Trying to Groove Again

Trying to Groove Again

I’m late taking part this week with Grooving Mums, hopefully I won’t get a black mark for it!

I’ve definitely lost my groove at the moment, it got up and walked off a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t been seen since. So if anyone does see it on their travels please send it my way!

The only thing that I have managed to achieve is to work with NJ to get the last of the stock from The Toy Forest live on the internet today (Sunday) so we can try to make some sales, but also to actually be finally rid of the stock in the house, and the reminders of my failure to have a successful business of my own. The products are all lovely so it is something that I am quite sad to be letting go, but I know that for my mental health it is the right thing to do. If you want to have a look at the products this is the link The Toy Forest

So whilst I am desperately seeking my ‘groove’ I will take a look at Kate’s challenges and see if anything will help or point me in the right direction.

1. Body – Sign up to do a Sports Relief Mile.  Check out http://www.sportrelief.com/the-mile    There are challenges of varying types for different levels of fitness so do take a look whether you are a rampant runner or a slouch potato.

Unfortunately I won’t be partaking in this, I think it’s a great thing to participate in but this year I am putting all my efforts and pleading for money from unsuspecting relatives towards The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation.

2. Mind – Do you have a favourite artist?  Would you like to know more about art?  How can you incorporate more art in your life?  Blog about it and tell us more.

I don’t have a favourite artist, it’s not something I am that bothered about. I do like looking at art, but I am more into prints and photos than actual paintings.

3. Spirit – Have you ever meditated or found other ways to calm the soul?  Is this something you might like to investigate further?  Tell us about it and then we can all learn new methods that might work for us.

I’ve never  meditated, but over the last 12 weeks I have been on a skills course with the psychological services that incorporates Mindfulness, which is not meditation but it’s about focusing the mind on the here and now. Its is based on the Buddhist way of thinking and meditating. The theory is really good, but unfortunately I’ve not managed to put it into practice yet. I am hoping that if I keep reading through my notes then I will eventually be able to put it into practice in everyday life.

4. Blogging – You are a woman and you will have women in your world, alive or dead, who matter to you.  Why not write 90 words (or more or less) about her and link up to this charity blog hop for Breakthrough Breast Cancer? Cllick here to take part or to read stories of some rather wonderful women http://kateonthinice.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/i-am-looking-for-90-bloggers-to-support-breakthrough-breast-cancer/

I think this is a great blog hop and have already joined in here

5. Special Days – It is National Storytelling Week and you can find out more here http://sfs.org.uk/nswevents2012  Why not ring the changes and write up a short story on your blog?

I would love to write a story, I think it is something that I will think about and maybe take up the challenge at a later date as my brain is not fully functioning at the moment.

6. The Big Question – Who are you?  Take this as you will.  Blog about who you are or perhaps write an “About Me” page for your blog.  Is it easy or challenging to say who you are?  What can you learn from that?

I think Kate’s given us a hard one this week, I’m not too good writing about myself, but again I will try to take up the challenge this week and see what I can come up with.

So that’s me this week, I’m hoping that my groove comes back soon and then I can start moving forward again. I’ll have a look at some other posts and see if they can inspire me with some groovyness.

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Getting Grooving?

Getting Grooving?

Once again it’s that time of week when I look at Getting My Groove Back, although I have realised that over the last few weeks I have said very little in how I am trying to get my groove back and just answered Kate’s questions / challenges. This week then I will start with what I have been doing to try to find my Groove.

Its been quite tough this week emotionally, ending with feeling really down yesterday when I wrote the post Dark Pit but today has not been quite as bad, although I do feel tired and drained. I think it helped that I spoke to one of the psychologist facilitating on my Skills Course and I also wrote the post, sharing your feelings really does seem to help relieve you of some of the darkness. Anyway onto how I have been getting into the groove (well at least trying to anyway!)

1. I’ve been to a fundraising meeting with The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation, there were 6 of us there (just the right amount for now) and we put together ideas for the coming year of ways to raise awareness and raise vital funds at the same time. It was great to be doing something new and I am hoping that this will get my enthusiasm back at some point.

