I am not good at quiet. And I have had a tough time making friends with silence.I am an extrovert. Okay, an extrovert who has suffered with depression, but an extrovert nonetheless. I like to be with people. I like to throw parties. I want to go to the pub and the theatre and round to your house for tea. I like to feel part of a community and be connected to the people who matter most to me, all the time.And, although this is the way I am wired, a part of who I am, if I am not...

Today has not been my finest. There have been tears, some shouting, and some fairly poor parenting.Having survived the day, and just got the youngest to bed, I thought i would write a post… Its been a while.And I have been meaning to post about this subject for a long while.Panic attacks.Cos that is bound to cheer me up, right?(This post is the 15th in a series I started writing last Autumn, specifically about mental health. If you want to read the series from the beginning it starts here. ) My most impressive, and by impressive I mean terrifying, panic attack...

Last week I forgot I wasn't super-woman. And I thought I could fill my life to over-flowing with to-do lists and events and occasions and parties without feeling the lack of sleep or head-space.The community drinks, the party I hosted for 70, the day trip to London christmas shopping, the gig in St Asaph cathedral in North Wales. The presents to buy, the christmas cards to write (okay so that never actually happened), the pantos and Christmas concerts. Gifts for teachers', nativity costumes, end of term party food and managing the small peoples' emotions and expectations with all the events of the...

In 2009, around the time I was crashing out, I read a book which had a profound impact on me. It's called "The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life".Sounds awful doesn't it.When Matt first recommended it I rolled my eyes at him -(An aside: I married a man who's idea of a great night out is to write a 5 year plan for our lives (no joke).For many of the years dominated by small people he would often attempt to ask me strategic questions: What were my priorities? What did i want from the next 6 months/ 3...

To prepare for writing this post I have lit a fire, made a large mug of tea and two pieces of fruit toast. For courage. ----------- Growing up I was taught "the truth". Jesus, the gospel, the whole bit. I believed it.I wanted to live in a way that would make God (and my parents) happy. I strove to do 'the right thing'.I was good.I was taught some strong principles about right and wrong, and, on the whole, I obeyed them.I knew the answer, and the answer was Jesus.I did my best to do all the things I had been taught were (and...

We (me and him) have just finished watching the box set of The Newsroom, the latest series from creator of the West Wing, Aaron Sorkin (pretty cheesy, but ok). The first episode is called "We just decided to."I feel a bit like that about my life. It had to change, it wasnt working. We had to change it, so we did...

After the diagnosis, the anti-depressants and beginning with the therapy, (in the Autumn of 2009), I started trying to implement some practical changes in my life to encourage wellness.My therapist, Sam, suggested exercise.At this time I probably hadn't done any regular exercise since I was about 16. I had given birth to three beautiful babies and had experienced four pregnancies (I had a miscarriage in my first pregnancy when I was 23) since then.I wasn't massively overweight - but still carrying quite a few additional baby pounds. And totally un-fit.After a few months of going deep and quiet (to read...

A seriously great theologian and writer, Tim Keller, writes: One of the main metaphors the Bible gives us for facing affliction is walking – walking through something difficult, perilous and potentially fatal.The walking metaphor points to the idea of progress. Many ancients saw adversity as merely something to withstand and endure without flinching, or even feeling, until it goes away. Modern Western people see suffering as something like adverse weather, something you avoid or insulate yourself from until it passes by.The unusual balance of the Christian faith is seen in the metaphor of walking – through darkness, swirling waters or fire....

(This post is part of a series of posts about mental health. You can find the first one of these posts here.)I knew i needed a rest, to go deep and quiet. But it's all very well to say you have to stop. What i didn't know was how to do that.I had three kids, a husband who ran his own successful (and sometimes really stressful) business, responsibilities at church, occasional work, big stuff happening in my extended family, friends who were grieving, friends battling with infertility, and at least a dozen other friends with tiny ones just trying to get...