God, how do I heal ?

If I wrote hurt all my pain down, folded it up like a scroll and put it in a bottle and let out by the riverside would you make it drown  to the bottom of the river bed, or will you carry the bottle up stream and it flow right on by,

If I drew a picture of what the damage inside me looks like and put in a ballon and released into the sky would a bird be sent to pop the balloon and the picture fly down n land on top a heap of mess or would the balloon flow through the clouds, an glide past a rainbow and be free,

if I sang a sad song would it sound like a broken record, would the cords go would it have rhythm and melody would the music carry the tears and sadness away,

if I said a prayer God asking you how do I heal, how can I get you to  help carry my pain away will you shut me out like I did you, or would you show me a sign, whisper something in my ear, send me a vision a guide, teach me how to forgive move on an live for the now what would you do as its time I no longer hide and let it take over its time to heal and take away my pain from the past

My children, My blessing’s

Marybeth my first born child, my daughter, my angel in heaven, I still long to hold you one  More time, stroke your face feel you close up against my skin cheek to cheek smell your baby smell tell you I love you and would have loved watch seen how you’ld grow,

Myles my  second born child a second child with a difference as he is an only child my first born living son, I watch you grow each day you are your own unique person, a character with attitude more toddler now than baby at bed time that’s when you need me more we snuggle up I wrap my arm around you whilst you fall asleep, breathe in your baby smell I strangely tell you to slow down on the growing not ready for you to stop been a baby just yet,

Marybeth you  make me so proud you may have only been in my life a short time but you made a big impact I wasn’t ready see at time that I was a good person, of pure heart but I was you knew you was to be an Angel but still wanted to be born you picked me as that person an that makes me trually blessed,

Myles everyday you make me proud you too have made a big impact on my life your showing me what it’s like to be a child again, to laugh, to be brave, to learn to trust to see the world in a different light an that to is a precious gift anyone can share so my son too I thank you as that too makes me trually blessed,

My children it dosent matter if your here with me in the present or  light years away in the heaven, in my heart I hold  both of you and will always love and nurture you and hope that you are safe and happy and get the best be it in this life or as for Marybeth in Heaven an her be one of God’s Chosen Angels because as your Mum all I can do is hope and try to give you my best, my all an hope you know how blessed you’ve both made me feel my daughter, my son Mummy loves you x X X

 

Marybeth Ann Garritty born sleeping 24/03/2002

Myles Andrew Griffin-Robinson 15/12/2013 now aged 2 x

It’s ok to be a Mum it’s ok to have Mental Health

I’m a mum to a 13 month old little boy he’s my rock , my inspiration in my recovery I used to talk about baby steps I took at present my son is attempting to take his and it dawned upon me I’m stationery not continuing on my own journey continuing with my own steps and the realisation is for a short while I’ve been ashamed of having a past mental health history, afraid of the repercussions it has for me and my child if is mentioned fear I may have to prove I can be a parent I’ve thought that fight once I proved it’s ok to be a Mum and to have Mental Health.

I think it’s because of that experience though, the fear u may not take your child home n fear you’ve waited years for this moment n you’ve lost one child (my first born was born still born) n you don’t want ever experience that again n so I think the last 12 months I used my little boy a bit to concentrate on something else threw myself into parenting, mum and toddler playgroup sessions and exploring play gyms those yes have been fun moments n great bonding moments but I sacrificed part of myself gave up part of me my passion, my fire in my belly, my dream to drive for change for better mental health because I feared it, hated it was hurt by the stigma attached to it even lost my own way thinking I could fight for change n mental health was not ok.

But Mental health is ok we all experience good an bad days, it is hard been a parent but we all feel tiered, we all question is my child happy, we all hate the teething phase, your child will push u to your limits, break u at times for me change time with my lb sets my anxieties off, I rant inside my head he’s mocking me as he scoots off nappy half fastened.

I’ve portrayed to the world parenting selfies wow I’m a fab mum I did that for my mental health I need see I was a fab mum as I doubted I was I even quiestened I could cried tears of tiredness n frustration, hibernated n thought I was being selfish put my family first I wasn’t I was bullying myself trying juggle been mum, housework, please family n friends n do the circuit of juggle play group and play gym Id in ignoring mental health n trying turn back on Id forgotten my baby steps the importance of me n my mental health n recovery.

