In just over a week, my baby boy turns one. When I look back over this time, I’d love to say it’s been filled with overwhelming love, light and wonder, as I share my life with my beautiful first born son … But in reality, it’s been one of the darkest years of my life.
I thought maybe it was the lack of sleep that was making me feel generally anxious and depressed, or that maybe it was just taking me a long time to adjust to the culture shock that comes with having children, or maybe I was just a whiney Mum. But now that he’s sleeping through the night and becoming more of a bouncy, happy, independent little man, these excuses no longer work. I've had to come to terms with the fact that I’m unwell and I’ve been feeling sick inside for almost a year now. I’ve got Post Natal Depression.
So last night I finished this artwork called ‘PND’, exploring and really delving into my feelings and emotions about this time in my life. The circular shape in the centre is me, the clouds are above me, streaming down rain like a waterfall. There is darkness, there is sadness, there is strength and there is courage and hope. But most of all, there is truth. There’s no more running for me, I’m here to face it and allow this time in my life to exist. There’s a new dawn inside me, ready to take the next step to recovery.
It’s been a long journey coming to this point. Lots of dreams through the night, gently nudging me to see my reality as it really is. I’ve tried exploring and healing myself through my art, with natural medicine, healthy eating, yoga, counselling and positive thinking, but the day came today, where I picked myself up and went to the doctors. After a long time of struggle, I admitted that I need help and as of today, I’m on medication.
I’m doing my best to not beat myself up for failing to ‘just pull it together’ and how I should be just appreciating the gifts I have as mother, but those thoughts don’t serve me. I’m committed to recovering the life I deserve to enjoy and for me, that means for a while, I need a bit of help in the form of a little tablet. And if it’s going to benefit me, it’s going to benefit my family, so I know I’m doing the right thing.
It’s a tough time, but I know I’ll get through it. And life will be better than ever.