The relief of getting the diagnosis was very short lived, The feeling of relief quickly gave way to fear, terror, guilt and shock to name just a few. I had no experience of this illness in the past. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to deal with this. I needed to make a plan to beat this, fast!! That’s how function. I hit a problem, I make a plan, then make it happen.
In this situation I had no idea where to start. I decided that arming myself with plenty of knowledge would be the best way forward. The faded print outs that the doctor gave me weren’t enough to satisfy my appetite for information. I wanted to hear from people who had personal experience of this. I wanted to hear exactly what life with this illness was all about. ‘Knowledge is power’ I thought….. No. Knowledge is freaking terrifying….
I found countless stories of how hard and long people had fought this illness, with many ups and downs along the way. Some people battled it for years. I had no idea that PND could last longer than a few months let alone years!! I guess what I was really looking for was advice on how to survive each day. I use the word ‘survive’ because that is what I was doing. I wasn’t ‘living’ I was ‘surviving’ on a day to day basis. At this moment in time this was all I could do….
Having seen all of this research I mentally prepared myself for the worst. I knew I was a tough old boot so I could, and would get through this. Some of these poor women had been through so much I really felt for them. I struggled to come to term with the diagnosis of PND. This didn’t happen to me, this happened to other people. This wasn’t what I was supposed to be….. I felt I had let down my children, my husband, my parents and in-laws. I wasn’t being what I was supposed to be! I was struggling to be a mother. Something I had done so easily with Missy B.
The next few months were so so tough. I’m ashamed to say I woke up every morning and though ‘Oh bloody hell, here we go again. Another day to try and get through.’ Each day felt like a mini battle, some days I felt I was winning but the majority of the time I felt I was losing. I was living in an antidepressant induced stupor. I didn’t know which way was up most days. I felt fuzzy, subdued and numb!
So much of the research I found promised that it would get better, the days would get easier. The bad days would gradually be over taken by the good days until you couldn’t remember the last time you had a bad day. At this point in my journey I found this very hard to believe. I would of settled for a good hour let alone a good day! I was in this for the long term. I was ready to fight this. Some days PND won the battles but I was determined that I would win the war!!