Emma gives her story of how she battled severe anxiety and depression with the help of her support workers in a Life House.
If I’m honest I don’t know what words to say to explain how amazing my experience has been already. But I’ll start with a little background first…
Spiralled out of control
A year ago I had severe anxiety and depression. I was lost and I had spiralled so badly out of control that everyone around me was worried for my well-being. After a few months of treatment, I found ways to cope with my problems and found a more positive outlook on life. But I still have daily struggles now and although the bad days are less often, they are still in my life.
Finding out I was pregnant
It was a massive anxiety trigger for me and throughout my pregnancy I struggled a lot with it. I wouldn’t leave my house and stayed hidden from the world in fear of judgement from my peers.
She made me feel so welcome
When I first interviewed for the Life House, I met one of the support workers, Nicky. She instantly noticed I was nervous and uncomfortable and helped me through it. Nicky gave me some really helpful coping tips on how to deal with situations of stress or where I was uncomfortable. I felt so welcomed and so comfortable. She genuinely went out of her way to make sure I was doing okay! I was accepted and put onto the waiting list.
A few months further into my pregnancy I hit a bad patch. A series of growth scans and reduced movements led to us finding out my little baby has ACC (agenesis of the corpus callosum). For all those who don’t understand, this meant that his brain has sadly underdeveloped which can lead to possible problems in the future. The truth is, I blamed myself for this everyday since.
At an all time low
When I was offered my room at Life, I was still 35 weeks pregnant. My anxiety and my whole thought process was at an all time low. I was on the verge of spiralling. But both Stacy and Nicky were there to support me and remind me constantly that it was all going to be okay. At the end of the day, they were always going to be here to support me and my little son’s needs, no matter what they were.
It was one of my biggest fears, being a mum. In fact, just being any form of independent because I’d relied so much on my family the whole 20 years of my life so far.
Letting go and taking the next step
Nicky convinced me that it was time to let go of all the overthinking and the anxiety. I just had to take the next step I needed to take for me and my little boy. That way we could have the BEST future possible and a good start for his life.
Since having my little boy and moving into Life, my whole perspective and mindset has changed. Although it is early days, I have the right support system around me now to be able to provide everything he needs and more.
Reminding me I’m an amazing Mum
I still struggle with anxiety and put myself down a lot. But every time Nicky or Stacy see me, they are constantly checking up to see if I’m really okay. They ask how I’m coping and remind me that I am in fact an amazing mum and that I’m doing so well!
There are so many young single mothers in all their various situations. They could be struggling with mental health, abuse, or even just being young or struggling to have a decent family life. I was lucky I came from a good family, but a lot of people do not have that. These days, a lot of girls who become pregnant and have babies young, or even younger than myself, get kicked out. Some come from broken homes that can’t support a growing baby and a growing mum.
If you need it, they will support you
The Life House offers life skills classes for those of us who aren’t independent. Things like cooking classes for those who (like myself) can only cook basic meals. Budgeting for people who struggle with managing money or have never paid bills before (like myself). Along with so many other different things. If you need it they will support you through it and teach you the right ways.
I’ve found my feet
Before Life I didn’t know how to be a mother and be independent. In the short time being here, I’ve found my feet. That is truly because of the support workers and the things Life does for us all. On my first day you could tell I was nervous. But Nicky was there smiling, and reminding me that it was all going to work out. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be – and she was right.
One of the best things that has ever happened
If it wasn’t for Life I would probably be homeless and struggling very hard to raise a very little new baby. And I know I’m not the only one.
Life is and will be one of the best things that has ever happened to my life. When I’m older I’ll be more humble and better off for it. In the future I’m hoping to go back to university and learn psychology. It has always been a dream that I’ve never before been brave enough to complete.
Because of Life, I have now realised I’m capable of not just being a great mum, but living the dreams and achieving the things I never thought I was good enough to try before. I am so thankful for every moment of Life being open and supporting myself and my son through what could possibly be some really tough times ahead.Because of Life, I have now realised I’m capable of not just being a great mum, but living the dreams and achieving the things I never thought I was good enough to try before. Click To Tweet
If you need support for any pregnancy related issue, please visit pregnancymatters.org.uk.