Category Archives: Mental Health

The Internet Saved Me…

I often imagine how life was for my mother with two small children in the 1970’s. I do have memories though; the linoleum flooring, stand alone cooker, spin dryer. I remember her constantly washing and preparing food, always preparing food. Every meal was fresh, apart from tins of baked beans and spaghetti hoops, there was very little in the way of convenience food. A microwave was the stuff of science fiction. Life was a lot slower, there were no electronic toys. The only hi-tech gadgets were the television (children’s programmes were limited to a couple of hours a day, and Saturday mornings) and the telephone. And of course, there were no computers…

The telephone. Apart from the letter, the telephone was the only mode mode of social communication. I think how isolating it must been for my mother. At home, with the kids, with very few adults to talk to. The phone bills must have been enormous. And how did those women cope who suffered from post natal illness? Where did they get their extra social support from? It must have been very challenging. I certainly don’t think I would have coped well at all…

When I had my daughter, I suffered from intense post natal illness that lasted nearly two years – high anxiety and other symptoms of depression. It felt like a form of post traumatic stress disorder. I had baby and mother groups, and my NCT group, to fall back on for support (as well as counselling) and even though these were very helpful, they only took place once a week.

But in the end it was the internet that pulled me out of the fug of sadness. I began a blog, this one actually, began to write myself out of the dark tunnel I found myself in. Two more blogs followed, and I discovered a talent I had no idea existed up until that point; I could write. Sometimes, wonderful things can emerge from the worst places. And it wasn’t just the blogs, it was the rest of social media, Facebook, Twitter… I found a network of other bloggers and parents, an online support system that has proved invaluable. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t make real friends on the internet. Through social networking, I have made some wonderful new friends, many of whom I meet up with, and see at blogging conferences. On line friends are just as real… and sometimes more supportive, as they are often reaching out for the very same thing as you – support.

Reading blogs about mother’s who’ve suffered depression, and networking with these kindred spirits on line, made the the most enormous difference to my creativity, life and well being. I couldn’t live without the internet now!

Now I look at my mother with renewed respect. How she coped with the limitations of her day, I’ll never know. But then I guess she didn’t know anything different…

This is a collaborative post.

A Post Card from Ghana – Focusing on Mental Health

Look what Older Mum has received – a beautiful postcard all the way from Ghana.

Ghana - mental health project

This digital postcard was sent from #TeamHonk, three intrepid bloggers – Mammasaurus, Mummy Barrow, Aresidence – during their travels with Comic Relief in Ghana celebrating #goodwork.

They visited the Basic Needs Trust, an organisation based in Accra that was set up to help ensure that people living with a mental health issues in Ghana have access to the drugs and facilities required to improve their quality of life. The Trust not only meets locally but arranges to hold clinics out in the community.

Part of what the Trust does is make small loans to people to allow them to start a small business. A loan that is paid back within a set time frame. As little as £10 can allow somebody to buy a large pan and two bowls of nuts which are first boiled before being sold as a popular snack by the road side. These nuts are sold within a day and make profit.

To think what a tenner can do!

For the past 25 years the money raised through Red Nose Day has been changing the lives of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa. Let’s Keep Up the Good Work. Find out how at Red Nose Day.

For other digital postcards please do check out the linky on Team Honk.