Surviving a Narcissistic Mother.


Living with a narcissistic mother is probably one of the biggest challenges anyone can face in their life time, surviving it is the ultimate challenge. Narcissistic mothers can inflict very deep wounds early in childhood, and rather than help those wounds heal will ensure the wound not only remains open with devastating consequences but also seek to carry on inflicting pain. This is so damaging that if left unchecked can create huge problems with a person’s self-esteem, and affect their relationships well into adulthood.

I was aware of my mother’s lack of presence both physically and emotionally from a very young age. She spent long periods being absent, from home, left in the care of my father, it was never really spoken about. Upon return she was cold, indifferent, moody, and explosive. Years later, putting the jigsaw puzzle together it became clear that she had been locked into a marriage she wanted no part of and yet refused to take responsibility for and walk away from, purely out of her own greed, materialism. In essence she wanted all of the benefits that went with the marriage, such as the financial security and the ability to have beautiful clothes etc, but none of the emotional attachment. She chose to stay out of her own insecurity and also greed, and with that came resentment and bitterness. She would inflict venom in the most explosive way possible, she was cold and lacked responsiveness. I longed for my mother’s affection and warmth, her approval and acceptance, and quickly learned that it was never going to be an easy thing to achieve. My heart at times, ached to be cuddled, nurtured, accepted  and loved was in stark contrast to the reality, which was the harshness, coldness, austere, brutal, accusatory that resonated in her and the loneliness it generated all around.  To be controlled and told to be grateful for it was against every fibre of my being. I took upon the role of rescuer and sought ways to appease, and generate humour within her and around her. Walking on eggshells became a regular occurrence. Her dysfunctionality was toxic. She was without doubt, strikingly beautiful, high cheekbones, her skin flawless, gorgeous hair with a perfect figure, always dressed elegantly, intelligent, she had an inquiring mind, a beautiful singing voice. To the outside world, a dream, a beauty, the reality couldn’t have been more different! She was manipulative, controlling, secretive, materialistic, vindictive, and poisonous.  She was a Narcissist.

To be met with such coldness as a child is a terrible thing. She would vent her fury at the smallest thing, and use anything as a weapon to drive home her message and re affirm her control. Everyday items such as a hair brush, brooms, or belts became items that she would use as weapons whilst in a fit of fury. Nothing was ever good enough, or too fast enough, she had no patience or empathy.

Having sustained a violent sexual assault as a child whilst out on an errand for her, I returned home traumatised. She in one of her usual fits of rage firstly accused me of lying, I was 10 years old! The police arrived to take a statement and observed her mask of congeniality slip, and were horrified, but nothing was said or done about. After that, I was forbidden by her to ever speak about it again. In her mind, it was done and dusted.

I was 13 when I stopped believing my mother was capable of ever-loving me.  This realisation occurred during an episode where she had me pinned by the throat to the wall, and was threatening me with a broom handle. I remember looking at her square in the eyes and seeing her dark anger, it was so strong you could almost see the vapours emitting from her body. I was terrified, but something rose in me and managed to summon up the physical strength to push her off me. It was at that precise moment, that I made a decision that she would never raise her hand to me again.   I also decided that she would never see me cry again, it was giving her too much power. A fight for survival was necessary, but it also came with devastating loss, I suffered the full impact of bereavement. The realisation that she was never going to change, and with that the loss of any hope of having any kind of warm loving relationship with my mother was gone forever.

It became apparent that  her toxicity and spiteful nature extended to grandparents, and other relatives, causing division, arguments, tension and sadly alienation.  Of course she would never admit to anything, but it all came to light when having received a letter from one of my grandparents, the truth was out, she had deliberately and callously caused alienation from them which was devastating. At 15 it became blatantly obvious, that she was jealous and in constant competition with me.

