Friday, 18 April 2014
who was i? who am i now?
A friend of mine posted this on her social networking site and it actually got me thinking - do i remember who i used to be before i became a statistic? Before i became a 1 in 500 mum suffering from Postnatal Psychosis?
I remember a happy go lucky woman, who had the confidence to travel the world with her children, a lady who was never scared of anything and a lady who thought there was a future with tillys dad. I was a lady with a close knit family and friends and i was a lady with everything to live for.
This all changed when i gave birth to tilly, as soon as she was born i was asked if i wanted to hold her, i said no! was this the start of problems to come? Was this a sign of what was about to rip my family apart? Who knows?
So i took my baby home and i tried to act as though i was the perfect mum, i felt like everyone was judging me for being a single parent with such a large age gap. Did i succeed? No within a few weeks i really wasnt coping and i was instantly put on antidepressants. Did these help? No! Was there a midwife or health visitor around to listen to me? No! did i just do as i was told and carry on (pretending) to be a good parent? yes, it seemed so much easier at the time and i became the expert of hiding things. New mothers these days don't get enough midwife home visits, yes we all know the NHS is stretched to capacity, but surely new mothers and their babies shouldn't be sacrificed! This is why PND is missed in so many new parents and then its too late and the mother is often blamed for sadly taking her life and occasionally the life of her child. If PND cant be prevented then it needs to be cured. New mums need support. When i was ill, i lost many friends, people avoided me as mental health is such a taboo subject and who would want to admit being friends with a psychotic person, who threatened to kill people? who would want to admit they were friends with someone who was having visions of pushing her child under a bus or into the sea? Not many people understood what was going on with me ..... Heck i didn't understand what was going on with me!
After over two years of trying different medication and not getting on with it, after 2 years with a psychiatrist trying to understand myself and after a diagnosis for mild bipolar, i forced myself onto a recovery path, i had 'lost' 2 years, two months and a day to this illness and i was determined to get them back. I was determined to bond with this child of mine and i refused to take any medication as i was learning about my illness as i went along, not masking it with meds. Over the past couple of years since my recovery started, i have been offered pills by the doctors to help me through bad patches and told it will help me, i refused each time because i will fight these demons myself. If i do take them again, it isnt a sign of failure, its a sign of recognising i need more help.
So do i remember who i was before i was told to get on and be a good parent, do i remember who i was before people expected perfection from me as a mother? i remember vaguely, but i remember the person who i have become now even better, i am in love with the person who i am now and it wont be long before i am totally the person i want to be. I am still meds free, despite constantly being told, it would be for the best. I am getting quite the expert at managing the Bipolar. The worst part of the Bipolar is finishing jobs i have started, but i don't see this as a failure anymore, i carry on the job despite being bored with it and wanting it to be finished instantly - then i feel amazing as i have challenged the dreaded bipolar again!
It has of course left plenty of mental scars, i am wary of who i let into my circle, I did make a mistake of letting some people into my life, but after they showed another side to themselves when we all went on holiday - i knew they all had to go! i don't take any crap from people and if i don't like them, i wont pretend to. Life is too short for fannying about being fake!
I am who i am now, and if you dont like it - you know where the door is! i didn't do what everyone expected me to do, i did my own thing and i feel good for it!
So remember who you are and dont listen to others telling you who you should be and what you should do!