After nearly ten years of riding this rollercoaster of extra emotional stress, I can honestly say overall I’m feeling happier. Despite still facing a variety of daily challenges, I’m finally in a much healthier and more positive head space to tackle them and actually enjoy life again.
For a long time after both kids were diagnosed, I really struggled mentally but I decided I didn’t want to be unhappy anymore. So, I stopped drinking so much, I spoke to a professional, I made time for myself a priority and I started to write and have not stopped since.
It’s taken time to find a healthy work/life balance and certainly helps our mental state to see all the positive progress we’ve achieved from our hard work.
Obviously, it’s unrealistic to think anyone is 100 percent happy all the time but for a long time it was rare, and I now feel more happy than not.
I feel like I’ve finally found my fun and I know I need to be the best that I can be to best look after our kids.
I make exercise a priority because I know that it's imperative to my mental health. We’ve set up a home gym in our garage and I attempt to get up early every morning before work and school. Even if I’m short of time, 10-15 minutes on the treadmill is better than nothing at all. It makes me feel good, I’ve enjoyed a little bit of me time and started the day right.
I also attend weekly dance and pilates classes with loved ones that includes meditation and relaxation sessions. As hard as it is sometimes to fit everything in, I always feel so much better for it.
I can now genuinely have fun with my friends again and not feel guilty for leaving the kids in other people’s care.
We can enjoy family days and holidays without stressing about what other people will think about public meltdowns and behaviours. We are all more comfortable living in this world and in our own skin.
We’ve re-evaluated what’s really important in life and appreciate all the little things.
We celebrate everything! Every small milestone is a major victory.
We book dinners and date nights when we can to recharge the batteries and rejuvenate our relationship.
I’m consistently writing for my own ongoing therapy and continuing to share our family’s journey which is so rewarding to know we’re helping others too.
I set goals and achieve them.
All of the above is only possible because I have a seriously hands on supportive husband, an unconditional loving family, incredible friends, a whole team of helpful professionals and a set schedule for a balanced routine.
Everyone’s timeline is different.
Mental health and self-care is a necessary, ongoing, evolving work in progress that needs to be managed and maintained.
I can now recognise when I need a break and give myself permission to binge on Netflix if I need to escape.
I reinforce to myself that It’s ok to have time out because maintaining our balance will prevent burn outs and continue helping us to achieve.
For so long I was just silently surviving now we’re thriving.
More than anything, I truly believe that happiness is the most important thing. It’s everything.