Do one stigma!

I’m so glad I don’t live in a world anymore that thinks mental illness means you’re best to tied up in a straight jacket & put in a padded cell. I say that, I’m sure there’s a few people who would think it’s best haha.

The time I decided to go and get help wasn’t only because my family life & relationship was about to crumble if I didn’t, but because I’d actually seen so much in the press around that time that the stigma and taboo subject of mental health was finally disappearing.

Heads Together‘ which is the charity set up by the Prince of Wales and Princess of Cambridge, jumped out at me so much. Two huge public figures telling their stories of depression including Prince Harry, helped me realise that this wasn’t just effecting me, it was effecting so many others who suddenly just started coming out of the wood work.

It helped me to go to my doctor and say ‘I have depression, please help me’. I hadn’t openly said it before when I had my CBT. I did to the lady who did my sessions though as the scores that came out showed that my mental health wasn’t well at all. I still don’t think I could say out loud what was I put on those forms.

For me then, that was the time. The time to save my relationship and to be the Mum my daughter needed me to be.

You only have one life, and to have depression interrupt it is a piss take! There are so many ups and downs in your life; when you loose someone, you give birth, finances, you get married, relationships, and when luck is either your best friend or the devil! This is just 1 thing that is simply not needed but these aspects can create it.

If you feel that something still doesn’t feel right, talk to someone. Whether it’s a stranger or your closest fiend or family member. Emphasise this isn’t just an every day problem, you’re really actually struggling.

The road to overcoming it should start to show up in front of you & it’s the best bloody road you’ll have ever seen.

My name is Natasha & I have depression

You feel you’re at an AA meeting once you head down the road of taking anti-depressants.

No one knew truly knew how bad I was apart from my husband. I wanted to tell the closest people to me but my fear was rejection and disappointment,

All I thought was people would say ‘get over yourself’, ‘we all have the same problems why are you different’, ‘woe is me’. I hid myself in the house for months on maternity and was petrified of going out.

It was a huge relief saying out loud to my closest friends and family that I had depression and I was on anti-depressants. All I received after that was ….. SUPPORT! Obviously! It’s the one thing again you don’t think you’re going to get but of course you are! They wouldn’t be your closest if they weren’t going to!

The fear takes over and makes you think no one will want to know you if you have depression. You feel like you’re insane and that someone’s about to pick you up to trek you to a padded cell! Truth is, you get your closest wanting to support you, being there to talk to and a big hug which is what you’ve needed since day 1.

They would have been there sooner if they’d known or even if I’d portrayed just how bad I was.

Don’t let the fear of telling anyone your problems, stop you. It may restrict you from the help you could have had sooner. Once you say it, it’s like you can’t stop! I don’t think anyone who knows me doesn’t know now! I openly talk about it to so many people and others who I know are struggling, I tell the, they aren’t alone.

Since starting this blog, as slow as it is, (apologies!2 year old rules the world!) so ,many people have reached out to me. Some I thought were so confident and invincible and have said I have let them embrace what is happening & have given them confidence to ask for help. It’s the best feeling to know my horrible, life threatening experience, can finally help others.

Don’t be afraid. Tell them. They’ll understand. If. It, they aren’t worth your time.

Is it just me?!

Am I the only mum who isn’t nervous about handing their baby over to someone for cuddles?! That’s all I could think about! I only wanted my daughter to be held by people I trusted. After talking to my Health Visitor about how I felt, she agreed with me that I needed to do what was best for me and Isobella in terms of being comfortable; if you’re not then your baby isn’t!

Too many times did I ask for Isobella not be crowded and I completely understood that people wanted to see her! But you do feel invisible! They don’t see you, ask how you are and how you’re feeling. You’re not the only Mum on the planet but each one goes through one hell of an experience carrying a baby! Sometimes all you want is someone to ask how YOU are!

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Too many times did I say something and it was overlooked. Too many times did I ask to be respected as a Mum in the choices I made yet told I may not be doing the right thing. It’s so difficult. This for me was the start of my journey to a place I never wanted to go to. The struggles mentally were real. I felt invisible, unknown, in a corner and all I wanted to do was take my daughter and hide away where no one could find us!

Maternity was lonely; It always is but you don’t realise how much. I wanted to get out and find places I could go to mingle with other parents, but every time I went to put Isobella in a car seat or the pram, the worry of ‘she’ll be hungry at that time’ or ‘she’ll need a sleep at that time’ so we can’t go out, happened too often. She was a terrible sleeper. She only slept once in her pram until the age of 10 months and still, I could count on one hand how many times she has now; she’s 2! People would say ‘she’ll sleep in the pram it’s fine’….nope! Have you seen a child scream till they go purple because they want to sleep but will only sleep on you! How do you get out of that rut!

 

I wanted to be like my friends. I wanted to manage just how my best friend did and does just so amazingly, but i just couldn’t get myself into the mindset of ‘take it in your stride and let others help you!’. For me, this triggered so many doubting feelings. Not the fact that I was feeding my baby well, keeping her clean, dry and safe, and giving her all the love in the world; I wasn’t praising myself for that! I would constantly doubt myself for the things I couldn’t get right!

My Health Visitor many times told me I should give anti-depressants a go. Isobella was only 5 months old and I felt like I would be defeated if I went onto them. She decided to sign me up to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). Did I think it would work?!…… No!! But my friend had done it and it helped her so I thought I would.

First day I went I said to my now husband “This isn’t going to do anything for me. I talk to you all the time so how is it going to help me speaking to a random person?”

Little did I know it would help me more than I thought.