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When You Are Feeling Depressed

Are You Ok?When you are feeling depressed it is imperative that you speak up and seek help.  In the media, there has been reports of a murder/suicide of a family who have two children with severe autism.  I am not going to go into this story because at the end of the day the children were murdered.  Just because they have Autism does not make the action any different than a father throwing a child off a bridge.

Nevertheless, what is being highlighted there are so many families feeling isolated due to location, not having support, affordability of actually seeking professional services, feeling confident in seeking support or not being heard by professional services.

I know how hard these thoughts can be and I understand that there feels like there are no other choices.  How do I know this?  I have been to hell and back and I have had treatment I would not want anyone else to go through.  I spent approximately 7 months in between a mother/baby unit and a psychiatric ward after Emma was born.  I used to self harm and I put a suicide plan into action.

When you are feeling depressed to the point where you can not see any other option it is extremely hard to fight.  It is extremely hard to explain but it is a lot worse than the flicker of the thought “I could end my life right now”.  I want you to know that the light will come back. It will not be easy but you are going to have to fight through it.  I have come out the other side stronger for facing my demons and you can too.

More support needs to be offered for families.  At no point is your autistic child and what they are going through to blame.  You need to reach out and say “I need help” and keep fighting until you get the right help.

My email is always open for mums and dads who are needing emotional support.  No matter where you live, the thoughts you are having are you alone.  I do not judge anyone for the thoughts you might be having because I have had them too.  But I want you to email me and let me know you are in trouble.  We can work together to get through this tough hurdle.  You are not alone and I am here for you 24/7.

If you are needing some emotional help email me at info@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au.  You are not alone no matter where in the world you are.

 

Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help!

Ask for helpNever be afraid to ask for help! It always amazes me how many people do not ask for help when we need it.  There is no need to go through this journey alone.  Asking for help does not make you an incompetent parent.  No one could ever tell you that they have all the answers because that is rubbish.  Parenthood is a continuous journey of learning.

However, there is sadly the flip side if you ask for help.  You may be told that your child is too hard……your child is an Angel and it is all in your head………….or that they do not have time.  When I hear this through discussions in social media and with clients it really guts me that people would say this when someone asks for help.

I know exactly how hard it can be to ask for help.  I have a degree in Early Childhood and postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies.  I have spent the majority of my working life looking after children.  I thought I was weak if I asked for help because it should have been easy for me.  Where did that get me?  Only with a diagnosis of severe depression.  I learnt the hard way how important it is to ask for help.  I was scared to ask for help because my mum had 4 kids under the age of five.  However, as the saying goes “it take a village to raise a family” but these days no one talks or helps those around each other.

By asking for help you will also improve your overall well being because you are also looking after yourself.  Find a support group that you can ask for help knowing that you are not being judged.  You are not alone!

 

 

 

Don’t Give Up On Your Partner

This post has taken me a while to write because it has brought up past emotions but also a sense of strength of how far our family has come. So please if this triggers any emotions for you,  remember how far you have also come or will go by showing yourself love.

After the birth of our first daughter Grace, I was diagnosed with major depression.  Parenthood was far from what I expected and I was not prepared for emotions from past events to surface the way they did.  I was sinking quickly into a black hole whilst struggling to be a mum to Grace.  However with the help of professionals I started to recover and find the real me.

Then Emma came along and I became unwell once again whilst I was still in hospital and I was sent to a mother/baby unit.  I spent 3 months in there trying to form a relationship with Emma and get through each day without self harming.  I kidded myself thinking I could go home and within a couple of months, my psychiatrist put me into a psychiatric ward in the hope that spending time with myself will help me to get on the road to recovery.  I have had treatment that I wouldn’t want anyone to go through but it all saved my life.  I spent 7 months in Emma’s first year of life in hospital trying desperately to get better.

I could never thank my husband Steve enough for what he did for me.  He was my rock the entire time.  He was devastated watching me go through what I did and it was tough looking after two children.  This was definitely far from what he expected parenthood to be like. Nevertheless it was the best thing for me as I came out a better person than ever and I could let go of the past demons.

