Anthill for sale Daddy Giraffe review

In the time that I have been a family blogger I have reviewed quite a few children’s books, I was approached by a company called Big Belly Book Co where I have the chance to review a new book called Anthill for sale.

Who was involved in this book? 

Big Belly Book Co is an award-winning publisher of children’s picture books.

The Author is a by a very talented man called Johnny Ray Moore

The illustrator is from a very gifted lady named Zuzana Svobodova

What is the book about?

Anthill for sale is about an ant called Alvin who decides he is selling the family home.

Upon selling his family home that is filled with fond memories he has a list of potential buyers, the only problem is the want to change everything about Alvin’s home.

Selling the Anthill
Selling the Anthill

After remembering all the good memories Alvin and his family have had in the Anthill Alvin has a change of heart and now must convince his wife that this is still the perfect home for them.

Freddie’s Review

Like every children’s book I receive they are read to my 4-year-old who loves books, I settled him down for bed and we read this story together.

It’s hard to gain Freddie’s attention for long but the pictures had him entertained and asking questions, he enjoyed the story and all of the insects trying to buy Alvin’s home.

The book was long enough for Freddie to enjoy and hold his attention.

Now time for the scores, Freddie likes this part very much.

Anthill for Sale scored  10 out of 10 because in Freddie’s own words ” Ants are cool!”

Where can I get this book?

If you’re looking to read this to you little ones them you can get this from following the links bellow.

Going onto the Big Belly Book Co website where you can get a 10% discount before the end of November. http://www.bigbellybookco.com/home.html

On Amazon by clicking here

At Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound or at your local book stores.

Happy Reading

Daddy Giraffe x 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I didn’t see myself saying as a parent

As a child you would hear your parents say things to you that didn’t make much sense like “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about”

Or having to correct you about the most random things you would do as a child like.

As a parent there a few things I have had to say to my children that made me just shake my head and wonder if that actually happened.

I would like to share with you my top things I didn’t expect I would have to say to my children.

Get you finger out your bum!

Freddie is now at that age where he is forever holding his willy or scratching his bum, the kid is obsessed.

we think sometimes it’s because he need a wee but no he just likes holding it.

One day his hands were down his trousers and I’m thinking he is scratching him bum again like he does but I notice he’s doing a lot more than that so I shout get your finger out your bum, which then involves the next step of me chasing him around to clean his hands and him thinking hilarious.

Keep it up and I’ll ground you so you have to go outside.

Now I know what your thinking, well if we ground our kids we take their phones, laptop, TV or there no allowed to go out.

Well not Ellie!

We can’t get her to leave the house, if we take her phone, she will watch TV or even worse read a book!

If we ground her to stay in she will snuggle on the sofa under a blanket and watch a film so the treat of going out doors and playing with her brother is enough to get her to buck her ideas up.

Stop wiggling your bum! 

This is to my 2-year-old who discovers she loves to wiggle her bum.

When we say to her Bethie stop wiggling your bum she looks at us and shouts…

”It’s wiggle time!”

Which just makes her do it more.

No homework on the 6 week holidays!

Yes we really did have to say this to Harry on the 6 week holiday.

Not only did we have to tell him to cut back on his homework and extra homework but also his teachers had to tell him to tone it down.

After he try’s to do some and we tell him no you would have sworn his life was over, what such mean parents we are.

No there is no A or U in shoe

This would make sense is it was my four-year old but sadly it wasn’t.

It was our very smart very clever daughter Ellie who turned to us and asked the question straight-faced waiting for an answer.

Of course she was met with laughter and once she realised what she had said she was left very red face and even now at 13 she hasn’t lived it down and will be brought up on her wedding day or any special events.

I’m sure some of you can relate with these things your children have said but I would love to hear yours.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

Being a stay at home dad

I never saw myself as being a daddy nor did I want to.

I didn’t have the worst upbringing in the world but I lacked the paternal instinct where I wanted children so from an early age I was positive I was never having children of my own.

I am the eldest in my family and I saw 3 of my siblings having children before me which just reinforced my decision.

