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self discovery

when it’s time to ask for help

03.10.21

Almost exactly a year into pandemic living; one pregnancy, one birth and an uncountable number of lows and today I finally asked for help.

Tomorrow I start anti-depressants for the second time in my life.

It’s not a decision I take lightly (though one I’ve vaguely threatened over the past few months) and knowing they will become a part of my life for realistically the next year at least has made it a tough choice to make.

Since my first sink into depression in 2012 I’ve felt immensely proud of myself for asking for help when needed. Over the years this has looked like that first round of fluoxetine, CBT, online therapy, face to face therapy, coaching, GP appointments – and more recently, working with the perinatal mental health team since I was 6 weeks pregnant with R. As a coach and someone who is constantly curious about ways in which I can examine my self and being in detail, I have a plethora of tools I can turn to when things are hard. Meditation, moving my body, journalling, tapping, yoga, talking to friends (remember being able to do that in real life?) – these have all helped me in the past. And I know they can and will again. But you know what I finally realised? I’m too damn tired to find the strength to do all these things. I need something that can balance me out and give my brain some space.

Because this last year has been a lot, hasn’t it? Whatever your personal circumstances, whatever you have experienced in the past twelve months, it has shaped you into someone entirely different. Of course you can say that about any lengthy period of time but I think it’s fair to say a global pandemic playing out against a backdrop of huge hate, pain and questioning of how the fuck we, as humans, have got ourselves into such a bloody mess – well, it was never going to make us all feel great, was it?

Personally, a pandemic pregnancy and birth; bringing a newborn into a small cabin with an *enthusiastic* three year old; watching my husband grieve the business he was so proud of when it went under in lockdown one; giving up my work just as I was getting started (to focus on baby R) – these have all contributed to me making that call today to my mental health team. Feeling hopeless and useless and worthless as I truly saw I could contribute nothing financially to my family and desperately, desperately missing my sense of purpose that life coaching and my magazine brought me last year.

Feeling – less than.

Because I find it impossible to fully give up on at least dreaming about how my business will look whenever I once again have time to grow it, I am currently doing a course about feminine, intuitive business. Whilst listening in on the live call this evening (amidst feeding R and watching CBeebies with E – the juggle is real, as they say), I heard the question ‘ what do you do so naturally, you don’t even think of it as an attribute?’. And my intuition immediately yelled at me ‘I ask for help‘.

I know through watching friends over the years that this is something many people struggle with. Whether it be your upbringing or the wider social narrative about the role of women and our ability/necessity to look after others before ourselves, it’s not something we naturally do with ease. Yet it’s the biggest thing living with depression and anxiety have taught me. Over the past nine years there have been many peaks in how I feel, alongside the far less frequent troughs – and each time I’m in the gutter I claw my way out. I can recognise the signs in myself, the patterns I get into, the behaviours and words I exhibit. I notice these things, slow down a little more, am a little more gentle with myself. I tell my husband and close friends. And then my usual appetite for life reappears and I carry as if nothing has happened. But this time – no. As I said, I’m just too bloody tired of fighting it this time.

Taking ownership of how I feel is the first step in healing myself and being there as a better mama, wife and human. Asking for help is the strongest thing I can do for the people I love and I feel in my bones it is the right thing.

So, my hope in writing this (other than a reminder to myself that writing really *does* help me clear my mind) is that you too have a think about whether you’re trying to soldier on through all ~this~ (waves hands wildly about at the entire world) or whether, perhaps, now may be the time time you hear the little voice inside silently screaming ‘Help me. Please. Help me‘. Listen to her, honour her and then take the smallest step you can in seeking support.

There is little strength in ‘just keeping on’.

But there is enormous bravery in saying ‘enough‘.

slow living

on slow living & kindness

05.02.20
the kindness issue newsletter inspireandenjoy.com

Kindness is quiet. Still. It doesn’t jump around shouting ‘Look at me! See how kind I am!’. It is little, and at the same time – oh, so big. Kindness often goes unnoticed. Someone making you a cup of tea, mind open, ready to share in your problems. A child’s teddy bear placed hopefully on a bench, in anticipation of being reunited with their best friend. A seat given up on public transport because today, today you look weary (and someone has noticed). 

