Well that flew by.
Feels like only yesterday I was plotting the murder of my husband, having a verbal showdown with my midwives and reaching octaves only previously seen in the exorcist as I pushed my precious little boy into the world.
And now here we are, 6 months into my new mummy role. In the professional world I would now be sitting down with my manager, shitting myself, and hoping that I would get an exemplary appraisal with the confirmation of a permanent job.
Although in the mummy office I cant give my job away, since I was diagnosed with postnatal depression the 6 month mark has been a date I have been waiting on. It was the point at which my doctor told me I may begin to feel like me again, where I might begin to come off my medication and where I may start to refer to myself as a PND survivor rather than a fighter.
So I’ve been working hard to get to this point in the hope I pass into the survivor group, and as with all good appraisals I’ve had some KPI’s to work to:
- Stop crying
I cried for 6 weeks solid after I had my second child I was that unhappy. I tried so hard not to cry in front of my daughter but it was becoming physically impossible. My depression overtook me and was releasing itself through sobs and wails.
It broke my heart when I heard my daughter ask my husband ‘why is mummy so sad?’, that to control my emotions and tears was the first goal on my recovery list.
I remember after returning back to England, after my rehab stay at home in Belfast, that I had better control of my tears. I wasn’t not crying, I just wasn’t wailing, and I could wait to let out my emotions until I was in a safe place. I put this down to my medication kicking in and thankfully as the months have progressed my crying may only happen once per week, if that.
I’ve still a lot of work to do and I’m afraid of coming off my medication in case my emotions return. But I’m controlling them and right now I couldn’t wish for more.
2. Look after my two children on my own
Sounds like a ridiculous goal, who the hell can’t look after their children?!
When my second child was born I couldn’t be left to look after my children on my own as the thought sent me into a panic attack. I couldn’t get my head around how to give one child the attention it needed let alone two. I had no confidence that I was a good enough mum, I feared being left alone and something bad happening to them.
It’s took me a long time to feel confident enough to look after my two children on my own, but I’m happy to say I have passed that KPI with flying colours!
In the last month my husband has had to go away for a few days with work and even through the anxiety I’ve looked after both my children myself without any harm coming to them.
Big tick for me!
3. Enjoy being a mum
When I had my first child being a mum wasn’t something I enjoyed, it was something that I had to do. And that thought alone made my PND frenzy.
What sort of sick mum did that make me?!
But the point was, I WAS sick, I just choose not to believe it.
Having two children made me feel trapped because I didn’t enjoy any of it. I needed to enjoy being a mum in order to survive.
As I get closer to starting back to work, it has hit me that six months on I really am enjoying being a mum. It’s took a while, probably 4 months, but I now enjoy days out with my family, I love sitting in with my kids cuddling them and smelling their stinky little hands and feet, and mostly, I don’t wish everyday that someone would take them off me. I WANT them with me.
This gives me hope that I may be a good mum after all.
5. Be sociable
As a PND fighter being sociable is one of my greatest downfalls. Being sociable with anyone but my children scares the absolute shit outta me.
And I’m afraid to say that this KPI is still a working progress.
I find social situations really awkward if I’m with new people or in a room with too many. I either feel I have to leave, I become over anxious I cant talk, or I talk nonsense. I then can’t remember how the situation played out, due to anxiety wiping my memory, and begin to worry I came across as a total prick and believe no one likes me.
All in all I feel safer being in my house.
And that’s just not me.
Before kids and PND I was a party girl, I had lots of groups of friends, I hated being alone and I always enjoyed being out.
I want to be me again.
With the support of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) I hope I’m going to be there again one day.
6. Look after myself
Right now I look like Lindsey Lohan after a month on the crack, saggy tits (and vagina) included.
This is coming from the girl who showered twice per day, applied make up to go to bed, and never wore the same outfit twice.
PND has made me a lazy scrubby fat fucker. And that’s me being kind to myself.
In the last month I can say I’ve gotten a little better. I’m washing each day at least, and since cutting my hair off I feel a bit less messy. I now understand why Britney shaved hers off during a mental breakdown.
But I’m still not me and that’s the whole idea. I want me back.
I cant help but think maybe I’ve been suffering from depression for so long that the ‘Me’ I think I am just doesn’t exist anymore.
Maybe I enjoy not caring so much about my appearance anymore, maybe I enjoy a drink in my house with close friends rather than trying to fight my way through the crowds in clubs. Maybe I’m just a old boring biddy!
One thing I know for sure though, is that I love my kids, and I love being with being their mum. For me that is one huge win.
As I go into the new year I feel I’ve come along way, and even though I’m no where near coming off my medication and I still have days or weeks when I’m not feeling great, I am happy that I am not the blubbering distant mess I was 6 months ago.
And that has to be the best mummy appraisal I could hope for right now.