I was asked to appear on BBC Radio Bristol recently, following my blog post regarding my experience with Post Natal Depression and Anxiety.
The producer got in touch with me as she wanted me to discuss my experience and my blog. Initially, I was very shocked and perhaps apprehensive. I’m a writer, that is where my passion lies. You give me a topic and I’m confident I could write something about it, it might not be great, but I would give it a go. When it comes to talking however, although I don’t shut up, I’m far from a confident public speaker. I hate the sound of my own voice, it’s akin to nails down a chalkboard for me. I’m quite self conscious of my accent and the fact I talk quite quickly because I’m certain the person(s) I’m speaking to is getting bored of my incessant conversation.
All of this was circling my head when I was contacted to appear on the radio. Of course, I was proud that I had been asked, I was proud the producer had deemed my writing to be worthy of being featured. I called Wes straight away, I needed advice. He was all for it, he thought it was a great idea and what did I have to lose from doing this? True, he’s right of course, but it’s still quite a big deal nevertheless!
I turn 30 next May, and I’m all about trying new things at the moment, even if they scare me. I have a mantra “Regret the things you didn’t do, not the things you’ve done”. This was ringing in my mind while I was deliberating over my decision. One thing was for sure, I didn’t want it to be live. I would feel incredibly self conscious and what if I swore live on air? How awful would that be? My 85 year old Nan listens to BBC Bristol!
I contacted the producer and said yes, I would be happy to come and have an interview, but it would have to pre-recorded. This would settle my nerves slightly. She agreed this would be fine and I was booked to appear a couple of days later. I genuinely didn’t give it much thought after I had given my decision. A year ago I would have been dreading it, I would have been so anxious, I would’ve convinced myself not to do it. These days I’m better at dealing with anxiety and worries and take each thought and concern one at a time. That’s not to say I didn’t have a few weird dreams the night before I was due to appear. I dreamt that the DJ who was interviewing me was an arsehole and I stormed out half way through. This could not be further from the truth, he was lovely. So welcoming, so interested and so friendly.
Basically, it felt like a chat. With the addition of a large red microphone in front of my face. Once we’d started talking, I totally forgot about the prop in front of me, it genuinely just felt like we were 2 people having a normal conversation. I felt totally at ease.
The chat lasted about 25 minutes, we discussed my C-section, how I felt after, my first realisation that I was suffering from anxiety and depression and how I feel today. He referred to my blog and we acknowledged how there often isn’t a lot of support out there for new mums who are suffering emotionally and mentally. It all seems to be focussed around the baby, which of course is very important. But so is the wellbeing of the Mum and indeed the Dad too.
Following the interview, I felt great. I felt a huge sense of pride and achievement. I took a moment to reflect on all that I have achieved this year despite 2015 starting off very shaky with me being unwell and having a lot of stress to deal with. It was a great feeling.
The following week the producer got in touch with me to let me know the day the interview would be aired. Shit got real! This was actually happening, I’d not given the interview a huge amount of thought subsequent to me leaving the radio station. Now, my dulcet tones were about to be heard in and around Bristol. I felt nervous at that moment, coupled with a tinge of excitement too!
D Day came and I was in a meeting for most of the day so was unable to listen to the show live. I’d let people I work with, friends, family etc. know in advance that the programme was going out that day and had asked them to let me know how it went as I was unable to listen. I have to be honest, I’m quite glad I’d been unable to listen to it live. I don’t think I would have enjoyed that one bit.
The response was fantastic, so many people got in touch with me to let me know how it went. I was amazed that so many had taken the time to listen to it. This was amazing. My family were so proud of me, another great feeling.
5 days on, I’ve still not listened to it. This might shock you. I’m just so nervous to hear my own voice. You know when you’re on the phone to someone and you can hear your own voice in the background because it’s a bad line? If that ever happens to me, I end the call straight away. I can’t bear it. I know I have to listen to it, I only have another 3 weeks left until the link expires on the I player and it would be ridiculous of me to not listen. I think I’ll need some Dutch courage in the form of wine. I almost listened to it last night but chickened out!
Anyway, here’s the link in case you want to hear it for yourself. Let me know what you think. I don’t think I’ll ever have a dazzling career in radio broadcasting but I did enjoy my experience and I’m very glad I did it. If it just helps one person realise they’re not on their own and this is more common than they think then my job here is done. More needs to be done to raise mental health awareness and I’m determined to do all I can to support this.