“I’m Not 100% Today”

Say these words out loud. “I’m not 100% today.” Say it out loud until you can hear it ring through your head. And when your husband, wife, friend or family member asks you if you’re ok, you’ll be able to say “I’m not 100% today.”

Sure, we must say positive affirmations over and over again. It’s so important we do that. “I’m beautiful!”, “I’m happy!”, “My life is GREAT!”, “I’m going to beat all my challenges today!”

But you know what? Some days are just SHIT. You’ve woken up with a heavy heart and you don’t know why. You can’t shake it off, you can’t look in the mirror and put a fake smile on to face the world. 

And that’s ok. 

But don’t hide your feelings because they’ll fester for days. Tell someone, as soon as you feel it. Don’t pretend and say “Yeah I’m ok.”, or “I’m fine.” There’s no need for that. Be honest. 

My husband was annoyed a few weeks ago. I kept asking him what was wrong and he kept saying “Everything’s fine.” But I knew he wasn’t. He was quiet and a little tense. A few days later, we had a long talk about how angry he was over a certain issue. “Why didn’t you tell me straight away? Why wait this long, until you’re so angry?”, was my response to him. We’ve talked about it and have decided that we are going to try and voice our unhappiness immediately (but gently of course).

The other day, I woke up feeling unhappy. No reason. I was just unhappy. I knew I was going to be snappy. I was quiet and prickly. 

But I did what I’ve never really done before. I spoke up about my true feelings straight away. We’d already had breakfast and I crawled back into bed. He came into our bedroom and I looked up at him and said, “I’m not 100% today. I don’t know why, but I just am.” 

And he heard me. 

All day, he came up and cuddled me. Kissed me. Hugged me. No words, no questions asked, no solutions offered. Just pure love and affection. And I could feel, within a couple of hours, I was back to my happy self again. 

Because I felt loved. 

Don’t be afraid to say how you feel, don’t try and be brave and say “It’s all ok”. You don’t have to yell it out or scream. You can just say these simple words “I’m not 100% today.” This could be something you could talk to your partner about now, to let them know that when you feel this way sometimes, is to just give much needed attention and affection, or whatever you think will help lift your spirits. 

Head over to my other blog titled #MyRescuePlan for more help with your bad days. 

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Is Happiness Really The Best Revenge?

They say “Happiness is the best revenge”. But after a certain point, I wonder, does the pursuit of revenge make one truly happy?

I’m writing from the point of being divorced about 7 years ago. Then I remarried and had another couple of kids. When I got divorced, my depression spiraled to the depths of hell. The property settlement and child custody battle with my ex husband took a bashing on my mental health. Then I read somewhere that the best revenge was to be happy. To appear happy was the best I could come up with at the start.

After years of working on my own mental health, I learnt that showing my ex husband that I was happy, wasn’t actually making me happy at all. It felt like a competition in my own head that I had to make sure he knew how great my life was. I had to make sure I did everything I could to outdo his own happiness. And the competition was draining.

Of course, I wasn’t exactly pretending. My life – since I left him, really is great. I’m married to a man that is amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better man, husband, father and step father to our children. But somehow, I still kinda wanted my ex husband to know that I was doing fantastic – without him.

When you see children playing at the park with their best friends, you see pure happiness in their faces. They don’t try and pretend to be happy in order for their other friends to think they’re happy. They’re just happy.

That’s when I realized how silly I was.

Did my ex husband care about my current happiness? Probably, most likely – No. So why was I trying to prove something that didn’t need proving?

So over the last 4-5 years, I decided to just be happy. For me. I worked on myself. I still continually find ways to make my life better, to learn to be comfortable with who I am. To concentrate on my own happiness, which led to everything else pretty much falling into place.

Revenge became irrelevant to me. Revenge put a negative slant to my own pursuit of happiness. The need for revenge made my ex still part of my life. And so I decided that revenge, isn’t for me.

And dare I say… I’m even happy for my ex. I’m happy he has a family and new additions as well. 

So “Is happiness really the best revenge”? It may work at the beginning, when you’re still angry… And being angry… is not being happy. You don’t see truly happy people going out seeking revenge. But you can fake it til you make it.

Don’t forget to actually work towards your own happiness and inner peace. Once that is achieved, revenge is no longer relevant, nor will it be in the forefront of your mind.

Pursue happiness for YOU. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#MyRescuePlan

So Adam and I talked about having a “rescue plan”.

I’ve been on and off my meds for a few years. Every time I went off them, I had no real plan to deal with the aftereffects and the withdrawals. I would wait for the side effects to happen and then the meltdowns. I can handle the physical effects (head zaps and wobbles) but the mental ones were really hard. I didn’t know how to cope, and Adam didn’t either.

We talked about it last night, about how to deal with these uncontrollable meltdowns – when my state of mind is all hazy and messy and all over the place. When I’m like that, nothing Adam could say would help me. So I came up with a plan. A “rescue plan”. For days like I had a few days ago.

The plan is for Adam to first recognise the signs. Then this:

Don’t offer solutions
Don’t say only I can fix this
Don’t remind me it’s my depression (because I already know that)
Don’t tell me to “calm down”
Don’t be defensive – It’s not about you

INSTEAD

Be soft with me
Tell me you “get it”, you understand
Let me ramble, even if you don’t know what I’m rambling on about
Hold me tight while I cry
Kiss me
Stroke my hair
Offer to take me out for a meal, just the two of us
Go for a walk with me, hold my hand or put your arm around me
Tell me you love me ❤️

Please remember I’m not telling anyone to go off their meds if it’s working for them. This post is for anyone who ISN’T on their meds. This doesn’t have to be targeted to husbands only. This could be for partners, parents, friends who are here to support you. Come up with your own “rescue plan” and the plans can ALWAYS be changed and altered ❤️

Please please please share 🙏🏼

#myrescueplan #postnataldepression #awareness

I Screamed At My Husband and He Didn’t Deserve It

I screamed at my husband on the phone this morning. He didn’t deserve it.

As some of you may know, I’ve come off my meds. It’s been about 2 months now that I’ve been completely off them. Most days I can handle. And when they’re really good, I keep thinking I should put up a positive blog on here to let everyone know that it’s all good. But I didn’t because I didn’t want to jinx it.

Last couple of weeks have been hectic and quite the strain on me emotionally and physically. More so emotionally. I’m letting idiots get to me. I’m letting people from every part of my life get to me. I’ve allowed people I don’t even really care about get into my head.

My kids are driving me crazy. Both toddlers and teenagers. The younger ones broke one of my favourite Christmas bells that I’ve had for 15 years. When I got home from work last night I found about a hundred (ok maybe less) sultanas all over the living room floor. And then I couldn’t find Miss 4’s school uniform, so I had to turn the house upside down. I can never seem to find anything in MY OWN HOUSE.

And the tears. The tears keep flowing.

I go to bed every night planning the next day and nothing goes to plan. Other shit keeps coming up because I can’t say no.

It’s end of the school year and I see everyone all organised with gifts for teachers. I haven’t even started and it’s the last week of school.

There is so much more but if I listed every single thing, my words would seem hazy and messy.

Last two nights at work have been mentally draining. So I let out a rant on my personal FB page about feeling so burnt out. I got so many messages from friends asking if I was ok and lending me support. So I quickly deleted that post. Last thing I’d ever want is for my friends to roll their eyeballs thinking I was being dramatic or attention seeking.

Then this morning I got a message from one of my friends, who opened up to me and was so honest in how he feels about his life. He said his life feels like it’s “wash, rinse, repeat”, and it annoys the shit out of him. Then he went on to give me the best advice “You’re a ripper Sharon. You’re a good person and the people around you enjoy your company. That’s a bloody good start. Take a small problem and make it go away, then work on the next one.”

I dropped Miss 4 off to school and went to Coles. Sat in the car for ages and stared out the window. Is it still postnatal depression? My youngest is now 3. How long is this supposed to last? Or is it no longer PND? Is it something else? Is it just “regular” depression? OR is my life just too busy?

I rang my husband on the phone in the car. I started off silent because I was all choked up. We talked about how I’m feeling. And as I’m telling him, I know those things are nothing in the grand scheme of things. But I couldn’t quite articulate it as well as I can write it. So it sounds like everything is shit. But it’s not. I don’t remember the whole conversation but it ended up with me screaming. I don’t even know what I screamed about.

I came home from Coles and there he was, Adam pulling up into the driveway. We had the same conversation in the kitchen. Everything he said or asked me, I took offense to. Naturally, he’s at a loss. I started crying again and told him it’s better if he left.

How do I explain to someone that it’s “not you, it’s me”? It’s not the untidy house, not the usual stress that we all go through, not anything that can actually be fixed. It’s my STATE OF MIND. It’s all over the place. Ask me what’s wrong and I can rattle off a list of things that’s pissing me off but I know every single thing on that list can be fixed. So what else is it?

How do I fix my mind though? Exercise? Straight jacket? Meditation? Medication? Probably. But right now, I’m just expressing my raw honesty of what’s going through my head. And the honest truth is, I don’t know what the hell is going on.

