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

Feeling Happy……Paint me a picture of what that looks like!

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Lately I have been thinking about what makes me happy; and when I say ‘happy’ I mean real soul fulfilling happiness….. Something that is just for me, something I can completely immerse myself into, something that gives me the feeling of being productive and content (not to mention giving me a hold on my sanity lol!). Now for me, two things that undeniably tick all the boxes are singing (fear not my readers, I will expand further on my love of singing another time) and painting! I can not remember the last time I picked up a paintbrush and was let loose on a blank canvas to create pieces of art unique to me.

Way back (I am getting on a bit now with my 30th birthday looming!!) I studied Art A-level; my grand master plan was to continue along the arty-farty road, splurging out my splats of creativity into bigger and better splodges! However, Glandular Fever, recurrent Tonsillitis and my parents divorce (…cue tiny sad violins) resulted in much of my second year of study being drastically affected; it erased any confidence, motivation or strength I had, leaving me indecisive about my future and I felt I just couldn’t face University at that time. I have carried a lot of pain and bitterness around with me since then, feeling cheated of what my life could have been. However, I have since dabbled in the creative, making homemade birthday cards, the odd scrapbook and painting the walls in my house…not quite the artistic career I had hoped for though.

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So years have gone by and I am now at a place of war in my life (more tiny sad violins please) where I battle with confusion, frustration, a whole heap of negative emotions and a ton of all the other crap that comes with PND!…. Seriously there should be a limit on the amount of baggage that one must carry when one boards the PND plane (destination unknown)!!!!…. Looking back I was always truly happiest when I was in the art room at school, totally absorbed in what I was doing, spending hours painting and mixing colours, it just all flowed and I felt connected. No one judged me; it was an uninterrupted, timeless, beautiful calm. I was secure in a creative bubble where I could be purely and unquestioningly just be ‘me’.

BOOM!!!!!!!!….don’t panic…..it was just a ‘words of wisdom bomb’ exploding a cloud load of glittering realisation into my world!!!!!…..Find something that once made me ‘happy’…..check…..start doing it again…..erm easier said than done but yeah, carry on….no more excuses, make it happen – you are ‘sad’ you want to be ‘happy’ so do something that makes you ‘happy’ so you can be ‘happy’ instead of ‘sad’…..oooo words of wisdom…be amazed!!!

Now I know that when you have PND it is not quite that simple; whether for you it’s the exhaustion (are you a PND Zombie!? – check out my post on this!) or if it’s the lack of time that is creating barriers, all the reasons for you not doing the things that make you happy can just add to your frustration and stress, especially when you want to take these positive steps. As a result, the whole concept can be so daunting and it all seems too much of a chore to do, so we brush (painting pun hehe!) off our ideas and add it to our ever growing list of things that we have failed at. But this is where your support network comes in….whether it be your partner or an organisation like APNI (see my last blog!) do not be afraid to ask for help.

At the weekend I went into town for a wander and eventually found myself in a shop that sells acrylics (my art medium of choice!) and I found the same make that I used to use, it bizarrely brought back a whole host of both good and sad memories. As I have mentioned, I was happiest when I was painting, but it was also something I threw myself into at a bad bump in my life. I do think that my art helped me a lot back then, just as I feel that this blog that I have started is helping me deal with my PND now.

I desperately want to be happier and I am choosing to take up painting again as this makes me feel positive. The more positive things I can hold onto in my world the more positive my world will become. I know that I will struggle to find the time, it will be a hassle and expense to buy all the paints and equipment, but I am hoping that my hubby will help me get things set up so anytime the urge takes me I can just go for it (got a feeling the first few paintings will be a bit of a messy explosion, but if it’s a way of getting all the negativity out then bring it on!).

I hope that this post might inspire some of you to really think about something that makes you feel true happiness, and crucially something that is just for you – I know we love our little minikin’s but we all need an activity that separates us from being a mummy and is just about us, it is ok to be selfish. If you can’t think of anything, ask your friends/family and see if they can come up with something for you to try. Everyone has certain interests or hobbies so that is a good place to start. Or as I did, look back to your younger years and what made you laugh or smile!…..Good luck! 🙂

Mwah
Natalie xxxxxxx

Ps. the photos in this post are paintings that I have previously done 🙂