The other day, I went on Facebook (like I do every day!) and checked my messages.
Normally I don’t have many and, if I do, they’re often from my lovely friends to say hello or from someone who wants to tell me I am a crap mum because I swear and drink Gin… (Yep, I’ve had a few of those).
But the other day, I was stopped in my tracks by one of my readers contacting me with a poem. A wonderful poem, and one that laid her soul bare on the page.
The reader in question would like to stay anonymous, but I checked with her and she was more than happy for me to share her writing with you all because I felt so strongly that it should be seen.
She contacted me because she has come to realise she has post natal depression – a condition that, for the sufferer and those around them, is often very hard to understand, come to terms with, accept and get help for. Thankfully, for this lovely lady, she noticed that the way she was feeling was more than just ‘the baby blues’ and has managed to seek help. The help is only just beginning, but it is, at least, in progress.
I just want to say directly to you my lovely, that you should be very proud of yourself. It takes real courage to seek help and tell people and it’s because of people like you, that others who are suffering from the same condition can maybe find the strength to admit they need assistance and begin their journey to recovery.
Post natal depression is all consuming. I have been lucky enough to not fall victim to its clutches, but I know many that sadly have, and it is an illness I wouldn’t wish on anybody. It’s a black cloud that lingers over every part of your life and, like a Dementor in Harry Potter, sucks the life and happiness from you at a time in your life when you should be feeling love and joy. A cruel condition, that robs its sufferers of the euphoria you should feel when living through the precious moments and milestones with a new baby, that many of us take for granted.
Here is the poem.
And if it resonates with you, please don’t feel alone. Seek help, confide in someone and lessen the burden.
You are not alone…
“I struggle through the simple things, with no idea why, I can’t see through the dark, to watch the time fly by.
You are growing up so quickly, you are such a lovely child, and yet something is missing, the emotions I have filed…
I know you are my little girl, and that you love me so, but that piece of me is missing, I am not sure where to go,
To unlock the love I know I have, somewhere inside my mind, that makes me be happy, loving, laughing and so kind.
It’s not your fault my little one, trust it’s me not you, I try to sort my feelings out, so we can make it through.
I am very good at pretending, to know which way to act, but the truth is I am struggling, to accept how to react,
to all these different negatives, that keep me feeling down, that keep me feeling guilty, that make me only frown.
One day my love will come, that day I hope is soon, I’m trying really hard my darling, to make myself immune,
To the spiral of self hatred, of the anxiety incline, the daily struggle to keep smiling, and saying I’m always fine.
But sometimes it is exhausting, being inside my mind, trying to organise my thoughts, of which it will take time.
Sometimes I need to remind myself, I love you and you’re mine, and one day soon I promise, I really will be fine…”
If you feel any of the following symptoms, please do seek help from your GP or Health Visitor…
Symptoms of postnatal depression
Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first week after giving birth. This is often called the “baby blues” and is so common that it’s considered normal. The “baby blues” don’t last for more than two weeks after giving birth.
If your symptoms last longer, or start later, you could have postnatal depression. Postnatal depression can start any time in the first year after giving birth.
Signs that you or someone you know might be depressed include:
a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
difficulty bonding with your baby
withdrawing from contact with other people
problems concentrating and making decisions
frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby
Many women don’t realise they have postnatal depression, because it can develop gradually.
If you recognise any of these symptoms, please seek help from your GP, Health Visitor or contact a support group such as PANDAS.
Thank you to my wonderful reader for sharing this. I wish you all the very best on your road to recovery, you’re already a superstar, and if you ever need a listening ear, I am always here…and on Facebook 😉
And the same goes for the rest of you wonderful Knutters.