2. I am still going strong with the local Toddler Group, although I seem to have great ideas about what we should be doing, it soon seems to come round to Wednesday night and I have achieved very little in the way of a welcome letter.

3. NJ has bought me a Kindle with a bright pink case, I am really pleased (although I seem to have not been outwardly excited about it!) and am currently reading my first novel on it, this is a time for me and its a good break from playing silly games on my iPhone.

Kate’s Challenges!

1. Body –  This week, there is a campaign about eating a healthy breakfast for 5 days. http://shakeupyourwakeup.com/challenge   Give it a go and tell us how it goes.

My Breakfast is not that bad, more or less the same and the brain power it takes to have something different, and then the kids want something different I won’t be going there. It will be interesting to see what others manage to do though.

2. Mind – It is Chinese New Year and I have just opened my fortune cookie.  What I want you to think and/or blog about is if you had a guarantee that the fortune in your cookie would come true in the next 12 months, what would you want it to say?  You can do something down to earth, humorous or something obscure and Confuscious like.  It is entirely up to you.

This is actually a hard one,can I have 2? Probably not, but I am going to be naughty and have 2 fortunes as I can’t decide which would be better.

1) I would love my fortune cookie to tell me I am going to get better, that the nonsense in my head was going to go and I would feel strong and confident and also able to start moving forward with my life.

I am sure this is something many people would want, money!

2) I would win the lottery, or come into some money. The as a family things could be more comfortable, we could be rid of the debts we have,  maybe even pay off the mortgage, then we would have a great family holiday like Disney Land! I could go on and on about what I would do with money, but as I don’t wish to bore anyone I won’t!

Having written both of these down, even though money would be great, me being well would benefit everyone too so I will opt for better mental health.

3. Spirit – Sticking  with the Chinese New Year, what animal are you?  If you don’t know, look it up for fun.  Does the description of the animal you are ring true?  Which animal would you like to be and why? You can find all the information you need here http://www.life123.com/holidays/new-years/chinese-zodiac/chinese-zodiac-signs.shtml

I am a Rabbit, and the site says “Rabbits in the Chinese zodiac are considered friendly, artistic, compassionate and thorough. Watch out for laziness, self-indulgence and moodiness in Rabbits as well” I think this about sums me up!

4. Blogging – Have you heard the wonderful and rather exciting news?  What do you mean “Yes, I have as Kate just won’t stop going on about it!”   I am now a member of the Britmums team with a great initiative that will make a real difference too.   Read all about it by clicking here http://kateonthinice.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/have-you-heard-the-news-i-have-a-new-and-exciting-role/

Your blogging challenge this week is to join Britmums if you have not yet done so and then join the Charity Connections – Blogging It Forward group on there.  Don’t just join but get involved in some of the already fascinating discussions taking place on there.  Have your say at http://britmums.com

Brilliant news for Kate, and I was already a member of Britmums, and joined up with the Charity Connections group as soon as I found out. Some interesting comments from people, really making me think about charity work. However I think my main focus will be with The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation, but it will be interesting to learn how others blog for charities.

5.  Special Days – As I have already mentioned special days in this post, my challenge to you is to make one day this week really special. How you do that is up to you.  Will it be a day out?  Some one-on-one time with your partner?  You decide.

I don’t think we will manage one whole day, but we are going out on Saturday to a friends for dinner with another couple, we always have a good time, so I will let you know next week how it went.

6. The Big Question – This challenge is the one that is aimed at making you think deeply.  Of course, the big questions come to me in all sorts of ways. This one came whilst watching Dancing On Ice on the telly because I am a very deep philosopher lol.  Take it in whatever way you see fit.  Let it mean what it means to you as an individual.  So the question is, have you lost that loving feeling?  Whether that is for yourself, your partner, your child, your job or whatever.  Reflect on it in a way that is meaningful to you.

My first reaction was that I have lost that loving feeling for myself, but then on further thinking I am not sure I have ever loved myself. I know at the moment I am not too keen on myself, I could and should do so much more! I do still love NJ and the kids, although I think I may need to be more open with NJ about how I feel, actions speak louder than words and all that!