I had a good job, a nice home, spare money and time to myself to do whatever I wanted to do with out responsibility.

Then I met Cheryl who had 3 children the youngest being 2 at the time, it didn’t faze me like I thought it would have had done but I really liked her so threw myself into the new situation.

I had never looked after children before, sure I’ve looked after my nieces and nephews before but that was different because I could give them back to my brother and sister.

After a short while I quickly discovered how awesome these children where and what it was like to have children around all the time and being given the chance to share my time with such amazing people.

I was still working at the time then coming to the family with Cheryl being the stay a home mom and it wasn’t long until we were expecting Freddie and I was going to be a daddy myself at the age of 30.

It was already decided that I was going to be a stay at home dad when we had Freddie so I could experience what it was like having a baby of my own and learning how to look after it and build a bond and wow did it hit me fast. 

I didn’t know how to change nappies, feed them or put them to bed this was all new to me but with the help of Cheryl every step of the way I learnt pretty fast and fell in love with being a daddy even more.

Bethie came along a few years after and I had 5 children to look after and was absolutely loving it.

The biggest achievement in my life was becoming a daddy even to this day and I’m sure it will be on my last day.

At the moment I can’t go back to work through no fault of my own due to Mental Health but until I can I’m going to continue to be the best parent I can.

It’s a full-time job by its self, it’s a 24 hour job that doesn’t have breaks.

Your on call every minute of the day, you take them to school, tidy the house, do the shopping, cooking, keeping them entertained, helping them when they are sick and its then its bed time.

But the rewards outweigh the work, I’m seeing my eldest achieve awards, go to university days and on his way to change the world.

My eldest daughter top of her year growing into a woman, so smart, funny and always thinks on both sides before basing any opinions.

My second eldest child having the best parents consultation ever!

Where the teacher tells us she is just amazing, everything is happy and rainbows to her and I hope she keeps it that way.

My youngest boy starting big boy school and loving it, working hard and making friends.

My baby girl starting nursery and learning so fast along with how beautiful she is the world is her oyster.

When people ask what I do as a job I’m a blogger on the side.

My real job is being a stay at home parent!

Being a stay at home dad
Being a stay at home dad

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

It’s ok to cry sometimes

We all know the stigma or the saying that men are not supposed to cry or that it’s a sign of weakness.

I have never been a crier in my life really, the only true emotions I have is happiness or anger and that pretty much sums it up.

So it’s no wonder I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.

In the worst situations where I should have cried I have stood there dried eyed, emotionless but dying and hurting inside.

I guess it’s a case of if I’m seen crying I will be seen as weak, stupid or even an easy target.

As I get older I realise that its ok to let your emotions go once in a while and that in fact helps you balance as a person and balance your emotions out.

So what has made me cry the most, I d like to tell you it was tears of happiness like when my children were born or any other happy point in my life but the things that have made me cry most in my life have been my Mental Health.

The point of when you get to the bottom, the very bottom of where you see no return and you can’t hold it back anymore it come out and it comes out like a bombs gone off.

On the few break downs that I have had or where I lose control I have then never cried so hard in my life and I have to say I felt better once it was all out and then powered through with help.

Don’t get me wrong I do get the occasional man tear, the single tear that runs down the cheek that’s quickly rubbed away.

But the last year has shown that its ok to cry and still be seen as strong, I’ve watched people who never cry crumble in front of me in tears but even today they are the strongest people I know and their better people than me.

After a Mental Health session this week I cried out of nowhere and for the first time I didn’t feel stupid for it, it was how I felt and I felt better for it afterwards.

If your low and want to cry it out then do it!

Let it out, let it all go then pick yourself up and power on like we know you can do!

If I had showed emotion when I needed to could I have changed things?

Maybe but I won’t be holding in my emotions any longer, I just want to be normal.

Daddy Giraffe x

Halloween is it as important as any other holiday?

Halloween the time to dress up as vampires, monsters or even go as your favourite to go treat or treating for sweets.

Halloween parties or even midnight ghost hunts looking for the unknown.

So what is Halloween?

