#WeekendCoffeeShare – Thoughts about my parenting.


If we were having coffee or slushies because it’s a beautiful day in Wales today, I’d tell you how much I enjoy sharing coffee with you fellow bloggers and I hope you don’t mind this chat I really need to have today.

Coffee share posts are sometimes difficult for me to write because my weeks tend to be very similar to each other, especially when I’m not doing well either physically or mentally. The truth is, when I feel ill physically or mentally, everything is such a chore, the fact I have managed to do simple tasks like go grocery shopping in spite of that is awesome (Which I totally managed to do yesterday and rewarded myself with “The Force Awakens” BluRay), however, that’s not very exciting to blog about despite how positive I feel having managed to do that. Other people can do that stuff without thinking about it too much.

When I started this blog I decided I’d put a positive spin on everything. My old blog, the blog that really helped me get better from my eating disorder, I wrote about everything, even if I was really depressed, I’d blog about it because it helped me immensely and felt like free therapy. It was completely anonymous, and I wouldn’t share it anywhere so I felt completely safe talking about whatever I wanted. When I started this blog, I wanted people to know it was me. I wanted my art and comics to have my name on them because they feel like my babies, that’s primarily why everyone knows who I am, and why I publicise my posts and share them on my personal Facebook profile. There’s a problem though, I always feel that if people knew how I really felt about things they’d be mad at me, or leave, or take it the wrong way and use it against me because that has happened before. Even for the stuff I can’t help. I have been labelled as a negative person a lot, but I’m really not. I’m positive about everything, until I get unwell, and then I’m still not negative, I am just unwell. Some people don’t see it that way though and this has been keeping me from having the blog I want to have.

When I’m struggling, my blog therefore only consists of coffee share posts because I feel like I have red tape across my mouth to keep the truth confined but really want to blog and take part in the community at the same time. I shouldn’t care what people think, I know that, I like myself now, even with my illnesses and that’s all that should matter. The only way I can help break the stigma of mental illnesses, is by talking about them, and being who I am in spite of what people who will never understand might think. It’s just that it has been used against me as a mother. I can’t tell you the amount of people who have automatically assumed I am a bad mother because I have mental illnesses (And I am not talking about anyone in particular in this post, it’s the way society and media has made them), I have lost count. I have had to prove myself to them, and then to the authorities a few times now. Doesn’t matter how many times I prove myself to them, or how awesome my daughter is, or how obviously looked after she is, or how child services said that they wished every mother was like me, they always automatically assume that my daughter is in some dire situation that she isn’t even in. As if everything the Daily Mail says is true, that guns don’t kill people, mentally ill people do. I understand why people want to err on the side of caution, of course I do, especially where children are concerned, but they need not be concerned about my daughter and I’ve proven that to them several times.

It’s really very hard when people automatically assume I’m a bad mum when I’m not well, because I often feel like maybe they are right. Maybe my daughter deserves better than me. Again, this is a part of being depressed and not what I really think, pretty much everyone that has had depression feels as though they are worthless as a human being and that you’d be doing people a favour by leaving them. I never ever want to leave my daughter but when I’m ill, the intrusive thoughts that she’d be better off without me never leave me alone until I get better.

What helps me the most during this time, is when my nurse tells me I am a good mum, and she’ll provide me with evidence for her statement. I also know she knows what she’s on about because she sees me every week and knows me more than anyone else does. What doesn’t help is “Oh you’re ill? Poor daughter of yours having to deal with all that” followed by some judgemental comment about my parenting. I know it affects her, and I hate that it has to affect her because there’s no cure for what I have and it doesn’t matter how hard I work, sometimes I am just ill, but to say I cannot look after my daughter or even that anything is different because I am ill is rubbish, you can even ask her yourself. The only thing that is different between my daughter and I when I have an episode is that my daughter worries about me and I call the people I need to call, like my daughters support worker who will take her out for a one to one, my daughter always has someone to talk to.

