The important things in life

You may have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet on the Kimba Likes front lately.  It’s perfectly OK if you didn’t notice.  What happens in this fluffy little space is not one of the important things in life.  And I’m cool with that.

There’s been a lot going on in my life lately and it’s made me realise that most of this stuff that keeps us busy, fills our diaries and our plates and our days isn’t actually all that important.

Happiness is important.  Health is important.  Spending time with the people you love is important.  Loving yourself is equally important.  Putting yourself on your priority list is important.

Last year, I made some hard decisions about my life.  My health.  My happiness.  And how these affected my family.  The people who love me.  The people I love right back.

 

We are family

We are family

I made some major changes including resigning from a school hours job that I loved.  The biggest change I made was admitting that my PMS was in actual fact PMDD – a far more severe form that affects 3-8% of women psychologically every month.  It is just like having a depressive anxiety disorder – but only for a week or so of every month.

However, knowing that this cyclical change was coming every month started to affect me much more frequently.  I was becoming anxious about the onset – the knowledge that I was about to become a different person who couldn’t make myself function properly for a week or so every month.

It took me more than six months but I finally used my referral letter and saw a psychologist.  I am now on medication for anxiety and depression.  Yup, antidepressants.  A lot of my initial delay in seeking help was that I didn’t want to be medicated every day for something that only affects me for a short period of time.  But that’s not smart thinking.  The medication has a cumulative effect and can’t be taken like analgesics, to relieve pain when required.  It’s a daily commitment to my health.

I am one of the first people to say that if you had an illness, you would seek medical assistance and take the required medications and therapies to heal yourself, and that there is no difference between a broken mind and a broken leg.  Yet … I felt embarrassed to admit that my mind needed help.  I bought into the very stigma that I believe shouldn’t exist.

Ironically, I now find myself dealing with plain old regular depression now that I’m in remission from chronic autoimmune disease, just as a little added bonus to the PMDD.  I spent most of my 30s as a virtual invalid, and amazing everyone with my silver lining view of life. Every medical professional I met would run me through some standard questions to check my mental health status.  I was expected to have depression as a result of feeling like a 70 year old woman when I was in fact a young woman in my early 30s with a toddler.  But it just never happened.

 

Boyo's second birthday party

Boyo’s second birthday party

I had some counselling which helped me deal with my original autoimmune disease diagnosis.  I went through a grieving process for the life I should have had and got on with dealing with the life I had, and trying to get better.  It kills me that now that I am officially “well”, I’m “sick” again.  I think I was just so busy focusing on living my life and so focused on getting better that I didn’t have time for anything else.

Now that I am in remission, it’s like all the stuff I didn’t deal with for years has come back to bite me in the bum.  There’s a little matter of not having another baby, for example.  I don’t think I actually wanted to have another baby, but it wasn’t my decision.  It was the illness calling the shots.

I’ve got the Holly Golightly Mean Reds.  Truman Capote said it better than me.  I think it sounds nicer than a black dog, don’t you?

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds? 
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues? 
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? 
Paul Varjak: Sure. 
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name! 

Boyo and Mama

Boyo and Mama

The good news is that it is working.  I am happy, contented and fulfilled.  I have put a lot of things behind me and moved on.  I am able to deal with the ebbs and flow of life.  I know that I can’t look after other people if I don’t look after myself first.  I am proud of myself.  I am grateful to the Welshman for his neverending support and love.  Boyo’s mama loves him so much and he is so proud of me now that I’m able to do all the things I never could with him, like bowling and running and swimming.

My BFF said to me recently that “we’ve got Kimba back”.  Just a few words that really knocked me for six.  I didn’t realise anyone had noticed.  We know who the important people in our lives are – make sure they know how important they are to you.  Please take the time to make sure that you are one of the important things in your life too.

Thankspiration:

I have written and rewritten this post over and over again in my head, before finally putting fingers to laptop.  Who knows how long it would have sat in my drafts folder.

However, I read this post from Mrs Woog at Woogsworld and this post from Zoe at Good Googs, and they gave me strength, inspiration and courage to push the publish button.  As for the Oprah sentimentality, all my own fault.  Can’t blame them for that.  Don’t know what came over me.

I also need to thank Kim at All Consuming whose own honesty and beautiful writing inspired me to seek help in the first place.  I hope she knows what an important thing that is to me.

