THIS TOO SHALL PASS
I share almost everything in my life on sociaI media apart from my experiences with mental health. Which is weird because I’m comfortable talking about it anywhere else. Maybe it’s because on social the judgement is more obvious and raw. Acceptance of the thing you're talking about comes down to the amount of engagement on a post I suppose. But, more important than the number of likes, shares or comments on a post is the change we are witnessing in society around the topic of mental health. And being that social is one of the fastest ways to reach a mass audience it’s amazing to see the conversation continued on there. Hundreds of likes or not.
Thinking about this nudged me to share my story in the hope that someone who is suffering, maybe with only enough energy to scroll Instagram or Facebook or wherever they see this, realises they aren’t alone. There’s a whole army of us battling mental health. I spent a long time holding on to my experiences as some sort of shameful secret but I'm not ashamed anymore. And I hope reading this helps you release yourself of any shame you might feel. It’s ok to admit weakness. Life is hard and we’re only human.
My name is Louisa, I'm a Scot living in London with my husband and our gorgeous son. I take antidepressants every day. I'll probably be on them for life (the idea of which I’m finally ok with). I’ve struggled with mental health issues over the years including anxiety, severe depression, an attempt to take my own life and hospitalisation. Thankfully I got help that actually helped. Rather than feeling shame I realise now that the experiences I went through make me the person I am today. I’m stronger and fiercer in my own convictions than ever before and I know myself more than I ever did. Of course I still battle, because I don't think it can ever really disappear, but I know how to deal with it more than I ever did.
A huge milestone in my life was the decision to start a family. I actually spent years thinking I shouldn’t be a mum because I would never be able to cope. Because I'd be a failure. Because, because, because. I had a massive period of self doubt and panic before I fell pregnant that came with a cloud of fear and dread that I so often associated with a ‘bad moment’. So my (very rational and amazingly supportive) husband and I spoke with a pre natal psychiatrist who advised putting a support network in place for after I gave birth, which we did and, maybe because of it, I didn’t sink the way I thought I was going to. Yes, being a mum is bloody hard, and yes it brought a whole new world of insecurities (I have an endless list in my iPhone Notes) and of course I do struggle sometimes but I can honestly say I'm doing it and I'm handling it (and my husband thinks I'm a pretty great mum ). Maybe its not for forever but for now I'm ok and if there comes a time when I'm not, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
For anyone going through a difficult time just now, don't be ashamed to admit it. Talk about it. Seek help and find your fellow #mentalmuthas, because we'll remind you that 'this too shall pass'.
Written by Louisa Nicole Rose
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.