I’m figuring that the best time to write a blog is when you’re in it, or living it, my life with anxiety is very much up and down, some day’s it doesn’t touch me then other day’s like today it rears its very ugly head,

I have only one child home this morning, 4 on a family impromptu sleepover, Mr Weston is also home so why would I wake with anxiety ? That’s the cruelty of anxiety it has no ideal times, it hits you with a thump in your chest, and feels like a heavy weight around your neck,

I can’t lie in bed I have to get up, my heart races like I’m about to run a marathon, only there is no marathon, it surrounds itself with a darkness like someone has closed all the curtains, and there is no light, it’s so very difficult to get out of this very consuming grip,

for me my passion for all things pretty really helps, we are decorating Lily’s room and I’ve gravitated to colour coordinating all her accessories, and generally sucking in the brightness and freshness that surrounds a room makeover,

my other big help is social media, it was never my intention to become quite so addicted 🙈 But looking through beautiful images over on Instagram is inspiring as well as giving a touch of escapism when life feels all so consuming, my own passion for taking photos has become a big part of my life,

perhaps capturing the dreamy perfect image can appear false, never my intention, if anything in life I hope I am seen as honest and yes the smiles and the matching clothes appear cute, but I’m the first to admit raising 5 spirited children is tough, often overwhelming, and far from pretty at times,

but this very beautiful world I so love to capture is part of me, it’s what helps lift my dark moods, it makes me happy, I’m an avid liker/lover of posts to see others experiencing happy times makes me feel happy, sharing others joy is like a secret medicine, my other medicine is music,

our house is filled with it, on days like today when I feel distant and my inner calm isn’t quite balanced the power of music is uplifting, singing and dancing in the kitchen, twirling around and losing yourself in tunes has such a power,

why do you feel anxious, down when you have such a full life ? Well that’s a question no one with mental health issues can really answer, I mentioned in an earlier blog about my Mom’s struggles with depression and anxiety, which led to a nervous breakdown, even making tea for us all was too much to cope with, she wasn’t able “to pull herself together”, “cheer up” she couldn’t feel happy at a party, in fact she probably couldn’t get to a party,

we literally tried everything to make her better, we went through acupuncture, homeopathy, she tried many pills some that knocked her off her feet, and made her a shadow of her real self, the last resort was electric shock treatment, that was gruelling but if you have ever felt that low you really will try anything to get better, none of us including Mom knew what finally made her better, after all it is a chemical imbalance in the brain, you can’t see it sadly but very slowly she could see the beauty in life again,

I do know it was probably one of the hardest things as a family we have ever dealt with, and one of the reasons I am now quite scared to take a pill to help with my own anxiety, I recognise these drugs have improved over the years, and Mom’s pill that did contribute in making her better she will probably be on for life, but when you’ve seen it at its rawest its scary,

I’ve recently been on some new medication to help with my arthritis and never realised one of the side effects was increased anxiety and insomnia, I went to the doctors and explained my normally manageable anxiety had hit new levels, after some probing questions we realised the medication was making my symptoms worse, and although my muscle pain was better I would rather have the physical pain than struggle mentally like I was,

I’m on the waiting list for CBT therapy I really believe this will be a helpful tool in managing my anxiety, my physio recently explained how she had been on the course and one powerful question they had asked her to do over a week was to “write down the hours she had done something that she really had enjoyed”, a silly question you may think, but when I stopped and thought about the times I really had enjoyed In a week there were few, not silly things like falling into the sofa to exhausted to move sat in front of the t.v for hours, actually making a point of going for a walk, relaxing to music, some one to one time with a single child,

all these things help reduce anxiety, they are coping mechanisms when you can’t quite catch your breath, when your hands are sweaty and you feel glued to the spot, some of the calmest people I know are some of the most grounded, they have figured out how to get that life balance right, they are often the people who give you their time simply listening and being there for someone with mental health problems is a therapy in itself, the times I would just hold Mom and almost try to drag out her pain and physically feel her relax for that minute, never underestimate the power of human touch,

don’t suffer in silence, in shame, seek help where you can,

“Never give up on someone with a mental illness.

When, “I” is replaced by “we”, illness becomes wellness ~

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