Halloween is believed to have Pagan roots, it’s the time of year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints and martyrs.

We widely celebrate this day by dressing up as scary things and having parties with fun games and music.

Going door to door trick or treating for sweets in exchange of dressing up in a costume.

Now I can go into the darker side of Halloween with its history and rituals but since im a daddy blogger I shall keep it light.

The children break up for the holidays around Halloween time which I have no problem with but I do have a few questions.

Firstly we have Easter, a time where we exchange gifts, give Easter cards and of course the chocolate eggs.

We know the reason why we have Easter, so much so that it is taught in our schools even as early as nursery but I’ve never once received a Halloween card, a Halloween gift or even been taught why we are celebrating it every year on the same day.

In fact its the first time ive actually researched it, it’s not taught at schools because there is so many beliefs on why we celebrate it depending on your culture.

Secondly I spend my life telling my younger children that when they go out not to talk to strangers, that if a stranger approaches you with sweets you must not take them!

You run away and get help but on the 31st of October im going to take to random houses around the street knock on their door and they will give you sweets.

It’s ok to get sweets from a stranger if your dressed as a Power Ranger.

These are the questions I ask but you know what just like everyone else my kids will be dressed up tomorrow night and I will take them trick or treating anyway because thats whats we do, its fun and I wouldn’t want them missing out.

That and the sweets..

Daddy Giraffe x

 

*Picture taken from google images*

Things to prepare you for parenthood

You’ve had your fun and its announced you’re going to have a baby, you’re going to be a parent and if its your first time you may not be expecting what comes next from babies to toddlers to teens so here are some things you will need to know for parenthood.

Poo is a big part of your life now!

That’s right a lot of your time now will be spent around poo.

From the ever-changing colour poo from when they are first-born to where you look in their nappy and turn to your partner going errm is it meant to be yellow??

To, it must be ending right because they are starting to wear big boy pants until you hear the words from the bathroom “can you wipe my bum please”

That’s right you’ve basically become a slave to this tiny little human where you’re having to wipe their arse and be thankful.

Another thing about children and poo is it can happen anywhere!!!

For example I’m bathing my kids as normal, they are happily playing with their toys and without warning the water turns brown and it’s now a race of time to get them out the bath before they use it as a boat or even worse hand it to me.

You will need the patience of a saint.

You get that one beautiful picture of your child sleeping where you show everyone how amazing they are and just perfect.

What it actually took to get that picture was an entire day of your child, crying or screaming, snotting, running away once you bring the nappy out for bum change and inability to make a decision on what they want to watch.

Your child could be having the worst day in the world but it could be a number of reasons why, you just have to breath and get on knowing its bedtime soon and when it is and their asleep, you’re looking at them I guarantee the day won’t of mattered because the love you have for this monster is much stronger.

Being a parent is a full-time job.

A lot of people think if you’re a stay at home mom or a stay at home dad that your day consists of just watching TV, drinking coffee and wasting time avoiding any responsibility.

Where as you have the hardest job of all you’re a parent.

Not only are you a parent you’re a chef, a house cleaner, a chauffeur, a nurse and an entertainer.

When you’re a stay at home parent the TV isn’t yours, you don’t get a look in, when there is cartoons and songs on the TV and even if you could have the TV you wouldn’t have time to  watch it because there is mountains of washing to do, kids to feed, house to tidy and of course prepping for the evening dinner.

If you’re lucky enough to escape for a coffee and a snack for 5 mins I promise you that it ends up not being yours in the end and that you will be found wherever you go in the house.

They get braver as they get older and will push the boundaries.

They are angels and you’re teaching them their name and right from wrong, please and thank you but there comes a time when they say no.

They know their own minds and if they don’t want to something they wont do it, now this could be anything from eating breakfast up to going to bed.

There are two things you need to remember in these situations in my experience..

  • Remember that you’re in control what you say goes so don’t budge, if you’ve said no you must have said it for a reason and them going back on that just to give you a peaceful life is showing that they get what they want if they scream, shout and play it out for as long as they can.
  • DONT LAUGH! Or at least don’t show them that your laughing or you lose, there will be situations where they are kicking off or they say something to you that’s rude and unexpected, yes it maybe funny but they have to know it was wrong.

