When it rains, look for Rainbows…

‘When it rains, look for rainbows…
When it’s dark, look for the stars’

These beautiful and inspiring words were written in a card that I received from one of my best friends, to let me know she was thinking of me as she knew I had been struggling. I am so lucky to have such very special friends around me and for that I am truly thankful.

Sometimes it is hard to look ahead and see where it is we are going, especially with depression, when the view can get so clouded. The dark days seem to be never ending, no sign that there will ever be a break in the clouds or respite from the battering winds wearing us down – being blown in so many directions, unable to shelter from the assault, it is a daily battle. The confusion is draining and the bleakness oppressive.

However, even if the skies are filled with the darkest of rain clouds, it’s worth reminding ourselves that just because we can’t see the sun, it does not mean that it is not there. 

I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes when the sun shines, even if it only peeks out from behind the clouds for a short while, I love to close my eyes and feel its warmth on my face. It gives me that moment of happiness and contentment. These are the little moments we need to hold on to; absorb the warming beams of sun light, let them filter through our skin and let it give some colour back, especially on our dark days. 

Even after the darkest and coldest of Winters, Spring, and then Summer, will surely follow. Ok, so we know that Winter will undoubtedly come back around, but the Seasons change; we just have to hope that the Winters are brief and become less harsh, and the better weather lasts longer. When the sunny days start to out number the stormy ones, then we must believe that we are walking a much clearer path. We might even be able to start to appreciate the beautiful flowers along the way that start to bloom, drawing inspiration as they lean towards the sun. 

Just like a Rainbow, beautiful things can come out of the darkest of storms; stars will always be shining bright even on the blackest of nights…..we just have to look for them – focus on the beautiful and the positive.

So keep looking out for those Rainbows and Stars! 

Mwah 
Natalie xxxx

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Persist And Persevere

Persist And Persevere…..

Positive Outlooks Blog

No matter what happens, no matter how far you seem to be away from where you want to be, never stop believing that you will somehow make it. Have a unrelenting belief that things will work out, that the long road has a purpose, that the things that you desire may not happen today, but they will happen. Persist and persevere, your desired path remains possible. — Brad Gast

Man walking at sunset

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Reasons to never get married on Valentine’s Day…

Ah yes, Valentine’s Day….a day where loved ones can lavish their soul mates with flowers and chocolates, a day to proclaim to the world their unfaltering love, a day to explore those passionate and rampant urges, and for singletons to await the postman (or Facebook Messenger) to reveal any secret admirers that may have finally decided to declare their undying love!

Ok, so you may have detected the ever so slight sarcastic undertone to the above paragraph, and you are indeed correct to suspect so….to be fair the title kind of hints at the nature of this blog post!!!

Today has been the final straw for me in what has turned out to be the most stressful, damaging and emotionally draining few weeks that I have had to face. I literally feel battered, bruised, defeated, used, broken….. I suppose that is the true nature of depression, to lull you into a false sense of security, allowing you to hold on to the belief that you will never feel as low as you have done. It has literally slapped me across the face and brought me to my knees these last few weeks….I even have the injury to prove it (I slipped over landed on my knee, removing a good few layers of the skin…giant weeping scabby knee – just what I ordered!).

So to give you the overview….my marriage has not survived my Post Natal Depression; it revealed the true nature of the one closest to me, which was a devastating blow. The sale of our family home went through a few weeks ago and now I am trying to sort out the divorce. The icing on the cake is that today, yes Valentine’s Day, would have been our 4th wedding anniversary. So if it wasn’t enough to see mountains of red hearts and the words ‘I Love You’ vomited everywhere you look, I have had to accept that not only do I not have that special someone in my life anymore, but also that I will forever be reminded that the 14th February should have been my wedding anniversary….So my advice to anyone madly in love…never get married on Valentine’s Day, because if you do break up it fucking sucks, as you can never just let the day just slip past unnoticed….especially when you have an ex who has made a big deal about taking his new girlfriend away for a romantic weekend…just perfect!

Ok, the rant is over, I needed to get that one off my chest! So I am now sitting here with a large pink wine, contemplating what I will do with the wedding photos that are currently staring at me from the giant picture frame we had adorning the wall in our once family home! Burn them, chop them up, draw faces on them??? Please feel free to make further (and more creative) suggestions! But no, I am going to remove them from the frame and carefully place them in a box for our daughter. One thing I want her to know is that at some point her mummy and daddy were deeply in love, and that more importantly she was created out of love. If there is one positive thing, or in this case person, to come out of this whole horrible mess, it is my beautiful daughter. She literally is the reason for me living. At those dark times, which have cropped up again over the last few weeks, she is the reason for me to have taken a breath and hold on to the future. Through her I have drawn my strength.

I don’t think I will ever get married again, but if I do I will almost certainly choose a date that is of no meaning, and if my significant other should ever forget our wedding anniversary, I think I would secretly not mind.

It is strange how something that was once flourishing, thriving, blooming, can grow the most beautiful and exquisite flower, to then die away and rot, leaving nothing to show for the beauty that was once there. There will always be the memory there of what was, but also the heavy feeling of grief for what has passed.

My daughter is totally obsessed with bumble bees at the moment, which makes me think of the pollination that occurs when they jump from one blossoming flower to another, and how it is this pollination that allows a field of flowers to flourish and evolve. Without them, and of course the nurture a flowering plants needs, it will ultimately wither to nothing; but I still hold hope that one day I will have my field of flowers.

