Thursday, 29 March 2012

Support is saviour

I haven't had the opportunity to write (affectively) this week because unfortunately i'm not very well. However whilst I won't bore you with the ailments one of the things that has really worried me is the care of my daughter, given I'm not allowed to lift anything heavier than a kettle - and at almost 2 she most definitely is.

I have found this week that worrying about logistics of home life whilst being sofa bound, not being able to do anything really for myself other than sleep and spending the majority of time with only the dogs for company I have wobbled in my recovery from post natal depression (PND)

I have found myself on more than one occasion crying over something minuscule combined with the panic that the control that had helped shaped my recovery has now seemed to slip away. As is my sanity with daytime TV

I'm sharing this as more of a diary entry than a post because I started this blog not only to help parents understand PND and to highlight the stigma of PND needs smashing but also as a way of recovering myself and my mind - almost to accept, embrace but also challenge my experiences of parenthood thus far. And by only half a page written I'm already starting to feel a little better.

The title of the blog is paramount to not only the recovery from this blip but also from the recovery as a whole from the entire illness. Without my family and friends physically and mentally I'd be stuck, the medics provide the best tools and medication for treating the illness, but in my experience I'm truly lucky that the amazing support network I have have in turn eased the symptoms whilst the treatment takes hold. My family have been invaluable this week looking after Lylha literally all day every day - which in turn means I'm missing her like crazy which also affects, for me, PND I'm only spending bedtimes with her ATM (not tonight as she is at Nanny's) and being apart from her is really difficult. However her coming home picking up my phone finding a pic of me and saying "Ahh mummy" and then kissing it was the highlight of this week.

As I say my reason for this post this week is more of a diary entry to remind me that recovery is a long process but a process without the support of those closest to me I couldn't be without, and to those suffering in silence find someone a support network with something so scary as PND, as with any mental illness is a huge step to recover.

Thank you for reading. X
Ps did this all on my iPhone. Pretty neat for a technophobic like myself

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Nobody Does It Better ... Baby You're The Best

I have written in detail about my experiences with Post Natal Depression, my experiences of motherhood, labour and being pregnant and I suggest if you want to become on boardwith my style of writing and to grasp what I do and how I do it then please read my previous posts....

Previously I dedicated a post to my daughter Lylha entitled "Because She's Worth It" about no matter how hard PND and parenting can be I keep going and I keep smiling because of her.

What I have realised is I have never shared with anyone why I chose the title of my blog "Smile and the world will smile with you, Sparkle and it will smile AT you" Well this is simple before falling pregnant with Lylha and before being grasped by PND my view on the world was simpler, but even with the toils of parenthood I think this is still relevant: When the world See's someone that looks angry do they react, well if they know the person possibly if not NO, When the world sees someone crying do they stop to help, again if the person is known very possibly but if not known only occasionally, When the world sees someone frown do the react, hardly ever even if the person is known BUT When the world sees someone smiling do they react, well in my experience if someone sees you smiling they will smile back and this is the reason for my title: Infecting the world with a smile even though behind it lies a depth that can be sometimes difficult to live with... STILL WITH ME???

And I love, and have always loved to smile and see a smile - makes everything seems that little less rubbish.

Now being grasped with PND, and rather badly, smiling was sadly something that seemed to disappear not just from my face but also from my heart - but although it is still taking time to recover from the illness - the side affect of loosing my smile had a brilliant remedy - LYLHA

Lylha's ways and mannerisms from such an early stage have made me smile at moments when all else felt doomed. Her presence makes my face twitch and even just the thought of her makes my eye's widen into a bright sparkling smile.

I feel it important to write about this because very few people knew I had PND and those that did weren't aware of how badly it was affecting me because one special lady had the tendency to make me smile through the hardest of moments, the bleakest of days and the longest of nights. Don't get me wrong I spent much of the time frowning and screaming but there were moments in the dark where she made me smile and even if it didn't heal me it certainly alleviated one of the horrible side affects of PND - The lack of smiling.