Then our children were diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorder and we did not know where to go from there.  Every dream that we had were shattered from our hard journey into parenthood.  Steve has also gone through a bout of depression.  There have been times where we spoke little and I was expecting him to one day come home and say the marriage is over.  It may have helped that I knew how he was feeling but I knew I would never give up on him.  It has been tough but now we are a lot closer.

Within families with autism and sensory processing disorder we find that some partners really struggle and it does cause separation.  A lot of families do not receive enough support to move through the grief cycle and it ends in depression.   It is hard when everything is being completed by one member of the partnership.  Your partner may not seek help but they need a place to be listened to without judgement.

Are You OK?

Are You Ok?

ARE YOU OK?

Today I was walking back to my car from an appointment.  I noticed that a car had it’s windows down and a mum was sitting in the car bawling her eyes out and there was a child in the back.  I could have kept walking past but in my head I kept thinking that we need to check if people are ok.  It also reminded me plenty of times, I was like her sitting in my car crying my eyes out suffering with depression and postnatal depression.  I was also concerned about her getting home safely in that state.

So I took the courage to ask her if she was ok?  She responded that she had to make some major decisions and that she had extreme anxiety.  The PANDA training kicked in and I asked her how big were the decision.  I shared with her that I also suffered depression and postnatal depression with my girls.  She then shared with me that her doctor said she might have to spend some time in the psych ward.  I remember having to make that decision and I said I spent 6 months in between the psych ward and the mother baby unit.

Although it was a 5 minute conversation, I gave her the courage to take the steps to get onto the road to recovery.  For me this time was hell but I came out an even better person.  I reminded her that her child needs a well mum and she deserved to take the time to get on the top of the postnatal depression.

I walked away feeling a bit nosy but knowing that I could have helped her get on the road to recovery and making the decision easier to make.

We need to take even a few minutes to ask a stranger Are You Ok?

Are You Surrounded By Darkness?

Darkness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are YOU surrounded by darkness?  Please be honest with yourself and know that it is ok to admit it.  In the last couple of days, there has been news of a dad taking the lives of his two young boys and his own and it serves constantly as a reminder the importance of reaching out to someone and getting help.

When you are surrounded by the darkness to the point where you see absolutely no other way but to take ones life, you can not fight it on your own.  It is a hard to explain to people how one can get to the brink and the immense struggle it is to fight off those suicidal thoughts.  I know what it is like.  I have been in that spot of ending my own life.  I wanted to be there for my family but I was consumed by the darkness of suicide. You do not have to suffer in silence.  But you need to get help immediately.  I would honestly say that I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy to go through what I have been through.  Nevertheless, I have come out the other side a better and stronger person.  YOU CAN TOO.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in getting help and you may never know that by telling someone, you might also encourage them to speak up.  You do not have to take your life to “improve life”.  You can do that with a professional and a supportive group around you.

It is not easy but it is a lot harder to keep fighting the darkness.  You just need to say I NEED HELP.

Living in a Dark Place

I have been living in a dark place for the last few months.

It was getting darker and darker.

I was struggling with self harm thoughts.

I wanted to end it all.

I have been there before and I did not ever want to go back there ever again.  I have been on medication to ease physical pain but they were interacting with my anti depressants.

They made me go back to the dark place.

I did not self harm because I knew that it was the medication was creating this world and I just went into survival mode just to keep my head above the water.

My husband needs me.

My girls need me.

I have to be kind to myself.  It was just the medication.  I tried to keep silent and pretend that I was fine. This is the worst thing I could have done. How can you battle those dark thoughts and feelings by yourself.  YOU CAN’T. It is impossible and one reason why people take their lives.  Those voices (you don’t have any control of them) just get the better of you and you are convinced that you would be better off dead.   I finally opened up to Steve and told him the self harm thoughts were back.  I had someone to help me fight through them. Someone was on my side.

I had done it once and I knew I could do it again.  I got up everyday which is one of the hardest challenges.  It is easy to hide under the doona but then I was letting the depression win.  So I kept as much as a routine that I could just to keep me functioning.  I was moving in life but the dark thoughts kept trying to pull me down.  It was exhausting.

