I think it’s important to address all aspects of my life including suffering from postnatal depression, encouraging more awareness and bringing comfort to myself and others. I never wanted to tell my story. But If it helps one person Why not share it? I know somewhere out there, there is somebody reading this, relating to everything I’m writing.
From the outside, I look fine. Friends and family think I’m “happy” probably a bit of a moody cow but happy nonetheless. People ask how I am and I smile and say ‘Fine, thank you’, but inwardly I am screaming at the top of my lungs FUCKING SHIT!! HELP ME!! That’s the thing with postnatal depression it doesn’t always show on the outside, it’s easily hidden with a smile. The best way for me to describe it is like having a little devil sat on my shoulder whispering hurtful words in my ear, making me question everything about myself, My life and even my children.
Some days I am so utterly sad. I cry at sad things and I cry at happy things it’s a strange feeling, I worry about telling people how I feel with a fear that I will drag them into the deep dark pit I’m desperately trying to escape from.
For four years I’ve kept these emotions under lock and key as best I could, too ashamed and scared to reach out for help.
I feel guilt all the time. Guilty that my partner has to put up with a miserable, moany, angry and stressed mother and partner. I feel guilty that I don’t contribute to the household income. I feel guilty I have a life that many people can only dream of yet I’m not satisfied.
Everything. Every single thing Pisses. Me. Off. Which inevitably turns to Anger.
The effort of pretending to be “fine” and maintaining a smile is draining in itself. I get tension headaches and sore muscles. It’s mentally & physically exhausting. The worst part is the mind games that become a part of it, making me believe I’m not a good enough mother, partner even human being. That everybody would be better of without my presence.
Dark cloudy moments that are difficult to fight through.
Post natal depression affects 10 to 15 in every 100 women.
Why are some too afraid to seek help?
Why is there such a huge stigma surrounding it?
December 2016 I finally admitted I wasn’t coping, A 2 am walk with no destination was probably an obvious giveaway that something wasn’t quite right, the sad truth is I didn’t know if I was going to seek help or end my life. I sat around for almost two hours before my mother in law tracked me down. When I finally opened up you know what the response was? “I know, I’ve kind of been expecting it after everything you’ve been through” I heard this response from more than one person.
There was no judgment, no look of disgust.
The next day my mother in law took me to see my doctor (I advise getting someone to go with you, mid conversation I broke down & she thankfully filled in the gaps) being prescribed medication was scary I expected myself to turn into a crazy, medicated zombie surviving on “happy pills”. A few days later my health visitor popped in for a chat & asked me to fill out a mental health assessment form I scored 20, quite a high score. I needed immediate help & received a phone call from the mental health team after answering a few questions they decided I wasn’t psychotic (A huge sigh of relief) but I could probably benefit from therapy.
So, that’s my next step I just need to arrange it now & begin my journey into recovery.
PND is confusing, to say the least, I won’t let it defeat me but I know I couldn’t have done it alone. If you are struggling with similar emotions please reach out to somebody.