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Post-Natal Depression

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything personal on here, in fact, it may have been #passportgate.  When I managed to forget to renew H’s passport and we had to leave him at home with the grandparents? Didn’t read that, then click here to see my biggest parenting fail so far…

Funnily enough this week lots of things have been making me look back and realise that while the journey may never be over, I’ve definitely come a long way.

Just the Baby Blues?

Several months after the birth of my second son, I suddenly found myself feeling very alone.  With two boys under 2 (there were only 14 months between them) I was struggling to cope.  The baby blues I guess I thought.  I had suffered from clinical depression twice before in my life, both at times of incredible personal stress (I can see the triggers now).  However, I think because I was absolutely fine after Henry, I didn’t expect to suffer from post-natal depression.  It was really quite gradual and looking back I should have recognised the signs.  Moreover, I guess I was trying so hard to cope and to put a brave face on that by the time I realised, I had hit rock bottom.

This S**t ain’t Easy!

I think the big pressure was that I felt motherhood should be a lovely experience (and the majority of the time it is!).  Somehow others made it look so easy.  Consequently, I felt a huge expectation to cope.  I didn’t realise that others had been and were going, through the same feelings I was.  That it was more than just baby blues and actually post-natal depression.  I’ve since come to realise that lots of us are pretending to be swans.  Above the surface, it’s pretty calm and serene, but underneath we’re all paddling like mad.  Oh, and social media isn’t reality!

Enough is Enough

Once the doctors were involved, then I suddenly felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  I didn’t necessarily feel that I was no longer alone, but at least I knew someone cared enough to help.  I would love to have had a group of mums to speak to.  Others who had gone through the same thing.  Someone to just say to me, I’ve been where you are and there is help.  That it is normal to feel how you are feeling and it won’t last forever.

Facts about PND _ Post Natal Depression Facts _ Mental Health Facts _ Postpartum Depression

Road To Recovery

It’s been a struggle and it wasn’t an easy thing to come back from.  My mum was a massive help and even ‘upped sticks’ and moved down to York to help me.  I’m not sure I would be here if it wasn’t for her or my husband and his family.  I spent a long time having therapy (Initially CBT therapy as well as EMDR Therapy many years later).  My concern was how far it had gotten before anybody (including me) recognised.  How desperate I had gotten, how little support I felt there was out there.  If I had just realised there was someone else who felt the same or even to know that what I was feeling was normal.

It is so hard, as generally by the time someone gets to the point of asking for help, it’s almost too late and there will be a lasting impact on everyone involved.  I do worry if my post-natal depression will have an effect on my boys.  I guess even now I’m still filled by the guilt that I failed them in some way (I know rationally I haven’t) and that they will suffer because.

The Future

What I will do is follow my heart with a passion from now on, and show my boys that there is always love, there is always hope and that as long as they are honest and true to themselves, then that is all I can ask.

I’ve come back stronger, wiser and with a fire that wasn’t there before.  Depression is something that needs to be respected and listened too, not hidden away in shame; take heed, work hard on yourself and come out fighting! You are not alone, we are not alone.

Much love,

Fay x

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POST NATAL DEPRESSION _ MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS _ POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION _ MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH