Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Expressing PND... a poem

So it's almost two years ago since my PND kicked in... 

...I was writing about Esme's pregnancy, and her subsequent birth and special care on this blog, when the unprocessed grief hit me. Along with baby number two, who was 12 months old when I began LIFE AS IT IS, and a year later ended up on Omeprazole for ulceration due to silent reflux. I can remember saying to my mum that I felt I had post natal depression. Her reply was frightfully British: Not to be ridiculous. You aren't getting any sleep. You have a baby screaming at you all the time. A three-year-old throwing non-stop tantrums. You are exhausted. (Oh yes, and I was doing it all by myself at the time as well as working). Grrr. That British attitude to grin and bear it, has a lot to answer for. If only I'd gone to the doctor at that point, but no I struggled on. Eventually, time helped. That and this very blog. Where I typed through the bleakness until I resolved it myself and found calm. (Now, like all of us bringing up little ones, I just have the usual motherhood stuff to deal with). Anyway... if this is you reading this, don't not go to the doctor, post natal depression can be sorted far more easily than by typing your life down into black and white for you (and the world) to understand! The good news is, it is almost a year ago since I worked through it and came out the other side ;-) So what to say about it? Now that I can? How to express PND? Here goes...

Quickly, head down, get home from the school run.

Then shut the door and be still.

Put on another jumper.

For I would always be cold. Really chilled.

I couldn't ever get warm.

I could start a thousand things but never manage to complete one.

Accomplishing the smallest of tasks was painstaking.

Such as putting washing on. Putting the washing on...

I was befuddled at the best of times.

Thinking straight was impossible.

So was singing.

I didn't sing at all - and I love singing.

Laughter lost. No where to be found.

I was too busy trying not to let the tears go.

Hiding pain from adults was easy.

Hiding pain from the children was not.

Putting on a brave face at home was difficult.

I'd cry a lot when they weren't there.

When I was alone.

I couldn't always be a happy mummy though.

Of course the TV was on a lot.

And I felt so terribly guilty.

Feeling shame.

A sense of uneasiness.

Unable to shake it off.

I'd endure good days and bad.

Grinding my teeth in my sleep - to the point my jaw ached daily.

That was when I did sleep.

For I'd lie awake for chunks of the night.

And Sofia, she never slept either.

Painful. Ulcerated.

Silent reflux.

Allergic babies.

Stress and worry.

Lots of screaming.

No peace. No rest.

No immunity.

Immune to nothing - constant headaches, fatigue.


Like my father.

Broken dreams of a tangled childhood.

Miscarriage. On repeat.

Desperate for a sibling.

Drugs to help. That didn't.

Hurt and fury.

Struggling to get through the day.

Pretending all was well.


Watching Fia as she joined in with her little music class.

Watching, blinking tears away quickly.

Seems so ridiculous to me now.

So weak. So pathetic.

Seemed so ridiculous to me then.

So weak. So pathetic.

Couldn't shake it.

Didn't know why.

So incapable.

Of anything.

Unable to cope.

With anything.

Shutting the door.




Hating myself for it.

Not knowing why.


Mummy Tries said...

Oh my dear girl, so much love to you xxxxx ps. Sharing now, this needs to be heard!

Suzanne W said...

Oh Emma I had no idea you went through this. You're so brave. More and more people are suffering from PND and they need to stop being silenced, like you were. It's not necessary to struggle through this alone, these days. Beautiful words. x x

jennie said...

A brave and beautiful account x This will help so many x What a wonderful lady and mummy you are x x x x x x

Sara Murray said...

Oh Emma, such an important piece of writing, I'm so sorry you went through this x

Victoria Welton said...

Wow Emma, what a strong and powerful piece of writing. You can feel the angst in the whole of this. You have endured so much and done so well to come out the other side with your beautiful family. Thank you for linking this to Prose for Thought and hope to see you again this week xx

Sara Murray said...

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post with #ThePrompt x

Anonymous said...

I am so terribly sorry you had to endure this all on your own, or maybe with the support of your readers. I am so glad you managed to drag yourself through it, but it is so sad that you had to. I can relate to some of your feelings, though I have never had real depression (I have a different kind of mental illness that includes depressed moods). I am visiting from #theprompt and it is a great relief to have so many others write about depression.

Emma Oliver said...

Thank you for all your comments, support and positivity. I wanted to raise awareness to help others - and having had one mum at the school gate (whom I did not know) thank me for this poem because she had also suffered with PND, and tell me it had helped her, was enough for me to be thankful that I opened up in this way.