Turning 40

As I enter my last ever full week of being in my thirties, I feel a mixture of emotions, I think there is some disbelief that I have got to this point already, 40 – those two digits that you either dread or embrace, but first and foremost for me it’s the thought that I will be officially middle aged!

If you had told me when I turned 30, that by the time I turned 40, I would no longer be working in the job, that I had started when I was 16, no longer living in the place I had spent nearly all my life, I would of seriously laughed in your face, I had my whole life mapped out or so I thought!

As I say I had worked with Children from the age of 16, and continued doing this until 2014, working with small children was so rewarding, I/we worked with some remarkable children with whom I hold so many happy memories, but this is another contributing factor that adds to me feeling old – seeing most of them passing their driving tests, getting married or even having their own bundles of joy!

I’m a great believer that every thing happens for a reason, and though I didn’t really want to leave Horsington, without a doubt it was meant to be, relocating was hard and I found it really hard to adjust, even though I hadn’t moved far, it felt like a million miles, I thought I would never settle here, I would not make any friends, and definitely not fit in – again this was far from the truth, I won’t lie it took a while but I do finally feel settled, and so lucky to have met some of the most loveliest people, people whom I have met will be part of my and my families lives forever, people who I know I can call and they would be here in an instant. If we hadn’t of moved, how would we all of coped with my IIH, my then job, my Mums constant support – she would not of been able to do this as we worked together, this would of meant Kev would of had to supported me more and not able to work therefore we would not of had any income what a downward spiral that could of been. The pathway to 40 has been that of a winding one, I’ve learnt so much about myself on the way, good and bad times, I’ve learnt what it is to properly grieve, to battle depression, to support my Dad when recovering from a horrendous Stroke, to relocating to a new location , to manage a chronic illness, raise two beautiful children, be a good friend and try to sustain a good marriage.

I’ve learnt to face so many fears, when people ask me, how do I feel about reaching 40, I answer truthfully – relieved, yes I am relieved to have got here, during my hospital stay when I was diagnosed with IIH, a Doctor came to me one morning and sat beside me, he said to me, I’m afraid we have found something untoward on your brain scan – a blood clot, I couldn’t really take it in, so I asked him – I will be ok though won’t I, to which he replied – we hope so, it was those words – we hope so – that crushed me, took my breath away, as dramatic as it sounds my life literally flashed before my eyes, all I could think of were my girls not having their Mummy, Kev, my parents, this was the moment I thought my life could actually end, I was petrified – thankfully I immediately had the relevant meds to stop anything occurring in my brain and it came to light that the scan was inconclusive, but from that day I promised myself I would never take my life for granted, some of those days in that hospital were my darkest, the pain in my head was like nothing I had ever experienced, I remember trying to stay awake as I thought if I go to sleep in this much pain I would never wake up, my poor Mum, me sobbing to her I was convinced that it was going to kill me, those days without a doubt changed me, they made me a better person, I’d like to think it made me more compassionate to others, made me appreciate people and life more, it has definitely made me stronger, I try not to ignore my emotions but realise that feelings aren’t facts, it has made the small pathetic things pale into insignificance, enjoy every day, sure not every day will be an amazing one but we need to make of it the best we can.

One thing I wanted to crack before I was 40 was some weight loss and I’m happy to say I’m on the right path, nearly 3 stone gone – it hasn’t yet but I’m hoping it brings some relief to the IIH – maybe after my next LP in a few weeks time, there may be a positive change.

I may not have achieved everything that I wanted to by the time I was 40 but I have an amazing family, beautiful friends, a roof over my head and I have my life, now the saying goes Life begins at 40…. and I literally cannot wait for the upcoming weeks ahead there is so much in store and with all of my most favourite people.

On that note I will leave you with my new mantra as said by Lucille Ball

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

Big ❤️ASIBTAF

Advertisements

What you don’t see – Part One

This Tuesday was World Mental Health Day, and I guess I’ve been deciding whether or not I wanted to share my Mental Health Journey with so many!

I have thought long and hard about this and decided it can only be a good thing to show that you can hit rock bottom and you can come back from it, though when I went through it – I tried so hard to keep it from people around me.

Looking back I probably have had a touch of depression going right  back into my teenage years and then another spat around the time I was due to get married, I think then I put it down to stress, or I blamed my hormones, it was at this time, I tried medication which I think helped, but I remember not staying on it long as there was such a stigma attached to mental health that I think being a newly wed, buying and decorating a new house I put all of that behind me, I remember being really conscious that after having Maisy, that I didn’t want to show any signs of it coming back or even to allow it too, I had survived a horrendous birth with her – so I think I was just so grateful we were both alive that life was ok.

It was in 2010, three years after the birth of Ruby my second child, that my life took a downward spiral, to most I acted and looked like the same Kirsty.

Kirsty – Kevs wife (he’s been by my side through thick and thin), Kirsty – Maisy and Ruby’s Mummmy, Kirsty – Deputy Manager of a thriving Nursey Pre – School, Kirsty daughter to Guy and Mary (my absolute rocks throughout this time, and always). Kirsty – Michaels sister (poor boy lol).

I was trying to be all of those Kirsty’s and not show that inside I wasn’t coping, now if you have been kind enough to follow my blog you will know that Ruby was/is a poorly child, she took up a lot of my time and a lot of my focus, it was around this time that she received her diagnosis, this was such a relief to me because I had been so strong for so long pushing for someone to listen to me, though the diagnosis took the pressure off of me – it also left me exhausted, washed out and really really low, it had drained all life out of me.

I put on a brave front or what I thought was  a brave front did everything as normal, running a home, looking after my family, working and still doing social things. So many people will have a pre conceived image of someone with Mental Health issues, that we could be unwashed,unkept, we don’t leave our beds, we neglect those around us – and this simply isn’t the case.

Depression comes at you in so many various ways, it is more than just feeling sadness all the time, symptoms vary in type, duration, number and severity – you can feel sadness, lack of enjoyment, anxiety, hopelessness, guilt, tiredness, change in eating habits, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, sucidal thoughts. 

I know how it is to feel all of this, and no I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, Each day would be as if I were on autopilot – get up, sort the children, go to work, cry with my mum before work started (we worked together), I would cry because I felt so sad, so tired, and like the whole world hated me, then work the day, then children, tea, be with Kevin.

I am the first to admit, I was a nightmare to live with, if you were close to me watch out,  my emotions were mixed, sad, happy, grumpy, irrational at this point I was still in denial that anything was wrong, so yes I would cry to Mum, she would constantly tell me that she thought I was unwell and maybe I needed to see a Doctor, to which she would of probably got a short, sharp reply.
I did not have Mental Health issues – I was just tired (well that’s what I was constantly telling myself )until …

We went away to Cornwall only for a couple of days –  Kev, the girls and my parents – I remember it as clear as day (sadly).

I had lost weight both my Parents and Kev were worried, My moods were up and down, more down but I remember us having a lovely few days the girls were happy, when I felt really low I only really wanted Kev or my parents, so this was perfect to me – I was always normal for my girls never shunning them and always giving love and affection to them – showing the world I wasn’t ill I was still a good Mum, no matter how unwell I felt in my mind I had to be a good Mummy as they deserved nothing less.

My parents had to leave a day early than us, and what’s the big deal in this? I would see them the next day as we lived next door so why was it breaking my heart? Why did I sob so hard on my Mum that I thought my heart would break, I literally didn’t want to let her go..it was because I had hit rock bottom – the lack of hope had become inescapable – all I could see was blackness.

Kev said we needed to go for a walk to blow away the cobwebs, it was a nice day, my parents had gone, so off we went it was a coastal walk, the girls chattering away – I was blessed I had a man who adored me, and two beautiful children, but in the moments that happened next I could not see that – all I could see or feel was that the world would be a better place without me.

I would hope no one ever has to feel that – I’m sorry if this upsets you for what I am about to write – some will say how selfish was she – how could she even think that – people who think like that are so selfish – by all means think what you like, but I was in a dark place I couldn’t see a way out of..

With Kev and the girls some way behind I walked towards the cliff edge, I then stood looking down at waves crashing onto the rocks and I thought if I just take one step out, I will not have to feel like this pain, this sadness, no one will have to put up with this disappointment of a person –  I felt like I had let every one down, I was so dispondant to life. 

Kevin took my hand – maybe he read my mind – and he led me away, he held me as sobs wracked through my body, there and then I promised to see a Doctor the very next day, and to admit to my Parents that they were right.

I have heard people say when someone has taken their own life – that it’s incrediably selfish but until you have been in that situation, where all you see is blackness and despair I would ask that we don’t judge. But I can also say that mental health problems make you incredibly self-absorbed (and I mean that in a non-value laden way, you literally become caught up in your own head and your own world and there is less space for others).

I can only imagine the hurt, the pain, the devastation that is caused by such an action such as taking your own life – but as that person who feels the world is better off without you, you are totally blinded by these overwhelming emotions that are in overdrive and you only have one focus.

My heart goes out to those families left behind, hearts breaking for their loss – never ever would I condone such an action, all that  I mean is we must take the time to look at the bigger picture.
So after agreeing that I would visit the Doctor to get help, in my mind – I thought the road to recovery would  be smoother than the path I had taken to get there.

How wrong could I be……

To be continued 

 

They grow so fast.

As a Mother, Wife and sufferer of a Chronic illness, there are times when I feel completely overwhelmed, a million things running through my head, the majority of them questioning my parenting skills, I never realised or should I say thought,  how much the girls growing up would affect me.

It’s very bittersweet them growing up isn’t it? I can remember those night feeds willing them to sleep through the night, yearning for a whole 8 hours sleep, loving those times when you would pop them for a daytime nap so you could catch up on jobs, or sit with a cuppa that didn’t go cold, still now there are days when I’d love nothing more than for them to have a nap when they have a day of bickering even though they are 13 and 10 years of age,or remembering that feeling of euphoria as we became no longer bound to the eat, sleep and pooh schedule that as babies we were tied too.

So this week Maisy became a teenager, 13 whole years of age, that was hard enough to cope with, then I received Ruby’s application to secondary school – and out of the blue, I suddenly missed when my babies clung to me, the all day eating sessions, the middle of the night cuddles, the early morning smiles, first words,  the cute podgy toddlers learning all about life, those days however scarily don’t seem like that long ago, it’s like we have fast forwarded to here and I am presented with two independent, strong minded and beautiful girls.

The week presented a mixture of emotions, how on earth can Ruby be going to secondary school next year , she still seems so young to me, I know I’m totally overprotective of her, I don’t even let her walk to School on her own yet despite her protests, I think this is because of all she has encountered in her little life I wrap her in cotton wool, but also it makes me feel I’m still doing my Mum duty of the School run, holding her hand when she allows whilst I still can. I am not ready to be made redundant of my Mummy duties yet…

Maisy entering her teenage years – how on earth did that happen? I looked at her opening her presents and I couldn’t of felt any prouder, yes she has probably had the worst year of her little life, and yes she may struggle from time to time, but when I think how far she has come, I know that she will hopefully continue to flourish, but it doesn’t stop you worrying does it, at the beginning I think we are so naive about just how much we will worry about our bundles of joy, and that worry never eases – so I’m told by my own Mother! 

