So I haven’t blogged for a while, sorry, what with easter school holidays and being jammed packed every day its been hard to find the time to sit and type. Although I might add that although I made sure my 4 year old had a full social diary for the Easter holidays she proceeded to tell me on the way back to school that she was glad to be going back to school as the holidays had been ‘boring’!! Happy days……so for 6 weeks in the summer I’m gonna do sod all with them, pack her off to holiday club and take myself away to some deserted island and drink endless porn star maritinis in the sun! HAHA If only.
Today is National Maternal Mental Health day. I did not know this until I browsed my facebook timeline this morning, obviously avoiding getting out of bed. The reason my time line was full of stories and reports about today is because I follow a LOT of pages concerned with post natal mental illness.
I myself suffered at the hands of postnatal mental illness following the traumatic birth of my 4 year old. I had post natal depression, anxiety and PTSD and it took me two years of medications and trauma therapy to actually feel able to move on. It is still something I struggle to revisit mentally as it was such a dark, infact it was THE darkest time of my life and has had such an impact on my life today.
I’m not going to go into detail about that time because it is something very personal to me and I’m not ready to share the indepth facts on social media. But what I will say is that period in my life that was so so dark and scary also shed light on who I am as a person and made me think of things and the world in a totally different light.
Peri and post natal mental health awareness, thankfully, is gaining more and more recognition these days. Probably due to the awareness on social media and especially with the ‘Heads Together’ campaign that the Royals have fronted. As someone who has suffered greatly at the hands of mental illness it almost brings a sigh of relief at the coverage the topic receives today.
Too often an element of ‘shame’ is placed on mental illness when infact it is not a ‘weakness’ in fact it shows great strength to accept that you are suffering and need help. Many people think people with mental illness need to be treated differently or they shy away from asking about it, but know one really knows why. It is seen as such a taboo subject when all it is at the end of the day is a chemical problem in the brain. Yes it makes people behave different and say things they normally shouldn’t but underneath all of that there is still a person wanting to be accepted, wanting to be involved.
I have been moved to tears at some of the recent campaigns to highlight the importance of mental health awareness. I literally sobbed at a speech Kate Middleton made at a conference when she admitted she struggled to cope as a mother. I felt so real to me and the most important and beneficial thing I have found when times are bad is to know that you are not alone.
I don’t want to go on and on about it because trust me I could talk for days. I have always said and will always stand by my wish in that if I can help just one mother with my story of post natal mental illness then I will feel very humbled. I never want anyone to feel how I did during those dark times, when you really can only see one way out of the black hole you are falling deeper and deeper into. Mental Illness is scary, it is lonely and it is debilitating……….and it is something everyone deserves a chance to fight!!
Peace and Love