Behind the scenes of PND

Round about the time this photo was taken was the first time I thought about disappearing.


I’m not sure what you think post natal depression looks like, but this is it. On the surface it’s smiles, it’s laughter, it’s a big effort to try & make everything appear ‘fine’ when in reality, much of the time you feel anything but. Facebook offers the brilliant opportunity to edit your life & only pick out the best bits, so although I might not have looked depressed, at this point I would go to bed hoping that I might not wake up, because I thought my family & loved ones might be better off without me around.

I never actually thought about committing suicide, but I understood why people did. Many people think suicide is selfish – I certainly used to – but actually I think it is the complete opposite. It is getting to the point where you genuinely believe that the world & those around you would be better off without you & when I realised that I was starting to think that way, I knew I needed to get help.

I felt immensely guilty for feeling like I did when I have 2 healthy children, a loving husband, a wonderful family, great friends, a job, a house & many other things I know some people aren’t so lucky to have. The thing is, depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It doesn’t discriminate between the people who have these things & the people that don’t. Basically, it’s a bastard.

I also felt embarrassed; that I should be able to ‘keep my chin up’ or ‘look on the bright side’ as I was told a few times (once by an actual doctor), only it’s a bit more tricky than that when you’re in the throws of feeling completely overwhelmed by life, terrified by even the smallest task, doubting of every decision you make – when even what to have for tea seems a question too big to answer.

Keeping your ‘chin up’ when you feel like you’re never good enough, like you’re worthless, like you’re a terrible mother & an awful wife.

‘Cheering up’ was the thing I wanted to do most of all, yet it seemed the most impossible.

My first step was to talk to people about how I was feeling. I talked to a doctor who prescribed antidepressants & counselling. I talked to my wonderful husband & to friends & family, some of whom had guessed what was going on, some not. Regardless, they were – & still are – amazing.

I feel like I’ve almost come out of the other side now & as I look at the photo & remember how I felt at the time I feel sad for that girl & want to tell her it will all be ok & – most importantly- she’s not alone. It seems a lifetime ago, only it won’t ever be. I still have bad days when I want to shut myself off & ignore the world, when I feel like a fraud at work & as a mother & someone might discover at any point that I have no clue what I’m doing in either role, but thankfully these are becoming less & less & I can now recognise the signs earlier & earlier.

I’ve thought long & hard about writing this as it’s about as uncomfortable as putting up a naked picture of myself, but as today is World Mental Health Day, it seemed as good a time as any. Too many lives are lost because people don’t talk about it & that’s not ok. It’s time to end the stigma behind mental health & see just how important it is.

If you’re feeling any of these things, then the first step is to know you’re not on your own & to talk about it to someone. Anyone. Just talk.
If you suspect a friend might be feeling like this a) you’re probably right & b) just ask (& c) take tissues & maybe cake/wine/biscuits).
If you’ve been through this & come out the other end, you’re awesome & don’t ever forget that.


I fear I am becoming THAT mother!

Last year, Little T had only just turned 3 when he was in his first nativity play. I couldn’t actually attend, which was heartbreaking at the time, but I got over it in time.

The teacher explained (I didn’t ask her to) that the younger ones tend to get given the small parts & then – when they’re in the older year – they get a bigger part. Except this didn’t happen for Little T. Continue reading

Ditching sugar & taking control of feeling ‘eurgh’

I have, for a while now, been making an effort to listen to my body & especially take notice of how it reacts to the food I eat. I know that there are certain foods that would make me bloat up uncomfortably within an hour of eating them & there are some that have a slow burn, but I can wake up feeling like I’ve drunk 4 bottles of wine the following morning after eating them, even if I haven’t touched a drop! Whilst I have been off work, I had quite a bit of time to myself & decided to do some investigating into what could be causing this.

Continue reading

I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant not. I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant not……

This week I joined the thousands of women (maybe even millions, I have no idea?) who are in the ‘am I pregnant?’ limbo land.

If I’m honest, it’s not that great a place to be, but at the same time it’s a wonderful place to be. It’s a place where you can browse pushchairs & maternity wear online & smile conspiratorially to pregnant ladies in the street. It’s also a place where you feel hopeless, just waiting, waiting, waiting for any sign of that angry crimson flush to come & steal your dreams away before you properly had chance to enjoy them. Continue reading

It’s good to talk.

One of the biggest things that concerned me when I found myself in the fog of hopelessness was telling other people. I was embarrassed that I had let myself get to this point & ashamed to admit that I couldn’t cope. I was also acutely aware that – compared to many – I have nothing to be depressed about; I have a son & husband who love me, loving parents, good friends, a roof over our heads & a job. I have over 1000 friends acquaintances on Facebook, yet I felt totally isolated & like I couldn’t speak to a single person about how I felt. Continue reading

Under starters orders & terrified.

I’m reluctant to tell anyone other than my closest friends we are ‘trying for a baby’ as I don’t want the extra stress that adds, but I’m writing about it here, as I desperately need to get my insecurities out. I have been forbidden unable to have another baby until now due to the medication I am taking (which you can read about here), but as the date we have been given the green light to try approaches, I am half excited, half terrified.  Continue reading

We finally have a plan & it feels good.

I suppose this is a follow on to my post entitled ‘Got Milk? My year long journey to a diagnosis of something I’d never heard of’ which you can read here. Briefly, I have PCOS & a tumour on my pituitary gland called a prolactinoma, which took a year to diagnose.  Continue reading