 

So thats me, for the week, the kitchen challenge has failed, I am back to struggling to keep things tidy, I didn’t even manage a full month! I’m not going to set myself any challenges at the moment as things are tough emotionally at the moment and I don’t want to put pressure on myself and I will just see what I manage to achieve by next week.

Where has my Groove Gone?

Where has my Groove Gone?

Another week, another Grooving Mums post, if you want to find out more about it then visit Kate On Thin Ice to find out more.

This has definitely been a week of 2 halves, last week and into the weekend I was full of optimism, I felt like I could take on the world. I was enthusiastic about most things, and felt strong enough to start taking on new things and even considering what type of career I wanted to get into once TJ went to school. Unfortunately by Sunday evening optimism and enthusiasm felt they needed a break and up and left. I wish I knew why, but I just can’t work it out. There seems to be nothing specific that kicked it off, I just seemed to get a wave of unhappiness flow over me and it seems to have stayed.

So I’m not being that Groovy at the moment, although aside from a minor 3 day blip in the kitchen I am still managing to keep the kitchen tidy and suitable for visitors to see at the drop of a hat.

Kate’s challenges for the week, some harder than others to reply to!

1. Body – How are you sleeping?  Do you qualify as sleep-deprived?  Are you a mum to a baby who just isn’t sleeping through yet?  What toll is that taking?  Do you have older children creeping into bed with you?  What does your bed look like?  Is it comfortable and supportive enough?  Could you give your bed a makeover in some way perhaps with scented pillows or a colourful bedspread?  Could you have a nap at some point in the day?  How can you ensure you get better quality sleep?

At the moment I am fortunate that I take some medication to help with my anxiety and  my general mood but it also helps me sleep! When I first started taking it well over a year ago it knocked me out within about 10 mins, it was great. However it no longer has quite that effect, but it does mean I mostly sleep through the night. I have always said that my bed is my bed, and I don’t share it with anyone, well except NJ, but I don’t think he would be too impressed if I made him sleep with one if the kids. So I am not sleep deprived, but am starting to feel weary at the moment as my mood is slipping and it seems to be sapping my energy at the moment. I love our bed, it’s a nice big king-size bed that means me & NJ don’t kick each other in the night and the kids think its great as a trampoline!

2. Mind – Our children have reward charts and get stickers when they do well?  Could you play with this idea and create your own chart or adapt a child’s one?  What are those things that you know you should do but don’t seem to get around to?  How can you motivate yourself?  In my continuous attempt to get mums to say good things about themselves, why not tell me what you deserve a reward for?

This is quite apt at the moment as AJ & FJ have recently got chores charts, whereby they have to do certain chores like laying the table, clearing the table and emptying their lunch boxes to get a sticker. Each ticker is work 5p and at the end of the week we add them up and see how much money they get. I am hoping that eventually the chores they are doing will become second nature, but it may take some time! As for me I have been inspired by a friend to have some notebooks for separate jobs, so we currently have a list for housework type things, cleaning bathrooms (yes I need reminding) hoovering etc and then such things as tidying certain cupboards out. Then we have one for DIY and Garden jobs, some for me & some for NJ and I have also got a list of jobs for money jobs like completing my tax return (what joy!). I am not doing great at getting them completed but at least they are there and in one place.

3. Spirit – Is the spirit willing? You can respond to this one in whatever way you see fit.

Hmmm, if you had asked this last week I would have given a very different response. This week however my spirit is definitely not willing! I was full of life and ambition last week, full of that real ‘me-ness’ and somehow that spirit that I had found has got up and gone, maybe I was over using it, and it felt worn out? Or maybe it had such a shock to be around me that it needed some space? Whatever the reason is, its definitely no longer with me.

4. Blog – Have you attended a blogger event?  Have you met any bloggers in the flesh?  Would you like to do?  Why is that?  I am speaking at Britmums Live so I hope some of my lovely Groovy Mums will be there to hold my hand.

I’ve not been to a blogger event and I’m not sure its something I would want to do. I always struggle with meeting new people and the idea of meeting lots of new people at the same time would really not seem like fun to me. The other aspect is the cost and leaving the kids, I think whilst TJ is still so young then it’s not something that would be easy to do. For me there is also the world of anonymity and by meeting people there would not be that aspect (although there is 1 possibly 2 people who do know me that read my blog regularly) and alongside this is the fear of people’s opinion of me if they were to meet me. It’s very easy to build up a picture of what someone is like when reading a blog, in much the same way as listening to the radio, but the 2 do not always match. I suppose its one fear or anxiety issue that I may face at some point, but it wouldn’t be at a big blogger event (but don’t quote me on that, as we women are allowed to change our minds!)

5. It is the creator of Winnie the Pooh’s birthday this week.  So, as a bit of fun, why not work out which Winnie the Pooh character you are most like and why?  It might help you to discover what is great about you and also the things that you could usefully change.

Having had a look at the characters I have not been able to work out which one I would be, I am possibly a cross between Eeyore – the pessimist and Piglet – the anxious one.

6. The Big Question – How is your sex life?  Oh, I know we are not supposed to talk about religion, sex and politics but you know me, I like breaking the rules.  So how are things in the bedroom (or your venue of choice)?  Has sex become a chore? Do you find it difficult to make time for sex?  Are you too exhausted for sex? Have you managed to spice up your love-life?  Be brave and reveal all on your blog or just do some quite reflecting on this issue.

I think this is one that I will leave in the bedroom, apart from to say that NJ thinks we don’t partake in his favourite activity enough.

 

For me this week it will just be about trying to find ‘me’ again, I have a meeting about fundraising for The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation  on Sunday so lets hope I have got some enthusiasm back by then, or I won’t be much use.

I’m off now to see what everyone else has been up to, hopefully more than me!

Guilt

Guilt

On Monday I listened to Chris Bingley talk about his wife’s untimely death on Radio Humberside only 10 weeks after having a baby following a severe case of PND, she felt she could no longer be here or have to deal with what was happening in her head and walked out in front of a moving train. I also read an excellent article in The Yorkshire Post  about Chris and his wife Joanne’s illness and how he is dealing with the lasting effect of it all.

Chris has set up The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation to try to get better understanding of the illness to those that need it and ensure that anyone who does suffer has the right support. Chris felt that his wife Joanne did not get the medical support that she should have done and feels that had she been given that support and taken to hospital then she would still be with us today.

Listening to this and reading the paper I can’t help but feel some guilt that Joanne died and I didn’t, I feel that had this not happened then I may well not have got the excellent support that I did. If I hadn’t received the help and care that I did I am not sure what would have happened, I know looking back that I was in a very bad place and I was suddenly surrounded daily by CPN’s worried about what I might do, there was even talk of me going into hospital (something I really did not want to do). All this support was offered to me, but it wasn’t to Joanne which is so wrong, and I know that around the country the care given to women suffering PND varies greatly.

It is because of this guilt that I am so committed to getting involved with The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation to help spread the word about the illness, help get all health professionals fully informed of what is needed by the sufferer and the immediate family to ensure that someone like Joanne, suffering so badly, does not do the worse thing possible.

Chris has set up an e-petition “Call to Action” for Improvement in Perinatal Mental Healthcare Services to get the government to sit up and take notice and realise that this is a serious illness that effects so many, and when the worse thing happens a child ends up with no mother, the father has no wife, siblings have no sister and parents have lost a child. Please take the time to sign the petition and read the article, the pass the information on, the more signatures we get the more chance we have of this issue being debated in parliament

Now to 2012

Now to 2012

Why not write a blog post about what you are going to proactively change in 2012 and link up below?  Or just tell us all about you and why you want to join #groovingmums or already have done so.

Having looked back at 2011, I think it is only right to look forward to 2012 and to what I hope to achieve or happen.

