Memories of my first three years or so of motherhood have that lovely romantic glow about them now. Like an episode of Bold & The Beautiful. There's laughter and cuddles and birthdays and it's all like a scene from some goddamn fairy tale. Everyone is really, really, ridiculously good-looking (which is you know, the same IRL) and the children have clean faces and their hands are sticky. Ahem.
The post natal depression I suffered during those years, it seems so disconnected from those memories.
But I only have to go through my blog, to read the desperation and scattered, frustrated thoughts, to remember.
As I do, a knot forms in my stomach. That sinking feeling from your throat down to your butt. I get anxious at the mere thought of it all. Yeah, that.
So many tears were shed over those few years. So many times I longed to run away. I wanted to scream, shout, tear my hair out - anything to release that overwhelming sense of sadness, relieve that static in my head. Nights spent agonising over whether my illness caused detriment to my children. Hating myself for my inability to pull myself together.
It was fucking hell.
To my credit, I never suffered in silence.
When the realisation was made and the ego allowed, I sought help. Lent on Ryan's shoulder. Rang my Mum twice a day. Cried ugly tears to my psychologist. Went on medication. Made goals. Began to fully appreciate my babies, every inch of their divine little existence.
I learnt to live again, and not just exist.
Through it all, my blog was my number one outlet. My home truths. A community of amazing women who made me feel no less for having struggled with my role as a mother. No shame and most importantly, no silence.
When I published my first post about my battle with PND, I wrote this on why I was sharing:
"Because my problem is one that affects so many of us Mamas, and many of us suffer in silence. There is help out there and there really is no shame in asking for it. It does not make you a failure or any less as a mother, a human being to admit you're struggling."
- Taken from Every cloud has a silver lining, published in July 2010.
Over two years on, and there have never been truer words spoken on this page.
Do not suffer in silence, my girl.
If you suffer from post natal depression, or any mental health issue for that matter, I encourage you to speak.
Speak to seek help.
Tell your story to soothe your soul.
Be aware of you, your thoughts and feelings.
You are worth it.