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  • Niamh

The Positive Power of Sharing Your Story

Writing has always been my own personal from of catharsis. The act of writing something down on paper, thoughts or ideas you could never feel yourself saying out loud, has always been like a weight lifting off my shoulders.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve turned to writing for both cleansing the soul and igniting it. I can remember being the only child in the class who would delight in hearing we had an English essay for our homework and I’d come in the next day with a lavish, off-the-wall story, 10 pages long front and back of my copybook and delight in the chance to read it aloud to the rest of the class.

Today writing is both my profession and my passion. But as a freelance writer and copywriter with over 15 years published work behind me, writing had started to become more of a formulaic endeavour than a personal one. That is until I became a mum in December 2016 and my world shifted on its axis.

It was only then did I truly realise the true power of writing and sharing a story.

I decided to start blogging about my journey through motherhood after I’d struggled so badly at the start. I felt completely overwhelmed and suffered with Post-Natal Depression. Eventually, I began writing down how I was feeling, and as I had done since I was a child, I began to feel… better. The act of writing down my inner thoughts, instantly made me feel lighter and freer.

As things got brighter for me and the fog lifted I began to look around me and realise that I couldn’t me the only new mum who had felt this way, so I decided to start A blog dedicated to sharing my honest journey through motherhood – the good days and the bad. The hilarity and the heartbreak of it all, never shying away from my reality.

Being so open about your failings and flaws can be a scary prospect, but I knew that if I could help just one other mum who was in that dark place where I’d been, if I could reach her and let her know she was not alone, then to me, it was worth it. And it turns out it really was, becasue while sharing my story was cathartic for me, it was a hugely positive thing for many other mums too.

22 months into my journey though motherhood, when the opportunity to contribute to new Irish book centred around sharing short stories of love, courage, honesty and resilience in the face of mental health struggles. I jumped at the chance.

Aptly called, A Bowl of Irish Stew, the book is a remarkable collection of short stories from authors all over the country who aim to shine a light on mental health issues. And light is key to this book, because while many of us have faced struggles in the past or have family members of friends who have, the overriding message from the book is one of hope and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

A labour of love for its creator Gary Rutherford, all the authors have donated their stories free of charge and all proceeds from the book, which costs just €10, will go to Pieta House.

It’s available to buy now online in paperback. An ideal little stocking filler or Kris Kindle present and coffee table book, it’s a beautiful collection of stories that will warm your heart and is an easy way to help the work of Pieta House.

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