The main thing I want to achieve is to carry on getting better and getting stronger in an emotional sense. Things over the last few weeks have been good, but as the children go back to school and NJ goes off to work life will become structured which means there is more stress on daily life. Which in turn could mean I find things difficult again, however I will look to 2012 to be positive about life and see things as a cup half full, rather than a cup half empty.

The second place I want to improve is my house, I want to finish de-cluttering, so that we have storage space for things we actually want to keep, rather than keeping things that have been in the same boxes for 5 years since we move into the house! I also want to try my best to keep my house tidy, I am much calmer when the house is tidy and in turn it appears that the children are calmer too.

Finally I want to carry on trying to find my groove with Grooving Mums, Kate on Thin Ice is the driving force behind this all-inclusive club and if you want to know more take a look here.

I will be continuing with my Skills course for the next 6 weeks, which I think has actually really helped me. Unfortunately I’m not sure what will happen at the end, and how I will feel, but its a good start in the right direction.

I have started thinking about what I want to do career wise once TJ starts school (not for another 2.5 years, but if I want to re-train I need to start thinking about it now), I’m not completely sure yet, so I’m not going to write about it, but it is part of getting my groove back to do something for me.

Writing my blog is one thing that is truly just for me, I have always enjoyed writing and I am going to make a real effort to blog more often and make the time to read other blogs too. I am learning not to feel guilty for having ‘me’ time and that it is actually good for all concerned if I do have proper ‘me’ time. I hope this year with my blog I can write about different topics, but also promote PND (not sure promote is the right word there!!) and help reduce the stigma that many women attach to it and others attach to depression as a whole.

I hope to get more involved with The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation, I talked with one of the trustees in November / December about being part of the fundraising team, I hope that is still possible. I also want to help in other ways if that is possible with spreading the word and doing anything that would help the cause.

Finally I want to enjoy this year, I want to make time to have fun with the children and NJ, I want to remember to make time for NJ, and to also  make time for friends. Without my friends and many of my family I don’t think I would have made it through the last 12 months, but it is only now that I can appreciate what a help and support everyone has been to me.

I think there are many ways there that are working towards getting my groove back, it is however very easy to write these things down, it’s not always as easy to carry these things out. So over the weeks and months I hope that being a part of Grooving Mums will help me keep focused.

The Year – 2011

The Year – 2011

As the year is coming to an end I thought it would be good to take a look at the highs and lows of the year, hoping to see more highs than lows!

It is actually quite difficult to remember back to this time last year, even though I was gradually getting better, life from then is still a bit of a haze. I think things were going ok, I was seeing my CPN weekly, and my medication was settling down. I was however off the alcohol, something that has definitely changed now, as I allow myself a glass of two of an evening.

Closure of my Business 

My First big event of the year was the closure of my on-line toy and gift shop, I had hoped that once I was a SAHM then I would be able to make a go of the business and see money coming in to help with the income of money. Unfortunately I was not well enough to pursue this, and myself and NJ agreed that we had to close the site down as we were spending more than we were making, I think it was also adding to my anxiety, stress and depression. I was upset and very down at this point, I felt a failure, a waste of space and angry that I was unable to do something, that from the outside seemed simple. I think though at the same time I felt some relief, I no longer had to try to make sales, I didn’t have to converse with sales people on the phone about the company, I could simply tell them that the store was now closed, I actually think that this was when I started to answer the phone, and not leave it to ring.

Becoming Unemployed 

The middle of February I became officially unemployed, my maternity leave had come to an end, which meant that I would no longer be receiving an income. I felt deflated and useless, which considering I had wanted to be a SAHM, was a strange reaction. I hit breaking point again, I felt broken. The business had closed and then I was unemployed.

This is something I still struggle with, I have always worked, from age 13 I had a paper round, and then various other jobs, shop work, bar work and during the summer I worked in a factory, I have always made my own money, even though as a married couple our money has always been in a joint account. Things are tight now (like the rest of the country!) and I often feel guilty, although NJ tells me not to worry and we will cope. He is also of the opinion that at the moment I am really not in the right place to try to get a job, and unfortunately I have to agree. I just hope that in the not too distant future I will find myself in the right place and be able to think about what I want to do and start working towards that.

