I don’t know quite what I intend this blog to become just yet. I’m angry about a lot of things – in fact I’m ‘mad’ in both senses of the word – but I don’t want it to just be a place where I rant and rave. I’m a mother – but I don’t want to talk about my experiences entirely through the lens of motherhood, although I predict that will dominate because it is almost the entirety of my identity right now. I’m passionate about information sharing and self-education and advocacy, so I foresee a lot of that. I guess I want it to be the place I would have wanted to find over the last three years.
I am a 30 year old mother of two girls, aged three and nearly one, living in Suffolk in the U.K. In a previous life I was an aspiring academic and researcher, but I was made redundant during my second pregnancy, and thanks to a crippling anxiety disorder which makes trips to the local playground seem like jumping out of an airplane, going back into the world of work or further study seem very far away. So stay-at-home-mother it is. For now at least.
I’m no stranger to mental illness, there are few people in my family who haven’t suffered from some form of it at some time, and I experienced my first depressive episode before my tenth birthday. Anxiety reared its head when I was about twenty, and I had my first panic attack at twenty one. I’ve had periods of relative health and periods of crippling illness since, managed by a combination of various therapies, drugs, self-medication, hiding, and the seemingly unending patience of my family and friends. It was hard enough trying to be a relatively functioning human being as a young single woman; when you add in pregnancy, birth and motherhood it suddenly gets a great deal more complicated. I expect to talk a lot about these experiences and what I’m learning from them. The stigma of mental illness is gradually being eroded, but we’ve still a long way to go. I hope that by getting some of what I’ve discovered out there in an accessible way, and by just venting and showing others that they aren’t alone in their fears, worries and frustrations, I might help hasten that process a little.
I would love the process to be collaborative. The title is One Angry Mother but that doesn’t have to mean me all the time. Any insights, feedback, stories, rants that are forthcoming will be gratefully received and I’d love to use this blog as a platform for other voices too.