Activate Release Response

Activate Release Response

It feels like forever since I’ve written a blog post though I have shared things directly to my Facebook Page.

Things have been pretty hectic lately what with the daily grind of Mum Life and emotional overload. It’s been over this time that I’ve realised I have again been putting myself at the bottom of the priority list. My energy is spent on housework, the kids and hubby’s health drama’s. July is birthday month with 2 of the kids birthday’s a week apart but with an almost 5 year age gap.

With overexerting myself I ended up having a massive argument with Hubby which due to the overload of my emotions I had a panic/anxiety attack.

 

Normally, I recognise my signs of overload and take action to avoid exploding, however this time most likely due to exhaustion especially with worrying about Baby Girl I was unable to stem the tide of emotions that overwhelmed me.

 

My outlets are going for walks, writing and online shopping (of course) and I’ve neglected my walks unless they had a practical purpose to complete an errand, I think I’ve neglected my writing as I was trying to control my emotions instead of allowing them to be released in a healthy way.

 

I’m grateful for many things and one of those are family and friends that allow me to unload, even when it may be an annoyance or inconvenience. Its with some of them that I’ve been able to talk to in my moments of complete meltdown; even those who aren’t the closest of friends have been a sounding board. Some of those that I’ve talked to have let me know that what I’m feeling or certain things I’ve said are not abnormal and that if I didn’t get into ever argue with hubby that would be abnormal.

 

I’ve always tried to not allow people to see me in what I think are moments of weakness. I normally am someone who tries to keep my emotions in check but that’s not always possible and when I force those emotions down eventually everything comes rising to the surface and explodes if there has been no release.

 

There have been the odd occasion when I’m unable to stop myself before I explode and when I lose my temper, I hate myself for it and this leads to an even more intense panic/anxiety attack.

 

In retrospect I think part of the reason I’ve been a tad more stressed lately is because of Rylee’s Birthday Tea Party and my desire for it to be perfect which is probably unattainable as you can’t control every aspect. I know it won’t matter to her as she’s 2 years old and most likely wont remember it anyway but there are times when I want some semblance of control. When it comes to the boys’ birthday parties I’ve become a lot more relaxed but with baby girl its different and though I try to add reason to any expectation it’s like my own disappointments define my expectations for my girl’s parties.

 

I think I better sign off now as since its school holidays my boys like to get up early.

 

Anyway, one thing to remember is: Activate your release response before explosion is imminent.

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Find Your “One Reason Why Not”

Find Your “One Reason Why Not”

You matter

I recently finished watching the second season of “13 Reasons Why” and it got me thinking about my own experiences with suicidal thoughts and the darkness that sometimes feels overwhelming. It’s the reason why this particular Netflix series was something I could not willingly binge-watch, the material in it were very heavy and due to losing my mother to suicide and the thoughts that I’ve had since a teenager hit me very hard.

It did get me thinking about why I never actually took my own life and the reason was that there was always at least one thing to hold on to; that seems to be what stopped me from carrying through with those enveloping destructive thoughts. As a teenager the reason why I didn’t was because of fear of disappointing others and that at the time I believed that suicide was a selfish act. When I became a mum the thing that stopped me was the fact that my children needed me and that I didn’t want them to go through what I went through – and still do some days – with my own mother.

 

There have been times when the fight was very hard, and the thoughts made it difficult to hold on to anything positive though eventually I would suppress those thoughts and now those times of wanting to end my life have become rare.

This is what has helped me to manage those moments, unfortunately though there are those who find the fight impossible to win through and their lives are taken because of suicide. These people may have been in such a downward spiral that NO-ONE may have been able to help. Even the encouraging, uplifting words of their friends or family may not have been able to break through the darkness. Its my opinion that having at LEAST one thing in your life to hold on to is important but it may not be positive words from others. As sometimes the negative thoughts are stronger.