Starting a Blog

With the closure of the business and the departure from paid employment I felt I needed something else, I needed something to think about and do, and so my Mrs Shorties Mind was born, I put myself out there in the www and to begin with I was just me all alone, and then I began to link up via different places and then I got a few followers. My blog was and still is a place to speak openly about what has and is happening to me and hopefully help others that may be going through the same thing, I also now wish to raise awareness of PND, this was a high point for me.

Going to Toddlers

Having lived in my village for 5 years, it was only this year that I found the courage (and support of friends) to finally go to a toddler group. I wrote about it here, not only did I manage to go to the toddler group, but I am now a member of the committee and I feel very much part of the group. It is definitely one of my highs of this year.

Making Friends 

I made 2 very good friends this year, I was already friendly with HR, but it was more of a good natter to and from school, but with going to Toddlers my friendship with HR grew but I also made friends with ZC and since then the 3 of us have helped each other with our battle with depression and also been on nights out and had some fun.

Mental State

The first half of the year had many ups and downs, I wrote about my struggles on my blog, so won’t go into them again, but I think some of my struggles were regarding the looming anniversary of TJ’s birth, I didn’t know how I would be, how I would cope. I was also still feeling down a lot of the time, crying still and generally just not coping. My CPN had mad a referral to a psychiatrist, but it seemed to be taking a while for the appointment to come through.

The appointment came through for 3 days before TJ’s 1st birthday, so I was never sure if the anxiety about it was for the appointment or for the looming birth anniversary. The psychiatrist upped my medication, and informed me that I would be on the medication for at least another 18 months, I was upset as even though I knew I wasn’t better I suppose I had hopped deep down that he would say all was ok and I could reduce my medication. 7 months on from that appointment and I now realise it was the best thing to do, I am feeling a lot better and able to deal with life slightly better.

During this month I wrote about wishing I could go back in time, Time Machine Anyone?, I was also unsure whether I should be celebrating TJ’s birthday or not. TJ’s birthday came and went, and I recorded the event here.

That’s the first half of the year, which I think was possibly the most taxing emotionally, but I did manage to get through the year from May 2010 to 2011 which I now know I should be celebrating, but unfortunately I still feel a tinge of regret that I have put the family through everything that I have.

The second half of the year starts with my birthday, and to be honest, I can’t remember that much from it!

Take That

I did however go to see Take That shortly after, which was great, although not as good as when I saw them at the MEN back in 2007! The lead up to the even was awash with anxiety and thoughts of pulling out and making up some reason not to go, but  I did go, and although the anxiety got me before the doors opened, once we were in, it was great. I went with NJ, NL (my sister) and HB (best friend) and apart from some drunken ladies behind us we all enjoyed it.

Camping

This summer we went on our first family camping holiday, something I had been trying to persuade NJ to do for several years, and finally he had given in. It was a good holiday, everyone enjoyed themselves and we are looking forward to going again next summer. Unfortunately for me I just ‘enjoyed’ it, I know I had a good time, but I seemed to have lost the ability to be excited and super happy. I am glad though that everyone enjoyed the holiday, and hope that next year I can feel more of the excitement about it.

NJ’s 40th

NJ hit the big 40 this summer and we were fortunate enough to be able to have my family look after the 3 terrors whilst we went to a luxury hotel and enjoyed some ‘us’ time. We had a great 1st day, ending with a 5* meal (slightly scary to start with!) NJ really enjoyed himself and I look forward to being able to do the same in a few years time when we have saved enough funds!

Unfortunately I was stupid enough to forget to take my medication that morning and did not have any with me, I was tired during the day, but the following day I was very ill, I was having major withdrawal symptoms and felt awful all day, which kind of spoilt things, but it was a lesson learnt and now I have spare tablets in my handbag just in case.

FJ Starting School

September saw FJ starting school, I’m not sure who was more nervous, me or him! He settled in really well and is doing great at the moment, I guess that is something else to celebrate. Although his behaviour at school is pretty good (did have a small incident with hitting someone!) his behaviour at home is still quite difficult, I just need to learn how to rein him in.

