Something struck me the last few days. Struck me hard, like a lash of a whip or one of those instantaneous paper cuts right on the knuckle. Or a slice from tin foil which oddly happened to me last week. I’ve been overly tired – emotionally, physically and mentally the past while. I’ve been crawling through the sludge grabbing for a rope to pull me up and out. It’s been a case of being hit hard by “the overwhelm”. You know those days when everything seems to need to be done two or three times before you can move on to the next thing. And the next thing and the next thing. I’ve had friends and family worry about me this week. And I can see in the back of their eyes, a little dancing Flamingo.
I’ve had some incredibly mixed emotions lately. Little Bean is almost one and I can’t help but think back over the year it’s been. It’s been good but it’s also been bad. And those bad days are standing out more. But I am ending today focusing on Little Bean and her big sister because while the year has been a challenge, guess what, we got through it.
It’s been almost two months since my anxiety “blip” which left me floored for two weeks with intense frustration, anger and anxiety that I lost control of. I wrote a letter to my Fricking Flamingo and kicked it out of the door. Before this blip I thought I was ok, in the safe zone, and had let life jump back on board making me forget about the ways I manage my anxiety.
I’ve been blogging somewhat sporadically the last few weeks. Gone is my focus, my routine and my schedule. It’s less to do with the fact that we have a five week old baby and more to do with that fact that a little over two weeks ago I accepted the fact that I was suffering from either anxiety or Postnatal Depression. D was only two weeks old and it had hit me hard. In the beginning I questioned whether it was the baby blues as the pregnancy hormones began to leave my body and sent me into a spiral. But now that I am five weeks postpartum and I’m still experiencing the painful pang of what feels like depression mixed with anxiety and confusion, I realise that I need help. I was nervous about publishing this post because it’s incredibly personal, probably the most personal I’ve written on the blog as it leaves me somewhat vulnerable, but if even one person relates to this post and realises that they too are suffering which then leads them to get help, then this post has been worth publishing.
I’m not sure if it’s a normal occurence or if many tapped into this phenomenon, but B and I have talked about this quite a lot over the years as we look back on our first few weeks and months… ok, years with A. We developed, almost instantaneously, a Siege Mentality as soon as we brought A home from the hospital. Whether it was because we were mentally unprepared for our new life with a baby or the shock factor of how difficult and drastic a change it was, we don’t know. Either way, it was our new life as we aimed to protect our newborn and ourselves from any, whether positive or negative, outside influences from the world.
It’s common to have mood swings in pregnancy. Our hormones are, not so literally, sprawled across the floor in a tangled mess that even the most expert of puzzle makers could unravel. We are the Christmas tree lights thrown into the bottom of the box when we said, “we’ll deal with that next year.” So far, fourteen weeks into this pregnancy, I’ve had very valid and legitimate reasons to cry. I’ve cried through the fear and the panic of thinking we were losing this baby. I’ve cried over the worry and anxiety of literally believing I had to try to hold this baby in. I know, a ridiculous thought, but that’s what it felt like. And yet, it seems, the last few weeks that I am able to open the flood gates for well… anything. And a second later, I want to sing from the rooftops my joy and excitement. A euphoria that inevitably comes crashing down. The ups and downs of pregnancy emotions can be difficult to deal with. Especially when those around you don’t understand or appreciate how much of a rollercoaster pregnancy is.