Tuesday 16 February 2016

A Year On from "Drugs Saved My Marriage"

A Year On from “Drugs Saved My Marriage”.
It’s been a year since I wrote and published one of my most definitive blog posts to date. It was an emotional rollercoaster to write and after reading and re-reading and editing and making Emlyn read and re-read it, I pressed publish. I had some amazing feedback. It really seemed to resonate with people, especially mothers and I had some amazing comments from all corners: friends, family, strangers, even people I hadn’t heard from in years.

I can’t believe how much difference a year makes. I could never have predicted that 2015 would have been so full of so many brilliant times with my little Helicopter family and so many great opportunites. In fact, 2015 was a fantastic year for me both emotionally and physically. And I put a large part of it down to that post. I think it marked the start of a really exciting chapter in my life.  

I’ll pick up where I left the post in Feb 2015 to explain why I think it had such positive repercussions for me.

As I detailed at the end of the post, the drugs worked. I am still on the 30mg dosage and I am happy to be there. I am lucky because I have never felt like a “zombie” or that my emotions are dampened when I take anti depressants. I know there are lots of people who do feel this way when taking them and I guess that must be a result of different DNA?! I still have huge bursts of happiness, as well as some pretty angry times and even the occasional anxiety riddled day. But this feels normal to me and on the whole I feel fine.

Once I’d published that post, and received such amazing feedback from people (I even had it RTd by Bryony Gordon who told me I was BRILLIANT!) I started to feel more confident about my writing. I plucked up the courage to join Selfish Mother, an online blogazine which features the work some journalists who I admire. I published the post on there and felt even braver when it was received positively. My post is now going be published in PRINT in a book *scream* that Molly Gunn (creator of SM) is producing to help charity Mothers2Mothers.

My new found confidence helped me decide to attend a local blogging event, Blog-On Cymru.  I learnt loads and formed some great new friendships. I got even braver and booked a place at the biggest blogging event of the year, Britmums, before finding out that I was not only nominated but was a finalist in the Family blogger category. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I didn’t win, I didn’t deserve to. At that point I feel like I’d only written a handful of decent posts and my blog was really still in its infancy. But it was yet another boost. I’ve finally found a creative outlet that I makes me feel good about myself. That’s gotta help a girls emotional state, right?!

Since then I’ve decided to concentrate all my spare time on honing my writing. I am giving my writing a Feminist edge because gender identity was something that interested me since Uni. I’ve appeared on local radio giving my (Feminist) opinion about a recent news story and I’ve been accepted to write for an upcoming Feminist blogazine. My goal this year is to write for a printed publication, watch this space!

I’ve realised that I can use the social media skills to help other people who don’t have time/knowledge/inclination to spend all day flogging their business online. This is an area I am exploring further but I am super excited about!

Finally, At Britmums I bumped into a girl I’d met at the local blog event in March. She’d lost weight and looked awesome. I was inspired. She told me about the Slimpod which is a cognitive hypnotherapy download you listen to every night. You have to set goals and interact on the closed Facebook group and start to learn about eating in a different way.

A year on from having a gastric band, I’d not even lost half the weight I wanted to and was in a massive funk about it. Within weeks of listening to the pod every night, I was well on my way to changing how I ate forever. I decided that to help me boost my weight loss I would go back to my counsellor and talk through the reasons behind my food and drink decisions. It was pretty hardcore to begin with. I had to work through a lot of stuff I haven’t thought about for years, there were a tonne of tears and some big truths to face but ultimately it was so worth it. I finally managed to put to bed some ways of thinking that had been completely unhelpful and holding me back. By the end of the summer I had got to a total 4 stone loss. I blog about my weight loss here because I know it’s not that interesting for everyone!

At the same time that all of these things were happening, my home life has been fantastic. Gus and I are no longer at loggerheads over EVERY.LITTLE.THING. He’s still massively defiant and we had a few battles with night tantrums (night terrors manifesting as screaming fits of anger) but we got through it. We just communicate in such a better way now. My anger obviously was having a profound effect on how he responded to me so being able to stay calm(er) in the face of tantrums is infinitely better.

Joni’s turned 2 in October and we all know what a barrel of laughs it is teaching toddlers about “sharing” and “doing what they are told”! But instead of being a mad-faced tyrant at the end of my tether, I mostly just meet her “demands” with firmness and secret laughter at her out and out cheekiness.

My relationship with my husband is also great. He doesn’t have to live with a banshee! The atmosphere in the Helicopter household is so much more harmonious. We have had some great days out together this year, and even a week in a little holiday cottage didn’t drive us all bananas despite the 7 days of constant rain.

The run up to Christmas this year too was so different to 2014. This year I DID feel SO lucky that I was going to be spending my Christmas day with LITTLE kiddies! I loved all the activities we planned and we spent the majority of our Christmas holidays hanging out just the 4 of us and having fun. What a difference. What a massive difference.

I am excited about what the future holds. I am not the same woman who took her angry ass off the doctors last January. I am so glad. And of course, I am still VERY grateful to those drugs. ;) 

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