This is a different type of post today, one that you’ve never seen from me before. Its a lot less planner and a lot more me.
When I feel pregnant with my youngest I had expectations of raising a baby, I’d done it twice before.
To start off with the first few weeks were nothing out of the norm but as we headed into the two month post birth period something changed. It was like a darkness creeped in around the edges.
This darkness was out of my direct vision, it lurked blurry around the sides making it’s presence felt but disguised.
When things first started changing I put it down to certain things going on such as I was tired due to a lack of sleep because the baby had colic, when the colic didn’t go away and after much pleading with the doctors we found out at 4mths that she had a lactose intolerance. I put my negative feelings down to circumstances like this. It wasn’t me that had any sort of issue was it? noooo…it was just the fact that things hadn’t been easy and it was taking it’s toll.
Not long after the lactose diagnosis I went to see the GP. The darkness hadn’t gone, in fact it seemed to be getting darker, less murky and more defined.
The GP informed me that I had good old depression. Well…that’s just great isn’t it. Looks like it was my head over reacting to pretty much life! Just what a control freak like myself wanted to hear. I refused any tablets or help and agreed that I’d go see someone if it got worse. Well…it got worse and I didn’t go back. I’ve been suffering (not so silently) trying to make it through each hour of each day. I told my partner about a month after I was diagnosed not that it changed anything, he has no idea how to deal with it, how could he? Even I couldn’t . We have no familial support so I just have had to power through this alone, however I can.
It’s been hard, I’ve hit my breaking point on many many occasions. I’ve wanted to leave and go it alone, I’ve stupidly wished that non of it had happened.
You see no-one tells you about the guilt that comes with depression like this. I’ve never ever once wanted to hurt my baby, it’s not that sort of depression, I have never neglected or put her in danger. She is my world, I love her with every part of my being.
But in moments of despair have I wondered if life would have been easier if I had her adopted, if I’d never fallen pregnant? Yes, honestly I have. Those thoughts are flash-in-the-pan-gone-within-a-second thoughts. The guilt you feel though for thinking them doesn’t go so quickly. It lingers and eats up at you, therefore making you feel even more crappy about the situation. Then…when you think it can’t get worse you start doubting yourself, your parental skills “maybe she’s better off without this sorry sack of shit mother” “maybe I don’t deserve such a beautiful baby after what I said”. It’s a circle of shame that you can’t pull yourself out of. It’s illogical, irrational and damn well unwanted!
People underestimate how mentally challenging a baby is, the focus is always on money, capabilities and the practical stuff. No-one tells you that the strongest emotionally stable person can become a mess of low self-esteem and confidence who cries at everything. No-one tells you that you can find yourself so frustrated by situations you want to punch your fist through a wall and scream until your throat bleeds and no-one will tell you that you will hate your life.
My baby is now 16mths old and I won’t lie, I still have bad days. Luckily the bad days are less and less but they rear their ugly head and make you feel like they still rule you, they still win and there is nothing you can do about it.
The darkness prays on your vulnerability, as you get stronger and start to fight it off it will pick at you when you’re at your lowest. When your ill or emotional. It will be there, it will come rushing in and tell you that ‘you are not good enough’.
For every day that goes past I get stronger and stronger. I wish in hindsight now that I’d taken the help offered and eased my suffering instead of wallowing in shame. I sometimes need to remind myself that I am surviving regardless of the darkness, I know it’s there and I’ll take those days on and get through them, for every glimpse of me it gets I get one back and that makes me understand how it works. This way I can learn it’s weakness and drive it out.
Each and everyday I make it…just a little further through the fog.