Our Little Angel

I have contemplated for what feels like an eternity on how I was going to write this post. I had dreamed up cute and funny ways in which to announce our news to the world. Our news that we were pregnant, we were going to have a baby. Never in a million years, did I think it would be like this.

I want to share our story in the hopes that it may help others going through the same thing. I’ve read so many stories and it has helped immensely to know we are not alone in this awful thing called miscarriage. It happens to so many, yet is so rarely talked about. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I knew the statistics, though I still couldn’t imagine it happening to me. I know people personally who have gone through this, they suffered and I knew they suffered deeply, but I just didn’t quite understand how horrific it really is.

Joy

When I first saw those two pink lines that confirmed that there was a little tiny life beginning to grow inside me, I was overjoyed. Terrified…but so so happy. I remember that I was shaking as I said the words to Connor;

“I’m pregnant.”

He pulled me into a big hug and in that moment, we couldn’t have been happier. We wanted this so much and from that very moment, we loved our little baby with all our hearts. We became ‘mummy and daddy’ and it was perfect after a really tough start to our year.

Over the next few weeks, I felt that everywhere I went there was a voice inside me saying, “Oh my god, I’m pregnant. I’m going to have a baby.” I wanted to shout it from the rooftops but at the same time it was our little secret.

We started thinking of names and about moving house so that baby could have their own room with lots of lovely things. My body began changing; my boobs were suddenly SO sore all the time, I was feeling sick and so tired! I’ve never felt so tired in my life, but I would do it all again. I started constantly looking at my belly in the mirror just to see if our little bean was growing enough to make my belly bulge. I was taking the vitamins, eating the right things, being careful with what I carried etc. All the things you’re supposed to do. I wanted to look after my baby the best I could.

Although I was worried about showing, we were too excited to keep the news to ourselves and so we told our parents and a few other family members. It felt so good to share and we were well aware of the rule that you “shouldn’t until after the 12 week scan”, but we couldn’t keep it in and it felt so right. I knew that no matter what happened, I wanted to have their support either way.

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Excitement

So now 7 weeks along, we went to our first midwife appointment. It felt like a lifetime waiting for this appointment. I was so nervous but so excited. It was a long appointment, where we were asked lots of questions about health and family history. I had bloods taken and got weighed. I was told that my pregnancy was high risk due to my IBD but not to worry, this just meant that the doctors would be involved alongside the midwifes. I remember leaving the hospital with my maternity notes and my pack full of books and leaflets, feeling so overwhelmed and anxious about the future. We went on a big walk and talked about the way in which our lives were going to change dramatically. It was crazy to imagine that in a few short months, we would have a little mini us.

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The next few weeks were filled with anticipation of the upcoming scan. I was googling maternity clothes, even though I knew it was too early to buy. I had started thinking of ways to make a nursery in our wee flat if we weren’t able to get a house before baby arrived. We were both anxious to find out that our baby was okay. I had been checking for blood when I went to the toilet, just in case. There never was any and so I assumed that meant everything was fine. My sickness started wearing off and I was a little worried but felt reassured that is normally the case leading up to the second trimester.

Devastation

13th of June comes around, our 12 week scan. I remember waking up that morning and resting my hand on my tummy; “I get to see you today, little one.” All morning at work, it’s all I could think about. Connor picked me up and we headed to the hospital.

I was feeling extremely anxious but as soon as I lay down on the bed, it changed to excitement and anticipation. The sonographer asked how far along I thought I was; 11 weeks and 5 days. “Perfect,” she said. She told us to look up at the screen as that’s where we would see our baby. She put the gel on my stomach and began to glide the doppler over my abdomen. When our little baby appeared on the screen, I could tell something wasn’t right. Too tiny. I felt like the world had stopped. “Are you sure of your dates?” “Yes,” I managed to choke out.

What felt like a lifetime later, waiting anxiously in the silence, she said, “I’m so sorry. There’s no heartbeat. Baby’s measuring at about 8 weeks.”