A child hood shaped by a mother with so much negativity and mood swings,   so I escaped into a marriage, which was another version of my mother, but far worse! It was a truly devastating moment when the reality dawned. I had allowed it to happen all over again! I left the marriage, and my mother was furious. I moved back into the family home, she took most of my salary, leaving me in a situation where I could not escape .She sided with my ex in an all-out attempt to break me completely. I was met with aggression and lies from both of them, every fibre in my being knew this was my one chance of escape and I took it and refused to budge. She betrayed me on levels that are beyond comprehension. Even though in complete shock, I managed to summon an  inner strength to confront her, she was a formidable opponent, I was met with denials, lies, ridicule refusing to listen, and gas lighting with full intent.  Gas lighting was a term that I came across a while later and explained things very clearly to me. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting). Time passed and as usual I would offer the olive branch, she refused, even during family bereavements, she would never take any responsibility for her own wrong doing. She chose to continue her vendetta, and it was whilst she in the middle of another rant, the idea formed in my mind that I was allowing this to continue.  It made me realise, enough was enough, and to walk away  from herfor my own preservation. These issues were hers, not mine, and I was no longer going to keep trying to fix her at the expense of myself!

I was left to pick up the pieces, and took the time, although completely devastated to heal on all levels. I came to discover, that my own experiences although traumatic were sadly not in the minority, but fundamentally it helped validate what I was trying to understand and come to terms with. I went through the whole cycle of a bereavement, denial, anger, sadness etc. I worked on repair at cell level, nurtured and consoled the inner child, and repaired my own self esteem.

Surviving a narcissistic  mother, was a challenge, at times I showed I strength, I didn’t even know that I had, but I can now say, I survived , started again and rebuilt my life. So whilst it is true that narcissistic mothers cause so much pain, there are things that you can do to build your life, survive and be happy and hopefully some of these suggestions might help you.

Still living at home:

  1. If you are still living with a narcissist mother, for your own wellbeing,  firstly reach and speak to someone. If this isn’t possible, then know that she will never change, she is incapable of doing so, and attempts to evoke change will only cause her to fly into a rage.
  2. Bide your time, keep yourself centred, and try not to react, that gives her power at your expense.
  3. Use meditation to keep you focussed and centred.
  4. Do not believe in her abusive analysis of you, what she is deep down speaking about is a description of her, but is too toxic to admit that there is anything wrong with her.
  5. Just bide your time, read as much as you can about narcissism, and look for a ways that you can move forward with your life. This means study hard, work on getting financial independence, see this as a means to an end and your survival
  6. Look at options for getting financial independence.
  7. Use affirmations such as Louise Hay; work on improving your self-esteem.
  8. Surround yourself with a good supportive positive network of people.

If you are no longer living at home,

  1. The following are some good reads, “You’re not crazy; – it’s your mother by Danu Morrigan, The Empathy Trap by Dr Jane Mcgregor, and Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood, and other support material that helps you deal with the trauma.
  2. Use Louise Hay affirmations, and apps such as Think up, which will improve your self-esteem.
  3. Accept that your mother did not and was incapable of loving you, that she has a problem; it does not define you as a person. You are not a bad person as a result of her disorder.
  4. Grieve
  5. Get to know You. What do you like? Love, to do? What is important to you?
  6. Make healthy boundaries.
  7. If you wish to maintain contact with your mother, put in place a time limit on visits, putting you in the driver’s seat, this will restrict any potential threat to you or your children.
  8. If you feel that maintaining contact is too stressful, then dis connect from her completely. Ensure that you have a supportive network around you that can help you through the bereavement process.
  9. Journal about your thoughts and feelings, it will help you work through the process in a more structured way and will help to release anger.
  10. If possible, use exercise to help you with the stress levels.
  11. Put 2 chairs in a room, sit in one and imagine the narcissist mother or father is in the other. Talk openly about how she has made you feel, this exercise is a very powerful one.
  12. Get help and support to help calm the nervous system, which for perhaps way too long has been in a state fight or flight scenario. Counselling is a good option which can help guide you through painful memories with a view to releasing them completely.
  13. Learn to look after Number 1 that is You. Even small things such as buying yourself a small bunch of flowers, bubble bath, if it makes you feel good that is the objective that you can build upon.
  14. Quieten the mind using meditation, which will reduce the inner critic, that has been raging within.
  15. Music is a great mood booster. Omharmonics has binaural waves which help calm the mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46DuYDhTkZM
  16. Be proud that you are a survivor of narcissist abusive mother; you can and will survive anything.
  17. You are not alone.
  18. Observe red flags in behaviour of others.
  19. Acknowledge your strengths.
  20. Take the first step in healing, you are worth it.
  21. Learn to have fun, and connect with things that make you laugh and feel happy.
  22. Check your diet, and keep it healthy.
  23. Perhaps adopt another mother, or volunteer.
  24. You cannot change anyone else, only yourself.
  25. The past is over, you cannot change it, but you can choose this moment, right now to build a new life that will make you happy, why wait?




