Grateful for life – birth journey

Trigger warning: traumatic birth story

I realised today how lucky I am to be alive in the time of modern medicine. I mean I’ve always known how lucky we are but it’s not until I experienced what could have been a very threatening situation that I realised just how fragile life can be.

Without modern medicine I realise I would have been one of those mums that you see die in child birth in programmes set years ago. I would have been the mum that bled out and left her baby on this earth without a mum.

I have kind of just pushed past it gratefully in my conscious mind and life. But as time goes on, I realise it’s actually hit me harder than I thought and reality sinks in at just how serious things could have been.

One of my biggest fears for child birth was of course death and I’m sure it’s the same for everyone giving birth. My other huge fear came from an episode of call the midwife. After giving birth the mother’s placenta became stuck. In an effort to get it out the midwives pulled on the cord and ended up inverting her uterus and pulling it out before pushing it back in again. Well you can imagine my horror when mine got stuck and the midwives began pulling the cord. Eventually the cord snapped off inside of me and pulling was no longer an option.

They tried to manually get it out whilst giving me gas and air but the pain was unbearable and they weren’t able to get to it. They tried multiple times and each time I screamed for them to stop.

I feel so lucky that there was a whole team on hand to take me down to theatre to get it removed. From the time of giving birth at 3:45am until theatre at around 5am I was still bleeding and my husband was starting to panic. I remember blood pouring off of the table in theatre and the team telling me not to worry. In that moment I had to put complete faith in the team of doctors and nurses, essentially fighting to stop the blood loss. I had already been talked through the process of a blood transfusion and the complications that can come with it.

As someone with OCD I was pretty certain I would need the transfusion, it would all go wrong, and I would die.

So many hours of just using gas and air for pain relief, because of my fear of an epidural, and yet I was going to now need a spinal block anyway. It felt soul destroying.

The hardest part for me was not the thought of death, but the thought of leaving my husband and new born baby alone. In those moments, all I could think of was how I had done this to him and how scared he must be.

My husbands face, whilst holding our newborn, will haunt me for the rest of my life. I don’t think I have ever seen him so scared and I hope to never again. I wanted to reach out and touch him, hold his hand, but he was too far away and the medical team around me were moving quickly. We didn’t kiss goodbye, we both knew we were too scared to. Too scared that it would be the last time, too scared we weren’t strong enough, too scared we would both start crying.

My husband told me later that he couldn’t kiss me goodbye because that would mean I wasn’t coming back. In that moment we looked at each other as I was taken away, that tiny moment of time we shared in eye contact said all we ever needed to say. It’s like we said 1000 words to each other in a millisecond. We knew what we would tell each other at the end,  we knew every word we would say if we only had the time.

I pray I never have to see that look on my husband’s face again as he held our baby in his arms, feeling so alone. All I could say to the midwifes and nurses was can someone please look after my husband he’s scared, can someone please help my husband, can someone stay with my husband. They promised they would look after him, and to their credit they did.

It’s moments like this you truly realise how your true heart feels, when you’re so close to loosing everything. My heart told me I had to stay on this earth for him, that I couldn’t bear the thought of him being alone. And not just alone but alone with a new baby, that to me is too tragic and it happens still too often.

The doctors told me this could happen to me again and that it would be a risk for our next pregnancy. It’s something that really plays on my mind now. I know I want to have more children but now I have to weigh that up with the chances of ending up back in theatre and not being as lucky next time.

I know that with the intervention of the team in theatre and with modern medicine that it’s unlikely I would have died but its still teriffying to know that I could have and would have without our modern day science.

As time goes on I think I’m still coming to terms with it. Reality is hitting me hard in the face that without going to theatre to have my placenta removed and blood loss stopped our story could have been a very different one.

I never want to fear kissing my husband goodbye again, I never want to see that very real fear in his eyes again, I never want to leave him in such a vulnerable position with our baby in his arms.

To make it all worse we’re in a pandemic so we couldn’t even have other family there to support. He just had to sit there alone for over an hour, holding our baby, wondering what his future was going to be like and if it was going to be very different from the one we imagined. I’m so grateful to the midwives that checked in on him throughout that time and who supported him.

I’m grateful to the medical team who helped dress me for theatre, washed blood from me when I was unable to move from the waist down, who held my hand, made jokes to help me smile, wrapped me in blankets to keep me warm, moved my legs for me when I couldn’t, lifted me from bed to bed, made sure I could feel no pain and treated me as though I was family.