It’s all a bit of a blur after that. I remember balling my eyes out and clinging to Connor, hoping this was a nightmare and I was going to wake up. We were left alone for a while and then taken to another room. The nurse came and got us and took us up to the Early Pregnancy Unit. We met with the midwife who came to talk to us about our options. I don’t really remember what she said but she gave us leaflets to take home and said we had a week to make a decision and that they were there if we needed anything. We were told that I’d had a ‘missed miscarriage’ where the baby stops growing but your body doesn’t recognise that the pregnancy is no longer viable. I just couldn’t believe it, I had no bleeding or pain and still feel very much pregnant. I think this made it harder to believe.

We then headed out to go home and I asked for the pictures of our baby. Such a tiny little bean.

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I felt so numb yet so broken at the same time. I don’t remember getting home. It was such a sad day as we then had to make phone calls to family members that knew. It was heartbreaking as they joined us in our sadness and disbelief.

I then had to make the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I chose to go for surgery as it had already been around 4 weeks since our baby had died and my body was still clinging on to the pregnancy. I didn’t think I could go through with the waiting and unknown of when or if it would happen naturally. I phoned the midwife the next day and got booked in for the following Friday.

That was the longest week of my life. I was struggling to believe it was even true as I still felt pregnant. It was so frustrating. It was awful knowing that I was still carrying a baby inside me and had been for weeks without knowing that it was no longer alive. I felt so guilty, did I do something wrong? Was it because I was so stressed out and anxious all the time? Why didn’t I know? I should’ve protected my baby, that’s what mothers do, right?

I couldn’t believe that everything we wanted and were so happy about had just been snatched away from us. It was so unfair. The next few days I prayed that they’d got it wrong, I willed our baby to live but I knew in my heart they were gone.

The day of the surgery was so hard, I was in a lot of pain from the pre-meds and felt devastated that this was what we had to go through. I didn’t want to let go or say goodbye. I wanted more than anything for my baby to stay with me. The procedure went well though and physically, I am recovering well. I’m still in a bit of pain and am just exhausted. Emotionally though, I don’t know when I’ll start to feel better. Grief is a funny thing, it just hits out of nowhere and there I am again sobbing on the floor.

We were given a lovely memory box from the hospital and it meant so much to have something to remember our little angel by.

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It’s not just that I’m not pregnant anymore, my baby died and all the hopes and dreams I had for this little life got ripped away. As soon as I became pregnant, I became a mum. I began planning our life around this little baby. Sometimes I forget and catch myself holding my tummy. I know it will take time for my hormones to level out and get back to normal. I need to have patience but I feel so frustrated with my body. It feels like it’s failed me but at the same time I know it hasn’t. It clung onto this tiny life for so long trying to protect it. I know there is nothing I did to cause this or could’ve done differently. It just happens.

What I’ve learned in this horrific time is that support is everything. Connor and I are so grateful for the support we have had from our families and friends. I’ve joined support groups and talking about it has been like therapy for me. The support from the hospital staff and midwives has been so incredible. They have been there any time we needed to call for advice and gave us the best possible care.

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I’m still struggling on a daily basis but I know that this will change us as people and will hopefully make us stronger together. We want to celebrate the beautiful little life we created together and hopefully one day we will have our rainbow baby.

To Our Little Angel, you were so loved from the moment we found out about you and we will forever carry you in our hearts ❤

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Resources to help if you or someone you know is going through a miscarriage:

You are not alone and there is so much support out there.

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

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How To Pick Yourself Up When Life Knocks You Down

I know it’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted on here but life kinda hit me and it’s taken me a while to feel motivated to write again. The past few months have been crazy with what felt like one stressful/negative thing after the other! There were days where it just all felt too much to handle and I’d want to bury myself in a blanket fort and pretend I was a little kid again, there were times when I’d get frustrated with those around me because I was so stressed and didn’t know how to vocalise it. There’s been whole weeks when it felt like a little dark cloud was hanging over me but I feel that now it’s beginning to lift.