I don't believe that anyone suffering from a mental illness should be locked away as a prisoner in their own home, in their own room but more importantly their own body and a smile is one way to evoke some freedom and unlock a smile from someone else - something that may one day make all the difference. The infectious power of smiling is something everyone should embrace, its free, its easy and it takes less muscles than a frown!

I am feeling a lot better and taking my recovery step by step but there is nothing in the world that compares to the smile my daughter creates - and at almost 2 she knows how to make mummy smile especially when this results in her being rewarded - cheeky, intelligent, beautiful, a little naughty but most definitely my saving grace and light of my life, that shines through on my face - Nobody makes me smile like you Lylha because Baby, Baby, Babbyyy You're The Best!!

And this is why from a young age, even asleep or watching TV how can she not make you smile

Thank you xxx

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Stress Factor

Over the past 10 days or so my computer time has been somewhat consumed by other things - all of which have been mentally taxing and have seen the odd glass of wine consumed.

Now I know everyone has stresses in their life, and individual stress tolerance depends on their situation and in my opinion the healthiness off their mind, so as mundane as the following may sound my reason for sharing this with you is because it reflects hugely on how my mind and body copes with stress whilst recovering from Post Natal Depression.

So over the past few days a summary of what my recovering mind has had to deal with is: My daughter having another eye operation, to then be told its not likely to be successful and need further surgery, my kitchen being redone which in turn equalled Lylha and I living at my grandparents for a few days (anyone with young kids can understand why staying away from your home with them is a mammoth mission in itself as the stuff you need looks like a 2 week family holiday), a husband with man flu, a car that needs sorting out and selling, and finally and possibly the most stressful of all - my husband has gone ahead (against my protests) and brought puppy Annatto to join my madhouse!

Now these events in themselves may not seem too much, but after having Post Natal Depression (PND) I developed anxiety on the side, and as a result these events have had me fretting for weeks prior to them happening in turn adding to my already sleepless nights. So by the time the events arrived I was already a sleep deprived nervous wreck.

I have found since having PND that I have physical side affects to stress, like many I develop a tension headache and this often leads to a full blown migraine, I am literally sick, I shake a lot and my IBS goes into overdrive, all of which then make me feel physically ill too, thankfully I have a pre payment prescription card or I'd be broke too!

I am sharing these because a lot of women who have come forward about their own experiences with PND have told me about their own physical symptoms and I didn't realise how common anxiety is amongst those who have suffered or are suffering from a form of depression. If it wasn't for me mentioning the "shakes" to a friend I wouldn't have told my GP and certainly wouldn't have linked trembling to me having suffered from PND.

Emotionally my mind is frazzled at the moment one of the sad things personally for me is when something causes a PND trigger I find it very difficult not to become upset, every time I feel anxious or stressed I feel like I am failing again and this normally results in me hiding away for a few days and having a good cry, unfortunately this time I couldn't hide away and get over it in my own time and in my own way as I was staying with family. As a result the tension built up to a head yesterday where I truly questioned my minds health again as I flipped on a fairly momentous scale, emotions + stress + bloody traffic + tescos + a whiny toddler = mummy in a seriously bad place - the good thing is after erupting and then cooling down I started to realise that I must be getting better as before this would have taken me weeks to recover from where as this time it was actually just 1 evening and 1 nights sleep I needed to feel better.

I write about these things not just to share with the world and encourage other parents in the same place to seek help - if they haven't already done so, but because for me writing it down makes how I feel and I how I think real - it's in black and white, it's now something those on the outside can see, and more importantly for me because if I can see it I am not as scared off it. I liken blogging about PND to being like Little Red Riding Hood going through the forest, when you know something is there lurking it sparks fear - but when you can see it you realise it isn't as scary as it seemed in your mind.

On that note meet the wolves in my household Nutmeg and Puppy Annatto:

Thank you for reading, please feel free to join in and comment