Living With Post Natal Depression Behind Closed Doors…

This is my life right now, I am living with post natal depression behind closed doors. No one except Andy, my mum and the doctor knows. I am caught in a place that I am so desperate to get out of and I don’t know how. I think that because I am living in a world where no one knows I am constantly pushing it down inside, desperate for it not to show. Painting on that face that I’ve got so good at painting.

I know I need to change this, it’s not helping my recovery. Talking is good, sharing is good, so why am I so afraid?

The answer to that question is quite simple, I am worried what people will think of me, that I am a failure as a mum, that people will not want to associate themselves with me. All of this is ridiculous I know, but that is how I feel. I think it’s largely down to society and that we live in a world where it’s not ok to say ‘I’m not coping’.

When I had Holly I felt an enormous pressure to show the world that I could cope with two children, especially two children only two years and ten days apart in age. I remember when I was pregnant people commenting that I must be mad to have a small age gap, that it’s going to be tough. I wanted to prove them wrong.

When really I didn’t need to prove them wrong, I know that now. But at the time I didn’t. I remember having days with both girls in the back of the car, Holly only a couple of months old and we were on our way to soft play with friends. I would be crying on the way, panicking about how I would manage with both of them. All these different scenarios of what could happen and how would I cope running through my mind. Getting myself worked up over things that hadn’t even happened yet. Yet, I would pull up in the car park, wipe away those tears and paint that smile on.

I would get comments about how I make it look so easy, when really it was just a lucky day that Holly slept for most of our time there and Alice didn’t have a tantrum. It was never easy and I feel bad that people would think that when really I was dying inside. Wishing the time away for when we could go home and be in the safe environment of our home.

Of course you are probably reading this thinking but Holly is now nearly 2 1/2 years old, surely you are over this. Sadly I lived with post natal depression for nearly two years without being diagnosed.

There was a very clear moment during spring of that last year, where I started to look at my life and seeing it through different eyes. I could see the person that I had become and I didn’t recognise her anymore. This person that hid herself away and no longer made an effort to meet up with friends. To do the bare minimum so that hopefully it wasn’t noticeable. To only spend time with my family where I felt safe.

I could see the effect it was having on my family, the ones that have to live with me everyday. The mum that I had become was not the mum I wanted to be. The wife that Andy had married all but gone. I needed to wake up and do something about it. I could no longer bury my head in the sand, hoping that it would just one day not be there. Because I know deep down that was what I was doing.

At the time I didn’t know it was Post Natal Depression, it wasn’t something that I hadn’t considered as I had Holly so long ago. But then it had been going on since her birth, so really it should have been staring me in the face.

I remember the trip to the doctors, where I had covered it up with a lie to Andy and his mum so that I didn’t have Holly with me. Sat in the doctors waiting room telling myself this is not the time to paint the smile on the face, to be honest with her and lay it all out there. Thankfully my doctor is someone that I felt able to do this with and I know that this had a big part to play in taking this step.

She sat and listened to me, I poured my heart out, the tears falling down my face. The realisation of everything that I was going through hit me hard. We discussed therapy and she gave the details of where I could get help and we talked about medication. I decided medication wasn’t for me. probably another sign of me trying to pretend that I am still this strong person who can beat this. But anyway, she agreed that we would take one step at a time.

That night I spoke to Andy, I think he was almost relived that I had spoken up and not only recognised that I needed help, but taken the steps to do something about it.

It was that night my journey began…

A journey that I am still on and one that has had it’s ups and downs. A journey that I want to take and get to the end of. I know that I will never be complete cured of it, but I know I can get to a better place.

This is me opening those doors and letting people in. It’s time for me to take the next step and go down a path that I’ve been hiding from. This is me and my life right now!

