Those words. Damn they hurt. But it’s an occurance my children have had to experience. At only five and three they shouldn’t have to utter those thoughts but they have. They’ve both asked dad if mums needs another nap, why isn’t she up today, why is mummy crying, is she sad again?
This is not the easiest post to write as in doing so it means opening up and admitting that the battle of depression isn’t just versus me but also my innocent family. Three years ago I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. I’d just gone in for check up with the nurse, but as a sat in that waiting room I burst into tears; a regular occurrence whilst on a public outing. I couldn’t actually leave the house without those impending tears. I’d try to forcefully hold them back but as I walked further away from the comfort of my home, my heart would race, my breath increase and the thoughts of doom would overcome me.
When I finally made it to the nurse’s office, she sat me down as I tried desperately to crank out a smile, and it was with one question that I broke down again ‘are you okay?’. The tears literally wouldn’t stop, I couldn’t catch my breath. She understood straight away and told me to wait to see the doctor, she recognised it when I couldn’t. I saw the GP for a total of two minutes, she told me I was suffering from post natal depression and wrote up a prescription for Fluoxetine. That was it. I’d gone in for a routine check up and come away depressed. Formerly depressed.
I was open to the meds. For days I’d been caught up in the anxiety of leaving the house, weeping over the smallest things- slippers on the wrong feet, that sort of thing. So I welcomed an answer to my mood. I had in my mind that postnatal depression was directly linked to the way you felt about your baby, and that’s what I didn’t quite grasp. I loved every bit of Arabella’s birth and first few newborn weeks, in fact they were certainly easier than that of my son. So why was I so depressed? It took research on the web to realise that I wasn’t alone in my thoughts, you could love that baby with all your heart but it doesn’t always translate against the battle of depression.
Years have passed, intermittently coming off and changing meds. But right now I’m officially diagnosed with depression and anxiety and am on a steady mix of medication to control both these parts of me. I’m okay with that! This January it struck the worst it ever has. Just after christmas and my husbands return to work, I broke. It hurt to be alive, like physically hurt. My heart ached, I’ve never felt something so powerful. I’d have to scream into a pillow to air it out. I couldn’t do anything.
The school run was the worst, I’d just about manage to throw on some clothes and put the kids in the car. I’d cry the whole way there. I’d cry in the playground, in the classroom, I’d blubber whilst saying my goodbyes to my son. It was hard. The pressure I felt to carry on was too much, I wanted to give up. I wanted to die. Confiding to my husband was difficult, he’d seen first hand how much pain I was in and unable to do anything about it; it was tough on both of us. The thoughts of suicide plagued my mind and with that, I made the call to Samaritans. I’d taken that step. Next was the doctors, then the meds. It’s what I had to rely on to be better, to be that mum my children deserved.
It’s still a battle, at the moment I’m conquering but I know that it may not always be smooth sailing. There is instances where I’m fine, I’m happy and I think I don’t have to take meds, boy am I wrong. Don’t ever stop without consulting your doctor!! It’s not worth the setbacks in your journey. Seek out help, control your fear, put forth positive energy. All that shiz, do it! If I didn’t I’d most probably not be here. I’d not be mum and wife. I’d miss out on the amazing life that they enrich upon me.