I’ve only been on medication for 4 years. My daughter is 11, I managed all that time being a good mum without treatment, and now I have treatment and take my medication, people seem more worried, because I have admitted that I have mental illnesses. The point is, they would have never have known before and would never have questioned my parenting because they have never had reason to until the day I “came out” to people and said I have mental illnesses openly, and honestly and I really didn’t think that this would be one of the consequences of that.

So there’s a me trying to protect my daughter from discrimination by proxy, and then another me wanting to be honest on my blog, and it feels like I can’t do both. Well, I could do both but it might cause a bit of unwanted, unneeded stress, and me having to poker face it all and pretend that none of this affects me, that peoples judgements don’t hurt me or make me flinch, when actually it really hurts when people judge my parenting because that’s the thing that makes me, me. I work so hard at being a good parent, more than anything else I do, and for some people, that’ll never be enough because of my mental health diagnosis.
I really do want to post more on my blog though. One of the main purposes of this blog was for my daughter to read when she’s older. I guess I am going to have to get some courage from somewhere and just do it, and I know when I do, the WordPress community will be supportive, because you all have been, if it wasn’t for the community on my old blog, and the lifelong friends I made from it, well, recovery from my ED would have been 100 times more difficult. I have a lot to thank WordPress for, my Facebook friends list also thanks WordPress on a daily basis.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that it’s Depression Awareness week and this post is pretty much the reality of having a mental illness and being a mum who is honest about having mental illness.
And to end this pretty serious post, here’s some more Lego, because one of my self care methods is playing with Lego and taking cool Lego photos, and it makes me super happy.


Thank you so much for listening. How was your week? Hopefully better than mine.


Categories: mental health, Weekend Coffee Share

Tags: , , ,

28 replies

  1. You don’t need to poker face it, if you want and tell the truth, whole truth including the not so happy truth, you should just do it. Your lego pics makes me smile every time, and give your post that positive twist you might be looking for in your words. So keep on building and writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for trusting us 🙂 I can tell it was difficult to write, yet something you needed to do. My opinion? Anything that you can write that helps you is good, no matter what others say. I understand I’m just a name, someone who lives on the other side of the pond, and you don’t have to worry about bumping into me in the grocery store and wondering what I really think, but I’m sure anyone who really matters has to admire your courage and honesty. I’ve met quite a few people in life and many, many more blogging who suffer from depression. It usually isn’t the first thing I think of when I think of those people. My opinion number 2 – having your cartoons, Lego photos and occasional drawings as a big part of your blog is great. I think of your cartoons first. It’s obvious from the words I’ve read since I started following you how caring of a mother you are, and that too is part of how I see you. Telling us about these sides of you make you a real person and not just “another depression blogger”.

    Anyway, it is hard to say exactly what I mean, I feel like I’m babbling, but I think you get what I’m trying to say – continue to be you and if the illness is taking its toll, talk about it. I can’t promise nobody will hold it against you, but I think in the long run you’ll be glad you did.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I get what you mean, that was the reason I started this blog and made the other one private as the other one was mainly mental health and not much else. I didn’t want this one to be all be about mental health, but right now the balance feels off, and I feel like I shouldn’t post if I’m not doing so well, because of all of the reasons above, hence my blog turning into weekend coffee shares and just that when things aren’t so great. I want this blog to be about all sides of me, to give people hope that, hey, you may have mental illnesses but cool things can still happen.
      The stuff I actually do post is very important to me, and has helped me a lot, the drawing, the comics, the posts about my little one, the lego stuff, gaming etc it keeps me happy even when I don’t feel good. I always have reasons to smile now and it’s taken a lot of work to get here, but yes, I do still struggle sometimes and I want to share that, but have been scared to do so.

      Thank you, for always being so supportive of me, and others. The coffee share has brought me closer to a lot of bloggers I might otherwise have missed, and I am really thankful for that, hence taking part in it even when I struggle.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi and thank you for sharing this post. Keep going.

    I know about mental health. I have grown up knowing about mental health, as my Mum has suffered mental health herself. I have seen her worst at age 11 and I have struggled through the years witnessing this. But my Mum is a good Mum and no doubt you are too.

    I’m glad your daughter has someone to talk to. I only ever got offered it once as a child, but that was when I thought I was going mad at a young age. I was scared and I did take up a short chat with a counsellor at school, which eased my mind. But I did not have any continuous support. There was probably none then when I was a kid to now.

    I am glad you have the right support too. The last thing you need is to defend yourself as a mother, when you need to concentrate on your health. It makes it harder work. I am glad you have support of your nurse when needed to back you up.

    Although mental health is talked about more than when I was a kid, unfortunately there is still a stigma. It’s annoying.

    As well as my Mum having mental health, although she has been ok over the years and much better now than when I was at school, I have also suffered from depression and anxiety over the years. I am on anti-depressants myself since last September abouts and I know I will be on them for a while. But I do feel better than I have been. So as well as seeing how mental health can affect the person you love and those around them, I have also experienced my own.
    I have a friend with mental health issues, she is lowly on the right path, but there is along way to go, who I support. She has faced her own stigma and I have helped through that I hope, to say how I understand how this still does happen and this is where you find your true friends, which she did.

    Although I know quite a few people with different mental health issues, as well as my own, I know that for me, there is still more to learn how it can affect someone. But I hope by being there for them and just writing this comment for you, that you feel the continued support, because you deserve the support for the progress you have made. Don’t be hard on yourself. I know for one how easy it can be to do that and when you are feeling low it can even be easy to be more hard on yourself. So please don’t be. Your daughter knows that you will love her.


    • I grew up with a dad who had severe mental illnesses as well as severe physical disabilities, and yes it was hard. Especially as, treatment did not work for him, like it has me. My dad and me are polar opposites. He went off the rails, I’m still here fighting it everyday. I’ve been very lucky with the support I’ve had though, my nurse is awesome, the nurses from the psychiatric hospital are awesome, and I’ve had care I wish everyone who has a mental health problem could have access to. Not to mention, it’s all been completely free because I live in the UK.
      I often wish I had someone when I was a kid to talk to too, that’s why I work hard and ask for help even if I think I don’t need it or want it, and why I phone the people I need to phone so my little one does have that extra support. She needs it herself anyway as she suffers a bit with anxiety. I’m sure a lot of people, if they had help when they were younger, would be better off mentally as adults. I’m so aware of this, and anyone who has ever met me knows I am, except the people who have judged me wrongly… obviously.

      You’re right about the whole, “finding out who your true friends are”, and I guess that’s exactly what I was trying to get across in this post. This can be a very hard lesson to learn, especially if you rely on the support of the people who you later find out, are not on your side. It’s one of the lessons that has scared me into not being completely myself here on my blog, because sometimes, I can’t bear to lose anymore people. I’d rather live in the denial that everyone likes me for exactly who I am.

      I can’t believe in this day and age there is still stigma attached to so many illnesses. You would think that having access to the internet, people would be more knowledgeable than before. Some people are (pretty much everyone I’ve met on WordPress has been awesome), but some other people are completely ignorant and don’t care enough to google it.

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment and for sharing your story with me. I was quite scared of even posting this, but you’ve all shown me that I didn’t need to be frightened. 🙂
      Take care of yourself, and I hope you have a great week.


      • As well as my Mum having a mental health problem when I was a kid, my Dad wasn’t great either and he would not have helped my Mum’s condition. I was scared of my Dad, but loved him at the same time.
        My recent depression and anxiety that started last year, although I felt it was work to start with, it wasn’t all their fault in the end, but they did not help with some of the attitude going on there at the time, that was work related. When I had counselling last year, I spoke about my childhood and unlike before, this counsellor asked further about it. It turned out what happened to me as a child with my Dad and my Mum, shaped me partly who I was now. Especially with how my Dad was with me and my Mum. Ecept I could prevent with time, to prevent my past with my Dad affecting now the present with what was happening and how I was reacting to it.
        As my counselling was coming not far to an end, it was recommended I seek further to concentrate on this area, as it was advised that this area was not to be rushed. So this was continued this year and my blog started after I felt I was ready to stop the counselling, to continue on with my healing journey. My blog has helped me like yours has, while it may help others, as well as my friends following my journey.

