I look at old photos of me and it's like a different person. I'm beaming, bubbly and happy, in every single one. I can't remember the last time i felt like that. I've been struggling for 2 years now, and when I last posted here, one reply suggested I wasn't doing enough to help myself and need to get out more. But going anywhere is now a chore. I cry at the drop of the hat, and get really irritable with my kids. My eldest knew a completely different mammy, than the mammy my youngest has grown up with the last couple of years. I can feel myself putting on a front each time i'm around my parents and other family. I don't even know what to say to my doctor if i go, i dont want to sound like i'm looking for attention or pity. I have had thoughts of not so pleasant things once or twice, but know it would never come to that as i'd never leave my kids, but even having those thoughts scares me. My husband can be great, but i can tell he thinks i'm just miserable these days and he misses how i was too. I can't imagine needing medication for this, i keep thinking i can get a handle on it, but i just feel like i've lost who i am, lost my spark. In our recent holiday pics, my eyes look dead or something, i cant even explain it. I just needed a rant on a bad day x
Please just hold onto hope that you can and will get better. You can have that beaming smile again. I wrote in this forum nearly two years ago and all I wrote was can someone please reassure me that I can recover. I left the hospital one week after the birth of my baby and I knew the minute I stepped out of the hospital that something was seriously wrong with me. Up until that point i had convinced myself that I would be fine and that all I needed was to go home. Pnd hit me like a freight train. Within weeks I couldn't eat, sleep or function. To walk outside my door felt like a trauma. I couldn't listen to music or the radio or watch tv. All I wanted was for the day to end. Life was an endurance test. I sought help from anyone and everyone and I fought tooth and nail to recover. I met some professionals who I honestly believe made me worse and feel if possible even more worthless than I already felt. But I also met professionals who helped me rebuild my life brick by painstaking brick. Ignore people who tell you to pull yourself together or try harder. Life right now is probably difficult enough without adding others negativity and criticism into the mix. Try to focus on basic things like your breathing. Fresh air and walking helps. Set a little task if you find going out difficult i.e. I will go to the shop buy milk and say thank you to the assistant and then build on those small wins. A lady I met along this journey told me that you can eat an elephant if you break it into small enough pieces. Nothing is impossible even when it seems that way I surrounded myself with people who were kind, gentle and good humoured, people who even laughed at how bad things were. I am nearly back to myself and as awful, traumatic and difficult this experience has been I know that I am and will always be a more tolerant, understanding and compassionate person than I ever was because of this. Please just he gentle with yourself. Seek medical help and they might even just suggest therapy, medication is not the sole answer. There was an article in the Irish Times two weeks ago about pnd and it is very helpful. You will be that lady with the beaming smile again and if anything that smile will be brighter because you will know that you possess an inner strength and light stronger than anyone will ever know! Please believe that.
Oh my heart goes out to you cos I know exactly what you mean. You are not ranting, you are expressing very valid thoughts and feelings and you deserve help. Please DO speak to your GP. If you have the resources counselling would be excellent. Please tell someone about the very negative thoughts you have had once or twice. You sound like a caring person, so aware, I sincerely want you to get the care you deserve. You seem so depleted. I think of tablets like this: you are in a black hole. Tablets can help you climb out of the hole and stand on the rim looking in. You still have access to the thoughts and feelings but are in a safe position to evaluate and judge them compassionately.
I just found this post and I can't believe it's 2 years since I posted that rant. I was in such a bad place. And I was in that bad place for way too many years, and not a soul knew apart from my husband, and even he never knew the extent of it. The last few months are like a breath of fresh air,and sitting here reading back on those words makes me realise how much better I am now. I went back to work part time in August and it gave me such a boost in confidence. Being a stay at home mam honestly just completely disintegrated every part of me, I was desperately lonely and depressed and sad. I probably should have been on medication throughout the dark times, but I always just blamed not working, I see now how unwell I actually was and how the thoughts I was having were not normal, I just plodded on. The problem now is the guilt I have over days i spent just being irritated and annoyed by the kids, or not wanting to go anywhere or do things with them. I wasn't coping, so I hope they don't remember grumpy mammy and I can make it up to them now. Lockdown has been a pleasure for our family, it's been by far some of my healthiest months, just enjoying the kids and being at home, the place I thought I hated for so long. It's scary what the mind convinces you and can conjure up.
It is so good to hear that you are in a better place now. Motherhood can be so overwhelming, it can over take our entire identities and it can be so difficult to lose who we were before we became mothers. It sounds to me like finding yourself again and some independence has helped you a lot which is fantastic. There is no use or need to feel guilt over what you went through - you have gotten through it, come out the other side (though I am sure you will continue to have your difficult days, we all do). You're right about our minds, they can play nasty tricks on us and make us feel so hopeless, but as long as we can keep that thought that things can and will get better in the corner of our minds we can persevere. You are a strong and brave person, I am certain your children are proud of and full of admiration for you. I hope that being able to come here to rant, and hear from other people with similar experiences, helped.