from comparing themselves to others when they are adults.

Whether it be adults or children we just need to do the best we can and focus on our own particular strengths and gifts and not feel envious of the strengths and gifts that others may possess.

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Best Friends or Bitter Rivals

Best Friends or Bitter Rivals

After our eldest son was born, I knew I didn’t want to stop there; I’m a strong believer that children need playmates. Only children may work for some people but I didn’t want that to be the case for my boy. I also realise that it may not be possible for parents to have more than one. I felt that my son would be better off with a sibling. So almost 2 years later along came his little brother.

I enjoy (most of the time) the relationship the brothers have. Our eldest boy has a big heart and loves to help his little brother, his little brother seems to want to do what his big brother does – but he also seems to enjoy “tormenting” his big brother. At the moment the brothers share a bedroom and sometimes it seems to flow smoothly, other times its like World War 3.

My eldest boy likes to have time by himself sometimes but it can be a fight to get that across to his little brother, sometimes my big boy tries to dictate how the brothers play and because of his little brother’s strong sense of independence it can turn a little bit rough. If the eldest insists to much on how their play should progress and pays no attention to what his little brother wants, then instead of words physicality ensues to get the eldest to listen to the youngest.

I’m not sure if this physicality is because they are boys or if its an age thing. What is interesting though is that the physicality could seem quite bad but once its over they are best friends again almost as if it never happened.

In having sons I’ve learnt that sometimes I have to step back and only interfere if things are getting completely out of hand – after all I don’t want them to kill each other 🙂

Within a day my sons can go from being best friends to bitter rivals then back to best friends many times. The one thing I hope is that they always have each others back and no matter where life takes them they will always know they have each other.

Just A Team

Just A Team

A persons identity often lies in the country of their birth – not always, but for me I am proud to be born in New Zealand. I love my country – I love the scenery, for the most part I like the kiwi DIY attitude, there are some things that the government does that I disagree with, I am a huge All Blacks fan but the one thing I don’t like is how Rugby is almost a religion here.

I like to watch the All Blacks play, am happy when they win and am mad when a Referee has made a decision that seems to be unfair. In the 2007  Rugby World cup when the All Blacks played France, the Ref – Wayne Barnes yellow-carded Luke McAlister and I felt along with many other All Blacks fans that it was an unfair call, many years later there are some fans that refer to this particular Ref as “bloody Wayne Barnes” and blame him for the All Blacks losing.

The All Blacks seem to be so idolised by a lot of New Zealanders that when the movie ‘Invictus’ was released there were some that were upset by the fact that the supposed food poisoning of the All Blacks just before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final against the Springboks seems to have taken away the more important message of how a rugby team played an important role in affecting  a positive change of Racial Equality for an entire nation.

After all what are the All Blacks but a rugby team – a pretty talented one at that – but still just a team. The men are merely players and as a team will have their wins and losses. As much as I like the All Blacks they are not infallible. When the All Blacks constantly win by large margins I start to find the matches boring. In 2016 when the All Blacks played Ireland and lost, I was a bit disappointed but funnily enough the other thought I had was “at least it wasn’t the Wallabies” this also goes to show how ingrained the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is in the people.

I’ve noticed that after a loss the All Blacks seem to come back with a passion, in my opinion they are more dangerous after a loss and also the games are more interesting because there is no longer the certainty of winning.

I guess its the same with life; if nothing ever goes wrong, if we are not tested in any way then how can we appreciate what we have when things are good. How can we know the strength of our character if its never tested, how can we know how far we can be pushed if it has never happened

Learning to say “No”

Learning to say “No”

I’m going to talk about the word “No”

My youngest boy seems to have no difficulty using this word and it made me think about how it’s a word that I’ve had to learn to use.  It used to be when people asked me for help I couldn’t say “no”. I think part of the reason was that I didn’t want to be a disappointment but the other reason is because I do love to help people.

Before my kids came along I had fallen into the trap of not being able to say “no”

I was always able to say “no” when it came to matters of morality and integrity but when it came to friends or family asking for my help, saying “no” was not something I could do.

However once I had my kids I had to think about what was best for them and could not neglect them in helping someone. Saying “no” became easier when I became a mum. I was kind of ‘forced’ to learn to say “no” then. Now, I don’t say “yes” if I’m not positive that I can follow through, I’ll admit though that there have been times when it’s been a battle.

My husband is a very black and white person. He says things straight up even if sometimes it isn’t a good thing. There are some days when I wish I could be like that, however it would be going against my very character. I can’t completely change who I am but I can learn better social skills. I can learn that I don’t need to please everyone all the time. I can learn to try and look after myself as well.

Even with kids its okay to say “no” sometimes, I’m not talking about when they do something they shouldn’t, I’m talking about when they ask to be taken here or there, or when they want this or that.

Learning to say “No” I think is very important for a person’s emotional, mental and physical well-being. When we say “yes” all the time with little regard for ourselves we will eventually burn out and not be good for anyone.