How to stop being afraid to talk about your mental issues

I sit on my seat by the window in a packed train fighting the wave of anxiety that is tirelessly trying to get to me. For those who do not know this about me, I suffer from an anxiety disorder. Oh, and also claustrophobia. (But not to worry, I also have a great sense of humour, so it balances it out.)

And when I say I sit by the window,… Well, the window actually takes up only about 40 % of the space next to me. The rest of my view is just something big, plastic and totally useless.

I look at the guy next to me who made it clear just a minute ago that he would not swap a seat. Perhaps that is why I don’t really feel like confessing I suffer mental issues, so I let him enjoy his blind victory and close my eyes in a hope that the tension in my heart will pass.

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A mother’s shocking and inspiring story that will stay with you forever

I came across her one evening after having a very bad day with the boys while engaged in with a FB group. The moment I read her story, my eyes filled with tears. It was not only the story itself that caught my attention. It was also the strength and bravery I felt from her words. Instantly I forgot about everything that had bothered me before and sensed indescribable rush of gratitude. I knew I would need to speak to this lady and share her powerful story with you.

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Early versus later stages of motherhood. Which is easier?

I often get the question, especially from new mums, asking what it is like for me to be a mum compared to the beginning. Well, to be totally honest, nothing in this world compares to the nightmare you go through at the beginning.

When I became a mum, I could not understand other mums when they said that it is all worth it. What on earth can be worth this torture? I used to think. However, today I totally understand.

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Two weeks in the hospital or how my PND started

I will never forget the day we temporarily moved into the room at the hospital’s special care unit where our boys were born. I was home packing some basic stuff for us and knew that we would not come back soon. The senior midwife at the hospital told me earlier on that the boys would need to put on some weight and be able to eat on their own in order to be discharged as at the time they were still being fed by feeding tubes.

I got to our room around noon and as soon as I got there a huge load of anxiety hit me straight to the pit of the stomach. The reason was due to how small the room was and my anxiety which I get when appearing in small or limited spaces. I say more about the events prior to this day in the post My birth story.

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Things that I would say to the old ‘Me’ while experiencing PND

Dear Ivanka

I know you feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on now. You could not wait to have your babies and now that they are here, you are not sure that it is what you wanted. I know you are astonished by your own feelings and emotions. I know you don’t feel the love you expected to be feeling. I know you doubt your decision about having children. I know you desperately want your life back. I know you feel stuck. And I know that you feel incredibly guilty for feeling this way. 

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How to voice your opinion without feeling guilty?

You know it. You finally put the children down and your feet up when your phone rings. It is likely your parents or a friend. You know that most likely they do not want anything major, they just want to chat. However, after a long day of physical and psychological struggle, chatting on the phone is the last thing you want to do. All you need is to sit down, switch off the brain and do not think about anything. After a while, the ringing stops and a text appears on your display. “Can you talk?” You think of what you should do. You want to say ‘no’ but at the same time this idea makes you feel guilty. 

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