“When I finally felt ready for a second child, years later, I spoke to my therapist about preventative strategies in case PND started throwing its weight around a second time. I had notes and lists. I built a strong sense of identity as a woman and mother and felt ready to fight. What I didn’t prepare for was a terrifying emergency caesarean, milk supply issues and a baby with silent reflux. I felt my body betrayed me. The negative self-talk and feelings of failure made themselves at home again.
Depression doesn’t care about your lists.
When I received news of my beloved Grandmother’s sudden death my anxiety became untethered. I always felt she was an anchor to my true self, and it was like someone just snipped the rope without warning. I couldn’t make it to the USA in time for her funeral so I wrote the eulogy and watched the service via FaceTime at 2 am. Weeks later, my Uncle also unexpectedly passed.
I felt like the teenager pushing my emptiness down with a banana, protecting everyone else from the discomfort my feelings created. I wanted to disappear but only because I thought my family would be better off without my misery.
I felt ashamed because I had no valid ‘reason’ to be sad, we had such a beautiful life. Depression does not discriminate but knowing that didn’t help me feel much better about it.
The grief and isolation triggered a deep, intense depression as I had never known. Rock bottom rushed toward me as I fell.”
This is an excerpt from my book chapter. You might know about my struggle with postnatal depression if you’ve been following me for the last six years. What you might not know is that I battled with depression (undiagnosed and untreated) since my teens. Even my husband learned new things about me when I let him proofread the manuscript.
Parts of my story are confronting but it has a positive ending. I wouldn’t be able to be here, and able to share it otherwise.
To be honest, I’m going through a rough patch at the moment but since my story is ongoing, I know everything will be okay eventually.
Thank you for reading.
Release date 6 December 2019