10 May Darkness into Light 2017: Hope and Support
A deeply personal but beautiful blog from Joanne who was clearly moved by her participation in the Darkness Into Light 2017 event last Saturday morning. It speaks for itself …..
Over to you Joanne…
For those of you who follow our Facebook page you may have seen me at the Darkness into Light last Saturday morning. This event has inspired me to write this blog which I have been thinking about for a long time. Before we set off on our walk last Saturday morning a letter was read out about the signs of depression and a few tips on how we all can reach out to our friends, family and colleagues.
Becoming a mum
I stopped to think of all the Mums I know, especially new Mums, and how tough that time can be. Becoming a Mum is a whole new universe, no matter how well we all plan, it takes serious adjustment. My personal experience of becoming a Mum for the first time was emotional. I had a very tough pregnancy with many bleeds and when my daughter was born two weeks early she weighed 5 pounds one and we could not believe she was healthy as we had been warned there could be problems. Fast forward to my second pregnancy, to prevent bleeds and miscarriage I was placed on hormones to help maintain my pregnancy. As a result the pregnancy progressed full term with no drama and my second daughter was born at full term. We were over the moon and I believed that life would go back to normal.
Compassion and understanding
I am not sure how quickly I knew I felt differently, but I do remember when my daughter was six months old I felt like I was looking in at moments. I knew I loved my family and life, but I couldn’t feel it. The smallest change in my day would overwhelm me, I felt anxious all the time. I did go to my GP and she gave me sound advice for the “normal” me. Get out and exercise, take time to yourself etc. I left her office and cried harder. I just could not process the advice she gave me: I was exhausted and anxious. It took me another number of months to make another appointment and I got another GP in the practice. As soon as I broke down he showed me compassion and understanding, he reassured me that I did not have to feel this way, that it was not my fault and that he would help me. I explained that I could not even start to take the advice of the other GP as I could not process properly. He advised me to try medication for a few months to get myself to a place where I could get out for a walk etc. I honestly cannot tell you how much he helped me. It wasn’t just the medication which I only stayed on for less than nine months. It was his compassion. He listened to me. He never judged me, and he told me I was a good Mum. I can honestly say that I am one hundred per cent back to myself, sad and moody when appropriate but not overwhelmed.
Importance of getting back to you
I know working in EVB sport I have had the privilege to speak to so many customers some have opened up about their anxiety about not being able to exercise like they did before kids. Some may be suffering from back or hip pain, some from prolapse or pelvic discomfort. I do understand the importance of being able to get back you post motherhood. I now feel like my old self only a hundred times busier. I really hope that my daughters will never suffer from post-natal depression or anxiety or experience a difficult time in child birth but if they do I will be there for them to help them find solutions and there are so many.
If I can inspire any of you to take five minutes today to look around your friends and family and ask them if they are ok. Give them support. I was lucky that my family and friends were amazing. My sister and my best friend encouraged me to go back to my doctor. There is always light just sometimes we need to search through the dark for it.