MENTAL MUTHA MEETS CANDICE BRATHWAITE
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS CANDICE BRATHWAITE
Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?
I’m currently the former, but I’ve been the latter. Life right now seems a bit mental. I primarily work for myself and am due to have my second kid next month. My eldest is four and starts school in September, so to say I’ve got my hands full is perhaps a little bit of an understatement. After having Esme, the walls came closing in, hard and fast. After a throwing, a TV at my husband (it was small and he is swift) and a family intervention, I conceded to the idea that I needed some help. I went on the anti-depressant ‘Fluxotine’ until I felt strong enough to face life without medication and it was the best decision I ever made.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?
All three. I usually shut down. I meditate every day and my husband Papa B is like my therapist. He has a brilliant way of making me see things with a clearer head.
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?
I think one of the reasons my mental health took a pounding was because I had no mum mates. I was the first in my friendship group to have a child, so was very much alone for a while. Luckily my sister had my niece a year after I had Esme. She’s my best friend and things became considerably easier.
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?
Its a tricky one. Esme is super smart but she still is only four. I always encourage her to talk about her feelings and teach her a broad vocabulary so she has a plethora of words to help describe how she is feeling. I think that is the best angle to take when the child is so young.
Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)
Again, my husband is my first and last sounding board. My sister is also instrumental in helping me keep a positive attitude. I think it’s really important that our cheerleaders have known us for a while and have been through the highs and lows with us. That makes it easier for them to perhaps understand why you’re in a dark place to begin with.
What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)
A change of atmosphere. It doesn’t always need to be a holiday but I never say no. I depend on meditation and yoga in the same way that a junkie would their drug of choice. It’s important for me to have at least an hour a day where I don’t have to communicate with anyone. Motherhood and marriage, can really suck you dry as a woman. And if you’re not careful, 24hrs will roll by before you notice you’ve done nothing but think of the needs of others. That is just not an option for me.
Is it hard to talk about your mental health? (Doesn't mean on Instagram necessarily, but do you feel the stigma is lifting and do you feel safe to speak your mind, even if it is possibly ‘mental'?)
I’m a very hard person to shame. I speak honestly and openly about EVERYTHING unless my tongue will have a negative impact on those i love. I’ve been surrounded by the impact of poor mental health since I was a child. I’ve been privy to seeing family members try to commit suicide and be sectioned on numerous occasions. I guess that was an ice breaker. So personally, for me not only is it easy to speak about mental health, but it’s a necessity.
Where’s your head at?
A place of insecurity. Which I’m submitting to, no matter how slowly. I’m building a career and having another child, it would be mental to say that I was completely confident about the outcomes.
Soft Play or Rehab?
Rehab - by Amy Winehouse obviously.
Jacobs Creek or a Jacobs Cracker?
Crackers please! I’m more of a Gin gal. Gordons if you’re reading this, you’re more than welcome to sponsor me.
Nut Job or Nut Allergy?
The former but I have a dirty mind, so go figure.
Self-Care or Self Sabotage?
Journal or jog?
Ask for help or happy to hermit?
Ask for help.
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.