Just over two years ago I discovered a group of like minded people online who changed my life in wonderful ways.
While I was struggling with anxiety after a recent miscarriage, and then feeling pretty low throughout my third pregnancy, I turned to the internet to try and find some local support groups. I’d already been through Postnatal Depression twice and started to improve slightly but the miscarriage knocked me back and I started to struggle again. I came across a twitter account ‘PND and Me‘ run by the lovey Rosey. She runs a weekly chat #pndhour each Wednesday at 8pm (U.K. Time)
I began by watching the chats but not joining in. This alone gave me great comfort knowing there were others out there experiencing similar feelings to me. I wasn’t ready to join the chats or talk publicly about what I’d been through so watching the chats was a good start. Eventually I joined and I wrote a blog post about that last year which you can read here.
Two years on and I’m still enjoying the weekly chats. Through it I’ve made some lovely friends, and met Laura, a local mum who after speaking online for some time, I met ‘in real life’ a year ago at the PND and Me 2nd birthdays event. We clicked straight away and since then we have become friends. We now work together on Lotus Petal Family Support, striving to provide peer support for families in Essex and help to improve local services by sharing our experiences.
Having this group of friends who have been through their own battles has been so beneficial to all of us. Bonded by an experience none of us wanted or would wish on others. We have an understanding of each other that no one else could, they’re the least judgemental people I know, and so supportive of each other in incredible ways.
Finding others who understand is a relief, it’s amazing what talking with someone who ‘gets it’ can do. Knowing you aren’t alone, hearing others stories which give you hope, it’s a powerful thing. Peer support is something I’m passionate about, because I have experienced the positive, powerful effect it can have. It’s what inspired me to start up Lotus Petal, there wasn’t
anything locally and it’s something I longed for when I was unwell. I desperately wanted some company, and to make some mummy friends but I found my anxiety stopped me from doing this. Having a safe place to go with others who understood the difficulties I was having would have meant a lot, and eventually I found this online.
Starting the group was one of the best things I’ve done. Seeing the ladies who attend our group form friendships and share their stories has been so inspiring to me. I’m so proud of how supportive they are of each other and how they deal with the struggles they face. They remind me of how amazing us parents really are.
As the year goes on and our plans of expanding not only the area we cover but things we can provide grows I hope we can continue to support families, and bring people together. Because no mum should have to go through this alone, and finding your tribe will help you see how important you are when you can’t see it yourself.