anxiety, asd, autism, dance, depression, diet, excercise, general, health, health and fitness, lifestyle, mental health, metnal health, post natal depression, special needs, wellbeing

Who am I and why do I want to volunteer with Tots & Tums?

I,m Louise, I’m 39, and I am a mum of three gorgeous children, and married to Andrew.

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Me and my youngest, Emily

When people ask me ‘what I do’ I’m never quite sure what to say. I mean it’s easy to tell someone you work in retail, or in education, or something along those lines, but I write, and I blog, and I probably use social media way more that society suggests I probably should.

But I do all of those with reason and my intentions are always to spread messages of positivity and hope for those who may need it.

I do this because I have suffered with mental health issues pretty much all my adult life. Once I hit 16, I went off the rails and spiralled into a life which I can see now, is not the kind of life any mother would ideally want their daughter to have.

I had my first child at 21, ended up a single parent at 22, got into relationships with the wrong kind of people, made bad choices, found myself in not exactly ideal situations, but luckily I decided to try and make something of my life by going back into education at 26 once my son started school.

I met my now husband just before I turned 30 and as I was about to graduate from uni, and from then I finally got my life back on track, or more or less. We had our first child together in November 2008, then our second child September 2011.

Our oldest daughter was diagnosed with autism in April 2015, and it was at that point I said I was going to change my life. I had answers now. I’d spent so many years anxious, worrying, stressing. We had answers, a diagnosis and I needed to move forward.

So I set about making changes to my life, little by little and I can say now that I am completely through my depression. I still have moments of anxiety, but I think we all do, and I am now aware of how to control them.

I started by working towards fulfilling my childhood ambition of becoming a journalist and signed up to a distance learning course. From this I pushed myself to travel down to London on my own to do workshops, then smashed another barrier by taking my first exam, and passing. I then made myself completely familiar with my surroundings and what is going on in the area, what’s topical? What do people want to read about?, and started writing feature articles for newspapers and magazines.

I then started blogging and sharing my personal experiences of being an autism mum and living with depression and anxiety. I then took up exercise and it’s through that which I’ve made so many friends. Which brings me where I am today…

Beating depression has made me want to help others beat it too. I want to find people who have lost their way in life, and help them find it again. But I don’t want to do it sat in an office, taking notes, or as an employee who’s able to listen, but not able to give advice.

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I want to do it as me. As the girl who woke up one day and decided to take her life back. I want to find men and women who have lost all belief in themself, lost their identity, lost their path in life. I want these people realise their self-worth, identify their dreams, break their comfort zones and achieve them.

I want to be someone who helps reduce the mental health stats which fill me with tears every single time I read them. I want to be someone who makes a difference to the world, I want to potentially save lives.

And I want to do it all by sharing my experiences of kicking mental health issues and give others the confidence and belief that they can do it too.

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general, lifestyle

How’s this for an exciting weekend

So it’s Tuesday morning and I’m still sat here a little bit buzzing about something I got up to at the weekend.

As anyone who knows me or reads my blogs knows, my ultimate dream is to work in media, and has been since being a teen. But once I’d finished school I lost focus slightly, and it never happened. However, it’s a dream I decided never to give up on .

My interest has up until now been writing for newspapers/magazines  but now I’m finding myself swaying more towards radio. So two weeks ago I went along to an open day at a local radio station to see if I could get involved.

So Saturday gone, I spent a couple of the hours with the team at music event Northumberland Live.  I said I would be there around 5 as I wanted to be there for the headlining act Scouting for Girls who were set to take the stage at 8. I didn’t want to be around too long, I just wanted to get to meet the team and get a feel of what working in radio is all about, but without getting in the way too much.

I arrived at the festival at around 4.30 and met up with my friend who was there with her friends and family, had a quick chat, gave her my plastic booze filled bottle for later (well it was a festival), then made my way over to the tent to meet the team. I was nervous. Very nervous. But my nerves were soon gone after a catch up with Chris who I chatted to on the open day.

I joined the others in the tent in which they were presenting and I had a really good couple of hours. I love the on air banter and quick wit amongst the team, which also scared me a little as I’m the kind of person who thinks of things I could or should’ve said in a situation, hours later. But I was told after a while, it just comes naturally.

Two of the team went to have a wander over to the stage to see if there was much going on they could report on, then excitedly returned to tell us Scouting for Girls had arrived and they were going to try and get an interview.

I felt their excitement as one thing I do love, is an interview opportunity. They are sometimes really hard to get and I’ve only managed one myself which I arranged via Twitter (it was THAT easy), but others I’ve lined up have never materialised. That’s a downside of working in media. You can spend hours doing the research and questions for an interview that you’re pretty certain you have, and quite often it never materialises. As it happens, one of the team did get to speak to the band after their performance.

I spent just over two hours with the team then went to join my friend in the crowd ready for Scouting for Girls, but left after about half an hour. I needed to go home and just kind of reflect on the day.

Sunday I went along to the studio at 5 and sat in with Joe as he was on air until 7. Once again, me being me I was very nervous but as soon as I sat down and started chatting to Joe I was fine.The studio has such a calming atmosphere with moodlights so that mixed with music and I could’ve quite happily sat there all night.

This was my second time in the studio and again, just to get a feel of the place. Joe asked if I’d like to go on air and chat a bit about Glasto, but I hadn’t really watched any of it and even if I had I’m not sure I would’ve had the confidence just yet, but I’m definitely hoping to get involved on air when I’m there next on Sunday.

But I’m not just doing this just because I want to work in media. I’m trying so hard to work on myself. I’m so done with being that quite shy person who always has so much to say but no confidence to say it. I’m fed up of holding back from what I really want to do in case something goes wrong. I’m tired of letting opportunities pass me by and saying ‘I can’t’.

This is just another step into the unknown, and I’m excited