I’m going to write this in the hope that 1. Someone can give me some advise and 2. Anyone else feeling this way can know they are not alone!
Mental illness is still one of those things that is so hard to talk about. I think mainly because you can’t see it and also for those in sound mind it is hard to believe how some people can see the world in the way they do! Doing the job I do means I have a good basic knowledge of metal health and illness to enable me to work with people who may have mental illness to some degree. I have accepted people suffer with issues and am empathetic to them and hope, in my role either at work, or with my own friends, I have been able to help some people face their own issues and begin to deal with them. Maybe I need to listen to my own advise?
As long as I can remember, from being a hormonal teenager, I have always gone through times where I have felt down. We all do. Some days are rubbish, some days we cry, some days we grin and bear it, feel sorry for ourselves then move on. As I’ve got older it’s the moving on bit I struggle with. Not moving on as in forgiving others who upset me, apologising to those I may have hurt – but moving on as in my mood returning back to “normal”.
I would say it started when B came into my life. I had been trying 3 years to fall pregnant and after investigation I was on fertility treatment. When I fell pregnant I was over the moon, until I got morning sickness until 20 weeks followed by chronic back pain and heart burn. At 38 weeks a scan revealed B was breech meaning my birth plan went out the window and I had a planned section 2 days before my due date. I never felt a contraction and pregnancy had not agreed with me. B slept a lot when she was born, she was not put to the breast until she was 4 hours old due to me coming out of theatre at shift change time. At 30 hours old I was sat in tears on my own in hospital, B had been asleep for 8 hours. I was told to feed on demand, she wasn’t demanding and I had no visitors. Turned out B had jaundice, which causes sleepiness and the best medicine is milk, because it is through digesting the milk that the babies blood can expel the bilirubin no longer needed. (May not be medically accurate but I know she needed to feed to recover). I felt that in less than 2 days I had failed my daughter. I didn’t have the overwhelming rush of love I had programmed myself to expect. I cried a lot when no one was around. I hid the fact I felt lost. I wasn’t working for the first time in my adult life and I had this little person that relied on me 100%. For that reason I had to keep doing what was expected. I’d wanted this for years so I was acting so ungrateful and I hated myself for feeling how I did.
I never told anyone how I felt.
I lied on the questionnaire my HV gave me about how I was feeling when B was 6 weeks old.
I encouraged B’s relationship with her dad and I subconsciously took a step back, watching from the outside as my daughter grew.
I learnt to live with my up and down moods and hid them as much as I could because I didn’t want anyone to know I was failing emotionally as a mum.
Life events effected how regularly I felt low, I got a good job after moving to Scotland, got promoted, B started school, our relationship got better, I found me again. Then I fell pregnant again and whilst it was again planned, it was without treatment and a bit of a shock. Initial dread filled me – I am going to hate myself again. Five months into the pregnancy I became a single mum. I was 2 weeks off the cut of for an abortion. I have never said this, but I did consider it an option. I had been a rubbish mum how would I bring up 2 children on my own. But I wouldn’t be on my own because I moved back to my family.
When H was born it was hard, it ended in an emergency section with both our lives at risk. We both pulled through. For months I re lived that every time I closed my eyes. I woke up in cold sweats. I panicked if I couldn’t hear every breath H took. I had an overwhelming rush of love for her that first time I held her. It was everything I hadn’t felt with B. I have since gone through 3 years of feeling like a great mum, feeling guilty for not being as close to B when she was younger (just to say that I am very close to her now – splitting from my husband was the best thing for my relationship with her because I had to repair what I believed was cracked!). I still get down round H’s birthday, I still have the flash backs, the nightmares and the cold sweats.
I’m now in a happy relationship with Mr D, have 2 fantastic daughters, 2 brilliant step kids (Ok not officially, but in my eyes that’s how I see them), I have a rewarding and unpredictable job and I am financially stable.
So why am I feeling so rubbish. I sit and cry about nothing. I want to lock the world out and hibernate until I feel better. I want to be round people but when I am I want to be on my own. Nothing is “wrong” but I don’t feel right. I don’t have my usual appetite. I feel guilty about doing anything for me. I don’t have time to do everything, don’t like to ask for help and feel like people are judging me for doing a bad job. I couldn’t even tell you who I think is judging me and saying it our loud sounds pathetic, but that’s how my brain is thinking!
This time of year always make me feel a bit sad, I often joke i have SAD! Should I see my GP? But then I worry the GP will tell me I am being silly all people feel like this at times so just get on with it. How will I feel then? And what if the doctor says there is something wrong, that I need counselling or medication to help me through. Will it effect my work and if so does that mean I should just keep quiet? In fact, what will my colleagues think if I am doing this job whilst dealing with my own issues? Do they even need to know?
It will all be ok tomorrow……………
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