PND is a stupid bitch that comes and bites you on the ass really hard when you least expect it and now it's officIally taken a chunk out of my ass too. Yes, I've been diagnosed with Post Natal Depression.
As hard as it was for me to admit, I'm actually glad that I wrote about it last week. I was in such a horrible place and was feeling so worthless, negative and I felt like I was losing control of life in general. I don't know why it happened, it just did. I was so angry at myself because here's me with the most beautiful children that I could ever wish for and I was feeling like such a giant piece of shit for absolutely no reason at all. PND is a motherfucker.
So now I'm on medication.
Before you jump down my throat, I know that I've made the right decision because I feel 150% better than I did last week and it has given me life again. I have to do what is best for myself AND my kids and even though I was angry at myself for even needing it, I've realised that as long as I'm taking action so I can be the best mother that I can be, I'm doing my job right. I have been with my GP for 14 years and has been through everything with me, so I have complete and utter trust in him that this is the way to go.
I've handled my mental health in 2 different ways now. I've been the dickhead, I've kept everything to myself and look where that got me - I couldn't keep a job, I slept for days at a time, I lost my friends, I tortured my family, ended up in hospital and let it get so bad that I wanted to end my life. This time, I am 100% sober and I've taken action straight away and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel already. I am SO proud of myself.
Why did I say yes to medication do you ask? Well, take yesterday morning for example: I woke up with a tight chest and my heart was racing, my anxiety had set in and I had only just gotten out of bed. I showered, put some clothes on, made a protein shake and then sat on the couch holding my protein shake and stared out the window, for 45 minutes. I was absolutely paralysed with anxiety and couldn't even work out why. The kids hadn't woken up yet so I sat there until they did. It was horrible. I was shaking, I couldn't breathe and I certainly couldn't stomach the protein shake that I had in my hand. I wasn't functioning at all.
It took my medication and the kids getting out of bed for me to snap out of it completely. Once that little tablet kicked in, the anxiety was gone. I was myself again.
Now, I'm not saying that medication is for everyone, but I am proud of myself that I didn't wait around for my symptoms to get worse. I took action straight away and that's something that I never used to do. Letting those feelings of hopelessness and negativity dig into the mind is so unhealthy and by allowing them to linger is not a good thing for anyone, let alone a mother. We not only have to be strong for ourselves, but our kids too.
Don't get me wrong, I have an amazing support system. However they've been through so much with me in the past that I wanted to do this myself and I chose to prove to myself that I can do this. When I was younger I depended on them (especially my dad) for EVERYTHING - income, bills, picking my passed out ass up from wherever I had passed out, taking me to the doctor, EVERYTHING. Not this time, I'm a different person now.
I thought twice about telling everyone about PND because people who haven't experienced any sort of mental illness think that we all walk around like zombies and cry all the time - well, we don't. We're normal people, but we're just fighting a battle inside our heads that sometimes we can't control. We still smile, we are still people. We're still loving MOTHERS. It is nothing to be ashamed of, I can guarantee you that. People may not understand what you're going through, but if they choose to be ignorant, then fuck them.
If there's one thought that I can leave with you, it's this:
Post natal depression is an illness and not a reflection of who you are as a mother.
Ladies, if you're out there feeling alone and feeling like a big black cloud is hanging over your head, please either TALK to someone, anyone! Or go and see your GP. Taking those first little steps can help you so incredibly much!
Hug your gorgeous children, read them a story and tell you love them.
Thank you for all of your amazing support and amazing emails of strength!