One evening this week, following on from the various excitement, I mentioned to Kev that I wasn’t feeling myself, In my own words I said I felt a bit wobbly (mentally) as I totes have wobbly bits on board lol.  

He asked why – and I said in three months I’m 40, our children are growing up way to fast, I’m stuck with a bad head, and muscles that are giving me hassle, and I think we should have a baby…. never have I seen him   a) look at me like I’ve gone totally mental b) move away from me as fast as a rocket.

Those of me who know me well – know that a Baby would never ever happen due to a lady op a few years back – hence the look of confusion on my dear husbands face, he responded with the following 

A baby Kirsty a baby if you want a baby it will be with another man, not me that’s for sure – god I was laughing, he was hilarious,  He carried on with im nearly 50, I can’t cope with the three of you let alone a baby – anyway we can’t have anymore children.  I obviously was joking and to be honest his reaction was highly amusing, totally worth the passing comment.

So how do we deal with the transition of our children becoming gradually more and more independent, part of me wants them to stay little forever, to keep their voices small and their worries simple.

However I think we should just continue to enjoy them as they are now.. and be glad for who they have become because we have transformed them from that pink or blue squealing bundle of joy to the person they are today.. everything they are comes from you… how proud are you?

And yes I’m  knocking on 40, the quickest way to age is to be miserable, I’m wishing that I was younger but regretting the passing of time is a sure way of accelerating the aging process, the best way to age dynamically is to enjoy life, all that we’ve learned and gained along the path to midlife. 

It’s simply a new phase of life, I need to embrace it and go with it 💕

Have a happy and healthy weekend 

ASIBTAF xxx

Glastonbury 2017 

So it’s a few days  after the Glastonbury weekend and I’m sat in the Doctors to get some strong pain relief for my head, I wish I could say I partied hard like usual, or that I visited my favourite Silent Disco but the pain didn’t allow, to be honest if I hadn’t had to work my shifts I may not of even made it there at times.

 Trying not to feel sorry for myself as the pain is so intense I need to get it sorted, and I feel it’s like the final straw, the one thing I really look forward to, and IIH robs me of it yet again, this is so unfair, I even used my stick which I have to say was a god send (thanks Hart mobility ).

I must say though there were definate Glastonbury festival highlights for me, with the added bonus I can remember it all as I couldn’t drink lol, my husband and I, as I mentioned volunteer there as Fire Stewards in the John Peel Tent, so have the added bonus of backstage wristbands, but this year I was also given Disabled Registered Access, which initially mortified me, as I in my mind I like to think I am still the old Kirsty who loved a visit to the Rum Shack and dancing til the early hours but it was amazing we had access to areas we hadn’t been to before which was great for us it felt like a whole new festival we met the totally gorgeous Fearne Cotton and had to have a cheeky photo, as I do love Fearne, equally as gorge Sienna Miller said the girls were gorgeous, much to the three girls pleasure (the girls only came in on the Sunday).


Not only did the passes allow us access all areas, but it really helped with getting around, the short cuts were much appreciated! Our shifts were really busy the busiest we have actually ever experienced, we were on shift when the Killers were on it was total bedlam, I think they overestimated just how popular it would be, as in the end all exits to the John Peel were blocked with Security, people were so desperate to get in, people begged Kev and I to let them in by paying us sums of money, it was really sad not to be able to help them, most were really lovely with the exception of some, one famous footballer who shall remain nameless threatened Kev will flooring him unless Kev let him through the fence, and became really aggressive, he did leave Kev alone but did end up having an altercation with the security guy which was quite frightening to watch, people were desperate and would do anything it would seem to watch them,  and I hate to say it they were AMAZING..

This was the first year I had worked shifts with Kev, it was nice to be together and working together as a team, all be it harrowing at times lol, when not on shift  we enjoyed some fantastic bands one of my highlights were a duo from my younger years Altern8, anyone else remember them?, wearing their boiler suits and masks It was a great set, also amazing and worth looking up Showhawk Duo, loved every second of their set – brilliant, I think they will be on a bigger stage in 2019! 

So I wasn’t a huge fan of Foo Fighters, Kev and my friends are, so naturally had to watch them, and they totally rocked, I really did think they were awesome, definitely converted!!

Overall more memories made with my gorgeous friends and family, dealt with some really friendly people, some not friendly, helped people who may have taken a little too much of a certain substance, dealt with a bag scare that turned out to be a child’s bag of wet pants, and generally had a lot of fun with everyone, I’m sure I’m not the only one but it did feel with the main acts that the crowds were more excessive than usual, whether this is because it was good weather and everyone which was out and about which of course is only natural or because there was more people than in the past I’m not sure but at times it was too much for me.. is this a sign I’m getting old?.

Health wise I did suffer, I was on various types medication which we had to leave site to get, it made me so frustrated that events I look forward to get ruined by my head kicking out the pain, I try to be positive but of late it really gets me down.
More so when on Wednesday I speak to my Neurologist, to arrange a Lumbar Puncture, who says to me, “I have just realised when I saw your name, I was meant to discuss with the surgeons about you having surgery wasn’t I?, I’m really sorry I have forgotten to do this”.  You all literally have no idea how frustrated this makes me,  I know I should admire his honestly and yes I realise how busy every one who works within the NHS is don’t get me wrong, but when you have been sat waiting for a letter to come for the past few months, it really doesn’t do much for me trying to be optimistic in attitude, to me I had been focusing on this as perhaps an end to the pain, but sadly nothing had actually been said to anyone, hopefully now I’m fresh in his mind there will be some action taken! I can only hope.

