Happy First Father’s Day

Father’s Day brings a whole host of emotions as my Dad left when I was 12 years old. It had a big impact on my life & my Mum stepped up to the mark to play both roles. I hated Father’s Day for many years with the soppy cards about amazing Dad’s & I felt left out when others celebrated it. I now have a better relationship with my Dad but it all seems too little too late.

Scott has shown me what a true Dad is. Those cards that describe the amazing Dad, the cards I once hated so much, I now I understand who they are for. For Dad’s like Scott.

I’m sharing with you a message to Scott, my Husband, best friend & Fantastic Daddy.

Scott,

Happy Fathers Day & the first of many with our son Caleb.

After many years of wishing & dreaming of this moment, I am filled with so much love that you are able to celebrate Fathers Day with your Boy.

You were the first to hold Caleb; cuddling, comforting & loving him from the moment he opened his eyes. It was a wonderful moment to witness & it filled me with so much joy, pride & happiness.

You stepped up to the mark from the moment Caleb arrived. Nothing phased you & you took everything in your stride.

Caleb is lucky to have a Dad like you; caring, kind, loving & selfless. All characteristics that Caleb will take from you.

We love you & Happy First Fathers Day.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

To mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week I want to share my story of living with Depression & Anxiety.

I’m rolling it back to early 2017, I was at my lowest & I felt this wave of anxiety & depression take over me. I had previously struggled with both but this time it creeped up on me without any warning & smothered me.

I was lost, miserable & angry. The anger stemmed from my frustration of a Three Year battle to conceive. Infertility Appointments which made me feel like a failure. The Specialists had no answers as to why I couldn’t have a Baby which added to my miserable state. Unexplained Infertility.

I struggled to deal with the situation I was in, I pushed people away, I lashed out & I hated myself.

A dark cloud was over me all the time, I tried to shrug it off or ignore it but I just couldn’t. My actions spiralled out of control as I couldn’t see a way out of the situation. I turned to painkillers to help me manage. Of course, they didn’t help but I had to take them.

One day I broke down to my Husband, he could see that I was in a bad place & had noticed I was hiding painkillers from him. He always reassured me that the Infertility issues were our problems, not just mine & we could find a solution to any problem. He encouraged me to reach out to my GP & seek help & that’s exactly what I did.

The hardest part was opening up & telling someone how I felt without covering it up with “but it’s fine, I’ll be okay” or “I’ll deal with it, I just have to”. I came off painkillers, spoke to my husband more about my inner battles & I acknowledged my anger & worked to change it into something positive.

A year on, I still choke up at the thought of what would have happened if I continued down the road I was on because I was desperately looking for a road out.

I opened up. I told someone how I really felt. I got help. Here I am, a year on, 37 weeks pregnant with our little miracle. I’m extremely lucky & thankful & I continue to battle my demons but I’m not alone.

Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out. My door is always open to others who want to talk.

The following links have useful info & support:

https://www.seemescotland.org

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

https://www.samaritans.org

The Travel Tag

First tagged post that I’ve done . Thanks to Just Snap Shot Stories for tagging me & hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What countries have you visited?

Italy, Spain, Catalonia, England, Turkey, Ireland, Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic, USA, France & Netherlands.

What countries are you visiting this year?

It looks likely that this year we will be having a staycation with the arrival of Baby Kelly due in 7 weeks time. Lots of beautiful places to visit in Scotland & would love to make the trip to the Isle of Skye.

What destination is number one on your bucket list?

I’d love to visit Iceland but on a warmer note I’m more inclined to say Portugal.

What is your idea Holiday?

I have this image in my head that I love lying in the sun by the pool but in reality that lasts for an hour before I’m bored. An ideal Holiday is enjoying the sun, planning day trips and exploring the History of Cities.

Which place did you think was so special that you would have to go back there one day?

Rome was my Husband & I’s first holiday & we absolutely loved exploring the City. It was a roasting hot July & we loved exploring Vatican City, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps & the Roman Forum.

Show us your nicest holiday photo!

Disneyland Paris was the last stop of our Honeymoon & it was magical.

Have you ever had to travel for work? If so, where?

Unfortunately not, the furthest I’ve travelled with work is Dumfries.

Who would you like to go on holiday with? 

My favourite person to explore places with is my Husband. Can’t wait to go family holidays with our wee one.

What is your nicest holiday memory?

In July 2015, I won a competition for a weekend stay in Barcelona & the chance to play football at the Camp Nou. All expenses paid trip with 20 others, trained at Barca’s training camp, toured the Stadium & played football at Camp Nou. It was a pretty special weekend & I can always say I’ve scored a penalty at Camp Nou.

What is your worst holiday memory?

Rome was bitter sweet because it was our first holiday but also the first time I experienced severe Arthritis symptoms & spent every night in bed crying. When I look back on photos of Rome I am reminded of how difficult it was for me. I’d love to go back to Rome & take in more of the City while being physical able to do so.