Life coaching emotions

This is the post excerpt.

I have never undertaken anything like this before, this blog, a journey if you like is a new experience for me. As I go through the process of  writing this blog it will no doubt re ignite some personal experiences which at times went from one scale to another testing me to the core,, but I  very much  hope that by sharing these  it will help some of you who are reading this that you can bounce back with renewed vigor by life coaching your emotions. I will give you examples of what you can do to reclaim your zest for life. So the journey begins: Continue reading “Life coaching emotions”

Feeling invisible

We are surrounded 24/7 by images of success,  the media, is the biggest culprit showing images of people living the dream, and social media is another platform that everyone uses to full effect showing holiday photos, family get togethers, out with friends, shopping, in essence the epitome of what we all know to be success. When you are surrounded by these flashing images and bombardment every time you switch on the television, radio, pick up a magazine, sign into your social media or see friends who are thriving and you are going through despair, loneliness, isolation, lack of emotional support, and failure to thrive seeing these images just reinforces your own  sense of failure and be successful and happy in your own right.

Having gone through so many challenges surviving  living with a narcissistic mother, an abusive marriage, divorce, alienation, isolation, unemployment, and poor health as a direct consequence of trauma,  I am a survivor, and very happy in my own company. Yet I am still viewing life from a window, looking out and wondering when it is going to be my turn to find real happiness, success and joy?  People always say you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, yes I understand that but and there is a but, I am surrounded by so many people who are very wealthy and get themselves into a tizz just because their favourite bottle of wine is not available, they cannot get to the gym. It is surreal to me, when I have struggled at times to have enough money to even buy a loaf of bread! Everyone around me has someone, I have no -one and that makes me feel totally invisible, no-one listens, really listens, because everyone is wrapped up in their own life, being successful, having wonderful holiday, experiencing  life as a dance and just enjoying their journey. Part of being invisible is that no-one even notices that you are suffering internally and even if they were they simply do not know what to say!

I think constantly, what can I do to inject some positivity into my life that is tangible and will get the ball rolling and get me moving ahead. I can see it in my mind’s eye and yet I am bogged down by financial constraints, abandonment,logistics worry of how to get from A-B and move onto a happier phase of life.

Feeling invisible is a dreadful thing, in my case, I believe it goes back to my childhood of neglect and being in the company of a narcissistic mother. She wasn’t present, or engaged in any aspect of my wellbeing, or care, and so that sent a negative message to me as a young child that I didn’t matter and therefore, I didn’t really exist. She projected onto me her sense of distorted reality and judgement. As I developed into an adult and into the arms of an abusive marriage this message was driven home even harder, once again I was in a situation where I didn’t matter, I didn’t exist and I was invisible. I couldn’t do right for doing wrong and at times didn’t have any strong self of self or direction. I have turned my back on these two individuals for my own wellbeing. I have worked hard on myself, studied, done things I would never had done if I had still being caught up in that toxicity, read,  helped thousands. Yet I still feel invisible,like a speck of dust floating around, unnoticed and undervalued, why because everyone doesn’t know what to say to me, they just leave me to get on with it.


How many of you reading this can relate?

