Radio Shows and a Story.
Radio: Radio is the wireless transmission of signals through free space by electromagnetic radiation of a frequency significantly below that of visible light, in the radio frequency range, from about 30 kHz to 300 GHz. These waves are called radio waves. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space.
Where do I begin with my #magicmoments post this week?! Just too many wonderful things have been happening recently and I feel so incredibly lucky.
The last couple of weeks have been challenging in many ways, the antidepressants have clearly taken a while to completely leave my system and I’ve been like a toddler struggling to manage my emotions. I have effectively been learning to feel again and have gone from manic, uncontrollable laughter, to sobbing over something trivial. There have been panic attacks, sleepless nights and a lot of doubt over whether I could do it and live without the tablets. It was almost as if I felt like I had at the very beginning, the illness dealing one last cruel hand. One last challenge to be overcome. It’s horrible how your brain and body can play tricks on you. You can tense your body for a second because you’ve trodden on a piece of Lego and this can trigger your brain into entering full on fight or flight mode and spark off a gigantic panic attack. Thankfully I am learning to dismiss these attacks and carry on as if they’re not actually happening, thus hopefully convincing my brain that I am not in any serious danger and that there is no need to go quite so crazy with the release of adrenaline! It’s a work in progress!
One thing that has helped me immensely through this time, and has been an integral part of my recovery since January was having the opportunity to attend an art therapy group once a week, with other ladies also suffering from post natal depression. I was referred by my health visitor and as I have always enjoyed being creative, but recently haven’t been able to find the time or the motivation, I was looking forward to starting, and I hadn’t looked forward to anything in a very, very long while. It was called My Time My Space and was funded by a project called Creativity Works. ( http://www.creativityworks.org.uk ) It was to be held at the local Children’s centre for two hours every Friday morning, with a crèche provided. It really was going to be my time. The group ran for twelve weeks and finished just a coupe of weeks ago. The artist who attended had blogged about our sessions here: http://elementalanita.wordpress.com
Each week was magic. Time to be me. Time to be creative, to fill my brain with thoughts other than the dark ones that had plagued it for so long. We talked. We listened. We shared and empathised. (as well as drinking tea and eating A LOT of cake!) We made amazingly creative things, brooches, necklaces, paintings. It was during our last session that I was asked to go onto the radio by Philippa, who works for Creativity Works. It was to be an interview with Dr Phil Hammond on BBC Radio Bristol and I was to talk about my experience of PND and about My Time My Space. I jumped at the chance. Excitement obviously quickly turned into nervousness, but I knew that I desperately wanted to speak out, to be as honest as I could be about my experiences of PND and hopefully help others. I had also read my story ‘A Monster Ate My Mum’ http://instinctivemum.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/the-monster-story to Philippa and she thought we should try and have it read out on the air too.
So, skip forward to this past Saturday. I’d prepared, and I knew exactly what I wanted to say. Philippa picked me up and we drove into Bristol talking animatedly about the project and how amazing it is. She is clearly very passionate and enthusiastic about what she does and about helping women who are suffering. We parked at BBC Radio Bristol and sat just outside the studio, watching Dr Phil deliver his Saturday Surgery show. I’ve never been inside a radio station before and imagined endless hustle and bustle, however as it was a Saturday it was surprisingly quiet; a few workmen, a couple of people on their computers, a radio presenter and his producer.
Sitting there watching the show, listening to the guests that were on before us didn’t really help my nerves. I was so frightened I was going to bumble my words, sound stupid, or swear! We were asked to go in and Dr Phil asked me how honest I wanted to be, and I replied, ‘As honest as possible, ask me anything.’ I hoped that by being honest I would help others. So many women suffer in silence or find it hard to admit they are ill. I wanted to show that there was no shame in it, that it can happen to anyone, and that with time you can get better. Very honest questions were asked, and answered as openly and honestly as I could. The nerves went and I wished the interview could continue for longer, as there was so much more I wanted to say. And then the true magic moment happened, I was asked to read my story. The book I would love to be published to help raise funds for My Time My Space and help children whose mums suffer. The traffic report was read out and then it was back to me. Is it wrong that I got lost in my own writing? I could hear my voice shaking, I could see my hands trembling, but I was doing it…me, who one year ago had all of my confidence zapped out of me by this cruel illness. I was reading something I had written on the radio, to thousands of people. And in that moment my confidence came back! With a massive great big bang. And it felt amazing. It’s a little bit addictive being on the radio and already I’d love to do it again! It took a couple of hours for the shaking to stop, but the texts messages and phone calls I received from friends and family made me swell with pride. (Sorry if I’m going over the top a bit here, it’s not often I big myself up lol!)
There is nothing quite like challenging yourself to do something that makes you step out of your comfort zone. And then there is nothing quite like achieving it…and enjoying it!
You can hear the interview through the link below until 11th May. Please have a listen, we are on about one hour and twenty minutes into the show.
And thank you, as always, for reading x