It’s ok not to be ok……. It’s ok not to be ok,….. It really is ok not. To. Be. Ok!…….

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I say this, somehow I still find I put pressure on myself to be more positive, to ‘get over it’, to be brave, to be the person everyone wants/needs me to be……

Mental health is something I never understood until I experienced it for myself. As a teenager I used to see my dad struggling with S.A.D and wonder why he couldn’t just pull himself out if it. I would find myself becoming so annoyed with what I perceived to be a ‘woe is me’ attitude. As a young adult I would hear friends discussing this black hole, or read the ‘black dog’ analergy, and just want to give them all a slap really! I mean I was polite (I hope?!) and listened to them, but in my head I just didn’t get it! I mean come on, they had families around them, money was ok, they had somewhere to put their head at night, & their physical health was ok…. I didn’t view it as anything other then something in their heads, they just needed to ‘hurry up and get over’!

Until it was my turn.

It wasn’t til I got postnatal depression, that for the first time I began to understand. Even then it took time as I felt it was ok for me, I had an ‘excuse’ of a difficult & traumatic birth of a poorly preemie. It wasn’t really til after the counselling, when I was starting to feel better that it kinda dawned on me. Like a light bulb going off in my head, followed by emense guilt and shame at how I had treated others who had felt just like this!

Time has passed and I have come along way since then, with close friends & family struggling with various mental illnesses, from a breakdown to bipolar, to depression. But as much as I have done my best to be there for them, to listen, not to put pressure on them, again it wasn’t until my own issues this year I have learnt so much more about what it truly means, and how it feels to struggle with mental health.

For the first time in my life I had anxiety, I struggled to come to terms with my friends death, then it was like being swollowed up by a big black hole. It didn’t matter what I knew to be right or wrong, that I had a loving family around me, it was about the way I felt every morning and every night…(See my last blog ‘enough‘)

I guess part of it for me is having to face my own mortality, to deal with what my physical health is throwing at me, what drs are saying is likely to happen, at the same time trusting in God as he’s seen me through so many times and proved the drs wrong…right?! The idea of my kids growing up without me is horrific, yet something I have had to face, but how do you face that, whilst holding on to the promises God has given, preparing for the worst, whilst hoping for the best?!?! Then feeling like one big drama queen for putting my family through all this..?!?!

Today is World Mental Health Awareness Day. My dad isn’t here any more, but I wish he was so I could tell him all I have since learnt a lot about mental health, and apologise for some the the things this once know-it-all teenager said!

We may not have been through it ourselves, but we can all be there for our family, friends, & colleges. We can read up to be able to spot the signs, and just be there for them, or point them in the right direction to access help (usually a gp initially.) Acknowledge how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, even if you just don’t get it and please whatever you do, don’t tell us to ‘get over it’, to ‘be positive’, or ‘how luky we are’ etc!

Mental health can affect anyone and everyone, at any time- no matter your class, status, gender, age & what you have or haven’t been through in life.

We all want to get to a place where we feel ok, but in a world where we are constantly shown images of the ‘perfect’ bodies, mothers, families, kids, meals, homes, lives, etc without realising we can compare ourselves, and before we know it, we’ve put pressure on ourselves to try to conform to that, I mean if this random lady on insta can do it, why can’t I??… But it’s often not real, or at least we are only seeing a snapshot, you know that one, perfect family photo, when the other 20 taken were rubbish!?

We need to give ourselves a break, and remember it’s ok not to be ok…. I’m a slow learner -but I’m getting there- (maybe I need it printed on a t-shirt?!)

Its. Ok. Not. To. Be . Ok.


Posted in Anxiety, Anxious, Inspirational life, Life well lived, Living with anxiety, Loving myself, Mental health, My life, Uncategorized, world mental health day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


October is now here, my kids have settled back into school- (yr 10 & 6th form..eek!), and I realise how true it is that time really does go by faster the older you become!

It’s been 7 months since I last wrote on here, a very difficult 7 months and I guess I’ve been struggling to figure out what’s going on in my head, let alone have the courage to write it down on ‘paper’ and let the world see it!