I’m okay though, really I am. I’m not suicidal (but possibly just a tad homicidal), I still love my husband and kids with every cell in my body. I don’t want any of my friends to come up to me and feel sorry for me, or even worse, see me as someone that needs fixing. If they try to fix me, I’ll probably fix their face with my fist.

Adam, I’m sorry. And thank you for coming home and I’m sorry for today. I appreciate your love and your patience. Don’t know where I’d be without you, I love you so so so much.

Friends who have sent me messages and the big warm hug I got from one of the most awesome friends I’ve got, thank you.

My state of mind right now, is all fucked up but I know I can fix this 💪🏼

Mr 3 has fallen asleep in my arms and there’s no better feeling than this. Look at that squishy face.

 

“I Was Blaming Myself Because I Was The One Carrying The Baby.”

Bec and her partner have been together for 18 years. They travelled to Europe together and had the most amazing time. When they got back home to Perth, her partner J, finally confessed to Bec that he really wanted to be a Dad. She was a little bit surprised at first, but she embraced the thought of having a child with the man she loved. She went off the Pill, and fell pregnant with their beautiful daughter Kayla. Bec was 32.

Since having Kayla, Bec suffered 3 miscarriages, all within 8 months between each other.

She was 11 weeks pregnant when she had her first miscarriage at home. It was on a Thursday, and because she doesn’t work on Thursdays, she was so thankful she was home at the time it actually happened. She felt awful; she felt it was an “absolute nightmare”. She sat at home and cried her eyes out.

Her daughter Kayla, who was about 2 at the time, tried to comfort Bec by wiping her tears off her face. “What’s wrong Mummy, what’s wrong?”

J’s sister babysat Kayla, while him and Bec went to the Emergency Department.

“Well, we got back late that night, so the first thing I did was have a beer!” she chuckled. “I haven’t had a drink for a while, and you know what, (I thought) bugger this, I’m having a drink. We were stuck in the emergency department for ages and all the nurses kept asking me if I was okay. But no one really pays attention to your partner.” And when they got home, Bec asked J, “How are YOU? How you going?” He had just lost a kid as well. They chatted for the rest of the night, then told the rest of the family about it the next day and they were all really supportive.

Bec didn’t handle the miscarriage all that well. She started drinking a lot and doing “stupid things”. She thought she was okay, but she knew deep down, she really wasn’t. It was only after a few months later that she realised she wasn’t dealing with life all too well and so she decided to get counselling. It helped her, though she didn’t think it would at first.

“I was always against that sort of thing. I always thought how can someone who doesn’t know you, would have any clue how to help you?”

But when she started speaking to someone about it, “She helped me realize it was basically a self-confidence thing. I felt it was my fault that it happened and without realizing it, I was blaming myself because I was the one carrying the baby. (She taught) self-love, and the ‘look in the mirror thing and tell yourself you love yourself thing’. I still find that difficult to do!” she laughs. She started keeping a diary to get all her feelings out, instead of bottling it all inside her.

Her next two miscarriages, were just as awful. Since then, she’d been to the gynecologist and did all the tests, but there was nothing physically wrong with her or J. “There’s no REAL reason why it’s happening.”

I asked Bec how J coped with all the miscarriages. “Pretty good, he probably went a bit into himself but he does that anyway. He’s quite the introvert. He tried to be as supportive as he can for us. But he never blamed me for it or anything like that, I was doing enough of that to myself!” And J would always say, “We’re in it together, it’s crap for the BOTH of us.”

“We put it down to nature. Obviously there was something wrong with them. For some reason, they weren’t quite right and nature was looking after all of us as a family. So we are kinda looking at it like that, maybe it’s for the best.”

“Did it bring you and J closer?” I asked.

“Yes, especially right after it’s happened. Because really, we both lost another chance of being a parent again. It makes us appreciate Kayla more too! She might be our only one… And she’s pretty perfect so we can’t complain!” she giggled.

What Do You Want The World To Know?

“When people say you’ll get used to it, you don’t. It’s a LIFE you’re never gonna meet. You do sort of start planning and how they’re gonna be different or the same to what Kayla was. Are they gonna play together?”

“And they’re not gonna be there anymore. But I’ll always remember them. I’m always gonna remember the days I lost those three. I’ve lost what ‘could’ve been’. In some ways, it gets harder because you really don’t think if it’s gonna keep happening. And then it does. And then I think how and why does it keep happening to me? If you DO fall pregnant again, you’re constantly paranoid for that first 3 months – that you’re going to lose it again. You’re supposed to have this glow and excitement that your child is going to have another sibling, and instead; every time you go to the toilet, you look straight at the toilet paper, you’re waiting to see if there’s any spots, or something that’s not supposed to be there. You’re constantly in fear that it’s going to happen again. It’s something you’re supposed to be quietly celebrating but instead, you’re just paranoid. You think it’s not gonna happen again, and then it does, and then you think it can’t possibly happen again. And it does.” She throws her hands up in the air, “And I think WHY is this happening to me?”

