And breathe – reflections from the last decade….

I’m back to work today after a couple of weeks off.  I think this is almost the first time in a year I’ve actually taken a big chunk of time off and really rested.  Like so many others we were plagued by viruses but it was such a good excuse to do little and also decline going to things or feeling like we had to do too much.

Pausing, breathing, resting, re-setting are all so vital.  It’s something we don’t do enough of – there’s always a feeling of something to do or somewhere to be.  After watching 2 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy I could hear that dialogue starting…. ‘you could have done… that time’.  This time though I changed that dialogue and actually thought – how nice that was to give myself the opportunity to really shut my brain down and just be and embed myself in complete fantasy.  I know that that pause will really help me in the year to come and I’m so grateful that I can do it.

As the end of the decade arrived, like many others, I started reflecting on my decade and how transformational it had been. What I realised was if it hadn’t been for a really disabling bought of PND brought on by years of anxiety, I would still be working in an academic institution, not supporting women.

In October 2010, my third son was born and I had 22 month old twins.  By the summer in 2011 signs of PND were starting, by autumn 2011, I was literally bed bound with depression or what I describe as a nervous breakdown.  This had been caused by anxiety which I had no idea I had actually had my whole life – those feelings of panic, those feelings of not being good enough, rage, anger, a feeling of being out of control.

I got better from actually returning to work in 2012 – a job I am so grateful I got and the most amazing boss I ever had.  By 2013 I was well enough to come off medication.  Throughout the whole of this time I’d been volunteering for the local twins club and I kept thinking I want to stop what happened to me happening to these women.

I decided to retrain and started working as a postnatal doula, then a birth and postnatal doula in 2014 and left my lovely boss as I couldn’t ‘work’ and be self employed.

In 2014, I came across Lauren Knight on twitter and the two of us were passionate about providing IMMEDIATE support for mums with perinatal mental health.  We set up peer support which became Juno Perinatal Mental Health Support which has been running since 2015. Since that time, I’ve been involved in various things at a local, Scottish and UK level for perinatal mental health including being a Change Agent for Maternal Mental Health Scotland and being invited to the House of Lords and Commons.

I was working with other local businesses in Edinburgh and in 2014 we formed what is now known as Edinburgh Birth and Baby.

Working with women around this time, I had no idea that the reason most people hire doulas is actually because of trauma – often very difficult births or postnatal experiences meaning they need help.

I’d come across EFT as part of my own recovery from PND/anxiety and I decided to train in that because I thought I’d love to be able to show others confidently know how to use it as I know it would help them.  In 2015 I trained in EFT Therapy and became an accredited practitioner in 2016.  I also trained later in 2016 in Traumatic Birth Recovery 3 Step REWIND technique as I thought it would be good to have more skills working with birth and perinatal trauma.

In 2017, I went one step further and decided to set up online training courses for birth, breastfeeding and parenting called the Birth and Baby Academy.  The whole reason I established this was about the reduction of birth and breastfeeding trauma by supporting women to take ownerships of their birth and plan for all births (i.e. realistic birth preparation).  Whilst I feel so passionately about the academy and what it stands for and everything I put into it (blood, sweat, tears and a lot of money), this has never really taken off – I didn’t have the capacity to manage this and my other work to spend the time competing with the big players out there.  I was planning to close this but I’ve actually had some people getting in touch to help me with it so I’ll see where that goes.

By the end of 2017 I fell pregnant with a much longed for baby – my first two were IVF twins, my third was a surprise, but this baby we’d tried for a long time and we’d actually completely given up.  It was such a blessing to have one more baby.

In 2018 I had my 4th son by a gentle caesarean following a planned HBA2C (home birth after two caesareans). The birth didn’t go as planned but it was bloody marvellous as I laboured for hours at home naturally and in the pool but my body started to show signs of distress so the plan had always been go to in if that happened.  It was a beautiful experience and one I keep going back to.