The last few months I’ve realised I lost me, my best friend n in turning my back on mental health lost my spark n passion volunteering and campaigning debating mental health challenging people’s views fighting for better services they were my passion, my fire n like my children n my oh it too is part of what makes and completes me n it was not ok I turned my back on n it is ok n it is not ok me keep hidden it’s not ok I don’t talk about it’s not ok because I wasn’t been true to me.

I’ve learnt it ok ask for help n talk about my Mental Health n don’t have fear repercussions of MH services because in going sure start I’ve built up a relationship with family support workers who know me n actually reassure me Katie it’s ok n yr mental health ok your just scared n learning part n parcel been a parent n reminded me that yep I probably did nearly burn out because I’d neglected my me time strangely as my lb sleeps next to me I’m finding this is therapeutic to write n feel it’s ok to write n say I’m a parent and have Mental Health.

I’ve done a small amount of volunteering n did a talk last September slowly re embracing myself back into Healthy Minds n co-ran a coproduction workshop n spark slowly reignited n in background the flicker was their n as part my journey n passion 4 change I have applied 4 uni n even part time work in paid experience n even do more voluntary work as I love volunteering n the experience will also go towards building my dream that I can make things better for myself and others with mental health that it’s ok have it’s not a hinderance n it’s ok be part of you n that you can make a difference in whatever u want do n me I want change people’s attitudes about Mental health fight for better services and make a difference n too say yes I’m not afraid to say I’m Katie I’m a parent I have mental health and you know what it’s ok.

Recently I’ve been invited to an event n meet someone important I’ve quiestioned do I deserve be their n I don’t deserve because for a moment I thought mental health not ok a few people have reminded me the things I did n said I was inspiring n I’m not its the people that support n encourage me n follow me n have n had faith I could do it fight for change they inspired me they showed me it ok to be open about they were my support my safety net the ones who gave me confidence that I could change n improve mental health n perceptions n services n in do so they improved mine n helped me in finding me Katie.

So I will go to what invited to n talk about those who inspire me n my heroes n say wished their but most of all I will say I’m Katie I’m a parent I have mental health and it’s ok but u need to have services that supported me when pregnant through to delivery an after to health visitors an family workers n as my lb gets older other people will enter our lives like teachers n for them to know to support me as I’m a parent n not stigmatise me because of mental health n me having a love n hate relationship with.

Because it’s not ok to stigmatise a parent with Mental Health it’s not ok to make feel someone feel like an inadequate parent n feel ashamed of feel can be n even be scared of becoming a parent.

Because it is ok have children it is ok be a parent n it is ok to be affected by Mental Health because I’m a parent I have Mental Health n I think I’m doing an OK job x

Love Anxiety and the power of ” I partially love you ” my take on my anxiety for mental health awareness week this week.

This week is mental health awareness week the theme is Anxiety. This  week you will probably hear about many different ways Anxiety affects each individual differently and it’s impact can have massive implications for an individual and those around them. 

So here’s my take on how anxiety has impacted me and that is the anxiety I get when I fall in love or know someone’s fallen in love with me. 

Ive always struggled to accept I was lovesble, I’ve always seen myself as damaged goods, I’ve always thought someone loving me was dangerous, something bad would happen, I would be hurt or something bad would happen to me or I’d be punished or lose something I do hold dear.  To me that was due to been an abuse victim an also I suffered the loss of my daughter the first person I ever loved n me losing that led to my fear of love intensifying n into a full blown anxiety of and an ability have n moment I felt in love or loved meant I spiralled out of control n the anxiety my self saboteur. 

I in the past have have had to be the dominant person in a relationship, in control, need meets met, reassurances n times cared for if not I struggled n anxiety takes over it made me panic, worry, neurotic be self destructive push people away through how I was I’d go from miss nice to miss nasty, I couldn’t tell people I was trying push them away because I was scared, panicking inside, feeling overwhelmed things out of control n because in love n afraid of n not ready for n needed me control things. 

If I didn’t get or couldn’t have control, I couldn’t say what going on inside so I would either shut off, withdraw close myself off, turn myself off so didn’t feel anything n led to my anxiety n inability  be happy is part of my anxiety fear of love, that caused me spiral be demotivated n spiral from the anxiety to depression n times impacted that much I spiralled into having years of on n off chronic n enduring mental health. 

