I am an avid Youtube watcher. I watch it more than TV or Netflix combined . I love immersing myself in other people's lives, seeing how they go about their day - empathizing with their struggles and celebrating their success. It's a wonderful world of escapism.
Now I'm going to be honest, I watched it all with a silent cynicism believing that while I observed and enjoyed, it would never have an impact on me (other than using up time I could be doing something else of course). I work in the business of PR and Communications. I felt that gave me some kind of untouchable force that meant I could view from a distance like some superhero or Queen.
That cynicism was crushed and burned in the most beautiful way possible by none other than Louise Pentland - aka SprinkleofGlitter - and her very honest and raw conversations about mental health in pregnancy.
My mental health is not something I have generally opened up about in my life. Here yes. Out there in the real world thought . . . (*shivers*). People don't generally know what I have been going through. Maybe bits and pieces, but I have never felt comfortable being vulnerable enough to truly come out and say that I was struggling. It's a huge reason why I stopped this blog - I was terrified of people I knew finding it, of exposing them to my deepest darkest mental health secrets.
Of people knowing about my fears of having another child, my irrational and disordered relationship with food and my panic attacks. It was all too real and too raw and did not fit with how I wanted people to view me. Never mind that a lot of them saw through it anyway.
Louise helped change that. In ways she can't even possibly imagine.
When Louise fell pregnant with her daughter Pearl, she opened up to the internet in ways I never dreamed possible. She spoke about her post-pregnancy PTSD, her fears of birth, her desire to never have another child after her first and her mental health struggles through it all.
She became an open book, a book that was all too familiar to me. Louise helped give me words to explain how I had felt after my daughter was born. She forced me to truly look inwards and see what was scaring me and holding me back. I was in therapy already, but Louise helped bust open the last wall of reserve and enabled me to truly realise that as scared as I was, I could do it again.
I could willingly step back into the painful world of pregnancy and feel like I had some sort of control over my pregnancy and my birth.
By Louise being open and admitting that she had not been okay, but was - through her new and unplanned pregnancy - on a journey to being okay, I realised that I too could be okay. If I prepared myself for what lay ahead and armored myself with all the self-help and therapy I could need I too could be a mother again and embark on this crazy journey once more.
And here I am. Yes my morning sickness is just as bad. Yes this time I have developed the incredibly painful and debilitating habit of getting pregnancy migraines. And yes, it all sucks just as much as it did the first time round. But this time my MIND is different. My anxiety is under control. I am eating when I can. Because I have walked into this with the confidence that I can do this. I can get through this. And I am saddled with the tools to help me achieve my goals.
So to you Louise, if you even stumble upon this humble little blog, thank you. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being honest. And most importantly of all, thank you for inspiring. This young mum and soon-to-be bub are grateful.