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It's OK to not be OK

You may have noticed that Blogtober didn't go all that great here. I did up to day 4 and then stopped. I really wanted to take part for the entire month, I was so determined but life had other plans. Blogtober was both a blessing and a curse, in that the extra stress finally made me crack.

So let's rewind a bit.

I'm the most chilled out person I know. I very rarely get stressed, I very rarely worry and I very rarely get flustered. With Sophie, I think I think I scored about 3 on the little post natal depression questionnaire and with Samuel I think I scored around 6.

Having a second child, especially when your first is still so young, is definitely way more stressful than I imagined it to be. I wasn't stupid, I knew it would be hard but I didn't think it would be able to crack me.

I suppose adding our puppy to mix possibly wasn't the best idea but what's done is done and I now have to just power through. Although to be fair, Eevee is pretty easy to look after a good 95% of the time.

A few months after having Sam I scored 16 on that same test. Not enough for it to recommend seeing someone about it and certainly not enough to make me worry. 7 months after having him I scored 26. What? 26? Me? That now put me 1 point over the threshold where it recommends to go and see your GP. I'd taken both of the tests after a short period of 'lowness' and the first score actually helped me snap out of it. If I was still that low on the chart even when at my 'worst' then I had nothing to worry about!

The second score made me stop. I'm sure there are people out there who would give anything for a score as low as 26 but for me it was as if someone was screaming in my face that I had to change something.

It's easy to fake a smile for the camera
I decided that I had to clear as much off my plate as was physically possible. I stopped blogtober, gave temporary responsibility to one of my moderators on a facebook group I manage and dismissed a massive chunk of my to do list. I spent my nights after the kids were in bed, doing something for me rather than for the 'house'. I relaxed in the bath, read a few pages of a book and even picked up my sketch book that I hadn't so much as looked at for at least 3 years. These things all helped for a short period of time. But then things started getting on top of me again. I was struggling to find the balance of me time and house work and I just couldn't do both.

Samuel has never been an easy baby to look after but I swear he sensed what I was going through and decided to push me even more. Sometimes, his screaming would get to the point where I would have to go and put him in his cot, close the door and come downstairs to take a breath and calm myself down away from the incessant crying.

I felt myself getting worse again and finally, after one morning when Jacob closed the front door to go to work at 7am, I burst out into tears. I cried and I cried and I cried. I scored 33 now on the post natal depression online test. The girls finally convinced me to phone my GP and when I was still crying at 8am, I agreed. The receptionist was lovely bless her. I was bawling down the phone to her, probably not making much sense but she told me everything was OK and booked me in the next day.

I've never spent so long in a doctors appointment! I actually apologised at the end for how long I'd been in there. In the end, after telling her that I was starting to dislike my baby more often than I liked him (although I did tell her that even when I disliked him, I still loved him just as much as my daughter), we decided to give anti depressants a try.

It's a difficult thing to admit that you are struggling. It's even harder to admit that there are times you don't like your baby and just want to get away. But when I put the phone down to the receptionist after booking the appointment, I went straight in to Samuel, picked him up, cuddled him and told him the doctors were going to fix mommy. I felt so much better just by talking to a "professional" and being told I wasn't just being silly and fingers crossed the medication helps as well! Hopefully I will be back to my old self soon enough and my only stress will be who I'm supposed to play with when they both want me to play different things!

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