“I’m obviously not alone. I realized that after reading your blog. You do kinda feel sometimes that you’re the only person that this keeps happening to. You know people who have had one or two miscarriages but you don’t usually come across any more than that. So you kinda feel alone. And that’s just not the case. And since reading your blog, I’ve realized there are a lot of people who are going through it. Don’t give up. You’re not alone. We will have to give up eventually because we’re not getting any younger. We are going to keep trying until early next year, otherwise just one (child) it is!”

Bec has been given a prescription for progesterone for when she does fall pregnant again. And when she does, the first thing she has to do is to take them, then see a gynecologist straight away. They will start monitoring her “right from the get go”. She will have to get scans straightaway, and whatever else they deem necessary, in the hopes she doesn’t suffer yet another miscarriage again.

 

My Thoughts

I wish Bec, J and Kayla all the best in their journey to expanding their family. Whatever the outcome, they will always have each other’s support, including support from their family and their closest friends. I hope Bec’s story will help others who have suffered miscarriages and know that whatever emotional turmoil they are going through, that they are certainly not alone.


I Was Not Always This Old

 

When you come into my room, just who do you see? You see a grey haired lady, looking back at you with a tired and weak smile. You look around and see a bunch of photos and trinkets that I’ve collected over the years. But is that all you see?

If only you could’ve gone back in time and met me when I was your age. Like you, I had big dreams. The world was my oyster and nothing was impossible. I walked with purpose, with my head held high. I had so much life in me and I was unstoppable. This grey haired lady you see in front of you, was once a stay at home mother, champion ballroom dancer, a nurse, a midwife, a teacher. I might have even protested in a rally or two.

I’ve had wonderful friends. In my group of friends, I’m pretty sure I was the funny one. We laughed so much, our bellies ached. We would sit and talk on the phone for hours. We went shopping, tried on the latest dresses, did our own hair and danced to Jailhouse Rock

I’ve lost touch with my old friends. And as I sit in my great big arm chair, I find myself wondering where they are right now. Do they ever think of me? I wonder if they miss me? Oh my god, we had so much fun.

I had my insecurities and had days where I lacked confidence in myself. Like you, as confident as I was, I’d look in the mirror and asked myself, “Am I too fat? Am I too skinny? Am I too short? Am I too tall?”

I was strong and I was beautiful, but that’s not what you see right now, is it?

I’ve had my heart broken and cried myself to sleep. I’ve also loved with all my heart, and fortunate enough to have someone love me back. I’ve looked into his eyes and thought, “How did I get so lucky?” But I’ve also looked into another man’s eyes and thought, “I can’t live like this anymore.” 

My husband is gone. The man I’ve spent nearly my whole life with, is now gone. I now watch TV all alone in this room, and sometimes, I still turn to see if he’s there. Like you, we had children, dreams, goals and plans together. 

Like you, I was a daughter, a grand-daughter, and a mother. But I’ve surpassed you now as I’m a grandmother and a great-grandmother. I see a lot of myself in my daughters and grand-daughters. I see, in their eyes, the same worry, pride and happiness for their children that I had for them when they were younger.

Now I’m old. I’m very old. My bones creak when I try to walk. What’s happened to me? I used to dance, swim and run around with my children. Now I’m lonely, I’m weak, and I need your help. I wish I didn’t need your help, but I do. I haven’t got a choice. Please know that I get very embarrassed when you have to take me to the toilet. 

I had a beautiful home. It wasn’t much, but it was still my home. I had lots of wonderful and even sad memories in there. I’ve cooked and cleaned and wiped up spills that my children and grandchildren made. I’ve now lost my home and all I have now – is this room, this room was allocated to me. I no longer have the freedom to do what I want. I’m only allowed to have my most precious things with me in this room, to remind myself of the life I once had.

When you see me, please remember, I used to be like you. I was not always this forgetful, not always this weak and I was not always this old. 

 

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My Night Away On My Own

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All set for a relaxing evening!

In May this year, I was inspired to write my very first blog about Mothers Day, about how so many mothers wanted to spend that day relaxing on their own. No kids. I don’t understand it, your children are the reason why you’re a mother, why would you not want to be around them on such a special day?

I came across one of my old Facebook posts from a year ago. It was about my birthday and how my husband got me a hotel room for the night. He knew he wasn’t invited, this was gonna be a one-woman partaaay.