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We all go through times where we feel that the Universe has it in for us, every little thing goes wrong and we wonder when we’ll ever catch a break…well let me tell you, you CAN and you WILL get through it! I know that when you’re in the thick of it, it can feel that it will never get better but somehow you’ll find a way to keep pushing forward and before you know it, those bad days will become fewer and fewer.

The bad days can be tough and you might need a little extra help, so I want to share some tips and tricks on how to refresh, pick yourself up and keep on moving forward through the tough times. It’s hard but a little step each day works wonders. Trust me!

TALK IT OUT

“Let it go.”

 No matter how little you think your problem is, it always helps to get it off your chest. Talk to a family member or offload to your bestie, just let it out! Sometimes it even helps to talk to someone who you don’t have a close relationship with, this means you can be completely candid about how you’re feeling.

If you feel like you can’t do that or it’s too much too soon, write it down. Honestly it helps and you’ll feel loads better if you release those negative feelings. I know for me, that whenever I bottle things up I feel horrendous. This leads to a boiling point where everything feels so overwhelming until it finally bursts, lifting a huge weight from my anchored thoughts.

If you are really struggling with your mental health, go see your GP. They’ll be able to give advice and even refer you to talk to someone professionally. They might give you some medication to help get you get back on track. There are always options for support available to you.

RETREAT

“However horrible the day, remember to find a moment to breathe, there is a calm which can be found even in the middle of a hurricane.”~Beau Taplin

Take some time away from everything to just be. This could mean taking some time off work to come to terms with whatever is going on for you and get yourself back to a calm state or it could simply be just ensuring that you’re taking time for yourself. We get so caught up in a “go, go, go” mindset and sometimes find it hard to just stop and find time for ourselves. Read a book, watch your favourite TV shows, listen to music or an inspirational podcast, cry, scream, cuddle your pets, exercise, go for walks in the sunshine…whatever helps you to feel slightly better, find it and do lots of it!

PRACTICE GRATITUDE

“No matter what you have been through in life, good or bad, don’t take it for granted. There are lessons in every moment of our lives.”~ Demi Lovato

I know it’s hard to feel grateful when things are really tough and nothing in life is going how you planned it, however there is always a golden nugget of wisdom within the hard times. I am grateful for the struggles I’ve had as I’ve learned from them and things have been put in perspective for me. It’s important to remember what really matters in life, for me it is my health and my loved ones. We often take things for granted and don’t really live in the moment. We miss so much of what is going on around us right this second because we focus on what’s coming next or feeling anxious about something that happened an hour before. Take a deep breath and look around at the beauty and wonder that is all around you in this very moment. I’m a serious future-tripper so this one is always tough for me to remember but it does feel better when I can pull myself back and focus on right here, right now. We can’t change the past or predict the future, so why not just accept where you are in the present.

TAKE AS LONG AS YOU NEED

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”~Vivian Greene

Don’t rush yourself to get back to “normal”. Take all the time you need to heal and work through things. All the things you feel you “need” to do, will still be there when you get back to it. It’s okay to have setbacks and days where you feel a bit crappy although when those days come, remember to breathe and find at least one thing to be grateful for.

HELPFUL LINKS

Love and Light, 

Rebecca xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Feel Better After An Anxiety Attack

We all feel a bit stressed out or anxious at certain points in our life. For some people though, anxiety can be a part of their everyday life and it is so consuming and scary to live with. I’ve spoken in the past about my experience with anxiety and how I deal with it on a daily basis but today, I want to highlight the things that I do which help bring me back into the moment following on from an anxiety/panic attack. Panic Attacks are terrifying when they happen. They are mentally and physically draining and can really take a toll on your body. Each attack can be completely different and new from the last one which makes it all the harder to deal with. It is so difficult to come out of that feeling and back into the moment. Even once the panic subsides, something just feels off and it can take a while to return to a calm, “normal” state. You’re going to feel crappy for a while after but there are ways you can help yourself to feel better.

