Ok, so what am I doing with this blog?
I’ve started a few different blogs over the years – I like writing, and documenting things. I also am drawn to the prospect of reaching out to like minded people who stumble across my blog, or even helping or inspiring someone.
In the past I have chosen topics that I like, know alot about, or am good at, approached them with a perfectionistic overly optimistic attitude, then abandoned them after a few posts. I thought at the time that this happened because I was too busy successfully going about doing the thing I was supposed to be writing about, that I wasn’t bothered to maintain a blog about it.
In retrospect I think I stopped because writing about how good you are at/how well you know something in an over edited blog post is pretty boring. Especially when you’ve already convinced yourself of what you are writing, and noone else is reading anyway, right?
I think these blogs were honest in the sense that they reflected exactly how I approach most things in my life –
‘it’s got to be perfect’ and,
‘I’ll always be confident as long as I have high standards and maintain optimism and motivation’ but,
‘if it’s boring and doesn’t seem to serve a purpose, I won’t do it’.
But, I know that this kind of attitude is how I got myself into a mess a couple of months after my son was born. They also didn’t provide any room for upfront self-reflection, or accountability, which would have given them purpose. And I have now learnt that I desperately need accurate self-reflection and self-accountability in order to maintain a healthy mind, and it also happens to be something I am NOT good at, DON’T know much about, and DON’T really like to do.
So here I am, a new mother of a lovely 6 month old son and 10 weeks pregnant with my second. A few months ago I was admitted as an inpatient in a psychiatric unit for four weeks after being diagnosed with postnatal anxiety manifesting as panic attacks whenever I was on my own with baby.
In typical fashion, I am at a place where I have regained my confidence and haven’t been anxious for a couple of months, so naturally I had convinced myself that adding another newborn into the mix will be no problem. Because, of course, I’m doing this so well now.
The reality check occurred when I happily broke the news to my therapist, and explained how and why it was all going to be wonderful and problem free this time. He straight out asked me if I thought that maybe I was being overly optimistic (again) . Of course I was. How could I forget in a few months how detrimental that attitude was to my health!
After feeling dejected and sorry for myself for a few days, I started think about what kind of damage control I could begin in order to prepare myself for an exciting, wonderful, but very challenging period of my life. My therapist talked about how this time around can be problem free, I already have a support network set up, but it is so important that I am self aware and notice when signs that I am ‘relapsing’ show up. It’s quite obvious to me now that I am not great at this, so I am starting this blog in order to prompt honest self-reflection, be accountable to myself in doing it regularly, and document my conscious efforts to reduce anxiety triggers in my life.
First and foremost I’m doing this to be accountable to myself, in the hope that I won’t abandon it this time. If I reach anyone else, it’s a bonus. 😊