To try try protect myself at times n cope I’d become argumentative n find a person weak spot n target because I felt vulnerable n exposed n afraid n that made me heightened n I couldn’t have people see that or know that least of all person I was in love with or felt loved by I couldn’t let them see I was exposed n in love too for I feared its implications something bad will happen to me, love wasn’t good for me or healthy n damaging. So I would be cruel to the person who loved me n in turn thing turned people to hate me couldn’t have them love me pity I just couldn’t say what going on. 

Here’s an insight into just a snippet of how my anxiety impacted on someone who loved me.

By being like that my anxiety damaged people in my past who didn’t deserve. Marybeth’s dad n I no longer speak after losing our daughter I feared lose him, rejected him, told him her loss his fault I broke his spirit n heart because I too felt that told myself wasn’t good enough I lost our love I feared lose him if loved him I drove him away to point he rejected me. I think in my mind I needed him let me go I thing I thought I was protecting him from harm. 

 

I hope that he’s in love now n happy, I hope he’s found what we should have had love happy n settled n I hope he’s loved n feels that too I hope he’s respected n valued most importantly doesn’t feel damaged or at fault for anything. 

I tried do relationships for a time my anxiety destroyed quite a few to a time when starting my recovery I accepted I had a fear and anxiety n not ready for love n had learn to feel happy n me learn it ok for me to love me let alone anyone else. 

Strangely though I know am in love and a mum I still struggle with my fear an anxiety. 

I never meant to fall in love with my know oh tried keep him at arms length did tell him if thought I was developing feelings or he me I would find a way reject him an push him away and I did n do try I’d find faults n arguments but he knew I was doing n he’d address n we’d work through we learned power of communicating n be friends, by how he is with me n him been laid back in his way has helped me not need feel need control n because too how he was n their for me when really mattered n didn’t let me have control n felt better he handle something made me realise was safe to feel ok n be in love n seeing him hold our child first time I realised it ok me be happy n in love n rather than reject that n fear i actually try now protect it n helps with my anxiety of losing n having love I don’t want reject my oh or son n know I have fear of losing them but know I want protect them, ensure they happy n loved, 

my oh he says I partially love you, that’s helped me learn it ok hear someone say I love you n let someone in to love me, I can do I partially love you n feel ok n safe n happy hear, I know in my heart I love him n he love me n ” I partially love you” means so much n does wonders when trying have something that your afraid of n the power of partially love you has helped me find n have love n be in n nothing happened yet I’m ok n my fam ok. 

 

When people talked about n raised awareness of anxiety this week I wanted share my insight n how impacted me n those who love me n tried to.

 

Christmas Past and Christmas Present n tomorrow Christmas of the future.

This Christmas will probably be the most nerve wracking, rollercoaster of a ride but too probably be the most healing as potentially a door closes to allow a new one open a new I thought never have. 

Christmas of the past led me to fear Christmas, not get happy or excited about I wasn’t bah humbug just felt bah nothing. I never understood a festive spirit Id only experienced a dark n miserable time. So in end I’d dread Christmas n I’d crash, sadness, anger, heartache, my black dark cloud boom took over n I’d snowball into oblivion. 

I look back on past Christmas now yes with tears of sadness but too tears of sadness 4 that part of me n hope somewhere inside they too experience the newlife  N new side n new journey be had. 

When I look back on past childhood Christmas I have great love n admiration my mum but too I kinda get why she has the bah nothin feel for Christmas she’s experienced great grieve n bereavement her Grandad n too so have I in loss of a daughter my mums Grandad would have made my Mums Christmas as I too my daughters. 

My mum too suffered heartache, pain n her own negative treatment n abuse n to this day does just from another abuser/abusers I call them bullies or cowards n wished they took a real long hard look at themselves n the green eyed monster that makes them feel way do n when pass comment it’s always been mum n her kids please see why n then ask would u still be same n so my Christmas wish this year goes to her n in new year she is left alone n can find her own happiness her past closes n allowed to open a new. 

At Christmas time as a Child I suffered abuse but too my mum I witnessed her suffer n spent a few Christmas finding somewhere safe too go n refuge n one practically walking the streets, I saw her try make Christmas for us put on a face that Christmas n wishes n spirit I saw her try salvage n put back together trashed rooms n tress n worked hard try give us a good Christmas n still smile n inside her heart crushed. Id hear her cry to Unchained Melody n ask herself why, what’s point what had she done wrong it used break my heart did that. 