Yes I was scared, so scared that I was going to die, but I was teriffied that I would be leaving my husband for good and that I would never hold my baby again.

I’m so grateful, grateful for human curiosity and modern medicine, grateful for health workers who really are miracle makers, grateful for every extra second since that day that I get to spend with my new little family when it could have been so very different, grateful for my husbands strength and endless love, grateful for my own strength that I really didn’t know I had.

In those moments I was absolutely teriffied I was also at my strongest. I stayed calm because I really had no choice. I asked all the right questions before signing to give consent to be taken to theatre. I processed everything that was going on around me, through the fear and pain and focused on staying earth side.

Recovery has been hard physically. During pregnancy I was diagnosed with SPD meaning my pelvis moves unevenly and twists, which is both extremely painful and restricts my movement. Having to deal with that on top of internal stitches and my insides contracting and healing has been painful and exhausting. I have had to go back to hospital because my catheter used in theatre has caused some trauma, which means even more blood loss. I have been dizzy, ‘spaced out’ and extremely tired. Add a newborn baby to the mix and sleep definitely becomes a commodity.

Mentally I have had the dreaded baby blues and spend a lot of time crying for what feels like no reason. A lot of time also crying because I miss my husband and being able to hold on to him for more than 5 minutes without having to change a nappy or feed a baby. Of course I love the nappy chages and feeding but it doesn’t take away the fact I miss just having a cuddle with my husband.

I think the birth experience has made missing him more intense because I feel like I almost left him and so I just want to hold onto him forever and never let go. The thought of him returning to work absolutely breaks my heart. I don’t ever want to be separated from him again, not taken away on a hospital bed, not for work, not taken away for even a second.

This post has gone on for a long while but it honestly helps me to conceptualise how I’m feeling and why I may be struggling so much at the moment. I think I understand more now why the baby blues have been hard for me, because I almost left my baby and husband and because I never want to leave them again.

I dont know how I’m going to make it through when he does go back to work but I also know that, just like going to theatre, I dont have a choice and that I will find the strength to get through it, even if I’m fighting through tears.

Matthew I love you and I will do all I can to never have to leave you and Harper so scared and alone again. If one day I should have to go away you know every word I would ever say to you. Just how absolutely madly in love with you I am, how you make me so so proud every day and how you’re the kindest most incredible human. Thank you for being my all and for being Harper’s daddy, we love you past the stars forever.

I purposefully removed the ’till death do us part’ from our wedding vows and changed it to ‘infinity and beyond’ because I plan to be with you and hold you in my heart forever.

To infinity and beyond my love.


I am Hannah

I would like to start by thanking Hannah Price – Faulkner for letting me use her words and for being an inspiration to all of us with OCD.

Note: This post contains information on intrusive thoughts that many people with OCD experience, some may find it triggering.

For a while now I have been wanting to write something to really explain what it feels like to have OCD. To explain it is NOT a cute quirk or about being neat and tidy. It’s not about being annoyed by an odd floor tile. Too many people, including those that say they are advocates for mental health, belittle OCD. Writing things like ‘I have Obsessive Christmas Disorder’ or ‘I’m so OCD’.

Language like this is so incredibly damaging. It affects the care we receive (I have had 3 different health care professionals belittle me or laugh because they don’t know what it is.) It means that when we finally find the courage to say ‘I have OCD’ someone else responds ‘oh me too!’ (When they dont) or ‘can you come clean my house’ (a nurse said this to me once).

Here comes Hannah Price – Faulkner. A courageous incredible human that has recently discovered that what she has been experiencing is OCD and that she should be proud to speak up about it. I met Hannah in an OCD support group where she wrote the most beautiful post to explain what she has been experiencing and that this is OCD and she is Hannah.

Her words speak for themselves so I will shut up now and let you read them, but as you read them imagine what it is like to have to deal with this every day and why it is not OK to belittle OCD so that people like Hannah can get the support they deserve.

Hannah you are amazing.

I am Hannah

“Having a real “slap in the face” time in the last 48 hours and I feel it’s ok to share them.

I have balled my eyes out, watching a program called “Pure” I never realised my traits were OCD , I thought I was sick in the head and I have never told anyone in fear of being labelled by those who don’t understand. But now I’m thinking – so what? Judge me, label me a freak/physco label anything you want if it makes you feel better about yourself. I am not a danger. It’s my OCD, it’s NOT ME. I’m Hannah.

I have always thought OCD was cleaning. I see many people posting “oh I’ve gone OCD on my house today” or posted a photos of something in a straight line “oh that’s pure OCD” we do it innocently.

