I feel like I lost the first 2 years of my daughters life, those amazing, growing and learning parts of her little life, because I wasn’t me, I wasn’t present for either of us. I would do anything to help anyone in the same situation and if this could help even one lost mama then it’s worth it.
When speaking about post-natal depression, I try my very best to not generalise anything. Everybody is different and has such it’s such a sensitive area. But just because it’s sensitive it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it. For me, i didn’t even think about it till Phoebe was almost one, so I did struggle with actually admitting the fact that was maybe my issue. With the break up of her Dad and I i kept telling myself it’s natural to feel this way after breaking up after having a baby.. which it is. But that was almost 9 months later. I shut down, I was angry, I was alone, I felt like I didn’t want to be a Mum, I was just totally numb. I felt so lonely and I had accepted that this was the way I was going to feel for the rest of my life, and maybe one day I would just get used to it.
After a year of being a total recluse, only seeing my Dad and my close close friends every now an then, and having no motivation, or will to do anything at all for me or Phoebe, everything completely spiralled out of control. I did not want to be here any more. I reluctantly visited my GP who put me on anti-depressants, I was buzzed for the first week or 2 but after the initial buzz I felt exactly the same. I stopped taking them (do not do that talk to your GP first), I felt horrifically awful again. Phoebe stayed with her Gran for 2 weeks while I sorted myself out, which was the worst 2 weeks of my WHOLE life. Nothing pained me more than being away from my girl.
Within that 2 weeks i spend a LOT of time with my family, I indulged in work and socialising which was out of my comfort zone (closing myself out from the world gave me the worst anxiety, so that was now an issue too), I exercised with my cousin, going swimming and attempting to run. I took some time for myself to remember myself before to shock of being a Mum and the pain of being a single mum. It was hard, but after, something clicked, in my mind i was like “what have you really got to be so sad over? I have amazing family, a beautiful daughter and a home”. Since that day, earlier this year, not everything is perfect, but it’s a close as i can get right now, I try my best and that is all you can do. It’s normal to have days when you shut down, and feel alone.
5 ways that get me threw the darker days
Exercise – i am not the healthiest person, or the skinniest person, but doing as much as i can makes me feel better. It wakes up your brain and you feel energised, then you feel ready for the world, ready for anything! I like just going for a nice walk with Phoebe down the path nearby, she rides her bike and I try to keep up with her! It makes it not feel so much like exercise too.
Good food – okay so i’m a foodie, i love food. i’m a chub, but eating healthily does you the world of good! even if all you can manage is breakfast, do it! every little helps. if your eating food that makes you feel sluggish and lazy from the start of the day, it does not help. But a cheeky pizza never hurt anyone really did it? Nah.
Socialising – I am not one for socialising either, I love seeing my family and my friends but in a situation with strangers – i’m gone. what i find helps with this, is that you don’t need to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation if you don’t want to, the one thing that annoys me is when my mum says “just do it, you’ll be fine once your there”. No Mum, just no. When i’m on a walk, I just say ello to a dog walker, or attempt “banter” with the shop man. It’s little things that add up over time that means maybe one day you can go to a social event alone. Working at the shop helped me the most with this for sure.
Taking time for me – I love Phoebe with all my heart, but when i’m struggling, it’s so easy to just spiral down again, so if i do feel like i’m struggling, when Phoebes next at nursery for a couple hours or she’s at her Grans, I take a few hours to just chill. Do my nails. have a bath watch some shite on TV, even writing this now, it calms me down and I feel ready to battle parenthood again.
Phoebe – it’s SO easy to get distracted with life. Sometimes i need to tell myself that it’s okay to not do the washing, leave the dishes pilled up for a bit longer, tidy your room another time, because sometimes I need to just sit down and play ‘shops’ with Phoebe and let her sell me some deformed plastic egg for 2p. Even just watching a film with them. Bonding and playing with your kid is THE most important thing, even if they are being devil children.
Do things YOUR way, do what makes you happy and DONUT WORRY what anybody else thinks, because its none of their business.
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