Emily still has her down days, but I feel these are finally beginning to reduce. She has managed to detach herself from the Unit and is slowly starting to build confidence in 'normal' life. Her school visits are still limited to 1 lesson a day on 3 separate days, so there is a long way to go and a lot of catching up to do, but it is progress.
I have been proud to see how she has begun to do things outside her comfort zone (our house). In the last couple of weeks she's been shopping with my Mum, visited the nearby shopping centre with a friend and showed prospective adopters around on her own at the cat sanctuary where we volunteer.
These may seem like small things, but not to us. These are real achievements. In meetings with school she has now stopped mumbling and looking at the carpet and instead makes eye contact and is able to put her point of view across.
This is not the end of the road, but the ground seems to be levelling a little. I now need to learn more about dyslexia and different ways of learning. There is a lot of catching up to do if she is to stand a chance at GCSE's, but I know she is a bright girl and even if she has to do some exams at college later, she will get there in the end.
Recently she opened a teenager account with HSBC and we have agreed a clothing allowance. With an allowance and a debit card and is learning the value of things and how to budget. This is something else that is helping her to feel in control of her own life. I'd recommend it for every teen.
And me? Too many downs and not enough ups. Work has been terribly stressful. I've got to the point where I have been doing 12 hour days rather than the 7 hour days I should do. This has been a real problem and has been dragging me down. Whilst I only work 3 days a week, my other days are also frantic. When I'm not rushing around taking Emily to one of her lessons or appointments, I'm having to fit in meetings and general stuff like shopping and house work. My cats are a great love of mine, but they too create work for me. It very often feels that I am on an never ending treadmill. I'm sure everyone can relate to this. . Adding in my issues around my weight and at times I've wanted to give up.
It's easy to get caught up in your own problems, but just recently someone gave me a wake up call. Through Twitter I received a direct message. A woman of a similar age to me, who I have only ever exchanged 'tweets' with and do not know in the 'real' world, reached out. I do not want to go into her story here, it's not mine to tell, but I think she really needed someone to hear her.
I used my own experiences to help me try and understand. We have continued to message each other and through her, I realised that sometimes, when someone really needs you, a strength will take over. We can all try to make a difference to others. Those of us who understand what it is like to live part of our lives in darkness, in fear, in hopelessness, can help those who are there right now. Readers of my blog have done this for me, not only just by reading what I write, but by commenting too. Some of the supportive comments I have received have really helped and I cherish them.
Its made me want to turn my Twitter posts into something more. I want to try and make people think, to realise that they too can make a difference to others. We all stumble at times, when you are strong, help those who aren't.
Maybe 'Time to talk' should be 'Time to listen'
- Mum of 2, suffering my own mental health issues, I began to write this blog as a way to release feelings and emotions. At 13 my daughter was terribly bullied which has led to her having serious mental health problems of her own. She is now 16. I wanted to document our journey and hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come.