One dark day – my lived experience of pre/post natal depression

Every morning I sit here having my breakfast. As cartoons blare in the background, my empty thoughts inevitably turn to how I’m feeling and what sort of day we’re going to have.

Most days we spend the morning doing activities out with the house, whether they be swimming, toddler group or a walk. Twice a week, we go to the supermarket for milk, bread, butter and the odd more exciting ingredient. Afternoons usually involve nap time. From my perspective this means clean, wash, cook or change bed time on rotation. Sometimes, if I’m feeling lazy I might sit and blog or read. But I always feel guilty doing this.

I love the time I spend with my ever changing daughter. But I often find myself feeling down, underwhelmed and bored in my own endeavours. Blogging has helped.

Nothing is lifting my mood at the moment. I feel like a whale. I’m too lazy to make time to exercise, telling myself I should be writing. But writing isn’t working either. I don’t have a story to tell. With a beginning, middle and end. Even if I did, there is no prospect of time.

The future looks bleak to me. I should be happy. But I’m dreading the new round of sleepless nights, the no time to do anything other than feed and clean nappies and entertain on rotation. How will I cope with double the responsibility? I will have some help, more than last time, but will this allow me to shower, pee, just have one minute of uninterrupted peace? 

This will continue as intensely for several years and then I will be freed up. To go back to paid employment. The guilt of not contributing, of not being a modern role model, of not being brave enough to embrace the wonderful age of 24 hour child care will push me back in, against my calling.

But what can I do.

What can I do but get on with it.

I’m moody and defensive but you will never understand because I will never tell you.

Never tell you how dark it is in here.

How feelings on inadequacy are close to boiling over. 

The mist is swirling. I’m trudging. There’s nothing but deafening silence all around.

Is this what it means to be alive?  

I recently shared a blog post on my lived experience of having post-natal depression which seemed to strike a chord with quite a few of you. Today, I wanted to share this introspective and unedited post written in my private diary on a long, low, anxious and hormonal day during mid-pregnancy with my second child when I felt that the whole world was against me. This was pre-PND diagnosis. I was feeling bored and unchallenged and questioning whether I was cut out for this motherhood malarkey and the coming years of responsibility and hard work stretching out ahead of me. Questioning who I am and how to be a woman. It was just an off day. I suspect this kind of melodrama is quite common during pregnancy but few will admit it. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed sometimes and not be  defined as a failure. I can say that now in hindsight. But, if you don’t start to feel better in time, please don’t continue to suffer in silence.

[Image: witchnovelresearch.wordpress.com]

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