R U Ok? No, but really…?

As you may be aware, today is R U OK day.
A day to promote the act of simply asking someone you know if they are ok, to help with depression, anxiety, stress and suicide prevention.
It’s such a great initiative and a campaign that has been marketed and promoted really well over the last few years.
It’s a subject and issue close to my heart, for so many different personal reasons.

I have had friends commit suicide, family members suffer depression and severe anxiety and stress, and I myself have suffered on and off since being a teenager with depression and anxiety.

I’ve mentioned it on Facebook once or twice, when promoting R U Ok day in the past, but up until yesterday, I had never really spoken about my own struggle openly and really truthfully.
But yesterday, after a few particularly hard days on myself, and about a year and a halves worth of pretty full on anxiety and bouts of depression on and off and the last few months of some tough and stressful family life situations, I decided to finally say something to my husband.
The poor guy, he is going through a tough time himself as it is, our life, while generally happy and healthy, is pretty stressful right now.
But I knew it had come to breaking point in my mind, and I needed to let some of it out, and I knew he needed to understand the depths of my ‘feeling down’. Sometimes feeling down, really means feeling the furtherest down you can get. And I had.

I’d spent the last few weeks feeling awful, and telling myself I was the reason for our family being in the stressful situation we were in, and telling myself the worst things one can say to themselves. My thoughts had turned sour and rotten towards myself, and I caught myself a number of times thinking ‘they’d be so much better off without me’.
That train of thought would never continue into anything anymore sinister, I never got to thinking of ways to end my life. I would always catch myself by thinking that I couldn’t not have a life without my husband and daughter, and I could never put them and my family and close friends through that ordeal.
I always had just enough logic, self love and care for family to not let my brain go there.
But mostly I thought to myself that I wasn’t worth it. I would go to do some exercise like yoga or an ab workout and I would tell myself ‘don’t bother, your not worth it, what’s the point’.
Or I would have a great day making steps towards getting my little business up and running properly, then the next day I would think about how much more I had to do and instead of wanting to get started I would think ‘don’t bother, it’ll never work, you won’t succeed, you don’t have the skills, your hopeless.’
Or how I’ve taken months to type up my updated résumé to try and get some part time work because every time I would go to type it up that negative voice would say ‘no one will hire you, you are a fraud, you don’t have any skills, and you can’t give them good availability so why would anyone want a daggy Mum, your a has-been’.

It’s exhausting just reading it, isn’t it?
No wonder people with depression often feel tired and lethargic all the time.
Carrying around those negative thoughts is heavy.
And after a while, after you’ve told yourself these negative thoughts for long enough, your brain cells change and the negative thoughts are the quickest and easiest route to take. Your brain becomes conditioned to putting yourself down and it actively finds ways to affirm those negative thoughts.

At times I felt trapped, I knew I couldn’t leave my life, and I didn’t want to, but I knew I didn’t like myself and who I was and how I was thinking and acting.

So, with this being National Suicide Prevention Week and today being R U OK Day, and alot of talk about them both on social media, it gave me the context and platform to speak up.

Even while telling my husband just some of my thoughts and feelings, I was still thinking ‘how selfish, he doesn’t need this extra stress, and your just being dramatic and selfish’.
Yet I knew I had to push past that negative voice in my head and get some of it out.
I was like a pot of water that had been simmering away, the last few weeks I had begun boiling and yesterday I boiled over, and spilled my hot water.

After watching a segment on The Project on Tuesday night about suicide prevention where a young lady had used the Beyond Blue to really gauge what she was feeling and why she was feeling a certain way, the next morning I jumped on the website and did the same thing.
I must admit, still my mind was saying ‘I bet it will come up with nothing, I bet it will tell you there’s nothing wrong with you’.
But it didn’t.
Filling out that checklist was the most honest I’d been with myself in months, years even.
It came back as HIGH.
I registered in the High range. Meaning I really did have depression and really wasn’t well and I wasn’t just being dramatic.
Directly below my HIGH reading were suggestions to call a 000, a doctor or lifeline or someone immediately. As if I was moments away from hurting myself or doing something drastic.
I wasn’t, but It was in that moment, of reading what experts suggested, from my completely honest answers in their checklist, that I realised, it sunk in. I stopped pretending. And let myself be honest with myself.
‘You really do need help, you can’t do this on your own anymore’, I thought.

