Pre maternal mental illness I was a naturally positive person; I always looked on the bright side, set goals, focused on them and got things done.
This part of me had, I thought, completely disappeared when I became unwell. I suddenly couldn’t find the positive in anything,
life was dark & scary instead of bright and exciting. Very slowly, with the help of an amazing therapy team, Family and friends I started to see that the positive side of me was still there, buried deep by my mental illness.
One thing I struggled with was my identity now I was a mum. I’d always imagined my life up to having children, I was now so lucky to have achieved my dream of becoming a mum, but now I had no idea what I would do.
I’d always wanted to be a stay at home Mum, so when the opportunity came up I grabbed it with both hands. I couldn’t bare the idea of leaving my daughter at nursery as my anxiety was through the roof, plus putting her in nursery would leave us out of pocket.
My husband was supportive of this, he wanted me to stay at home with her, probably because he could see how the anxiety was affecting me, so we decided we would cut back and found we could just about afford for me not to work. Don’t get me wrong, I know I have been incredibly lucky, but with hindsight stopping work all together didn’t help my anxiety, getting out and into a routine, I think, would have personally helped me.
Now nearly 7 years and two more children later, I’m ready to work again. I’m a sociable person, I love talking with others, and being isolated at home with a baby was tough for me. My children are now at school, my youngest is at nursery and I get a couple of hours a day alone. While I relish these moments of peace (usually spent doing housework & errands!) I have realised that I need to do something with my time. I’ve spent a long time wondering what I should do, and what I’d be good at. One thing those around me are always sayings I’m good at is helping others, listening and giving advice. And that’s exactly what I wanted to use this opportunity for, to do something I would enjoy, that means I can connect with people and help others.
I already volunteer by running our Lotus Petal Peer Support groups in Essex, and I love helping the ladies who attend our group. Having experienced some really difficult times in my life, and being able to turn those around I’m keen to help others do that. I want to help people break away from negative thought patterns, something I found I had developed when I was unwell. I want to help others achieve their own goals, and to live a positive, happy life.
I’ve started a new exciting chapter to my life, I’ve enrolled to become a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) course to become a Practitioner so that I can learn to professionally help others apply the techniques I’ve learn and practice daily. I hope to go on and train in many other areas so that I can offer a service to others, to help them build up their confidence, and achieve the things they would like in their lives.
I look forward to sharing this part of my journey with you all, and if you’d like to keep up to date on a daily basis please follow me at https://www.instagram.com/sarah_lotus_petal/