For example Freddie came up to me and asked for some sweets and I had said no so he called me a Bum Ass!

Now as amusing as I found this I had to tell him off but I did laugh when he left that he even thought of calling me a bum ass.

Just Enjoy it.

Things are going to test you, test your patience and even make you question yourself as a parent.

But these are the things you will miss when they are all grown up and they don’t want to cuddle you more, or sit on your lap, play games or just a simple goodnight daddy because its simply not cool anymore.

Your babies are grown and no doubt they will have babies someday too, so just enjoy watching your little ones grow and take as many photos as you can, get in these cuddle’s and share the funny moments because they grow so fast.

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October Blog Tag

I’ve been tagged in the October Blog Tag by Gee Gardener  this is where you find out a little bit about myself and I shall nominate others to do the same.

I have no idea what the answers are going to be myself yet so this could be fun.

Name?

Gareth

Whats your favourite colour?

Yellow because its bright.

What did you do today?

Looked after the kiddies and ate far more food than I should have, resulting in me moaning I’ve eaten too much and im full but yet thinking about breakfast tomorrow. Oh and blogging I did a bit of blogging too.

Where are you currently?

Sat in the living room watching The Chase and getting the answers wrong in style.

Whats in your star sign? 

Just googled it and it says im a great leader, please don’t follow me this would never end well in any situation.

Cake or Ice Cream?

Ice cream if I had to choose but im not a big sweet person.

Frozen or Moana?

Frozen ive never seen Moana, I feel im missing out.

A night in or night out?

A night in, im very much a creature of comfort. I enjoy my own surroundings and I don’t like being around people too much they make me nervous so I much prefer a takeaway and a film.

Home cooked meal or take away?

I do a love a take away but I much prefer a home cooked meal, nothing quite beats homemade lasagna Nom nom nom.

 Does Pineapple belong on pizza?

Why would you even ask me that? Why don’t you just ask me if id like to be kicked in the balls? Er no!

Books or Films?

They say you can’t beat a good book but they obviously haven’t seen Die Hard.

Autumn or Spring

Autumn I like the fact all the leaves are on the ground and im a child who likes to walk and kick through them.

Flowers or Chocolates?

Flowers are nice to look at I agree but there a ball ache to have to keep alive, its bad enough trying to look after 5 children without trying to remember to water flowers.

Full fat or diet coke?

All tastes the same.

Phone or Laptop?

Phone is easier to take to the toilet to play that extra level of your game.

What is your favourite TV series?

I’ve not long a go recently discovered Orange is the new Black which is a combination of lesbians, prison and its funny.

What is your favourite thing to do in October.

Celebrate my birthday, which is the 26th, all cards are welcome.

What is your current food to crave?

Cheese it’s always cheese.

Do you have any piercings or tattoos?

No piercing but a silly like man I had done when I was young on my shoulder. I do regret it now im older.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Introvert.

Whats your favourite Halloween film of all time?

Hocus Pocus.

Name your top 3 favourtire bands or artists?

Eminem, Foo Fighters and Coldplay.

Have you got any plans for Halloween?

Yes I am reviewing Jungleland and their Halloween Party.

Do you have any fears?

Spiders the horrible little bastards!! I dont like clowns  either so my worst fear would probably be a spider dressed as a clown.

Do you believe in life after love?

How can I not, Cher made a strong argument.

Do you have any children? (Or pets you treat as your babies)

I  have 5 children, ages 14,13,9,4& 2 

What do you want for the future?

Happiness.

Be honest why did you start blogging?

I wanted to open up about my Mental Health and use this as a kind of therapy, if I help others along the way then thats a bonus.

Whats your biggest achievement to date?

Hands down it would be having children and just seeing them grow, learn and love.

What are your ambitions on your blog?

I really dont know to be honest, it was originally somewhere to place my thoughts and feelings and I wasn’t expecting people to actually read it so im open to wherever it goes.

If there is one thing you would change about your blog what would it be?

That it was more popular. I think because I tackle mental health its not everyone’s cup of tea to read.

Have you reached any of your goals for your blog this year?

I got into the top 200 parenting bloggers in the UK (I placed 185th out of 200 but still I was in there)

Where do you want to be in 10 years time?

Settled, married hopefully and in a position where my Mental Health is stable enough for me to work and just be normal.

What is your dream holiday?

I cabin in the woods or countryside away from the world.

If you had an entire day to yourself what would you do with it?

I would just have me time, sleep, eat and take care of myself.

Time to start tagging…

 

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parent Consultation Day

With it being October brings a few things, Halloween, my Birthday and for the little ones parent consultation day.

For anyone who doesn’t know what this is, its where you sit down with your children’s teachers and talk about their progress in school and voicing any concerns you might have.

Freddie and Annabelle now go to the same school so it was the little ones turn, the first one up was Freddie.

Freddie Consultation Day 

This is Freddie’s first term in big school and with him settling in so well and his eagerness to go to school I was looking forward to seeing what his teacher had to say about him.

11:30 was his slot we sat going through his school books (Maths and English) as we wait to see his teacher.

We go through and are impressed at what he has done from spelling his name to counting and taking away.

We get called over and wait to hear how he’s doing.

“Freddie is a polite, clever little boy who never stops running”

This didn’t surprise us because he always runs at home although this would explain all the accident forms we keep getting from the school.

“He needs help with his writing but his maths is out of this world, he’s top of his class and can tell you how many items are there just from a quick glance”

I was surprised because when he’s home he can’t wait until his Math homework is out-of-the-way and finished.

She finished the consultation with..

“Everyone wants to be his friend and play his games, he’s a very popular little boy”

I think I was more pleased with this because I would hate the though of him alone on the play ground or struggling to make friends.

All in all he had a fantastic review and we walked away happy waiting to see him and tell him how proud we were and give him the £1 reward we promised.

I waited at the school door for him to come out and he comes out with a gold certificate for excellent Maths!

My little boy did so well and we are both so proud of how he is doing at school, if he keeps going at this rate he will go far.

Freddie Consultation Day
Freddie Consultation Day

Annabelle’s Consultation Day

Annabelle had now gone into year 5 so this was the first parent/teacher review of the year.

Her last few parents evenings were ok but nothing amazing, they all said the same things that she was chatty, goes at Annabelle speed but a polite little girl who try’s and can do better if she puts more effort into things.

10:30 her appointment was and we were pleasantly surprised at how neater he hand writing was from the last time and she got 1 maths question wrong out of the whole booklet.

We sat down with her teacher expecting the usual but what came out of her mouth next shocked us.

“Annabelle is Amazing!!”

We both looked at each other and just said wow, she went on to say how Annabelle was so clever, thinks about all her answers before answering and is just a delight to be around.

Is this Annabelle we are talking about??

How is her writing coming along we asked because we can see the difference?

“She doesn’t write a lot in the time she’s been given but what she does right is absolutely amazing so it doesn’t matter, the detail is incredible and very well thought out”

Not only this but she could have her pen licence in a weeks time, we left feeling amazed and decided a £1 wasn’t enough so we went out and brought her a unicorn onesie which was amazing and of course she loved it!!

We couldn’t be prouder of her, she has done so well and really stood out and showed us all what she can do.

Annabelle Consultation Day
Annabelle Consultation Day

Well done guys you’re doing us proud and amaze us every day!

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

Things you figure out quickly when you have a toddler

When you first have  children and they are tiny babies  in your arms you start to learn new things about being a parent where everything is all cute and lovely and “oh my god we need to take a picture!”

They learn to crawl, walk and talk which is amazing to see them grow but as we are so focused on them learning new thing and us clapping along to if your happy and you know it

They have become…..TODDLERS!!!

You have never known thirst unless you’re a toddler who is  going to bed.

You’ve fed them, wiped them, dressed them, gone through the bathroom routine of toilet, drink and teeth, tucked them into bed with a story and a kiss goodnight the night is now yours.

3….2….1……..Daddddddd!