2019 was a pivotal year for me.  How could I manage being self employed whilst looking after 4 boys? I’d struggled with a few relationships which really unsettled me, I had complete imposter syndrome, we had a few issues to work through with some of my older kids, I was sleep deprived, I couldn’t think straight at points and loads more.

So I called on help.  Help from friends and family, paid help and eventually organised childcare (after really questioning myself and my beliefs).  I also hired a life coach, a business coach, I went to see my own EFT therapist and kinesiologist and booked in for loads of massages throughout the year.  I worked through my own issues – worked on boundaries, people pleasing, learning to say no, my own imposter syndrome and self doubt.

One of the things without a doubt that helped me this year was EFT – DAILY EFT practise when I could feel all those thoughts, beliefs, discomforts and conflicts arising.  When my old friend anxiety started coming back – I’d tap on it.  I literally tapped and tapped and tapped.  The other thing that helped me was REST – every single day – I REST.  I cannot stress enough how important that is to ALL MUMS out there.

All of this resulted in such a huge shift for me.  In 2019 I was asked to become a trainer for Scotland and North East of England for Traumatic Birth Recovery 3 Step REWIND and facilitated my first course in October, I signed up and completed my level 3 EFT training (currently finishing the accreditation and case studies) and I completed training for solutions focussed brief therapy and tapping out of trauma.

Throughout this year I’ve seen clients for EFT, Birth and Perinatal Trauma and Birth and Parenting Preparation.  I’ve attended three births as a doula.  My lovely community was born – Overcome the Overload (which will be open again later in January).  I’ve also set up a new 6 week coaching programme for mums which I’m so excited about for those that are keen to see real transformations and I’m organising my first EFT workshop later on this month.

What I keep reflecting on.. if it hadn’t been for that ‘nervous breakdown’ – I would never be doing what I am doing now.  I’m so grateful to all that’s happened to me and what it’s taught me about myself, birth, motherhood, women and relationships.

There’s always more learning to do and more improvement to do.  I know I couldn’t have done it without help and I’m so glad this year that I reached out and got it.  That is something that Tricia 10 years ago did not do.

Thank you so much for reading this far and a huge THANK YOU to all my clients over this last decade – thanks for trusting me and coming back to work with me again and again.  I absolute appreciate it and I’ve loved working with you and witnessing transformations in you.  I honestly never feel like I work because there is so much joy in working with you.

Wishing you all the love for 2020, Tricia xxxxx

PS If you’re ready to start 2020 with a bang

  • Come along to first EFT workshop for 2020 – this workshop is designed for all women and mums who are keen to learn in person how to utilise EFT to help them overcome the stresses and strains of modern day motherhood [limited spaces – full price is £40 (12 spaces left), Overcome the Overload members are £7.50 (5 spaces left)]
  • Sign up for my new 6 week Overcome the Overload – Coaching for Mums programme.  10% discount if you book by 6th January – I have THREE spaces left to start in January 2020.

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Oh my effing jebbing…… Since school has returned we have literally been plagued by bug after bug. We should have a big red cross was painted on the door with the words ‘Lord Have Mercy Upon Us’ just like they did when there was the bubonic plague.

I just feel like….

I just feel like….

A lot of my clients come to me often with the description….I just feel like….

I’m struggling/I’m drowning/I’m shouting too quickly/I’ve got a constant knot in my stomach/I’m anxious/I’m not being very nice to my partner/I could be doing it better/I’m not coping/I’m finding work or family difficult/I’m having intrusive thoughts/I’m unable to sleep/I’m ruled by my to do list/I’m burned out or exhausted….. it goes on….

These are the symptoms of ‘overwhelm’ and the day to day impact of your reaction to your current situation.

What’s taking up all your energy….

What’s taking up all your energy….

This is the work I love to do as it provides you freedom from burn out and anxiety. Life feels much more aligned. You can much better perspective. You can think rationally and clearly. Life is happier, calmer and easier. And within all of that, it returns your energy as you are not so constantly exhausted.