Kimba Likes // a style blog with a fun family twist! @kimbalikes

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  • Kimba Likes Frocktober 2016 | Kimba Likes - 19 October 2016 - 12.53 pm

    […] the year I turned 40, became a redhead and my autoimmune disorder went into remission […]ReplyCancel

  • […] From personal experience, receiving positive messages from people when they discovered I had miscarried Puggle’s twin (our bump nickname for Boyo) did not uplift me or make me feel happier about losing a baby.  I didn’t want to hear that it was “nature’s way” or that “life would be so much easier with just one baby”.  I wanted to mourn my lost baby, mourn my dream of having twins, mourn the little person who wouldn’t be in our family.  Being sad about losing a baby, and worried about how this would affect my pregnancy, wasn’t an emotion that should have been quashed.  In part, I believe this contributed to my “survivor’s guilt” depression. […]ReplyCancel

  • Mummajugs - 11 May 2013 - 4.36 pm

    Thank you! I recently ‘took the plunge’ to see my GP and he prescribed me antidepressants. It was only in the last 8 months that I was a cyclical nightmare, that coincided with a contraceptive pill change. PMDD is something I (and the rest of my family) suffer from. I’ve always had an anxiety disorder, however the new pill and other stresses in life has been a toxic mix. I’m continually working on being me again. It really does feel amazing. Thank you again for sharing xxReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 13 May 2013 - 6.52 pm

      I’m so thrilled to hear that, darling. PMDD is just horrific. People don’t really understand it, and how could they? It really does feel like you lose yourself and your identity and suddenly you’re yourself again. Like being in a fugue state!ReplyCancel

  • Depression Confession | Kimba Likes - 27 March 2013 - 2.48 pm

    […] is very brave to admit to your battles with the black dog.  Pushing the publish button on this post was one of the hardest things I’ve ever […]ReplyCancel

  • Toushka Lee - 7 March 2013 - 7.55 am

    A very important post. Well done on all of it and pressing publish and being courageous and being you. xxReplyCancel

  • Rita - 3 March 2013 - 4.39 pm

    A very courageous post. I’m happy you published it. I’m sure you are helping others who are reading. Take care of yourself Kimba.ReplyCancel

  • Jo Hardy Brown - 1 March 2013 - 8.49 pm

    I want to give you a hug! Thanks so much for sharing this with us, as there are so many of us dealing with mental health issues, and we need to support each other. I’ve battled depression for many years and now accept that medication helps me dramatically. I’m also finding that the people I make a real connection with have similar issues – maybe the more sensitive amongst us are prone to depression and anxiety? I’m so pleased that things are on the upswing, and I look forward to sharing a coffee/tea/wine with you one day too. Jo xReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 7 March 2013 - 2.19 pm

      I’ll give you a big hug right back! And we need to make a hot date for that glass of fluid, whatever form it may take xReplyCancel

  • Denyse Whelan - 1 March 2013 - 7.22 pm

    I am grateful to YOU for supporting me through the recent tough admissions I have made about dealing with aspects of my life using food. I am really, really glad you ‘owned’ up and the company who inspired you are gold star examples. Thanks again for looking out for me, as I do for you…and one day we ARE sharing a chat and a coffee or tea! Love Denyse xxReplyCancel

  • Housewife in Heels - 1 March 2013 - 2.50 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Kimba. Your honesty and openness (as well as Mrs Woog’s and Zoe’s) means so much – I too get the mean reds, and find medication helpful. Your resilience and perspective on life is inspirational xReplyCancel

  • Grace - 1 March 2013 - 1.58 pm

    Take care of you, Kimba. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, I’m sure it wasn’t easy. Be assured that we’re all here supporting you xReplyCancel

  • Emily - 1 March 2013 - 7.10 am

    You sure have had your share of obstacles but I’m so happy that you seem to have things back on track I’m going to take heed and try and take of myself a little more, but everyone tells me I should be feeling overwhelmed/ not coping with etc with a 1.5, 3 and 4.5 year old – but doesn’t make it any easier! I LOVE your zest for life – which is evident in your great photos, both on blog and Instagram. Thanks for sharing. Em @ Have a laugh on meReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 1 March 2013 - 12.46 pm

      Life is often overwhelming. One kid can be hard work – I don’t imagine three is much of a tropical holiday! I’m just lucky that we’re financially OK for me to take a work break for a while. Thank you, Emily. I know how lucky I am to live the lovely life I do, with my lovely blokefolk xReplyCancel

  • Nikki | Styling You - 28 February 2013 - 11.58 pm

    Kim-Marie you are amazing – so glad you pressed publish xReplyCancel

  • Sonia@ LIfe Love and Hiccups - 28 February 2013 - 8.40 pm

    I am so glad you have turned a corner and you are smiling again. You would think we have all laid enough boots into that damn black dog to scare it off. I’m glad you maimed the mutt gorgeous girl xxReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 1 March 2013 - 12.48 pm

      I prefer Pretty in Pink to the mean reds – that dog can go bark in the desert far, far away from all the people xReplyCancel

  • allconsuming - 28 February 2013 - 7.21 pm

    You are more than welcome lovely lady. And I do appreciate what an important thing it is – a friend of mine said to me 15 years ago, “I think you need to go and talk to someone”. I was so shocked but she’d called my bluff. There are still days when I draw down the shutters and worse days when I want to flee an inexplicable debilitating fear but at least I can see them now, articulate them and deal with them. It is literally a case of … onward.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style - 28 February 2013 - 5.02 pm

    A great and thoughtful post. I am glad you are taking care of yourself. Rachel xxReplyCancel

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