That was the first step.
To me admitting I wasn’t okay.
To me acknowledging I needed to accept a little more help.
To me getting better.
To moving towards loving motherhood, myself, and my baby.
It all happened quite rapidly. While I had small signs that I wasn’t quite myself, I hadn’t forecast that I’d hit rock bottom so quickly and heavily, and to be honest, that thought scared the fucking shit out of me and it wasn’t a place I ever wanted to visit again.
My experience of dealing with and recovering from mental distress and depression in my teen years really helped me take a step back and recognise what was going on, and how to tackle the next steps.
Postnatal depression was a whole ‘nother level up from my previous experiences. You live between deeper lows and higher highs, dreaming of running away and disappearing, but you’ve got a small human who completely depends on you and you simply just can’t escape. I found this a crutch and a blessing all in one.
The crutch – while your aching body struggles to maintain any energy, another little body depletes it through your sore gigantic nipples and allowing you next to no replenishing sleep or down time (…no wonder your head and heart are no longer doing so well, right?!).
The blessing – it kinda means you can’t just sit in your hole and let yourself fall deeper because it’s not just yourself falling.
Teen me would just let myself go with not a lot of effort to get better, to get help, or to help myself. Wiser, older, mumma me knows that that approach just doesn’t work this time around.
While it’s harder, I have to step up for my family, for my baby, and for myself. If I can’t look after me, I am not all I can be for the little human relying on me to help them navigate their new life here on earth (especially when you stop and think about how much harder this all must be for them, huh?!?).
It’s all really interesting now I’m in a very different and much better place.
I didn’t speak up quite soon enough, but when I did, I found the biggest most loving abundance of support from my family and friends, and especially fellow mummas.
This shit is hard, and while I was prepared to be more susceptible to PND, I didn’t think it would catch me… but I caught it right back, and I kicked its ass.
This shit is so common, and I found solace in knowing I wasn’t alone in it.
Here’s to all the mummas.
To my mum friends who sat with me at 3am while wondering what the fuck I was doing, thank you.
To the mummas who sat with me and shared stories of breastfeeding challenges while I struggled to feed, thank you.
To the mummas who opened their hearts with care and wisdom while I wiped more tears than spew on muslins, thank you.
To the mummas who kindly and selflessly offered my baby their milk, THANK YOU.
To the mummas who are now where I once was – no one has their shit together, even when it looks like it from the outside. You’ve got this.
To my loving partner and my beautiful baby boy, thank you. I love you.❤
Originally published here.
Jessie Stanners is a mental health and suicide prevention advocate navigating new life as a mum, rising up from postnatal depression and finding the joy in motherhood. Follow her journey on Instagram.