About Me

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

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ten weeks...

I was asked this week what I had to look forward to.
And I'm ashamed to say the only thing I could think of was returning to work.
As I sit here now, with both children sleeping soundly upstairs, of course I can see that there are plenty of positives around, from nights out with friends to fun times with both of them and spring just around the corner.
But at the time, as I thought of the future, I could only see days and days of darkness.
It was - and still is - a terrifying prospect, particularly as my mind is still battling to bury some of the old thoughts that have resurfaced.
I'm not alone in that quest, and this week's therapy appointment equipped me with some new tools to tackle them.
It also gave me a renewed sense of hope, although that's easy to achieve in a week when Mark's on earlies so my solo shift ends at 3pm and I'm not alone for the dreaded dinner-bath-bed battles.
That optimism was fuelled by the publication of the story of my first battle with PND in a health magazine, with a link to this blog.
It prompted a flurry of much-welcome support from people who had been previously unaware of my history, although I'm still deafened by the silence from some quarters.
The timing was nice as it was written before the onset of this episode and it served as a reminder that I have recovered before and I will do so again.
But there are many bridges to cross before then, and some of them feel particularly unstable, with the swirling water too close for comfort.
I'm still unsettled by the urge to return to the bad old self-harming days - it's something I thought I'd left behind years ago and it has no part in the life I have now, along with many of the issues that led to it back then.
But after a bad day, when I have not been able to deal with situations in the way I want to, it surfaces along with a little voice that tells me I deserve to be punished for being so utterly useless.
"You disgust me," it says. "Good mums don't lose control. Good mums don't fail."
I am seeing increasing evidence that actually, I'm doing okay - Miss T is always at preschool on time, even when I'm on solo school run duty, and we're all washed, fed and dressed before setting off; both kids are bathed most nights; we're working on her food issues and other attention-seeking behaviours.
But that can all be wiped out by throwaway comments like: "Having two children is easy when one is four and the other is a baby...", which I heard recently.
However. I can honestly say that I am doing the best I can, every second of every day.
And with the right support, and a sprinkling of sunshine, I will get there in the end. Starting with surviving next week's combination of half term and a late shift.

1 comment:

Sarah Jane said...

If you are doing your best, every day, then you are doing more than enough and are way ahead of many parents.
Good mums DO lose control. Mine did, relentlessly. It didn't make her a bad mum, just someone who by nature is quick-tempered. I heard a wonderful mum I know shouting at her kids last week. Not only is it normal, it's probably helpful. Kids need to see that anger is an emotion that happens, like any other, and is okay as long as it is controlled. Otherwise they turn into terrified adults who can't cope with confrontation.