Feeling invisible quote






Betrayal, as my quote states above, wounds the heart and mind. There are so many levels of betrayal, to name a few, abandonment, spreading lies, being deliberately spiteful in order to wound,gossip, addictions, abuse, control, affairs.

Betrayal can feel like very much like bereavement, it can literally floor you, as the emotions of loss, devastation,and shame threaten to overwhelm you. What happened? Why did it happen? Who is this person, I thought I knew them? How could I have been so stupid to allow it to happen? These are all normal reactions, and it is important to go through the process in a way that supports and helps you heal and move on.

Friendship betrayals are very complex and totally devastating. Investing, time, energy, into a friendship can be rewarding, but what happens when the same friend turns their back on you?

One era of my life, that springs to mind that was  to wreak havoc upon my life in ways that I could only have had nightmares about. A close best friend , we shared so much together, went out for meals, shared stories, humour,heartaches, confidences, dreams and hopes over a 5 year period. I thought I know her, I trusted her completely. She was the one that I would reach out to and vice versa.  Our time together was funny; it was eventful never dull, we had similar values and core beliefs. I worried for her, and about her, we laughed and cried together. Little did I realise that my confidence in her was about to be completely shattered and I would be left with no alternative but to walk away. It had been an emotionally devastating time for me, I had experienced divorce, family trauma, bereavement, office politics, a time where problems escalated and I was at my wits end. I had lost confidence in myself, who I was and where I was going. So with all of that, the last thing I needed on top was to be betrayed by my best friend. Something hit my  gut, as I felt the first twinge of uncertainty around her, my intuition was screaming that she couldn’t be trusted and yet I so wanted for this not to be true, surely not? How could it be? She became distant and secretive, our lives were moving in different directions, but we maintained contact.  I noticed that I was being undermined in public with her, and then when challenged, it was apparently my imagination.  It was if my feelings were not being taken into consideration at all.

On numerous occasions, information was being passed around, to others that could only have come from her.  Still I chose, some may say foolishly to forgive and ignore. The final time that I actually acknowledged it was absolutely devastating, I was bereft. I shut down emotionally and needed time out. She bombarded me with telephone calls and text messages asking me what was wrong with me. She refused to take any responsibility for her own actions and decisions that led to a serious act of betrayal between us. As others pointed out to her, she had wounded me very seriously and it was up to her to explain and attempt to heal the wounds. There was no heartfelt sorrow on her part; she failed to see that betraying confidences of a very important traumatic event was wrong at all. As the full impact of her actions, exploded in my head, I felt the full impact of a bereavement that floored me. How could I trust her again? How could I be so foolish to have trusted her in the first place? Why? Why? Why? It swirled around in my head over and over again. I was furious, and then tearful, devastated, resentment consumed me as I was left to pick up the pieces.

Finally, I decided to confront her and listen to her side of the story. I remained calm, even though my insides were churning and I felt my emotions going haywire. I waited; I listened for some semblance of explanation that would enable us to move forward in a positive way. However, no matter how she dressed it up, she refused point blank to really listen and hear me. She had generated a wound that was never going to heal and there was no going back to how we used to be, it was finished, over and done with. Perhaps it was my own fault, to trust her too much? To be expecting to be shown the same level of courtesy that I had shown to her, is that wrong? My self-esteem plummeted, and I decided it was time for me to re gain some control of this situation, it was my wake up call. Time to remove myself from a toxic situation that was damaging me at core level. I need to heal the wound. It was essential to create healthier boundaries around me. Time to nurture and have respect for myself. A time of reflection and renewal, I worked on strengthening my energy on all levels. It dawned upon me the danger of dismissing red flags and intuition. This fundamentally went back to child hood, something that I will be writing about at a later date. So hence a lot of work to be done, but it was essential for my wellbeing.

Fundamentally, it was a bitter blow, but it didn’t break me, it shaped me into who I am today. I realised it was an unavoidable experience; out of pain came growth and transformation. I also realised that sometimes, people come into your life for a reason, some stay, some do not, some are there to show you elements of yourself that need development and others show you lessons.

