R U OK Day {well, are you?}

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Crying in the bath every day when you get 10mins alone is not doing ok.
That was me. And even now on down days that is still me.
There is something about the bath.
Perhaps it is the relaxing moment that things can finally be let out.
Perhaps it is the lock on the door.
I have been there in my darkest hour.
And i can admit that even now you can still find me there on occasion.
Crying. Sobbing. Praying.

Today is “R U OK” Day.

And so i ask the question… are you?
Ok, i hear you, but let me ask you again…
How are you really?

And no, this isn’t just a blog post. This is actually me asking you…
And my door is open… don’t think that i’m posting this and i actually don’t care, because i do.

Here is my story…

All my teenage years i suffered depression.
I know why, and in short it was just my life. Everything.
But i wasn’t in a place where i could admit it.
Nor in a place where i had support to help me.
So i took to self help.

And by self help i mean…
And this isn’t something that i am particularly proud of, although am not ashamed to admit…
I sought love and attention, affection, desire, meaning and all that in any bed that i could find it for just one night.
I totally disrespected myself and my body.
And i was drinking. Lots.

I was a complete emotional mess, i had no self belief or pride or respect or morals.

I lied all the time, to myself and to my friends. I pushed people away, i used them, took them for granted. Played games. Stole things.
And all the time, it wasn’t my fault, it was theirs. I didn’t care about anyone but me. But i also didn’t really care about myself either.

I was then in a relationship for a couple of years that was mentally and emotionally abusive, did me more harm than good, although i thought was the only thing keeping me on the straight at the time.

Anyway… lets cut forward and through work, i met Ben.
And after only a few months of a long distance thing, we were pregnant.
So i packed up my life in Adelaide, and i moved to Hobart.
It was clear that Ben and i were meant to end up together, so there was no hesitation or question around all this. He was, and still is, the best thing that has ever happened to me (cue awwww moment!).
But, I became an instant mother to a (then) 5yo.
(Ben’s daughter from his first marriage, whose mother had just moved to the US).
And a few months later there was going to be new baby too.

And i was doing alright. Was different. A big change. But it was good.

A hop and a skip from then and we move to when Alanah was born and then is when you start to find me in the bath.

Everything that i had been though in my teenage years, my early 20s came crashing down.
And add to that, it only hit me then, that i had just moved states, i had become a (step) mum, a mum.
I didn’t have any friends here, i didn’t know anyone here.
I didn’t have freedom here, i didn’t know where to go or what to do, i was stuck. And all my choices weren’t about me anymore.
I had nothing that was my own. I was a stranger, to even myself.

And for months, Ben was asking me if i was ok, and i kept fobbing it off, of course i was. Wasn’t i?
And then one night, remember we were having a cuddle in bed and i was overwhelmed with emotion and i just burst out
“im not ok”.

So i went and got help. And i honestly don’t know where i would be today if i didn’t.
The feelings i had towards myself, for the old life that i had lived.
The feelings i had towards my new life.
I wasn’t happy. I didn’t even know what happy was.
And it was hard to comprehend, that i had finally got everything that i had ever wanted… yet it wasn’t enough, i still wasn’t happy.
What was wrong with me?

Now, 5 or so years on… i can stand here and tell you this…
It took a few years for me to find my feet… and it wasn’t easy, not at all.
I embraced being a mum. I developed my relationship with Ben and we married.
I found the Lord and began a new spiritual journey.
I began doing things for myself… craft, social netball etc.

And day by day, i started to become whole.

I have something that defines me not just as a mum or wife.
That was one of my biggest struggles… re building myself in a new place.
I have a passion for photography, and i have a successful business from that.

And now, i can sit here and tell you all these things that i used to hide away, or not even acknowledge were there.
And i do this with no feelings of shame, or guilt or anything like that.
And as cliche as it is, it has made me who i am.

So why am i telling you all this…
Because until we can see where we have come from, we can’t truly appreciate where we have been and where we are now.

Yes, i take medication for depression. And i don’t hide that. I need it. And i maybe always will.

Why am i telling you all this?

Because we all have a story to tell.

Some might only be writing their first chapters now.
I meet women every week all who are going through the life changing motions of become a mum. (or dad for that matter).
And while they may appear fine on the outside, sometimes, they are human too, and are not in fact ok.
An important aspect of my business is letting my clients know that i too am human.

So this is me. And my little story.

Am i OK?
Yes, i am.
Now.

R U OK?
No no, are you really ok?

Who are you going to ask?

{as always} x

Beyond Blue: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/
R U OK Day: https://www.ruokday.com/
LifeLine: http://www.lifeline.org.au/
SANE: https://www.sane.org/

977639-ruok

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2 thoughts on “R U OK Day {well, are you?}

    • Thank you so much for your comment… it is certainly something close to my heart, and i know that it is something that relates to all the maternity and newborn clients in particular that i work with… and if i could just touch one person, and let them know that it *is* ok to not be ok! x

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