Friday, 19 September 2014

Existing, not living..

Some periods in life are a struggle.  For the last five or six weeks we've had a tricky time.  We are so SO lucky in so many ways and I know that.  Our boys are healthy happy lads, we don't suffer from any serious illnesses or disabilities, our families are close by, we have friends.  However, there are times when none of that seems to lift your spirits.. and the last few weeks have been one of those times.

Illness.  Our family seems to have been ill almost constantly this year, especially Felix.  I can promise you that I am not exaggerating when I say we have mere days between illnesses.  If Felix isn't ill, he's teething.  He's cut nearly 18 teeth now, that's more than one tooth for every month he been alive!

Mental health.  Mine has been struggling of late.  I can't imagine that you don't know, but the reason this blog is called "Medicated" Follower of Fashion is because when I started this blog I was recovering from PND and was taking citalopram.  Over the last 5 years I have come on and off medication.  I most recently came off medication in May this year and since then I have been constantly evaluating how I'm feeling.  This in itself isn't helpful to mental health.  To be constantly analysing myself, constantly wondering if what I'm feeling is "normal" or abnormal.  Wondering if coming off the medication was the right choice.

With the last few weeks being so hard, it's especially trying on my mind and spirit.  I've got to point where I have to take each day hour by hour.  Sometimes I think I'm going to have to get myself straight to the doctor.  Some days are better.  I've been receiving great support from my local Health Visitor team which I'm hugely grateful for.  I am an anxious person and constant illness and loss of sleep has a huge effect on me.  I've been suffering from low moods, doubting negative thoughts, huge self doubt.  For now I've decided to stay off the meds, but as I say, I'm taking things hour by hour and if I feel that changes, I know just what to do.

All in all, I feel that at the moment I am existing.  Surviving.  I don't truly feel I am living.  I don't always feel very present in the moment, often I'm caught up in an anxious cycle, trying to figure out exactly how my day will pan out, planning and planning and feeling panicked until I know exactly what I'll be doing.

I don't like feeling like this... but I suspect that whilst Felix is still so young and so susceptible to illness, this may well just be how it's going to be for a while.  It seems awful but I tend to focus on a year from now.  This time next year I'll have a toddler who well on his way to being two and a half.  Two years from now he'll be in preschool.  Three years from now he'll be at school.  Time will fly by.  I don't want to wish it past, I want to be in the moment, enjoy him, hold him, know it won't last forever, but at the same time I need to focus on the future.

My blog is suffering a little at the moment I feel.  I love my blog and I'm so proud of it but I'm having to hold back a bit.   I just don't have the energy to work on it until 1 am several nights a week like I was a few months ago.   The summer holidays and a string of illnesses have sapped some of the joy for me.

If my posts are a little sporadic, if I don't reply to comments quickly, if I'm not tweeting much, this is why.  I don't know how some parent bloggers manage to write as much as they do and take part in so much social media, but I just know I can't compete on that level.  Not unless I want a breakdown.

Tell me I'm not the only one who feels like this sometimes?


  1. Sending virtual hugs - I am so sorry to hear you've been struggling but I do think you're evaluating it well and you're seeing what needs to change to help the situation. Blogging and social media are time eaters and in my life, they're the first things I step back from when I feel overwhelmed. Especially's relentless and I find when I do go on to look - I get sucked in and feel such pressure...all while wondering how everyone else has time for this!
    Take care - keep the family as the priority and I really hope things get easier over the coming weeks. One of my kids was very poorly constantly right up to about 16/18 months and then he seemed to pull through suddenly. I also gave him baby echinacea regularly around that time in a desperate attempt to stop the constant viruses etc so I'm not sure whether that worked or whether he just grew out of it.
    Look after yourself lovely xx

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! Thank you for reading as well. I feel bad because I don't get as much time as I'd like for reading and commenting on other blogs, especially yours, though I love seeing your posts on Facebook :-)

      Twitter I really struggle with. I hardly ever go on it.. I'd never have any tweets if it weren't for my Instagram account being linked to it and tweeting whenever I post a photo! I also wonder how people have time for it!

      I'm really hoping Felix will get to about 18 months old and everything will click into place, he might sleep through, stop getting ill, stop getting teeth- I can hope hey!! If not, I'll check out that baby echinacea!

      Thanks again for your lovely comment Avril :-) xxx

  2. That's a really honest refreshing post. Sometimes taking time minute by minute is exactly how to get through tough times. Make sure you do take time for yourself when you can. It's so important. Although I am a huge fan of social media, I do think it can be detrimental to mental health. Don't worry about sporadically blogging. It's your blog, it can be updated whenever suits YOU! Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in 'online' life, but everyone is just trying to get by, learning as we go, and hopefully supporting our peers. XXX

    1. Thanks lovely, thanks for reading and commenting, it means a lot, really does :-)

      I think I worry about the blog because I want it to be good, I want it to up something people want to engage in, read regularly and I want to appeal to brands and companies.. and that means keeping it up to date and fresh.. and sometimes that's really hard work if your hearts not in it!

      You're right, it's so easy to get caught up in "online" life.


  3. Sorry you are feeling like this :( Blogging is the last thing anyone should feel stressed about, it is meant to be fun, so hopefully you will be able to just rest and try to recuperate and get better. Virtual hugs from here too!

    1. You are so right, blogging is the last thing anyone should be stressing over. I will stress over ANYTHING though. Really it all comes down the the pressures I put on myself. No one is forcing me to blog at gunpoint, or produce a certain amount of posts per week.. I think because I want my blog to be good, I know I need to work hard at it, but sometimes I just don't feel like I can! x

  4. Hi Alex. I'm really sorry to read that you're feeling this way at the moment. I think blogging and social media can be so pressured and you feel like you should be doing this or that but it is healthy to take time out from it. I am in awe of those who manage to blog all the time and always be around, I honestly don't know how they fit it all in. x

  5. You are definitely not alone. My blog is sporadic at the best of times, but has really suffered over the summer holidays. I miss having the time and energy to blog about everything I want to, so much of it slips through the cracks at the moment. I really don't know how some parent bloggers manage to post at the rate that they do!

    Also RE anxiety and illness - I'm actually having CBT at the moment to help with my anxiety that peaked around this time last year when Arlo was constantly ill. I hate when they get ill in general, but last autumn/winter was horrific in terms of bugs for us, and some of my old anxieties came up to the surface again. It was a really tough time, as you've said, there was little to no break between illnesses, and I'm still experiencing the panicky effects even now, hence the CBT. Been meaning to blog about it, but haven't found the time yet (hah).


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