Sunday, 21 June 2015

Part creative, part cathartic, LIFE AS IT IS & Post Natal Depression

If you've read a lot of my blog, you'll know by now - almost three years in - that for me, writing is part creative, part cathartic. Blogging, albeit cheaper than counselling, has most definitely been therapeutic, but also allowed me a creative freedom I don't get with work. Writing and meeting deadlines for others is a great day job, but blogging for me, is more.

Writing down my thoughts has helped me no end. By writing about them I've worked through lots. One such thing being Esme's pregnancy and her difficult start in life - a process which only when I wrote about it - after her sister was born - led to Post Natal Depression (PND). Not a lot of people know that. But then that is the tragedy of something like PND. Often viewed as failing, many suffer in silence. People fear the consequences of reporting it as a problem. (58% of new mothers with PND, according to the NHS UK website chose not to seek medical help). We know it is widely common, and yet it remains a difficult illness to admit to suffering from. That maybe so, but that needs to change. I want to share my experience. What I went through. 




Going public on such inner stuff, mmm. Tricky. Only you know when you've been through enough not to care what others think... Whacky? Perhaps. I imagine it's a lot like coming out if you are gay. It has to be healthy - recognising you no longer need hold onto negative feelings that manifested as a consequence of things which happened out of your control.

Laying your feelings bare for all to read can be down right scary, but feeling that fear and sharing that fear, helps. It can help others too. Like the time I had an email from a woman struggling with her screaming reflux baby. She was finding it so difficult, and on the verge of breaking when she found my blog and consequently some solace. It was wonderful to receive her message saying she no longer felt she was going mad. 

Sometimes we need to share the tougher stuff to recognise the tough stuff. Motherhood wouldn't be so difficult, if more of us admitted it was often shit. Which leads me nicely into writing about post natal depression. Recently I had a conversation, and it inspired me to share my personal conflict with the illness, in the hopes that yes, selfishly it will be cathartic, but ultimately, it will raise awareness and help others.