About Me

Kent, United Kingdom
I have the perfect family but still struggle to find the light in the darkness of post-natal depression.

Monday, 1 November 2010

It's time to look back...

I don't really want to, but I can't avoid it any more.
One of my lovely therapist's "strategies" for avoiding/coping with PND version two is to produce what I have affectionately termed a 'mad list'.
The idea is that I write down, so it's there for all to see, a list of symptoms and behaviours that characterised PND-me last time. Then, if anyone spots more than one or two of them recurring, they can have a little word.
Of course, that last bit is probably easier said than done. And to be honest, dear readers, if you do spot them, it's probably best if you have a little word with Mark who has been armed with some key words and phrases to use in discussing the situation with me. Just so you know, "Everyone thinks you've gone mad again," is not one of them!
On the subject of honesty, I should (oops, there go those shoulds again!) have done this list weeks ago. Probably months ago. But I just couldn't face it. I don't want to relive those times.
I had a bit of a reminder the other day at yoga - the well-meaning teacher was discussing those first days with a newborn and pointing out that it isn't always a bed of roses. Her openness wasn't well-received by everyone in the group but it such struck a chord with me that it all came flooding back - especially when she revealed she didn't feel like herself until her son was three.
Oops - now I'm procrastinating again. I did warn you I didn't want to do this...
But I have to for my sake, and for Mark's and of course for Miss T's.
So here goes....your guide to mentalness, by me!

1) Reluctance to be alone with the baby
2) Avoiding interaction with the baby
3) Auditory hallucinations
4) Not getting out of bed
5) Excessive crying
6) Obsession with perfection in other areas, eg housework
7) Obsession with being seen as superwoman, ie not failing at anything
8) The thoughts...I don't know how else to describe them. Imagining bad things happening...
9) Reliance on others for activities, ie packed diary of social events and feeling of disaster if any are cancelled
10) Denial of change in circumstances, ie "I'm still me,this baby isn't relevant...", annoyance with people's insistence on discussing it...

I could go on, but I think I've covered most of it. It's not pleasant reading, is it? Not for me, anyway.
I so want things to be different this time, but I'm wary of that becoming an obsession...but maybe I'm overthinking that...
Anyway, it's late, I'm tired and I'm still getting used to the realities of maternity leave, ie full-time motherhood with no escape. I'm enjoying most of it, but I also know this is not an option for me permanently. Give me a busy newsroom any day!

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