        My blog will explain more about my Dad and how it affected me. But I can’t believe how much I have changed now, than I have ever before, but it is still an ongoing journey though. We are lucky here in the UK to have free counselling.

        I agree with what you say regarding how you think people would be more knowledgeable than before, so they can understand. Yes, you think they would. But sadly not.


  4. Dearest Rhio, I don’t really know what to tell you, besides that I am sending you a big hug!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing! Please keep your chin up! And I REALLY love your lego photographs! They always make me smile!


  6. I had to think about this before commenting. I am kind of the same way, I don’t want to talk about my mental health issues online, for different reasons but what ended up happening is I stopped posting altogether. I still don’t talk about my issues online, instead I am starting up with a life coach. I’ve only had two sessions so far too soon to say one way or the other if it is working, but it does feel good to just talk to someone who really doesn’t know me that well. So, none of that was really helpful to your situation, and I really don’t have a solution. Well, I am rambling here, so I’ll just give you bloggy hug (((hugs))) and let you know there are people out there that you can talk to if needed.


    • I guess that’s what I want to avoid, stopping posting altogether because I feel like I can’t post. I don’t want to feel that, I want to be openly and confidently me, in spite of the issues I have, because they are a part of me (unless someone does cure it one day), and I’ve learned to accept that, I just wish others would.
      Hugs to you too x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Some of the best parents I know have mental health problems. And if your nurse thinks you are a good parent, then I would take that seriously! She has a huge duty of care and if she had concerns she would definitely flag them up with you. Don’t forget that having been through difficult things can bring positives – you are showing your daughter that things can be difficult and it is possible to get through them, the importance of perseverance and openness, but most of all as long as you love her, communicate that, and are as consistent as you can be, you’re ‘good enough’ and that’s all anyone is. I know lots of critical, inconsistent parents who don’t experience significant mental distress. Not sure if that helps, but just know that it is ok to be honest – we all struggle in different ways at different times and that doesn’t make us failures, it makes us human 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. PS my dad was an alcoholic and I am quite sure my mum was significantly depressed during my childhood. It affected me. I won’t lie. But the big impact came from secrecy, lies and my needs being dismissed, not the conditions themselves. It’s how you manage things and accessing support that matters, not the difficulties themselves x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like we had very similar childhoods. Treatment did not work for my dad, I don’t even know where he is now because he’s now put alcohol first. It’s a very sad situation, but at the same time, is one of the reasons I work so hard to get better. Definitely the reason why I recovered from my eating disorder. I didn’t want my little one to blame herself, like I did. I’ve always wanted to show her that, I work hard because of her, because she is awesome, because I love her.
      You’re totally correct, it is how you manage things, and accessing support, and I have made sure I have support, as well as my little one having support that is completely separate from mine. I’ve always openly fought for her own support, and I don’t see why other people don’t see that.
      Thank you so much for your comments. They’ve helped me a lot. Take care x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for being so honest. I think that being that is what counts in blogging and sharing among friends. I admit that you and I are vulnerable being honest, but it is worth it for recovering and for helping others in their fight. I too have suffered different mental things during my time as a mother raising my children. Many things would I have done differently had I had the knowledge about different things concerning children. But I have chosen to tell my adult children the truth little by little that I did my best but had things to fight with along the way


    • You are so right. The honesty on my other blog was something that helped me get better, and I wish I did have that here. I’m super honest at conferences about eating disorders and people always find it helps them more because I am honest.
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. x

      Liked by 1 person

      • I enjoy reading honest blog posts and try to be honest writing too. It feels good afterward. There is nothing to lose and those who believe you or I weren’t good mothers are not worth knowing at all

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Heya Rhio! This is really quite a post & thanks for sharing it. Honesty & transparency, as you’ve noted, are a double edged sword. I totally know what you mean about “the red tape” thing and I’m a bit on the fence… there are times when writing everything to everyone is helpful in that it gets it out of one’s head, but it’s also true that there will be some who can’t get past “that post” and will allow it to colour how they see you (rightly or wrongly). Words can be powerful as they not only “express” the soul but sometimes “direct” the soul as well in so much as we continue to give life to what we voice…. Oh man! It’s a tough call for sure and I think you’re wise to show a bit of restraint. I salute you!


