Firstly some good news. I am on the upward climb in my fight against depression. I have been given a discharge date from the hospital and it is soon. I am feeling glimmers of hope creep in. I am starting to care again. The end is in sight. In light of this I am going to be brave again and share some of the moments during this period of illness that I had been afraid to share.
I have really wanted to be true to myself and entirely honest about my experiences with mental illness. I wanted to be the person brave enough to say “here’s how it affected me and my family” hoping other people in the same boat could feel less alone. So that people who don’t understand could try to understand.
There have been times when things have felt really desperate. When my mood was so low I didn’t know what to do with myself. On one of these occasions I was trying really hard to be brave, it was the day of my sons birthday party and I was trying to cope. Around mid morning I couldn’t cope any longer and I grabbed my coat and shoes and left the house. My husband was pleading with me not to, but I couldn’t be there anymore. I walked with no destination in mind, my tummy in knots and my head in a very painful place.
I found myself in a field not far from my house and the fighter in me grabbed my phone and called a friend. My friend told me to stay where I was and came and found me. I was crying, and telling him I couldn’t go home, I couldn’t be a mum or a wife anymore. At the time I really meant it. My friend was amazing. He suggested that we just keep walking. The only decision I needed to make was which way. So we walked and walked (he had called my husband and told him I was safe before coming to me) for around an hour and a half.
After this he took me home, sent me upstairs to pull myself together, and looked after my family. I am so grateful to this friend because he did just what I needed in that moment. Life carried on.
The hardest part about having Pnd a third time has been trying to care for my eldest children when I am feeling so low and anxious. There have been days when I have been unable to even take them to school on my own.
On one of those days I entered the classroom holding Super Kid’s lunchbox. I felt so disoriented I didn’t know what to do with it. So I stood in the middle of the classroom in a daze holding the lunchbox, I’m so embarrassed looking back on it. Super Kid’s teacher came over and took the box and said “it’s ok dear”. In that moment I could not believe that my usually sharp brain was letting me down so badly. I still worry about the terrible impression I have made in Super Kid’s first term at school.
There have been times when my mood has lifted too much (caused by my cyclothymia). As cyclothymia is such a mild form of bipolar you might not notice that I’m high, more that I simply talk a lot and find it hard to listen. During these times I seek out company, and talk and talk and imagine what I’m saying is incredibly interesting. The hardest part is later when I remember and want to hide away with embarrassment at the things I said and the impression I made.
Stability of mood would be wonderful, and I wonder if I will ever achieve it without powerful mood stabilising medication. For now though stability with the help of the drugs feels wonderful. I keep my fingers crossed that it continues and I keep moving forward and that I am discharged as planned and back with my family full time.
I look forward to seeing you when you get back home. Thanks for sharing your experiences – you are very brave.
I’m looking forward to seeing you also. Thanks.
I too have done that walk to nowhere, its horrible. I have a few good friends that pulled me together afterwards, thankfully. Glad you have too. Keep being strong (because you are!), you’ll get out of this fog, honestly, you will!
Thanks, it’s good to know I’m not alone in this experience.
ThankÂ´s for sharing your dark pitcures. I can just say: YOU ARE A VERY BRAVE FIGHTER. You also have good friends, a wonderful husband and children. My pitcure of you is a loving mother with a great spirit, fighting the demons. And you win! IÂ´m glad to know you.
Thanks. I’m happy to have met you too.
I’m so glad the right friend was there for you with the right moves in the field that day. You were an absolute legend at your child’s party, anyone would’ve thought it was just another great children’s party and I have the utmost admiration for your ability as a mother to do that. I’m glad the light is shining at the end of this tunnel and hope it’s a smoother journey for you and the family once you’re out the other side. Big love xxx
wow Ella your posts never fail to amaze me and I am always gobsmacked by what I read. I obviously cannot imagine how it feels to be you and to know how you feel and how your mind works on your good and bad days – i can only extend my blogging/tweeting hand and hold your and reach out and hug you (virtually until i see you again). i can never believe the things you talk about because i have met you and I would NEVER have guessed you suffered with PND.
It must be awful to be you sometimes when you cannot help but have to walk away from your family – its awful but you cannot help it. its aswell that you have some great friends and a loving family behind you.
i don’t know what else to say but i ADMIRE you sooo much for writing this all down and posting it for anyone to read. I think you are amazing Ella xx
Thanks Jenny that’s a lovely thing to say. My online friends have been so supportive during this time, it’s been a real help. Look forward to seeing you for real soon.