About Me

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

Friday, 21 January 2011

Six weeks...

Apologies this post is late - such is life with baby D and Miss T. Sometimes things get in the way.
This week, real life has pushed its way into our baby bubble with a vengeance. Some of it good (a work function that gave me valuable time to remember what it is that makes me more than just a mum) and some of it bad.
I heard this week that a former colleague commited suicide in the most awful way. I can't claim her as a friend and I have no knowledge of what was going on in her life, but have since learned she suffered with depression and it all just became too much.
I can't articulate how sad that makes me feel. Sad that I didn't know she felt such pain and couldn't offer to help. Sad that she believed there was no other way. Sad that her family and friends are left so bewildered and lost.
But I'm also angry. Angry that this blackness is so hard to fight and that sometimes it wins. It sounds trite but it makes me more determined to keep on fighting - I don't want to get sucked so far down I can see no way back up.
So what of my life?
Well, six weeks is supposed to be a magical milestone when the sunshine returns and all's well with the world.
It's not quite like that here. But there are chinks of light in the clouds!
The official verdict from my therapist and the health visitor is borderline mentalness - I suppose it's good they both agree!
There are good days, and there are bad days. Lately bad days but I think that's related to the above.
And the mad list?
Here is is in case you'd forgotten...
) 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...

It's looking better than I feared. There have been tears, but there has been sadness and I think that's okay. At least I'm acknowledging it.
I can confidently say there is no perfection in my housework, and baby D and I have plenty of interaction.
Problem areas? I still hate to fail - I hate if he cries and I can't fix it or if Miss T is struggling with something because it feels like a reflection of my parenting skills.
And I'm definitely relying on my lovely friends and family to keep me floating near the surface and I'm lucky so many of them are playing their part in this. Some are still missing and others are just not worth talking or thinking about. If they reappear once this is over I'm afraid they will get a very cool reception. I can't help but feel angry at the way some have acted.
And number 8. One of the scariest. I have to confess there have been some of those thoughts. I'm not ready to discuss them just yet. But I know they are there. I have so far been able to deflect them thanks to the work I've been doing to prepare for them and I hope that continues.
One thing my colleague's untimely death has brought home to me is the importance of asking for help if you want it - after some encouragement I have been doing so and in the main people have responded. I know there are those who believe I should keep it all hidden and paint on a happy face but that just doesn't work for me.
It relates to what I have ranted about in previous posts. I am not ashamed that this is happening to me and I'm not ashamed to talk about it.
But that doesn't mean I'll spill all for entertainment or to give certain people something to be related later over dinner...if you didn't care enough to be there when I needed it, don't expect to be told now.

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