Care have collaborated with family bloggers to bring you a parenting survival series, exploring the trials and tribulations of caring for a family. Welcome to the sixth instalment, written by Daddy To Triplet Girls. Follow us on social to read more from our guest bloggers.
I don’t really know how I became so open about my mental health… it wasn’t a conscious decision and nothing triggered it, I just slowly started talking about it and I was amazed at the amount of people that were going through something similar or were just supportive/understanding.
I found so many people started to reach out to me and admit that they had similar thoughts and feelings to me and I shouldn’t be ashamed or try to hide from it. As a social community we can support one another. Getting things off my chest and being honest has been a huge part of my treatment and recovery. Just to be clear I suffer from high anxiety, depression and I’m plagued with unprompted suicidal thoughts as well as weight and body issues.
The surprising thing for me is that I have an amazing wife, I have a fabulous job (in fact I have two jobs), I am a manager at a law firm in London and I am a social media influencer/blogger, I also have the most gorgeous 4 children and a baby due in September 2019. This has also led me to feel guilty about my mental health.
Part of my guilt was because I literally have everything in place to not feel the way I do. We are stable financially, I have a good circle of friends, I play football, work out regularly, we have lots of family around us and of course I am a dad which is the greatest privilege and feeling in the world.
When the days are dark, when the rain is coming down and the summer holidays seem a million miles away that’s when my issues can often strike me. The thought of my children is something that gets me through these dark times; their innocent laughs, their smiles, their kisses and cuddles, the sound of them playing, bath times, kicking a ball around the park or just all being together on a lazy Sunday baking some cakes gives me the strength to know that no matter how low I go or how hard life seems, I want to be there for them.
Until the children came along I didn’t think I had this inner strength. When the children grow up I want them to be able to come to my wife and I and admit when they are feeling unwell or feeling low. I want to be open about mental health and the importance of being transparent about it. People will talk about their sore foot or their dodgy hip but not say ‘today I had a dark day and I don’t know why’. If we can get the children to feel comfortable talking about this, as they grow up they will be more willing to be honest. Ultimately, I think it can save lives as well as encourage their friends to open up. The amount of times I’ve talked to colleagues at work about my journey and they have admitted to low feelings or anxiety too.
I also think a vital part of the jigsaw around health and mental wellbeing is the support available to us in our community. The pharmacies close to us provide health advice as well as valuable options for our family’s health concerns and that’s something we need to make more use of. Remember, the pharmacy can be the first step when talking to someone about how you’re feeling mentally or physically.
Physical health and wellbeing can often be linked to mental health too. If we’re not feeling physically well, it can make us feel low. Equally, poor mental health can sometimes lead to minor illness. If you’re looking for help with minor health concerns, Care is the No. 1 Brand sold through UK Pharmacy* and they have over 80 tried and tested everyday family remedies for things like coughs and colds**, right through to digestion issues***.
As an example, Henry recently burnt his foot**** (only mildly) but we were of course worried. We visited our local pharmacy and they assured us we didn’t need hospital care. We instead bought some cream for about £4 and it did the trick!
Visit your local pharmacy and ask for the Care range or like our Facebook page @CareHealthcareUK for more health advice.
Alex is a parenting blogger writing about the reality of parenthood. You can follow his journey on Instagram @daddy_to_triplet_girls.
*For verification please write to Thornton and Ross Ltd, HD7 5QH
**Care Decongestant Tablets. Contain Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride. For relief from nasal, sinus and chest congestion. Suitable for adults and children over 12 years. Always read the label.
***Care Glycerin Suppositories 4g. Contains Glycerol 2.8g. Relieves occasional constipation. Suitable for adults. Always read the label.
****Care Antiseptic First Aid Cream. Contains Cetrimide. For use in minor burns, napkin rash and abrasions. Suitable for adults, children, and the elderly. Always read the label.