So later that day I told my Husband. And it felt good to release some of the tension. And I made a vow to myself to be kinder to myself, to be honest with myself and to have the strength I know I have to ask for help.
I have steps and plans to take to move forward, to pull my mind out of the black hole it’s crawled into, and life already seems brighter.
But finally, after at least 10-15 years of dealing with depression and anxiety on my own, I’m giving myself a break and allowing myself help, because I deserve it.
My logical thoughts pushed through the negative and I know I’m worth it, I’m deserving of help.
I’m tired of feeling awful.
I’m ready to feel good again.
I’m ready to help myself get help, and make the changes to become strong again.
I will always have my bad days every now and then, I know that. The difference now is that my will and want for more better days is going to get stronger again.

This has been such a hard post to write.
And even now I’m struggling with wether I should post it.
It is a hard thing to push through your own wall you’ve put up, your own misplaced pride and really tell your true feelings.
But the whole point of R U OK Day is to not only ask someone how they are doing, but answer honestly if someone asks you.

And whilst you will not have asked me, hopefully if you’re reading this, it might make you think about another friend or family member that you think is struggling.
Really ask them, if they say they are fine, which I did all the time, and I pretended so well everything was, ask them again, let them know you’re there to really listen.

ThankYou for taking the time to read this, I know it’s long.
If you have been pretending for too long too, your not alone, and it can and will get better.

Liz xx

Arbonne – Making Mumprenuers

Recently I have noticed a new group of women on Facebook.

Ladies I’ve gone to school with, friends of friends, looking radiant in their photo uploads and spruiking how happy and motivated they are in their status updates, making extra money for their families in their own time and with a great company.

Have you seen them too?

They are Arbonne Independent Consultants and they are changing their lives one face and pamper session at a time.

Seeing this trend and wanting to find out what all the fuss was about and what this Arbonne company was, I emailed a school friend of mine who is shouting the Arbonne praises from the rooftops (rooftops=facebook status’s).

I must admit, due to the old saying “if it sounds too good to be true it usually is”, I had a very small doubtful part of me expecting to find some pyramid scheme and poor products.

How pleasantly surprised and wrong i was! I was so glad that very small part of me was wrong.

Below is a little info from Mel, my friend I emailed about Arbonne, with her story and why she chose Arbonne.

Hi, my name is Melanie Waring. I’m 28 years old, married to an amazing man and have 2 beautiful children, a  2 year old son and a 10 Month old daughter. Before my son was born in 2011 I worked in childcare and had done for 8 years. After having my son I decided to give up work to be a stay at home mummy to him. In 2012 my husband got offered an amazing job promotion with his company in a remote country  town, 4 hours from our family and friends. We decided it was too good of an opportunity for my husband and our little family to turn it down. So with a 17 month old, 37 weeks pregnant and 9 days to do it in, we moved across the state! It was a huge move but a great opportunity. 
 I found the move really hard and missed our family alot! Especially having 2 little kids and no help, as my husband works long hours. I met a few lovely ladies who have become my close friends and lifesavers at times! In February 2013 I saw on social media the success of my friend with her new Arbonne business. I was curious and contacted her for some information. After meeting with her and trying the amazing prestige products there was no way I could say no. So I started my own Arbonne business in March 2013. I kicked off my business straight away and had instant interest in the product and within 2 months I had promoted myself to District Manager.
Arbonne is a worldwide company who offer prestige range skincare and well being products. I was shocked to find out that 96% of the well known major skincare companies in the world have animal by products and dangerous chemicals in their products. All Arbonne products are botanically based, free of all nasty chemicals and contain no animal by products nor have they ever or will they ever test on animals.  Our well-being products are all gluten free and vegan. Our RE9 anti-ageing system has been clinically tested through independent testing and come out Number #1 in anti-ageing in the world!!
 Lots of people are choosing our internet-based career opportunity to be their own boss, work from home and create the freedom they have always wanted. Arbonne is the fastest-growing company in Direct Sales history in Australia. I love that I can work my own hours, as much or as I little as I want but still bring in an income and stay home with my babies, I have to best of both worlds!
This opportunity has changed my life in more ways than one! Being in a new town I was often feeling down and very, very lonely. Since starting Arbonne I have met so many amazing people! I am now able to help my husband support our family financially and the personal goals I have achieved in only 3 short months of being in the business is incredible!! I feel like a new woman and I am forever grateful to my friend for offering me such a life changing experience.  
If I had to pick my favourite Arbonne product to share with you all (I love them all!!) I would have to pick the RE9 Cellular Renewal Masque. Used once a week it will visibly improve skin tone and texture, minimises pores, and provides skin with an immediate, radiant glow. 
For more information visit my website http://melaniewaring.myarbonne.com.au
Or catch me on Facebook- Melanie Waring- Independant Arbonne Consultant https://www.facebook.com/MelanieWaringIndependantArbonneConsultant?fref=ts
Or Feel free to contact me at – melaniewaring@myarbonne.com.au