I used to believe in Christmas n ever afters n chased that dream thing mum inside still does but Fears too as not ever had n till sees prob won’t believe in think I at one point the year n Christmas sectioned was due finally give up on. 

This Christmas however is a new dawn for me I close the door on Christmas of sadness n pain I have my Christmas miracle my Son, I have someone who too we have our moments their 4 us n loves n protects us n I know tomorrow’s Christmas will be a happy time as I can have the happy family time tresses n through having my son ill Open door to Christmas door off finding a believe in again. 

At Christmas my hearts n thoughts will be with those who have lost someone, childhood and adult victims of abuse n too those who lost n n wandering n hope find refuge n comfort n some joy and too all those in pain n suffering n engulfed in darkness n sadness I too hope that door closes 4 u as I too hope does 4 my mum. 

At Christmas I too feel proud of those who will open n give up their time be their 4 those who need like the Samaritans, NSPCC, Childline, Cruise, Crisis, Shelters, places offer refuge n a place gomi women centres n charities like healthy minds who support people move on too. 

This Christmas ill shed a sad tear as I say goodbye to Christmas heartache n smile at my son n Adam n thank my daughter my Xmas star 4 shutting the door n giving me my Christmas wish 

my own family n new beginning n one thing thought never have a chance have ever after n a world only dreamed have n Christmas spirit

i wish next year my mum gets that too x 

Being mum something mh stigma taking away my enjoyment be.

People talk about stigma and MH. I thought that now I’m nearly two and a half years I wouldn’t be affected by stigma as much because I now maintain me I don’t display the image of a locked in zombified person, I’m not obese from meds, I do as part self care take great pride in me, I no longer hide away, no longer keep my voice locked in, no longer label my self as been mentally unwell or have mental health I’m just a person who befriended herself to reclaim her life.

Recentley I took great upset to Asda and Tescos MH Patient costumes for Halloween I took great offence not because of the name or the costume or because portrayed a false image of a mh patient but the fact I was a  patient 3 years ago n I’ve moved on but because of been a mh patient I’m been stigmatised more now and more so because ill be a mum soon. 

 

I hear constantly by obstetricians n midwifes ” you do know your 50 percent more likely relapse were do they pluck that statistic from n too why should they stigmatise n label me risk of relapse without getting to know me as Katie Siobhan and not look at me as still been Kathryn Atkinson. 

Im having prove I can be a new mum rather than be given a chance learn be a new mum and go to positive parenting classes because I’m labelled unfairly a vulnerable how can I be vulnerable if I’m independent, challenge myself, nervous n excited n in relation positive parenting n I’m biased no mum wants their child n do all they can n be the best n give their soon health n happiness n encourage be all can be a class can’t teach me that my heart did. I should have a choice go to not feel pressured into. 

My sisters I was upset when said classes can’t teach u be mum, it broke my heart as new that n wanted shout at others not just services but relatives n grandparents be n society too who make new mums like me prove know what doing n sure know what doing assume don’t know n not capable n don’t realise that perception n judgement takes away the joy n excitement off being mum as my sisters got a point a class can’t teach me, advice from others, demonstrating can dosent teach me but the love n bond have 4 my Lil one will do n being his mum n me be given oppurtunity to choose n learn from him n him me n us grow n bond together through love we have n me nurture n support him n care n encourage  n guide him me just me as Katie be allowed be mum. After all new mums aren’t labelled vulnerable people tell them look at all things look forward to well because I was once a past mh patient n stigma of been I’m stigmatised that wont cope, relapse, simple, won’t know what’s best n thinks new mums learn when baby comes along I’m having do now. 

That’s worst stigma I’ve ever faced n try challenge the challenge let me be Katie Siobhan n Katie Siobhan the new mum with everything to look forward too let me choose if parenting classes 4 me, if want access Wellbeing n peer groups n mum n baby Grps 4 me n not as feel pressured into after treated as a past patient n see me as that n mention relapse risk, monitoring n voluntary admissions as you don’t do to other new mums n dont label them vulnerable. I’m asking too dont stigmatise me anymore n make me feel have prove self think that’s Katie a new mum be n remind me of all look forward too.