You could be stranded in the Sahara Desert with no water, having to walk miles in the blistering heat but you still would be nowhere near as thirsty as my child who can’t sleep because they need a drink.

Food on your plate is no longer yours and it tastes so much better.

Food is the biggest problem with toddlers because they hate everything green, doesn’t smell like sweets or just looks like it wont taste nice.

So you go the extra mile as the awesome parent you are, you make their favourite food, you even put it on their special plate, you let them help you set the table and make a big deal about how is there favourite.

They are all excited asking when it will be ready and their saying that they can’t wait, you place the plate of food in front of them that they have been pestering you for and wait.

“I’m not hungry”

Guaranteed you sit down to eat yours and within seconds there is a tiny figure standing staring at your plate telling you how nice is looks and how does it taste.

It wouldn’t be so bad but they happen to bring the fork in with them for tasting purposes of course.

Poo and Farts are the funniest thing in the world.

Do you remember the days where peek a boo would make them giggle and then you would giggle and you would all giggle together?

Well try that now.

Nothing is funnier to a toddler than poo or farts, my toddler happens to do a I did a poo dance in the toilet whenever he’s finished.

In conversations your either a poo head or they are laughing at the face they just farted and ran away .

For example my 2-year-old girl  was sat on the sofa deeply into watching Paw Patrol on the TV, being quiet until she lets of this tiny little fart, giggles for a couple of seconds and carries on watching TV.

I would like to say they grow out of this but I just read out this header to Cheryl and the word fart made me laugh so my kids have no hope.

They turn into tiny salesmen

I sit and watch these political debates on the TV and talk shows where they have very strong opinions.

I would like to put these people up against my children and them debate why is ok for them to eat chocolate for breakfast.

They always have a countering argument for any comment you make saying no and the reasons why it’s not a bad idea.

To get the sale or in this case whatever they are after they with pull out the big guns where nothing is off-limits using tactics like crying, begging, guilt, creeping, making deals ans of course sulking.

After a long hard battle there has to be a winner lets just hope you plead your case harder.

Favourite songs on repeat 

Your children used to have favourite songs when they were babies I hear you say.

Yes but they didn’t know how to work various pieces of technology better than most adults.

This comes with if they like a video or song then you damn sure know about it because it will stay on repeat until you can’t take it anymore.

Ever heard of Baby Shark? (Check out my video of baby shark with the toddlers here)

Then you feel my pain.

 

Daddy Giraffe x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depression and Food – Breaking the Cycle, and the Taboo

I was sent this story about about someone wanting to share there experience with others about their battle with depression, I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did…

Depression has always been one of those taboo subjects and perhaps is why I haven’t spoken about it openly before.

Mental illness runs strong in my family, almost every maternal and paternal relative of mine has struggled with mental health issues at some point in their life. However, as a family, we never discussed these issues and they are simply swept under the carpet and left to fester.

My wake-up call came when a very close relative of mine attempted suicide twice.

Rather than speak to us about his feelings, he wrote them down in a suicide note minutes prior to his second suicide attempt.

This was the saddest thing I have ever read. He spoke about his utter desperation following the breakup of a relationship and how he simply could not climb out of the pit he had fallen into.

Loneliness, heart-ache and an inability to properly express his feelings were the main themes of the note.

He expressed his love to us all and left a heart-felt apology for the ultimate damage and destruction his actions would cause to those he was leaving behind.

Luckily, we found him just in time and an ambulance was called.

What followed in the days after the incident, as we sat around his hospital bed as he lay a wreck, a shadow of his former self was anger, regret, sadness but most of all, realisation.
Such a horrific incident made us all talk about our feelings.

As he slipped in and out of consciousness, as a family, we all discussed our emotions – not in relation to the incident, but how we were in life.

I was stunned to discover that all of us who sat around that bed had at some point seriously contemplated suicide.

A series of family events from long ago had affected us all in very different ways, however, the impact was the same. We all felt hurt, anger, hopelessness and utter devastation. Had we all come together, as a family to discuss these issues at the time, we may have all avoided the clutches of depression, or at least assisted each other through our individual long-standing mental illnesses.