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                           (Mel and her babies. Aren’t all three of them gorgeous!?)

Mel was kind enough to send me a trial pack of some of the Arbonne skincare and makeup products and I’ve got to say, my skin has never had such a radiant, natural glow, with or without makeup on, And I’ve never noticed such a change in my own skin in such a short period of time.

It made me realise that the very simple skincare regime i was using, which only consisted of separate brands of a cleanser and moisturiser (and full of chemicals) where just not cutting it, especially after I had moved interstate from a humid climate to Melbourne where the air is much dryer, even on my oily/combination skin, which Ive always found so hard to manage. Plus, Im almost thirty (oh God!) and starting to notice the signs of aging, I needed to up the anti and help my skin.

I also have some skin and minor nerve damage to the inner corner of my left eye and underneath due to a long standing medical condition. So it looks like i have one really bad dark cirlce under one eye, and has caused my eye lid to be just a little bit lazy.

After a week of using the Arbonne products, which consisted of a Corrective Eye Cream, I noticed, for the first time, an improvement in the skin condition and colour under my eye, and the skin around both eyes was looking more hydrated and supple.

I was seriously stoked! Even my Husband noticed and commented on how my skin was looking. I was loving myself sick! I felt like my skin looked fresh every time I looked in the mirror.

Im totally hooked on the Arbonne skincare range and also loved trying the Primer and Foundations, which had a great range of skin tones. The Lipglosses were rich in colour and had a slightly thick, sticky consistancy which I found lasted well.

Arbonne have a range of skincare products for different skin types to suit your needs.

I also asked Mel about the natural comparison of the company to Avon, the other big name in Direct Sales. 

This is what she said,

“As soon as you explain it to people they say ‘oh like Avon/Tupperware etc.?’. Whilst similar in some ways, we are actually quite different. Arbonne is really promoted and run more like a business not just a hobby for the Consultants and I believe we have the opportunity to make alot more money. Arbonne is also top of the range prestige products. At area manager level (my next step) your business actually becomes willable aswell, which is awesome for our families.

There is so much growth potential in Arbonne too, both personally and in business and it offers full support and training. 

You become your own business owner and entruepenur and can work your own hours, you get to control it.”

So if your feeling like you need an update with your skincare pop over to Mel’s website (shown above) and check it out.

And whilst this may seem like a schmoozy paid blog post, I fugured If I was wondering about it, other people must be wondering what all the fuss was about too? And you wont know unless you ask.

 

Cheers, 

Liz x TJC x

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New around here

I’m new around here.
In so many ways.

I’m new to blogging. I’ve read blogs and commented and even started a wedding blog a few years back, but this is the first ‘real’ time writing my own blog, about me and my feelings and my life, amongst other things.

And I’m also new to Melbourne.
A whole new city I’d barely spent any time in before moving here permanently.

