A few final thoughts, however - because I’m not actually capable of shutting up. Ever.
Firstly, please consider ‘giving back’ in 2018. It makes you feel good, or in Big Words: the positive effects on your mental health are well documented. If you get involved with a charity that has touched your life in some way, you are likely to find a tribe of people Just Like You, whether that’s SEN parents, cancer survivors, anti-suicide campaigners or whatever else is relevant to you or your family and friends. And if this blog has shown you anything, it should show you that you can be sponsored to take on any crazy challenge you can think up. Think of something your friends wouldn’t expect you to do, then do it. Or call your favoured charity and ask if you can help in some practical way, using your professional skills or giving up a small chunk of time for something that needs doing, as a one-off or regularly. Or, of course, give cash! Perhaps this act won’t result in quite the same self-care boost, but charities - especially small charities like ADD-vance - can’t keep going without cash donations. A small monthly donation is helpful in budgeting terms, or give what you can when you can. ADD-vance followers, remember that a place on the 6-week course costs £150. Could you challenge yourselves to fundraise or contribute that much money, even if it takes years? Or even the £2,200 to fund an entire course?
My next ‘thought’ is that I can live without alcohol. At a point in my life when I need to rebuild after an extended period of stress, on-and-off depression and self-neglect, it makes sense to hold off on the drinking. I need to prepare for the future, which, as my boys and I grow older, is not going to get any less challenging. The initial 90 days gave me a sense that with some effort - and with external accountability - I can make things better for all of us by making things better for myself. The hole I’ve been down is waaay too deep for a rapid exit, though, so I’m going to give it another year and see if I can get anywhere near the surface again.
Finally, my surprise discovery: blogging is a thing I need to do. It makes me accountable, it helps me figure out what I think, and it gives me a place to rant when I need to rant. And so I’m starting a new blog, The Mum-Care Diaries. This will chart my attempts to look after myself, in spite of being a Mum, because of being a Mum and while simultaneously trying to avoid getting sacked from being a Mum. Maybe if I parent myself a bit more effectively (make myself eat and sleep reasonably, for example), it will somehow rub off on the kids and make that Mum job a bit easier. Who knows? It could be a total disaster. Or maybe not. I’ll let you know in a year.
I would love it if you would carry on reading and supporting the new blog. There’s nothing on it yet, because I’m a rank amateur with a houseful of kids, but this time there’s going to be a Facebook page as well as the blog, so please sign up to follow me.
The blog address will be
On Facebook you can find me by searching The Mum-Care Diaries. I did try to work out if I could post a link, but I have a tech skill level of zilch. If anyone knows how to do it, please post it in the comments!!
And so to all of you, thank you. Thank you for supporting me, and thank you for supporting ADD-vance. ADD-vance are more than £700 better off because of you wonderful people. I wish every one of you a 2018 of health, happiness and self-care xx