It is ok to grieve for something that was once such a big part of your life, and I suppose the anger, sadness and the array of other emotions I have been expressing are all part of that process. I now have another 365 days until I have to face ‘V’ Day again, and by then I know that the wounds will no longer be so raw.

So hello February 15th!!! You are my new favourite day!!!!

Mwah
Natalie xxxxxxx

Hellooooo 2015……You Delectable Little Delight!

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Firstly….Happy New Year to all you amazing people out there!
Secondly….Thank the heavens above 2014 is finally over and done with! Yey!!!!!
Thirdly….Hellooooo 2015! Grrrr, you delectable little delight!!!

2015….You are going to be the year of strength, new starts, positivity, inspiration, courage and love!

To say I am pleased to see the back of 2014 is an understatement….ahhhhhh….cue a big sigh of relief! I thought 2013 was beyond challenging with the arrival of my daughter, the constant demands and new responsibilities of motherhood, being diagnosed with PND and battling the ensuing chaos and turmoil that came with it. But alas, 2014 was apparently not going to get much better either; it was the year that really pushed me to the edge of my sanity, leaving me barely clinging on by my fingertips. Steeped in confusion, pain, self loathing and guilt, my depression reached new depths. Then the inedible icing on the cake was the dissolution of my marriage followed by a house move….I would have preferred a glistening juicy red cherry on top, but obviously 2014 did not get my memo!!!!

Although most of last year was like a very deflated sponge cake, basically disappointing and a spoiled mess, I must not forget all the little ‘wins’ in my battle with depression, finding the strength that I never thought I had within me and the precious moments that I have had.

It has been an unbelievable delight to watch my beautiful daughter flourish into the most glorious little lady. I marvel at her pureness and her unique individuality. It is for and through her that I have found my strength, and yes I know that sounds like a complete cliché, but I have come to notice that it is the days and nights without her, when I falter. In reality, it does not matter where we draw our strength from to keep going, we should be thankful and proud, taking one step at a time.

So now we move onto 2015….is it really that big of a deal??? Surely 1 January is just another normal day? So why do we put so much focus on it being a ‘fresh start’? The answers really aren’t that important, if it encourages us refocus on the positive, then surely it is a good thing?

Despite me seeing in the New Year with a full blown cold…..as I write this I have already worked my way through several packs of Kleenex tissues and have accumulated a nice little collection of ‘snot rags’ (personally I am convinced it’s the last of the crap from 2014 clearing itself out!)…..it is the most inspired and motivated that I have felt in a long time.

I am ready to make positive changes, take care and be respectful of myself and start the year as I mean to go on. I have already made my list of New Years Resolutions, which, lets be honest no-one ever intends to keep, it’s more of a token effort and habitual conversation that everyone takes part in. However, this year I have written them down and intend to achieve them. To others they may seem petty or insignificant but they are achievable; the last thing I want to do is set myself up for failure or add to my ever growing list of things to stress about….that’s just a recipe for disaster!!! People often forget that when you have PND or any other form of depression, the simplest of achievements can make the biggest difference to our state of mind.

So here’s to 2015 and setting little goals to help along the path to recovery!

Maybe at the end of this year I will be getting that ripe, juicy, plump cherry on top….and maybe even a few little sprinkles too, just for good measure!!!

Happy 2015 to you all….

Mwah
Natalie xxxxx

Ps. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas…… /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8af/63820791/files/2015/01/img_8197.jpg

I am broken!

The last few weeks have been some of the most emotionally challenging, exhausting and stressful times for me. The majority of the days have been a huge struggle, paved with panic attacks and anxiety, leaving me feeling that I have literally lost control of everything in my life.

Here is something I wrote one night when things were particularly dark; but when I read it back the next morning I surprised myself, it amazes me how creativity can evolve from such ugly things…….

‘I am broken’…….

I am broken, exhausted, it’s going to take far more than glue
To repair this mess that I have dissolved in to
Shattered in pieces so tiny and small
How do I pick them all up with little help at all
My hands are scared from picking up the shards before
Tender and hurting, ripped and clawed
No one to help for fear of cutting their hands too
Left alone yet again feeling so useless, without a clue

Just sweep it up, hoover it, whatever it takes
To clear this mess up my mind continuously makes
The quicker the better so people can again walk on my floor
Blind to the devastation that lay there before
Collapsing with exhaustion without hope to carry on
No energy, no motivation, my happiness just gone
Even if I somehow manage this immense feat
To mend all the pieces so all nice and neat
There will always be lines and cracks etched within
Areas of weakness that lay beneath my skin
How can I concentrate on the task at hand
When I’m still pulling out splinters from last time around

Can the pieces be washed away and I just start anew
Flawless and unmarked, primed to be viewed
No expectations, no judgements, nothing to hide
Everything perfectly presented, with great sense of pride
Reinvented, reconstructed, rebuilt from scratch
But in reality there will always be the hatch
That leads to my past where all the mess is stored
Like junk in an attack, a pile of items emotionally flawed
But brick by brick and day by day
The foundations are forming where broken pieces once lay
So maybe there is hope, I must believe that there is some
Just let the dust settle, could the best be yet to come?

Accept who I am and what will be will be
Believe I am the imperfectly perfect, ‘Beautifully Broken’ me