It’s day two of Maternal Mental Health week and today I’m supposed to give you all a truth about PND for #truthtuesday.
I’ve been wrecking my brain all day trying to think of something truthful I haven’t told you all already. I’m pretty honest on here. I don’t think there is a detail I haven’t included on my blog, including the dimensions of my post baby vagina. Yet as I’m wrecking my brain for some awe inspiring truth I’ve yet to tell, the only thing I keep thinking is ‘1 in 7… 1 IN 7! Not a chance in hell that’s truthful!’
Supposedly 1 in 7 women suffer with postnatal depression. Yet I don’t agree, I think it’s more, and I’ll tell you why.
Within the first hour of releasing my first post on Mum Funk I had emails and texts of 8 mums who I personally knew reaching out to say they suffered from PND or had the same thoughts I had too. This made me think about two things:
- Either a lot more women suffer from PND than the stats suggest and choose – like I did for years – to remain silent about it; or…
- I’m really attracted to a depressive characteristic when making friendships because I bagged all 7 and one extra than the stats suggest. (I will note here I don’t believe number 2 for a second as most mothers I talk to open up about a mental battle they are or have gone through.)
These women who I shared numerous play dates with, who I shared memories with of my family growing up, who confided in each other about the crap days of motherhood over a half drank coffee at the local café couldn’t tell me – or I them – that they were drowning in a sea of darkness every day. And it’s because we are scared, that’s the real truth of PND – it’s fucking scary.
It’s scary when that bundle of supposed joy you have been so excited to meet actually turns into a bundle of nerves that makes you so sick you physically can’t eat anymore.
It’s scary that everyone seems to find motherhood so fulfilling and wonderful but you find it ridiculously hard and lonely.
It’s scary that the family you desperately dreamed about seems like a much happier unit if you were out of the equation.
It’s scary to admit all this with a fear of being deemed ‘unfit’ by society.
But what’s scariest of all is looking back now and seeing that while I felt all of this, I had so many women beside me who felt exactly the same, but the only thing that stopped us talking was the fear of being shamed.
So here’s my #truthtuesday, I have postnatal depression and I’m surviving! (Unashamed Goria Gaynor belting right here!) and you shouldn’t be ashamed either! If you feel lost in the darkness I can bet there is more than 1 woman out of the 7 you know who feels exactly the same. You just have to start talking!
Share if you’re a survivor too so others know they aren’t alone xx