 

This post is linked to…

Follow:
Share this:

64 Comments

  1. 17/01/2017 / 08:11

    I can so relate to this, I suffered from pnd after having my 2 year old too. I too hid it for ages, although it was probably so obvious to others as I changed so much and never wanted to go out. My son is almost 2 and a half too and I still suffer from it, although it is getting much easier. I really could have written this myself as I heard comments about being crazy having children close in age and put huge pressure on myself to cope with two children just 14 months apart, plus a teenager. I found that writing about it and talking about it helped so much with my recovery and I really hope it helps you too. Sending you virtual hugs xx
    Newcastle Family Life recently posted…December 2016My Profile

    • 17/01/2017 / 22:55

      Thank you lovely. Friends today have been saying they saw a change in me and now it all makes sense. I’m pleased writing helped you, writing this helped me more than I thought it would x

  2. 17/01/2017 / 08:20

    Erin has just turned 1 and I’ve only just really realised that what I’m feeling is PND. I too was worried about what other people would think

    • 17/01/2017 / 22:53

      I completely understand that and I hope you get the support you need lovely x

  3. 17/01/2017 / 08:51

    Oh Laura, this is such a brave post and I am so so proud of you for writing it. It really strikes a chord with me because since Ernie was a few months old I haven’t been feeling myself either. I spent last year hiding myself away and using the kids as an excuse not to go out. There were days when I knew I had to take Mabel to ballet with the two others in tow, and I was crying at the thought of it, with poor Carl having to head out the door to work and not knowing what to do with me. I’m getting better now though and like you say, it’s acknowledging that something isn’t right and trying to make it better that is the main thing. It took me about 6 months to say to Carl that ‘I think I might have a tiny bit of PND or something…’ and of course he already knew because I’d been so up and down but he wouldn’t bring it up first with me. I haven’t been brave enough to go to the doctors but I think I can come out of this on my own. Thank you for writing this lovely and I’m here any time if you want to chat xx
    Louise | Squished Blueberries recently posted…The B WordMy Profile

    • 17/01/2017 / 22:52

      Oh Louise this is totally me and I am sorry you’ve experienced this too. You are so sweet and thank you I really appreciate your support x

  4. 17/01/2017 / 09:10

    Oh Laura thank you so much for sharing this brace post. I am so glad you spoke out to your doctor about it. There are so many others that suffer and I know by speaking out about it you will help others realise that it is absolutely okay to get help if you feel you need it. X

  5. 17/01/2017 / 09:46

    Laura. I already wrote on your Facebook post about it but wanted to send you some more love on here.
    You are beyond brave, and probably too strong for your own good, but that is what makes you wonderful. Ever thoughtful, always thinking of others, but I am beyond happy that you are doing something for yourself and getting the help you need and deserve. Things will be better. You will get better. You’re a wonderful mum, friend, wife and blogger and I am just so sorry I have never been able to give you any support.
    That can change now.
    Sending you all the love.
    Gems.xx

    • 17/01/2017 / 22:49

      Oh Gem you are so kind and thank you for everything you have done today. You are a wonderful person and I am so lucky to have you in my life x

  6. 17/01/2017 / 10:04

    Lovely I have just had a little cry to this post. Why do we all put so much pressure on ourself? I remember with my first Meme being in a fog like existence for a long time – I don’t think is was PND but I wasn’t in a good place and although I loved my Meme with all my heart I didn’t enjoy being a Mum. Thankfully it passed and I feel much better about everything but I honestly don’t think I will ever forget those dark months after Meme and I do regret not enjoying those early days with her.

