I thought about a lot of things these past few days.
I thought about how much I don’t enjoy city living anymore. I thought about where I want my life to go. How far Olivia has come health wise, how Sofiya is growing up so quickly and I thought about the fact this winter will mark one year since my official post natal depression diagnosis.
Although I want to clarify that my battles with mental illness go back much further than 2016. It wasn’t until December last year that I got some much needed professional help. I know I’m three months early with this but the 4th – 10th September is Post natal depression awareness week.
recently I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the old me, the old Nicole both from one year ago and from a half a decade ago. The girl who was thinking of overdosing every day and the girl who finally found some help she desperately needed.
It was December 2016 when my mother in law picked me up at the bus stop around 2 am after I had made a decision that I simply couldn’t handle life anymore.
December 2016, when I finally admitted I needed help and together we went to a GP appointment to discuss my mental health – This time I knew I couldn’t leave without a solution.
I was four months into motherhood with my second baby girl you can catch up with her birth story here simply put it was another horrendous experience that sent me spiralling into darkness. I should have been celebrating motherhood, our new life adventure. I should have been ecstatically happy – and at many times, I was – but I was also harbouring a lot of darkness and sadness. Call it unresolved emotions from my first pregnancy and birth if you will.
I spent a lot of times exhausted and feeling numb. Feeling completely void of emotions. I would lose myself in my own head for hours at a time. I knew something needed fixing, that I couldn’t go on attempting to live my life under a stormy cloud.
My doctors appointment was short – She asked me how I was feeling right there and then. How I have been feeling, and then told me she thought I was suffering from a combination of PTSD, stress and depression. She placed me on daily 10mg sertraline, which is a commonly prescribed anti depressant.
It wasn’t scary like I feared. In fact, it assured me that all the shit going on my head was real and I did, in fact, need medical help.
The medication played a huge part and During those following few months I was at ease. However, the people around me, supporting me played an even bigger part and they helped me tackle my diagnosis.
I stayed on the anti depressants for a couple of months before finally stopping them myself something I wouldn’t recommend. I had come to the conclusion that I hated how I was relying heavily on medication.
I have had a few terrible periods where I’ve completely regretted my decision and I’m making an appointment to see my GP soon.
I don’t by any means consider myself “fixed”.
Admitting and acknowledging my depression helped my emotions become more manageable. Creating my blog where I speak openly and candidly about depression, embracing my mental health has made it easier for myself to accept it.
Of course, I fear the return of post natal depression but I am in a place now where those feelings don’t overwhelm me. I worry about post natal depression and the uncertainty that it carries, But nowadays the good days outweigh the bad. I’m not 100% happy but I know I’m happier than I was.
Anybody currently suffering, Remember, No matter how tough times get, You are not alone and there is a way out.
Your friends and family are your support network. Even if you think by telling them they’re going to see you as a burden… they won’t. If you haven’t told them how you are feeling and you’re worried that it’s going to bother them or they’re not going to understand then you are underestimating their love for you. You have a serious disorder that affects your life, this isn’t trivial… it’s your mental health. You need support right now, so please reach out!
Everybody experiences depression differently. If you think you would benefit from professional help please reach out to one of the incredible organisations and charities offering support – Pandas Foundation & Mind.org