May be another reason I am still here today is because of my belief in Jesus, but there have been times when even scriptures can be hard to believe in and can’t hold back those destructive thoughts and a person may feel that they are loved by God alone and only want to be with Him in heaven, because the truth is Satan will use anything to tear us down and rob us of our joy.

 

For me, I don’t believe that my faith in Jesus is a crutch as there have been times when I have tried to turn away from Him especially after losing my Mum and later on losing my first-born daughter, it was at these times that if I had been brain-washed the pain I felt from these losses would have broken it. I did change after the loss of my daughter, I became more of a realist and lost a lot of optimism – there were even times when I was quite pessimistic. The pessimism opened wider the path for anxiety to lead to depression and at times lead me down a very DARK path. It did not help that from a young age I had a need to please people and when I felt I had disappointed someone or that they didn’t like me caused me to turn down that path that I hate, it caused me to question the encouraging and positive words of those that loved and cared about me.You are you

 

I’m surmising that for some people it may take more than one reason to keep on fighting and only take one reason to give in; It is my opinion that suicide is not really giving up but more like giving in to those negative and destructive thoughts.

One of the hopes I have for my children is that they’ll always know that I love them no matter what, and will always be ready to listen to them even if I may not like what they have to say. I also want my children to be there for each other and to be there for their friends.

I also want my friends and family to know I am here to listen or even if all they need is a hug. I have experienced those negative and dark thoughts I understand that sometimes just having someone to listen can help as its not always easy to just choose life.

virtual hug

Mum Guilt: Sometimes Leads To Over-Reacting and That is Okay

Mum Guilt: Sometimes Leads To Over-Reacting and That is Okay

I haven’t written anything for a while as we had at the time seemed a serious incident where my 20 month old daughter got under her Dad’s feet and he accidently tripped over her, which ended up with me taking her up to the hospital with what turned out to be a Greenstick Fracture to her tibia and fibula in her right leg. Fortunately she was seen almost straight away and was examined and taken in for an x-ray (which she did not like) and a back splint/half cast was put on her leg. She had this on for a week to allow for the swelling to go down. A couple of days after the first back splint was put on it somehow came off which of course meant a frantic morning getting the boys ready and off to school/kindy and then getting her up to the hospital for another back splint.

Rylee pre cast

This all happened a few days before my youngest boy was having his party for his 5th birthday so while prepping for the party I also had to keep an eye on my girl to my sure she was happy and not too mobile. My niece who is a few months older surprisingly was very caring towards Rylee and would often bring her toys or her water bottle. Rylee being a 20 month old toddler wouldn’t stay in one place but on that day didn’t try anything too adventurous.

Hubby felt terrible about the incident and how at the time I said to myself that this would never have happened on my watch. I felt guilty for leaving her with her Dad while I popped down the round to get dinner. The thing is, it was an accident and I shouldn’t have felt guilty because the truth is it could have happened even if I had been there.

While at the hospital I started second-guessing ever leaving ever leaving our girl at home with her Dad in charge. The boys are of an age where for the most part they can entertain themselves so I don’t worry about them as much; though being boys they could still get into mischief.

I didn’t realize how protective of our girl I am – I hadn’t planned to be as I’ve always wanted her to grow up into a strong woman who will stand up for herself if need be and someone who’s not afraid to try anything. A young woman who won’t allow anyone’s opinion to determine what she is or isn’t able to do.

She’s such a bubbly happy little girl and really suits her name, which means ‘Valiant’ and is something I want her to be, somehow though I’m more protective of her than I am of her brothers. Maybe it’s her age and her being so petite I want to protect her more. All I know is after this accident I felt like I would be hesitant to leave her with her Dad in charge; this has not really been the case as a couple weeks down the track now I’ve had to leave her with him but most of the time she’s asleep.

Rylee Pink cast

If I hadn’t left her with him that would have been a bit OTT as he loves her just as much as I do and he felt bad about the whole accident. I think that part of my reaction is that I feel like the responsibility for our children rests more on me, however they are OUR children and we are equally responsible.

