A few weeks before Christmas I went to see my doctor and was diagnosed with postnatal depression, post post-partum in the US I think, same thing anyway. After some deliberation I started taking Prozac (well a generic brand of it but again same difference!). I have also requested to be referred for counselling as I don’t want medication to be the only answer. That said 5 or 6 weeks on I think I am beginning to see results from the medication. I’m slowly starting to gain perspective on how I’ve been feeling or sometimes not feeling over the past year. I’m sure the counselling when it eventually happens will help even more. I do still have bad days of course but overall I feel lighter and much more hopeful. I’ve even started exercising! Just a little but for me that’s alot!!!
I’m not quite sure how to describe what postnatal depression did to me. A part of me still isn’t sure that I even have/had it but it seems as my time on the medication continues so does my perspective. Pretty much nothing I did as mother in the past year was good enough. This is by my own insane standards of course. I stopped breastfeeding at nine months and in my part of the world breastfeeding for even 6 months is pretty unusual and often ridiculed (that’s a post for another day!!) But still in my head I was a failure because I didn’t do it for longer. I cook 99% of my daughters food from scratch and yet I still worried that it wasn’t good enough. I now realise more than ever that I could never, ever meet my own expectations. Never. I found it all so overwhelming and so paralysing. I couldn’t seem to keep on top of anything. I would have good days of course but things would slowly slip again and I would sit on the couch frozen by my inability to keep the house clean and get things done and of course the longer I sat the worse it got. The thing is though I still functioned. I did still get things done but of course they were never enough in my book. I always felt like I was one step away from everything falling down around me. To most people I seemed fine. I put on a happy, calm, nothing can bother me face. Many I times I even fooled myself with this persona and it fed into the “but your fine why can’t you just get on top of things!!” mantra.
My husband thankfully felt and saw that something was wrong and urged to me get help. I’m very grateful for that.
I’m working on getting better and making progress I think. Accepting it all has been the hardest part but with every day that passes I do feel I am accepting it a little more.