Imperfect is the new black Friday by Rebekah Smith
My first proper post about motherhood 😨 so I will start as I mean to go on by being 100% honest about who and where I am right now...
Every morning I take one of these:
Fluoxetine (Prozac) is an antidepressant which I've been taking for about 3 months now...but I have never actually felt 'depressed' - I am lucky enough to have everything I could ever want (apart from an endless supply of money!!)so how could I possibly have Post Natal Depression (PND)?! But as my GP eventually told me:
"Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain - not a reflection of how grateful you are for your life."
Looking back I think its something I've had since Henry's birth in 2014, I just did a good job concealing it with work, parenting, life and then having another baby.
Getting through the door of the doctor's and asking for help wasn't easy, it took a drunken night at the pub with the girls, one too many bottles of wine, a lengthy group heart to heart in the street outside our local wine shop (following our eviction from the pub - glamorous irony at its very best) and then a chat with my health visitor to convince me I was not OK.
My main symptom was the feeling that I was sleepwalking through some of the best years of my life (so far); regretting time I could never get back, feeling guilty about not being fully present or enjoying things like I once would have. I was unattached from my life to the point of rationalising everything that happened to me, no matter how good/bad/big/small I could brush it off - but if anyone else was in the same situation I would've been concerned, sympathetic, and actually care. Since visiting the doctor I have discovered I also had the following PND symptoms:
- feeling emotionally numb
- irritable/easily angered
- food aversions
- low mood
- not looking forward to things
- looking for ways to get out of going out
- constantly feeling not good enough
- Long story short I am now medicated with the antidepressant, have weekly counselling to deal with some other underlying issues and I FEEL BETTER 😊. I'm not cured, but the turnaround in my mood has taken weeks not months and every other mum I've opened up to about this has admitted similar symptoms, thoughts or feelings and being afraid of tackling it.
So...please spread the word, join the imperfect bus with me and talk about how you're feeling. ITS OK NOT TO BE OK!
I'm loving the #ImperfectIsTheNewBlack campaign on social media at the moment. Its all in in aid of Pre and Post Natal Advice and Support UK (PANDAS Foundation UK). Headed up by these fab ladies on Instagram:
Its about creating a supportive online space for parents, stripping back social media falsities of 'perfect' parenting and showing the ugly truth!
Join in and share your imperfect moments with #imperfectisthenewblack and help mums with Post Natal Depression.
Text PANDAS £3 to 70660 and donate to PANDAS