I focused on making sure I was putting nutritious food into my body and not food that feeds the darkness.  No point giving the darkness even more fuel to beat me.  I kept moving which helped to bring some light into my day even if it was just walking.  I coloured in the mindfulness colouring book which is swamping the book shelves.  I also knew that once my Doctor came back from holidays and he took me off the medication all will go back to normal.  I also refereed to my suicide first aid plan that gave me strategies to complete before I self harmed or put a plan into action.  I have 12 steps that I must complete and the first step is call Steve and I do not get much further.  If you are struggling create a 12 step plan to give you a life line.  Believe me it works.

My body is exhausted and I have had the flu this week and I have been made to rest.  I am back into using my essential oils to get rid of the negative thoughts and now I am feeling back at peace.  I got out my Dalai Lama books to help centre myself and I am not surrounding myself with any negativity.

Those thoughts will not win. You have to hold tight and fight.  It is worth it.

 

Five Lifesaving Steps When You Feel The World Crumbling.

mother love

At the moment I am feeling like the world is crumbling around me.  I feel like nothing is going right (ok except my fight with the insurance company) but even that has taken its toll on my emotional well being.

I seem to be at logger heads with Emma.  She seems to be ignoring most of my instructions.  Getting extremely angry over every no.  Not actually accepting the word no.  Don’t even mention homework.

Grace seems to be reacting to everything and all I can think of is that I need to get off the earth for a bit.  Maybe I am having my internal meltdown and my body is screaming it is time to get off the world for a bit.

It is not helping that I am on medication that has been putting added pressure on my body and it seems to be playing with my migraines so it is making things more challenging.

I am also missing my mum and dad like crazy as I can’t just pick up the phone and call them for their advice.  I see the older generation around at the shops and think often how that was robbed from both of my parents.

We all have those moments and it is hard not to feel depressed.

So what can you do?

Here are five suggestions that can help you through these tough challenges.

  1. Treat your body like a temple.  It is very easy to seek out comfort eating to “make” us feel better.  However, if this food is not healthy and with chemical additives and preservatives, it will most likely make you feel worse.  So stick to fresh food and say no to processed food.
  2. Exercise.  I have been finding that when I exercise, the stresses seem to be minimised and I become more focused.
  3. Journaling.  Sometimes it is healthy to write about your problems so they are outside of your head.  However the key here is although we can dwell as much as you like on the past and current problems, it will not get you anywhere.  If you actually do not come up with a solution to the problem then you are not going to come out of the problem.
  4. Speak to a friend or a professional.  Sometimes having someone there to simply to listen can be very helpful.  Don’t expect them to solve your problem but to have an open ear as you work out the solution.
  5. Sitting with your child when they are asleep.  At the present moment I am sitting on Emma’s bed listening to them breathe whilst they sleep.  This is probably one of my favourite times of the day to help me feel grounded.  I also enjoying diffusing some essential oils to help the girls and myself to feel even more grounded.

I could go on and on to this list as there are always many way to solve a problem.  If you are needing someone to talk to I have a support program for parents on a weekly basis.  Support program

My Postnatal Depression Didn’t Cause My Daughter’s ASD!

My Postnatal Depression didn’t cause my daughters ASD!  I was talking to a friend last night on the phone and I just want to say I love her to bits.  She is also a friend who you may not talk to for ages but it is like yesterday.  Whilst talking to her she explained to me how her hubby didn’t understand my Facebook post as I was sharing my dog’s trouble with anxiety and what it is doing to her physically.  My friend then tried to explain to her husband that Grace has anxiety and speech delay because of my long time (6 months) in hospital after Emma because of postnatal depression.

I was astounded by the comment but did my best to remain calm and just told her Grace has Autism.  My friend has short term memory issues so I understand there was absolutely no intention to upset me.  But it did hit a nerve.

There are professionals who would blame my stay in hospital as a major part for her behaviour (thank god none of my professionals did).  They could easily put it down her me not being with me.  However, Grace was with her sensational dad, aunties, cousins who probably was giving her more care than I could of at this time.  My doctors also helped Steve with services and Grace spent time during the day also with my sister in law who ran a family day care centre.  Steve also brought her in to see me pretty much daily.