    Well done lovely on getting some help and speaking out. I think you are amazing! Sending love.
    natalie recently posted…Becoming a family of 5.My Profile

    • 17/01/2017 / 22:48

      I’m sorry I made you cry lovely and I’m sorry to hear you experienced that when Meme was born. I’m so pleased that you got through it lovely x

  7. 17/01/2017 / 10:04

    What a beautifully written and heart wrenching post. I completely get it, sadly, and I fear that too many people do and don’t want to acknowledge it. I am so glad that you are seeking help to get back to yourself, and I wish you all the luck in the world with it x
    Mrs X recently posted…The Transformation…My Profile

  8. 17/01/2017 / 15:31

    Oh gosh I’m so sorry you’re going through this and what a brave post to write. I was luckily enough not to suffer with PND but gosh I know that feeling of trying to stay afloat with two little ones so close in age, it’s so tough. You’re an amazing mum and I bet this post will help lots of people who are in the same position.
    Nat.x
    Plutonium Sox recently posted…20 tips for visiting Europa-Park theme park in GermanyMy Profile

    • 17/01/2017 / 19:31

      Thank you lovely. It’s not easy is it? Nice to know that I am not alone in that. xx

  9. 17/01/2017 / 18:46

    Laura you are amazing. Well done for writing and sharing this post. I have no doubt that it will be a help and comfort to other mamas. You should be so proud of yourself. One day at a time xxx

    • 17/01/2017 / 19:29

      Thank you lovely and for your message earlier it means a lot xx

  10. 17/01/2017 / 20:20

    This is such an honest post about something so difficult. Well done you for doing it. Sending super hugs to a very strong lady, even if you don’t feel very strong at the moment. I know that feeling well. Take care of you hun xx
    Arline recently posted…Goals for 2017My Profile

  11. 17/01/2017 / 20:27

    I could have written this 2 or 3 years ago. I don’t want to self promote but if you look on my blog, I have a ‘Mental Health Musings’ section with a post about my PND story and my subsequent recovery. I also had a 2ish year gap and it was really really really really really REALLY hard. For a long time. But now it’s mostly brilliant. Mine are 6 & 4 now. Always at the end of a DM if you’d like to chat.
    Louise Pink Pear Bear recently posted…Big Pink Link 46My Profile

    • 17/01/2017 / 22:40

      Thank you Louise that is so kind of you and I will head over for a read x

  12. 17/01/2017 / 21:03

    What a brave post to write, I have no doubt that this will help other mummy’s know they are not alone and will encourage others to seek help and support. We do live in a society where it’s not really the done thing to say you are struggling or show vulnerability which is really a shame as it’s quite the opposite and I think people who do share are inspiring! Hopefully things are up from here for you. Xx

  13. 17/01/2017 / 21:13

    Huge well done for sharing this and for opening up as it is all a part of expecting it. I have had pnd since the birth of my 2nd so I really relate to all that you have said. I did realise a bit earlier and medication has helped me a lot. I am off the medication now and on the road to recovery thankfully. Huge hugs and all the best for you and your lovely family xxxx

    • 17/01/2017 / 22:38

      Thank you and I’m so pleased you are on the road to recovery x

  14. Laura, I am so sorry to hear that you have struggled with PND. I too had horrible PND after Sophie’s birth – the transition from one to two was a hard one and it took me a long time to seek help and admit that I was struggling. I am so glad that you did eventually seek help and I hope that writing this post has also helped. It’s a brave step to be so open about it. Sending big hugs your way and hope that you find yourself in a much better place very soon x
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Birthing without fear: a fight to allow women the right to choose their caregiverMy Profile

  15. 18/01/2017 / 08:53

    When I had PND, my illness was very much behind closed doors. I didn’t go public until I had a breakdown during NY 2015. I took time out from everyone and everything and spent a good few months having therapy, getting used to my medication and focussing on getting better, it did wonders.
    The sad thing about PND and many other mental illnesses is there is still such a stigma attached and that really upsets me and worries me in equal measures.
    I’m sending you lots of love and if you ever want a chat then please do get in touch, I know where you are in terms of how you’re feeling but trust me when I say you will get better, it might not feel like it right now but it will happen.
    #bloggerclubuk
    Rach recently posted…Blue MondayMy Profile

  16. 18/01/2017 / 10:31

    Oh you poor love – my heart stopped reading this – you write beautiful and with such honesty my lovely. Well done for taking that really brave step to getting help – go get that woman back you used to be lovely – she’s still in there but she just needs a little help to bloom again! Sending big hugs #BloggerClubUK