FJ 5th Birthday Party

As we had allowed AJ to have a big party for her 5th birthday, it was only right that FJ had one too, I didn’t think it would be too difficult. We had a church hall and entertainer booked, we just needed to do the food and party bags. How wrong could I be, the party bags seemed to take over my life, we didn’t want to spend much, but also didn’t want the plastic rubbish that they usually ended up with. The theme of the party was a pyjama party, so in the end we came up with the idea of a book, flannel, soap and some chocolate. The book, soap and chocolate was easy to sort, but trying to find fun flannels seemed to keep me occupied for weeks! It was sorted in the end, and with help from some great friends (and NJ) the party went well and FJ seemed to enjoy himself.

Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation

I found out about the Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation through attending a talk by Elaine Hanzak-Gott, the foundation aims to raise awarness of PND and ensure that there is enough help and support for those suffering with it. I am hoping in the New Year to become more involved with the foundation to help others that are struggling with this horrible illness.

Skills Course

After being refered to psychological services it was suggested that I attend a 12 week course which helps you learn how to deal with various emotions connected with depression / anxiety. I agreed to go, but was very unsure after the first session, however I am pleased to say that I stuck with it and have finished the first 6 weeks. I have met new people all with their own problems and we are helping each other with our own ideas of how to deal with different situations. I am looking forward to going back to the course next week and seeing what new things we will talk about.

Center Parcs

At the end of November we went to Center Parcs with NJ’s parents, something we have done the past 2 years to enjoy the Winter Wonderland. The lead up to this had me stressed, trying to plan who was taking what food, thankfully NJ dealt with most of this and I just had to pack the clothes. We did actually have a really good time, the kids enjoyed the pool and me and NJ had some time to ourselves whilst his parents baby-sat. The Saturday afternoon was my favourite time, we had hired a beach hut, which was heated and had a TV, we actually didn’t spend much time there and spent most of it with the kids in the pool. I was with TJ most of the time and it was great to see her enjoying herself as she went down the little slide in as many different ways as she could.

Family Visit

I always try to visit my family just before Christmas to exchange birthday and Christmas gifts. I have 4 nephews, 3 with a birthday in December and 1 at the beginning of January so I like to get the birthday presents to them before Christmas happens. The lead up to this was stressful as I had to get all the presents bought and wrapped. We did manage it though, and everyone seems pleased with what they have got. I enjoyed seeing my mum, dad, sisters, niece & nephews even though it seems a tad loud at times (8 children from 1 – 8.5).

Christmas

So Christmas came, the presents were opened and the food was eaten, the day was not too stressful, but I would like to do things differently next year if its possible. NJ and I didn’t seem to stop all day sorting food, clearing up and then traveling to relatives. Next year I would like to be able to just stay at home all day and enjoy a slower pace of life for just one day.

Mental State

My mental state over the second half of the year I didn’t think had been too bad, but looking back over my blog I have realised that there have been a few hard points, and although I haven’t blogged much in the last couple of months I know that things have been fairly difficult for me. However they have not been as hard to come out of the bad times as in the past, so I will see that as a positive.

On a high note, I have been told by a couple of people now that I seem much better than I have in the past, and seem much happier. I really hope this is the case and that I can finally start to get my life back on track and look to the future.

So what has your 2011 been like?

I’m trying to be a Grooving Mum!

I’m trying to be a Grooving Mum!

So yet again its been a fortnight since I last posted, and yet again I have not managed to look at other posts and comment. Apologies to all, the house has been in chaos and I was slowly sinking in piles of paper, washing and dust!

For me though this is about reflecting on the positives of my life and not on the negatives, or the issues I seem to be living with at the moment! So here are the things that I’ve managed to do over the last 2 weeks.

