I had my first of three sons in 2012. That was the year that I first felt the absolute mind fog that is postnatal depression.
I’ve had some extremely rough times since then. Having three aged 3 and under is no walk in the park. Many times the fog has taken over and I’ve broken. Even with the assistance of those little white pills, I have days that are beyond what I can handle.
Tonight, after a particularly hard day, I broke.
Now when I say I broke I don’t mean that I had a little scream into my pillow, though that’s probably what I should have done. No, I full on, straight jacket, padded cell broke.
I broke in a way that only my husband has seen before. I broke in a way that I’m sure will get my family and friends talking when they read about it. But if I’m honest about the way I broke then maybe I can help someone else who is struggling by showing them that they’re not alone.
I just couldn’t handle the screaming anymore. It’s not their fault, I know this, but my mind is foggy remember. The screaming ate at my brain. The crying and the yelling tore at my soul and I felt like I was going to implode. I managed to put the baby safely down on the bed.
And then I ran.
I ran to my husband. And as I ran I yelled. Over and over I yelled “I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough”. I got to my husband and I pleaded with him “he’s on the bed, please, please take him” and I ran again.
This time I ran to the bathroom, I locked the door and turned on the shower. I heard my husband going to the baby and my hot, prickled skin started to cool. I stepped into the steaming cubicle of relief, closed my eyes, and inhaled deeply.
With that one breath everything started to melt away. I was no longer a wife or mother. I was 19 again. I was in the shower at my parents house. I had no stress, no responsibilities, no reason to ever turn off the water. I didn’t want to, I wasn’t going to, at that moment in time I didn’t want to be a wife or a mother, I just wanted to be me. The me that I used to be, the one I haven’t seen for a while because she’s lost in the fog, or she doesn’t exist anymore, I’m honestly not sure which it is at this point.
Either way I longed for her. For the freedom she got to enjoy.
And then, with one small sound the very thing that drove me in there, pulled me back out. I heard my beautiful, innocent three year old son giggling. I had run into the shower to escape being a mum for five minutes but that sweet, soft sound that I somehow managed to hear over the pounding hot water spoke to my soul.
I wanted to know what goofy thing he was giggling at. I wanted to see that gorgeous little smile. I wanted to laugh right along with him. See, my children are my sunshine, clearing away the fog. It’s a tricky cycle.
I turned off the water and stood silently for a few moments, listening to my boys and their daddy playing. I am so blessed I reminded myself. I gathered up the shattered pieces of my mind and readied myself to leave the bathroom and join my family.
No apologies would be needed, even though I’d try to give them. My husband would give me a look that meant he understood and that he loves me. The bigger-little boys would run to me, excited to see their mummy and I would take them in my arms and give them the love that was always there, just slightly in the shadow. Then I would take my precious baby in my arms and feed him and look into his beautiful eyes while he nursed.
We would all be ok. Sure, I would get lost in the fog again, it’s a constant battle, but I would be ok.
I would be ok, because even though my mind is fogged over like a winding road through a cold, deep valley, I have three glorious rays of sunshine, guiding me home.
Have you been through PND? SHARE your experience with us in the comments below.
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