One of my new year’s resolutions is to do everything possible to help myself recover from post natal depression. At this stage I don’t really know how I’m going to go about doing this but visiting my local library has never led me astray when looking for knowledge.
I’ve loaned Down came the rain – a mother’s story of psotnatal depression by Brooke Shields and Surviving post-natal depression – at Home no one hears you scream by Cara Aiken. I started Surviving post-natal depression yesterday reading Cara’s experience and it was one of the hardest things. It’s unbelievable how hearing someone else being so candid about their feelings and experiences can make me so upset. Probably because I could have written the entry myself and seeing the feelings and emotions on paper somehow make them more real. More real and much bigger than me. Just reading Cara’s thoughts and feelings made me realise how big and scary PND actually is. It made me feel like I was a tiny timid child hiding in a cave while a grotesque monster terrorizes me from outside.
I know I must read. I know I must see, and realise and understand if I am to recover but just seeking the knowledge terrifies me. Because once the knowledge is sought I will identify, and once I’ve identified I must assess and once I’ve assessed I must act. Just writing those words makes me shake because somehow the devil I know while I live with PND is safer than the even scarier devil I do not know which might be lying in wait when I start to heal.
In fairy stories there’s always a magic sword excalibur or a special potion that helps the heroine to overcome the evil but for me, there’s no magic tools. Only me. Only me, fighting tooth and nail to survive in that cave in the darkness. The funny things is I know that in that cave with me are all the tools I need to defeat that monster outside. I know there’s a lamp in the cave, as well as the nourishment I need to make me strong. I’m just too afraid to move or lift a finger to light that lamp.
For now, I’m just going to take things one tiny step at a time. Not even one day at a time. A day is far too long to even contemplate. One foot in front of the other is all I can manage for now. But I will read and I will continue to walk, possibly in the wrong direction for now but at least I’m walking.
In the words of Elton John… I’m still standing, after all this time
and I will continue to stand.
Yours in the PND fight,