My mental health has not been good as of late. I am just going to come right out and say it right now. To be honest, I feel like I say this a lot but the last few weeks has been a real eye opener for me.

I have realised the importance of self-care and I am now on a journey to make changes in my life that will directly impact my mental health and I would love for you to come on the journey with me.

One of the biggest things I have noticed is how a lot of people relate their anxiety back to clutter, whether it be in their daily lifestyle or in their mind. If you’re a parent then I don’t need to remind you that more toys = more crap to pick up. I am not sure I could live a ‘minimalist’ lifestyle but I definitely need to stop buying shit and am so guilty of keeping things unintentionally like old make up, clothes, shoes etc. So, I am on a mission. To de-clutter my life and my mind. I’ve been doing a tonne of research and can’t wait to start sharing it all.

I have poor routine and poor sleep, all of which directly affects my mental health. I use things like social media which link back to depression – social media, media in general and online bullies. I plan to tie in regular periods of ‘offline’ time to be more present with my family and friends while also striking a balance because my full-time job revolves around social media and of course, its where this amazing community of people are.

I am not putting a time frame on this but I am getting cracking start away. I am already putting small things in place and am noticing a change so it gives me hope that I can do this.

How can minimalism help a mama out? From reading many different articles, it seems many mothers are turning to minimalism to reduce their stress and anxiety.

Minimalism is the processing of simplifying yourself so that you can stop spending your time, energy and emotions on non-essential parts of your life.

Sounds easy right? It’s not. It’s a process, but one I believe will work.

Comment below if you’re keen to come along for the ride to reinventing yourself.

I realized something tonight. Something that made me a little sad to admit.

I don’t really have many friends.

I was always the outsider, going against the grain. Bailing on events and occasions because I had been consumed by anxiety.

I lived on my own for over 5 years after an incredibly messy breakup – something I seem to blame a lot for.

I couldn’t disappoint anybody, and everything was on me. I only had myself to worry about.

I’m 32 years old and can safely say I have less than 5 people I could call on and they’d be there. While I know numbers don’t matter, I can’t help but feel sad. We live in this online world where everything is on show.

People have come and gone over the years, was this because of me? Did our lives just grow in different directions? Did they get what they needed from our friendship?

I get sad when I scroll my feed and see all the big groups of friends who have been together through it all. They got pregnant together, they plan their weddings together, their children grow up together – they even travel together. The constant feed that is social media is playing with my mind, telling me there is something wrong with me because I don’t have this.

I never went to a school formal, I got early exemption from the ministry of education to leave school when I was 15 and I’ve worked full-time ever since.

It probably makes me sound like a huge loser, and maybe I am? On reflection, it could seem petty – like is this all I am worried about? Do I not think my current friends are good enough? Not the case at all. I love the insanely small circle I have but can’t help but wonder if maybe I’ve pushed others away? There are people I once considered really good friends who have never even met my children yet continue to engage online like we’re still the best of friends.

Have I been so focused on my career that I’ve never bothered to really value a friendship in order for it to last? Am I a bad friend?

Has working in the online space for so long made me not able to function properly in real-world situations which has then hindered my ability to form normal relationships?

Has motherhood made me more lonely than ever before?

Please tell me I am not the only one that constantly feels like a loner.

As a mother and a human I have never felt so alone. I’m struggling with motherhood, I’m struggling with life in general.

I feel like I am fighting demons I can’t even begin to try and explain to people.

I am not posting this for attention, I’m posting this because it might explain why I don’t post or share much these days. What I do share is a tiny snippet of my life and people think I have it all sorted – I tell you now, I don’t.

My mental health currently has a firm grip on me and is ruling every aspect of my life.

I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to see anybody, I just want to yell or cry. I’ve done a lot of that. I’ve said things to my kids that I hate myself for.

How can people who are so small evoke so many emotions?

Today I realized that I am in this alone, regardless of the people who say they’ll be there – this is something that I think I am going to struggle with for the rest of my life. This is on me to try and overcome and I think maybe it’s time I try a different approach because the current approach is not working.

Today has been one of the worst days in a long time, I am in such a negative mindset and I am really down.

To the people who say I’m on here giving parenting advice yet in reality, I’m a terrible mother – thank you for making this dark depression even worse, for making me want to shut down everything I’ve worked for and disappoint the people I’ve helped better themselves.. I have only ever been real and honest about this journey and how I am feeling.

I know people say, you can talk to me but how on earth do you tell somebody about the horrible thoughts that go through your head? That sometimes you want to run away and never look back because others don’t deserve the sea-saw of emotions. That sometimes you’re just like honestly what’s the point? My existence isn’t even a happy one.

I love my kids, I truly do and I often think I don’t deserve them and that they deserve somebody better as a mother.

You may think somebody has it all sorted and has a really good life, but remember that small snippet is far from what the daily grind is like. I see others post photos of their happy families, of them winning this whole parenting thing and here’s me – wondering how I fucked it up so badly. I get jealous, I really do.

When I’m not yelling or ripping my hair out of sheer frustration, I just cry. Then some days the cloud is gone and things feel better – until it returns.

Why am I posting? I don’t know. I honestly feel like I can’t even tell anybody how I am feeling these days. I get criticized for posting stuff but this was my safe haven.

I struggle with depression and anxiety but I have also become a very angry person. I spend so much time trying to fix everybody else that I am falling apart from the inside out.

The mind is a scary place.

As tears streamed down my face he looked at me and said “i love you mummy, you’re my best friend” and that was all I needed to hear in that moment.

Knowing that this beautiful little person you created is starting to learn the concept of love and affection, especially when it’s needed.

I’ve struggled more as a Mum in the last couple of weeks than I did when the kids were newborns. 

I don’t know why but it’s just sucked, everything has.

I’ve lost myself 100%. I don’t know who I am anymore or what I want out of life. I feel like all I am is a Mum who goes to a job all day and then comes home and cleans. The same boring routine day in day out and it sucks – I’m over it. I wanted more out of my life and now I feel selfish for even feeling this way. I make no time for myself and I’ve just lost sight of what makes me happy.

My anxiety is at its peak right now, I am so bleh and I’ve cried so much I’ve given myself headaches.

I am failing my children and right now I am not a good mum.

It’s a bad day, not a bad life – but right now I just want to curl up into a ball and wait for the dark clouds to pass over.

With the recent sad news of Greg Boyed’s passing I feel compelled to reach out.

Today, the chief coroner released The Mental Health Foundation’s provisional suicide statistics for the year July 2017-June 2018. Devastatingly, New Zealand’s suicide rate has increased to the highest it has been this century.

Since the sad news I’ve seen so many Facebook posts from people offering a listening ear or a caring shoulder for those in need. While I love seeing this type of support, from complete strangers, I can’t help but feel a little sad that it takes an event like this for people to offer support. While news like this always reminds us to reach out, I wish people knew all year round that our doors are open and our jugs are boiling ready for a cup of tea and a chat. Sometimes you don’t even want to talk, you just want to be in somebody’s company.

To see a public figure, someone who is seen as successful, somebody who ‘has it all’ clearly proves that material objects are exactly that – material objects. Money, fame and processions do not make a person happy.

It is such a taboo topic. One which people are afraid to talk about out of fear of judgment. It truly breaks my heart. There are so many people out there suffering in silence because depression and anxiety has somehow been dubbed something that ‘we don’t talk about’. Why? It’s far more common than we realize and if we were to talk about it more then I feel those struggling would feel far more supported. So many people are scared to open up and talk to somebody about how they truly feel and have that ‘I don’t need/want to be on medication’ mentality.

You know, it’s normally the ones who are the most ‘out there’ who suffer in silence? They put up this front to make themselves feel better, so people don’t ask ‘are you okay?’. This probably isn’t the case for all but I know it rings true for me. I know if somebody asked me that right now it’s highly likely I would burst into tears because no, I am not OK. And it is OK to say that.

Some days I feel great, other days that dark black cloud hovers over my head. Those who have ever experienced or struggled with mental illness simply don’t understand and adopt the attitude ‘cheer up’, ‘it’s not that bad’ & ‘tomorrow is a new day’. While there are positive coping mechanisms that have been known to work or at least assist. Somebody telling you to ‘snap out of it’ certainly isn’t one.

I’ve struggled with mental health issues for a large majority of my life so one of my biggest concerns when I became pregnant was the high risk of PND. My GP and midwife were well aware of my medical history so knew what to look out for as well as educating me.

For a while there I thought I was fine, that I had somehow managed to side-track the issues that for a long time consumed me. I hadn’t. Two weeks passed after Baxter’s birth and my partner was due back at work, it hit me like a freight train. Feelings of anxiety and worry flooded me.

It took me a while to gain the courage to admit I knew what was going on and go and speak to my GP, deep down I knew the day would come, she was super supportive and we talked through our options.

I started to get control back, things became manageable. But I feel myself slipping again. I knew that it was highly likely I would experience PND again with Lily. Did it ever really go away? How long does it last and when does PND become depression?

These days my PND/Depression/Anxiety masks itself in anger, a symptom many are not aware of. Sadly it hinders my relationships with people from time to time and if I am being totally open, my partner takes the brunt of it. People who haven’t experienced it or been close to somebody who has simply don’t understand and often respond with “just stop” or “stop getting so mad”. I would love to be that in control of my feelings but right now, I am not. Half of the time my reactions are so unreasonable but I simply don’t see it at the time. God, I thought I had no patience when I was pregnant but this is next level.

I know that these current feelings are not me, and while I know they’re not permanent, it’s hard to deal with right now.

If you’ve never struggled with mental health you may not understand where I’m coming from, you may not understand that you can have one really shitty day within a month of amazing days and all these old shitty memories/feelings flood back.

I am not going to sit here and feel sorry for myself, nor do I want you to feel sorry for me. I just wanted to share that it’s not all gummy smiles and rainbows. If you’re having a shitty day, it’s okay, you’re not alone.

Social media has heightened the awareness of what’s around us, obviously – and I believe it plays a big part in some of the negative feelings people experience. We see those beautiful curated squares on Instagram and find ourselves comparing how their life is different to ours, how are they looking so beautiful and refreshed after I barely got 2 hours uninterrupted sleep last night? How on earth do they manage to find time to keep their house so perfectly clean and organized? How did their body snap back so quickly after giving birth. It’s everywhere. What we often don’t think about is that these people are not necessarily happy. We only see what they choose to share, many do not share the messy corner of their house or how little they slept last night.

More often than not, we are our own worst enemies.

The dark truth is that if we don’t start talking about mental health now and more openly, the alarming rate of suicide and the prevalence of untreated mental illness will reach crisis point – in fact, I believe it already has.

Please, if you’re ever struggling, with anything or having bad thoughts – talk to somebody. You can talk to me, PM me day or night or call one of the numbers below. It is often easier to confide in a stranger.

It’s so much more common than you realise and we can all play a small part in trying to normalise it in some small way by talking about it openly. There is nothing wrong with feeling this way, but there is a way out.

Please know that no matter how bad things feel, there is always help available. Taking your life is NOT the answer and please take a moment to think about all of those loved ones you would leave behind.

Talking about things is the first step. Realising it’s okay to not be okay if the next.

You are amazing and you hold a special place in this world.

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https://depression.org.nz | call 0800 111 757 or text 4202

www.mentalhealth.org.nz | text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999

Youthline – 0800 376 633

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/in-crisis/