Breathe.

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A panic attack can affect your breathing so much and so it can be helpful to focus on taking deep breaths, in and out post-attack. This will help return your body to a state of ease. It helps me to focus on taking a really deep breath and then exhaling slowly.

Drink Water.

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If like me, you get upset and teary during a panic attack, rehydrating your body is so important and will help you to feel a bit better. This can also help to make your head feel a little less fuzzy.

Talk to Someone.

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This is especially important if you are alone during your state of panic. I understand that the idea of sharing your thoughts may make you feel even more anxious but even texting a friend or family member and letting them know you’re not feeling great and need a helping hand can be enough. You don’t even need to discuss the anxiety, it can be a great tool of distraction and hearing someone’s voice can be enough to bring you back into the moment and feel less alone. During one of my recent panic attacks, I reached out to a friend for help and I am so glad and grateful that I did as I was able to come out of it so much quicker. It was the best thing I could’ve done at the time.

Cuddle.

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This is one of the best things to do post panic attack as feeling someone’s arms around you and just letting yourself be held can do a world of good. It can make you feel safe, comforted and less alone. If you are on your own, cuddle your pet or even a soft, cuddly toy. Cuddling into my cat when I feel anxious or have just come out of a panic attack is so incredibly wonderful at bringing me back into the moment. My fiance also gives the best cuddles and can make me feel a million times better.

Distraction.

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A good way to rid yourself of the anxious thoughts or feelings is to distract yourself from them. Put on some music, meditate, colour in, read, watch Netflix, go for a walk…just find something you enjoy and focus your energy and time on that. I often like to play a game on my phone or get lost in a book.

Sleep/Rest.

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Most likely, following a panic attack you are going to be feeling pretty exhausted. It really does take a lot out of you. You may feel a little sore if you have been tensing your muscles so take time to rest, have a nap. Make yourself a blanket fort, take a big bubble bath or stay on the couch/your bed for the rest of the day. Just look after yourself, relax and let your body and mind heal.

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Most importantly, you are going to be okay. There is nothing wrong with you so don’t beat yourself up. Use this as an excuse to spoil yourself and take time to focus on healing your mind. You can do anything you put your mind to. You are not your anxiety. And you are most definitely not alone.

Some Resources To Help

I hope that this post helps you to feel a little better after an anxiety attack and if you have any specific ways of dealing with anxiety or panic attacks, please leave a comment below ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

*All GIF’s taken from https://giphy.com.*

8 pieces of advice for anyone suffering with Inflammatory bowel disease

 

I am Rebecca, I’m 22 years old and was diagnosed in May 2013 with Ulcerative Colitis. 

Ulcerative Colitis is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. There are two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, those being Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Crohns Disease can affect the digestive tract from the mouth to the rectum whereas with Ulcerative colitis, it it usually the colon that is inflamed.

Although the symptoms are very much physical, a lot of people forget (including doctors) about how this can affect your emotional and mental well-being.

With IBD, no one can see what is going on with you as it is all happening inside your body. This is what makes it so difficult for people to understand just how ill you can be as when you have IBD, mostly you don’t look ill.

There can be days where I am in so much pain and so fatigued, yet you wouldn’t know it to look at me.

No two IBD journeys are the same, so what works for one person might not for another. Life would be boring if we were all the same!

I know from speaking to people with IBD that it can be lonely and isolating, especially if you are having to go to the toilet 10 times a day.

It can be frustrating and depressing and most of the time you wish you were normal and you curse your disease.

I want you to know though, that it is not all doom and gloom. There are periods of remission, where you feel good and things get better. It is all about being grateful for those good times and appreciating what you have.

I feel that having IBD has changed me as a person, I am stronger and I try not to take things for granted. I am not perfect and still have the days (sometimes weeks) where I get angry and I hate my body, but I have this disease for life so I need to make the most of it and live every day to the fullest.