4 Days of Christmas

4 Days of Christmas

gingerbread men

As a child Christmas always seemed so much fun and easy and now as a parent there are times when it feels complicated. As a child we were mainly in 1 or maybe 2 places; Now there are times when it’s 3 or more events.

 

Christmas Eve Eve

 

Today we had an early Christmas do at our place with some of my husband’s family to downsize the pile of presents that would be taken up to the lodge where we would be spending Christmas, especially considering there were a couple of large presents that would of taken up a bit of room in the vehicles.

Before family came round I went with my Mother-In-Law to do some last minute Christmas food shopping, it wasn’t too busy at the supermarket as we went there around 9am, if we’d left it later it probably would have been crazy busy.

 

After the family had left I made some gingerbread biscuits to eat over Christmas – because of how tired I was and because my boys insisted on talking to me while I was putting the ingredients together my attention was divided and the dough wasn’t as it should have been and took longer to come together.

I then got the boys to pack their bag, partially pack mine and Rylee’s bag before I could go to bed. Hubby was going to pack his bag in the morning.

 

Christmas Eve

Today was another busy day, after the kids got up and had breakfast, were dressed and Hubby was up and dressed we went to McDonalds for an early Christmas lunch with my Dad and siblings; we went to McDonalds as we only had a couple of hours before we needed to leave for the lodge where we would spend Christmas with some of my husband’s side of the family.

After we had finished at McDonalds we all went back to our place to open more presents which again couldn’t be taken up to the lodge or be opened at McDonalds as a couple for the kids were a bit large; as my Dad was putting together my four year old son’s new wagon my In-Law’s turned up, as Alex (4 year old) was travelling with them up to the lodge to allow me to put down the back seats in my car so there was more room to fill.

The journey up to the lodge felt long and arduous as I had to stop once for a carsick child, there was also a traffic accident which held us up and went got caught behind a caravan or 2. We finally reached the lodge so Hubby and I unpacked the car with help from my Brother-In-Law and I set up the room we would be staying in – I did need help from my Sister-In-Law to put up the porta-cot.

After dinner the kids opened their Christmas eve box – which included new pj’s and a book each they got ready for bed had a book read to them, Alex (4 years old) and Rylee (17 months old) went to bed. Jason (6 years old) got to stay up a little bit longer to play the new board game and then went to bed. Presents were then set up and “Santa” filled up the stockings.

Adults then socialised, as it was nearing midnight I headed for bed, the older generation had gone to bed earlier and my husband came to bed not long after and the rest I have no idea.Sleepy Rylee

Christmas Day

Today I woke around 6am as Rylee decided it was time to wake up, Alex was awake about half an hour later and then an hour later Jason got up. I got the kids breakfast and made myself a coffee, after breakfast the boysJason Present

went and got dressed and I dressed Rylee. It was hard for Alex to wait to open presents until all the adults were up but they all did. Seeing the look of excitement on my boys’ faces made the early morning worth it. After presents had been opened and the adults had cleared the paper and packaging away it was time for a breather – my B.I.L and his partner took their daughter and Alex up to the mountain, Jason read one of his new books, Some of the males put up the new BBQ and my M.I.L and her sister started preparing lunch.

Christmas Day

Lunch this year was at a decent hour and again was very filling; however Rylee didn’t eat much as she didn’t have a nap earlier so was over-tired.  I felt the same but managed to push on through – Christmas with young children can be hectic and tiring.

After lunch Rylee finally had a nap and the other kids played with their new toys while the adults’ tidied up and then rested, we had a pretty simple dinner of leftovers and cooked sausages – I think.

 

Boxing Day

Another early morning, as it seems that Rylee is a morning person. As soon as I get up I start packing our bags and then get the kids breakfast, a first breakfast of cereal; while they are getting dressed I strip the beds and try to have the room in the same way it was when we arrived. After this was done it was time for second breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs and tomatoes. After second breakfast we packed the car as I wanted to get back home before lunch.

