Not so long ago I wrote about having post-natal depression and how it had carried on into my present life. I talked about how it generally wasn’t that bad, there was just an edge there, and how I didn’t want to take medication for it, and never had done.
It’s so much easier talking about something that is in the past, or that you are not going through right at the particular moment. It feels easier to talk about somehow; like you are not failing at life* at that particular moment, so it’s ok to admit to it. But right now I feel like I need to talk about it, to try and make a bit of sense about what is going on in my head. And maybe so those special people in my life can know what’s going on without me having to tell them. It makes me kind of feel a bit exposed though, talking about it whilst it is still going on, and a bit stupid. But we have to keep talking, don’t we?
I don’t really know what happened, but over the last couple of days I have been massively down. I think it possibly started on Friday with me being a bit hungover after being in London the day before. Alcohol doesn’t normally have that effect on me, but I think it probably had something to do with it this time.
Like I said, I’ve talked about having mild depression before, but there haven’t been many times over the years since becoming a mother that I have felt so horribly helpless, and that horrendous feeling of hopelessness, as I have done these last few days. It’s freaking awful. The days have dragged and I have done nothing but sit around and done the bare minimum to look after my daughter (she has of course been looked after properly – I would always ask for help if I felt like I wasn’t capable of doing that). The extent to which it has suddenly taken over me is terrifying. I am not this person. I have always been a generally positive, glass half full type of person. Not this lacklustre, crying, miserable sod. These times feeling so incredibly low and not knowing whether I will wake up tomorrow and feel ok again or not is absolutely horrendous. Just waiting. And hoping. It’s unbearable.
I have to remember it’s an illness. This is not who I am. Time will pass. It just doesn’t feel like it at the moment. I have emails and texts from friends to reply to, blog posts to write, and pictures to take and edit. I am completely disinterested in all of it. I cannot make myself take one minute to reply to a text, or email that PR. I am so grateful for the messages from the people that know though, they do help. And yet I can sit here, crying and writing this. But I just felt like I needed to. And yet I can’t decide whether or not to publish this or not, it feels like a bit too much. Too real, too personal, too honest.
Whilst feeling like this I start to think about how I feel in every day life, and how I feel like the edge has been off for a long time. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s kind of like how I feel if I’m not wearing my glasses or contact lens’ – the edges are all blurry and a bit of a haze. That is just how I feel normally, and have for a long time. But that is not normal. If I am out (or even really at home) then I am never completely relaxed, it doesn’t matter who I am with and how comfortable I am with them. I am very aware of everything around me. I feel like for a really long time when I have been out somewhere, doing something fun I haven’t completely enjoyed it even though it’s something that should be, and is kind of great. I never fully relax and enjoy myself, the edge is taken off.
I think it might be time. I can’t keep living my life this way. I kind of forget about it in the rush of day to day life and nursery runs, but then I’m reminded that it’s always there, and that it has been for a bloody long time.
I’ve been to the doctors about it before, I didn’t want to take medication, so she gave me some links for information I could look at online, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy type treatments that I could do online or ring somebody up and talk to them. Apart from a brief look at them years ago I haven’t ever gone back to them. I can’t make myself ring someone and talk to them, I don’t want to. When you feel like this you lack the motivation to do anything, let alone make yourself ring up a stranger and tell them how you feel. I wish I had been able to do it. I’d hoped that I’d be able to help myself get back to normal by exercising and being healthier, but it hasn’t been enough and I need to stop ignoring it.
I desperately didn’t want to take medication and I still don’t really, but I think I might have to. I don’t want to get through this little episode and just forget about it again as I have for years, ignoring the bit that’s missing of me; the happy, positive person, who is able to relax and stop worrying about what I look like for a bit, to stop being so aware of everything and just have fun and try to live in the moment. I know that’s hard for everyone in the modern world to do, to live in the moment, but I shouldn’t feel like this. Of course a doctor may not think taking something is right for me, but I’ll at least be speaking to someone again.
I am going to do something about it this time. Can you imagine if I get to seventy (fingers crossed!) and look at how I’ve wasted my life because I didn’t do something about it at 31? It’s unimaginable.
I’m really scared, but I have great people who love me, around me. And for those people who care about me – I’m not normally like this. It’s not that I’ve been really good at hiding it, it normally just affects me a bit; it’s just been a very bad few days. I’m ok.
* I certainly don’t think anyone who has depression is failing at life, in any way at all. It just feels like I am when I am going through it.