Postnatal Depression: Christmas cheer… Christmas fear!

Christmas Panic Button

So, this is Christmas… And I completely underestimated the impact this time of year would have on me.  When I say “impact”, I mean panic, anxiety, a deep-seeded fear of going back to that awful “dark” place which was the norm for me at this time last year.  I didn’t think for a second the demons of Christmas past would create such a dreaded feeling within me in the lead up to Christmas present.  But in thinking about it, of course they would rear their ugly heads again…It actually makes perfect sense.

It was this time last year my world completely fell apart.  I had struggled for months leading up to Christmas to maintain a “normal” life in the eyes of those around me, whilst inside I was struggling with a vicious darkness each and every day, every minute of every day.  It was a terrifying existence and one I am so thankful to have moved forward from, although the bad days occasionally still happen (as per my previous post!).  The past 12 months, with thanks to a wonderful GP, counseling, and medication, have seen me able to enjoy life again.  Step by step, I’ve been able to slowly get back on track and find within myself little pieces of the person I used to be.  I became able again to spend time with my family and not only enjoy it, but be thankful and grateful for every moment we have together.  All of these positives were a completely foreign feeling for me last Christmas.

Not surprisingly then, I’ve found when encountering the same festive occasions this year a feeling of panic clenches at my chest and my anxiety become all consuming.  It’s a massive effort to remind myself of how far I’ve actually come and to not let the same fear take over my mind.  It’s terrifying and every time it happens I feel like I’ve been emotionally beaten up.  But the difference this time is that I’m more equipped to manage what is happening and walk away the victor nine times out of ten.   It has been an eye-opening experience for me, a reminder of how this awful illness can rear it’s ugly head time and time again, in ways you don’t ever expect.

But as I said before, I think it makes sense I’m experiencing all these feeling again.  Last Christmas truly scarred me to the very core of who I am as a person.  Everything I valued about myself had been lost, and I felt completely out of control.  Nothing could make me feel better and the lows were getting lower and darker every day.  I think the lesson for me this Christmas is the need to re-program my mind to remember the positive times, not those hateful negatives.  I need to keep on top of the fear, the panic, and the anxiety and remember all I’ve accomplished during the past 12 months.  Because when I look at it, and if I’m really honest with myself, I have actually accomplished a lot!  I’m hoping by focusing on these things I can approach next Christmas with a much improved confidence and not be hindered by the unexpected PND-Monster trying to drag me back down at every turn.

So on a much more positive note, I wanted to share with you a wonderful idea I saw on another blog I absolutely love, One Handed Cooks.  I love this blog all round, however when I saw this post today I actually had a little giggle out loud to myself – what a brilliant idea!  These little delights are called “Reindeer Poop” and I think the concept is just so cute.  I hope you can share in the fun with your family and friends also –  I certainly plan to on Christmas Day!

reindeer

Thanks as always for reading, and if I don’t post again before Christmas here’s wishing each and every one of you a fantastic and festive holiday period filled with fun and laughter.  It’s all yours to enjoy!

Take care,

TSM… xx

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