As bloggers we share so much of are lives online, we share are hopes and dreams and are feelings. However something that I have not really shared on this blog, or in fact very much in real life was that after the birth of my son seventeen months ago I have suffered from PND. I hid the fact that I was suffering for so long and just got on with things, I had no other option but to just carry on as I have three children to care for. I didn't want people to know about it to be honest as it was something I did not want to face up to and talk about.
I was in denial for a long time that anything was wrong, it took months and months for me to open up and admit that actually I was not coping and that I was so unhappy. Looking back now I think that I started feeling depressed pretty much straight away after Jacob's birth, I felt out of my depth with three children especially with my youngest two only being 14 months apart. Jacob was such a demanding baby screaming non stop from the moment he woke until the moment he slept due to colic and reflux, he also use to wake every hour during the night. I was exhausted and I felt isolated and alone stuck at home all day every day with two small children.
The signs that something was wrong were there pretty early on I let me self go in a big way, I stopped showering as often as I should often only getting the chance once a week or so. My hair often went days without being brushed and was majorly neglected, my make-up box never seen the light of day and most days I just stayed in my pj's and didn't get dressed. I comfort ate to the extreme actually putting on weight after my baby was born rather then losing it!
Every single day I would cry and feel like I could not cope as the demands of motherhood were relentless. I stopped going out and often did not venture out the house for days or weeks at a time, I stopped contacting friends and going on social media, I just wanted to hide away from the world. As for my house well it was a disgrace as I just did the bare minimum of housework, I had no energy or motivation to do anything as everything was such a struggle. Every night I would go to bed exhausted not wanting to wake up in the morning but unable to sleep with worry.
Just getting through each day was a struggle but I had no option other then to get on with things as we have no family to help us, my mum died when I was younger and my dad and the other half's parents both work and have their own lives. The other half helped when he could but he works shifts, I turned into a not very nice person to be around I was moody, always snapping and shouting, I never wanted to do anything or go anywhere or spend any time with him. I am amazed are relationship lasted as I was horrible to live with.
I felt like I had hit rock bottom and had no idea how I could start to feel better again, or if I ever would feel better again. I did not tell people how I was feeling as I did not want people thinking that I could not cope or that I was after sympathy, as that was not the case at all. I felt like such a rubbish mum as I never played with my children, I shouted and snapped at them way more then I care to admit. I felt like I was constantly sinking and every day was getting harder and longer and making me feel sadder.
It took a long time for me to face up to the fact I had PND and to ask for help. I decided that I did not want to take medication as its not really for me, although I know that for some people it works amazingly well. Looking back maybe I should have taken medication as I probably would have felt better a lot sooner then I actually did, it is only in the last few months that I have actually started to slowly feel like 'me' again.
One day I realised that the fog was not there and I actually felt like I was on top of this whole motherhood thing. I did not shout, I did not cry and I did not feel sad and I felt like actually I was the mum I wanted to be and use to be again. I am starting to laugh again, and go out again and take care of my appearance I have even had my haircut and brought new clothes. I enjoy spending time with the other half and I enjoy being a mum more then anything in the whole entire world. The depression is still there, it does not just disappear overnight, some days are great and I feel like I have conquered this and then other days I feel the fog returning. Thankfully the good days far outweigh the bad recently.
I feel so sad that I have missed out on so much of my children's lives due to depression,I feel like I did not get to enjoy any of Jacobs first year as I was struggling so much. I have hardly any photos and few happy memories to look back on, it feels like the last seventeen months have just passed by in one big blur and that makes me so very sad that I will never get that precious time back. Now that I am feeling more like myself I am determined to make sure my children have the best childhood that I can give them and that they are left with happy memories and tons of photos of the adventures we had along the way.
I may have lost my way a bit over the last year with depression but I am determined that I will beat this as the fog is most definitely lifting and I can see that better days are too come my way. If you are suffering from depression then please don't try and hide it for so long like I did, tell someone how you feel and ask for help as trust me facing up to things is half the battle won and someday the fog will lift for you too.
Image courtsey of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net