These are the 8 pieces of advice that I can offer to those living with IBD, having learned them from my own experiences:

1. There will be days when you can’t get out of bed. That’s okay. Rest as much as you can.

2. Don’t take your health for granted

3. Make the most of the good days

4. Love yourself during the bad ones

5. You are stronger than you think

6. Don’t push yourself too much

7. Don’t be afraid of speaking out about your symptoms

8. Not everyone will understand your struggle, don’t worry about them

To anyone who is suffering from any kind of digestive issue, I urge you please don’t wait to be seen by a doctor. They will be able to help and put you on the right path to recovery.

Thank you for reading and please just keep in mind that illnesses/disabilities are not always visible. Be mindful of people’s feelings and remember that everyone has their own struggles.

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

The Importance of Self-Care to Mental Health: DIY Self-Care Box

Self-Care.

Self-Care means taking care of every single part of you; body, mind and spirit. I see so many people talking about how they take care of their body by fuelling it with healthy foods and exercise and, yes this is very important but what about the mind? Your mental state is so so important to how you function daily, yet it is often pushed to the back burner as we rush through our days, pushing and pushing to get to the next task.

I have shared my experience with mental health before and I wanted to update you that I am now no longer taking anti-depressants for my anxiety. This was a hard decision to make as I was terrified that my symptoms were going to come back full force if I stopped the medication but I also felt that I would be able to cope without them. I gradually reduced the dosage over a few weeks after coming back from holiday. In hindsight, this was probably not the best time for me to come off them as I had a bad case of the ‘holiday blues’. However, I am so glad that I did it and I think that if I left it any longer, I would’ve been more reluctant to stop them. It hasn’t been plain-sailing due to some horrible side effects and withdrawal symptoms for the first couple weeks but it’s now a couple of months on and I feel better.

Recently though, I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. I can’t really put my finger on what feels wrong, I just don’t feel exactly like me some days. Just…distant. Like I’m going through the motions of my day without really being present. It’s a strange feeling and most days it comes and goes.

To help myself feel better, a few weeks ago I created a Self-Care box filled with inspirational quotes, books, messages etc to pick myself up. This was not only for me, but for my fiance who was having a bit of a rough time. I wanted there to be something we could both go to when we needed a helping hand. Any time I’ve been feeling a bit distant or sad, I go to this box and pick out a card or quote or read a page from the book inside and it lifts my spirits. Not in a massive way, but just enough.

I want to share this with you today in case you are feeling down and need a pick me up or you have a friend or family member who is struggling with their mental health and you want to show them you care.

What You’ll Need:

  • A box/bag of any size
  • paper
  • pens
  • pictures/cards/postcards
  • inspirational quotes (handwritten/printed)
  • cellotape
  • scissors
  • books
  • paperclips (optional)
  • trinkets
  • anything that makes you/the person smile

Where To Find Resources:

To start I used this box that I was gifted by my grandparents. It’s so pretty and perfect for this with all the little quotes. You can use any box and use wrapping paper or decorate it to look how you want. I wrote a little note and stuck it on the top of the box. You can customise this however you like to make it more personal.

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I decorated the inside of the box with a couple of cute quotes.

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I filled the inside of the box with a variety of cards, quotes, messages and cute little trinkets.

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I hope you like this and if any of you make your own Self-Care box, please send me some pictures- I’d love to see your own personalised creations!

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

Accepting Where I’m At

via Daily Prompt: Acceptance

It feels good to be writing on here again after a short hiatus, which feels like forever! I have been going through a phase of feeling uninspired and unmotivated but then I had an itch to post something today. However, I kept having thoughts of I don’t know what to write? and it’s been so long, what if it’s not good enough? I started scrolling through the reader feed and came across a daily prompt: Acceptance. Wow. As soon as I read that, I knew that was exactly what I needed to do. Accept where I’m at and honour those thoughts and feelings.