You can not blame my postnatal depression story with Grace’s ASD because the wonderful professionals would tell you that her behaviours had started before Emma was born.

I have always said that despite all the hell I went through with depression and postnatal depression, really made me get to know the true self and believe me it has made me such a better mum for it.  But postnatal depression didn’t cause my daughter’s ASD.

If I Had a Magic Wand, What Would You Change About You?

Fairy  If I had a magic wand, what would you ask me to change about yourself?

 

How many of you read it and either thought I wouldn’t change anything or felt some fear run through your body?

 

How many thought to yourself “yeah, yeah tried that and didn’t even last 3 months”.

When in the darkest place throughout my depression, the professionals helping me made me look in some very hard places within me and some were definitely not pretty.  It made me feel uncomfortable.  It challenged me.  It gave me insight of who I was and who I wanted to be.  I searched for different types of therapy that helped fit all the puzzle pieces together.  Now well into recovery I would have to say that I would not change my journey in anyway as I am such a better person than what I was before it started.

People think that personal development is what we do in careers, to find our ultimate career path.  Personal development is all about you.  No matter what your situation is, you can make your life better.  If I didn’t start to realise the importance of personal development, I would honestly be six foot under by now.  I would not have had any drive to reaching out for help when I had my suicide plan in action.  Have you ever made a new years eve resolution?  That is all about personal development but very few of us ever keep these resolutions long term.

A lot of people feel a sense of fear when thinking about making changes to themselves.  They feel that they will not be able to do it successfully. They think that they do not have the time.  They think that others things are more important.

Why accept anything less than what you want?

I know as a mum of children with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder there are a lot of demands on parents.  But I also know that I need to continue to meet my dreams so that I am a better mum for the girls and a better wife. I don’t want to accept anything less than what I deserve.

 

The One Question That Is Never Asked!

The one question that clients fail to ask about 98% of the time is…………………………………………….

HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MYSELF?

Self care is extremely important.

For parents of children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder, the question how do I look after myself is rarely if ever asked.  This is a major concern for me.  During conversations early on in programs, I probe with the question how do you look after yourself and I usually hear crickets.

What I do hear is a lot of excuses.  Being a parent of a child on the spectrum or with SPD can be extremely exhausting.  There is simply so much to do for instance predicting and minimising meltdowns, getting them to appointments, doing tasks set from therapy sessions, fitting in ABA therapy sessions and let not add in the cleaning, jobs etc etc.  All the above tasks are time consuming as it is in my own household.

But what about YOU?  The biggest excuse for it is that I don’t have time.

Do you have time to get sick?  Do you have the time to fall into depression?

Your children need a well mum and dad physically, emotionally and spiritually.  They pick up when we are flat, when we are sick and not ourselves.  We do not have super powers that make us invincible.

YOUR CHILDREN NEED WELL MUMS AND DADS!

Taking time out in your day for a minimum for 15 minutes per day is not a lot in the scheme of things.  Imagine just having 15 minutes of doing something for you.  It could be just having a cup of tea.  Picking up a magazine to look at. To have a coffee with the friend.  To go for a walk. To stare out the window.  To walk around the shops.  Dancing around the house. Watch some TV. Imagine doing that everyday.

How great do you think you will feel?

Believe me you will feel amazing.  I always have a massive to do list.  But nothing is more important to me than spending a minimum of 15 minutes just to focus on me.  Believe me it helps to get you out of bed in the morning.  Everyone has 15 minutes somewhere in their day to focus on themselves.

Nevertheless, it is not easy to get your head around you, let alone to make it a daily habit.

It is time you take action and concentrate on you.  You will not regret it!  Suffering depression will suck you dry and you will not be useful to anyone.  I know, I have been there.

I offer a “It’s Time To Look After Me” program for all my clients.  This is one of my favourite programs to watch mums and dads start to look after themselves.  If you want to take action, this is the program for you.  Do not hesitate.  Just do the program.

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