Why I Didn’t Talk About Post Natal Depression…

I recently shared a post about my life at the moment and how I’m living with Post Natal Depression behind closed doors. I was overwhelmed by the messages and comments of support that I received, it has meant so much to me and I now know that opening those doors was the right thing to do.

But, I don’t regret not talking about it sooner, because whilst it was lovely to know that people are there for you. It also feels a bit like the elephant in the room now, I feel like people aren’t sure whether they should bring it up or not. Which of course is all perfectly normal behaviour. Because I don’t openly talk about it, of course people are going to be wary about bringing it up. I would be exactly the same it their position.

One of the reasons that I didn’t open up about it because I worry about what people will think of me, will they be looking at me differently, watching how I am with my girls, looking for signs.

When really there are not always obvious signs to spot, there are a few times where I’ve let my mask drop, but people probably just thought I was having an off day.

I also worry when people see me and I am laughing, being playful with my girls and having what looks like a nice time, that they think I am fake, that I don’t really have PND and anxiety. But what they don’t see or know is that deep sick feeling that I have in the pit of the stomach or that I am using my girls to hide behind, so that I don’t have to face talking to others. They are my safety net. But, they may also have just caught me on a good day, where I do feel able to cope and face the world…

But the main reason I didn’t talk about it, was that for so long I didn’t realise that is what I had. I went 18 months before I asked for help. When I look back now, all the answers where staring me in the face.

I adored Holly from the moment she was born and placed it my arms. There was never any time that I didn’t love her. She was an easy baby, a happy baby, my little ray of sunshine. From the minute she could smile, she never stopped. She wasn’t a great sleeper, but then babies tend not to be and I know I was lucky with Alice.

In fact at times it felt like she knew that mummy was suffering and she made my life as easy as she could. When we would go out for the day and my anxiety levels would be high, she helped me by being a good baby. Just feeding, sleeping and being happy.

But, I was such a mess. I closed myself away from life, I avoided as many social occasions as I could. I hardly contacted people, I would do the bare minimum. Why? Because I was afraid that if they got to close then I wouldn’t be able to hide it, that they would see what a mess I was. That they might question it.

I know that I’ve damaged friendships because of it, I’ve not been there for people when I should have been, I’ve not been a constant in their life. I’ve made no effort…

It’s one of the those catch 22 situations because I know that to get me on the road to recovery, I need to take these steps to see people, to get myself out of the house more. But when you’ve been absent for so long, its not easy and when you suffer with anxiety its harder still.

I feel that I’ve come so far to get me to this stage, it hasn’t been easy, just ask Andy! But I don’t know how to be the person I was once was, I am not sure if she is still in there and I so desperately want to be her again.

I want to be the wife Andy married, the mum that my girls deserve, the daughter that I was and a friend to someone…

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14 Comments

  1. 17/02/2017 / 07:40

    I’m so glad you’re writing about it Laura, I hope it helps you and I know it will help other people. I can totally relate to wanting to be the old me, a better version of myself, but some days and weeks I just don’t know how to get there. Some days I am that person, and it’s amazing and I think everything is going to be better, but then I feel so annoyed with myself the next week when I’m back at rock bottom again.This week has been a tough one for me. But I’m determined to get myself back on track. I’m sure your friends will completely understand why you’ve had to concentrate on yourself and your family for a while and you probably haven’t damaged relationships as much as you think you have, it is always much worse in our own heads when we imagine what others are thinking of us.
    Keep shining lovely lady xx
    Louise | Squished Blueberries recently posted…Getting Creative with Children’s Art GalleriesMy Profile

    • 17/02/2017 / 22:21

      Thank you lovely, your right it probably is more in my head than I think. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a tough week lovely, I hope you are being kind to yourself. Laura (five doves) has left a message which is so true and made me see things differently. Take care xx

  2. 17/02/2017 / 07:44

    You’re my friend
    I can relate to all you have said Laura. I don’t have PND but I do suffer from anxiety and nerves and I also use my kids as a bit of a safety net. Outwardly, like you, I’m able to be chatty, and happy, but on the inside I feel like a jibbering wreck. You’ve done so well and I know you’ll continue to get better – because you want to and deserve to. It’ll get easier
    Gemma Nuttall recently posted…Funky Knutts – Songs to give you that Friday Feeling! (Week 7)My Profile

    • 17/02/2017 / 22:18

      Ah and you are my friend 🙂 Thank you lovely and when we meet I will give you a big hug for all your support x

  3. Karen
    17/02/2017 / 10:42

    The scary part of pnd is wondering if you are ever going to be like you were before. I think too much about wasted times feeling so low, that I’ve missed out on good bits of my life, and my childrens lives becsuse i am such a wreck! All i think about is how i may have affected my children in some way. Its a bloody hard battle. Big hugs to you.xxxx

    • 17/02/2017 / 22:17

      Yes, I worry about the effect its had on my girls constantly. thank you xx

  4. 17/02/2017 / 11:33

    I know those feelings all too well. I didn’t want to talk about it initially for fear that it made it real – but talking about it has set me free and has allowed me access to others in the same boat. It’s been so incredible to feel less alone in this boat. Hopefully your recovery continues to go well, I’m rooting for you over here 🙂

    • 17/02/2017 / 22:16

      Yes, that too, until you speak out it is just in your mind. Thank you that’s kind of you x

  5. 17/02/2017 / 18:34

    Really sorry you’re going through this. I haven’t suffered from PND but I’ve definitely got to a point where I’m cut off from my friends and virtually never go out. But it’s more for practical reasons than anything else – I just have to fit in the essentials like work and looking after the children and everything else had to stop. When you’re ready for a big adventure we’ll work out somewhere that’s half way between us and meet up with the girls if you like? I think the four of them would have an amazing time together.
    Nat.x
    Plutonium Sox recently posted…Thursday photo #145My Profile

    • 17/02/2017 / 22:15

      You’ve had a tough time of it in a different way and I can totally see why this would be the case for you. You’ve done an amazing job of holding it all together for your family. That would be amazing, the girls would absolutely love it. Yes, I think they would get on so well x

  6. 17/02/2017 / 19:34

    Laura, the truth is, you may never be the person you once was, but that’s okay – you will be someone even better. You will be stronger than ever before, you will see the world very differently at times, and you will realise what is important and what’s not. I used to wish that I could be the person that I used to be, before depression got a hold, before grief came into our lives, before I battled anorexia, anxiety and panic. For so many years, maybe fifteen years at least, I tried so hard to become that person again before accepting that actually I didn’t want to be that person anymore, I wanted to be the one that I had become, a far better person for all I had been through. You are such an amazing person, then, now, and no doubt in years to come. So much respect to you for speaking out about this, much love my beautiful friend. xxx
    five little doves recently posted…My children are just as annoying as yours!My Profile

    • 17/02/2017 / 22:12

      Thank you for this lovely comment. This has really opened my eyes and I can totally see what you mean. I need to stop fighting to go back and move forward. You are so right I don’t want to be the person I was, I can see that now. xxx

  7. 19/02/2017 / 07:47

    It definitely takes time to talk about these things and you had to do it when you were ready. I suffer from anxiety and still have ongoing issues with PTSD. However, I am also very good at putting a face on, pretending everything is grand and I almost go into hyper mode when I am feeling really down. It is exhausting. When I first started blogging about what I went through with the birth of the boys, I had the same reactions from people – not sure whether to talk about it or what to say. You have been incredibly brave to talk about this openly – which I am sure will help others in a similar situation. Just keep doing what is right for you, at the right time for you. Always here if you want to talk about anything. You will get through it one day at a time. Sending lots of hugs your way. Remember: you are brave, fabulous and a brilliant mum. (Sorry didn’t mean for this comment to become an essay!) xxxxx

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