Hi guys I am new to this blogging business. I wouldn’t say I’m a woman of words. I always seem to get tongue tied or mix my words up so please bear with me. I can’t promise that my SPAG is very good either I’m afraid but what I can promise you is honesty. I very much wear my heart on my sleeve.
I am a mother of three and a wife of one. One very patient and kind man. One; who doesn’t judge me and although he doesn’t fully understand me he does try bless him.
I have always been an anxious person, a born worrier and a comparer of other people (…women… mums). I have always had this feeling of not being quite “good enough” in anything. I don’t want to bore you with my total life history so let’s move on to…..
June 2016 (Return to work)
I had my third child back in August 2015. He had been several years in the planning; a small niggle in my mind; a should we have another child or not. After long discussions with my patient husband it was all go and we were blessed with our little one. A gorgeous boy to go with our two equally gorgeous and growing girls (aged 7 & 10). I had been working for several years as a part time school administrator and before getting pregnant I was happy in my job and for once felt like I was good at something. On returning to work in the June when my little on was 10 months I felt completely “out of the loop”, everything had seemed to have changed. I felt jealous of how much my colleagues had loved my temporary replacement. It was like the sun literally shone out of her arse. I hadn’t had much socialising with my colleagues whilst on maternity leave so it was like starting all over again trying to build relationships with these people and…… I had changed. I felt different. My confidence had gone; I couldn’t focus on my work and I simply couldn’t concentrate. I was only working part time mornings but I hated having to rush about on a morning then ship my little one off to his grandparents (I know I was lucky to have family to take care of him please don’t judge) and be away from him for 5 hours. I missed him so much. I felt like I was abandoning him. I had total mum guilt. I had been a stay at home mum with our first daughter up to the age of about 2 and half and then with our second daughter I went back to work when she was 9 months and I just didn’t feel it like I did with the little dude. My heart was literally breaking. The thing was that when I was at work I wasn’t constantly thinking about him or panicking if he was ok; I just felt this awful feeling of heaviness that I didn’t want to be there; sat at my desk trying to fathom out what I should be doing. I wanted to be with him.
Then it came like a thick fog. It was quite slow at first; creeping up on me. I couldn’t concentrate at work, I had no focus in me at all. I had forgot how to do a job that I used to do standing on my head. Then I couldn’t remember things; silly little things. I started to feel really crap. I felt like after my morning at work I would come home and I would be rushing constantly trying to get everything done and not actually getting anywhere. I started to feel like I was doing a shit job at work and a shit job at home. I started to feel panicked.
Here it is – that dark cloud
My little one had been struggling with severe constipation from when he was first born. Every poo was a nightmare. He would scream out in pain and nearly turn purple straining. It was taking its toll on my heart strings making me feel helpless and again guilty for leaving him to go to work. A work where I hadn’t actually got a clue what I was doing anymore. These feelings built and built until one day driving to work I had a massive panic attack. I had had them before (years ago) I knew what it was but I just didn’t want to admit it. I had to pull into a nearby supermarket car park. Totally hyperventilating with big, fat tears streaming from my eyes. I was inconsolable. It took me a while to be able to get my phone out of my bag due to shaking. I phoned “the patient one” and then the doctors. I sat in that car park for an hour trying to calm myself down. That was the realisation point that I had postnatal depression and my anxiety had gone up a fair few notches.
Over a year later
That was last October. The doctor put me on antidepressants, I was signed off of work for a month (which became three) and my work arranged for me to have hypnotherapy sessions each week with a therapist. The meds made me feel like a complete zombie. I had been on antidepressants before and didn’t feel like they had helped then and I didn’t think they were helping this time either. The hypnotherapy was “nice”; it gave me a time-out each week. Every Tuesday morning I would freak out about going (#anxiety) then go sit in Dunelm cafe for an hour (because I was majorly early for my appointment). I would people watch. I would sip my hot coffee (which other parents would know a hot drink is a rarity) and I would actually breathe. Then in my hypno session I would kick off my shoes, lie back and breathe some more. I started to become mindful of my life which made me start to appreciate things more and show myself some self love which I hadn’t been doing. I started to build myself back up trying not to let my mind and it’s nasty thoughts consume me. I started to get a bit rebellious. The doctor had said to me not to make any permanent decisions about work or anything as I wasn’t in the right place mentally. So I decided to go get a tattoo 😳 at the age of 34 being a person who is petrified of needles and faints at the sight of blood it seemed like the right thing to do 😜. The thing was that at the time with the meds I was taking I had stopped feeling. I just felt numb. I had gone from being a bit of an emotional wreck to not being able to shed a tear at things that would have normally provoked that emotion in me. I wanted to feel something even if it was the pain of someone scribing into my arm with a needle.
I then convinced myself that I was on the mend. I had been enjoying the slower pace of life, enjoying spending time with the little guy that was quality time. Although one thing started to get to me – I was now missing work. Missing feeling like I was contributing, like I was sort of professional. I was missing dressing smart and making an effort and feeling like I was more than a mummy. I bloody couldn’t win!
Happy New Year
I decided to give my job another shot. I went back in January this year with fire in my belly. I was going to do it all because that’s what other mum’s do. I needed to step up and stop being so weak. I threw myself back in to my job, got myself back on top of what I was doing. It was hard because I was still having difficulty concentrating. The mum guilt continued and when I got home I would cuddle the little dude like I’d not seen him for days even though it had been a few hours. I pushed it to one side. I even did more hours at work helping with an after school club. I thought yes I’m back on track.
Denial is not just a river
Who was I kidding. My panic attacks started up again. I couldn’t sleep on a night; my mind whirling with thoughts lots of them. Horrible, nasty thoughts about how rubbish I was and how I couldn’t cope. I’d lasted all of 4 weeks. I was starting to struggle again already. I would sit at my desk and just feel lost. Who the hell was I – I had no clue. I then got news of a restructure at work. The plan was for full time staff in the office. I was the only part time admin worker across our multi academy Trust.
A long story – short
So to do the above…. I freaked out and couldn’t even think about going full time. The whole restructure process was long 😔 & drawn out. It wrecked me. I became “ill” again. I made a decision, a permanent decision and went for voluntary redundancy. It took a while to get granted but it did and that was in April this year. I am very fortunate that we can just about afford for me not to have to work. Things are tight and I am working really hard to break habits of just spending money on what I want but I am getting there. I am enjoying spending time with my little boy, time where mummy isn’t so stressed or anxious and time in the slower lane of life. This blog is so much longer than I had planned and that is something I need to work on – short but sweet maybe? Anyways for now I will leave it at that but I will tell you later what has been going on since April 😘