How do you tell your friends and family that you’re not just feeling a bit low but that you have depression and anxiety? You feel like you’ve made it all up.
You would love the words ‘you’ll be fine’ to work when the closest people to you say it, but it just seems to feel numb when it’s said. ‘What’s wrong?’ is the question I always struggled with and especially if it was to other parents around me because having a baby, you feel everyone is in the same boat, but it’s amazing how different parents cope.
You feel daft saying ‘I honestly don’t know what’s wrong’ or ‘I’m really tired’ or ‘I’m struggling with routine/baby’s sleep/feeding’; most parents have these day to day struggles but for some reason yours is heightened so you feel embarrassed to admit your struggles.
My therapist told me, after doing a self assessment sheet, that I was a perfectionist! Strange how I got offended by that and all I said was ‘No, I just like things to be right!’…… Not the same at all Tash I promise!!…… I constantly struggled with disappointed and when Isobella arrived, no one could do anything as quickly as I wanted it to be done! Hence why I think I went down the path I did.
OK, so maybe I am a perfectionist?! How do I steer away from that or help myself to live with disappointment? Not everything will go right but I couldn’t handle that! If Isobella wasn’t fed bang on time, I’d really start to panic! If she was being looked after and she wasn’t fed on time, I think that was even worse!! I was terrible for timings and sometimes I still am, but I’ve learnt to start to realise that actually, she was OK and is actually growing rather well!
The CBT did work in a way that it helped me to realise that I haven’t always got control. Once you have a baby, it’s hard to be the boss! You will literally do anything for them and bow down to their every demand, but that’s not always necessarily the way to go! Being the parent is the only way you can mildly keep sane as they grow!
Being able to sit with my therapist and go through every aspect of my anxiety and depression, starting with my nanny passing away to my brother cutting me out of his life, it just showed how much I really did wear my heart on my sleeve but I can’t change that. Plus, when you love people so much, sometimes things will impact you more than you realised.
I think both my therapist and I thought at the end knew that as much as the CBT had helped, it hadn’t helped as much as it could have. I was still in a bad place.
One night when I was just too exhausted, I put Isobella in her cot screaming and walked away. I stood in my room in silence but screaming inside and just looked at my husband and said “please help me, I can’t do this anymore. You don’t need me and I am a burden to you. You don’t need me.” He was beside himself with upset. The next day I took myself to my doctor and sat and cried asking for help.
We took the leap of faith and 50mg of Sertraline (Zoloft) was introduced into my life, starting my journey down the antidepressants road.
I was so scared but my doctor put it this way, “If you had an infection and I said we need to put you on a course of antibiotics, would you take them?” I said yes. “If you had asthma and you needed an inhaler for a while, would you take it?” I said yes. “I am advising these tablet to help balance out your chemicals and to bring them back to what they should be for a short period of time (in anti-depressant world), can we try them?”
I said yes. And I am so happy and proud that I did.