We all made a pact that day to be more open, honest and supportive towards each other, and we did.

I decided that the best way to help myself (and to help my suicidal relative) was to face up to my own depression. I literally took a seriously long look in the mirror in a quest for answers.

The once happy, active, confident, outgoing woman I once was remained concealed under a large amount of baggy clothing.

The once well kempt face and manicured nails had been abandoned and the jewellery I had formerly so proudly worn was lost in the chaos of my bedroom. As I pondered, I felt sad, and so, I ate.

Eating gave me a boost!

That few moments of a tasty chocolate treat seemingly blocked out all the emotions I was feeling.

Food made me feel good!

Once this sensation had passed, the sadness, bitterness and anger returned. Returning to the mirror, I could see what I had become, and I hated it!

I was trapped in a cycle – I ate because I was depressed, but I was depressed because I ate.

My sense of self had diminished – I no longer wanted to look too long in the mirror, to wear the jewellery, to put on the make-up, to adorn the nice clothing. Instead, I chose to hide, disguise myself, to blend in, like a chameleon.

This realisation sounds so simple, how did I not know this before?

I had avoided looking at myself in the mirror, literally and metaphorically – I was not only hiding from the world but also from myself.

With this acknowledgement came a further flood of realisations – my health was suffering because I had become so unhealthy and inactive.

Once a keen walker, I had avoided taking a stroll uses excuses such as the weather, timing or a lack of well-fitting clothes.

I had stopped regularly taking my anti-depressants – each time I tried to swallow them, I regurgitated them, I felt sick and dizzy if I could swallow them.

These were all psychological illusions, not as I had thought in my depressive state, that the pills were bad for me.

Once I had acknowledged the problem – I had to figure out a way to break the cycle.

My first step was to regularly take my medication. After a few days, once they properly got into my system, the erratic emotions I had been experiencing, either extreme sadness or extreme happiness mellowed and a more chilled and level me returned.

My children took notice and commented on how happy I was around the home. The energy has changed, my husband told me, from feeling like an explosion was imminent to a tranquil, homely place.

My biggest challenge yet was to face my relationship with food.

Binge eating had to stop.

I made a little extra time to prepare and cook food. Rather than reaching for the sweet tasting chocolate treats, I had chopped vegetable sticks and had them on hand.

I left satsumas in the fruit bowl, these sweet, colourful and juicy fruits gave me the buzz I was looking for.

I love cooking, so I invested in a new cook book – it was a present to myself to encourage me to continue to the good work!

Best of all, I have started walking again!

Starting off with a determination to walk rather than take the car, I started off with a few small, simple walks to get me back into the swing of things.

I’m still working my way up to my former power-walking sessions, but I’m taking positive steps in the right direction!

I’m not even concerned about my weight loss – I haven’t even weighed myself. I’m focusing on how I feel in myself, in my own body and reclaiming it, for me!

I’m proud to report that my once suicidal relative accepted the counselling he was offered and is working through his issues.

As we talked more openly, he told me that he had in fact been struggling with an eating disorder for quite some time (something he too had only realised, or acknowledged, once he had starred into the mirror of self-reflection).

Rather than binge eat on fatty food as I had done, he had instead restricted his diet in an effort to loose weight.

Just as I felt that buzz when I ate junk food, he felt the same as he experienced hunger pains.

To him, this was a triumph.

If only we had felt able to talk more openly to each other about these experiences, we would have discovered we both had an unhealthy relationship with food.

We now work together and I’m extremely grateful for the support he has given me.

Being able to talk openly with my family has helped greatly.

Talking openly to people about my depression and anxiety more generally also helps and I can quite proudly say, ‘I’m recovering from depression’ and not feel as I once felt in my lowest moments. I have decided I no longer suffer with depression, it’s an illness I’m determined to fight, and I won’t let it get the better of me.

What an incredible story, if you would like to read more from this inspirational lady then you can on the links below.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lellaleeblog

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lellaleeblog

http://www.lellalee.com

Daddy Giraffe x