Finding calm in life's chaos

Last year I experienced profound loneliness. No-one knew about it. I hid it from everyone including my husband. I was a swan gliding along the water with a smile and my head held up but inside I was a mess. Nothing and I mean nothing can prepare you for motherhood and all that comes with it. I spent days feeling like my life was hopeless, that I was hopeless – an over anxious mother, an over anxious wife, a half listening, half present friend. Because when you have a baby you become a fountain of giving. Always needed by someone, expected to have endless amounts of energy and stand up straight weathering any storm. I was in a storm that never seemed to stop. Even when I had the chance to breathe with a bath or a gym session I still felt like I was on the treadmill, I couldn’t let go because I felt I wasn’t allowed to. I would not allow myself to relax fully because someone somewhere always needed something from me. I was trying to nourish others without nourishing myself. I was convinced that everyone deep down thought I was under performing. In my head the whole world was judging me and my heart ached for love and acceptance. I think I suffered from post natal depression. I never admitted it to friends or family. as I thought it would seem weak. I would play with my son and make him laugh and rush around preparing nutritious meals and endless bottles for him all day without stopping for me. If I stopped it was to stare out of the window feeling completely alone and desperate for a hug or for someone to take my son so that I could just lie down and stop. I couldn’t admit that to anyone though, that would mean admitting defeat and in my head I thought what if they try to take my son away? My husband and I fought a lot. We were both exhausted and desperate for the other person to help more. A lot of the time it felt like we were servants to our master, our beautiful little boy (who is an absolute blessing). I went to ‘talking therapies’ (a free service on the NHS) and I was referred to a stress and anxiety course. It was a start. But the thing that really helped me was mindfulness. I was so stressed and anxious that I felt as if I was merely existing, fighting the storm in my head every day with my judgemental brain on loop, no idea how to just breathe and appreciate the here and now. Mindfulness is teaching me how to love myself and therefore how to love others fully. It is teaching me that I am important and worthy of love from friends and family. That thoughts are transient and that they aren’t me and they aren’t real. They pass through the mind like clouds and are not true reality. I therefore can accept myself better and by doing so I am learning to love others for who they are and not what I expect them to be (a key principle for success and inner peace by Dr Wayne Dyer). I am open to love and open to happiness and I have found peace in myself. Suddenly every day experiences are more pleasurable and my fountain of giving is overflowing. I urge anyone who feels alone to try mindfulness, you will learn to embrace the silence and find peace in your heart.