When you’re looking at the world with postnatal depression glasses on, everything looks slightly darker.
Things that would normally make you smile can bring tears. Things that you would normally look forward to can bring panic attacks. Things that should be celebrated as personal achievements can instead make you see all the ways in which you need to improve.
I love my children. There is absolutely no part of me that doesn’t, I love them right down to my core. But they are a trigger, which makes every day a constant internal struggle to stay sane.
See the difference with a PND brain is fog. And this fog envelops all your happiness and leaves nothing but dark, horrifying emptiness.
Sometimes the fog will thin in places, allowing you a little taste of what life could be like if you weren’t battling this terror. Unfortunately sometimes this just makes you think ‘why can’t I have that? Why am I such a mess? Why am I failing myself and my family?’.
The thing is, you can have that. You may be a bit of a mess – what parent isn’t? And you are not failing anyone. The fog is just in control at the moment.
Say it with me ‘Postnatal depression is not a weakness’. It’s just another obstacle some mother’s have to overcome. It’s really ok. It’s ok to admit it. It’s ok to talk about it openly. It’s ok to spend the occasional day in your pyjamas, doing no housework and getting cookie crumbs in your hair.
But we need to pick ourselves up. We do it for our children, our family, ourselves. I don’t want to live in the fog. I want to bask in the glorious sunshine. I’ve beaten this beast twice before, and while I know I personally will have a lifetime battle against anxiety ahead, I know postnatal depression is only temporary and I will beat it again.
And even just by writing this, the fog has started lifting, just that little bit more.