Because of my history with depression, I have had a lot of concern from professionals and friends in the weeks following both my daughters’ births. I am at high risk of getting post natal depression, and I have appreciated the extra support, and the sense that I am being monitored. One of the scary things for me about this condition is how easy it is to slip into it without anyone (myself included) noticing, until it has become serious and horrible. I wanted to tell you all though that I am doing really well. Dare I say it, I actually feel happy. Last night Charis kept me up from 2 until 5.30 am and I still feel fine. I’m not sure why I’ve escaped, but here are some things that have definately helped-
1. I have had loads of help. I am a very limited person in terms of energy and domesticity and multi-tasking type things, so I may well have drowned in the early weeks of mothering two children, but for eight weeks meals arrived each evening, and even now there are offers of help with ironing, looking after Alexa and shopping.
2. I am still on my medication. Medication helps! I have said it before, and I am not ashamed to say it again.
3. I go to bed stupidly early. If you were to phone me after 8.30 pm it would be too late, and I’d wake with a start thinking “Who could be calling at this ungodly hour?”
4. I am back to running three times a week. This is good for the old endorphins, bur also gives me little slots of thinking/ praying/ alone times which are very precious right now.
5. I have a strong community around me. I don’t think we should try to raise children on our own. We need people to share life with at all stages, but particularly when in charge of small people from morning to night.
1 in 10 women get post natal depression. I am so grateful- and surprised- to be one of the nine that don’t. But if you are that 1, please know that you are not alone, have nothing to blame yourself for, and get some help asap.