I am nearly four years into my recovery. I still have bad days and good. Around the anniversary of the traumatic event I tend to have a whirlwind of emotions.
I feel sad, guilty, angry, low and many more.
Sad, low and guilty becuase I go over everything I have been through and realise everything I have missed out on. I feel like I wasn’t the mother I wanted to be or imagined to be in those precious first years.
I nearly died after giving birth.
I look back and think thank god my husband pushed as much as he did with them. I got to meet my daughter and watch her grow these past few years. There were times when I saw no other way out and contemplated suicide. The guilt, the pressure and the whole experience was too much.
Recovery certainly has its ups and Downs. It has taken me three years to realise this. I refused antidepressants at first due to the worry of the symptoms and never being able to come off of them. Three years on I saw no choice but to try them, as things were just becoming unbearable again. It was the best decision I made, they took the edge off once I got the dose right. It took me from zero.
I went back to therapy, but only having six sessions as that’s all you get on the NHS. Well where I am anyway. I went private in the begining, 6-9 months after I gave birth. I had no trust in th NHS at that time. It has taken me a long time to be able to feel comfortable with the NHS again.
I sometimes feel recovery is like climbing a staircase, at times it can feel like a never ending staircase. You go up and eventually come back down again. If that makes any sense at all!
My daughter is going to be four soon and I have sat and looked at where I am now. Through all the ups and downs, the days of wanting to lock myself away, the anxiety of meeting new people and trusting medical. Staff again. Days of not being able to control my moods. Feeling angry one minute and taking it out on whoever was there at the time, then crying uncontrollably.
It has been exhausting.
Anxiety is still with me. I suffer with going into a room full of people. Especially at school events, wondering if they will think I am a good mother. Things like going on holiday is a massive hurdle for me. I stress about the what if’s!
What if this happens?
What would we do?
Is it safe?
It can still be exhausting not only for me but I worry about my husband too. He has had to deal with this for three years, he has been a rock. Yes we have had our ups and downs. Every marriage does. We had so much thrown at us within the first few years. Situations that are suppose to be the happiest times, were the hardest for us.
I was very proud of myself last year, I managed to take the train myself. It felt like a never ending journey. I made sure I had everything I would need, so I was comfortable. Like water, mints to help with the sick feeling in my stomach. My book and diary and some music and headphones. I also like to carry sugary things because I sometimes get really dizzy if I’m really anxious. Helps to take the edge off, plus I am normally up most the night before worrying and thinking, what if!
I wish there was an off switch.
I understand it is hard for people to realise just how much it can take over someone’s life. I have came across people being called lazy, unsociable, weird. It is so unfair to call someone those things when you really have no idea what it feels like.
I mean can you imagine telling someone with a broken leg to get up, stop being lazy and walk it off!
If there is anything I have learnt with recovery it is that you have to go at your own pace and it doesn’t matter how long it takes, as you may find once you get over one hurdle another pops up.
Don’t feel defeated or ashamed.
I am in a place now that I can say, I plan to keep going and if another hurdle pops up and I am sure it will. I now know what support is out there. I know that there are people that care. I know the world is surrounded by narrow minded people, stigma and all. But I know now that by keeping quiet, it is the most loneliest feeling in the world.
People may not be able to fix your problems. I found that out to. But it is nice just to have someone to moan and rant to. So you can get it off your chest. Rather than go over and over it and try to rationalise it yourself. They don’t even have to say anything, other than sit and listen, be there and show they care.
I really hope 2019 is kind to you.