I’m also back to being a Stay At Home Mum. I worked full time all of last year, and had a pretty full on ‘casual’ job thr year before that (where i was actuallu working closer to 20-30 hour weeks instead of 2-3 shifts a week, but thats another story!) and I’ve got to admit, it was tough.
I had all these expectations that I felt I wasn’t meeting, by spreading myself too thin. I never had time to see any of my friends and felt so bad about not nurturing friendships, let alone my marriage. It felt like my Husband and I were always arguing. Never seeing eye to eye, never on the same team.
We coped, but we didn’t bloom and it didn’t serve us well.
In some ways it was good and did help us, monetary wise and it did actually help With some of my anxiety I had been suffering and had been progressively getting worse since becoming a Mum, and I enjoyed it, mostly, and loved the social side and friendships.
But I felt like at the end of the day I was so worn out and had been talking all day that I had used up all my energy and didn’t have enough left over to be the best Mum or Wife I could be. I didn’t feel healthy or strong and was lacking severely in vitamin D because I was inside a shopping centre all day from morning to night.

And in Brisbane, for so many different reasons, I felt so many expectations of me. Mostly my own expectations I had on myself, but they were expectations I thought others had of me. And wether they had those expectations or not were irrelevant. I accepted the expectations and let them fester and grow and weigh on me.

So in Melbourne I feel very free.
Not just because I’m not working at the moment, but because for the first time I can truly be myself again.

Like most Mums, when I had my daughter, for the first 2 years it was just all about DinoGirl (her nic name as she is quite obsessed with the extinct creatures), and as it should be, I was learning on the job!
But while it was all about bub, I realised I had lost a lot of me. I was trying to be Mum, working out my place as a Mum. Was I a young, funky Mum ( I was 23 when I fell pregnant) or as soon as you become a Mum do you have to automatically be that eternal Mum figure, who always seems around 40 and doesn’t wear makeup anymore and gets her hair cut really short cause it’s easier to manage and doesn’t fuss with things like fashion and how She looks anymore? (which, by the way, is totally fine if you are already that person and have never cared for such frivolous things such as makeup and clothes, but I most certainly wasnt already that person. I lived and breathed fashion and makeup and dressing up and being experimental with my look).

I was so confused.

In the last 2 years I had slowly been making my own personal headway with balancing and finding that middle ground of who I was.

But since being in Melbourne I have felt a lot more centred, and in control and felt comfortable as ‘myself’.
Even down to my personal style and fashion.
It’s like the moment I touched down in Melbourne, the city itself welcomed me with open arms, comforted me, patted my head and said “its ok, you can be yourself here”.

I’m loving that feeling of possibilities again.

I had a chance at being a SAHM and doing things I enjoyed and revelling in my role as Mother and Wife and starting my own business and blogging and being creative again, but I blew it by letting anxiety and expectations take a hold.
This time I feel so much stronger, and grown, and aware and most importantly I feel like ME.
I have the support of a wonderful (occasionally frustrating!) Husband and this crazily incredible little kiddo who just want me to be happy.

And hello, the shopping, we can’t ignore the happiness that the fashion capital of Australia and its shopping possibilities can bring!

So I’m new around here. I’m new in myself, in this city, with blogging and I feel like a new, improved Mother, Wife, daughter and friend is emerging too.

High Fives!

Liz x TJC x

Flora found

Went walking with my babe to a new playground near by, when living with family before we moved into the new place.

Found these beautiful and interesting plants along the way.
The roses were from one garden, obviously cared for by someones Nanna. Trimmed, manicured, simple, yet very pretty. In that way that makes you appreciate simple pleasures in life.

And another garden that was really interesting, that consisted of a cactus, two olive trees and a gum nut tree (yup, I realise that is not the proper name for it, but hey, I’m a Mummy blogger who has worked in retail, not Bunnings or a garden centre, barely in her own gardens as a matter of fact).

Made for an interesting and informative walk for Dino Girl.
Love exploring our new area.

Liz x TJC x

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