I am sharing this story because I want to share how lightness (glimmers) pulled me out from a very dark place and teaching this to children/young people is such an important life skill. Life will always throw challenges at us and most people will experience periods of darkness at some point in life; having tools to support you through can be a life line.
The number of children in mental health crisis is at record high in England.
NHS data reveals more than 3,500 urgent referrals of under-18s in May, three times higher than same month in 2019. We can help our children and young people by giving them tools to help.
Trigger warning: Miscarriage
Eleven years ago today I was 16 weeks pregnant, it was our second attempt at IVF and we had already lost a twin at 9 weeks. In the night I went onto to have a late miscarriage at home, then ended up in surgery as I had lost a lot of blood, which as you can imagine was very traumatic
Losing a baby after 14 weeks is very rare and this happens with less than 1% of pregnancies. I found out after a post mortem and some test that I had a blood clotting disorder and that without treatment I would never be able to carry a baby full term.
I spent a few days in hospital recovering and was haunted by what happened in the room I slept in until I got some extra support. I didn’t know it at the time but I had PTSD.
Looking for Light
Through all the grief and trauma I looked for light and held onto it. At the time it felt like we were on a journey piecing our lives back together holding onto any pieces of happiness we could; which we called stitches. What I know now is that we were searching for glimmers.
I took photos of everything that filled me with joy, or light and connected me back to my life and I even went onto to get a lady to make us a paper cutting out of all those moments. This hangs in my wall shinning bright reminding me of both Lilly and the strength she gave us to try again for a child and the journey my partner and I went on to be able to find ourselves and have some sense of healing.
No matter the darkness and no matter how small the light may seem at the time, seek it out and hold onto it. Look for glimmers, hold them tight, breath them in. Its those small moments that day to day and at tougher times will keep you grounded and enable you to find hope. Practising this in our day to day will help when harder times come.
If your children and young people are arguing over the holidays and possibly driving you crazy. Think about the times they have connected even if its small and hold onto this, focus on those moments and not the ones that will bring you down, it will help you when it can all feel too much. Speak about glimmers with children and young people as you spot and feel them, sharing how these feel and focusing on this will help them to also focus on glimmers too. Its a shift in mindset that can be really powerful – give it a go.