Joys of having a baby
I’m Emily, I’m 29, and 22 months ago I had a baby girl born at 30 weeks. The whole experience was a traumatic one, ending in our baby girl being in intensive care for eight weeks before coming home. And she had to have numerous blood transfusions, injections, canulas, catheter etc.!
Since then I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was having flashbacks and had to have 12 weeks in a mother and baby unit. I have post-natal depression and a transition disorder. I’m now on medication and have had numerous counselling sessions and much psychological help. I’m still suffering with depression and PTSD, but with the help of medication and family I’ve managed not to feel so useless.
The other side of the story
I’m starting to feel like I’ve bonded with my little girl and that I am a good mum, instead of the feelings of guilt, remorse, jealousy and paranoia. I do still have days where I’m not allowed to be on my own due to dark, dark thoughts but I’m learning to manage them. I’m very lucky to be alive and will start to enjoy life again soon I’m sure! Everyone always tells you the joys of having a baby and the immediate love you have for that baby. They never tell you the other side, so that’s why I’m sharing my story.
I Want to be “Normal”
For as long as I can remember, I have had severe depression and anxiety. I have spent many hours being unable to get out of bed, hyperventilating and thinking “This is it”. Lying curled up like a ball on the floor wanting the pain to stop. The dizziness, the sweating and wanting to run.
I’ve had the constant criticism of being an “attention seeker”. Told to pick myself up and stop being lazy, that I’m bringing other people down.
I want you all to know that I also want to be “normal”. Please believe me I want this pain to end. I am not lazy and would not wish my daily life on my worst enemy. I am now fighting for my job. Why? Because I lost the battle one day, and the peace I felt after all those pills were taken was the best feeling ever.
I’m still here though and still fighting. Please remember when speaking to someone like me, I did not choose this.
By Sophie Ann
rain trickles down the blotched white roof of the conservatory and the loud taps echo through my left ear. music blasting through a single headphone in the other, that specific scent rolls through my open window and surrounds me. i dangle my bare legs over the frame. the sheer sound and tranquillity that comes from 3 am rain calms my faded soul and clears my mind of everything cluttered. clouds float over the trees as i wait in anticipation for the sunrise, phone balanced on lap listening to music. danger strikes through me as my mind flickers to the untimely death of the ifs and buts in the event of falling.
however I relax myself by staring out through the blurry glass, simply watching the water droplets race to the bottom. at times like these i thank my sleep problems for keeping me up at the lonely hours. grateful they help my eyes strain at a laptop screen to type these very words whilst everyone else is taken away to the land of steady breathing and wondrous dreams.
thank you insomnia, for keeping me awake to feel these senses of inner relaxations.
How Can I Tell Them?
What scares you?
Is it your weight or your height?
What embarrasses you?
Is it your clothes or your hair?
But I didn’t answer.
Because how can I tell them that my greatest fear is taking a footstep outside my bedroom door?
How can I tell them that I can’t answer a phone call or knock on a door or buy things in a store?
How can I tell them that I have to rehearse my answer thousands of times before raising my hand in class because I’m afraid of being wrong?
Or that I can’t go to a social event without someone I feel comfortable with because I’m afraid that what comes out of my mouth is stupid?
Or that I get sweaty palms every time I stand in front of strangers and that I need to say sorry at least five times a day?
How can I tell them that I can’t live my life even when I’m in an unlocked cage or how I choose to trap myself even when I can go out?
How can I tell them that my only wish is to be able to talk without my voice shaking?
And how can I tell them all this when their response is what I’m actually afraid of?
A day with anxiety
It’s one of those days. One of those many days where I’ve woken with no motivation, with the feeling of helplessness which has left me feeling almost paralysed. I need to get out of bed and do food shopping, but the fear of walking out of that door has taken grasp of me and won’t let go. This is anxiety. It’s hell!
Having no food in the house because I’m too scared to go out in society. Afraid of what people may think of me, the constant panic attacks – it is living hell. And, worst of all, people expect you to get over it, expect you to smile when you feel you are dying inside. Anxiety isn’t a choice, it’s a daily struggle. It’s a struggle many go through. People need to realise this isn’t attention seeking, it isn’t just a bad day. Anxiety is an illness, one that I wish on no one.