You may have noticed that I have redesigned and freshened up my blog recently. I am taking a new approach to blogging and it may as well start with this post. I've been trying to write since I announced my 'Comeback' but something is holding me back. There is something I need to get off my chest...
I am going to write something that I should have written two years ago when I started this blog and is quite possibly the reason why I started this blog.
I started this blog when our Boo was a few months old. I was pretty isolated, living out of the city where my friends lived and we had a few bumps in the road during and after Boo's birth. When this resolved itself and the new-baby dust settled, I found that my life had profoundly changed again. Not bad, not good just a dramatic change. We had been comfortable for a few years that life was progressing as it should, A was keeping himself level at school and coping. In this time between finally finding a school that would suit him well and embarking on my degree I got used to my freedom. Not freedom in the sense that I was having to care for A less than the years before school, as he will always need a high level of support from us in his life but a huge weight had been shifting from constantly worrying about his schooling, his ASD and all of the hurdles it throws up. The school were managing all of this so I was free during the day, intellectually, to focus on other things and I threw myself into my university work. I loved it, I loved the people, the buzz, the stimulation. Our routine was such that after I would get A home that was our golden time, as was our weekends and after putting him to bed and getting organised for the next day, I would throw myself back into my work, absorbing every last fact, discussing with OD all of the new things we were learning. I lived this way for so long that I couldn't imagine my life without it. Then I had Boo.
A few weeks after having her, my mind went fuzzy. I cannot think of any other or more eloquent way to describe it, just fuzzy. Static. I had a bad case of the baby blues and what others would term as severe baby-brain and I distracted myself from this feeling with my shiny new baby. I was busy and stopped reading, stopped thinking beyond the domestic routine. Occasionally I would crave stimulation and I would pick up or book, turn on the computer, or buy a movie and just fall asleep. I was so tired all of the time. I went to see a few doctors who said (in the most condescending manner) that I had a new baby and was very, very, busy so that was why I was tired. Blood test after blood test revealed nothing. Physically nothing untoward was happening and so they told me to go away and take vitamins. Both of my kids are good sleepers, I was doing much less than I ever did in my life and yet I was permanently exhausted. My energy levels were incredibly low and I just battled through it, filling my day with baby classes, voluntary jobs, domestic duties. Everything was still running smoothly I thought because everyone else was taken care of at home.
I started feeling bad about myself. Really bad. A few incidents that had happened in the years previous where I had clashed with people in my life or times when I had been unfairly judged and treated badly by people really affected how I saw myself. I became convinced that their insistence that I was a horrible person must be true. They told those around them that I was a worthless, horrible person and I was given no recourse to argue. A few tough years at university did nothing but diminish any confidence I had in myself. They said I was never going to be good enough and after being told it enough times, I believed it.
In amidst all of this I started blogging. I accidentally ended up being pigeon-holed as a 'mummy blogger' yet my content was very different to those who were writing at the same time. Very rarely did I offer updates on my kids. I banged on about my frustrations with the education system, my frustrations with other people, with the act of blogging. I was angry a lot of the time. Angry at my family, angry at the professionals who deal with A, angry at myself for the most part. I couldn't figure out why I was so angry all of the time. In hindsight I should have used my blog to explore the whole range of emotions I was experiencing at the time but instead I used it as a vehicle to vent my anger. By ignoring the whole other range of emotions I was feeling and focusing on my anger, I could ignore what was becoming a problem. My moods were up and down constantly and again I managed to hide this and go on about my business. We moved to the city and I pretty much haven't stopped keeping myself busy since. Every bad period I have, I go into hyper-drive and busy myself with work, the kids, activities, anything I can find to keep my mind and body occupied. I know that my Facebook newsfeed bores my friends with my constant check ins, photographs of the kids and general jubilation! All of this hides the reality and helps keep me from having a meltdown.
I've always known that I had post-natal depression but I was convinced that because as it was purely hormonal and chemical that I could outrun it. It has finally caught up with me. I can't run any more.
I continued this blog until my anger ran out of steam or rather I did, a few months ago when I threw my hands up in the air and declared that whole thing a farce. As much as I love writing, self-promotion was never really my bag or something that comes naturally (and Nationally - the Scottish Cringe very much applies here) to me. In real life, if you met me I am incredibly bashful and modest and really uncomfortable with talking about myself. So promoting myself was never going to be easy, even in cyberspace. Add to the uncomfortable self-promotion the fact that I was lying to myself and dodging a very important problem. That really doesn't make for a coherent blog, does it?
Three months ago, I was diagnosed with depression. This is month three of my pharmaceutical therapy. I have been referred to my local hospital's Mental Health team for Psychotherapy. I am feeling a bit better...
Thanks for reading.