Since having my first baby Joel just 6 months ago, I’ve struggled with Postnatal depression. Sometimes I’m ok, but other times I’ve hit rock bottom. I’ve already shared my struggles with it during my recovery, but recently it reared its ugly head again and it’s not been easy to overcome.
I reached breaking point a few weeks ago and had a massive breakdown. To say I scared the shit out of myself would be a major understatement. I had some horrible, dark thoughts running through my head that I couldn’t shake. I’d been struggling with sleep for a while, however, at this point, I couldn’t sleep at all during the night. Then I’d be absolutely shattered in the day with no time to sleep, but when night came, my mind would be in overdrive!
Some days I’ve been struggling to go out too. It takes so much out of me to go out on my own with Joel, I can’t explain it. It makes me anxious. A lot of the time I was feeling so drained, low and lethargic I was just basically surviving. Just getting us through the day was a good day.
I’m glad to say though, I’ve never had any issues bonding with Joel. I thought PND was normally directed towards the baby. I was wrong. Instead, it’s been directed at other people around me. Since Joel was born, I’d been feeling like we weren’t being put first in situations we most definitely should have been as I was very fragile. Especially during my recovery.
Joel is our first baby and we are enjoying this new exciting time in our lives together as a family, but we NEVER get days with just the 3 of us. I’d been bottling everything up for so long and just putting up with people being overbearing and overstepping their place because I didn’t want to upset anyone. What about me? Well, I was pushed to my limit and I had a mental breakdown, so bad I was struggling to breathe and started heaving. PND and having to put up with overbearing people do not mix well.
It’s ok to say no to people, even family (yes, even family). I know that now. If you don’t want to see anyone today, tomorrow, next week, don’t see them. If you need time for you and your baby, take time. Now, I couldn’t give a shit who I upset if it means I am protecting my mental health and enjoying life with my new family.
Postnatal depression is a nasty bastard that doesn’t care who you are or how strong you are. When it takes hold of you, it’s very hard to escape. Especially if you don’t talk to someone. After my breakdown, I opened up to Shaun about my thoughts and what’s been going on in my head and as always, he’s been so supportive. He’s done everything he can for me to get better. My mum and dad have been amazing and been there when I need them.
It’s hard to talk to people close to you about these things sometimes. I’ve been told by people who are close to me:
“You’re not depressed, you look fine.” ….Shut up.
“My PND was worse than yours.” ….Really?! Just shut up.
Depression doesn’t have a certain look. Someone can be the happiest looking person on the outside, but behind closed doors be struggling mentally. Depression is not a competition. Depression is just that, depression. It affects everyone in different ways, it looks different on everyone. My inbox is always open if you need to talk so you don’t have to put up with dickhead comments like that!
Yay for Social Media!
Luckily for me, I’m living in the age of social media which has been great for me. I know for others it can have a negative effect on you, but it’s always been positive for me. I have a fantastic network of people I can talk to and some I can take inspiration from. A group of fantastic mums who I consider to be friends (you know who you are ladies) have been there for me and I for them when needed. They’re all fantastic mums with huge hearts and they’re a massive inspiration to me.
Overcoming Postnatal Depression, with Cleaning?
Someone else who has had a massive impact on me and helped my PND in a way I never thought possible, Mrs Hinch. No one knows better than my mum, that I absolutely hate cleaning (hated cleaning I should say now). If you haven’t heard of Mrs Hinch already, what rock have you been living under?!
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An amazing experience, thank you for having me on the show @itv @hollywilloughby @schofe ! Happy hinching everyone and thank you to my army for making this happen .. forever grateful #hincharmy #itvthismorning 💖 and thank you to my @makeupbygeorgiax for my make up and @tracylousnails for my nails .. As always xxx
She’s practically taken over Instagram with her home/cleaning account and well, what can I say other than, I’ve been Hinched! She has motivated me to clean and organise my house completely and in doing so it’s transformed my daily life. I can’t tell you what that has done for my mind. I feel like a new person! I’m not lethargic anymore. I get up and clean. I’m not having horrible thoughts running through my head anymore. I’m enjoying spending time with my son in my shit hot tidy house. I’m not dreading to get up thinking “Oh my god, the house is a shit tip.” I’m getting up, strolling into my shiny Springtime smelling kitchen to make a brew before Joel wakes up. Fuck you PND. All the best.
Read my c section recovery story here.