"Tie yourself to the mast my friend and the storm will end"
I'm having a bit of an off day today. There is nothing wrong as such it's just a hormonal day. I've cried over the metaphorical spilt milk since I got up this morning. Days like this do scare me. I'm terrified that I go back to the place I was in mentally when JC was Jamie's age. I hid the fact that I was suffering from Post Natal Depression from everyone, including myself. I didn't want to admit that I needed help. I didn't want anyone to think less of me and think that I had failed as a mother. I was terrified that someone would take my baby, who I loved and bonded with without difficulty, away from me. It took a flippant comment from the Health Visitor to reduce me to a snivelling mess which eventually got her alarm bells ringing. This was when JC was 12 weeks (Jamie is 10 weeks this Saturday). The truth was that I was blaming the way I was feeling on the colic that JC was going through when actually it was a deeper problem that that.
Admitting to others that you quite often deliberate over the best way to escape, be that running away or driving off a bridge, is quite shameful and embarrassing for me to admit. Even when I talk about it with my closest friends and family, I still well up and struggle to verbalise. I often joke that breastfeeding saved my life. I remember thinking that I couldn't possibly kill myself because JC needs to eat and he wouldn't take a bottle. He needed me therefore I had to stay alive no matter how I felt about being alive. The mother who stepped out in front of the train last week really resonated with me as it was but for the grace of God that it wasn't my photo in a news story. You hear people talking about suicidal mothers and they say "I don't know how she could be so selfish. How could she leave her children/child like that". I think that comes from someone who has never experienced mental illness for themselves. When you are mentally ill you do not think rationally. It's not selfishness. In fact for me it was the opposite. I had myself convinced that I was such an awful mother that I would be doing him a favour by letting him grow up without me. Looking back now I think 'how could I possibly have believed or felt that'.
I felt out of control of my thoughts and feelings. I couldn't move outside of myself and see the issues I was obsessing over were not important. I couldn't see that I had a healthy happy baby and should be eternally grateful. I couldn't feel that joy that everyone expected me to feel. I do this time round. I am enjoying being a mum to a newborn. Although not without it's difficulties and stresses, it is much more enjoyable. But I'm still having the odd off day. Some days I feel like I am hanging on to my sanity with my fingernails.
Funnily enough, it's my eldest who has the biggest impact on my mood. He's not liking me much at the moment. I'm putting it down to his age but I just hope that things come right soon as I hate not feeling the love from him. My new baby is a dream baby. I look at his little face and I feel so overwhelmed with love. I am blessed to have two beautiful, healthy boys. I am surrounded by loving friends and family and I am trying to use them as much as I can to help anchor me to the real world and not the dark caves that lurk below. I'm tying myself to the mast and waiting for the storm to end because I know that the sunrise which follows is worth the wait.
Sorry if this was an uncomfortable post. It was a bit of a brain dump but I needed it.