1. I managed to drag myself out of bed at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to help run a carbootless stall in aid of The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation. I had offered my help a few weeks earlier and thought nothing of it till nearer the date and the realisation of the early start dawned! However myself and DW (one of the Trustees) managed to get there at a suitable time and get set up. I have to admit to being rather nervous at first, I had never done something like this before, I had only sold new products for my business, a car boot sale is totally different. Once I got going though I really enjoyed it, me and DW had a good natter in-between sales and I think halfway through the morning I realised how good it felt to be away from the children and doing something for me. We were there for about 5 hours in total and we raised about £100, which was brilliant, and everything we sold had been donated. It felt so good to actually do something for the Foundation for the first time. It kept me on a high for a couple of days!

2. At my local Toddler Group I set up a stall with the last of my stock from my business (Children’s wooden and soft toys & gifts), I was very nervous about it, but I needed to try to shift some of the stock, so it seemed a good idea. TJ was very clingy, but a friend was very helpful and took over the care of her for the morning. This gave me the chance to sell some stock, and also to talk openly to some mums about my PND, I never went into much detail, but I felt quite liberated to admit that I had been ill and with what. Most were very supportive (I hope to build on it this week at toddlers) but a couple were a little unsure of what to say. I did well though, which helps towards Christmas, but also towards the end of my business which I really want to move on from.

3. On Saturday we went out with a couple for a meal and then back to theirs for a drink, we had a great time as usual, and it was great to be without the children. We also had the luxury of a lie in as the children were on a sleep over at Grandmas! I managed to sleep till after 10.00! So I think socialising is definitely helping me find my groove again.

4. On Monday I went to Meadowhall (shopping mall) and met up with a very good friend who I see very little of, it was lovely to see her, we had a good natter and also managed to get some Christmas shopping done. It does remind me when I see her though that we don’t keep in touch enough, I always promise myself that I will but it never happens. Luckily this time we will be seeing them at Christmas so it won’t be long before we meet up again. I think part of getting my groove is keeping in contact with friends old and new, as it really helps to keep you ‘you’ and not just being a mummy all the time.

So this week Kate has set us a few challenges, I’m not overly good at this part, but I will do my best!

1. My challenge to myself, I think that has to be to blog more than once a fortnight! I challenge myself to do at least 2 blogs in the coming week, I have lots to talk about I just need to make the time for ME.

2. Poetry, I always loved poems, but never seem to read or look at them anymore. When I read the challenge the first poem that came to mind is one that I used when I was doing my A-levels, I’m sure it was my Drama teacher that showed it to me. It’s not a lovey dovey poem, its harsh and to the point, but I think it’s a great poem. Its called

Back in the Playground Blues’ by Adrian Mitchell

I dreamed I was back in the playground, I was about four feet high
Yes dreamed I was back in the playground, standing about four feet high
Well the playground was three miles long and the playground was five miles wide

It was broken black tarmac with a high wire fence all around
Broken black dusty tarmac with a high wire fence running all around
And it had a special name to it, they called it The Killing Ground

Got a mother and a father, they’re one thousand years away
The rulers of The Killing Ground are coming out to play
Everybody thinking: ‘Who they going to play with today?’

Well you get it for being Jewish
And you get it for being black
Get it for being chicken
And you get it for fighting back
You get it for being big and fat
Get it for being small
Oh those who get it get it and get it
For any damn thing at all

Sometimes they take a beetle, tear off its six legs one by one
Beetle on its black back, rocking in the lunchtime sun
But a beetle can’t beg for more, a beetle’s not half the fun

I heard a deep voice talking, it had that iceberg sound
‘It prepares them for Life’ – but I have never found
Any place in my life worse than The Killing Ground.

It would be interesting to know what others think of that poem, I think its very powerful.

3. Dancing, I would love to say I go out dancing every weekend, but I think you would know I was not being truthful! So I will do some dancing with the children, most likely TJ as she is so cute when she starts dancing and giggling about it.

4. I’m not so good with these lists, so I will have a think and see whether I can manage to join in or not, but 3 out of is pretty good going me thinks!

So that is me, have you enjoyed the read? Has it inspired you to start trying to find your groove? Why not pop over to Kate on Thin Ice and see what it’s all about.

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