    • I agree with you completely, I meant to get across that, my old blog, yes, it was super helpful in the beginning to share everything, but here, when I’m struggling, I share nothing I just do not post at all, and I feel like I shouldn’t blog. I need to find the right balance. Sharing everything used to be helpful, but the reason I stopped blogging there and made that blog private was because I realised that oversharing, wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore and that blog became solely about mental health and nothing else. That isn’t who I am anymore, I’ve come along way since then.
      Also some things are better left unsaid or in a private offline journal. So the right balance is what I’m trying to find, so I can still post instead of leaving my blog for months at a time because I feel unwell. I love blogging it helps me so much, and I love the community, I guess I just want to be a part of that all the time, not just when I feel okay.

      Thank you so much for commenting. 😀


  11. I agree with you when you say that people wouldn’t have found out that I was mentally ill, unless I broke it to them. I have been in a similar situation, though not same, as I am not a parent. But having ‘come out’, I did notice people’s skepticism regarding my abilities. But when you’re here in India, it is not the worst that can happen to you. Worse was when some people suggested I was being dramatic, and my psychiatric consultation was an excuse to justify my inabilities, and greatly reduced productivity by terming it a medical condition. What they failed to understand that it was the other way round, and all the shortcomings on my part was the result of my mental illness. Of course, it was later aggravated with my self-doubts concerning my shortcomings, which sunk me further into depression. Of course it’s a vicious circle.

    But don’t you worry, you are not alone. There are many of us spread across the world, trying to find our way out into the light, which we almost succeed at, at times and then fall back in, over and over. It is completely fine, rather assuring that you want to talk about your problems, because it makes you who you are. And of course, you come across as a great mother although I have only shared three coffees with you until now. Leave behind your apprehensions. Just speak your mind. You aren’t radiating any negativity. In fact, given your comic illustrations, paintings, gaming stints, and Lego stuff reflecting everywhere, you exude positiveness despite all problems, and hope.

    Have a good week ahead. 🙂


    • Thank you for sharing this with me. I really appreciate it.

      Finding things that help me smile, like the gaming, drawing, Lego etc has really helped me along my journey to acceptance. I like myself now, I never used to be able to feel that, I always disliked myself. I didn’t used to care so much when people didn’t understand, or didn’t like me, I guess because I disliked myself so I understood why they disliked me too (Although on the flip side, it’s hard to accept people like you, when you don’t). However, now it’s more painful when I lose someone because I am losing them because of this new person I am, the person I like more than I used to, the person I’ve worked hard to be. I think that’s why it’s scary now, why I’m scared to share exactly who I am, because this is who I am now, I am not just my illnesses anymore like I used to be.

      Hope is something I try to get across all of the time. People always have hope, even if they don’t feel it themselves. I never thought I’d get here, I never thought I had hope, but I did because I am here writing this stuff.

      Thanks again for sharing, I hope you have a wonderful week

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I can understand your hesitation to share too much, as there are probably readers to your blog out there who do not comment and who could be spiteful. Still, IMHO the best way to rid mental illensses of stigma is to talk about them openly – might not help your daughter but maybe future generations. Many hugs Rhio!


  13. What makes you a great mom is acknowledging your difficulties, recognizing when you need help and then having the courage to ask for that help when you (and your daughter) need it. 😉 Your consistency in these steps will determine your success as a mother. I have a motto for motherhood (and womanhood, for that matter), “We all have our stuff. It’s what we do with that stuff that makes the difference in where we end up!” Keep up the good, and sometimes hard, work of fighting for the life you have. You’re on the right track. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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