This year has been about actually learning to be kind to myself and all that entails, (not just preaching it- but living it!), as my mental health has taken a battering, alongside my physical health. I’ve had to deal with issues I thought I had already dealt with, and face head on, some of the most challenging times in my past. I’ve had to learn to forgive, to allow myself time to grieve all I have lost, and understand that loss isn’t just about people, but all my health has caused me to miss out on in life.

One of the things I’ve found most difficult is feeling like I’m not enough, and figuring out my worth, in this fast paced world that seems to pass me by, as I sit at home in my recliner, desperate to join in. Like a child peering out the window, nose pressed up against the glass, I’m unable to get out and experience all I can see others doing and enjoying. I look at my friend’s, and see how hard they work to support their families, yet also maintain the family home, take their kids out, and cook home made meals…. And I feel like I am somehow inadequate as a wife and Mama by comparison. Every time I seem to reach the same conclusion, that I’m not enough, and those words ring in my head over and over til they have almost stuck…… ALMOST……

But I’ve been reminded, (once again), of the impact we can all have, no matter what our situation, or position, regardless of our health, whether we have the opportunity to preach to an auditorium full of people, or show kindness to a single stranger….
Our lives matter.
Our words matter.
What we do matters.
We matter!

We can each make a difference in the world no matter how big or small we are, we each have the power to impact a person’s life. And more importantly we are enough,
I am enough…..
Even typing these words now, I have tears streaming down my face. It’s been a hard slog up this mountain, to get to where I am today and I’m far from ‘there’ yet. I know there will be times I will fall and need a hand up, but that’s ok, I’m taking it one small step at a time. Even coming on to my blog today I have come face to face with my own words… ‘Miss UnstoppaBull, A life worth living‘…. Funny how years later your own forgotten words can carry such meaning and power!

No one knows what the future holds, and I don’t even know if I will make it out of bed tomorrow, or when I’ll be back in hospital again, but I am clinging on to God, onto my faith, trusting that someway, somehow I’ll reach a point where I won’t have to daily tell myself I’m enough, because I will wake up believing it. For any of you who are struggling right now, just know you are not alone, your life has a great worth, and you are enough!

you say by Lauren Daigle – if you are feeling anything like me then you need to listen to this song, with tissues! Xx

A special thank you to my family who have dealt with my anxieties & mood swings, and everything else I have thrown their way, and continued to love and care for me, even when they haven’t fully understood my tearfilled ramblings!

Posted in Anxiety, behind the smile, enough, faith, Hope in God, life, Living with anxiety, Living with grief, Living With Pain, Loving myself, Mental health, My life, Seasons, Self esteem, self worth, Small Steps, Trust in God, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Love is…….

Handholding, kisses, chocolates and roses,
Romantic walks in the park, snuggling all cozy,
Texts with ‘I love you’, 3 times a day,
Dates to a restaurant, or a café….

But that’s not exactly what our love entails,
19 years of heartache, along with the smiles.
Our Love isn’t all hearts and flowers, 
It’s sitting by my hospital bed for hours. 

It’s holding my hand when I am in pain,
Kissing my forehead, coz I’m in hospital again,
Chocolates and roses are all banned,
No snuggling today, as the pain’s out of hand.

Pushing my wheelchair, when I’m ok to go out,
Taking Izzie to dance, and Jack to scouts, 
Getting me my tablets twice a day,
Going to work, as we need to get paid!

You text me from work, when I’m feeling ill,
And nip to the pharmacy to get extra pills.
I know that you worry, more then you let on,
But pretend all is well, and carry on.

When you’re home from work, there’s dinner to cook,
No time to settle with a good book.
Then there’s a little house work to do,
And making me a cup of tea or two.

Our love isn’t glamorous, not like what’s on tv,
When we see all the images of what love ‘should’ be.
But real love can be difficult, and messy and hard,
It’s not just the nice bits we see on greeting cards!

Happy Valentine’s Day, to my one true love,
Who is such a huge blessing, from up above!
Sorry for all the crap I put you through, 
And thank you for always being you!