To those of you who were also there I hope you are all slowly recovering from what is otherwise known as the Glasto blues and that you all made loads of amazing memories, feel free to share with me your best and worst bits, and to those almost 21 million people (20.9m) who watched Glastonbury on the TV from the comfort of your sofa – I hope your weekend was awesome too.
Big ❤️ ASIBTAF xxx

Dear Kev,

Dear Kev
I said to you just this morning, I didn’t know what to blog about as I’m sure people are bored of me droning on about my illness, you said write it about something else for a change then.

So I thought I would write you this, we met properly way back in Sherborne in 1999, as you know I thought that you were a total tit, you approached me drunk, waving a carrier bag in your hand and a pint of Guinness in the other, you apologised for the look you were going for that day, but you had to buy this tshirt to replace the one you had spilt Guinness down.  Now this was not the first time we had met, we originally met in your home town in a pub, where back then you and your friends thought you were the top totty of town, and I was,  in your words “Gobby with big boobs” and not worth talking too! I can remember Lucy trying to get in your car, and you being very displeased at her actions as your car was your pride and joy, I used to watch you cruise around town in your white VW Convertible with your tunes banging out wishing I could be in it, only to be too young, too gobby but in my favour a good pair of breasts!

Fast forward a few years and we go back to that night in Sherborne, the tables had turnt, I am now worth talking too, but the feeling is not reciprocated, I thought you were too drunk, too old and too shy for me! But you didn’t give up, and we finally started our blossoming romance with a smooch or two in Pego (Pego those that know me will smile, and those that don’t, Pego was The Pegasus Club,our local small nightclub where the locals went on a Friday or Saturday night until 2am for a dance, stick to the floor, make new friends in the loo, drink and to check out the talent, many a relationship started at Pego, we all have many happy fun memories made in there, sad to think it’s now an empty boarded up shell.)

We went on many dates, and I just wasn’t sure, we were such opposites, you were quiet, shy and gentle, plus you drank way too much – which I later realised was as you said because you had no reason to stay at home, I was young loud, confident and out there, and a into Young farmers (the group rather than any random young male farmer!!)

You were established in life as a builder, you had a mortgage, a nice car, and I was just starting out, I was really scared of commitment as I had never really done so before, and just continued to mess you around  so you finally gave me an ultimatum – commit or go away and never come back, I chose the latter, I remember going home to Mum and Dad saying you had shouted that at me, crying my eyes out thinking you were such a knobhead, and them saying I shouldn’t see you again if you were like that.

6 months later I missed you, I missed you every darn day from that night you told me to go away, but I was stubborn (yes I know I still am), I missed you that much I would make my little brother come with me to stalk you in my Rover 25  poor Mike would be doing laps round town unaware we were actually following you around, then thankfully, out of the blue you text me on my birthday “Happy Birthday love Kev.”

A few nights later  I tried to contact you I rang, I text and nothing, just answerphone, I was with Sharon – whom I must say played a big part in this love story as she was generally there willing me on – we waited and waited –  finally you called me back, it was late but I didn’t care I had to see you and met you down moor lane bridge lol.

From that night onwards we were never apart, I guess I realised that you were a definate keeper, you may not be a man of many words, but the beautiful  words you have said I will treasure in my heart – for example on our wedding day you said –  you were the most beautiful person I had ever seen (and then you added I thought the wrong woman walked in haha)  I had to write that in as I was crying at the time and it made me laugh, which is what you always try to do, make me laugh,  we must be the only couple that cry with laughter because one time as your going off to work you stop, kiss me good bye and say I’m counting down the hours until I see you again!  any other woman would be find that a loving gesture but all we could do was laugh.

Now Kev not to say we haven’t been through some dark times we have, we have known what it’s like to hit rock bottom, for you to have no work, me have to borrow money from my parents to feed and cloth the girls, we had to sell my beautiful ring (un beknown to me my gorgeous parents brought it back and you paid them weekly for some time then presented it to me on my birthday – my heart burst that day I genuinely thought I would never see it again) to pay the bills.

We have argued, even got to a point where we wondered if we had future  – and we can’t change the past – I know We have both been in some bleak places you after losing your lovely Nan, me with the god awful depression after our second child was born, Losing my Grandad and recently with the IIH but you and my parents have got me through it, I am sorry that recently I told you to leave me, and that you should find someone better than me, someone who wasn’t ill, overweight and a pain in the arse, I thought you deserved a better life, one where your not always working to provide for us, because I cannot work, one where I’m not being whisked off to hospital – which I know crucifies you, you try and hide your feelings and until last September it made me think you didn’t care. (I know you do)

Last September you accompanied me to a Lumbar Puncture, you had never been with me before it was one of the good ones, I remember thinking you looked traumatised when you left me, but seemed ok the next day.

Two weeks later we had a night out, with our closest friends,  the alcohol made all of your true feelings come out –  everything came out, it upset me so much to see you broken, and how you said that Lumbar Puncture had made you realise you wished there was something you could do to make me better and that you generally feel helpless, do you know what Kev you do something to help, your there everyday when I open my eyes, you make me laugh, you are a fantastic Father to our girls,  you drive me crazy at times, your time spent in the bathroom makes me want to scream, when you forget things it drives me demented, when you can’t keep to the speed limits I literally want to karate chop you, but I want you to know I appreciate all you do, you do work so hard, we never go without and you know what else Kev in your own words like you said to me last week, Kirsty I do love you,  you know , always have done and always will- this is enough for me Kev your love, caring nature and sense of humour. 