OCD is intrusive thoughts, thoughts I have never told my parents/friends/family. I need to come out and I will allow judgement because I have suffered for too long.

My head is a loop, a record going round and round. A man walking down a street and my intrusive thoughts, have now imagined me pushing him in the road to get hit by a car. That’s OCD, that’s not me. I’m Hannah.

Sometimes I’m talking to another adult, and I’ve imagined sexual things in my head and it loops no matter how many times I try to shake it off because it’s dirty and wrong. I love my husband and he loves me. I don’t actually want to do those things. Ever. They’re just thoughts. That’s OCD. Not me. I’m Hannah.

My children play on a swing and I watch them break their neck. My babies are dead. That’s OCD, not me. I’m Hannah.

I have fought with this trait the most, thinking in my head I must be a murderer, a rapist, mentally fucked in the head. But because I know they’re wrong. They’re so so wrong. It’s OCD NOT ME. I have hid this in fear of being locked away in a prison or my children taken away. That I can’t hold a job because of these thoughts.

This ONE trait and it hurts. My heart is heavy most days, but the last 48 hours, there are other like me. I joined a group. They are teachers, nurses, shop keepers, Drs, Therapists. Intrusive thoughts aren’t spoken about in fear of judgment. This illness does not define us a person. At all. That’s the illness not us.

I am Hannah, the person who constantly decorates. Who cleans and decorated other homes. Walks to a friend who is upset at 2am in the morning because they need someone. I’m a hug and an ear always ready to listen. I’m a good baker, an opera singer, a mum, a wife, a terrible runner and absolutely awful at diets.

This has taken 11 years to tell this publicly, 11 long years from a traumatic event from age 16. I have suffered in silence But I am a survivor.

I am Hannah.

Hannah Price – Faulkner

You can follow Hannah’s journey on her instagram @hallie_marieee where she also posts about her interior design.

Black Lives Matter: Resources for Allies in the UK

It should have become abundantly clear by now that being ‘non-racist’ is not enough. It has never been enough. What we need to do right now, and forever moving forward, is to be actively anti-racist.

The emotional labour placed upon Black people to educate white people is overwhelming. We have relied for far too long on our Black friends to educate us about racial issues. Whiteness is not the ‘norm’ and yet that is how white people treat it. For years we have shared stories and history and created the label ‘Black history’. Because by default, whether you mean it or not, the term ‘history’ alone generally refers to the history of white people. (It was written from the perspective of white colonisers.) The same is true for so many other things that we racialise.

Before you jump in and start saying that ‘all lives matter’ and that you are not racist (in the same sentence) research, watch, read. Statements like this just show that you have not yet come to terms with white privilege and that somehow you feel threatened because you are not the centre of attention. If you feel uneasy about terms like Black Lives Matter then I encourage to really think about why an anti racist statement sits so uncomfortably with you.

Below are some resources pulled together by a friend of mine, with some that I have added in. I ask that you read and be open minded to views other than your own, to listen and to learn.

Documentaries / TV shows / films

13th (Netflix)

When they see us (Netflix)

American Son (Netflix)

Fruitvale Station (Netflix)

Just Mercy (Amazon Prime)

The house I live in (Amazon Prime)


Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

White fragility: why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism by Robin Diangelo

We need to talk about race: understanding the black experience in white majority churches by Ben Lindsay

Think like a white man: conquering the world…….while black by Dr Boulé Whytelaw III and Nels Abbey

Black and British: a forgotten history by David Olusoga

The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla

The New Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness

YouTube – Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire  (also available as a podcast “Unfiltered with James O’Brien” look for the Akala episode) – Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story by Robin DiAngelo | Big Think – Deconstructing white privilege by Robin DiAngelo – Feelings on racism in Britain – Is Britain Racist?


1619 by the New York Times –

Code Switch –

The Echo Chamber –

Black Gals Livin –

Say Your Mind –

About Race by Reni Eddo – Lodge –

Reports and publications – the Runnymede trust is an independent race equality think tank who have several publications on racial inequality in the UK. – an Independent review by Baroness McGregor-Smith considering the issues affecting black and minority ethnic (BME) groups in the workplace. – an independent review commissioned by David Lammy MP into the treatment of, and outcomes for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the criminal justice system.



White privilege: a primer

10 Habits of Someone Who Doesn’t Know They’re Anti-Black

Race for Justice

UK Charities


Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust

Stand Against racism and inequality (SARI)

UK Black Pride –

Race Equality First

Black Minds Matter

Stand up to Racism

Take Action

Educate yourself – If you have access to the internet then you have access to an abundance of resources, ignorance is no excuse.

