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Experiences of 2020

Diana - Taking The Plunge

My 2020 started with optimism and hopefulness. I’d not long married my childhood sweetheart in August 2019 – the same month my baby boy celebrated his 1st birthday. I ran a successful business and worked part time for a charity in a great social role while giving something back to a cause that mattered to me.

What’s more is that my beautiful husband and I had created a new life on our honeymoon (sorry if TMI), and I was five months pregnant when COVID-19 took the world by storm. But despite what was going on, I was excited and ready for all the adventures we’d have; our little family was coming together, and we were buzzing.

But, you see, I’m my own worst enemy. Always have been. Hope to not always be.

From a very young age, I've had an underlying sadness. It's been referred to by medical professionals as Bipolar or a chemical imbalance. I've struggled to deal with traumas in unhealthy ways, resulting in a general hate for myself. Pre-kids, I'd often fleetingly pondered what the point of being here was.

When lockdown started, optimism and hopefulness evaporated. I was pregnant, had a small toddler to look after while trying to balance work.

As a result of the pandemic, I lost some clients, and was made redundant from my charity role. Not quite the mood booster I was hoping for…

My mental health took a dip.

I was also supposed to be filming for season two of #BumpBirthBaby on BBC Scotland after being in season one. I just wasn’t up for it. I wasn’t really even up for getting out of bed never mind filming what was happening in my difficult day-to-day. So I quit.

But, as always, I put my mask on – no, not the required COVID face covering (excuse the pun), but a forced smile hiding a heart full of hurt.

Was it the isolation or was it my depression that was making me feel worse than normal? At the time, it was hard to tell, but it soon became clear it was a mix. So, while pregnant, I spoke to my GP for advice and sought help.

It was liberating and optimistic. A real turning point, I’d finally taken the plunge...

But as usual, I didn’t follow through with any of it.

Story. Of. My. Life.

Then things changed. During lockdown, in May, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. It was life changing despite being under weird COVID guidelines.

Once home, I knew that due to having two beautiful and wonderful babies to look after, I owed my full presence and love to them, my husband and myself. I have struggled with my mental health on and off for around 17 years, but lockdown pushed me to finally seek the help I needed. I spoke first, with my health visitor and then with my GP, and I can honestly say, I haven’t felt this happy in…well, I feel like me again.

My business is back up and running. I’m feeling good. If this worldwide pandemic didn’t happen then I don’t know if I’d have ever sought the help I needed. My message to YOU is that it isn’t nearly as awkward or embarrassing to talk about your mental health as you may think. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you.

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