Kindness is seen in how we treat others, ourselves and, I believe, our planet. In theory, it’s easy to be kind, but in practice – well, it gets lost amongst the rush of daily life and taking one another for granted. Yet the energy needed to be unkind is far greater than taking a moment to think of how to treat yourself or another a little better. 

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spirituality

Trust your path

03.11.20

If you knew you would be supported, what would you do?

I pulled this card for the second time in two days this morning. Trust Your Path, it says. Twice in two days means, well, it must mean something.

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slow living

Slow living, anxiety and me

06.20.19

I’ve noticed that slow living attracts people like me: introvert, anxious and introspective. 

None of these things are bad things in any way. It makes complete sense. If you’re someone who gains energy from being still, who finds it tiring to be around others and uses the resulting space to do some deep soul-diving, then slow living is likely to find you eventually. That introspection will guide you to exploring why busy modern life doesn’t work for you, doesn’t allow you to truly experience who you are and so, whether by design or not, it’s possible you’ll end up stepping into your own slower pace of life.

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small business

A Spring Indie Edit

05.16.19
Spring indie edit shop small

It’s been a while since I’ve spent a day lost in a treasure trove of small creative businesses online. Sharing & supporting indie makers is what first got me blogging & I’ve missed discovering new makers & revisiting old. So, after my previous Winter Indie Edit, I thought it was about time for a Spring one. Hopefully you’ll discover some new incredible talents and if you do make a purchase, let me know! I’d love to know if I’ve introduced you to someone special.

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slow living

A slow living retreat in Suffolk

03.14.19
alde garden slow living retreat suffolk

(AD – I was gifted a night’s stay in exchange for this post*.)

Have you ever done something a little secretive, something just for you? Maybe you’ve taken yourself to the cinema in the middle of the day or gone out for dinner requesting a, “Table for one, please”. If you really treasure time alone and are thinking you’d like more than a few short hours, why not run away midweek for a night (or two)?

In September, I was kindly given the opportunity to spend a night at Alde Garden, a campsite billed as, ‘the perfect antidote to busy lives‘. A collection of yurts, caravans, bell tents, tent pitches and a cute little cottage, all in a wild secret garden. In other words, the perfect place to escape for a quiet retreat.

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self discovery

on finally finding purpose

02.23.19

The fast weeks of February have been big for me, having taken the life-changing leap into committing to a complete career change. In May, I’ll start my training as a life coach. This is something that’s been in the back of my mind for years but I’ve never really explored it, seeing it as a ‘someday’ dream.

A bit about my life right now: I suppose you could say I’m on ‘long-term maternity leave’. Leaving London whilst pregnant meant it wasn’t possible to return to my former EFL teaching job. I wanted to take the time to raise E & figure out making a living through writing. Yet – I’ve been struggling to write. Which is probably telling me something.

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slow living

a slow living intention for 2019: building calm

01.25.19
building calm 2019 intentions for a slower life

Have you set a word or intention for the year? Instead of resolutions, the idea is simply to choose a word or phrase which will gently guide your year in the way you wish it to go. It’s not making hard resolutions nor is it setting unattainable goals. In the past I’ve chosen a word – seeming like the ‘right’ thing to do when everyone else online is – but very quickly forgotten it. So this year I took the time to find something which really sits well with me & hopefully, will bring me back to how I want to feel in 2019 when external influences take over. I’ve settled on two words which happen to work well together: Build. Calm. Here’s why:

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self discovery

An independent life: 2018 review

12.21.18
a 2018 reflection: inspire and enjoy. tea, cake and Chasing Slow book.

Getting my brain into gear to write this, I took a look back at my 2016 review post. Revisiting that year brought up a funny mix of emotions – some jealousy at all the places I visited that year; pride at all the additional writing I was doing and generally at how life was moving along. But I also feel disappointment: this year and last have not seen that much output from me writing-wise. It seems as though I was really at the start of something good career-wise a few years ago: a blog I loved writing on regularly and magazines I contributed to with ease. Is it ok to compare myself to 2016 Verity and feel 2018 me lacking?

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small business

A Winter Indie Edit

12.05.18

 

Rather than a Christmas gift guide, I’ve pulled together a round up of some lovely independent picks which celebrate the colder months, whether you celebrate or not. Scented candles and soaps which smell like mulled wine in front of the fire; planners & calendars for those thinking ahead to 2019; books and magazines to encourage you to explore things a little deeper and gifts to nourish your soul.    Read More