#MyJourneyToRecovery on Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week
“Smiling through the fear, of knowing the reality of how sleep deprived I’m about to be again.
But I do know this time around that that bit won’t last forever, the way that you feel like it will, when you’re deep in that newborn fog and can’t remember what it was like to sleep for more than a few hours at a time.
Lack of sleep massively impacts on my mental health. And when you’re doing that hardest job you’ve ever done, asking yourself questions like ‘Am I doing this right? Am I doing enough’ it can be a slippery slope.
I didn’t get help early enough with my mental health last time. I felt like saying it out loud or saying that I wasn’t enjoying 100% of it, meant that I was somehow failing or being ungrateful – especially as it had been a long ole slog of fertility treatment to get there. And I know so many other people in my position hadn’t been so lucky.
I find it hard to say out loud or find the when I’m struggling. So after about about 5 months of muddling through, and recognising the feeling was getting worse, more intense and my thoughts were getting darker – I sent a text to one of my closest friends, who I knew had been through postnatal depression and had told me that she was there to listen if I needed her.
She encouraged me to go to my GP, reassured me I was doing the right thing for my daughter, that I was being a good mum and I wasn’t a failure.
Taking medication changed my life for the better. And even though I used to, I don’t feel any shame for that anymore. It allowed me to enjoy my daughter again, leave the house without an impending sense of doom, that something terrible was about to happen and get to sleep better (even if it wasn’t for very long!) It even helped with physical symptoms like grinding my teeth and unclenching my jaw. I know I have it there to help me this time around and to me, that’s invaluable.
If you’re struggling but can’t say it out loud. Try writing it down to see how it comes out. And if you’re ready, send it to someone.
Find what works for you. There is no shame in it.” @amixedmama
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