So if you are reading this and suffering betrayal, how can you take back control? How do you heal from it and move forward?

  1. Take time to think things through, it is important to address the hurt, and pain, but the most important thing is to do this in a measured way that ensures that you do not succumb to anymore emotional hurt. Speak to the person, when you are ready. If you feel unable to do this, then consider writing down your feelings and send it to them.
  2. Betrayal as I mentioned is similar to bereavement, take time out to go through your emotions, and do not deny them as this will block you from blossoming and moving forward.
  3. Out of every negative there is always a positive, sometimes you will be unable to see it at the time, but it will become evident.
  4. Show compassion and kindness to yourself.
  5. Betrayal shows the other person is weak, if they are unwilling to meet you halfway then surely you deserve better?
  6. Refuse to be a victim, it will dis empower you.
  7. Exercise, take up a sport or even run it releases endorphins that will make you look and feel great.
  8. Go for a walk in nature, it is very grounding and helps soothe you.
  9. Release anger, it is futile and damaging to your mind, body and spirit.
  10. Take a newspaper and a pencil (it must be these two things). As the light is fading, sit and allow your thoughts, anger, and feelings about the betrayal to tumble out onto the newspaper. If you are doing this correctly, the text will be all over the place, which is great. Do not read it, otherwise you are ingesting the toxicity again, take this paper outside, either burn it or shred it. This action in itself is very cathartic, and cleansing.
  11. Look at your boundaries, what are they looking like?
  12. Meditate, it is good for stress
  13. Look at apps such Think Up, you can download affirmations that will work on improving your self-esteem, and bring positive changes into your life. See this link: http://thinkup.me/
  14. Know that new people will come into your life if you will allow it.
  15. Carry on being you, developing and improving you!
  16. Know that you cannot change anyone else, only yourself.
  17. Be honest with yourself, what was your involvement? By this I mean, have you allowed toxicity, and behaviour to infiltrate your life by losing boundaries and lack of empathy for yourself? This does not undermine the effects of the betrayer or their behaviour. But consider this, maybe, just maybe, they couldn’t find the courage to face potential conflict by expressing any resentment, bitterness or thoughts in a compassionate and assertive way. Taking time to look at any involvement you have played is not negative, it is actually Empowerment. This will enable you to move forward with clarity and positivity. You can heal the hurts, discover an inner strength and build better, more authentic relationships.
  18. What doesn’t break you will make you stronger.
  19. Maybe you have drifted, and this is a point for you to rediscover, new adventures, opportunities, hobbies that reignite your enthusiasm for life, or a relationship.
  20. Always listen and be guided by your own judgement and intuition, if something doesn’t feel right, it is usually the case.
  21. Surround yourself with people that are positive and want the best for you.
  22. Forgiveness is crucial to your survival and healing process. If you carry bitterness with you it will zap you on all levels and surely you are worth more than that?
Sometimes it is better to walk away then fight a battle that is not worth your time or energy.




Wikipedia describes anxiety as “an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil.”.

Put simply, it is a  sudden feeling of dread, an overwhelming desire to  escape , as the environment around you starts to shrink. A feeling that all eyes are upon you, judging and mocking  you whilst your body releases adrenaline at super sonic speed. This adrenaline is released as your body is preparing for “flight or fight”, which is perfectly normal when the  brain  identifies a  life or death situation. Adrenaline for a fight  is needed in order to be strong, and  for flight, to ensure the ability to escape from danger. In essence it is your internal  alarm system, but in certain situations it can become out of control and create chaos.

Typical symptoms such as shortness of breath,palpitations, pounding heart or increased heart rate,chest pain, shaking or trembling, feeling of choking, sweating, hot or cold flushes,nausea, vomiting, abdominal or stomach pain, unsteady, dizzy or faint, a feeling of being  detached from yourself difficulty swallowing,numbness or tingling, fear of losing control, going crazy or dying are all part and parcel of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety that occurs  on an occasional basis, is  deemed as part and parcel of  life and our society. Pre exam nerves, before a work interview, preparing for a performance or talk we have all been there. But what if anxiety is creeping up on you and ruling your life, dictating how you live your life? What if it is impacting in such a way that you are completely overwhelmed by it?

