Let’s talk about it…

As its mental health awareness day, I thought I’d share my experience.

For 27 years I had been fortunate enough never to suffer from depression or any other mental health issues.

The closest I came to it was when I was on my period as my hormones have always caused a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ effect. My parents used to call my bedroom ‘the lions den’ because sometimes they’d be scared to knock on the door in case I shouted at them! 🙈

Even now, hormones are something I am in constant battle with, I am not myself when I have pmt and often lash out on the closet people to me. I wish I didn’t, and I need to find a way to manage it, I know.

I’ve talked briefly about my experience with post natal depression before on my blog post ‘Instagram saved me’ but never really gone in to depth.

When I was 27 I gave birth to our eldest son Rex and my whole life turned upside down. In good ways of course, but also in very confusing ways too.

I struggled with Rex because I had a horrible 3 day labour, had problems with hip afterwards so had to be re-admitted to hospital, then he had colic and would scream for 5 hours solid. I was overwhelmed, tired, and found it really hard to cope.

I was never ‘diagnosed’ with post natal depression, because I never spoke to anyone. I didn’t speak to anyone because I was in denial. I felt like a failure and didn’t want people judging me.

I cried a lot. In my bed, on the kitchen floor, whilst driving, everywhere.

Sometimes I’d wake up and just the thought of getting myself and Rex dressed and out of the house for an appointment felt overwhelming and impossible. I hated committing to anything because the pressure I felt when I knew I had to be somewhere or that someone was relying on me was unbearable.

I ended up staying in a lot, and anything we did was in the afternoon when I was able to prepare myself to get out of the house without having a panic attack.

I think a lot of the way I was feeling was down to my loss of identity. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I loved shopping, and going out with my friends. I felt like I had sacrificed everything I was, my body, my finances, my career and my freedom.

Everything I thought I’d feel when I had our baby was different. I’d built up expectations of motherhood and how it would be in my head but the reality was somewhat more complex than I had anticipated.

I thought I would be just me, with a baby.

But I had said goodbye to me, and had to create a whole new me.

The me I am today, 31 years old, still hormonal for one week of the month but coping. I’m winging it daily, but coping.

I work part time at an IT distributor where I worked before I had children. I look after our two beautiful boys, and I’m enjoying it. I’ve got a new found love for photography, and a passion for interior styling and upcycling.

I did speak to my husband and my mum about how I was feeling and it helped a lot. Once I recognised that I had post natal depression it became easier to manage, so please, if you are feeling the way I did, speak to someone, because it does help, I promise.

Sometimes all it takes is for someone to listen.

Hayley 😘

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