Stephanie

I never took my son to any baby groups. I made a lot of excuses about moving around too much and you have to pay termly for the activities or those people aren’t my type of people. When actually, everyone is a mum and is struggling with the same things, but I took the avoidance of these groups to a whole another level.

Now my son is school age, other mums started to recognise me and approach me, I felt that I didn’t want to make friends with the other mums but actually, it has been really good for me. I met another mum who was talking about mental health and I related to a lot of things she said, but she was talking about them like they were wrong and I started to think – oh, ok…

I am really snappy all the time and I am trying to control everything – this isn’t the person that I am. I have been micromanaging and controlling everyone and it’s not helpful for any of us and I put way too much on myself.

I used the online NHS tool and diagnosed myself with anxiety. I filled out the questionnaire and it graded me severely with anxiety. I then received a call from the NHS who offered me talking therapy but there is a six-month waiting list, so I am doing an online CBT course. I am getting some useful things from it, like tracking my moods and trying to find my triggers. I now know tiredness is a trigger and my bad moods and negativity comes in at evening, from 6pm. I also can’t cope well with last minute changes.

I think my anxiety has always been bubbling under the surface but I have always been able to put a front on and push through. Now I can’t push through, I can’t sit and meditate or go for a run and feel better – nothing was working, so I had to take action. I have always been a bit awkward with people, I think it’s a British thing – you are polite and you don’t want to upset people so you end up neglecting yourself.

I realised that you don’t have to take medicine or be scared of talking to someone; go and see someone if you think you might need help.