Thursday, 19 July 2018

"Living my best life"


Have you ever questioned what the statement "living my best life" really means. When you post a picture with that caption, does it show a true representation of your life? This is my real personal encounter with postnatal depression and my self love journey.

One night I was laying in the middle of the road consumed by negative thoughts, drowning in my tears, feeling sorry for myself but screaming for help. I felt like I was being chewed up from the inside, everything I was going through felt overwhelming and I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I remember about a year and a half ago I almost died. I was at such a bad place, in such a bad state and I didn't love myself and had hit rock bottom. I devoted all my energy, time and money to my "ships". Friendships, relationships, 'family-ships'. On reflection I  can see they simply didn't care about me at all and were not true "ships".

Don't get me wrong I'm still on my journey to recovery but I'm now at a place where I can openly talk about my "Post-natal Depression". Not because I have passed it, but because I have acknowledged the power of identifying and admitting to myself how I truly felt behind all my posted smiles, instead of pretending everything was fine.

As my counselling comes to an end we are reflecting on where I was and how far I have come. I wasn't eating or sleeping back then and I found it hard to get out of bed. Health professionals would come to me daily because some days I just couldn't move, wasn't attending my appointments and no-one could get through to me. One weekend I went through a traumatic event and I felt alone. I cried out for help on Snapchat and I remember my so called "friends" messaging me these exact words "stop being an attention seeker" and putting in-directs towards me on their stories. Their words pierced through my heart like a double edged sword. At that moment all I needed was a caring ear.

The effects of their words and attitudes towards me pushed me over the edge and without going into too much detail I was admitted into hospital. I say this as a message to anyone that's reading, "be kind to others as it costs you nothing and you never know what they're going through".

I had given away my power and happiness by neglecting my own needs and forgetting how to love myself. As I attended my first counselling session i remember she asked me " How much do you love yourself?" and it dawned on me that I didn't love me! My reply was I'm not sure but I knew the real answer. I actually despised myself for many reasons. I was seeking love from everywhere else and so I had found myself at a place of darkness and pain. I couldn't see why until that very moment!

After a few moments of suffocating silence, I realised it was time to start making a conscious effort to change something in me. I needed to recover. I craved for peace and happiness. This was my first step: Wanting to change! I now had someone looking up to me watching and copying my every move. It was important for me to be everything my parents wasn't for me as I grew up without them, so I know first hand how it feels. I just didn't want that for my son so it became my desire to become better.

4 Key points;

1. Being intentional about our thoughts and self talk, Create a support network. 
  • I started by changing how I spoke to myself. This mindset shift made me aware of what I was saying to myself when I felt like a failure, when I looked a hot  mess, when I didn't want to get up. Changing my thinking from negative to positive was the hardest part of my journey. To prevent me from giving up I realised I needed support, I reached out to my support network (My adoptive Nan, my Counsellor, Auntie L). I watched motivational videos and I began to read empowering books ( I will list a few in my book collection). I attended Anna Garcia's intensive relationship courses and I also changed the type of music I listened to when I was feeling low. Trust me music is powerful.
2. Focus on what we want to achieve now and pray about it, Create peace of mind.
  • When all the above was not possible I started meditation at home. Clearing my mind was needed, overpowering my inner voice with silence. This was the peace of mind I longed for. On my 22nd birthday I stopped calling my self old lol (I know right but I genuinely felt old). Me calling my self old was not because I was old in age but actually because I wasn't achieving my dreams and fulfilling my purpose. I set my goals and targets starting of with small things for example; getting out of bed everyday, cooking my favourite dishes, going for walks etc. It gradually moved on to long term goals as I felt better, for example; going back to work, starting my driving lessons, moving houses etc. I would pray over my goals and dreams whilst being proactive.This helped me to stay busy whilst being connected with God.
3. Do what you love most, Create your happiness.

  • Oh my oh my, this right hear is gold to my ears! Taking time out of life just to recharge, refocus and appreciate your self is vital. I was a fairly new mother but for my own sanity and well being I started having 'Me time' daily. After giving birth my body changed and I hated how I looked. This was a huge factor in my postnatal depression so I signed up to the gym. I went 5 days a week with out fail, no more neglecting my body. I loved working out this was my pamper time. I worked out because I wanted to become stronger on the out side and feel good on the inside. When we exercise our body releases a hormone called endorphins. This interacts with our brain and reduces our perception of pain. No wonder! I found this out a bit later but after each work out I was full of energy. In addition to this I adjusted my diet adding more fresh fruit and vegetables ( this was expensive but worth it). I begun to see a drastic change in my mood I was real happy, this was the happiness I was longing.
4. Be selfish with your time , Create the best you.

  • Evaluating became an important part of my life because I realised that the people I had around me was having an impact on my mentality. We should be careful of who and what we give emotional access to because who we open up to ultimately can have power over us and power in the wrong hands can be destructive. People don't always show you there true intentions and sometimes its people we love the most, that are jealous and unsupporting.  As the scripture says "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Proverbs 4:23
Someone once told me self love is not the destination but its the practice so lets practice loving thy self more each day. Its a journey that has no ending. Back to my title "Living my best life" is loving my self for who I am and appreciating the good and the bad, finding my purpose and achieving my dreams. Putting me first as you can't pour from an empty cup.  If you ever feel like how I felt, your not alone and it does and will get better, keep pushing. I am always here and I love you, most importantly God loves you.




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11 comments

  1. Your an inspiration to many people in similar situations and I'm glad you were brave enough to share.keep it up����

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    1. Thank you I hope people in similar situation find the strength to keep pushing through it. big hugs 🤗

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  2. Very honest and touching Brit....your experience and memtal strength will not go unnoticed...very profound ....am ver sure that your decision to speak out will go a far way in helping ohters to overcome too...God bless. ..love

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    1. Thank you Coy for reading my post and for your touching words. I appreciate it.
      Luv Brit 🤗

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  3. Big hugs sis. I'm very proud of you.

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  4. Wow! You are strong woman. You always have been. Continue to feed that strength. Nurture it. One day you will look back athow far you've come and know fully well that you have the strenght to press further.
    Keep it up Britney. Look forwards to the enxt post.

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    1. Thank you. I hope to continue becoming a stronger women. Thanks for your support in my Journey.
      Much love Brit💞

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  5. Indi’s Mummy21 July 2018 at 12:00

    Well done Brit, keep strong and inspiring others with your empowering messages. Steph x

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  6. Roxanne-Sasha (The Resilient Mum)25 October 2018 at 09:03

    Another great read. Thank you for being so candid and sharing your own experiences. God bless!

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