I’ve posted before about days I’ve shared with the dreaded Postnatal Depression Monster (PND-M) jumping up and down demanding my attention (Postnatal Depression: My shower, my sanctuary), and today has been yet another one of those days… Those suffocatingly dark, ugly, hurtful, and just plain YUK days. I have to be honest and say I really don’t like writing when I’m feeling like this, but then I also know that this is real… This is what it means to have a “down” day and I would be lying if I didn’t let you know exactly how that feels for me. And besides, writing it down sometimes helps me clear the muddled mess. Sometimes.
Before I get into anything further, please just know I am not proud of myself on days such as these. No wait. Sometimes I am proud of the way I can place my “I’m-coping-just-fine” mask firmly in place and get on with my day as though absolutely nothing is wrong. But there are other days of which I’m most definitely not proud. Those days, like today, where everything gets the better of me from the moment I wake up and I lose all control. All sense of reason and rational thought go flying out the window. Those days when the reality of my situation sinks to the core of my being and I just can’t take it anymore. When my instinct is to run… just run away and never look back. Surely I would be better off on my own, right? Surely my HF and my family would be so much happier if I just wasn’t here… right?
The PND-M has been literally beating me up today. I am bruised, battered, and at a loss as to what to do. He’s a hard beast to take on at the best of times and today he’s had the upper hand ALL day. I feel like he hasn’t even let me come up for air, and it’s that suffocating feeling that terrifies me the most. Instead of being able to rationally deal with what’s going on within my family, all I hear are mumbled versions of what people are trying to say. All I see are looks in my direction implying no one has any idea what I’m talking about. All I feel is the dread of knowing I have nothing left to offer anyone, let alone my family who need such a stronger, better person on whom they can rely than the broken version they currently have.
On days like this, it feels like everything I try to say gets filtered by the PND-M and what comes out of my mouth is bitter, twisted, and a cruel, hurtful version of the words I’m actually trying to say. My ability to communicate with others, and with myself, is non-existent and I drown in the feeling of helplessness it creates. I snap. I react. I don’t even think twice. I hear myself saying things – viscous things – that shock me to the very core of who I am. And all the while, that nasty PND-M just sits there in the back of my mind laughing at me. Taking great pleasure in my pain, as if knowing if it weren’t for his presence my family would be a great deal better off.
But is it the PND-M’s influence? Is he really the reason I act like this? Or is this just me now? I get so confused. And so incredibly scared the latter is true.
A while ago I read a quote on A Beautiful Mess Inside ‘s blog, she said:
“I think our beauty and our mess go together and are simply parts of a whole, worthwhile, and lovable human being. The mess gives our lives texture, richness, and depth.”
Whilst I know these words to be true, I just can’t see it nor feel it today. I am desperately hoping against all hope tomorrow provides me the clarity I need to get things back on track. I don’t have that clarity right now, in fact I’m struggling to just keep moving forward against the pressure of this cloud. Surely the light through this darkness can’t be too far away, can it? Please don’t let it be too far. I think I just need to go to bed so I can awaken tomorrow to a new day.
Through it all though, I do know I’m not the only person who’s ever felt this way… This (dare I say it) depressed. But isn’t it absolutely amazing how isolated and alone you feel when your depression does overwhelm you… When those feelings take over your whole body, particularly your ability to reason and maintain control of everything you know to be true about yourself. When the only question you want answered is: Will this ever end?
I sincerely hope you are having a much better day and my apologies for not having anything more positive to say. Next time… I promise.
Post Natal Depression Awareness Week is 18 – 24 November. Please help spread the message that post natal depression is not all black and white.
Over 45,500 women and 14,000 men (15 per cent of women and 5 per cent of men) will be diagnosed with postnatal depression in Australia this year. The more we talk, the more we can improve the well being of Australian families.
If you or someone you know needs help you can all the PANDA national helpline on 1300 726 306 or visit www.panda.org.au