My first experience of anxiety, not that I knew what it was called at the time,  was following a traumatic incident at school when my best friend  was gang raped on her way back to school during the lunch period. I remember listening to her and feeling complete terror, the fear and adrenaline surged through my body and completely overwhelmed me. As she was taken into a  separate room, I was left to wander back into the classroom,  feeling my legs would give way and I would collapse. I was now in the classroom, aware of the noise, but  completely unable to concentrate or focus on anything else,I was shaking internally and externally.  I felt incredibly hot, and yet the colour drained from my face. Some might question, why was my reaction so drastic? The reason being, I was reliving an episode in which I too had been held captive, violently sexually assaulted and was in real fear for my own life. I had shut this episode out of my mind, it was too traumatic, but now as my friend spoke about her terrifying experience, I too was also experiencing anxiety raging through my mind and my body. I  could completely identify with the physical symptoms of nausea, the sound of the heart hammering inside the chest, as well as the emotional symptoms of devastation and feeling violated.

Flash forward several years, and anxiety episodes increased,  I remember studying at college and yet on the day of examinations, it was like my brain had exploded, my heart was pounding so much that I thought it would leap out and I would collapse in a heap, I couldn’t breathe properly. I felt so nauseous that I was actually sick. All the hours of study that I had invested went completely out of the window as my brain went completely blank, the more upset I became the more my brain refused to call in all the information that I knew was there. I could hear the sound of the clock in the examination room, and aware that other students were furiously scribbling away and deep in concentration, and yet, I had gone completely blank, and had frozen in terror and was also  becoming extremely frustrated. My head was now thumping as the adrenaline was surging now out of control, and I was caught up in a what seemed like a tsunami effect in my body and mind.What I didn’t realise at the time was that having sustained such a significant trauma, it had been shut away and so naturally I was wired given any potential threat and left exposed to the full effects of anxiety.

Over the years anxiety became the burden on my shoulder,  a cloak that was ready to pounce. As silly as it might sound, I did not really appreciate the enormity of it. I had internalized a massive trauma, but it was clearly shining like a beacon to any predator, I lost count of the number of times, I was stalked and this exacerbated the anxiety that I was feeling internally. My body went into full flight or fight, trying to understand and come to terms with something that was so overwhelming.On the outset, I was a strong, capable, articulate and confident person, helping others with a great sense of humor, internally, at times I was crumbling and anxiety was consuming me.

If you are reading this and can identify with any of it, you are not alone, there is hope, and part of the reason for me sharing my story is so that I can share some tips that helped me reclaim my life, and  restore balance.

