You can Roll your Eyes now.

I’ve been lurking on a lot of PND blogs recently.

Blogs written by new mums who are finding their PND feet.

Some of the writing is as beautiful as it is harrowing.

It has brought back many memories.

I expected to feel relieved, as I continued to read, relieved I had overcome it.

Instead I began to feel an underlying uneasiness.

A fear.

Because I quite clearly don’t have PND anymore do I?

I mean, how can I?

My son is 4.

And time has moved on way further than ‘post’ baby anything.

I was hospitalised, I fought, I battled, and I soldiered on in cold therapy rooms while somewhere 3 miles away my son was playing outside in the sunshine with his daddy.

I swallowed hard truths, and lay sobbing in a lonely room, on a busy mental ward, while my son took his first steps.

I writhed in emotional pain as I slowly accepted that not everything was my fault.

I relented and with a huge amount of reluctance filled my body and brain with medication.

I emerged from the wreckage stronger than ever, with one goal in mind.

Accept his love.

Everything I was and everything I lived for, was ploughed in to making up for the time I felt I had lost with him.

We became best friends, partners in crime, he was my reason for living.

I learned patience and trust, understanding and forgiveness, I learned what unconditional truly meant, and I didn’t run.

I didn’t emotionally switch off no matter how hard I wanted to.

In return I was gifted with more love and tenderness than I ever thought it was possible to feel.

As long as I was with Addison I would be fine.

I had a purpose.

Yeah I still had dark days, numb days and days when I couldn’t get out of bed.

But they didn’t count really did they?

As long as I was with Addy I was fine,

So I beat it right?

I won.

In the early days, the numbness, the lack of love, the care, the overwhelming need to give up and the apathy was easily categorised.

I had just had a baby, my brains and emotions were splattered all over the walls.

It was explainable.

‘You have Post Natal Depression.’

I needed help and was lucky enough to receive it.

But what about now?

My son is 4 and my heart hurts.

I’m experiencing a lot of similar emotions to way back then.

I feel selfish again, unnecessary, worthless, numb, not good enough….

And you know what’s caused it?

Ok you can roll your eyes now…

‘What was your favourite moment of 2014?’ my best friend asked me on New Year’s Eve.

I honestly couldn’t think of one.

The year is too foggy with loss.

She reminded me of October half term and I agreed, we had had a great half term.

It was just the two of us again, on adventures.

‘And your worst?’

That was easy.

‘Walking away after dropping Addy off at school for the first time.’

‘Ah but he loves it.’

And this is the stock response I always get, and you know what?

They are right. He does.

And I love that he loves it.

But I could quite honestly describe it as one of the most heart-breaking moments of my post natal life.

Because in that moment I realised what true love was.

And that I had accepted it.

I was so excited for him and yet felt so unbelievably lost.

It hit me on the walk back to the car, alone for the first time in 3 and a half years, how much I had loved, and enjoyed and delighted in every one of those 1274 days.

And as I drove through Starbucks, crying so hard at now not having to buy a lollipop with my coffee, the child seat empty, at not having his hand in mine, I wondered at what point it stops being so hard.

I accepted love, I won – so why do I feel like I’m grieving?

It shouldn’t be this hard.

I’m happy he’s happy in school, I really am.

I want the world for him.

And as he pulls away, my default is creeping back in.

Reject before rejected.

It shouldn’t have been that hard when he first started.

And it still shouldn’t be.

This is more than a broken heart and a bit of sadness at missing him.

Did I never beat PND?

I fought it hard, but did it never really leave?

Is it back?

At what point does it stop being temporary?

Is now the time to accept it probably is clinical depression and there will never be a consistent light at the end of the tunnel?

I was told I could beat it with love.

And love just isn’t enough.

And because of that thought, I need to lie down.

Because I am tired of it being this hard.

And I am tired of feeling this selfish.

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15 Comments on “You can Roll your Eyes now.

  1. Oh honey, I’ve struggled so much recently with mental health and I’m glad you are back to blogging, I’ve missed you. It’s huge, but it’s not a loss. It takes time, but I think you appreciate your time together more. I know I don’t take it for granted and enjoy it. Don’t be hard on yourself, take it slow and do what you have to. Hugs xx

  2. With each milestone in their lives comes a passing in ours. It is okay to mourn the loss of that moment. I think it’s okay to feel out of sorts until you get used to this new chapter and develop a routine and love for what it will bring to your life. I have 3 boys and I feel it more and more with each one. It doesn’t get easier it gets harder and it’s okay.

  3. Sweetheart I’ve known you since we were teenagers. (Admittedly less well in the more recent years. ) I think we were both depressives even then it’s just there wasn’t a diagnosis. Looking back at those times, and things you’ve said about those times since then I think you recognise it too.

    To me PND is “just” depression, but with a baby and with hormones. I truly believe that if your prone to the dark cloud it will descend. I also believe that you are never truly cured. (Not what you want to hear I’m sure!) You do though become more adept at recognising it and dealing with it BEFORE it swallows you whole. I’ve survived breakups, death and PND and whilst not at your depths I promise you can and will survive.

    Re the school thing. It’s a loss, accept it as such and quite possibly it’s a loss every day. I spend the two mornings T is at pre-school a week wracked with guilt and feeling like half a person. And he loves it! But it’s part of US growing up, part of our school of parenting. I’m not saying wallow but accept that it’s ok to feel that way!

