It has only been very recently when I had a long, long conversation with my health visitor that I realised that I had dealt with post natal depression. I have always dealt with mental health issues my entire life and it has evolved as I have grown, starting as anxiety and paranoia as a young, young child and turning into manic depression and anxiety as a teenager and then finally becoming post-natal depression after having Leo. Each time I have been massively in denial until the point in which I need to change and am able to actively make a change with my mental health and grow as a person.
After having a child there are so many factors which can contribute to post natal depression. You have your entire life turned upside down, your freedom pretty much taken away from you, your daily routine completely changed, your body pretty much destroyed not to mention all of the hormones which are released and now I realise how incredibly I did when I was going through this stage in my life when at the time I felt like a failure for the entire time. I found it difficult to eat, shower or hoover every day but at the end of the day I got through it and my son was fed, clean and happy every single day. At the time I put myself down seeing all of these other mums on Instagram with their clean living rooms smiling and laughing with their beautiful clothes and full faces of makeup when the only realise I changed my top was if he pooped on me. I thought I was lazy and incapable when now I realise that was what was happening.
It only changed when before Sofia was born I made an active change in my life. I didn’t even accept that I was depressed I just wanted to get a routine for leo to make it as easy as possible for when Sofia got here. I worked so hard with sleep training, and routine to the point where every day was going great but since Sofia has been here I have been able to see how down in the dumps I actually was. I’m really finding it 10x easier with two than one and even now we still have a strict routine and I think that I can finally say that I am completely mentally well. No anxiety disorder, No manic depression and no post natal depression. It is literally the first time in my life that I can truly say that I am just me and that my personality isn’t being overrun by too many or little chemicals in my head which my family have actively noticed by I, myself have noticed it too. When I was depressed I found that I was sad, unmotivated and similar for anxious but with my manic depression which I dealt with for the longest point in my life I went from being depressed to being overly hyper, odd, jumpy and dangerous. There was no break in the middle for me and people would only know those two personalities. So many people would comment on how peculiar I was and I think that’s what people found endearing and it’s the only person I knew myself as too. Since I am no longer like this traits of that personality still remain as that was literally me, I was that person even though it wasn’t me so I still get comments in person about how I’m odd or peculiar.
When becoming a parent, you tend to lose your identity a bit. No longer are you that party animal or the social butterfly or the person with a hobby. You are a parent alongside millions of people in the world which can really bum you out and to be honest has bummed me out in the past but being able to get to know myself again and reinvent yourself into anything that you want really is a wonderful thing.
I hope my ramblings haven’t been too odd, I just had a realisation and wanted to write down my feelings,