Over the past few months, I have been a lot more open about my mental health and how some days I really struggle with it. These days, my anxiety doesn’t consume me as much as it did a couple of years ago and I have my business to thank for that.
After my daughter was born in 2017, my mental health took a downward turn and it just kept going. It started off that I didn’t really want to leave the house, or go anywhere unless I absolutely had to, and over a course of about 10 months it got to the point that I could barely leave my bed without having a complete meltdown.
No-one outside of my close family really knew what was going on. My friends knew I was struggling, but not this extent, and my clients had no idea. I didn’t advertise my business; I didn’t take on any new clients; I just kept working for the few clients I had kept when I first had Millie and that was it. The money I was earning barely covered our rent.
Then in August 2018, I opened up my laptop, designed a new logo, created a new website and started showing up on social media again. I was quite nonchalant about it all. I used the fact that I had taken time out to spend time with my new daughter, when in actual fact, I was spending most of time crying and washing my hands 100 times a day…. And I’m not even exaggerating that.
I contacted some of my previous clients and asked if they needed any help, and I started interacting with other mums in business on Facebook groups. Before long, I was picking up work again, and I started to feel a sense of myself come back.
I was conducting all my work online; I didn’t leave my house, but I was engaging with others who had no idea of the struggles I was going through, but it was exactly what I needed. I was solving problems, rather than finding them, and my self confidence slowly but surely started to grow, as did my business.
Now this isn’t a story of how I’ve turned my life around and now I’m a millionaire and my anxieties are thing of the past. Far from it. I still don’t like leaving my house (even before the global pandemic threw a spanner in the works), I carry out all my meetings and work online, and I am not even close to being a millionaire. But I have met some of the most amazing people online, worked with some of the loveliest small businesses locally and across the country, and my mental health is slowly heading in the right direction.
Don’t get me wrong, my work is stressful and I am by no means saying that the answer to get over your anxiety is to throw yourself into work. It’s NEVER that simple. I still get anxious and doubt myself most days, and I need therapy to help me battle my everyday struggles. But finding something that makes me feel like me again, definitely helped me take that first step into making a change, not just for me, but for my family too, and I am definitely going to keep embracing it.