It has been two months since I left hospital following my admission for post natal depression. Whilst it’s brilliant to be back at home with my family, it hasn’t been an entirely easy transition. Initially I felt at sea, having become a little institutionalised by the hospital routines. There is also a lot more to do at home with cooking, cleaning and caring for my other children. It took some effort, but little by little I have eased back into my life.
Then there is my mood. Being discharged was by no means the end of my illness, simply a point at which I could manage it at home. I have had the cliche ‘good days and bad days’ and it has been hard to know which head I would have screwed on each day. I realised my medication was making me extremely dopey in the mornings, fine in a hospital environment not so good with the school run to do. I have slowly decreased the dose, and am able to wake up without first literally peeling open my eyes.
Last week I realised I have been surviving, rather than enjoying my children for the duration of this episode. It occurred to me that instead of bustling round cleaning and cooking I could take some time to play with them. I put on some music and we danced, and we laughed, and I remembered the mum I used to be, before the storm hit. That was a good day.
Easter weekend was lovely, my family was together and we were normal again, I love our version of normal. We went to the cinema, the beach, and chilled out at home together, such a contrast from christmas. There have been times of real joy, of appreciating what I have, not what I don’t have. Times of looking at my little family and thinking that all the pain was worthwhile if that’s what I had to endure to get to this, my wonderful children and husband.
Recovery from depression is a journey, one in which little by little you learn to trust yourself again. I am on that road building up speed and sometimes, on good days, enjoying the view.