PND : THE WAY OUT
PND : THE WAY OUT
It was horrible! It was awful! It was the worst thing that ever happened to me during what supposed to be the best time of my life. I felt my worst self while breastfeeding my newborn and I was crying because I did not feel like a happy mother and a happy wife at the time. I felt alone, I felt betrayed. You know you’ve got a problem when you stop wanting to want something. I lost passion for the life I once had.
What happens when you are locked inside a house with a newborn? Your life turns into a single day. That day lasted 6 months for me. The longest day of my life I’d say. They say time goes by so quickly, that sounded like a complete lie. My 6 months day lasted forever. It was a very long never ending day. And I am so sorry if you are here now in this never ending day.
But this is not about how I felt, this is about a way out
So what got me out? And what can get you out?
It sounds too simple but it works! The idea is to get Fresh Air.
By going outside to get fresh air, to walk the dogs with the buggy with no wi-fi connection I felt finally free, in beautiful woods I felt peace with myself. It was then when I started to realise that what I experience is in fact postnatal depression. Facing it wasn’t easy, as I kept blaming myself for not doing enough. But fresh air made me believe in myself, motivated me not even to do more but to change perspective on things that I already do and appreciate it.
It is best if you start exercising while outside but inside exercising works too. Even simple walking with the right attitude can get you where you want to be. I used to run with the dogs through the woods while my husband was with the buggy.
And I believe I do not have to tell you how good exercising is for you! By exercising you change serotonin levels in the brain, a chemical that is linked to depression. This means if you exercise you can avoid postnatal depression all together. Which sadly did not happen to me as I did not exercise. But it certainly helped later when I started going to the gym together with my husband for just 40 minutes and running with the dogs in the woods every week.
So if I only wanted you to get 1 single thing out of this article it is this. You matter! Go outside, take the buggy or the dog or alone and do some exercising. I promise it will give you so much energy and motivation to conquer the world!
There are many other things that help with postnatal depression, most of which are relatively straightforward. Resting, positive thinking, affirmations, sleeping enough, eating well, drinking plenty of water, taking vitamins, asking for help.
But to me it was actually doing something I enjoyed that got me out of my misery together with our weekly walks into the woods.
So what did I (!) enjoyed. Me! Not the baby or the husband or a family activity, something I (!) enjoyed. Apparently I enjoyed having a little project of my own, which included taking photos of the woods, writing a story, making it into a children’s book, self publishing it, creating a website, marketing it and eventually selling it. At first it does sound super hard. But I was so excited, it was my project. I did what I do best! I took an idea and rolled it into something tangible and so real. I found yet another passion and it made me feel good and real about myself, it helped me overcome feeling of self worthlessness. It showed me once again that I can do great things and being mom doesn’t determine who I am. I am more than just a feeding machine and cuddling toy. I am enough. I am happy with myself.
Of course you don’t have to write a book to feel that you are enough. There are so many other ways you can enjoy being you again and those ways will be different to every mom out there. Doing children’s book project was a perfect to me.
By writing this article and the book I want my daughters to know how normal postnatal depression is and there is always a way out. You just need some fresh air to find it.
WRITTEN BY ANZHELIKA
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