I don’t even know how I feel any more, but I think, for now, I am going to have to go with angry.
Yesterday I felt as low as I did about two weeks ago. That’s a huge step back from fourteen days progress; progress that had found me feeling almost normal and well, just feeling.
One of my hardest PND battles is simply not feeling. There is no happy or sad, black or white. Everything just exists in one shade of grey, day in, day out. I don’t live or survive, I just am. But I had worked through so much, I had managed to drag myself out of the darkness and for the first time in a long time I was finding pleasure and happiness in fleeting moments every day.
But once again I’m back in the grey. Physically I ache. I’m exhausted; I can’t sleep even though I am so tired I can hardly see straight. My mind is no longer capable of coherent thought, in fact I have a constant headache from trying to string the mess and the nothingness in my mind into something tangible.
The fear and helplessness that looking after Boo instils in me is back and as big and as ugly as it was weeks ago. I can physically feel the mental block in my mind, like the front of my skull is packed full of cotton wool, and I need to break it down again and get back to where I was.
But, back to the anger. Anger is a good thing in the sense that at least it means that I am feeling something. It may be the only thing that I am feeling, but it’s something. And why am I angry? I am angry because I have done all that I can to ask, plead and beg for support. Something, anything, to help me. I can’t do this on my own. I’m not coping.
Can you imagine how much inner strength that it takes to walk into a doctor’s office, sit down and look this stranger in the eye and admit that you can’t look after your own baby? That you don’t love her like you should? Why the fuck then am I presented with a piece of paper to score my despair on? What good is that going to do, really? Does it prove I’m being honest somehow? As if when faced with statements that I have just spoken aloud printed in black and white I’m suddenly supposed to think ‘oh, it’s not that bad really’ and apologise for wasting the doctors’ time? Is it not enough that I had to talk myself into saying these things aloud without having to practically sign them off as being the truth? Are feelings not real if they don’t score certain points?
I feel totally lost and totally alone. I have a health visitor who, when I spoke to her about postnatal depression months ago, told me to ‘cheer up’, a doctor who practically congratulated me on a good depression score (‘nice and high that’) but what else? Yes, I have the most amazing husband I could ever ask for, who not only supports me without question, came straight to my side when I needed him mid panic attack and has since taken yet more time off work to be with me. And I have Boo. Who I love so much but who I can’t allow myself to love. How much more can they take? How much more mentalness and drama until the husband has had enough?
What do I have to do to get help? I know from past experience when I went for ‘shock tactics’ to try to express to the world how much I was hurting on the inside and how desperate I was to be helped – all that led to was being branded as an attention seeker. And is there really the right help out there? I don’t even know what help I want. The drugs clearly aren’t having their desired effect, but then I’m not sure counselling would either. I am too used to putting a brave face on things, to lying about how things really are rather that than admit that sometimes I don’t feel able to cuddle my baby. What else is left?
How is Boo going to feel about me when she grows up? I know she knows I am distant from her now, surely that is going to have a lasting effect on our relationship as she grows up. And, worse, what if she inherits my depression and anxiety too? I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, let alone her.