  1. First and foremost, seek help, reach out, speak to someone who you can trust, visit your doctor, there could be a serotonin imbalance that can be addressed.
  2. When a panic anxiety is on the horizon, focus on your breathing.Take a breath in to the count of 7 in your mind. Then slowly breathe out to the count of 11. The mind has to  focus to do this task, and by concentrating on this it will help bring down the adrenaline.
  3. Use essential oils such as Lavender,Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Roman chamomile, Neroli, Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Vetiver and Ylang Ylang can all help to promote and instill a feeling of calmness and relaxation. See what appeals to you, book in to have a massage with a qualified aromatherapist, and also consider burning the oils in an oil diffuser whilst at home.
  4. Understand that you are not alone, it is estimated that approximately 3 million people in the U.K alone suffer with anxiety.
  5. Know that this will pass, it might be where you are now,but things will change and improve, so hold onto hope.
  6. Use positive affirmations such as “I am safe” “All is well”, fake it until you make it even when you do  feel anxious, the mind and body can be restored back into balance.
  7. When anxiety strikes, accept it, by denying it will  just prolong it.
  8. Note 5 things you see around you. It might be a bird, a brightly coloured flower, a sunset, however big or small, either write it  down or verbally state the  5 things you can see.
  9. What 4 things  can you touch that are near you?. Maybe this is your hair, hands, ground, grass, pillow, etc, whatever it may be, list out the 4 things you can feel.
  10. What 3 things you hear that are going on around you?Maybe its  a clock,  a cat purring, focus on this for a few seconds.
  11. What  2 things  can you smell?  Perhaps your perfume or aftershave, smell of laundry,something in  nature,
  12. What 1   thing you can taste?This might be tricky if you are feeling nauseous, but give it a try. By getting in touch with your senses, you are taking back control and bringing down adrenaline levels and enabling the mind and body to come back into balance and for peace and harmony to be restored.
  13. Look at your diet, are you getting enough magnesium, selenium and zinc?
  14. Aim to have a minimum of 1 to 3 grams of omega 3 each day.Good sources of omega 3 are  flaxseed oil, fish oil, chia seeds, walnuts, fish roe (eggs), fatty fish, seafood, soybeans, and spinach.
  15. Cut out caffeine, replace with green tea, drink more water
  16. Get adequate rest.
  17. Meditate daily, this is a simple but highly way of reducing anxiety, and encourages optimum health.
  18. Exercise, do what you enjoy. Tai chi, martial arts are all excellent at helping with anxiety and putting you back in control.
  19. Aim to get out in  natural sunlight each day for a minimum of 15 minutes.






Depression is a common mental disorder and very much stigmatized even in today’s  society. It is estimated that globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. This means 1 in 4 people will develop some level of depression at   some point in their lives, regardless of  background, race or religion. It is becoming more and prevalent just  as the common cold, causing heartache not only for the sufferers but those trying to support them in a positive way.

It  has been described as many things, Churchill called it his Black Dog, others call it a fog that descends and engulfs them. For me , it crept up on me, it was relentless in its pursuit, building up momentum and speed, and eventually it engulfed me.It was a very frightening and lonely experience,  being trapped at the bottom of a well and no escape route as the top had been sealed with iron bars,  only a fragment of  light was visible. As I stood totally engulfed by this force field of blackness, my senses went into over drive. I was overwhelmed,  feeling frightened, , hopelessness despair,failure, and trapped.  I called it the raging tornado as it picked me up, tossed me around,just like laundry in a washing machine and I was caught up in the full effect of its force, I was battle weary and completely worn down with it.The daily challenge of the onslaught was exhausting,  overwhelming, daunting and depleted my energy levels, was it any wonder that I was physically exhausted as well?

I was working myself to the point of collapse, juggling home life, family commitments, work,coming to terms traumatic experiences, being all things to all people, with very little support from anyone.Very few really took time to see beyond the exterior and I was too proud and at times too embarrassed to talk about the tornado that was engulfing me. I found that I was totally exhausted physically, my immune system was compromised, I had frequent headaches, I was irritable, my appetite went completely and I started losing weight. I was finding it very difficult to concentrate, or see any aspect of joy, at all. I felt like a robot just going through the motions, like a wheel turning around but not really feeling anything or absorbing any fresh energy or vibrancy into my life, just going through the motions. I felt stuck, and the more I denied my own emotions, the more stuck I became, which generated anger,frustration,  then sorrow, low energy and so it went on. I felt unworthy and a huge failure, at times, and I questioned the point of my own life.

Looking back it is interesting how I was supporting others to the detriment and sabotage of my own self. If you are reading this and can relate to some of this then I very much hope that what follows will provide comfort and help.So  I want to share with you, some things that I have used that have helped me get back up and stand on my feet and function in a much healthier and more balanced way.