So Kev when I’m being a complete bitch raving on about something that’s not really worth kicking off about – generally it’s when your driving my car, been in the bathroom for an hour or making me watch Sci- Fi, remember this –  we are team, and though I cry, whinge, can be hormonal, demand chocolate,  we have come through so so much and I thank you for being you, the other half me and I thank you for persevering all those years ago because you have made me who I am, wife, Mother family member and friend.

In the words of Whitney – And I will always love you.

All my love 

The Gobby one with the big boobs.

How do we beat the bullies?

I don’t think anything prepares us for seeing our child/children struggle with life, watching them become a shadow of their former self, their kind, loving, giggly nature transform into a child who looks petrified at the mere mention of school, whose temper has appeared from no where because she cannot control her emotions, a child who cannot bear to leave your side because you are her safety, the child who won’t sleep alone in her room because she can’t sleep and is frightened of her thoughts going over and over in her head, the child who is your whole world and you just don’t know how to fix it, well this has been my life the past few months, and no nothing prepared me for it, it literally had been the worst thing that could happen, I would have my IIH ten times worse if it meant her worries would go away.

Whenever anything happens to your children, you immediately want to fix it, to make the issues stop, to make them smile again.

It all began when when we noticed that our daughter was becoming withdrawn – not talking, (she was quiet anyway so this meant she was really quiet), she distanced herself from us all,  there were changes in behaviour – becoming aggressive, not able to control how she spoke to us,  she was sleeping badly, up and down through the night,  complaining of headaches or stomach aches every day before school, and as she became more and more unhappy, she would beg not to go to School, and I mean literally beg to point where I would want to just scoop her up, and tell her everything would be ok and keep her home with me.

I didn’t but I wanted too.

I remember saying to my Mum, and to her god mother that her behaviour had changed, and if this is what the teenage hormones were like then god knows how I would cope  during the next 5 years – if only it had just been hormones – I may have been able to deal with it better than her being bullied.

Bullying is a problem that can derail a child’s schooling, social life, and emotional well-being 

Everyone wants to believe that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” but for some children and teenagers, even us adults – that’s not true. Words can be just as harmful, or even more so, than physical abuse.  My daughter has always been uber sensitive, and a worrier, it didn’t usually hold her back but she doesn’t have the confidence of her younger sister, and I know she wished she was a bit more outgoing – I think she just wanted to fit in and friendship meant a lot her.

Bullying is a behaviour that includes a whole range of actions that cause physical or emotional pain, from spreading rumours, to intentional exclusion which was a massive factor in my daughters school life, people that were her friends completely ignoring her, walking or running away from her, turning away rather than speak to her and yes she suffered physical abuse. 
It may be subtle and many children don’t tell their parents or teachers about it out of fear of shame or retribution, she didn’t tell me she had been slapped for a few days because I’d been in hospital and she didn’t want me to have to go back in as she was scared,  thinking that would make me more unwell,  this however just made matters worse for her, and actually me, I received a a text myself that wasn’t pleasant from a girls mother ending our friendship  because her child had been questioned for the incident, and I hadn’t gone to her first.

Children may also fear they won’t be taken seriously if they report being bullied. It’s important that parents, teachers, and other adults constantly look for bullying behaviours.  From power struggles to conflicting impulses, hormones  and strong emotions, girls really do have a lot to deal with. 

We all know girls may bicker, from time to time, it’s part of the growing up, teenagers are on their apprenticeship to adulthood not wanting to be take responsibility for their actions but still wanting to find their way – how can we help them, this is happening all over the country Children as unhappy as my daughter, some who have sadly ended their lives because they were badly bullied, destroyed, not wanting to live, some suffering in silence.  My daughter talked to me openly – the whole experience nearly broke her – it tormented me taking her to School, me her Mother taking her to an environment she couldn’t bear, she would cry before School, I would cry after dropping her off, every day I would wonder what sort of Mother I was  – putting her into a situation that was actually destroying her, the final staw for me was her becoming really unwell and in pain – possibly caused by the stress, I had to ring an ambulance who came in took one look at her, popped her on a stretcher and took her to A and E, as she lay in the ambulance, crying, the  blue light shining through onto her little head, I wondered how on earth had it come to this and right there and then I knew I wouldn’t stand for it anymore – some might say I have let them win by moving my daughter to another School, I tried the stick it out, it might get better method – it didnt and neither did she.

I personally think  there needs to be more input into relationships from us as parents and schools as early as Primary school looking  into relationships and how cruel words or  silences can damage children. We as parents need to take time to discuss with our children how to manage thoughts and feelings and how to cherish friendships. There has been within my youngest child’s primary school lots of talk about Social Media and I’m glad – this is one of the biggest threats in our children’s Society – even a child’s Instagram Bio can cause such hurt and upset, offending intentionally or unintentionally by not adding a friends name or by being there then being removed, The Snap Chat bullying game, Facebook bullying –  its all out there ( I hate it and wish rules were stricter for our children)
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have launched This Morning’s Be Kind anti-bullying Campaign to help save the lives of young victims.

As part of ‘This Morning’s Be Kind’ campaign we want you to watch this video. You’ll hear from two mums whose children took their own lives as a result of the bullying they experienced. Then hit the pledge button. Pledge to watch this video with your children. Pledge to help your children know they can ask for help, for them to know someone cares and for them to know how important it is to BE KIND.

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/pledge-to-share-our-anti-bullying-message
I have done this with both of my girls, perhaps we could all share this around.

