Wednesday, 27 June 2012

It never rains but it certainly paws :)

Firstly 2 days of sunshine. That's certainly lifted more than just some dampened spirits!! just being outside in the sunshine somehow makes everything a little better.

The post tonight is more of a diary entry than an awareness post but I'd be grateful for you to still read on, because I do take solice in knowing I'm not alone in how I think or feel, sometimes....

I'm sure most people are aware by now that my blog is centered around my experience of post natal depression, following my daughters birth 26&1/2 months ago and although I wanted my blog to help raise the voice and smash the stigma around PND and other mental illness, it is also a portal for my recovery - acting as a journal where words can be my outlet.

So as I started with, a diary entry:

No dates as most of my days roll into one since becoming a stay home mummy (not a bad thing but can be a nuisance at times)....

The last few weeks have been trying, they have been filled with grey skies, (and Christian... Get reading if you haven't ...) with yet more health issues (for me), and generally a few weeks where literally everything that potentially could've gone wrong (in my mind i'll add) did! And because of PND I haven't coped well at all, and for the first time my physical health issues have hugely impacted on my mental health and added heavily to the battle.

Iv spent days over the past fortnight working myself up over my husband working round the clock and away, fretting like mad with the overriding thought "how am I going to do this on my own?". I realized how much the anxiety was making everything else challenging but unfortunately there was nothing I could do to stop the fear - other than get on with it. And I'll be honest when it came down to it I did ok, this probably sounds so stupid but I actually suprised myself how well I coped on my own, running my household off 1 toddler, diva in the making, and 2 young excitable bouncy dogs single handed. I appreciate this may not seem a lot but when iv doubted myself for 2yrs on my ability as a housewife this was a huge test and as a result a massive achievement!! I realized that my fear was just that. Something I over thought and over thought and then doubted... A horrible circle that is so hard to explain and rationalize but so easy to be swept away in.

Prior to my husbands stint away I was laid up poorly, now normally I have my grandparents who rally around me to help with lylha but the day before I collapsed in tesco I was packing them off on a plane to sunny shores. When I came round (rather embarrassed) my very first thought was shit. My parents are both working, my mother in law poorly an my husband "unable" to get out of work I freaked and freaked out big time about who could help me Luckily my little brother who is 22, but never even changed her nappy before, came to my rescue and they had the BEST few days together playing and watching kids tv. Again I appreciate this maybe so mundane for some people but when your everyday can sometimes be a battle of your own emotions and then being someone's total dependency on top of that, and cant be because you're has been, challenging to say the least......

As I said everything that could go wrong.... This last fortnight also, to my absolute horror, witnessed my daughter fall backwards top to bottom down a flight of stairs and I felt so guilty I couldn't catch her from falling that after her 5m of crying I spent a further 30 shaking and crying, and feeling like the worst parent in the world.

And finally the title and my play on words - to top of a mentally exhausting fortnight I get a phone call from my husband, before he leaves, who was out with my 2 dogs to tell me my Nutmeg (I emphasize MY) had been hit by a car. The hours he was out at the emergency vet were frankly hideous. I understand some people's opinions "they are just pets" but to me and my family our animals have always been, and always will be loved members off our family.

Because of the PND but also because of utter love for her all the worst things in the world flashed through my mind and the hardest thought would be what would I say if the worst happened and when my girl woke up in the morning and, as she does every morning, asks first "mummy see Nini & Nana" (her names for our dogs) .... For 3 hours I sat wine in hand and tears down the cheek to then hear the key in the door and her come running through the front door and despite being hit at 30 front on she escaped with cuts, bruises and a bad mood... Those of you who have the privilege of knowing nutmeg will accept the strop is nothing new.....

So I'm sorry for blabbering about my little bubble over the last few weeks but it's made me feel better to put it in words and hope it makes anyone who has similar feelings feel a little comforted knowing that it is something sooo many people feel and not too many will happily talk about.

I keep meaning to add to my posts please add comments positive, negative, suggestive - whatever you wish. All bloggers love comments and this particular blogger loves my readers interactions

Thank you xxxx

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Roses are read but tears run blue

As a football widow iv plenty off time to blog over the next few weeks.

Firstly some wonderful news to share with all of my readers: Lylha's operations on her eyes have been a complete success. She has been discharged from Addenbrookes without any need for any further procedures. Michael and I are absolutely delighted and thank everyone for their well wishes over the past few months.

Ok so the cryptic title of this post. As you all know by now (if you don't now is the time to do some catch up reading) my blog is based on my experiences, my journey and my battle - for want of a better expression - with post natal depression. You will also know if you read my posts regularly lately they have been episodes of darkness venturing their way into my recovery from this horrible illness. As I have blogged I have talked about my feelings and thoughts my feelings and thoughts towards Lylha (my daughter) but I rarely talk about my marriage and how the dark days more than cloud our marriage they engulf it.

Michael is my rock, I make know secret of that unlike my beautiful family he is hard on me and sometimes tough love is needed in times of despair especially when your battling an illness he can't see. But... You sensed a but didn't you....

