It's been a long time since I've written a blog post. A long time since I've wanted to and I think the only way to describe the way I've been feeling about it is indifferent. I started my blog a few years ago as a little online diary and it did progress into something that wasn't it's intended purpose. I felt a little pressured to sugar coat what I was writing and 'polish' it for want of a better word.

It's no secret that I struggle with my mental health. Whilst I've always been pretty transparent with how I'm feeling and what's going on in my head, I've always felt a little restrained in what I can and can't say for fear of 'putting off' blog readers. After a long time away from blogging I've decided to take it back to basics and just write for me. I find writing my thoughts down so therapeutic and I want to do this for me now.

Gone are the polished posts and header pages, gone are the badges and links. I'm going to be writing about anything and everything I feel like and I'm doing it for me.

Lately I feel like my mental health can only be described as presenting itself in ebbs and flows. I reach peak happiness and feel elated, motivated and inspired. I feel confident and proud of myself, for my achievements and feel so sure of myself. The trouble is I can go to bed feeling great, and wake up feeling totally detached and in limbo, it's crazy and often something I find myself baffled with. It's like I hit the ground with an almighty thump and nothing has caused it. Then begins the vicious cycle of me blaming myself for feeling this way, then convincing myself I'm doing rubbish and failing. Mental health really is quite crap some days.

Anyway lately my coping method has been to really focus on the positive as much as I can, and to embrace the little achievements that I make. It's obviously not a cure to days when I feel low, but it certainly helps to prolong a period of good mental health.

Lately I've been kicking my anxiety's ass. I've been faced with a lot of situations in which I have had to question whether it's something I've wanted to avoid, or if its something that I'm letting anxious thoughts make excuses for. More recently I feel like I 'm making marked improvements and it's feeling good.

I think I'll finish this post with a couple of things I feel proud of lately, in no particular order.

On the run up to Christmas me, hubby and the kids were walking into Tesco when we realised that Santa was visiting. We hadn't seen Santa before as Indie isn't too keen on strangers so it had never been a priority but on this particular day she was ecstatic that she has spotted Santa through a gap in his grotto doorway. She asked if we could go and meet him and we agreed to go once we had finished the shopping. I'll be honest in saying for a split second I hoped that she'd forget on the way round and we would leave and nothing more would be said. But as we walked past the grotto about five seconds after I had said 'Ok darling maybe once we've finished our shopping', I turned the trolley around and told Indie we would go in now. So we queued up and I took both kids in on my own to meet Santa. That might not seem like a bit deal but honestly my social anxiety is deep rooted. I used to drive my dad mental when I was younger and wouldn't go ANYWHERE on my own, and would avoid social interaction with strangers or new places as much as possible. But on this day, I made my little girls day. I did it for her. Huge goal for me, and photo to prove that we did it! Also, I think I was happier than the kids.

Another thing again that I feel super proud of lately is another social anxiety issue that I've 'overcome' for Indie. A few weeks ago one of her friends from preschools' mum asked if we had had an invite to her daughters birthday party. We hadn't and it turns out the preschool misplaced them and a couple days went by where I didn't bother to ask the mum for the date or time of the birthday party. Similar to the Santa's grotto, I initially hoped Indie would forget and pushed it to the back of my mind. A few days later whilst dropping Indie to preschool I decided that Indie deserved to have this experience (her first birthday party that wasn't for her, or a family member). I walked up to the girls mum and asked for the date and time of the birthday and told her Indie would be there. A couple days later we went. I turned up at an address that I didn't know, to take Indie to her first friends birthday party where I had no clue what to expect, and didn't actually know anyone there aside from saying a quick hello at preschool drop off. I can't tell you how proud I was of myself. I want nothing more in life than for my kids to be happy and experience all of these things. I will continue to push myself and continue to kick my anxieties ass for my children.

Today feels like a good day.

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