A couple of weeks ago I decided to re-join Instagram. Like many, myself and social media have a long and at times hostile relationship. I have had personal Instagram accounts, sharing photos of my kids with the girl I used to sit next to in year nine biology and browsing holiday photos of the person I once did an admin temp role for in 2007. I have also ventured into the worlds of various slimming accounts, sharing my salads and cheat days, relishing in the likes when hitting weight loss milestones and cheering those on from the side-lines who chose a gin over a freddo. This time it was quite different though as I set up an account with an intention to start my blog, something I have long put off. I used my real name, I chose a photo of my face and hit public.
I have used social media as a way to show the perfect snippets of my life. The veggies I grow in my garden, the nights out with long term friends, the Christmas Tree that I let the kids decorate and then redecorate, the long summer days in the park. These are in no way fake. They are true little windows into my life. I have a lovely life and a beautiful family. I have a job I enjoy and a great network. I also live with various mental health issues. Two years ago, I went to the GP and decided that I was too tired to fight. I had missed so many moments being too sad or anxious or numb. I wanted to enjoy more. I started opening up to family and to friends. They were not horrified, they were relieved. They were so happy that I had made this decision. I had been brave.
Since then I have been on a rollercoaster, trying various medication, completing an online CBT course, having counselling, taking vitamin supplements. I have opened up my whole mind to the cause. Rather than tirelessly cramming this demon into a Cath Kidston backpack and trying to carry it around whilst parenting two children immaculately I am learning about it and living with it. I want to set a great example to my children so that in time when they feel that sadness, that squeeze on their chest, that feeling like the simplest task is impossible they see me. They will see me happy, sad, angry, motivated and distant. They will see me emotional and they will see me during my highs and lows. I will always thrive to protect my children, but I am no longer scared to let them see that I am not perfect. In fact, since I took this approach with most people in my life, the best thing has happened. I am happier now than I have ever been. I feel content.
Anyway, Instagram was a brave step for me, followed by another brave step- I wrote publicly for the first time. I am sure @alifetwintastic and I stumbled across one another for a reason. Ellie, the face behind the blog and the account showed me just how brave you can be, speaking so openly about parenting, life and mental health with fun and reality in the mix. Ellie kindly let me loose on her blog where I wrote my first post, so I now hold her responsible for unleashing the gem.spot beast! I look forward to writing more now, hopefully as a therapy for me and also to reach out and support and connect with others. I am new to blogging and I am the kind of girl who turns it off and back on again- I have zero IT experience aside some dodgy Office skills so please bear with me whilst I get up to speed with this new venture!
Connecting with Ellie only led me to make more conversations on Instagram, women who I now go as far to call friends in such a short space of time. If you would like to talk to me or feature on here let me know. You have all pushed me on and given me a much-needed purpose. My inbox is always there and I would love to chat with more of you!