Relationships are hard.
And I dont just mean with your partner. Keeping friendships and staying close with family takes effort.
Add in a baby, and connecting with anything but your child’s shitty nappies is difficult.
Put post natal depression (PND) in the mix and you may as well burn yours bra’s, get out the comfy trackies and become a hermit.
PND is a funny fucker. She makes you feel like the loneliest person in the world, but at the same time fills you with enough anxiety and low mood that you cant bring yourself to talk to anyone.
When I look back at when I first developed PND over 3 years ago I realise how much I nearly lost everyone in my life. I pushed everyone away. I lived in an angry fragile self-conscious bubble. I hated myself so much that I thought everyone else did too, and all it took was a slight remark or a no reply to a text to cement that feeling.
I would wallow in self pity and think ‘why me?’. Only now as I begin to get better and the mum funk cloud shifts I realise how much of it I brought on myself.
I couldn’t call people as it made me too anxious. Actually I’m still not great with phone calls.
I’ll worry about what I should say? What if they didn’t want to talk to me? What if there is an awkward silence?
So a text here and there was all I could manage, yet I would fret about why people didn’t contact me.
Going out was a big deal. I find it hard to go out with friends or family past 5 at night. While I can explain the reason now, back then I just seemed ignorant or not bothered to make an effort when I turned down invitations.
All in all my relationships suffered, I nearly lost some really great friends, and I’m lucky my husband is still with me after the number of times I threw tantrums at him (you know because everything wrong in life is a mans fault!).
This time around I know better.
Being sociable in my mum funk is one of my biggest goals. I want to be able to go out with friends and family again and actually enjoy it. Not check my phone every five minutes or set myself a time which I need to be back by and panick about it all night.
Before my mum funk I was as sociable as Paris Hiltons velour track suits. I was always out with friends either clubbing, having dinner or visiting their houses. To see myself as such a recluse now is hard.
Some friends have been a little put back by my PND but that’s OK, its a hard subject for people to understand or talk about.
That’s why I started this blog.
With others my relationship has blossomed because they can now understand why I was such a keeeunt for so long.
(To those of you who have forgiven me, thankyou!)
I’m still finding it hard to keep in contact and do things with my nearest and dearest.
Just last month my best friend came home from australia. It took me three months to prepare for the one night out we were having to celebrate. I did it (with a hell of a lot of worry and fretting) and enjoyed it, but doing it again is proving difficult.
I booked a night out with another good friend a month in advance just to prepare myself again. But when the big day came last Saturday I couldn’t do the big club night out. It scared the absolute shit outta me. I was scared if my anxiety would hit when I was out, I was scared of being trapped in a club, I was scared of what would await me when I got home.
Just before I cancelled everything a friends advice came into my head. It was to always say yes to social activities whether I feel shitty or not.
So I made a compromise this Saturday.
Instead of drinking or saying ‘no can’t go out’, I pushed myself into something a little closer to my comfort zone.
And you know what, I had a ball! I laughed so hard (a real laugh) and had discussions that didn’t involve kids. I got to feel close to my friend again. I got to hear all about what was happening in her life and in the end I went home feeling happy.
My fears when I got home came true.The kids where unsettled that night and the baby didnt sleep well but in the morning life went on.
Yes I was tired, but we were still alive, I was able to cope and I even felt a little bit happier.
So from now on I’m going to try really hard to say yes! Or a compromise that gets me out. The journey to being 100% will be long so I can take baby steps.
But there will be no more ‘NO’ from me.
Hopefully soon I’ll be out on the town again dancing on tables. No one puts mum in the corner (Forever)!