Acceptance has always been a difficult thing for me to practice. I struggle with change and things not going the way I plan. So, the moment I read the word, it hit me like a ton of bricks- I have been doing the exact opposite of accepting.17467930_10211874244753597_1974983819_n

There’s been a lot going on within the last couple of months that has been causing stress and anxiety. I have started a new course at college and I’m struggling with the workload. I am so exhausted all the time– my fatigue has come back with a vengeance. I’ve had too many days where my stomach is extremely painful and I feel sick. And I am in constant fear of my ulcerative colitis flaring up. I’ve been trying to push these feelings away and just keep on going. But I think by doing that, I’ve subconsciously been worrying even more about it. I still have thoughts of I hate this, why me?,  I just want to feel normal. I shouldn’t be thinking so negatively. I am beginning to realise though, that having these thoughts is okay. I just don’t believe that it is possible to think positive thoughts all the time. Yes, I blog about positivity and choosing love over fear etc but this is real life and it is not that simple all the time. There are days where I struggle to move out of bed or to get up and cook dinner. And there are times when that’s not because I physically can’t- sometimes I’m just so mentally drained that all I want to do is curl up in a ball.

When it comes to acceptance, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I don’t want to look at it like, Oh, I’m not accepting this situation so I’m making things harder for myself. I want it to be a learning experience in which I can say Yes okay, I understand that it will be hard work to accept this but I am willing to do so and I will get there eventually.

So this is me promising myself that I am going to look after me, my body and mindset by accepting all emotions, thoughts and situations that come up. That being said though, it is okay for me not to accept it every single day. It is okay to have off days where I want to curl up in bed and just order food in. Or even to just be angry or upset about being in pain or feeling down.

I hope that you are able to come to terms with and accept the current situation that you are in and if you are not in that place yet, that is perfectly okay too.

Love and Light ❤

I was inspired to write this after seeing what the #dailyprompt was for today and also reading  this post on acceptance.

30 Things To Be Happy About!

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  1. Lazy mornings
  2. Snuggles in bed
  3. Cats (and all cute animals)
  4. Unicorns
  5. Nature
  6. Bubble baths
  7. Fairy lights
  8. Hot chocolate with cream…yum!
  9. Having a tidy house/room
  10. Spending time with family and friends
  11. Netflix
  12. A cup of tea in your favourite mug
  13. Freshly baked cakes
  14. Delicious food
  15. Scented candles
  16. People who smell good
  17. Watching the sunset/sunrise
  18. Songs that remind you of a special person or memory
  19. Forehead kisses
  20. Beautiful tattoos
  21. Travelling to new places and watching the world go by
  22. Long showers
  23. Knowing every lyric of a song
  24. Holding hands
  25. Reading a captivating book
  26. When your pet comes to cuddle you
  27. Clean water
  28. Being warm and cosy when it’s cold outside
  29. Making new memories every day
  30. Being alive!

There are a million and one things to be happy about and I could honestly write on this topic forever. I loved writing this and it made me feel so grateful to be alive and be able to experience all of these wonderful things!

I hope that this made you smile and I’d love to know; what would you add to the list that makes you happy?

Love and light, 

Rebecca ❤

10 Inspirational Quotes To Help You Through Tough Times

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I have a little notebook that I fill with quotes that I have read or found online that make me feel happy. I wanted to share some of my favourite ones with you today that help me through tough times in the hope that they help you too.

1. “Suffering is temporary, and it will get better.”

2.  “Each day is a new beginning.”

3. “Change what you can and make peace with what you can’t.”

4. “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

5. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

6. “Everything happens for a reason.”

7. “At this moment, I am exactly where I need to be.”

8. “When you feel blocked, emotionally distressed or overwhelmed, turn to your breath.”

9. “I can think my way out of fear.”

10. “Focus on the good things in life, no matter how small and they will multiply.”

I hope you found some inspiration and joy from these quotes. I would love to know your favourite quotes so please leave a comment below!