Dedicated to Andy, ~Love B xx

Posted in 2019, Art, Drawing, Inspirational life, life, Life well lived, Living With Pain, love, Love is, love life, Love poems, Marriage, Mr Right, My life, Poems, Poetry, relationships, Seasons of life, The story of us, together, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Behind The Smile…


I always feel nostalgic at this time of year, remembering both the highs and lows of last year, wondering what this year will bring.

Yet again I feel frustrated at all the things I didn’t do last year, frustrated that my health always seems to hold me back from doing what I want to, and from being the person I want to be- the mama and wife I want to be.

In my dream world, I can work, I can take care of my family, rather then them taking care of me, I can actually be there for my friends, rather then a voice over the phone, or a text as I’m not well enough to see them. But you see I have had to learn that my actual reality has to be enough, and some days to be totally honest I’m not sure it is.

Then November happened. My world was turned upside down as a good friend of mine passed away very suddenly. I couldn’t stop crying. Weeks went by and I still couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t think straight, I started to feel anxious about everything, then the nightmares started. This wasn’t grief as I knew it, I lost my dad and hadn’t felt this way. I felt more and more like my whole world was turning upside down, as every issue in my life I thought I had dealt with came to the surface. Even writing this now tears are streaming. But it wasn’t just the crying, I was struggling not to loose my temper over nothing at all. I was screaming at my kids over stupid things, and didn’t know how to stop the red mist descending. I would lay in bed late at night sobbing over nothing and was constantly worried, feeling anxious over everything and anything, unable to make a decision without my palms sweating.

This wasn’t grief. With the support of my friends I came to realise I think I am struggling with anxiety for the first time in my life, and because of all I have been through, my friend passing away triggered all the feelings I thought I had dealt with, and all the trauma I have faced over so many years.

I am not in a great place right now. I have learnt to mask it on a good day for short periods of time, but ultimately I know this will only be dealt with, with counselling, time, love and support. I have to face all I have been through head on, talk about it properly, let the hurt out and figure out a way to put the pieces back together again.

As we leave last year behind us and  get ready to begin a new one, I wanted to be honest. I wanted to let you guys know what’s going on, and to encourage anyone who’s going through a tough time right now, to tell someone about it, get help, make people aware how they can best support you. There’s been so many times in my life I have faced such difficulties & trauma and tried to be brave, move on, get over it, be positive, be the strong one……and to be honest I really thought I had dealt with a lot of it-  but the thing is it’s ok NOT to be ok, it’s ok to NOT always be the positive one, its ok to take time to process what you’ve been through, to figure out how you feel about what happened, without feeling rushed to ‘get over it’ and ‘move on’!

Everyone is different and deals with things in different ways, don’t compare yourself to anyone else and just be you. Start this new year as you mean to go on, and if you are struggling right now it’s ok to ask for help, we are all human!

As for me, I am going to stop putting pressure on myself to be brave, and positive, and start counselling this month, taking one day at a time. I have decided to share this with you as I feel like I’m going to explode inside if I don’t, coz I can’t keep hiding behind a mask, smiling and pretending all is well. I am so blessed to have my family by my side, who have made the extra effort to help me find the joy this Christmas, so amongst the tears and anxiousness, there has been happiness and celebration.


I know that in time I will learn to process all I have been though, and will one day get through a week without loosing the plot, having awful nightmares and crying everyday, because I have faith in an almighty God who has kept me alive for a purpose. With God in my heart, my family and friends by my side, and a shed load of determination, I know I will get through this battle.

Thank you for your on going support, it means more then you can know.

Posted in 2019, Anxiety, Anxious, behind the smile, Brave, Christmas, faith, family, Gods Peace, grief, Happy Christmas, health, Hope in God, Inspirational life, Its ok not to be ok, life, Living with anxiety, Living with grief, Living With Pain, Mental health, My life, Nostalgic, photos, Precious moments, relationships, Seasons, Seasons of life, Smiling through the pain, Trust in God, Uncategorized, Worry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

From Me to You…


Happy Christmas!