We set off home with Alex going with his Uncle and Papa (Grandfather) and leaving just before us. We arrived home just after 11am and unpacked the car, I then went down the road to get Alex and dropped my B.I.L at the motorbike races that happen on boxing day; I contacted my Nana to let her know we were back and around 1pm get an invite to go to where they were staying for tea. Rylee refused to have a nap that afternoon so by dinnertime was so over-tired she didn’t eat much except when it came to pudding.

It ended up being a late night for the kids as we didn’t get home until around 8pm, as soon as we got home the boys got ready for bed and I got Rylee ready and the boys went to bed after a story and I put Rylee in her cot to sleep.

Boys on Bikes

 

Conclusion

This was a snippet of how our Christmas played out this year, a lot more happened but if I wrote about every single thing that happened it would be quite a novel. I hope you all had a great Christmas and look forward to what the New Year will bring.   

Anxiety From the Beginning

Anxiety From the Beginning

Aargh, Insomnia at work again! This time it’s like I’m mulling over a hundred things at once; one of those things is my use of “underlying” in relation to my previous post concerning anxiety. Part of the reason is because I was reading a blog post someone had written about “How they cured their anxiety” and it got me thinking how even when things in my life seem to be going fine, the anxiety is still there niggling away under the surface ready to pounce at a moment of weakness.

One of my early memories of feeling anxious was when I was a kid and it we were running late for a church production rehearsal that I was involved in – a child worried about being late is a bit of an oxymoron; there may have been earlier times of worry. I also have memories when I was a childishly bossy in a true firstborn child manner.

I think the anxiety got stronger as I got older and life kept pounding me with curveballs and would knock me for a six (my hubby is a sports fanaticJ)

Anyway the earliest memory I can recall of having a panic attack was when I was 17, in my last year at High School and had pressure from numerous aspects of my life. Someone in my Home Room threw a paper ball at me – or something, and I just snapped and burst into tears. I ended up in the Sick Bay and while there the Deputy Principal (I think) gave me a glass of water to drink to try and calm me down, the glass had to be put down pretty rapidly  when I almost broke it because my teeth where chattering so much with the intensity of my emotions.

There have been other instances where I have had panic/anxiety attacks and it always seems to be after something small comes along to top things of and send me into a spiral. Most of the time I try to hold it together until I’m away from people, as I sometimes feel embarrassed to feel the way I do in those times and don’t want people’s pity. I don’t know why but I most of the time I feel like I have to be the strong one and the truth is that is tiring; I also don’t like being a burden to anyone and if I do feel like I’m being a burden it seems to make the anxiety/depression worse.

Well, that’s me for now.

T.

Pro-Choice or Pro-Life: How about both?

Pro-Choice or Pro-Life: How about both?

zoes-footprints

Abortion is such a controversial subject it seems that we only have 2 choices; we are either Pro-choice or Pro-life – almost like there is no other option.

Some people are pro-choice and some are pro-life but for me I am both – I am pro-choice for life, all lives. This has a lot to do with how my own experiences have shaped my views on the subject. Before my pregnancy with Zoë I would have said I was Pro-life all the way; however my view expanded when we got the grim prognosis at the 20 week ultrasound. My daughter had cranial abnormalities and was diagnosed as not viable for life. With this prognosis there may be some people that might end the pregnancy and they might have hardcore pro-lifers calling them murderers because of that choice. For me the choice was not an easy one however I decided to carry on with the pregnancy. It was a choice I made with much internalizing and discussion with my husband. Not everyone given the choice might make that decision and that might be the right decision for them

I knew within myself I wanted to give her a fighting chance at life and if she didn’t live – it would not be by my choice,  if I didn’t at least try to give her the chance I might carry around with me a burden of guilt and feel like I killed my daughter.  Yes, I could have decided to terminate the pregnancy as the medical professionals were right and if she’d survived being born it wouldn’t have been much of a life and it would be heart-wrenching for us as parents and terminating the pregnancy might have saved us the heartache.   The medical professionals didn’t expect me to even carry Zoë to term yet at 42 weeks I had to be induced and she still kept on fighting though it ended up being a losing battle. If I had terminated the pregnancy I wouldn’t have the memories I have of her In Utero, those memories of her movements I still treasure even though it got to be pretty uncomfortable, I wouldn’t have been able to say I’ve had 1 vaginal birth.

There are the rare occasions where I wonder if I made the right choice, I also wonder if I made the right choice in not choosing to have a c-section. If I had terminated the pregnancy I might have had many moments of regret and doubt.

One of my happiest moments was hearing the heartbeat of my babies, until then the pregnancy didn’t feel real even if I had morning sickness and I don’t know how I would have felt if I had miscarried any of my babies, maybe if I had miscarried Zoë in the first trimester that loss wouldn’t have been as great as was felt when she was still-born and then again, it might have been worse – I don’t know. Every situation is different and every person reacts differently

Purple Butterfly

I guess that’s the thing about abortion, it’s not exactly a clear-cut subject; it’s never absolutely wrong or absolutely right. In my opinion there needs to be a bit more empathy and less judgment when we hear about someone having an abortion as even if we are told a reason, there may be more to the story and unless we’ve been in a similar situation we have absolutely no idea what the person may be going through. There may be those who abortion is the only medical option or logical option and just like many issues that we come across today, everyone has different views and I believe it’s not acceptable to force those views on others.

One of my favourite quotes is from Dr Seuss’  Horton Hears A Who – “A person’s a person, no matter how small” Both the unborn baby and the mother are important and what affects one has the possibility of affecting the other. If a woman is pressured to go through with a pregnancy that she doesn’t want or if it puts her life at risk then that could lead to pre-natal/post-natal depression or maternal death. No matter where someone may stand on the issue of abortion everyone is entitled to their own views. I could not have an abortion but now after what I went through I have a bit of empathy and understanding for those that choose that option, we need to love the person even if we don’t agree with their particular views.

dr-seuss-quote-2

Without Family, Life is Mission: Impossible

Without Family, Life is Mission: Impossible

Family 3Life has felt so hard lately but it would have been Mission: Impossible without the help and support of family and friends, with some of those friends being just as important as family.  Family doesn’t need to be defined by those that are related ever by blood or marriage but family can also be friends who are by your side through thick and thin.

Whatever the definition, family plays an important role in all our lives. Family gives us a sense of belonging; they can be a refuge and a support system. Children need a sense of belonging to help them to grow.

Without knowing where we belong, how can we feel secure in going forward on our life journey and know we have roots to secure us. In my opinion if children are deprived of a sense of belonging from a young age then there is a possibility they will look for it elsewhere and it may be in places or with people they may not be good for them.

Family 4One of the places I have found family outside of my relatives is at church. The tells about how we are brothers and sisters in Christ; there are times when that is true however as it is with people there are times when that idea is just that and though people may call each other sister/brother it is superficial or disingenuous, this happens when it is religious rhetoric and not heartfelt. Words unless lived are just words and often family in church needs to come from the heart and not from the head. Some people may not truly understand the meaning of family and so say or act the part but when it comes down to the core of things and they need to give of themselves there is hesitation or resistance.

Life isn’t easy and relationships do take work because if they didn’t relationships/friendships wouldn’t grow. Family in many cases allows us to grow and at times is a safety net for us to venture out knowing someone’s there to help us or to “catch” us if we fall.

If we have no Family around that’s when friends can fill that place, even if we have Family however if they are not there for us is another time when having friends is great. Sometimes Family can put unattainable expectations on family and in those cases sometimes letting family go is the best thing for us. Family shouldn’t be the ones to drag each other down but to embrace no matter what; there will be those times when family members might need to dissuade us from a decision that is detrimental but in the end the choice is ours and it is great when family are there to pick us up.

 

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