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

An Honest Letter to My Illness

Dear Ulcerative Colitis,

When I first heard your name, I did not know what you were or how you would change my life. I had no idea of your magnitude. I thought you were something that would disappear with taking some pills. Little did I know, I was going to be stuck with you for the rest of my life.

What a crazy three years it has been since that day I first became aware of you. It hasn’t been the easiest or most glamorous of times. You have brought me so much pain, sickness, stress, anxiety and isolation from the world.

However, I do not blame you. I know that you appeared because I needed to learn how to take care of myself better. At the time, I was under so much emotional stress and I  didn’t take care of my body or mind. You came to me with a message;

“You need to stop and slow down. You didn’t listen to the signals your body was sending you and so now I am here to push you into self-care and learning about your wounds.”

I am grateful for this, because without you I wouldn’t have begun this journey of self-love and healing.

I have come to accept that you are part of me and you are a constant reminder to listen to my intuitions about my body. However, that does not mean that I do not fear you. I am always worried about pushing too far and upsetting you. Our relationship will never be one of love but it does hold qualities of gratitude and acceptance.

Finally, I would like to thank you for pushing me to explore who I really am and find my authentic truth. I don’t hate you, not really.

I hope that one day we can be good friends and I will fear you no longer.

Love,

Rebecca ❤

Break The Mental Health Stigma #WorldMentalHealthDay

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As most of you are aware, I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease which is classed as an invisible illness due to the symptoms usually being unseen. However, I also have another invisible illness; anxiety.

Mental illness is invisible and there is a stigma that comes with that as people find it hard to understand what’s going on when they cannot physically see it. I actually find it so much easier to talk about my bowel movements than I do my anxious thoughts and feelings. It’s crazy!

It really upsets me that people find it so difficult to talk about their mental health for fear of what other people might think or how they might be judged. It is such a taboo subject to talk about any mental health issues. However, it is perfectly okay to talk about our physical health. I would love to see the day where it is considered normal to say, “I’m feeling a bit anxious today” or “My depression is really getting me down at the minute” just like saying, “I have a really bad cold.”

It is so important that we raise awareness of mental health as there are people who are suffering and are too scared to speak out. I know that I was for a while but when I did, it helped so much.

My Experience with Anxiety

My anxiety began a couple of years ago due to my health. I was experiencing a bad flare up of my ulcerative colitis and under a lot of stress. I had to take a few months off from working and it totally knocked my confidence. I felt panicky any time I left the house. I could hardly walk into a shop without feeling like I was going to pass out. I found it extremely hard to breathe a lot of the time and had a constant tightness in my chest.

I eventually gave in and went to the doctors and was given anti-anxiety medication. This helped immensely. Alongside taking medication, I made sure to do yoga every day and began writing helpful quotes in a notebook that I looked at every time I felt the anxiety creeping in.

Now, my anxiety is more manageable. I had a few months off of my medication but I have recently had to go back on it. I do still have days where my anxiety levels are higher and I have panic attacks occasionally. I am not perfect and sometimes when the panic attack strikes, I can’t stop it and just have to breathe my way through it. A panic attack may be different for everyone but when I have a bad one it is so intense and can be terrifying. I can’t take a proper breath, my chest is tight and it can feel like I’m going to die. Seriously, it can be that bad! There are times when I get anxious and I don’t even know why. There is no valid reason. It’s such a complex thing to describe and it is different for everyone. There are certain things that can trigger my anxiety but it can also be different day-to day.

So, I invite you today to make one step to support mental health awareness and help break the stigma. Some ideas are:

  • If you suffer from a mental illness, please speak to someone about it. This could be your friends, family or see a doctor. Don’t ignore your symptoms!
  • Raise awareness by sharing this post and also reading up on mental illness and becoming clued up!
  • Support someone that you know is struggling.
  • Speak up when you hear someone speak wrongly/negatively about mental illness.

Check out the following resources to learn more about mental health:

I hope this helps to provide some insight and I just want you to know that you are not alone.

“Suffering is temporary, and it will get better.”

Love and light ❤

Rebecca xo