I’ve not felt like myself for such a long time, I think I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be me. Depression gets you like that.
It’s ironic how some of the best things have happened to me in the last few years, but I’ve not really been present enough to embrace them. I’ve enjoyed moments, days even, but in the main, from day to day I’ve just been getting by. A whole year with my beautiful baby, just getting by. Longer still with my preschooler Princess, waiting for things to get better, waiting for me to get better.
I count all of my blessings, my girls, my teen and my dear husband and I know my glass is so more than half full, but for the better part of two years I have been filled with such sadness. I have cried more days than I haven’t. Often in secret, but sometimes not. I have felt like a shadow of my former self, like I didn’t fill my own skin. My life was great to all intents and purposes. Perhaps too great, as I’d forgotten how to cope with the knocks.
I struggled returning to work full time and leaving my daughter. Tears flowed leaving her in the morning and with relief of picking her up at night. Those 8 hours away from her were long and adjusting to the new office regime was just too much, and I made mistakes. Relationships had changed and the politics were different, and I’d forgotten how to shield myself in these situations. In the meantime, my relationship with my daughter was slipping away from me.
The office restructure had left me without a team, without support, and I was isolated. Having no work allies to reach out to left me quiet and withdrawn. Now that really wasn’t me. How could a career I’d loved change so much?
Each day was an emotional battle, just holding it all together until I could get in my car and go home. I would cry all the way to Princess’s nursery, before having to wipe my red eyes and gather some composure before collecting her. Physically, my body wasn’t happy to be pregnant again quite so quickly, and showed signs of protest early on. I felt rotten. My resources were being drained quickly, and I was crumbling fast.
No longer fit for work, I was stuck at home. In limbo. Physically and emotionally ruined. Fortunately I stumbled across this blogging lark which gave me a distraction. It showed me another world and opened up a community of amazing people to me, some of whom I’ve met and some who I am going to meet. It gave me so much hope and comfort, it helped me out when I really needed it.
My beautiful baby girl arrived, in somewhat of a rush it has to be said but she was fine. I was a little shell shocked, but apart from that relieved to have her here and not to not be in pain or uncomfortable any longer. She kept me distracted in the first few months, with her constant feeding and other newborn demands, but then the dust settled and the tears came back. Was it ever going to stop?
I soldiered on, as that’s what I do. I got from one day to the next, taking comfort from having my beautiful family. They got me up in the morning and got me through the day, but I haven’t been living for such a long time. My motivation to take care of myself has waned and my comfort eating has increased, leaving me feeling even worse. I can honestly say that there is no amount of chocolate that will repair a damaged self esteem, but I have given it a good go! Sadly, it isn’t the cure.
The last few months, little Pudding and I have been struggling with breastfeeding. I have had mastitis and thrush and the pain it has left me with has been significant. I suffered a nasty crack down the who side of my nipple too which has been excruciating. This was the straw and I was the camel. Pain is draining and anything to do with feeding a baby is emotive. Struggling to feed her, and having issues with weaning pushed me to go and speak to the Doctor about the way I was feeling.
I’ve struggled with the challenges my preschooler has thrown at me. I’ve snapped when my patience has escaped me and my parenting has been weak. I know it has. She needs firm boundaries, and I haven’t been strong enough to set them and it all descends into chaos all too quickly, often before 9am. She requires a parenting style I’m used to, but more to the point that I have had the strength for. My Mum battery has been running low.
Perhaps now that will change, I hope I can start enjoying them again. Enjoying Princess’s confidence and extrovert nature. Enjoying Little Pudding’s milestones and achievements as she starts to walk and talk. Start filling my shoes as a parent again, instead of being a broken Mother in need of healing. It is time to step into the light, and start enjoying my amazing life and beautiful family again.