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

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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 

 

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.