Write to your MP – Express your concern and ask them to take positive actions.

Write to your Police and Crime Commissioner – asking them what is being done about black deaths in custody, prison and how Black communities are being engaged with.

Speak up – Raise awareness and amplify the voices of Black people.

Listen – Listen to Black communities. Signpost The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network if you feel it may be useful.

Be aware – Do not encourage more Black emotional labour. They have been campaigning for years and they are tired. Do your own work.

Donate – Donate to the charities listed or research other charities that need support.

Be responsible for your actions – in-action is action.

If you have more resources to add please contact me.

Is it professional to talk about mental health in work?

I’ve just been reflecting back on the rollercoaster that is mental health. Just thinking about my own experiences and who it has made me today.

Something that I used to worry about was whether talking about my mental health at work is professional. It sounds quite ridiculous because talking about our health should be a priority. Yet when it comes to mental health in the work place I’ve sometimes had this dilemma on when and how to talk about it. This has mostly come from previous bad experiences. It’s like we accept the mental health of children but we forget that adults have mental health too.

If you read my ‘about’ page you can see that I’ve had ups and downs with mental health at least since I was 4. I’d say that it has impacted me massively throughout my whole life and particularly as a teenager. But as an adult it becomes a different kind of creature.

I don’t know if anyone else with mental health difficulties feels the same. As a teenager my mind was completely off the rails half the time but I could also hide behind that fact that I was a teenager and ‘thats just what teenagers do’.

We mostly associate irrational behaviour and things such as self harm with being young. People are constantly writing about social media and the effects this is having on the mental health of children.

My favourite lunchtime view 💚

As an adult it still remains a relatively un explored and spoken about area. We have come on heaps and bounds from where we were 10 years ago but we still have heaps and bounds to go.

So many organisations just don’t recognise the impact of mental health and how important just talking about it is. I have lost 2 jobs because of it. I left them but I say ‘lost’ because I would not have left them if mental health had been handled in the right way. If I hadn’t been made to feel like an anomaly or a burden. If I hadn’t been told that work is not the place to discuss mental health. In those experiences I was made so ill that I didn’t just loose my job, I lost parts of me too.

The past 2 years and roles I’ve had have been amazing for me. Being able to join up both mental health and professionalism. To know that having poor mental health is not ‘unprofessional’ and that it’s not unprofessional to talk about it in work; despite what managers have told me previously.

I’ve now learnt that being real and honest is actually what makes me more professional. Speaking openly and talking for others that aren’t ready to yet. The more honest I am and the more I teach others the more respect I seem to gain. Because being honest about how I’m feeling allows me to be the best version or myself.

I’m not completely there yet. I still have days where I have a day off for a ‘severe headache’ when I should just be honest and say it’s mental health. But that’s OK because these things take time. And time doesn’t always mean you’re moving forward, sometimes things happen that make us move ‘back’.

One of the biggest things mental health has taught me, and which we hear a lot now, is that it’s not a linear process. Being well is not about continuous improvement and never stepping back. It’s OK to have and accept the ‘off days’ that doesn’t mean you’re going backwards or that you have failed. It just means that today is an off day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

The best technique I have learned over the years is ‘be kind to yourself’. Allow yourself the off days and don’t beat yourself up over it. The kinder we are to ourselves the easier the process can become.

On this rollercoaster that is life, be kind to yourself today.


Hide and seek – a stalkers game

WARNING: This blog paints a picture of how it can feel to be a victim of stalking. It talks about the fear of being home alone and feelings of being watched. I have given specific detail on the images I imagine and how I feel. Do not read this if you believe it could make you fear being home alone, being watched or stalked, or might trigger a bad psychological response. This could also be harmful for people with OCD and reoccurring thoughts.

Sadly I don’t think even a German Shepherd could stop me from being scared. This cutie certainly can’t!

Home alone and it’s after sun set. I’m absolutely terrified to the point I can hear my own heart beat and I feel completely sick. I can’t even explain the level of fear I have when I’m home alone and my husband is working nights.

It’s not like a subtle anxiety, or a really scary experience, it’s completely and utterly paralysing fear. At every moment I am waiting for a man to appear from behind the curtain or under the bed. I don’t fear that I might be hurt. I fear that he has nothing other than a creepy agenda to just stand and watch. The watching man.

