Update: This post was originally posted on 9th March 2020 but after changing my website this post had to be re-published due to technical issues.
In today's world it's all to easy to get dragged down by negative news and opinions and staying positive can be hard to do. And if you suffer from mental ill health staying positive can be even harder, I know this first hand firstly from depression years ago and now with anxiety.
However, after what has possibly been the hardest 2 years of my life I find I am finding it easier to stay positive these days.
Firstly it might help for you to understand what I've been through since 2018. I've left a 12.5 year relationship (7 of which we were married), and in the one action became a single mum to our daughter who was at the time 5 years old. Been involved in a road accident with a bus in which my car was written off. Was 2 hours away from being homeless with my daughter, who by this point had turned 6. The property my daughter and I were placed in was above drug users. My gran's health deteriorated and was diagnosed with dementia. My relationship with my ex husband was awkward at one point that made it very difficult when he was picking our daughter up for his time with her. I had the displeasure of being on Universal Credits and although some of the staff I dealt with were very kind and treated me with respect and appreciated that I didn't want to be there and was only on benefits due to circumstances. There were other members of staff that looked down their nose at me and made me feel like I was worthless. Also not forgetting that I was diagnosed with anxiety.
As I say the last 2 years have been very challenging to say the least. However, for the last couple of months I've started looking at things in a more positive light.
Yes I left a 12 almost 13 year old relationship and became a single mum to my daughter but by removing myself from a relationship that wasn't right for me not only have a become happier within myself but I have also become a happier mum. This has made me a better mum, also a few months after my marriage ended I started a new relationship and I have honestly never been happier.
Yes I wrote my car off in what I often jokingly describe as a bump with a bus. But when you take into consideration the impact made my car which was a criterion C3 spin across the road you realize it wasn't really just a bump. But I walked out of that accident with nothing more than a bit of whiplash and a sore wrist. It really is amazing and yes I still get bothered by my wrist 18 months on but I'm alive and I will get to see my daughter grow up. So I will always look on the positive there as things could've been so much worse.
Yes I was almost homeless with my daughter (and cat) and was placed above drug users but I'm not homeless. The property we have been placed in is not only in the town that we need to be in for my daughters school and where our support network is. And for those who have never been involved with social housing in Scotland there was a chance we could've been given a property not in the town we needed to be in. In fact the homeless accommodation we were going to be placed in was in a town 20 minute drive from my daughters school in good traffic. Never mind that our cat would not have been allowed in so we would possibly had to give our cat up altogether. Since we have started living here the drug users have been jailed. There is the possibility they may return as the property below me is rented to their mum. But for the meantime it is fairly peaceful and there isn't the smell of drugs surrounding the properties. Also the property we are in allows our cat to live with us and it is a lovely property that everyday my daughter and I are starting to love even more. Yes there are issues with this property externally but it doesn't take away from the fact that this is a home for my daughter, cat and myself that is in the town that we want to be in.
Yes my gran has been diagnosed with dementia and this is meaning that I am slowly losing the person my gran is. Also I am the only family member that is involved with my gran due to the family dynamics and add into the fact that she lives almost an hour from me this does make things difficult. However, I look on the positive that I know I am not only doing what is right for my gran but I am also creating memories with her and that is something that no one can take from me. And my gran frequently tells me how grateful she is for everything I do, she has done this for many years but it is always nice to know she appreciates me.
Yes my relationship with my ex husband understandably went through a difficult phase when we were going through our divorce. But the divorce is now through things are slowly improving and we have even managed to have dinner at each others homes with our daughter. This is a huge positive for our daughter because at the end of the day this is who will suffer the most if we can't be civil to each other and can't work together.
Yes I was on Universal Credits but I won't feel bad about it, I needed to pay bills and put food on the table for me and my daughter. I am currently not on Universal Credits and although I cannot guarantee I won't ever need to go back onto benefits. I am working hard on my business to stop that from happening.
And finally yes I have anxiety, it has left me having full blown panic attacks and needing a prescription from the doctor of beta blockers to combat the physical symptoms. But because I am now feeling more control of my life and I have a more positive outlook I haven't actually needed to take them.
I do still have my days where I find life overwhelming but I now am finding I can look on the positives more. And when I look back over what I've overcome in the last 2 years and how far I've come it makes me feel proud of myself. And when my daughter tells me that I am amazing and her superhero, and my mum, stepdad and partner tells me how proud they are of me. I know I should hold my head up high because I am doing great.
And I know have a more positive outlook on life and truly believe I will accomplish my goals that I have set myself.