The dark side

Starting this blog I wasn't sure just how much I would share, I wasn't sure if I was brave enough, strong enough to put it all out there.. Its scary (not like paranormal activity scary more like a bad haircut scary) you know you made the decision to cut your hair but you just weren't sure if you were ready for the looks and everyone's opinions but its cut now so you just have to own it. Im putting it out there, my illness, my struggles because I feel compelled to write this post, the messages I've received from people over the past few days asking for help and tips or just a chat its been overwhelming, and I want, no i need to get the message across your not on your own, none of us are.

I've struggled for as long as I can remember, two people know the full extent of my story, my husband and one of my best friends who I only told after she came to me with her experience, I'm not good at talking, I shut down, I close off, I let the thoughts inside my head deafen me and weigh me down with their negativity. For
a long time I was drowning, i couldnt see a way out, I didn't want a way out because I didn't think I was worth the fight. Just to give you an example of my self worth at the time i remember 2006 doing my leaving cert, I remember sitting in a classroom we had been handed out the CAO forms and everyone was busy filling them in, talking about what points they might need, excited for what was coming next, I remember folding that CAO form up and squishing it into the deepest part of my school bag and never looking at it again. I went home, went to my room and cried. I cried so hard my chest ached, and I sobbed and screamed into my pillow, I loathed myself, I wasn't excited for any future, I couldn't see past that day, everyday was just trying to numb the pain, the ache in my heart. I used alcohol to try block it all out and it did until I sobered up and the numbness faded and I was back, loathing myself, punishing myself it was a vicious cycle but it was all I knew.

Getting pregnant wasn't ideal, I mean I couldn't look after myself never mind another human being, I pretended all was fine, I put the smile on, acted excited, but deep down I was terrified, what in the world could I offer this poor child?! What if I didn't love it? What if I couldn't cope? In my head I was going to be a single mother because as much as my now husband protested he wasn't going anywhere my insecurities begged to differ. I comforted myself with food, lots of food, I isolated myself, pushed friends away and ate myself to a size 14/16 now I know that's not a huge size but when u go from a tiny size 6 and a mere 5ft (if I'm standing straight which thanks to bad posture rarely happens) so for me it was massive in my head I was massive.

Then on 20/06/08 my beautiful baby was handed to me after a very long a difficult labor and I felt like wonder woman!! I mean, she was perfect, big blue eyes, the softest skin but I'll never forget the way she looked at me, she knew I was her mammy and for me that day was a game changer. Becoming a mother ignited a fire in me, I was not going to let her down, I needed to be the best I could, I needed to fight, I needed to be strong because she was watching, she's still watching.

It didn't happen over night, there was, is still bad days, days where putting one foot in front of the other is a struggle, days where putting out the bright side seems impossible and on those days I get through i do the necessary, and just hope tomorrow will be better. Have you ever sat at a table full of people and physically couldnt speak? Or been afraid of someone starting up a conversation with you, because what an earth were you going to say? And when you do manage a conversation you spend hours over analysing every single thing you said and berating yourself because nothing you say is good enough or worth hearing? Your not alone I promise you, and although I don't have all the answers I have found ways to ensure I have more good days than bad. I'm not sure why or where my struggle stems from I'd like to think its not a biological glitch and won't be passed down to my children, but I don't know, I can't bare the thought of any of them feeling that pain and being lonely and ashamed of that pain, my wish is that mindfulness and wellness courses be brought in as young as primary school to give our children the skills and knowledge to manage their mental health.

Small changes I've made that you might find useful.
*try to see yourself through your child's eyes, and learn to love yourself, know your worth.

*eat wholesome, plant based foods as often as you can, your body and mind will thank you for it.

*exercise, I know there's an abundance of excuses not to, trust me I've used them all in the past but most of my workouts happen at home with the music blaring and the kids either joining in or looking at me and having a good laugh, 20 minutes is all it takes, 40 if I've got time I promise you this will change your mindset.

*run, start slow maybe 30secs jogging, 15 seconds power walking, but work up to it, running clears your mind, and makes you feel empowered and the benefits physically go even without saying.

*talk, find your person, the one you can trust and talk, let it all out I promise by saying it you'll instantly feel lighter and less weighed down.

*music, blare it and dance like no ones watching its so good for the soul!

*write it down, keep it or discard it it doesn't matter your clearing it and taking it from your head.

*surround yourself with positive people, people who truly care about you and keep your circle small.

*go to your local health store and ask for magnesium.

*get a herbal tea and drink it before going to bed, this should help the sleep issues.

Its not easy and there will be days when you just can't be bothered and that's ok too, just so long as tomorrow is better, our best is all we can be, our daughters are watching, our sisters are watching, our nieces are watching.. Take baby steps and be the strong happy woman you know you can be, give her time and be patient, stick at it and I promise you'll never be sorry 💪❤.


Thanks for reading,


  1. I've only discovered your blog today Claire, so working backwards 🙂... yeah that's me, a bit backward! I'm loving your blog and I'm going to take some advice from it too - thanks!

  2. I've only discovered your blog today Claire, so working backwards 🙂... yeah that's me, a bit backward! I'm loving your blog and I'm going to take some advice from it too - thanks!


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