  17. 18/01/2017 / 11:53

    Oh Laura, you are very brave for sharing this post and I hope that writing and talking about it helps. I could have written a lot of this myself, although I’ve never taken the step of admitting it’s PND. I thought it might be after Toby was born but then I went back to work and kind of felt better. And now Gabe is 17 months but I still don’t feel like myself. I’m finding more excuses to stay at home, because even though it’s hard, taking them both out on my own seems impossible sometimes. I just don’t know how much of it is just that having two kids close in age is hard (especially when one of them doesn’t sleep), and how much of it could be something more. Like you though, I find it so hard to admit that I’m struggling – the only person I can talk to is my husband, and I’m thankful that I have him. I hope you find the help you need – and can see from all the comments on here how much support you have. Sending love x
    Sarah @tobygoesbananas recently posted…Remembering Childhood // Pondering ParenthoodMy Profile

  18. 18/01/2017 / 23:21

    You are so brave for doing this, for writing about it and taking the next step. I had no idea you were going through this you writing had never given the impression of anything troubling you. Wishing you lots of love and support on your journey. I’m not that far if you fancy a coffee xx
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Blogger Club UK #51My Profile

  19. 19/01/2017 / 07:59

    Oh you are so brave writing this (and I’m sure it will be just what lots of people need to hear). I was shocked how hard it was making the jump from one to two kids. All the risk factors suggested that I should’ve had PND after my first child but I was fine… however when number 2 came along, it was a completely different story. It it sooo difficult trying to cope with 2. I struggled for months and even though I confided in my Health Visitor, she wasn’t that helpful (saying it couldn’t be PND because it was now several months after the birth, which is ridiculous because, as you say PND can last for years!).

    Anyway, we got through it and so can you. This is very common – you are not weak, you are not a failure. You are having a natural reaction to a very difficult situation, combined with your body sending out a very complex mixture of hormones.

    I’m glad you’ve been able to talk about it and that you are now on the road to recovery. Give yourself time and be kind to yourself #BloggerClubUK
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Bloggers Bluff #13: This Is Me NowMy Profile

  20. 19/01/2017 / 09:45

    I think a lot of woman are unaware that they have PND! I too had a smallish gap (21 months) between my girls. I felt I was coping OK but I was always tired, couldn’t be bothered with housework etc. All normal I guess? I think there was a slight bit with me, Lee worked nights so I dealt with the girls on my own pretty much all the time. When I had Fin, the girls were 5 and 3.5 and it seemed so much easier. Big hugs xxx Sarah #sharingthebloglove
    Sarah Stockley recently posted…#ExplorerKids – Round-up #43My Profile

  21. 19/01/2017 / 11:39

    Laura that was beautifully written and it’s made me feel quite teary. I had two children very close together like you and it was hard. There were days like you described – but for me it ended when my eldest went to nursery at 18 months. I just feel so much for you to still be going through this but take strength from all of these comments which show you are not alone and never will be x Alison #SharingtheBlogLove

  22. 19/01/2017 / 15:14

    You have worded it all so eloquently. Depression is a difficult thing. Life, on the whole, is difficult at times. Parenting, regardless of the number of children, is a challenge that we all too readily give ourselves way too little credit for. I do sincerely hope that you find the support you need to help you through this difficult time.
    Tania @ Larger Family Life recently posted…Get Healthy for Less and Grow Your Own!My Profile

  23. 19/01/2017 / 16:01

    Such a brave post, I hope it helped writing it and that you get the support you need. You’ve taken the first, hard step, it must get easier from here. #sharingthebloglove

  24. 20/01/2017 / 10:10

    I can tell your post comes straight from your heart and I think you are very brave to write about it. I too suffered with PND when I had my Daughter 4 yrs ago and some of the things you wrote are things that were in my head too. I haven’t really written about PND on my blog yet because I am still building up the courage, but I have mentioned that I have it. I work as a Nurse and on a recent training day I went on I came across an amazing women called Elaine Hanzak she suffered with PND but it’s more serous form and she wrote this book, that you might want to read, it really helped me.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Eyes-Without-Sparkle-Journey-Postnatal/185775655X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484906816&sr=8-1&keywords=eyes+without+sparkle
    #BloggerClubUK

  25. 21/01/2017 / 20:10

    A very brave and honest post sweetheart, I’m glad you’re getting the help you need. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness as it takes great strength to admit it and move forward. Thinking of you.

    Stevie xx
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…Photos of Cornwall with Hot Pink WellingtonsMy Profile

  26. 23/01/2017 / 21:23

    It’s so brave of you to open up like this. I hope it has helped you to get it off your chest. I know you will have helped so many other people by writing this. #bigpinklink

  27. 24/01/2017 / 16:28

    This is such a beautifully written post. It must have taken immense courage to go to the doctors and then to share your story on here but I am certain that by doing so you have not only helped yourself but countless others who suffer in silence behind a perfectly executed fake smile. Sending you hugs. And wine. And chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate x
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…Words To Live By #13: Place One BlockMy Profile

  28. 26/01/2017 / 22:04

    I’m on tears reading this Laura because since having my second baby 3 months ago this is exactly how I’ve been feeling. It is so hard. I hope you start to feel better soon and that writing this has helped you in some small way xx

  29. 28/01/2017 / 07:46

    It must have been really hard to write this Laura but well done for sharing it and I hope it helps with your recovery. i’ve had bouts of anxiety in the past and I found CBT to be the most beneficial thing – and talking about it all with someone, your partner who understands, or a support worker who can understand but then show you a new perspective. I really hope you start to feel like your old self soon, it’s a long road but I’m no doubt with the support of your family and friends and blogging buddies, you will get there. lots of love xx
    Susie at This Is Me Now recently posted…What I’ve learned this week #13My Profile

  30. 06/02/2017 / 09:18

    Thank you so much for sharing such an important post with us at #PostsFromTheHeart. I read it for the first time the day you published it and as I sat here today and read it again I was once again moved beyond words. Despite a failing marriage and being miles from my family I sailed through Number One. Number Two has been a different story. Despite being in an incredible relationship, living in a wonderful home and having everything I have ever dreamt of, I know I am on a precipice. Ok, but in danger of not being if a I take my guard off. Your post is so valuable because it shows that this is something that happens to anyone and not always immediately after birth. Sending much love to you brave lady.

  31. 06/02/2017 / 10:24

    Big hugs lady. Realising there is something wrong and letting people in is the first step to feeling better. And I know you know this, but no one will or is judging you – just thinking what a brave mummy you are to go through it and to speak about it. #postsfromtheheart
    Someone’s Mum (Danielle) recently posted…I am not a teacherMy Profile

  32. 06/02/2017 / 10:46

    Postnatal depression is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. I had it quite badly with my first child but was afraid to speak out, already being a young mum with much criticism, I couldn’t bring myself to admit I was struggling, that they were all right, and struggled through it on my own. Over the years since, depression has reared it’s head again, more times than I care to admit, and it has changed me as a person, that’s for sure. But I’m no longer ashamed, life is hard, depression sucks, but it’s O.K, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it means you’re a fighter. Well done for speaking up and realising that you need help. Wishing you all the best xx #PostsFromTheHeart

  33. 06/02/2017 / 21:02

    I’m with you here. My mum told me for months maybe I should see a doctor as I “wasn’t myself”. When my baby was 9 months old I finally clicked that I needed to go after being in denial until then. It had got to the stage where I would cry every day, always in the car when driving so no one would know.
    I was so against medication, but I went on it and it has helped so much. I’ve been on it for around 6 months now and now that I am feeling so much better I have told two of my closest friends about what has happened. They’ve been so lovely, but I still keep it secret.
    My mum, sister and husband are the only ones that know. The rest of my family have just seen the painted on smile that you talk about.
    I hope that your journey keeps improving – this issue isn’t talked about enough!
    Lots of love x
    #PostsFromTheHeart
    Babyjmummy recently posted…Traumatic Birth – Moving on.My Profile

