Sometimes when I write about my depression the words just flow. It’s as if they were always there just waiting to be written down in black and white.
On other occasions, I want to write but the words aren’t forthcoming. They won’t flow.
Words are created and deleted. Sentences are written and rewritten. Paragraphs are formed and unformed.
I can start a post about one thing and then it becomes about something completely different. For example, when I sat down to blog tonight I meant to write a post called Mummy’s heart has an ouchy.
Mummy’s heart has an ouchy
The five painful words that I use to describe my depression to my four-year-old daughter.
But I can’t write that post. The words won’t flow.
Because the truth is I don’t know how to tell my daughter about my depression. I can’t.
How can I tell a four-year-old that all I want to do is cry? How can I explain that for over 20 years I’ve lived with a dark cloud shadowing my life? Most days the sun shines through and the cloud disperses. But there are always the bad days. The days when the black cloud descends and all I can see is darkness.
I hate myself because I’m a mother who suffers from depression. And many moons ago, I believed that my depression and anxiety would prevent me from having children.
But a psychiatrist convinced me that I was wrong. He told me that I would be a wonderful mother. In his opinion, my whole life had been leading to one moment. The moment that I held my newborn baby in my arms and the world stood still.
And he was right. He was so right. And becoming a mother to Little Miss H brought me joy and contentment. Two things I had craved for so desperately.
But then the time came for us to try for another baby. And I miscarried. Again and again. Four miscarriages in total. One before Little Miss H was born and three afterwards.
Yet I carried on. I went through the motions. I was heartbroken but I didn’t let myself truly grieve. We wanted a second child. So I concentrated on being Little Miss H’s Mummy and I tried to shield her from my pain.
Through all of this, my mental health was okay. I had a few wobbles but they would pass quickly. Then I got pregnant with Little Mister H and I suffered from prenatal anxiety.
Finally, in July 2016, our second rainbow baby was born. Four days later, I attended a psychiatric assessment. Essentially, I was told that I needed to be kinder to myself. I had been through a lot and I needed to go home and enjoy the family that I’d so desperately wanted.
And that is what I did. Until something changed. The grief of baby loss hit me. I thought that Little Mister H’s birth would bring closure. But it didn’t.
Over the next few months, my anxiety got worse and worse. I began to have panic attacks. And my depression grew in intensity.
The dark cloud affected my ability to parent. I became impatient and I’d snap at the children for no reason. The days would drag and I’d crave to be away from them. I’d yearn for peace and quiet. For solitude.
And I wish that I could explain to them why I felt this way. I want to say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that on the dark days they have to deal with a person that I hate. I long to be able to assure them that it’s not their fault. It’s never their fault.
I want to explain that I long to be a normal Mummy. A Mummy who doesn’t have an ouchy in her heart.
But I can’t. I can’t tell them that. The words won’t flow.
All I can tell them is that I love them. And all I can say to myself is that I’m doing the best I can.