Postnatal Depression, My Parasite

By Jen Ellen

Having PND is like having a parasite in your brain that’s taken control of your mind, your body, and made you its puppet. It feeds off your sadness, your anxieties and your fears; it makes those irrational thoughts seem so rational, that feeling of emptiness and complete and utter lack of feeling for anyone else seem like the loneliness you deserve. It speaks for you and makes you believe that those words are the truth.

The worst part about this parasite is that it’s content in your brain; it doesn’t want to be found, it doesn’t want to be hushed. It will tell you anything to stop you getting help. “You’re a shit mum”, “You’re a shit wife”, “You’re just exhausted”, “There’s nothing wrong with you, this is just your life now”. Of course it doesn’t want to be made to leave that cosy negativity it so enjoys.

As you pace the confines of your house with the child in your arms that you were once sure was made out of love, the parasite whispers “you can’t cope”, and you whisper, “I can’t cope”.

There’s a small part of your mind that tries to get through to you so you tap yourself with your fingers, you rub your forearm, your thumbnails. “Jen. Jen. Wake up.” But it’s not heard. It’s only once that there is some recognition that something is wrong that your mind can start to send its message more clearly.

“Jen. Jen! It’s me. It’s you. I am still here. Somewhere.”

Listen to this message. Reach out, seek a friend, let them know you’re in there and you need a hand to pull you out, to stop you from drowning. It will try and silence you, attempt to stop those social connections which will weaken it. So, be subtle, a code word in a text, a status, a specific image posted to alert those most in tune with you that it’s time to hug, to talk, to connect.

Now I am at the peak of that mountain of recovery, I can look back in reflection. I can understand the healing power of dialogue, of externalising thoughts, of breathing and dancing that bitch into submission.

In all honesty, she’s still there, she’s part of me, but she’s calmer, and we’re at peace.
Love Jen.

Reproduced with permission, originally posted here

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