"Well hello there strangers! Long-time no-see!"It’s been almost 5 months since I last picked up my laptop and attempted to jot anything down that faintly resembled a blog, so I thought I would pop on today and give you all a little heads up about what’s been going on.
Where to start?...
Well those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I have suffered with mental health issues for a long time, and as a result of that, I can honestly say that looking after myself has always come way down on the bottom my priority list
… Kids, appointments, school issues, cleaning, ironing, shopping, simply keeping my head above water has been how I have lived the last ten years of my life.
But towards the back end of last year I had a bit of a scare when I visited the doctors for my annual blood pressure review. My weight was soaring, my BP was still sky high despite the meds, my glucose levels were high, and my cholesterol levels were also creeping up and up.
Crap…. I was 37 and becoming a stroke/ diabetic waiting to happen!
I was knocked sideways I won’t lie to you.
I had to take a long hard look at my life and admit some things that were hard to swallow.
I wasn’t looking after myself at all. I had become stuck in a vicious cycle of grabbing the quickest thing to hand, which was usually a bag of crisps, or a bar of chocolate. I was so busy looking after everyone else that I had forgot about me.
I was tired, stressed, depressed, exhausted, feeling like crap and facing the very real reality that my kids could be left with no mum if I carried on the way I was going.
Something had to give.
So I decided in December of last year, that 2017 was going to be the year that I was going to be selfish. I was going to stop making excuses and sort myself out. My kids needed me, so I had to do everything I could ensure that I was going nowhere.
It never ceases to amaze me where that hidden drive and strength comes from within when it comes to our kids. I was going to do this, for them.
I slowly but surely started adjusting my diet, moving my body a bit more, getting out in the fresh air a bit more, and putting my needs higher on the 'to do list' for the first time since, well, forever really.
But you see I quickly found out that all this looking after yourself takes focus and time, precious time that I already had very little of.
Life’s busy ain't it folks!
So as a result, my writing had to take a back seat.
I have so much going on in my wonderfully crazy life, that I simply couldn’t concentrate on getting my ‘five a day’ down my neck, and dragging my lazy butt around the block for a power walk in the dark (so no one could see me all red faced and out of breath), whilst at the same time running a Facebook page and sharing my 'warts and all life' on my blog.
So I decided to take a break and keep the page going as best I could until I was managing this new healthier lifestyle a bit better. And I was getting there, slowly the weight was coming off, I was running for a minute without dying, I was reducing my antidepressants, and the sports bra was doing its job without snapping!
Until…more crap (Life has a habit of throwing curveballs our way doesn’t it!)
My husband phoned me up one day to say he was being made redundant.
Now this is hard for any family to take. But like many of you sat reading this today, I am my son’s carer, and therefore earning very little as I am unable to work full time. So we rely on his income.
His shift patterns had moulded around our family needs over the years, and we honestly felt like life was piling a whole new pile of muck our way.
I buckled and lost focus. I can’t do this I thought as I reached for the family size bag of onion rings to distract my mood.
Why us, what have we done to deserve this?
These negative thoughts plagued my mind day and night.
How are we going to afford the rent, how long can we survive if he can’t get a job?
Do I need to get another job…but who will be here for my son when his taxi gets home each day? What about school holidays? How will I fit in the 5 supermarkets I have to go to each week if I’m working?
It was a tough couple of weeks. I nearly gave up.
Now fast forward to where we are now...on the cusp of the summer holidays. And I have to say this is the hardest time of the year for me with 7 long weeks to fill!
But I’m OK. I have got this, the good and the bad.
Time has a habit of putting things into perspective you see.
My husband has decided to use this redundancy curveball to re-train, to go back to college, and change his career completely. It’s scary as hell, I won’t lie to you, but who knows… it could end up being the best thing that ever happened to him. He has turned the situation around to his advantage.
And it took me being told my health was at risk, to learn to take the good days with the bad. To learn that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for. Because I was the one telling myself that I couldn’t do it. I was the one choosing to sit on the sofa to watch Corrie on catch up rather than take the dogs for a walk, get some fresh air and actually clear my head in the process.
I got through those dark days and didn’t let the fear swallow me up. It was scary but I scooped up the crap I had been gifted by fate, and planted flowers in it…Who would believe it eh, I actually like running!
Believe me there is no one more surprised by this than me. You see I was always the girl in school at the back of the line being picked in team sports and couldn’t even run to the end of my road to chase the ice cream van in my slippers without having an asthma attack. But slowly week by week, following a programme on my iphone I ploughed on. Running for a minute, then two, then three. And now I can run 3 miles! I still cant quite believe it myself!
When I whack on my trainers, I can forget everything ( if only for a short while) I can live in the moment and feel the rain on my face.
I sweat, it’s not pretty believe me.., and I have jiggly bits that have a mind of their own. But I don’t care anymore. I’m doing this for me, and for my kids. I’m looking after myself and if that’s selfish of me, then so be it!
I have just had a health review and my BP is now stabilised, I'm 4 stone lighter, my glucose levels no longer indicate pre diabetes and my cholesterol levels reflect the salad and fruit that I now eat instead of the pies and cakes! Turns out I actually needed that kick up the arse to spur me on to sort myself out. Although at the time I didn't see it like that believe me.
I don’t know what the future holds. A whole lorry-load more crap for all I know. But I now have an extra large shovel, and plenty of flowers that love a good bit of manure to help them grow!
If these last few months have taught me anything folks, it’s that us parents are stronger than we can ever imagine. There will be dark days, fear and uncertainty, but please believe me when I say that you can handle whatever life throws at you, and most importantly look after yourself because you’re more precious than you will ever know! (Oh... and keeping a large shovel in your shed comes in pretty handy too sometimes.)
Bring it on I say, and its so good to be back!
Mrs M x