  34. 06/02/2017 / 21:55

    I was so sure I commented on this last time it was shared. This is such a brave post. Thank you for speaking out with your experience and helping to remove the stigma of PND.
    I have previously suffered from Depression and now PND and I can categorically state that PND is so much worse as there is the guilt of the emotions towards the child.
    Sending healing thoughts your way #PostsFromTheHeart
    Mrs Mummy Harris recently posted…The Path to Getting my Pre-Baby Body Back!My Profile

    • 06/02/2017 / 21:57

      Just read this back and it seems a bit harsh. sorry!!!! I meant the guilt of emotions towards the child from my personal experience. I know the blogging community really helped me and with all the comments here I can see they’re rallying round you too. xxx
      Mrs Mummy Harris recently posted…The Path to Getting my Pre-Baby Body Back!My Profile

  35. 07/02/2017 / 06:35

    Thank you for sharing your story, I have also been struggling with PND and know exactly what you mean about painting that face on and the hardest part is facing up to the problem. Well done, be proud of yourself and I wish you all the best with your recovery…you can do it Xx
    #postsfromtheheart

  36. 08/02/2017 / 09:34

    Yes! Well done for taking that step! It is so incredibly hard, especially when you don’t really realise what is happening. My son is 17 months and I struggle with PND and postnatal OCD. I had talking therapy (cognitive behavioural therapy) for about 5 months which really helped me, because I knew I could just get it out there without judgement. I still have really really bad days, but now that I know them for what they are I find them easier to deal with.

    Do you know about #PNDchat #PNDfamily and #PNDhour on Twitter? Can’t remember if I have seen you on there. #PNDhour is every Wednesday 8-9pm. Come join us tonight if you haven’t already! It’s such a great little community 🙂

    #PostsFromTheHeart

  37. 08/02/2017 / 14:57

    Well done for writing this post & being so brave about it. Its such an awful awful thing to go through and I really hope you are relieved from this place soon. Please don’t suffer in silence x
    #PostsFromTheHeart

  38. 13/02/2017 / 08:55

    Reading this post made me want to tell you that I think you are stronger than you are giving yourself credit for, even if you don’t always feel it, because it takes an awful lot of guts to write a post like this, and I have no doubt that other people who read it will be helped by it. Sounds like you have had a really rough time. 2 babies close together in age is tough, i know, and it is a big strain on everyone BUT you have sought help and that’s really great – yay! Us mummies with young children know that we cannot ride this rollercoaster without all the support we can get – in whatever form we need it! Kate x

  39. 13/02/2017 / 13:27

    Firstly, you are amazing for speaking out about this. Mental Illness is such a taboo subject to discuss, and as you say we live in a society where we aren’t allowed to show ourselves not coping. But you’ve absolutely done the right thing by getting the help you need, and by writing this, hopefully giving the courage for others in a similar position to speak up and seek help.
    I haven’t been in your position, but I’ve seen first hand what depression can do to someone. I truly commend you for your bravery and I hope you can find some peace with PND soon. xx
    Becky x #PostsFromTheHeart

  40. 14/02/2017 / 08:48

    Such a relateable post. I also struggled. my girls are 23 months apart so I know exactly how hard it is that first year. Well done for speaking up. You need to look after you so you can look after them, otherwise everyone loses.
    #PostsFromTheHeart

  41. 16/02/2017 / 20:12

    Sometimes you can’t just sweep things under the carpet and assume they’ll disappear. Often the first step is the hardest and you’ve done that by opening up. There are lots of people out there that can help you. Personally I wouldn’t touch medication. #PostsFromTheHeart
    Helena recently posted…How to Channel Your Little Artist’s Creative EffortsMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge