We can all agree, I think, that parenting can be as exhilarating as it is challenging. Parenting becomes something different again when you add the layers and complexity of raising a child or children with mental health issues. As told by Suzanne. (Trigger warning.) Ed 

My eldest daughter turns 18 tomorrow.

That sentence needs a paragraph all of its own, partly because I do not feel old enough to have an adult child in the home (does any parent?) but mostly because there have been times over the last three years when I didn’t think we would be celebrating her 18th birthday. Why? Because I wasn’t sure she would even be here.

Since the age of 14 (she would almost certainly say younger but this was the first time it was brought to my attention) she has struggled with mental health issues. Her 16th and 17th birthdays were both shrouded in a cloud of depression, anxiety, suicide attempts and emotional trauma.

Read on | Inside, Outside and Beyond

 

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Suzanne W
This blog is my quest to find out if there is ‘life after the school run’. With all three children now at secondary school, I feel it’s time to find me again. The me who got a little lost amongst the packed lunches and spelling tests of primary school life. The me who has become unhealthily attached to the knee-high-boots-and-floral-scarf ‘combo’ that every 40-something mum in the playground is wearing. The me who is becoming slowly less required physically (the emotional side seems to be ramping up a gear) by her offspring and is beginning to wonder what lies beyond motherhood. The me who isn’t sure what she has to offer the world, but knows it’s time for the 40-something woman to speak up!