The Christingles been made,
Carols are sung,
Glitter reindeer food spread,
Now Christmas has begun!

The last present wrapped,
Candles are lit,
Milk and mince pies put out,
New onsies that fit!

Now Santa is coming,
If we have been good,
So close your eyes tight,
Go to sleep like you should!

But on Christmas morning,
When excitement is high,
Just remember the reason,
That first ‘Silent Night’.

For on Christmas day,
We celebrate a birth,
Of a precious little baby,
Born to save us on earth!

So while we sit and eat,
Til our bellys are full,
We remember a saviour,
Who gave us his all.

And spare a thought,
For those who have none,
Who sit on their own,
All the day long.

Count every blessing,
Make the most of each day,
Treasure your loved ones,
In your own special way!

Have a Happy Christmas,
Whatever you do,
With a blessed New Year,
From me to you! Xxx


Posted in 2018, Christmas, family, Happy Christmas, Hope in God, Seasons of life, Trust in God, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Forever in our Hearts



Words cannot express,
All I would like to say,
‘Sorry’ just doesn’t seem enough,
To sum up that fateful day.

The world has been robbed,
Of a truly beautiful soul,
She was one of life’s best,
But she didn’t know it at all.

Humble, caring and compassionate,
Always there for everyone,
But the one she adored most in the world,
Was her precious only son.

Childminder to many of our kids,
She always found room for one more!
Pouring her love and time into each one,
Doing crafts and playing on the floor.

She loved doing things with her friends,
Making time for them all,
Drinking coffee, dressing up, movie nights,
and out for the odd pub crawl!

Now we have a hole in our lives,
So much I wish I would have said,
A community now grieves her loss,
So many tears are being shed.

Heather; Mama, daughter, sister and friend,
Although we’re now apart,
You will now and always be,
Forever in our hearts.


 Heather Stewart 14/3/66 – 4/11/18
Gone, but never forgotten.
Rest in peace my precious friend.💗💗💗

Posted in 2018, grief, Hard to say goodbye, In loving memory, Last words, Life well lived, Living with grief, Tribute of a life well lived, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Story of Us, The Next Chapter. (5)


And finally ……..I do!

The next morning I was up early, trying to be excited, but still scared I would walk down the aisle to be met by no one, except a note,…. if I was lucky. I text him again;

Andy, Do you still want to marry me?

But still …nothing. I had to keep going and just hope he would be there. I heard the phone ring downstairs, before a little knock on my door a few moments later.
Come in.
Hannah was stood in her pjs, looking panicked;
my mums not feeling very well, and hasn’t managed to pick up the food she had ordered for today!”

I put my hands over my face, trying to stay calm, while I thought of a plan… I had a hair appointment soon at a local salon, but the girls were getting ready here, with a friend coming to do their hair. It didn’t make sense for Hannah or Karen to go and get the few bits, but I didn’t want to bother anyone else with it. I decided I would go, as it wasn’t far from my hairdressers, and wouldn’t take long.

I went and got in the shower, all the while praying today would end with an ‘I Do’, but worried it wouldn’t. I decided to keep it to myself, I mean what good would it do telling anyone on the morning of your wedding, that your groom to be now wasn’t ‘sure’ …about getting married, -or worse still, about me!?

I was dropped off at the hairdressers at about 10.45am, wearing a mismatch set of clothes, (an easy to take off  shirt, to preserve my styled hair, and a pair of scruffy jogging bottoms.) After being beautified, I was going to walk to Morrison’s, to get the food we needed, then my sister & dad would pick me up, and take me back to the house.

I walked into the hairdressers and sat down on a large black swivel chair. While one went and got everything ready, a second girl started brushing my hair enthusiastically;

Isn’t it so exciting?! Aren’t you excited? Go on then, tell me all about it, oh I love a good wedding me!” ..She went on for about 5 minutes, without even stopping to take a breathe!

….This wasn’t going to be easy, but I switched into happy bride mode and managed to make small talk, while between them they managed to make my straight hair curly.

