Just some open thoughts on Pole, Pregnancy & Mental Well-being

So I'm stoked to be pregnant. But of course, it comes with it's many challenges. 

So some people know my mental health history, some people don't, it's no secret - but I've worked very hard not to allow 'it' to rear it's ugly head. 

As a child I was very reserved and somewhat anxious. As I developed as a teen and then as a young adult, my anxieties and neuroses developed more where I developed severe panic attacks and depression whilst at university at the age of 19 or 20. So I sort of 'dropped out of life' for 6 months. I deferred uni, stayed in bed and cried with my curtains closed for much of that time, quit a job I'd been at for a really long time and found another where no-one knew me, stopped eating and lost a stack of weight.

I did go to counselling which was my saviour and learnt some invaluable life-skills whilst there. Every person who suffers a mental illness has a different journey. For me personally, my counsellor really helped in driving home how important it was for me to recognise in myself the early onset signs of depression, and how to minimise the impact in my life again. For me, it was always ensuring I made time for 'pleasurable activities'. I did refuse to take any medication at the time as I really did want to try making behavioural and cognitive changes before I went down that path..... I am so lucky it worked for me. Don't get me wrong - medication 100% has it's place and is what people often need just to scrape themselves up from having hit rock-bottom or simply to manage and cope within life - it's important I again reiterate each persons journey is and will always be different. 

Although Pole Dance was not the activity that saved me in this first bout of depression, it has certainly been the activity that has saved me on a couple of occasions since then. I can't express how important it has been during these times. Even when I've entered another competition and I'm all anxious prior to walking on that stage, I can tell you 100% the anxiety and pressure I place on myself in those moments is so far less than the anxiety and panic I experience when I am about to embark on a full-blown bout of anxiety and depression. I can't really tell you exactly why, I can only put it down to the fact the Pole has truly taught me self-appreciation, not to look and compare myself to others as I use to (thus setting myself up for failure as you will never be just like anyone else), and to see the absolute beauty and strengths in myself as opposed to the faults and failures. 

I can honestly say, every time I feel myself tipping the scale, I know what to do - I dance - and it brings me back. 

Which brings me to pregnancy/having a child/mental health. I am terrified post-natal depression will become a thing in my life. I won't be able to dance for a good few months after birth (my abs split ages ago and I need to respect my body post-partum), I will most likely at times be overwhelmed with this massive change in life, and my body simply won't be mine anymore - it really will belong to someone else. 

I'm already so sad my dance really has had to slow down, I get it, it's fine - but it doesn't change the fact that there is a void starting to open in my life for which dance once was, and I know this void will become bigger for a while. 

YES I'll come back - I'm confident in that - but I need to be realistic in that I won't be on that pole as soon as my baby comes out. It's just hard to think about. I have a tonne of saved Pole vids to try when I am finally able, but I also have had to stop watching a lot of Pole vids so I don't get sad!! 

I'm not writing this for sympathy, or to gain advice to be honest, it's really just my thoughts in writing. Understanding how I feel about this. To make me think - what have I put in place to help myself. 

I am so very lucky I have a supportive partner who  will be with me every step of the way.

But at the end of the day it's only me who can save myself from my darkest days. It's a pretty confronting thought!

Anyways that is all. I'm excited to meet my little man, but also realistic in who I am and I'll always have a black cloud looming. I'm just so well-rehearsed in never allowing it to break. But there are times when it's just gotta pour.