‘I can shake off everything as I write, my sorrows disappear and my courage is reborn’. Anne Frank

This post is quite simply about why I chose to blog…

I have always enjoyed reading and writing, when I was younger I wrote stories all the time, I would spend hours creating characters and using my imagination to also create fairy tale scenarios. With age I wrote less but read more, I would read so many books and still do. My inspiration to blog came from my deteriorating mental health, although I have always been anxious with age it began to worsen. I struggled to find support, I felt isolated and my mind was racing all the time. Although family and friends have always been supportive I wished to seek guidance from people who had suffered the way I always have. Initially a magazine article opened my eyes to the amount of women who suffer, I steadily began to feel less alone. I then started to read mental health blogs which helped me understand my sometimes erratic behavior. I also found blogs useful for discovering tips that would help relax me.

I then decided that I would start my own blog to empower women to manage and cope with their mental health. I love inspirational quotes, so use these to inspire what I will write about. I also decided that I would review beauty products and discuss topics that women love. I started my blog, then due to another round of anxiety I went quiet, and have had repeated periods like this where I just couldn’t motivate myself to write. I wrote on holiday last year and that was a big turning point for me, it was the realization that I was in a relationship which was 1. not going anywhere and 2. was fueling my anxiety. Even still I tried to make it work but I knew in my mind what I had to do, although it was hard leaving my ex, it was a new start, a chance to find myself again. Writing also helped me understand my feelings, and actually led me to believe that no I’m not perfect but I didn’t deserve for someone to play on my weaknesses.

Through blogging I have been able to address my issues by writing about them and sharing my tips for relaxation. The more I blogged the more tips I found and carried out, I also discovered courage and strength in myself , which has helped me gain confidence. In blogging I have addressed some issues even involving my struggles with my degree, but I am glad I started to blog. As writing for me is easier than talking about problems, when I read my blog posts I honestly see how far I have come, my new found confidence and hopefully how I helped someone, somewhere.

 

I hope to inspire more people to engage with my blog and share any coping mechanisms on my blog that we could all try.

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‘Some people say they could never work with sick kids, i’m the opposite… They have this will to survive that is so strong, they never give up’.

An honest account of my children’s nursing degree.

I started my degree in January 2015, I was excited to begin this journey, and my first grades reflected my motivation. My first placement was on a general childrens ward, and other areas included theatres, and one day with a community midwife. First year went by very fast and soon I was faced with second year. This year proved difficult and I began to regret my career choice. My anxiety began to overwelm me as the pressure built up, attending placements, writing essays and working part time, it all became to much. Still I managed to plough through, again with good grades. But I felt physically and emotionally drained. 

By the time third year came I felt glad to be close to the finish line. My grades took a slight dip, and I did not enjoy placements at all. In July last year I had a nervous breakdown and the doctor signed me off. I slept the days away, cried a lot and would not leave the house. I returned to University once I felt well again, but in October this year I was signed off again with depression, my medications were increased and this knocked me about for a while. I should have finished my degree December 24th, instead I am now returning to practice and making up my lost hours. Its not that I have given up but I needed to rest and now feel ready to continue at my own pace.

I understand my anxiety is a part of me, but this course has not helped. The 13 hour shifts, the lack of financial support, the academic pressure and the expectation of parents/patients has contributed to my increased anxiety. It is common knowledge that the NHS is in crisis, nurse shortages, packed A and E’s and critically ill patients just to name a few of the issues.

But with all this considered I have seen children survive the most horrific illnesses, the children I care for are the reason I still want to continue what I do, therefore just like these poorly children I will not give up.

Its been a while…

Firstly I apologise for starting this blog then being completely silent since. Unfortunately about three weeks ago I had a nervous breakdown, I felt anxious and nervous (all the time) therefore making me feel drained and tired (all the time). During this time I had panic attacks, wasn’t sleeping, sweating, crying and not eating.

I have needed time away from placement/university, my medication has been increased and I have had to consider my coping strategies. Alongside all this I have had people say things that need some reflection ‘you were fine last week’ ‘I don’t think you had a breakdown’ the worst one was ‘you just need to relax’. The response in my head was this…

Was I really fine last week? (No I hid it well) I did have a breakdown (chances are you don’t believe me as 1. You didn’t see me and 2. I seem ‘fine’ now. And relax?! I wish I could.

¬†After this what I now refer to as a ‘wobble’ that I had two weeks ago, I needed to consider lots of things to help me. Firstly I made myself get out of bed at a reasonable time (which was difficult during my wobble). I would then walk my dog, carry on with chores and I would relax. Either in the bath, or just sitting down and taking time to process my thoughts. I have had kind words from people I rarely talk to and i’ve been able to see who is close to me, but have not given me much thought, which is a shame.

Although I am not completely recovered yet, I am getting their and I am figuring out what works for me. I hope I can reach out to at least one person who is struggling, I will help, sympathise and try to make you smile.

If I can get through this ‘wobble’ so can you!

#anxiety #support #stigma #relax #mentalhealth