My daughter is slowly regaining her life back and her sense of humour – thank goodness!!! I am blessed that she confided in me even if it wasn’t straight away,  she is no saint I am certainly not blinkered,  she can be grumpy, moany, teenagery  12 year old but she is my daughter, and someone said to me just this week you are ‘only as happy as your least happy child’, this is so true and when this happens we work tirelessly to get life back to normality again.

It’s not a question of happiness or sadness, but a journey of life lessons that we gently guide them through the best we can.
❤ ASIBTAF xx

Tiredness and Mumming it! 

At the moment people ask :how are you doing? and I reply I’m good, actually I am absolutely shattered, I would make a good advert for the smokey eye look, without the actual make up, whilst having a cuddle with my eldest last night she looked at me and said do you know your eyes are black, not just at the bottom Mummy but all the way round and used her finger to go around my eye lol.

I literally dream of going to bed then waking at a reasonable hour even 6am looks better than 3.30am, I try to stay up later to maybe help this but have trouble keeping my eyes open, this is part and parcel of the IIH, most people with this condition will have trouble sleeping, or some may want to sleep all the time, I do feel shattered with it at times but generally don’t sleep in the day,  by 9.30pm I’m done, the Insomnia comes in cycles so I can have some really good weeks of sleep, then I can have some really pants nights sleep, I am a woman that really needs her sleep or I turn into one of those emotional women literally teetering on edge, looking like something from the walking dead, and either growling or wailing.. and on this healthy eating plan would kill for chocolate!!!

Dr Edward Suarez, associate professor in Duke’s department of psychiatry and behavioural sciences said following a lack of sleep study on both men and women

“The study suggests that poor sleep – measured by the total amount of sleep, the degree of awakening during the night, and most importantly, how long it takes to get to sleep – may have more serious health consequences for women than for men.
“We found that for women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress, and greater feelings of hostility, depression and anger. “In contrast, these feelings were not associated with the same degree of sleep disruption in men.”

Well men are the lucky ones, because this morning is one of those mornings where you scroll through social media and cry like a baby at the various tear jerking videos, or you read another blog, full of kindness and meaning, for me I read a post by Part- Time Working Mummy that was done yesterday, about being a mother in varying ways, usually I have a good chuckle at her posts, today I cried.

I think the post she has written relates to us all in someway, because we have all been one of those Mummy’s.

https://www.facebook.com/PartTimeWorkingMummy/

These past two weeks with  lack of sleep makes me analyse things more, mainly my motherhood skills, or otherwise known as the ‘Mum Guilt’ being a mum to a teenager (she will be 13 this year) is a journey in itself, but knowing that your illness effects both of your girls that guilt sets in even more, I am that Mum that try’s to get through each day hiding how rough I actually feel from them, painting on a smile so they will both go off happy each day whilst actually I want to hug the toilet from the nausea I get some mornings, or when they have a tantrum or argue with my husband or  I, I don’t completely lose my shit because I’m so tired lol, I am the Mum who wants my eldest to enjoy her School life, and not be worrying about me,  where I am and if I’m feeling ok. 

I am the Mum that plans a lovely day out, a train trip to Bath with both of my girls,plus one of their friends, then gets half way into the train journey I have a massive IIH headache, how I made it around that day I will never know, the worst point for me was the shop Lush, the girls had lived for this  moment, I was trying to live through the bloody moment, all the smells just made me want to be violently sick, never have I been so glad to get back on a train, but wondering why I can’t even have a day out without my IIH interfering. I know the girls don’t miss out but you want and hope to be on top form having fun don’t you? 

I am the Mum that lies in her hospital bed, wishing to get home as soon as I can as I know my girls will be crying for me at home, even with constant reassurance from family and friends they panic I won’t come home, this is heartbreaking in itself.

But I am the Mum who does her best, the best I can do at the moment, and that is all of us doing the best we can, we are all amazing men and women with amazing children, you know you have done good when they are smiling and happy each day, yes the day may throw in some grotty bits but we handle it the best we can.

As I usually say  kindness unites us all, I have had so many messages about this blog, I can’t thank you enough for the kindness, most saying I’m so brave, you know what though we are all brave we are all warriors of some sort, illness, family, motherhood, fatherhood,business,  life and more, I had never even heard of this condition or anyone with it before my diagnosis, so all I want is to bring some awareness to it, and to help other sufferers who may need some reassurance.

We can and will beat this, and with the kindness and love I have around, how hard can that be.

Have a happy healthy week

ASIBTAF ❤

Wife and Mum first, IIH warrior second. 

You know those weeks where you doubt yourself in everything, it’s been one of those, I have been told many times by various people you are never given more than you can handle , but who actually knows what we can all handle? How do ‘they’ know our limits? 

Sometimes living with IIH pales into insignificance when you have a role as a mother and a wife, you can’t just think about yourself (selfishly) , you have to be that supportive figure to them, offering reassurance, kindness, love and nurturing them best you can.

It’s been a hard week for varying reasons, and my illness hasn’t actually been one of them, so this is postitive in itself. I am still continuing with my acupuncture sessions which are going really well, this week we progressed to 15 needles so I somewhat resembled hell raiser lol, but I think it is having a positive effect as the pain at the moment is not so intense, which for me is amazing.  Also this week I have had an appointment at the Doctors, for a blood pressure check, as there was some concern about how high it was, and whether it needed treating, (my blood pressure will be high if my brain pressure is high) BUT even with the stresses of the week, which I will go into later, my blood pressure gave a really good reading which we are hoping is due to the weightloss and healthy eating regime! So more positivity right there.