    Selfish, well we are all entitled to that. Otherwise us mums would have nothing left for ourselves. I have 40 mins a day. I indulge in misery, cake, Greys, a bath whatever I want. I wallow. Then after 40 mins I put the mask back on and get on with it.

    Accept yourself, dark cloud, selfishness and all.

  4. The Boy is 18 months into school and I hate not being with him daily. Hate it. I struggled hugely with him going to school in Reception, partly because I’d always said I’d have another bairn by then and the expectation I’d put on myself was huge. I don’t think it’s bad to miss them Lexy, it just shows how much he means to you chick. It does get easier because you learn that you have no choice but to deal with it, but what it does mean is that half terms become more precious and you relish the time with him.

    And yes, as Merry says I do think PND is just a strain of depression and those who have it are more than likely clinically depressed themselves anyway. I’ve come over accept that I had mild PND (which I suspect you knew) and that I also suffer with mild depression (again I think you already knew that). I am always here, no matter if you think I’m not.

  5. PND is a flavour of depression, and depression is caused by chemical imbalances. Sometimes those imbalances are triggered by pregnancy hormones, or post pregnancy hormones, and sometimes it’s just a feature of our particular wiring. My son was two when I diagnosed with PND, I know now I had it with my daughter too, depression is in my make up. It’s part of who I am. My youngest is now 21, I still live with the cloud, it’s small and white most times, but ignore it, and you ignore the day it gets bigger and blacker, and all encompassing.

    Depression has no stigma in my house, it’s a practical problem to be dealt with, the same as housework. Hang in there ladies, it does get better. You learn to live with the beast, to spot and manage your triggers, and to take the meds when you need them. Find a system that works for YOU, and learn to love yourself a little bit too.

    Hugs to all from a Granny.

  6. I feel the same when I drop my daughter at nursery, especially on days when she stays for tea or goes to a friend’s house. I think it’s part of being a parent.
    With regard to your mental health, I think it’s just a case of keep on plodding really. It sounds silly but have you tried taking fish oil capsules? I swear by them and will stock up on them before food to make sure I’m ok.

  7. I too feel this pain. I’ve had 15 months now with both children in school and I still struggle with the huge loss that I feel. I was a stay at home mum for 7 years and the adjustment is huge when they are in school. All I can say is it does get easier. I had many black days and eventually sought help. Looking back I started to struggle at just the ‘thought’ of them starting school. By the time it actually happened I was a mess. I made a vow every day to do something ‘for me’ and to try to ‘find myself’ again. Whether it be just going for a run, reading something I enjoyed for 20 minutes or treating myself to a cup of coffee. Probably sounds a big lame but it really did help, that and sharing how I felt of course. I love reading your posts by the way. They are so heartfelt, honest and funny. Good luck x

  8. I think you have to look at this as similar to having your medication withdrawn. Your raison d’etre, your happy pill has been stopped suddenly. Just like that the one thing making you happy each day isn’t there for a large part of it. There is a real sense of loss as they grow up. This tiny human that has been so totally dependent on you and given you a reason to keep moving forward suddenly takes steps by themselves and leaves you floundering. It’s so hard to face the reality of it, I think it’s almost natural to want to break down and cry at the unfairness of it all. I just spent the best part of 3 days crying because my sister had a baby and my two are now no longer babies. And it doesn’t seem fair! It’s ridiculous. But human I suppose. Well done for sharing this, and I hope that the love and support it garners will help pull you along until you feel stronger.

    • Thank you. Thank you for your support and for helping me feel less alone and less pathetic and selfish. I honestly assumed everyone felt sad for a couple of days but then just moved on. Its not good to know others feel the same cos the feelings are terrible but its offered comfort and i am so in need of some so thank you. I was so nervous of posting this but the supoort has helped. X

  9. I read every post, just so you know.

    ‘Because I am tired of it being this hard.’

    Sigh. No great comment from me I’m afraid. No rip roaring ‘who the fuck is she with her big thing?’ comment.

    That sentence above? Yes. And I don’t know. Probably never, I suspect.

    16 years after my first brush with pnd and all I can say is, I have a handle on it. But I’m not ‘better’ because I think you are right. It’s not really that. Pnd was the version of a thing we had that we have all the time. The particular strain of a virus we carry.

    Bit sucky.

    • But thats just it!

      Nail on the head.

      This doesnt feel like it should be such a big thing, it isnt is it? I know it isnt. And yet my stupid heart and stupid idiotic brain convinces me it is. So i default, slip in to old patterns, go silent, feel worthless, beat myself up for being shit- all because i seem unable to deal with missing him, or how it was.
      Hes only in school! And yes ok everything has changed but its only school. And yet- there are times ive felt like i cant carry on.

      Thank you and thank you and thank you.

      Virus. Thats how it feels prescisely x

  10. PND is just a “label” for those occasions where it isn’t really PND but you have a baby so it must be. Now stop cringing because there are so many that feel the same (inc me – and my youngest is 15 – can you get PND by proxy via grandchildren… oh hang on, no, that wouldn’t work either because my youngest grandchild is now nearly 5)

    • I keep telling myself that its not a big deal. That i should just be happy for him and get a grip but its just not working. I know hes happy and i want him to be and thats what makes me feel selfish. I just cant shake the loss of it. Ridiculous i know. Thank you. Bloody parenthood is so conflicting!x

        • I guess having gone full time its a huge shift cos the irish one sees him more and sometimes by the time i get in hes asleep. From 100% to this is what is making me think ‘avoid the hurt shut down!’ I just dont handle emotions too well. Thank you. It has to get easier x

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