I walked into the shop over an hour later, with my hair wedding ready, and the tiara with veil in place. I wondered round aimlessly, getting myself more and more het up over the situation, over Andy, over my Gandad not being there, over….. what the heck was I doing in Morrison’s on my wedding day!? I started to cry and that seemed to draw even more attention. I slowly walked up and down each aisle, forgetting what I was actually there for , wondering if this would be the only aisle I was to walk down that day?!

I got outside where my sister and dad were waiting for me, and got in the car. I didn’t want anyone to know what was going on, especially my family, I mean if my dad knew, he would have killed Andy for causing all this worry! I’d always been told what a good actress I was, so I wiped away the last of my tears, and acted happy, imagining I was a bride on the morning of her wedding, without a care in the world…!! Naomi listed the stuff she had done, as I attempted to tune back in. After her list was complete, I realised one item was missing;
And the wedding topper, you got the wedding topper right?”

Erm, No,…. I tried but they didn’t have one, and didn’t know where else to look” in her defence she had just flown in and didn’t know Lincoln. In fact due to the recent events of 9/11 I was lucky any of my family had managed to get flights. Although none from America, a number of flights got cancelled, and for a week it looked like my Aunt and sister wouldn’t make it over from New Zealand at all! After flying back from New York, just a few months earlier, the tragedy had hit us hard and it had taken us over a week to find out that our friends living in NYC were all ok.

…….“Bex, you ok? Not nervous are you?”

I’m all good,” I replied, not realising my mind had wondered.  ….Ok so our plain white cake would have no wedding topper…. but there may not be a wedding yet!

“oh wait, my bridesmaid Hannah has just got married, maybe we can borrow hers??” quickly thinking out loud, and said yet another silent prayer, as we headed back to the house.

Luckily the wedding topper was easy to find, and I sent Naomi off to organise the food I had just bought, and put the topper on the cake. My dad stayed so he could accompany me in the car later, and walk me down the aisle.

Hannah and Karen looked lovely, all hair and make up now done, just about to put their dresses on. I went upstairs and got into my wedding underwear, (not the sexy kind, the keep everything in place and comfy kind!) I put my dressing gown on, while I waited for my Aunt to arrive, to do my makeup and help me get my dress on.
As I went back down stairs, my phone rang;

I can’t find where you are, “ my Aunt shouted through the bad line “ can you give me the directions again
At least she was on her way, as time was cracking on. I gave her the directions and just hoped she’d be there soon!

The car turned up to take two of my three bridesmaids to the church, as my sister in law would meet them there. My flower girl, who used to be my foster sister, would also meet us there with her foster mum. (We had looked after Claire for 2 years, and for the whole time we had shared a bedroom. It was her dream to be a bridesmaid one day, so I promised her when I got married she could be my flower girl, or bridesmaid and I was delighted that my ‘lil sister was able to be in my wedding.) We had managed to include all our family that wanted to be involved in the wedding, in various roles. I had been looking forward to the service as it had been planned exactly the way Andy and I wanted it…… but now I just felt empty, and scared.

I looked at the time, it was 1.30! The wedding was supposed to be at 2pm…. I needed to leave soon, and didn’t even have my make up done or my dress on, I mean know it’s customary for the bride to be late but….

At that point my phone rang again…

Rebecca I’m so sorry hunny, I got lost and was worried about the time and  I didn’t want to be late for the wedding! Will your friends be able to help you sweetheart? Love you, see you soon!

I darn’t tell my Aunt my friends had already gone and the only person left was my dad and no- he was definitely not going to be able to help me with my make up! I started to panic, it was all going wrong, maybe there was a reason, maybe it’s not meant to be?!

My dad sat me down, and told me that there wasn’t a wedding without a bride, so it didn’t matter if I was late. He offered to help as I sat in front of the mirror, hands shaking, trying to do my makeup. He made me a cup of tea, and tried to calm me down, assuming my anxiousness was purely over my Aunt not coming to help.