Now as with so many of us, money is the cause of such stress and worry, money is the root of all evil so they say!  As I’m not able to work at the moment I feel there is extra stress on my husband Kev, working hard six days a week to provide for us all, which he does barely grumbling, Kev is a builder, he has his own business, working closely with another builder, together and individually they have produced some amazing houses from scratch  with varying price ranges, houses I could only dream of living in…. so unfair lol, but after Christmas they started on a new job,  where they had been recommended to the client.

I can’t say too much for the fear of slander etc etc, but after doing extensive work, the client has taken it upon himself not to pay,  not pay – do people actually have any idea of the recupussions when they decide I’m not going to pay – the stress it causes, the anger, then the self doubt, all of this I have witnessed from Kev, hearing him toss and turn in bed worrying about the money we havent had, then turning the light on to discuss it again because he just can’t understand it, he has done this job since leaving School (he is now 45) and never has he not been paid, never ever, he and the other Builder are in disbelief, as the client has now changed locks etc so they can’t get on site, so it has been a week of reassuring him that I think he does a brilliant job, and that this client is a giant knobhead, that no one should make people doubt themselves, and we might have to put this one in the fuck bucket and move on.

And move on we will, together we have got through so much, yes money makes life easier, but we are all alive and still together, we have now learnt he has done this to several other builders, let them do the work then kick them off, the sad thing is I doubt he is led in his bed worrying about how to pay his tax bill or his household bills, he is probably led there smug that he has pulled off yet another scam, I am a massive massive believer in Karma, and I say what goes around comes around.  Kev has moved onto a new job, money will catch up, and I said to him, you have a home, two daughters who adore you, a loving family,food in the cupboard, thankfully bills are paid and you have good health, don’t give men like that a second thought. 

Whilst all this has been going on, this week we have also had the roller coaster ride of parenting thrown into the mix, definitely a journey that we as parents all have to go through, a journey of highs and of lows, happiness, tears, anger -actually every emotion going is probably the best way to explain Motherhood.

Kev and I go through this journey together to bring our two gorgeous girls up but along the way, we have the best family and amazing friends by our sides offering their help and love, who could ask for more? Oh and so I’m told hahaha wine and gin help! 

I would not change it for the world 
I hope you have all had a happy and heathy week.
For me this week I have definately used my mantra -A smile is better than a frown 

Lots of love ❤

ASIBTAF 

Remember kindness makes a difference.

I’m 3 days post lumbar puncture, still suffering slightly with a low pressure headache, but my pain, is mainly radiating from my back.  I had my ‘new patient’ appointment with my new GP first thing yesterday, which went really well, the Dr was really supportive and said though she didn’t know much about IIH, she would try her best to support me medically through my journey,  she said we would work together to see what works, which was really reassuring (positivity yay)she thinks a nerve may be damaged in my back temporarily due to LP, but should heal up soon, am hoping so as I feel like I’m walking like a duck!!


Later that morning, my brother and I attended the funeral of a friend of our family, she was well known, much liked/loved by so many, she was a very special lady, back when I was 15 she employed me every Saturday to do odd jobs, enabling me to pay for the School Ski trip, I would cycle ten minutes up the road to her house spend two hours with her, then two hours with house opposite, they were happy times each lady a wealth of knowledge (there were 4) , when I was with her, we would cook, garden and clean together, her cooking was lovely, one of my favourite memories is making her well known sausage rolls,  best bit for me was sampling! She would tell me about her childhood, her work career and I remember thinking how much she must of had to come through,but had that motivated her to  be all that she became? she was born in Germany and, because her grand mother was Jewish, her Austrian/German parents sent her to England for her own safety in 1939, hoping that one day they would all be reunited, sadly though her mother died in 1943, and her poor father was in a concentration camp,  she arrived on the kinder-transport, and was then homed with Dr Barnados, where she was educated and found work, a friend of her employer at the time, helped her to pursue her career in nursing, she trained in Southend General Hospital onto Charing Cross, from here she went to the Strand, it was here that she was the ENT Sister in charge of three wards and operating theatre for 16 years, she moved to the village I lived most of my life in, in 1972, where she eventually became Matron until 1986 in a local town hospital. I learnt yesterday that she had no memory whatsoever of  the time she was put on the kinder-transport at the tender age of 11 and sent away, I look at my eldest thinking she is not long past that age,  how heartbreaking for both parties that must of been,  that must of been why she had erased it from her memory, but did that make her the kind, caring lady she became? 

It was said yesterday

People will remember her totally dedicated care, not only of her patients, but of everyone she knew.

This is so true, she did care for us all in different ways, how wonderful to be remembered for being kind and caring.  I will always remember her, may she rest in peace.

If one person remembered me for an act of kindness how fulfilling would that be.. the reasons for being kind are innumerable

  • Being kind feels good
  • Kindness broadens our perspective
  • Kindness helps people feel respected and less alone
  • Kindness softens our heart
  • Your children will follow by example (thanks Mum and Dad)
  • People will want to spend time you
  • Kindness is free


I myself have recieved so many acts of kindness in the past 48 hours (if the truth is known every single day) , from my beautiful family, wonderful parents, brother, fabulous friends, each one daily checking on me with texts, messages, emails, cooking and waiting on me (thank you Mum,Dad and hubby)

A friend bringing me flowers ‘to brighten my day’


To people speaking to me as they walk to work with a cheery hi, then another friend stopping and asking if I needed a lift because she knew I was in pain and it was raining.

All of these small acts of kindness mean so much, since becoming unwell  I am grateful for each and every one I receive.

