It seemed like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. The responsibility of having a child, feeding it, looking after it, entertaining it, nursing it through sickness and through health. All of that was mine, and mine alone. No one understood how dificult it was for me to deal with nappies, breastfeeding, staying at home, holding a crying baby. Everyone was out there having fun. Husband included.
He was the worst culprit. He didn't know anything about being a parent. Nothing. He didn't have to put on any weight. His nipples weren't sore from breastfeeding. He wasn't stuck at home. His job ended in the evenings. He wasn't eating like a pig. Maybe I should have divorced him. I didn't like him anymore. I hated all his habits, his quirks. Anything he said, annoyed me. I was miserable. Whereever I could see, I would see bad. Everything was wrong with my world and none of it was my fault.
I didn't want to get out of the house. What was the point. With a small baby all that meant was that by the time I reached wherever I was going, it would be time to feed her. Then she would poo and I would need to change her diaper and then it was time to get back home. My room was my comfort zone. I was happy to sit on the bed and surf the net. I wouldn't step out of my room for hours. Life was one big hell and none of it was my fault.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can say it was no one's fault. Post Natal Depression (PND) is a killer. It's a vicious circle that is very hard to get out of. Everyone seems to be conspiring to make you miserable. Nothing seems right.
I suffered through the worst of it for at least 6 months after Squiggles' birth. I started breaking out of it when we went to India in December. Meeting new people, doing different things helped. But Squiggles was a clinger, so it didn't help as much. If I'm honest, the distance from DD helped as well. If only to remind me that I loved him and that I was just loony to consider any other option in my hormonal state.
Things continued like that for a few more months. Sometimes good days, sometimes bad days. It was hard to predict when I would feel low. There were more good days than bad days. And then suddenly it just snapped and I was a new person. Maybe it was the fact that I was offered a job and it restored my self esteem. Maybe it was Squiggles who grew up and was less of a baby. Maybe it was the month long vacation with DD in March. Maybe it was something else. But suddenly, I was like my old self. I was happy and content. I was enjoying Squiggles more and more each day. We were doing fun things together. My relationship with DD started resembling our old days. I wasn't nasty to him anymore, and he was effortlessly nice. We were a family and were enjoying it.
I can only breathe a sigh of relief now. It wasn't nice being who I was for the longest time. I was hell to live with and I didn't want anyone's help. I'm so glad it's over. It never felt like it would end.
If any of this seems familiar, then I just want you to know that you're not alone. There are others who have been through it and come out fine. Just don't give in. Keep trying to get back to your true self. You'll find yourself again. If it seems tough, get professional help. The difficult bit is recognising the symptoms. I kept asking myself if I had PND, but I didn't want to acknowledge it. It's better to take help for it rather than suffer through it and let others around you suffer as well.
I'm glad I'm back.