Make up done, I don’t know how, as my hands didn’t stop shaking the whole time! Now the dress,…. my dad was brilliant, without looking, he managed to help me get my dress on and zipped me up, (thank goodness I didn’t opt for the sexy lingerie!) He went down stairs and waited while I gathered my thoughts, wow it was only 1.45 -how we did all that in 15mins I’ll never know! I rushed down stairs after hearing the beep of the car out side. My dad stopped me and gave me a hug, I knew he wasn’t totally sold on Andy yet, but he trusted my judgment, and saw our love was real.

I got in the car, not so easy with a train that long, and heels! The journey to church seemed to take forever. I had always imagined how amazing it would feel, being a beautiful bride, on her journey to get married; feeling like a famous princess as everyone stopped and waved at you,  and waving back… but there was only one thing on my mind right now, and it didn’t concern waving or feeling like a princess, and I couldn’t even tell anyone that my Prince Charming may not be there, that he wasn’t sure,….

27ABDA70-6843-4161-A5DA-BAF068D7DAEBAs we arrived my dad helped me out the car….

smile” Matt our photographer shouted. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw my 3 bridesmaids beaming at me. My heart was beating so fast- this was it…….

Is he here..”. I asked in a panic, feeling like my throat was going to close up any moment with the fear.

They all looked at me like I had gone totally crazy!

Is who here?.” Karen asked

ANDY!” I replied almost shouting his name.

The three of them all looked at me confused, like I was talking a foreign language or something.

Of course!” They replied almost in unison, like it was a given that he would be there….

Joy filled my heart, as the fear and panic melted away.
I was getting married! I couldn’t stop beaming!

3B65B4CD-C541-4DBD-B39B-D2E93010F56CAt just after 2pm on the 22nd of September 2002, the clouds parted and the sun came out, as Miss Rebecca Clifton-Sprigg walked into a church on the arm of a man she adored. It was the most important day of her life and she was ready, ready to start a new life with man who had stolen her heart. A girl who had once chased a boy she loved, so sure he was ‘the one’, when all around her had told her otherwise. She had come through many trials to get to that day, but none of that mattered anymore, as she stood ready to declare her love to the man of her dreams, for all her family and friends to witness.9D8284F0-02D5-405D-A38B-59D0CFB0E4C88D414240-ABEC-4DC3-A47B-C3A8CDDDD533

Mrs Rebecca Bull walked out, almost an hour later, a confident young women, who knew what she wanted in life, and was willing to fight to get it. With her new husband by her side, they had promised to love each other no matter what, and she knew she had just won the best prize there is in life, from the moment she finally got to say;
I do”.

***For those of you that are just dying to know what it was Andy was ‘unsure’ of,….. he couldn’t remember! He had gone out with all his mates the day before, and had a lovely chilled day. After the rehearsal he had been out for dinner with his two best friends, Simon & Jon, (minus alcohol), before getting an early night. The next morning, too excited to lay in, he had a long relaxing shower, before being treated to a McDonald’s breakfast, again with Simon and Jon. He then had lunch with his parents and sister, before getting ready for the church- and didn’t want to check his phone as he didn’t want to get stressed out by anything….. Although he remembered writing the text, to this day he has no clue why, as he really was sure of everything, especially me! ***




……17 years later, and this love has certainly been put to the test, for better, for worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health and almost ‘til death do we part’! Love isn’t easy, it’s messy and it’s complicated, but it’s worth it! I love Andy today deeper, wider, and higher then I ever thought possible back then. Love doesn’t take away the pain we go through in life, but makes it easier to bare. Our story is far from over, we have many more adventures yet to come!


Posted in 2018, An engagement to remember, Battle Scars, Brave, Engagement, family, Gods Peace, Gods way, history, Home at last, Hope in God, Inspirational life, life, Life well lived, love, love life, Marriage, Mr Right, My life, photos, Practicing patience, Precious moments, relationships, Seasons, Seasons of life, The story of us, The story of us The next chapter, together, Tribute of a life well lived, Trust in God, Uncategorized, Wedding dress, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment