Facing Today One Year On

Last year at 9am my world was destroyed my heart was broken beyond repair, at 9am my Nanna phoned an for my Nanna to phone me that’s unusual to start with, when I answered I strangely braced myself that she was going to tell me my grandad was not ok as he was a very poorly man an he did sadly pass away in February this year but nope she didn’t tell me that but what she did tell me made my heart completely shatter, she told me my brother him had died and how he died I had ask her 3x just to be sure and still it hadn’t sunk in.

Dazed and confused I somehow managed to sort my son out, get ready sort childcare an do the mad dash and make my way to be with my mum, On the train I hid in a corner in the bicycle rack so no one could see my tears kept looking at my phone going into my contacts scrolling down getting to Tim’s name wanting to ring him but then words Nanna said flooded me police, mum, found , dead Tim hit. ” Why didn’t I answer my phone to him yesterday” , Why did my son have be restless night before, “why did I not phone him back, Why was this happening, Was it even real, I got off the train in autopilot mode I made my way to nearest taxi rank and got in the taxi too Mum’s.

Knocking on the door going through the hallway seeing mum on phone to Robynn, Jay an Nat heads down redness under eyes reality hit it was true, you had gone, never would I see you, chat to you see you smile, never would I hate say grumble about you, never would I know you ok, it hit you were gone, it hit bomb felt like a nuclear bomb went off in my heart.

I consoled mum told her through gritted teeth and sad eyes all will be ok, I knew though all would not be ok, because losing a child is never ok you never get other an I too knew we’d never get over losing you, life would have to go on but we’d have no choice, we hate it going on without you, we all wish when at mums doorbell rings twice something we used dread when you weren’t ok know something because know we won’t see you we dread know even more when rings twice as not you at the door,

As I type I’m sat in Mum’s kitchen she’s trying potter about keep busy, I’m sat typing away strangely awaiting the door ring twice my heart breaking inside knowing it won’t I wish it would, I wish I’d see you walk in and that really this last year was a blur a haze and not real woken up from a bad dream, in keeping busy it’s time go going to do the mundane of shops and trying keep busy trying make Life go on an try get through the weekend best can.

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If

If, If is only 2 letters, I an F, If.

If is defined in the English Oxford Dictionary as :

1, { introducing a conditional clause}, on the condition or supposition that ; in the event that.

“If you’ll like I’ll put in a word for you”

1.1 (with past tense) introducing a hypothetical situation

“If you had stayed, this would never have happened”

If can be used in a variety of ways, to ask a question, to express a polite interest, to express an opinion, to express surprise or regret, to admit something as been possible but relatively insignificant,

If can be used in a variety of phrases, If has been a word that haunts me, torments me and a word that destroyed my world a word that leads to loads of questions surrounding my brother Tim, If became the hardest word ” If only ” If onlys too have also been wreaking havoc this week,

If only I’d answered the phone the day before you died Tim, put the shopping to one side, stopped rushing from A-B, took 5 minutes too talk to you to have talked to you, reassured you, told you I’d sort out what was bothering you and let you know you were not alone and loved, “If only I’d took 5 minutes out and answered and told you those things would that have changed things an you still be here.

If only I’d not held you at arms length Tim, If only I’d believed more in you as you did me, If only I thought more too see past your Dennis persona an reminded myself Tim was still in you, If only I’d tried harder asked more questions an If only I’d shown more interest in your journey like you me I’d have known about Wyfi, Crypt, Lighthouse an Hollybush I’f only I’d have known about them I’d have seen that you were Transforming you were Tim again Their, Id have stood alongside you, championed you, you wouldn’t be the ghost in the halls when I attend their now we should have gone together you not be the lost face I seek in the room, the photo I look at on you Facebook wall if only I’d took more time to notice, to care, If I did would it have made a difference and would things have meant you would still be here I’d have had my big brother an best friend back, I’m not doing friends at the mo as your the only friend I want back and their was no greater friend an brother than you Tim.

If has also left me asking questions though or should I say torments me obsessively loads of If’s not answered surrounding the care you had received in those final few days.

If only crisis services had admitted you on the Monday and that If leads to questions what happened in a n e on that Monday when you were assessed,

If only on the Wednesday your GP sent you to crisis to be assessed if only he’d had the powers to hold you for 72 hours would it have made a difference as he supposedly felt powerless to help,

If only we’d known about your visit to a n e an the GP we’d have done more.

If only were you lived stopped asking you certain things gave you a break from asking you what was triggering you would it have helped your mind rest and allow your support worker to have addressed when back of holiday as he’d have sorted for you, if only services hadn’t taught u to rely on one person an If only you had never moved to were living as what you feared came true and If only we’d have known you had not been supported enough we’d have helped ensure you had have had a smoother transition an that everything you needed to continue the steps you were making were in place.

Theirs loads more ifs if only this assessment done, if only plans were followed an checked an up to date an implemented would those ifs have stopped you falling through the cracks.

If is the question we’re awaiting the coroner now look at an will he grant article 2 and disclosure will he look at the circumstances will he question an find answers to the if’s and will the answers to those if’s mean recommendations are made and that no future lives are failed an that people ask if only we’d done things differently we could have been all that was needed and prevented you fall through the cracks that the next Tim they meet it may lead to a different outcome they get their lives back like you should have had yours,

If will always torment me now but If too will also spur me on that Tim no one like you shall fall through the cracks again

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

My mind likes to wander.