  1. Make time for yourself, every day, even just 5 minutes
  2. Reach out to family, friends a doctor, it is important to open up and communicate how you feel. There is no shame attached to being unwell, and you deserve to be given the best care possible.
  3. Show compassion to self. Very often when depression strikes we are own worst enemy, being hard on ourselves. If this was a friend that was suffering would you still be so hard? The answer is probably no. Compassion, and kindness to self is crucial when you need it most.
  4. Feel the need to cry, do so, acceptance rather than denial is the best thing.
  5. Affirmations, the importance of which cannot be underestimated at all. It has been proved scientifically, that what we think we become. Look at affirmations from Louise Hay http://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/  or perhaps create some of your own, to generate positive changes. There is a free app on iphone that you can download called http://thinkup.me/  you can either use their own affirmations or record your own, commit to using them every day. The mind cannot think of a positive and a negative thought at the same time. Commit to using these affirmations for at least 30 days and see the positive changes unfold in front of you.
  6. Eat at least one meal a day
  7. Get out in the fresh air, walking in the outdoors, is very grounding, and nature is very therapeutic.
  8. Write down the negatives down on a piece of paper and then burn them, this very action is very cathartic experience.
  9. Write a to do list every day, and tick them off one by one. No matter how mundane,  it will give you a sense of achievement and purpose.
  10. On a notepad, make a note of things you previously did that made you feel good, a column for joy, and another column for the mundane things in life. Are there more mundane items than joy on your list? If so, time to make some change, no matter how small.
  11. Challenge the negative thoughts, just as you would have a debate about a topic, question those thoughts. For example too often it is very easy when the dark cloud looms to feel unworthy, or unpopular, question and challenge, this look at the achievements that have been undertaken so far.You are worth far more than you know.
  12. Create a list of all the qualities that you have.
  13. Adopt a pet if you don’t already have one. Pets are very therapeutic, good for instilling calm and they need a routine which is a good thing.
  14. Meditate every day sometimes for only 5 minutes. Concentrate on the rise and fall of the breath. Whenever a negative thought and depression knocks on the door,  don’t fight it, invite it in sit it down even offer it a coffee, now go back to the breath, breathing in and exhaling slowly. Imagine, the breath as you exhale as a cloud of darkness, and when you inhale pure white light entering the body.
  15. Essential oils are good for lifting mood and bringing down adrenalin, you can buy diffusers or oil burners and use them in the home. Oils like Orange, Rose, Lavender, Sandalwood, Jasmine, are very soothing, and relaxing, but also Peppermint, Lemon and Lime, all refreshing and can help with focus and cleansing.
  16. Colour Therapy. is an evidence based complementary non invasive therapy for which there is evidence dating back thousands of years to the ancient cultures of Egypt, China and India. It can be used alongside other complementary and also in  conjunction with orthodox conventional medicine. Colour is simply light of varying wavelengths, thus each colour has its own particular wavelength and energy.. When depression hits, do not wear dark colours, it is important to really increase your energy vibration. The use of colours such as Orange, Yellow and Red will help encourage energy, and mood considerably.
  17. Go to sleep at a regular time.
  18. Before you go to sleep at night, write down 3 things that have happened that you are either grateful for or that have made  you happy. This well be challenging at times, but this is so important as you write these down, they are going into the subconscious mind whilst you sleep, and will help.
  19. Magnesium is important for energy, often when depression hits, having a constant battle in our heads depletes us physically also. An easy way of getting magnesium into the body effectively is to use Epsom Salts, a couple of handfuls in a bath, soak in the bath, keep the body warm and then ideally go to sleep, keeping warm. Also  look at your diet ensure  that the body is getting adequate amounts of zinc and selenium  to nourish it correctly.o
  20. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, you are unique, there is only one you.
  21. Try to live in the present moment, don’t look back it is futile, planning for the future is fine, but try not to be running towards the future. Live in the present moment
  22. This episode will pass and brighter days will come bringing more happiness, visualise it, believe it and you will achieve it.
  23. Surround yourself with only positive people, those that believe in you and want what is best for you, they will support you and be like a radiator. Remove toxic people from your life. Ask yourself are they a drain or a radiator?
  24. You are not your illness. Depression is an illness it does not define you as a person, it is where you are at the moment.
  25. Trust.

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