The old black dog’s still here…

I started reading a thread on the ante/postnatal depression section in Mumsnet last night and was very moved by how raw the poster’s feelings seemed, how desperate she was for help, and yet was struggling to seek it. It was lovely to see such a warm and supportive community responding with kind words and their own experiences.  It brought back my own feelings of shame and anxiety, and with both babies it took me until they were 6 months to finally see my GP. I remember writing in a notebook “I need help” as I sat crying. I covered the whole page with my plea. Everything hurt. Everything felt mad.

How far away from my current feelings, I thought. Then this morning, I totally lost it when trying to get my son off to nursery and me and the baby on a train to London to meet a friend. I rarely do anything like this, and it was a real expedition for me. I felt panicky, lost, out of control. The fact that I had a specific train to catch made me very stressed, I snapped at the children. I felt the madness return and almost burst into tears as I left the house.

Once on the train I was fine. But it felt like I had ripped a hole in the atmosphere of my bubble. The old pain returned, if only briefly, and I realised that I wasn’t as “cured” as I maybe thought. How ironic, too, as I think of my previous, pre-children London life. I lived there from when I was 17 until two years ago. My life was busy, varied, fun. I now appreciate how small my world has become. I find comfort in its safety and predictability. On any day of the week I can tell you what we’ll be doing. I know small children thrive on routine, but I wonder if I’ve been using that as an excuse not to venture out of my comfort zone. I wonder if I’m doing both them and myself a disservice by not being more adventurous.I’m going to have a think about this and see if there are some areas where I can push the comfort zone a bit further.

On another note, I’ve signed up for a PND research study – I’ll be given some CBT sessions and I guess they’ll monitor my progress. I don’t know much about the study yet but they’re going to call me next week. I have trained to practice CBT myself (as part of my lifecoaching diploma) and know it can be useful for a variety of things. It’ll be interesting to be on the receiving end of it and see how it helps my anxiety levels.

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