My mind likes to wander it likes to lapse and shut off in those intervals I am their in body but mind farther afield. When my mind lapses n wanders those moments I can not tell you were I go nor can I recollect what’s happened in those moments around me. 

Normally can be good when Im in control happening and were does like in my safe spots or if with trusted friends or loved ones who I can preworn happening as when in control I get that sensation Happening. 

im finding though now is happening more n more frequently and longer lapses and taking me to places of wander I don’t want return too and reason why I learned to teach my mind to lapse and wander.

I’ve to now ask myself why it gone from a pot safe coping mechanism to extremeties is.

First I have too look at my pot stressors.

1.’past memories resurafcing n fear address
2. Pregnancy Anxieties fears my lil one even confirmed is ok will be all ok, fear people are trying take over n try comment or influence what my child can n can’t do n testing me as a parent on values want have n how I aspire be n judging me on. I hate been/feeling been underminded or judged let me be mum to my child after all key word I am mum.
3.sometimes families too much a good thing as after awhile get overwhelmed, tiered, frustrated I like been arnd mine n oh but too in moderation n feel I’m ready space time out n respite from need time for me n time just my oh n time friends n engage my passions as soon me n oh become 3 our own family n so I need me to prepare for that change.
4. Hormonal n body changing as pregnancy goes through the diff stages.
5. The stressors above I’m trying ignore deny, not react to pretend not their n causing overload.

I’m aware my stressors, I’m aware my coping mechanism try telling me something n have to address.

1. Look to work through n address lapsing n parts taking me to ready address blogging helps identify areas n look can I self maintain, do I need re-engage some of my wellbeing tool kit activities, do I need look am ready address n find ways be supported through.

2. Look at all I doing n preparing my lil one n oh too n put our plans in force, look at how far come n think ill be great mum as never a parent wanted a child as much as me (all parents feel that) every time he wriggles n kicks remind yourselve he chose you ESP to be your mum n nobody else. Look at all your planning n your preps n hopes n visions n values n hopes 4 lil one u n oh. N think all that matters is our 3’s health and happiness as after all were our own family.

3. Find ways to have u time n time out n if need have not be scared n say need time out.

4. Time access mum be grps, antenatal n birthing classes n look how manage Hofmann fluctuations n changes

5. Stop ignoring things staring n screaming me in face n what mind try run away from.

I have issues but don’t we all.

I love how its always me thats the one that will always have issues kinda makes me sad people feel that but to laugh at but hey don’t we all have some more so than others, some more open about some keep hidden because of attitudes of others about people having so called issues. 

I’m loud yes, passionate yes, fiery at times but every strong female is, I prob at times take on to much but most good hearted people do, I may not get paid but I work extremely hard at what I do n to say I have issues well it dose not  stop or hold me back in fact it drives me I may not get paid but happy I get to travel up n down the country talk at events like NHS Confederation n too respected by the public health speakers. I too play my part ensuring services deliver services fit for all, on various different boards and strategies, work to make positive change. 

 

Im happy, Im carefree I throw caution to the wind I conform to be who I want to be I don’t laugh or belittled or put others down to feel good about myself, I run around  because I choose to not because n expectation, 

Im their for my family, friends loved ones at drop of a hat ill support them, guide them n maybe if see something inside ill push n  to be all can be I’d say that makes me unique and someone you think very much dosent have issues.

I don’t drink, nor smoke nor take drugs. I may have odd drink, or sugary sweet but that’s my lifestyle choice n not because I supposedly have issues.

I tend to find too have issues a change or disruption but think half population does, I too only have  issues when people who know very little abt n me try pass comment or belittle or comment ill always have issues. 

I’m happy most of time to content most of time, I have my strong points my good characteristics, I have my bad points or flaws when passionate or feel backed into a corner I rant n come out fighting not literally though but that’s not issue that’s part of my characteristics/flaws n don’t we all have that. 

I’m not ashamed say we’re I’ve been nor does it hold me back or make me a bad person or leave me at a disadvantage Im actually quite smart n streetwise too, I too challenge myself being the person I want to be I have dreams, hopes, aspirations, I work towards them

I can stand out on my own n needs be look out 4 myself have  me but what people don’t realise when you throw stones at me your not just hurting me but them n it not fair n nor will I sit n take insults, put downs, snide comments or jokes nor be upset as u upset me but too i have a family n friends n bf friend n when u try hurt me u actually upset them too nothing is going to disrupt or upset that an that not because have issues but because I protect all that I love that includes me. 

I think before people pass comment on me should take a close look at themselves n if too comment on other people n their lives isn’t it you who has the issue as your lives no interest to me so god knows why mine is to you then can only say you prob have issues too.

 

I try educate people n get people to change attitudes I’m too fair to a point n sometimes I thing what’s point as some people thing once u have issues you always have n it not always case it’s what do with. 

 

We all at some point have highs, lows, good, bad, stressors we all have issues at some point so really were all the same n no different. 

 

Thank u 4 reading n for anyone too facing affects of others don’t let it bother u as if a problem to them is their issue n not yours you be all can be.