Think how happy a day can be when kindness touches it x
Lots of ❤️ ASIBTAF 

Good bye 2016 ..Welcome 2017

So as I prepare to pop away the Christmas decorations, with slight disbelief that it’s actually all over, I take a little time to reflect on the year gone by.

Christmas itself has flown by, I actually have had my husband home for a whole week, this in itself is unheard of so had been really nice, I’m sure as many women out there over this period, there has been many a moment thinking of the day everyone goes back and normality resumes, I can’t moan too much though as he tells me, “I have been quite helpful around the house haven’t I? ” he means he has washed the floor, (that has taken two days to dry) and daily he has picked up the hoover and hoovered the lounge. “Yes” I reply “domestic god” 

The best thing about this Christmas for all of us was the fact I was up and about, 2015 the pain was that bad that I should probably of been in hospital but wanted to be with everyone, though sadly spent most of it in bed, I think the November 16 lumbar puncture made sure that this Christmas I was relatively on good form! I love Christmas, everything about it from decorating the house, to my Mums amazing Christmas lunch to that feeling in your stomach when you see everyone together, laughing and happy,  to me it makes any shitty thing to do with IIH a distant memory. 

My oldest  daughter however has morphed into what I would call as Kevin the teenager.  To everyone else she is sweet and kind, to us she spent from Christmas Day to probably the following Wednesday thinking I’m the worst mother in the world, and her every other sentence was “god everyone is so horrible to me, I haven’t done anything wrong” with the added touch of a grrrr at the beginning or end 

And right now as I type, I’m the worst mother in the world because I won’t buy her a bloody floating interactive turtle, she is using my favourite words “it’s in the sale, do you not get it Mummy”, apparently she needs it so it can swim alongside her on the rare occasion that we actually swim, she has now left me whining away about how I don’t understand why she needs this darn turtle 🐢, and has moved onto her Dad, I can hear the conversation and it is similar to the one I have just had only his tone is  a tad more cross as he has nearly reached his limits with politeness to her on her millionth time of asking and him saying he is spent out – this is one of the things that happened in 2016 – I realised my beautiful sweet natured kind girl was turning into a young lady.

My 12 year old, 13 this year, left primary school and went to Secondary school in September 2016 as I’m sure like many Mums out there, you could literally see the change in her overnight, she seemed so grown up, mature and a bit more independent and with it came sass and attitude, in some ways I was glad, as she was a very shy timid child who never spoke up for herself out of the house

 We couldn’t be more proud of her results from her first term at secondary school or the beautiful girl she is becoming but this Christmas I’m sure hormones have joined in the with the sass to create my mini turtle loving diva, but she really is the most thoughtful, loving girl who I wouldn’t change for the world.

My illness made them grow up faster, both of my girls as you can imagine suffered, because we are generally always together, the 3 of us, my husband works long hours – weekends also, so it’s the three amigos most of the time, my hospital stays can be any length of time from 10 days to 4 days, in small people’s lives that feels like an eternity, I usually know when I need a lumbar puncture, I try to put it off for as long as I can as I know just how much it disrupts their little lives, My oldest will hide her upset for a day or so, pretending she is ok and my smallest will crumble immediately with the worst thoughts running through her head, she needs constant reassurance, then after a day or so the oldest will send me heartbreaking messages of how she needs me home, it’s so hard on them, another reason why I dislike this shitting illness so much.  However the support network the girls and my husband have is amazing, we are blessed that the minute I’m not at home they are loved and cared for, they are collected from school, fed, watered, loved! all from my family, close friends.

My girls are either inseparable or need separating there is no in between, my smallest is 9 her smile is infectious, her personality is crazy,she loves playing football for the local girls team, playing minecraft, winding up her sister, and generally being on the go, she is though a real thinker and I tend to hide my symptoms from her, this is because if I mention that my head hurts  you can see the fear go across her face, the fear of what it may lead too, no mother wants to see that, 2016 brought a lot of that look to her, this makes me more determined to ensure 2017 is better for them, my husband and I.

2016 was a year of eye appointments, hospital appointments, lumbar punctures, numerous  appointments with my Neurologist and GP, it brought sadness and worry to those really close to me, it’s brought actual tears of frustration and fear from my husband 2016 also brought the loss of a son to a family  who didn’t deserve such a  tragedy – they are have been constantly in my thoughts this Christmas, it brought some of my own family members various illnesses and pain  they didn’t deserve.

BUT  it wasn’t all bad, 2016 brought me, one of the best adventures of my life- a week of happiness, sunshine and laughter in Kefalonia with my favourite people it has brought me new friendships, friends that are keepers, it has brought me lovely memories made with my parents in Cornwall, it has brought me much happiness with close friends arranging a Charity ball raising money for The Brain and Spine Foundation, The Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance and Verrington Hospital.

It brought my mother in laws 70th birthday and my Dads 65th all special memories made, laughter and yummy food to be had.

Yes it’s been rollarcoaster but the happy times outweigh the low times, the happy times are the memories we need to keep in the fore front of our minds, when we feel wobbly, nervous, upset, grumpy or think we can’t face another medical procedure, I know I will think of the reasons I have to be thankful and make 2017 another year of happy memories it is after all my last year of being in my 30s.

2017  will bring my whole new eating plan (one for another day) more positivity that I will somehow beat Idiopathic intercranial Hypertension, more happy times with family and friends, a new GP, more hospital appointments which I WILL enter with a more positive attitude.
Thank you to each and every one of you who reads this, and thank you to those who know me who have loved and supported me this past year, I love you all so much.

Happy New Year beautiful people
Big love ASIBTAF ❤️