Lets get the nitty gritty out of the way, I am no medical professional. This blog post has sat for months with the unanswered question. Can I really let people into my head that much? But everyone’s journey is different and this is my path at the moment.
One of the reasons I actually started this blog was almost as therapy, to try and calm my brain for all the 100 million thoughts and worries that zoom through it over and over all day long. Somewhere to come, to write it down , allow it to no longer haunt me so I can try and turn my brain off at night.
I’m very honest about the fact I suffered extremely badly with post natal depression when I had my first baby. I got to the point I was extremely good at hiding it. For that reason it went undiagnosed for a very long time. It ended two days before my daughters 1st birthday going into the doctor surgery in tears because I just no longer wanted to be here. I had tried everything, I was down to my last resort and was sent home with first dose of anti depressants. It still haunts me every year leading up to my little girls birthday. Each year the memories get a little less painful, but PND stole the first year of my little girls life. All her major milestones are slightly tainted, with how I really felt.
3 years on, we finally decided to have a second baby. It took a long time to feel I could handle the idea of a second little person. Knowing that it was possible that my PND could come at me again full force. It took a me over a year on anti depressants to finally ween myself off them. It was a hellish experience ,like being hit by every range of emotion all at once. For me it felt like the pills had just dulled the emotions so was something I wasn’t willing to go back to again. If it did return I was just going to have to face it differently.
When my son finally made his entrance, I think I was just waiting for that penny to drop. I knew the signs, the symptoms and still I was avoiding it. I knew it had returned. I would notice the glances from my husband, he knew it, but wasn’t willing to question me about it. Not knowing what kind of reaction he would receive from me.
The only way I can explain PND to someone that hasn’t suffered with it. Its like a villian in a movie. For weeks even months life is good, you even get to the point where you think I’m back to some sort of version of myself, that maybe, possibly I have beaten this thing. Then it’s shows it’s ugly face and it’s down hill from there and sadly I’m at that point at the moment. Where the villain has appeared left it’s chaos and now I’m trying again to pick myself up.
My problem is I don’t admit that I have been brought down by the “villain”. For weeks I’ll keep it quiet and sadly getting worse because of it. Then things get to a point where functioning in a day to day tasks becomes impossible. Which isn’t exactly the easiest thing when you still have two children to chase after.
The first sign of my PND is sleep or more to the point the lack of it and it becomes an impossible task at night. My brain goes into overtime and I can spend all night re-living my day and what I could have done different, or trying to plan the next day for example if i am going out with both children for the day, thinking of every scenerio that could go wrong like the baby not wanting to nap or the oldest refusing to walk, yes I know there not the end of the world but these and more would fill me with dread. Then my brain likes to make me feel everything that can go wrong will so I don’t even want to attempt a day out.
The next thing is my temper it follows soon after. I suddenly find everything irritating or things must be done my way or the world will end in my eyes. I spend day in and day out feeling mad, an anger that builds and builds until I erupt at someone or something. Before PND I think I would of laughed if someone told me I would gain a temper it used to take a lot for me to get angry enough to erupt.
It’s something I despise, I watch as though I’m just in the audience as I snap at the smallest thing. When I’m short tempered with the kids it shatters me in to tiny pieces. To see one day that my oldest was scared of me I felt I didn’t recognise myself anymore. That the Villian had hit again, unnoticed until I saw fear in my little girls eyes because she knew I was going to tell her off for something that probably wasn’t a major problem but in my PND head it was a disaster.
My final stage is one I couldn’t decide to write about. To have people look at me differently to see the illness before me worried me a lot. But I want to try and be honest as possible. So after the lack of sleep the constant bouts of anger. If I have managed to not notice this my downward spiral of destruction before then I hit this stage.
The darkness of unwelcome thoughts start to make themselves known. They have been sitting in the shadows just waiting for the moment when the cracks can no longer be hidden. The constant feeling that I’m not worthy of being here any longer, that would the kids be better off without me in there lives. The guilt of how I’ve acted without noticing that I was in this downward spiral of destruction again. That the villain had hit AGAIN and AGAIN. I was having to climb from the bottom trying pull myself out of the deepest, darkest hole all over AGAIN!!
This time around I haven’t taken the pills I’ve not ruled them out they worked for me as a temporary fix. Before I was in such a deep dark hole and felt I couldn’t pull myself out the first time round. This time I couldn’t do it, I have nothing against people who do because your a stronger person than me. I know different pills have very different effects on each person and their personality.
Trying to deal with it slightly differently this time. To know my *triggers* and to notice them when they start appearing to take action.
My routine is everything to me, it is what holds me together without it, my day starts to crumble.
When I first set out on doing this blog post I wasn’t sure I was ready to have my story out into the world. That this story isn’t finishing with a happy ending before I would of said the Villian of PND has won. But this time I want to finish with to be continued….. I’m not ready to finish my story, PND may have brought me down but I’m ready for it this time and fighting back!