You have Post Natal Depression, you are going through hell and despite your chosen methods of treatment the light at the end of this bloody tunnel is nowhere to be seen. Then all of a sudden, you wake up and for reasons unbeknown to your exhausted self, the darkness and panic that have been your alarm call for the last several months is different. It’s still there but not as acute and isn’t draped in all its heart sinking finery.
You tentatively get out of bed and as you take each ritual step into the nursery you realise that your steps are a little lighter and the quick sand you feel yourself walking through most days is now more like a muddy puddle. Your head feels dare you say it “clearer” and the morning routine not as daunting.
With your levels of agitation decreased and the ability to smile without reminding yourself, you nervously announce to yourself that “today IS going to be a good day”.
Having a “good” day and by good I mean a better day compared to the majority of shit ones you have been surviving through of late, can be a double edged sword with your sense of relief for the respite only matched by the fear that it is a cruel trick and could be spitefully snatched away from you with the trigger of a negative emotion. This in itself can result in you only half enjoying the experience as whilst enjoying the first day in what feels like a lifetime you also spend it watching your back for you unwanted visitor to return.
One of the many things I have been forced to learn through my 18 month battle with the Mother f***** that is our unwanted house guest, is to try to re-educate my brain into relaxing into these days and actually let myself enjoy them (yes easier said than done with the bloody panic levels you can suffer during PND and the road runner of thoughts speeding like a lunatic through your overactive brain). Before all this PND hell I was actually a fun person to be around and annoyingly optimistic about things. Therefore, the irony of trying to “let” myself enjoy these days is not lost on me or should I imagine the millions of other fellow sufferers experiencing the same thing.
However, why the hell should we not enjoy these days? After all the heart breaking moments, frustration fuelled rows with our partner and the levels of hatred and unadulterated shame we have felt about ourselves we bloody deserve whatever feelings of joy we can get our hands on(no matter how small or overwhelming they may be). You DESERVE to feel happy, you DESERVE a break from the monotony of sadness, you DESERVE to acknowledge that your old self is still alive and kicking no matter how far buried under the rubble of PND it may be. You are STILL there and you will one day be making your full return to take down PND and take back your life.
Ladies, grab this good day by the balls and hold onto the little sucker like your lie-ins post baby depend on it. We don’t know what has brought this day about, we don’t know the magic formula that has made it arrive or if this good day will turn into a good few days, however it HAS arrived. It is proof that despite previous thoughts, the glimmer of light at the end of this bloody exhausting and downright unfair tunnel does exist. Go ahead and let yourself make the most of the day, say hello to your old self and reassure them that you will be reunited again soon.
I need your help and the help of Every Mum out there to spread the message that Every Mum Deserves the Right to Enjoy Motherhood! Therefore, I would LOVE you to come and join The Enjoy Mum Movement here and show your support by following the movement on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Love Liv xx
(Founder of The Every Mum Movement)