It’s funny, but at the time I don’t think I realised I was even depressed, I was certainly “something” but depression probably wasn’t what I would of called it.
I watched the movie Tully yesterday and I’ll be honest, memories that I buried deep started to re-surface. Memories of my old home, my past relationship and my unhappiness. In a nutshell Tully starts out with Marlo, a heavily pregnant mum of two, an older daughter and a “quirky” son who seems to have some form of sensory processing disorder amongst some other difficulties. She wasn’t a single mother but the husband rarely done anything and was completely unaware of his wife’s struggles. Long story short he believes his wife has a night nanny but in actual fact she was suffering from some sort of Severe Postnatal Depression/psychosis to help herself cope. Eventually she drives off a bridge and then we work out that Tully is a figment of her imagination.
The reason this story resonated with me so deeply was because I was Marlo. There are no words that can express how dark and stagnant my days felt back then. I was a single mother in a relationship, struggling with a “quirky” child and older daughter who lacked my attention and a newborn. A partner that was a serial cheater and talked to me like crap and to be honest I completely lost it.
“It’s as if I was there in the world alone, 3 kids deep… each day as dark and as unforgiving as the next……Each day I wondered if I should even be here”
This Depression wasn’t like the severe depression I experienced in my teens, it was more like a silent, invisible dark cloud. One easily masked from friends and family, I suppose it was hard to understand myself because it didn’t follow the pattern of wanting to harm myself or losing the will to live.
This time round, I wanted desperately to live, I wanted to see my children grow. I just didn’t feel I was the right person for the job! I mean it was a tough f*cking job.
Having quirky Amzah, who suffered so much with his difficulties (which I struggled so much to cope with) to having Mini Muffin who within the 1st year of his life had 2 surgeries to open his airway. Plus an toxic relationship, an older daughter who became a young carer to support her mother with her siblings, an older daughter who became a 2nd parent in my household.
It’s not that I woke up every day feeling like I wanted to die… I woke up everyday feeling hopeless, like a never ending nightmare….
I was already suffering from low mood borderline depression before I even had Amzah so by the time I had Mini Muffin, I was screwed!
I’ll never forget the day I reclaimed my life back. Truth be told, I ended things with the boys dad. One day I just couldn’t take it anymore, it was over and I had to do something drastic…..
Fast forward 2 years now, I’m better, so much better, I found love again and then lost it…. but my children have an engaged mum. I’m not a zombie anymore, I am not hopeless. I fought demons and darkness!
Throughout that whole time I couldn’t see the silver lining and it’s a surprise how resilient I thought I was without identifying that I was suffering from Postnatal Depression. I said to myself and my GP, I’m ok, I’m coping, I know what depression looks and feels like….I’m not there. Yet. When in actual fact I was there. It just had a different face and different behavioural pattern because this time I wasn’t 16 self harming with nothing to live for.
This time I was a mother with everything to live for……..
- Speak to your GP or health visitor if you think you may have developed an anxiety disorder or OCD.
- Contact your GP immediately if you think that you or someone you know may have postpartum psychosis, as it’s a medical emergency. If this isn’t possible, call NHS 111 or your local out-of-hours service.
- If you think there’s a danger of immediate harm, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.