Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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"I Couldn't Be The Best Mother I Could Be" - A Mum's Journey with Depression.

One in 4 adults and one in 10 children in the world will be affected by neurological (mental health) disorders at some point in their lives. It is predicted around 450 million people suffer from these conditions, which places mental disorders amongst the leading causes of ill-health and disability in the world. Many people we know and care for are amongst that statistic. 

I opened up about my anxiety disorder back in 2014 (read Having a Mental Health Disorder on the blog) and figured out pretty quickly I wasn't alone. For me in times when anxiety is pretty damn terrifying having somebody near who understands something of what you go through provides comfort and support. This Thursday is World Mental Health Day and I wanted to use this week to invite people to chat about their experiences, whether that's as a mother, in the workplace or as a child.

First up in this series is a mother's story of depression and how this affected the relationships around her, including the one she had with her son and herself.

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I was first labelled as "depressed" when I was in my early teens. This led me to see myself as a different person to who I actually was and how differently I was treating myself. Maybe I needed to figure out those difficult teenage years, not to just be put on antidepressants as quick as a doctor could print me off my prescription. This most definitely planted a seed for my future years. Not only was I depressed but along came eating disorders, anxiety and panic attacks. It was the tablets telling me it was because I was depressed. 

When things didn't go as planned or they'd go wrong, the go-to excuse was because I was depressed. Was I? Or was that built into my logical thinking as a confused teenager in a doctors surgery crying for help?

The years passed and I was drawn into unhealthy relationships, constantly. I didn't think I was good enough so why would other people think I was? I was out of control yet being controlled. I allowed myself to be emotionally abused by those I trusted and soon I had no idea who I was at all. 

Then I became a mother. Whilst most people glow through their pregnancy and enjoy it, for the most part, I didn't. I didn't enjoy pregnancy, birth or the first stages of having a new-bor because I wasn't allowed to be a person.. I put that down to the control that depression had on me. From the outside though I put on a front. I was a happy, strong individual but on the inside I certainly wasn't. I was crippled by the pain of not really knowing who I actually was. I allowed the people I trusted to use and treat me like dirt and ironically this meant that I pushed away the people who really cared for me. 
The emotional abuse I endured soon turned physical. Soon after I became a single mother and also went through an abortion alone. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life so far and one I still regret to this day, I refused to ask for help when I needed it the most because I was ashamed and told it was all of my fault. 

This chapter of my life was a real game changer, I was suddenly alone in a house with no-one but a baby for company. I adored him but when he was asleep at night I needed a friend to help me digest the huge amount of guilt, pain, hurt, scenarios and memories that were lodged in my mind. Then I met a friend.

This friend and I had known each other for a while, we started talking and met for nights out, this soon became more than occasionally to every night. This friend enabled the anxiety, pain and depression that I was experiencing to disappear for a while and it was FUN. I would forget an entire evening and forgot the past that hung on my shoulders for so long. I forgot it all for a long time until one morning I woke up, it was an awakening. I was sat after a night out with this friend in tears, full of anxiety, full of pain and with self made cuts on my arm.. this is how happy my 'friend' made me.  I decided she had to go and she left that day. This friend was alcohol.

This day was over a year ago. Today I am a different person, I AM the person I thought I was under the influence of alcohol, but better. The pain I was hiding from isn't painful anymore and I have only had one panic attack in that time.. coincidence right?

I have also freed myself from medication, I ditched the anti-depressants as soon as I felt strong enough to do so. I cannot explain to you the feeling of unmedicated true happiness I have experienced. I am genuinely so much happier in myself and my life, finally. My relationships with people have improved ridiculous amounts and most importantly the relationship with my son is 100% better. I have always been there for him but now we're rock solid, no cracks. I couldn't be the best mother I could be whilst under the influence of alcohol, taking medication each day to ensure I made it through the day and then the medication so I could sleep..I see that now. 

Read more: List of useful contacts for people seeking support with their depression.

I was just a shell, in fact, a zombie. My son is 6 years old now and he remembers the person I was back then. He once did a 'slurred voice' impression on morning and said he 'was being mummy last night'. Although not my finest parenting hour and I was ashamed by my actions, I realise acknowledging the truth helps lead me to my recovery. 

One of my favourite quotes is the best apology is changed behaviour so I did it for him and one day he will know my story. It will hopefully help him to be the best he can be and know it's ok to fail, to have bumps along the way in life and that it's ok to ask for help. 

I am present now, I have developed a love of mindfulness and meditation that I practice daily. I just wish I had learnt these coping tools back in my teens, maybe a course or mindfulness instead of taking antidepressants which led me down a different road. But I'm not dwelling on the journey I've taken, the journey made me who I am today and it's something I never thought I'd say but I am pretty damn proud of me. 

There are fantastic charities out there who support people with depression, these include Mind, Depression UK and SANE


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