Is there anywhere you wouldn’t want to visit?

I wouldn’t rule out anywhere, I’m always open to new countries and adventures.

I tag Amanda Diaries & Everyday Life Girl to do the Travel Tag next.

A Valentine’s Night Like No Other

I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day & it’s took me 7 years of celebrating it with my husband to finally enjoy it. I was reluctant to spend it in a overcrowded restaurant with the added pressure of eating dinner in under an hour, before the Waiter gently pushed you out the door for the next set of love birds to arrive. I was reminded of this mayhem as we drove past my favourite Italian Restaurant in Glasgow to see it queued out the door and onto the street!

Instead,we booked a private baby scan at Baby Scanning, Glasgow. I was a little disheartened after my 20 week scan as my little one was lying in an awkward position & we didn’t get any clear scan photos. More than that, I wanted to know my baby was healthy & doing well.

It’s only natural to feel anxious as a first time expectant mum & to put my mind at ease I opted for the 4d scan. The scan was 45minutes & it was great to lie back & watch it on the screen. Our little baby is 24+5 weeks now & our active little one was kicking about with their legs over their head. Time seemed to stop as I was lost in the moment of watching my little bundle of joy move around & was lucky enough to catch them yawn – it’s a hard life.

Not only did we get to see our baby but we heard their heartbeat & got a lovely little keepsake which was the heartbeat inside a teddy bear.

Perfect way to spend our 7th Valentine’s Day together ❤️.

Time To Talk

Having a mental health issue can make you feel lonely, isolated & worthless but Time To Talk encourages everyone to have those conversations about mental health & to open up about it.

I think back to this time last year when I was stuck in a bad place physically & mentally. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia alongside my Arthritis & medication was the first port of call. I didn’t realise the impact the medication would have on me & before I knew it I had spiralled out of control into a depression.

Living my life in constant pain was telling on me, I was exhausted & I felt trapped. Trapped in my body of pain & misery. Everything was out with my control, the pain, the low mood & anxiety. I didn’t talk to my husband about how I really felt & instead I turned to painkillers.

The telling point for me was when I was driving & the thoughts of not being here whizzed through my head & ways of ending it would become more vivid & harder to suppress.

I didn’t feel like Leann anymore, I was no longer a supportive wife, a daughter or friend. I was hiding things from my husband, I was storing painkillers everywhere for the just in case moments & I hated myself.

I finally plucked up the courage to say to my husband, I think I have a problem. Saying it out loud I knew I had a problem & I couldn’t hide from it anymore. My husband encouraged me to go to the GP & I shared my cocktail of meds with him & the harsh reality of the situation smacked me in the face. If you continue like this Leann, you will harm yourself. Right up to that point, that’s what I wanted, or at least I thought I did.

I had so many reasons to stay alive, my husband, Puppy, my family, my future. I had a future. Reaching out, opening up & talking about how I really felt was a big leap for me but it saved me from the depression.

My relationship with medication & painkillers was a toxic combination & I decided to come off everything. It was difficult, I couldn’t see the immediate benefit but I kept going & I looked for other ways to manage my pain & mental health.

The most helpful book I read was Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive. His words rang true with me & his experience helped me to see that I wasn’t alone & it also helped me to open about my mental health.

A year on, I’m more open about how I feel & I openly share my journey. I have a future. A second chance of life with my husband & our new beginnings with baby Kelly due to arrive in June ❤️.

As much as it was difficult for me to reach out, it saved me & I hope you can reach out too if you are struggling. You are worth it. You do have a future. Keep going.

#TimeToTalk

Life with an invisible illness

When you get diagnosed with a condition it doesn’t register at the time and you don’t fully understand the impact it will have on your life both physically and mentally. For me, getting diagnosed with Fibromyalgia was a relief. I was struggling with anxiety, muscle spasms, sleepless nights, fatigue and pain which weren’t related to my arthritis so I was relieved to finally get an answer.

 
A typical day for me is going to work and I fully understand that work isn’t an option for everyone but for me, work plays an important part of my journey with an invisible illness. Don’t get me wrong I am normally tired and sore after a day at work and I like to have a quiet evening with my husband but I still enjoy working.

 
I like to spend my weekends with my husband and nephew going to Celtic games and this has offered a life line to me and a place to escape my problems. It reminds me of the past Leann that played football and I miss that part of my life but I’m happy I get to enjoy it watching the team I love. Even just watching the games I come home with bruises and in pain from celebrating.

 

 

Life with an invisible illness is unpredictable and a good day could be followed by a series of bad days. It’s stopped me from being carefree and active but I’m learning new ways to adapt and to enjoy doing things. It’s invisible. Nobody knows that you are struggling and fighting each day. My illness is invisible but I’m not. I fight through the bad days and cherish the good.

 

It’s made me the person I am today and I am stronger because of it.