Because he is a male I feel that my matriarchal role is to be the heart of my little family and therefore I believe my purpose is to look after my daughter my husband our home and our lives but when I get days where looking after my own mental well being is somewhat challenging, dragging myself onto my family throne is more than tough. Not only because my own fear that-he who goes out all hours and provides when his wife is home failing but because his response to this has made me fail in my own thoughts too.

I will add for the male readers and the Michael fan club that this is by no means an attack at men or my husband. I mean how can I expect him to understand an illness I don't understand myself and spend many waking hours writing about and fighting against.

What I mean is there is so little support for the husbands whose wives are battling PND that it ends up causing more stress and conflict. And this only exacerbates the symptoms, in my experience, and this then not only means a battle against the dark days of PND but then a fight to redeem a marriage or a partnership or more importantly in my case a fight to redeem our parental team.

I find because he is the only one there I vent every anger, every frustration, every feeling of sadness, of heartache and most importantly failure through him and too him. I then hate myself for it as it only prompts a fight, of exaggerates a break in the team and then makes the dark days filled with blues, and then of course tears.

It's taken a lot for me to comprehend but my illness is a battle for him too. just like the hormonal pregnant woman there is now a mum who's maternal instinct is in OTT overdrive, making up for the obvious lack at the start (see you should've read the earlier posts if your now lost...) but the practical side of it he goes to work and does his job why is it so hard for her to go an do the job she was born to do??? Now before the feminist band wagon get going that is my perception of MY husbands view not believe of women or my general consensus off male train of thought... DISCLAIMER!!!!

So after 2 years of drifting apart, and then floating together but then drifting even further apart. So I made the decision to bring to a head, and not just the usual loss of temper but actually lay the facts of the illness out, the lack of education and the extreme stigma around it and more importantly how it affects everyone differently. When all we want is to be happy!

So I wanted to share this with everyone whose relationship is sometimes pressured by mental illness and reiterate that education and communication is the best tool we have to support and succeed.

One day PND and mental illness will be accepted like a migraine or asthma and it's sufferers will feel quite happy and quite safe to discuss their chronic illness and the affect on their lives!

And finally (apologies for soppy side)

Roses are red
But years run blue
Whether it's light or dark
Never forget the girl who married you!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Taking a break

Firstly there is a huge gap between now and my last post. Iv had an awful lot on my plate over the past 6 weeks or so therefore decided to take a break.

The gap in blogging works as a double purpose for this post. As iv now become a custom to the rather archaic expression "A change is as good as a rest"

As I said iv had numerous things and events that have taken my energy up over the last 6 weeks, non more terrifying mentally and physically than another operation on my beautiful girls eye. Anyone who's little one has gone under for an op will know that horrible feeling that your child's life is completely out of your hands. And as a result this has triggered a rather strong , but totally secret relapse of my struggle with PND.

I kept it quiet before and after her op from everyone around me that I felt out of control of my emotions again, partly because I felt like I had failed myself and Lylha by suffering again and partly because I didn't want to hear anyone saying "pull yourself together". For me this is the biggest insult anyone can say to anyone with a mental illness Only this time I'm a little bit wiser and iv kept my blog and a journal off my struggle of PND so as soon as I realised of lost control I was able to re-read my previous experiences and although it's taken 6 weeks I'm in the daylight again (please read my previous posts to understand what I mean by daylight).

Iv made no secret that part of my recovery was down to the amazing support from my family and friends and by changing part of my life that was making me feel so low. So I decided again I needed to do something or add something into my world to distract the darkness PND was causing.

So I took a break from putting Lylha to bed and then opening the wine too putting Lylha to bed then spend a min half hour exercising and then opening the wine. Exercise naturally helps with mental health issues as the endorphins that it releases aides a natural high but the sense of achievement followed by the lack of guilt from the calorific wine has really helped me take back my mind.

I was finding myself shutting away from the world again, sparking extremely irritable reactions within my marriage putting pressures on my marriage that need not be there and then not explaining my behaviour as I didn't want to accept I was poorly again. And above all I found a wave of sadness I couldn't shift. But by literally minutes of exercise each day cut through this with more affect than I could've wished for.

It's therefore no coincidence that my break from blogging was the exact same time as a relapse and im slightly ashamed that I didn't put my hand up and say "I'm struggling, help me" especially as I'm such a strong campaigner for parents to speak out and to understand you aren't ever alone.

In hindsight though this relapse has done something remarkable apart from keeping me fitter, it's made me realise just saying PND needs a voice it needs education too. How could we expect a parent suffering from PND to speak out only to be listened to by unsure ears and crucially I think this is why I shut up and panicked.

So although I still truly believe the more mental illness is spoken about the closer we are to smashing the stigma, we need to know what we are talking about.

So I urge anyone who thinks they've spotted the signs in a family member or a friend that they maybe struggling google depression, anxiety, post natal depression, the list is extensive so your ears are sure.

Happy jubilee to everyone, a break from my normal routine has certainly brought back my light and my smile, and my sparkle - diamond style!