I had two babies who were 18 months apart. I was exhausted from them, I was exhausted from working at the nursing home and I needed to rest and most importantly, I needed some silence.

So, for my birthday, I asked… For me to be on my own. And I got it. Adam booked me a room at the Hyatt Regency. My mother in law asked, “Don’t you want Adam to join you? You’d enjoy it more if he was there, I can babysit the babies for you.” I answered, “How would this idea be relaxing for me? I want a room to myself so I don’t have to talk to anyone, touch anyone, be touched by anyone or to be woken up by snoring.”

We compromised a little on the day. Adam and the babies came to the room and hung out for a little while. We all had McDonalds for dinner and then they had a little bath. It was raining heavily and I could hear the raindrops hitting the window pane. How relaxing! Then the babies started crying. No, stop crying, this is meant to be relaxing for me. So I said to Adam, “Right, you three need to leave for me to really enjoy this birthday present of mine.” I walked them all back to the car, gave them kisses and sprinted back to the elevator.

First thing I did when I walked back into the room was fill the bath with very warm water and some bath bubbles. I took my clothes off and laid in there and listened to the running water from the tap. Aaaaah. Wait. I can hear the loud TV. That’s not relaxing. So I grabbed a towel, got out and turned the TV off. See, if Adam was here, he’d want to watch TV and he probably wouldn’t let me turn it off. Back in the hot bath. Aaaaaaaaah. Silence. I never realized silence could sound so beautiful. 

I then laid in bed with nothing but my bathrobe on. I was all set, I had a new book and a family size block of chocolate in bed with me. I found the room service menu, picked up the phone and ordered tomorrow’s breakfast for 7.30am.

I turned the TV back on and flicked through the channels. As I’m mindlessly watching TV with no interruptions, I sent a text to Adam to say goodnight and that I loved him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even ask if the babies were alright! I started on my block of chocolate, with nobody asking me for a piece or more. This whole block of chocolate was MINE! All miiiiiiine!!

Wait, what? It’s 3am, and the TV is still on. Did I fall asleep? What time did I fall asleep?? I looked around me and I saw that I didn’t touch my new book and I had eaten 3/4 of the family size block of chocolate. Dare I do this? I broke off another piece of chocolate, ate it, and fell straight back to sleep again.

I woke up at 7am. I walked over to the window, pulled the curtains apart and looked out at the grey skies. So it didn’t turn out to be this “one-woman partaaaay” I had envisioned (I’m not even sure what I expected). Did I enjoy this hotel room? Was it worth the money? Did it live up to the expectations of having time on my own? Yes, yes and a resounding yes. I hopped back into bed to watch the morning news. Nobody’s asking me for a bottle of milk or breakfast. No one is crying or whining about something. Apart from Karl’s voice on The Today Show, the room was silent.

The door bell rings and the hotel waiter has my breakfast.

“Gooooooood morning! Where would you like your breakfast Ma’am?” 

I stood by the door and stared at him for a few seconds. I fantasized dancing around the room (like Sister Maria in the Sound of Music) and bursting into song, “Aaaaaaaanywhere! Surpriiiiise me!” 

And again the waiter asked, “Ma’am? Your breakfast? Where would you like it?” 

I quickly blinked my eyes back to reality, Oh sorry, um, on the bed please, thank you.”

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“Aaaaaaaanywhere! Surpriiiiiise me!”


A full cooked breakfast in bed. Sausages, mushrooms, eggs, grilled tomato, bacon and 3 thick cut slices of white bread with a slab of cold pure butter on a little dish. They even put an assortment of little jars of jams!! I didn’t have to cook it and yet it’s sitting on my bed. Just for me. I start digging in. It’s just me, Karl and Lisa from The Today Show.

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“I didn’t have to cook it and yet it’s sitting on my bed.”

That was the single most relaxing night/morning I’ve ever had. That was a year ago. Would I ask for the same experience again for my next birthday? Probably not. Not while this experience is still so fresh in my mind. Maybe again when I’ve forgotten what it’s like? Whenever I tell this story to my friends, I’d always say I’ll never forget how beautiful the sound of silence, sounded. 

I highly recommend this to all mums out there who feel burnt out, tired and exhausted from the demands of everyday life. Yeah yeah yeah, you still love your husband and your kids. But you just want some time on your own to recharge. And sleep on a King size bed, with clean and fresh, ironed sheets. That’s what I had and I’ll never forget it. Or when I do eventually forget, then maybe it’s time to do it again. (I might even allow Adam to join me this time, wink wink.)

 

 

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