Unlike the other blog posts I’ve written, I’m not writing this one for you. This one is for me. I’m writing to explore a vulnerability I haven’t shared much of before.
Trigger warning: discussion of post-natal depression and eating disorders coming up.
Ok, if you’re still with me then let’s explore my vulnerability (and potentially yours as you read this) together…
I’ve talked about suffering with Bulimia plenty of times. I’ve talked about how it was a manifestation of a low-level limiting belief that I wasn’t good enough and I’ve talked about how TimeLine Therapy™ helped me release negative emotions (in particular guilt) to help remove that limiting belief. I’ve talked about how that experience - back in January 2019 - changed my life, and that it was how I went on to start my coaching and development business, stopping (for good) the negative behaviours I had around food.
You might think that I’m being brave talking about this, you might even compare it to something you find difficult to talk about, but what I want you to know is that I’m only comfortable talking about this now because those negative behaviours around food were all prior to TimeLine Therapy™. Prior to my mindset transformation, prior to doing the work, prior to taking control of my beliefs around this once and for all. They were the old me and now I am the new me, who understands my mind and my choices. The new me who thinks up thoughts that are helpful, positive and which serve me.
PND on the other hand, well that’s a different thing to talk about altogether. One I haven’t felt comfortable talking about until now as it didn’t and hasn’t quite fit with the new me. Yes, it’s in the past too, just like my eating disorder plus the negative behaviours and limiting beliefs which led to it, yet this has felt different… What if I was seen as a fraud? How can someone who’s whole ethos is positive mindset development have or have had postnatal depression??
The answer (that I know now but didn’t back then):
Because anyone can get postnatal depression.
I’ve never bought into toxic positivity – to look on the bright side, keep my chin up and/ or ignore negative emotions. I normally choose to focus on the emotions and look at how I can turn them around instead. Normally. Yet as I spiralled into depression in mid 2020, when my son was about 9 months old, I told myself that PND - to me - was a sign of my failure. It felt like further proof that the world would be better if I just went. If I got in the car and didn’t come back. If I couldn’t see the good myself then how could I help others to look for it too?
The shame I felt prevented me from talking to anybody about how I was feeling, or at least until it was almost too late. Fortunately, I did speak to someone; my husband and my GP, which helped release the pent-up helplessness. By sharing how I felt I was able to step back and reflect on things – a skill I learned in TimeLine Therapy™ - which showed me more of what was going on. I understood this wasn’t my fault. It had just happened, and it was okay not to be okay – even doing the job I do!!! I might not have been able to turn the thoughts off just yet, but I could do other things to help me move forward.
It was all about doing what I could - allowing my journey to unfold - whilst taking control of what I could too.
It was around this time that I introduced the daily gratitude posts in my free Facebook community LEMONADE. I’d posted gratitude posts sporadically* but not regularly. Ironic really, as the advice I would give to others regarding gratitude is consistency. And so, I added it as a post, every single evening, and shared 3 or more things I was grateful for, asking LEMONADE members to share theirs. I’ve continued to do this every day since and have felt and seen the difference not only in myself, but also in those who get involved. The energy in that post is amazing, and I genuinely look forward to joining in with it and reading what people write every day. The members of LEMONADE who were in the group back when this started probably have or had no idea how much this was for me as well as their benefit, and it’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable sharing this story.
But I do feel comfortable now. I’m better and I’m happy, and I’m okay in the understanding that this might change again because- well- life happens, yet I feel content and in control knowing I have practices in place to support my own continuous positive mindset development.
I recently released my new free guide: Master Your Mindset and Free Yourself from Imposter Syndrome. It’s by using the information and affirmations within this guide that I concurred my fraudulent thoughts that led me to feel I didn’t deserve to be doing what I was doing, and led me to not only break free from them, but to gain the clarity to know the power sharing this story could have on others. You too have a story and it is powerful. You too have a voice that wants to be heard. You too deserve to be here and have all of the success. Nothing or no-one has the right to take that away from you, and that includes you!
It's okay not to be okay. What ISN’T okay is to suffer.
There is help (I’ve added some links below) and you are 100% worthy of it. Any fraudulent thought telling you otherwise? Tell them where to go! You know where I am if you need back up.
Thank you for reading this story. I started off by saying I was sharing it for me, but I also hope it has helped you too. Writing it and owning it has helped begin to set it free, my hope is that you can begin to set anything which is holding you back free too.
Because you deserve success, and perhaps now is your time to believe it.
*Anyone else immediately think of the 90s classic Clueless when they hear the word sporadically? Just me?