Peer Support in various forms

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    I am a single working parent to three daughters, 18,12 and 8.
    Eldest moved out last year has a full time job, visits most weekends and youngest two living with me.

    My ex walked-out when I was 8 weeks pregnant with youngest daughter in 2009.
    I had no time to grieve, to express/ share my emotions to anyone about how vulnerable I was left to feel,I already knew I was emotionally switched-off,from the age of 10 its all I have known, that I can only depend on myself, survival mode kicks in… Fight or Flight?!?

    At times when the girls are away for their 2 day every 8 week contact with their father, the thoughts resurface… (Yes, he made contact through courts in 2010 when youngest was 2 months old, I passed my driving test) as much as I wanted toI knew I could not deny him visits, mainly because whatever the issues of the past we had, they were his and mine to address not something our children should be made to suffer through negativity!
    Divorce finalised 2011, he re-married and has two children, all the best to him and his new family

    Fast-forward almost 10 years of mental highs and lows, I have learnt so much about myself as an individual.
    One out of every four of us struggles with mental illness, yet most people we speak with about this feel so alone.

    I can not begin to express how lonely and isolated I have felt and at times still do.
    There is still stigma and shame attached to mental illness,30,000 people die from suicide every year. Its an epidemic and I know that its not my fault and that I am not alone but still I am ashamed to tell you that I cant get out of bed most mornings.

    Every 16 minutes someone takes their life and it so easily be me but you would never know it from looking at me. A lack of society/community level, we are under-prepared, under-educated, under-equipped. We are still labouring under the curtain of shame.

    Lets begin by working to combat the shame associated with mental illnesses, I would say turning our attention to the next hurdle by addressing the issues that can happen when we start by talking about it.

    I was diagnosed with (PND) Postnatal depression in 2000, (PTSD) Post traumatic stress disorder in 2014, Social anxietyI find it emotionally draining to be surrounded by large groups for long periods of time.
    In the past I have had CBT, EMDR a variety of anti-depressants.

    I do have coping strategies in place, I try to be kind to myself, take prescribed medication along with weekly DBT group therapy which started in November 2018.

    I have zero social life, I am confident enough to walk into a bar (spontaneously) without any company, knowing I am comfortable with myself and no-one can take that away from me.

    Girls are happy, they have the best that I can provide, which to me at times never does feel enough… Yet I am grateful for we are together, they are safe and happy, have their own rooms, get to school on time, a circle of friends that I never hear the end of, the smiles on their faces, the love that we share, the hugs that I receive are absolutely out of this world!we have open and honest conversation about all things including mental health as it matters, we all have it and the more we engage in these talks the better it will be for us all to break down barriersof shame surrounding mental illness.

    Thank you to my amazing girls, you have been and always will be my driving force to never give-up, to try and keep looking on the bright side of life.

    #19375 Report

    Thank you so much for commenting on this forum. You give an honest and inspirational account of your experiences. I hope other parents on here will find that useful.

    Take care


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