“If being free’s worth what you leave behind…It’s Goodbye Time”
Blake Shelton, Goodbye Time
Coming to terms with the fact that I have PND has been hard to accept and acknowledge. I will honestly admit, that I never wanted to be “that person”. Although I’m not really sure who I thought “that person” was. But in truth, having got to this point I have found freedom. Who I am, and the way I feel, suddenly makes sense. PND is the reason that I am the way I am.
It was a long road to get to this point – well over 2 years. It came to a head late August this year. I had been back and forth to the Doctors since Reuben was 5 months old, with the physical symptoms I described a few posts ago here. But no diagnosis was coming, with tests showing no concrete reason for how I was. I journaled, back in July, these words – “I wonder if I could be depressed?”. I hoped that it wasn’t true. But like I have said before, I had come to believe (having asked for help in the past) the reason I felt mentally and emotionally rotten was because I was a terrible person and awful mum. My question about depression didn’t leave me, in fact, as I started to read more about depression in general, some things began to make sense.
Things came to near breaking point the week before Gavin and I were to go on holiday to Italy – Reuben was staying with mum and dad. I didn’t want to go. Not that I didn’t want to leave Reuben, but I didn’t want to go on holiday. My reasoning was – “What’s the point in wasting money on a holiday for me, I don’t deserve it and I will only ruin it anyway.” The morning of the holiday, I lay on top of our bed, Reuben was watching CBeebies, I was crying. Gavin packed the cases and sorted the passports. We have been to Italy, and this spot in particular, twice before and we love it! But I could not face going back as the person I was. I knew I’d be constantly reminded of the person I used to be, haunted by the memory of who I wished I still was, and even more lost as to how I find my way back to her.
The holiday was difficult – Gavin was so kind and understanding. I cried constantly. But I also took the time, and space, to begin to read more about PND and things started to click into place.
We returned from Italy and the next morning, once again instead of being pleased to see my family and Reuben, I lay in bed and wept. This was truly the beginning of the end. Gavin, Mum, Dad and I all agreed that it seemed like I did have PND and I was to go to the Doctor and ask for help again. So I did.
This Doctor was amazing, he took ample time to ask questions and listen to me. When I told him how I was feeling, he did not dismiss me – far from it. He assured me that as strange as all my feelings seemed (considering how we expect mums to react) that within the realms of PND I was “normal”! He referred me to a Psychiatrist, securing an appointment within two weeks, and settled me into medication, that actually seems to be working for me!
If you are wondering if you might be suffering from PND, please make sure you talk to someone and get help. You can find links to other sites on my blog – have a read -many of them helped me understand what PND is and how it manifests itself. If you’re on twitter search #PND, #PostnatalDepression, #PNDChat, #PNDHour and you’ll be met with lots of others who are on this journey. My twitter feed at the side, shows some retweets that could get you started. Hearing other people’s stories helps to comprehend your own, reminding you that you are not alone in this.
This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to face. In fact, it might actually be the hardest. But it’s been worth it. I tried to mask the pain and battle the shame alone for too long. I asked for help and when none came I refused to be vulnerable again, which just took me deeper into the pit of despair. For me, facing the pain and heartache of accepting that I have PND, and working through it, is worth the freedom that I am promised in return. Therefore, being free is absolutely worth what I was leaving behind, so it really was Goodbye Time. Hello, recovery!