Not long ago I was stalked for almost 2 years by a complete stranger. Eventually the police interviened and put an end to it. I have to say that they were amazing and I will forever be grateful. I had a full team pose as civilians to catch him and stop him. From time to time I still receive a call to ask if things are OK and if I’ve had any further trouble with him.

I don’t know if this experience has made this whole ‘home alone’ situation what it is today. What I do know is that my jaw is aching because I have been grinding my teeth continually since my husband left the door.

I’m in a constant battle between wanting to look behind every door, under the beds, behind the curtains and in the cupboards. I’m stuck between checking and being too terrified to check because I’m almost certain someone is there just watching.

Without a shadow of a doubt I know I can hear breathing, it isn’t mine and it isn’t the dog’s. I can hear someone clicking with their mouth in the other room and winding me up, playing mind games. A bit like my stalker did in his variety of ways. The very fact that I wrote ‘my stalker’ makes it feel like I have some kind of ownership. He’s not ‘my stalker’ he’s a person that decided to stalk someone and unfortunately that someone was me.

I decide to check the window ledge in my room to make sure there’s no one hiding behind the curtain. I should explain that I don’t even think a 3 year old could fit and hide on that window ledge but I’m completely convinced that there is a man hiding there. As I check, I’m haunted by the image of a man standing in the middle of the garden just looking up at me expressionless. He’s not really there but in my mind he is, and to me that’s 100% reality.

I open the under stairs cupboard to get the dogs dental chew. I’m convinced that there’s a man curled in the corner hiding and just waiting for me to find him so that he can stare at me with an expressionless face. It’s like a constant game of hide and seek. Now I want to shut the cupboard door but I know he’ll be standing behind it as I close it. Just there watching, not actually doing anything.

I go to my bed, which is the most horrifying part. Checking the locks before bed and turning the downstairs lights out. I want to leave the hallway light on upstairs but I can’t. I can’t because then I might see the shadow of his footsteps under the door. As I sit here in my bed I can hear creaking. I know the creaking is him standing at the door just breathing. Just standing there doing nothing with his face against the door. The creaking is him in the wardrobe, under the bed, in the roof. He is everywhere and everything all at once.

I need to cry but I’m too scared to make a noise because then he’ll know I’m there and that I’m awake. He wants me to be awake because then he can frighten me by just being there.

It’s only 11:30pm. My husband left at 9pm. It’s been 2 and a half hours and I have 5 and a half left to go. Over 5 more hours of being slowly psychologically torchured by a man who’s name I’ll never know.

I hear a noise on the TV, an odd laugh, a bang, a click. I see a menacing face, an odd glare. Even the most innocent of programs can trigger a thought for me and send a wave of fear and heat through me. I can’t even distract myself to mute my fear.

What makes this most scary is that I don’t even know his agenda. He’s the ultimate psychological thriller, just pure creepyness. Because he has no agenda he has nothing to loose and that makes him even more powerful. He doesn’t fit in to social norms or believe that both the actual law or basic laws of human decency apply to him. He has nothing to loose and he fears nothing. He smiles in a jail cell because he gets pleasure from fear.

He’ll play the long game, wait in the dark for hours until I’m home alone before he comes out. I suspect he likes that he can remain so calm, and I suspect it’s for sexual gratification.

One of the most terrifying things about my real stalker is that for the longest time I didn’t know he was there. When I finally realised I remembered him being there all along. I can’t get over the fact that someone can watch and follow you for so long and yet remain hidden in the shadows for the same length of time. As soon as I noticed him the memories of him being there, all the times before hit me like a freight train. Layer upon layer began building in my mind within seconds. He had been there all along.

I remembered he was the guy that touched my leg on the train whilst pretending to be asleep months ago. I remembered all of the other times he had made physical contact with me. Then suddenly I think of all the times I don’t know about, all the things I didn’t remember and all the times I didn’t see him, but he was there.

In the weeks before police intervention, I began making records of his behaviours and when he appeared. I took pictures of him watching me. The one video I will never forget was when I secretly filmed him on a train journey whilst I pretended to be asleep. He never broke his stare once. He never stopped looking, staring expressionless, not once did he break his gaze. As a lady stood in his eye sight he lent to the side so that he could look around her to just watch.

I’ll never know his name, I’ll never know who he was, but most importantly and most haunting of all, I’ll never know why.

It’s the never knowing why he did it, that means I’ll always be watched. My images of the watching man are not of him. They’re the figure of someone else but they are born from him. The image I see are from that disgusting Luther episode of the man hiding under the bed. That’s my mind’s invention of how the watching man appears in my empty home.

When my husband is here it’s the safest place in the world. When I’m staying away from home with a friend or family member I feel safe. But whenever I am alone, in the dark, at home or away. If I’m alone the watching man will always be there.

He might not be physically real anymore but to me his affects on me are completely real. For as long as he is there I will continue to play hide and seek with him. I will continue to know that he is everywhere and everything all at once. I will continue to feel him there. Waiting, breathing, watching.

Statistics show that 700,000 women are stalked each year. Victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th incident – which is similar to my own experiences.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300

I found them very helpful as well as the Suzy Lamplugh Trust

If you have ever been stalked or you care for someone that has been, know that it can take time for the effects to surface and that sometimes they make no sense. If you need support then make sure you reach out.

Only 4 hours left till I’m not home alone anymore.


What lasts forever?

I never know whether to put a warning at the start of some of these posts when they explore certain topics that may upset people. If you’re not in the right place to read about lack of control, lost relationships or the unknown then maybe this one isn’t for you. Or maybe it will help you to see that you’re not alone in your thinking and that there are others who understand.

I’ve had so many people come and go from my life, the strongest of relationships fade, to the point that I kind of feel that any relationship I have might not exist in 2, 5, 10 years. That’s not because I don’t want them to, but if the universe has taught me anything it’s that very few things are forever.

It can be a scary place to be. It’s quite worrying to think that my entire support network could be completely different or gone over the years. It’s quite an empty feeling to have. Knowing that your only guaranteed constant in your life is yourself. When something bad or upsetting happens I always think ‘I’m so glad I have X to help me through’ or ‘all that matters is that I have Y by my side’. But the scariest thought comes when my brain tells me ‘what makes you think they’re yours to keep’.

Thank goodness for puppies 💕

I want to write something comforting about how as individuals we need to be OK with the unknown and trust in time. I want to write that the relationships that mean the most to us will always be there. But today OCD isn’t allowing me to. It’s telling me that no matter what I do, at some point it’s going to be just me on my own and that any relationship I ever make, no matter how deep it feels to me, really might not be that deep or meaningful to others. OCD makes me feel unstable with no solid platform or level of control.

I have incredible friendships with close friends that would give me the world and I could never explain to them what they mean to me. It’s just pretty shit that OCD has this way of convincing me that eventually I’ll be alone and left again by different people over the years. I remind myself of all the people who also come into my life in recent years and the new relationships that I create but that just leaves me wondering who will ever really know who I am? If all my relationship end up being transient and ever changing.

Fear of being alone isn’t just an OCD thing or necessarily a mental health thing. But OCD does make it more real for me. It doesn’t become an ‘if’ it becomes a ‘when’. And even if I know in my heart of hearts that my closest relationships are here to stay my brain does weird stuff that tells me to not be so ridiculous, of course I’ll eventually be alone. I feel pretty selfish saying that.

It takes me back to the day I brought my wedding dress. The second I put my card in the machine my brain said ‘what are you doing? Why are you doing all of this? You’ll be dead before then anyway. You’re not going to be alive in a year. Why are you bothering with any of this?’

It actually felt ridiculous to buy a dress I would never wear. The thought and feeling was so real to me that I almost told the sales person that I was being ridiculous because I was going to die soon. And in my mind that felt like a completely reasonable thing to say. I found it really hard to enter my pin in to that machine at the same time as being absolutely sure that I wouldn’t be here to wear my dress anyway. Not because I didn’t want to be here, but because I just genuinely believed I didn’t have a choice and that nothing lasts forever including me.

If you’re friends with someone that has OCD or poor mental health, know that they probably deeply care about you even if they are annoyingly always concerned that it’s all going to end soon.

If you’re friends with me then thank you. Thank you for dealing with my randomness, my sometimes anxious behaviour and my often fickleness. Sometimes there is method in the ‘madness’ or in this case, a reason.

If you’re in my life and you’re here to stay then thank you for being my rock, because as with any day living with poor mental health, I need you now more than ever and I appreciate you for everything you do for me. I’m so lucky to have an amazing husband and so many amazing friends that mean the world.

No matter how close or far from me you may be, I know you’re there and that to me is huge.

‘mad’ as always


Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. 💚

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. 💚

So many of us are affected or know people that are affected by suicide. Sometimes we hear people refer to suicide as ‘selfish’ or people complain about ‘inconvenience’ when it means their trains don’t run. Just remember that someone was ill enough to end their own life and that’s a pretty awful place to be in. It is not selfish and it is not an inconvenience. Nobody wants to be ill and nobody ever wants to feel that it’s their only way out.

Usually people share posts and ask others to do the same. ‘share or post this so that others know you’re there’. They encourage you to reach out and ask how others are doing. But we often forget to ask ourselves how we are too. So today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, reach out to others and encourage others to do the same. But don’t forget to reach out to yourself also because it’s not selfish to make sure that you’re OK too 💚

Try Something

It’s been about 8 months now since I started my new role and over 8 months since my last blog so I thought it was about time for an update.

In my last blog I spoke about how it’s OK to be scared of change and to take those adventures. I explained that sometimes adventures and scary changes pay off and that sometimes they don’t. If they don’t then you have to find a new adventure.

I’m pleased to say that this new venture has really paid off and I’m really enjoying my new role and the people. Of course I miss my old work family too but I’m so glad I made the decision to not let fear of the unknown hold me back.

There were times at the start where I felt a little lost because my anxiety would tell me that I wouldn’t fit in. However at every turn my anxiety was proved wrong. It’s funny how nothing ever turns out quite as bad as your anxiety tells you it will.

It seems the more you begin to have faith in yourself the more the world listens because your behaviours change along with the way that you treat yourself.

I always talk about development in work and how 70% of what we learn is on the job and through doing. Only 10% is actually through formal learning with 20% being social. So I challenge you today, or this week, to do something outside of your comfort zone. Something that will challenge you. It doesn’t have to be huge, it can be something small like taking a different route to work (which to some will be a huge challenge) or having lunch with someone new. Perhaps you could make that phone call that you keep putting off?

Take the opportunity to remember this moment and how you felt before doing it. If it goes wrong then that’s OK, you will still have learnt something from it, even if it’s just what not to do. If it goes right then you will also have learnt something.

Don’t leave the development of you or the betterment of yourself in someone else’s hands because only you can follow your true journey to see where you have come from and where you feel you want to go. And if you’re not sure where you want to go then try something because in doing nothing you are still making a choice about where you’re going.

Start today


Ecstatically Terrified

Some of you are reading this because you subscribe (thank you! And sorry!) Some because you’ve seen it on Facebook and hopefully some of you because the title means something to you.

Ecstatically terrified probably explains my emotions 50% of the time. As a human being I’m extremely adventurous and excited about my next journey. As a human being with anxiety I’m terrified of everything. And even if you don’t suffer with anxiety we all live with a little fear. So I’m in a constant state of unbalance, between ‘I want to fly to Nepal’ and ‘if I don’t make myself sick the plane will crash’ (OCD). ‘I want to visit Everest Base camp’ and ‘it will be my fault when my husband dies on the way up’. (Typing that makes me feel guilty like somehow it’s now more likely, I’ll be surprised if I don’t delete it.)

I felt the same hiking in California and Yosemite but when I made it to the top of Taft Point looking 8,000 feet down all my fears were gone. I could have died right there knowing I had truly lived. It taught me something I had said all along…

“The best views come after the hardest climb”

I mean in this sense it was literally. It really was the best view I’d seen in my life after the most exhausting climb. But it rings even more true in everyday life. Some of you will be going through the hardest battles you’ve ever faced and some of you will be facing your own challenges day to day, but you’ll make it through and I promise you it will be worth the climb.

Right now I only have 2 weeks left at my current job before starting a new opportunity. I’m absolutely terrified. Terrified because I love the people I currently work with. It’s the only work place that have accepted me for who I am, and a big part of why I’ve been quiet the last year because I haven’t felt the need to write so much. They have taught me that I am enough. They have loved me for my successes and my flaws. They have listened and they have taught me to listen, and for the rest of my life I will be grateful. I don’t know that they will ever understand the impact they have made on my life from now and forever.

That’s exactly why I have to leave. It would be so easy for me to stay, to be comfortable in my role but to never push the boundary and explore more. Being that routine makes me comfortable, I need to keep challenging myself to keep challenging my mental health and grow my comfort zone. I’m ecstatic because I get to take on a new role in a University which is so exciting to me because I love learning. The people seem incredible and I’m really excited to learn new things and meet new people.

So here I am. Stuck somewhere in-between ecstatic and terrified. I’ve thought about staying put, staying in my safe place with the people that have looked after me so well this past year and a half, taking the time to understand my OCD and anxieties. But if I do that I’m never giving the rest of the world an opportunity to prove that it too can be kind.

And I remind myself that if it all goes wrong, if I slip and I fall again, I’ll pull myself up and keep walking like I did before. I’ll climb up that mountain and I’ll remember Taft Point and feeling more content than I have in my entire life.

Whatever you may be facing now remember that when you get to where you need to be it really will be magical. You might not even know when you will succeed or what that even looks like. I didn’t know that my current role was going to be so good for me, I just made that jump with no expectations or preconceived thoughts. I would like to say that they fixed me but really they just allowed me the space I needed to fix myself. Sometimes all we need is a little patience from others.

I recently read online that in video games you know you’re going in the right direction when you meet the biggest enemies. Whatever your enemy may be and whatever battle you are facing know that it will be worth it and you will make it through. Don’t allow your excitement and ‘ecstatic’ to loose against your ‘terrified’ and when it does remember that it’s OK to slip and fall, no mountaineer ever made it to the top without some stumbles. It’s what you do after the stumble that matters. Get up and keep climbing.

The view really will be one of the best you’ve ever seen.

A Circle of Worthless

Find your Rainbow 🌈

So looking through my drafts it says I wrote this on the 2nd January 2017, almost 2 years ago.

It’s always good to look back sometimes to see how far we’ve come. I can honestly say I feel differently now in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, I still do have days where I feel this way, but certainly not on a daily basis like I did back then. I’ve also been helped by the most incredible woman who has taught me that feedback is a gift and that you don’t always have to accept it. Now I see feedback as an opportunity rather than fear it – more on that another time.

I thought it was worth a post anyway, to show that even when you feel like this you can still turn it around so that you don’t have to. Sometimes you just have to learn to find the rainbow in the rain.


Sometimes I feel totally worthless, like I bring no benefit whatsoever to this earth or to what I do. Sometimes receiving ‘constructive’ feedback, to me I just hear ‘you’re so stupid’ ‘how thick can you be’ ‘I may as well have done it myself’ ‘what’s the point in you being here’ ‘you’re like a child’ ‘do you have no initiative’ ‘do I really have to explain this to you again’.What’s the solution? I honestly don’t know. Can people perhaps sugar coat their feedback more? Possibly. But would that really make a huge difference? When all is said and done I will still be receiving feedback on something I need to improve upon.

I seem to lack the ability to defend myself sometimes, even if I’m right, not wanting to appear ‘defensive’. So I take the blame myself, perhaps I didn’t position that right, maybe I should have explained better, no honestly it’s completely my fault, I probably am just totally useless. Further reinforcing my belief that they think I’m useless.

I often wonder what happens once that door is closed behind me. Do those I work or interact with roll their eyes like ‘she’s just not getting it’ ‘spoon feeding her again’ ‘argh she’s so exhausting’ ‘she’s so lazy’.

Day by day I get this impression that I’m just not good enough and I never will be. I’ll always be the one riding on the coat tails of other’s successes. And anything I do create myself will just be pointless, completely off the mark and wrong.

So why am I here? Why do you want me here? I’m continuously a burden that you have to help and that is totally and completely annoying. To top it off I bring no benefit whatsoever because anything I ever do will never be good enough.

So in the end I stop trying. I stop trying to be great. I stop trying to be my best me. And I stop trying to have a purpose. Because when I do try it’s never quite right and it’s just another example of a time where I’m wrong. So I accept that I am useless, that I am stupid, that I’m totally unqualified and that I’m totally worthless. It’s easier to produce nothing than to produce something that is totally pointless.

And then I feel isolated. Wondering what the person next to me or in front of me is thinking about me. I can’t concentrate so I stare at a blank screen reading the same line 10 times until I realise people must think I’m mad or most likely lazy ‘she’s not doing anything’ ‘waste of oxygen’ ‘here I am working my ass off and she’s just sitting there again.’

It’s funny, I’ve only felt this way for the past year. I was always so confident in myself and my work. Always ready to take on the next adventure or fight the next battle. But something changed in me in my last 2 roles. My only regular feedback was the negative kind and anything positive just, didn’t need to be said. You can only face so much negativity before you start thinking ‘what’s the point’.

It’s a vicious circle. A circle that I’m not sure I will ever escape. I’m not good enough = anything I do will be pointless = don’t do anything through fear of doing it wrong = she’s lazy = what’s the point of her she’s just a burden = I’m not good enough. And so on.

The only way I will ever get out of this circle for good is to accept that what people think of me is not who I am. Sure I can try really hard and produce something really worthwhile but it’s only a matter of time before I will fall down again. So the only way to truly escape is to accept myself as I am and to not be driven by what others think of me and place my worth on the value of what others think.

Easier said than done.