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Feeling well enough at last to find my voice again

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi everyone!

I have known for years there was a forum here and was too afraid to join because it would mean admitting I needed medication and just couldn't fix this by myself. So here I am at last! I hope this helps even one person if they are feeling like I did. Ok here goes.....

I'm a 32 year old mum of 2, 15 months apart. I'm happily married, love my job, love my family and friends. I have support. Nothing bad has happened to me. So I thought I had no right to feel depressed. I have always been an anxious and emotional person. Mood swings were normal for me. I made every excuse to myself and the doctors to explain away my poor scores on the postnatal depression checklists. I admitted I constantly thought about suicide but that had been normal for me for years so it didn't feel like a big deal, it didn't mean I'd do anything. I was angry all the time and my moods were unpredictable.

Hubby said constantly I don't care what the doctor said you perform for them and I know you. Something is wrong. After my second bub and the start of a new health condition (psoriatic arthritis) I saw a psychologist who said I was dealing with chronic pain and two small children and what I felt was normal.

I practiced mindfulness. Family and friends gave me rest. Eventually I got medication to help my joints. I talked. I ate well, I went back to work. Everything was supposed to be better....

But I felt worse. I'd see the doctor and they'd say I was ok but I'd stand at the sink washing dishes and plan the steps of how to kill myself. If I wasn't busy I would find the thoughts repeating. They'd all be better off without you. You're worthless. They'll only put up with so much of your issues and then they'll leave you. So I'd plan how to die. And I was TERRIFIED.

My husband told me to write down exactly what I felt on a bad day and he put it in an envelope and made me an appointment for the psychologist. We made a plan. I would go in and say I need you to read this. I don't feel like this now but this is how I've felt most days for years but I can't seem to communicate it to a doctor and get help and I'm so frightened.

And finally! A crisis plan put in place until I could see the psychiatrist! Apparently I have had major depression for over 12 years. Only after starting an antidepressant did I notice how anxious and self destructive I had constantly been. I don't have suicidal thoughts anymore. I am happy again. It's the start of my journey but there is hope at last.

1,302 Replies 1,302

Hey Quercus -

You remind me so much of a younger me!

Like Mary, I had 4 kids, mine having just 5 years between youngest to oldest. I got post natal depression with my first, but was young, and it wasn't recognised. He was around a year or 18 months old when I marched up to the local hospital, handed him over, and asked someone to take him before I killed him. I got support that day (sadly no one suggested a psychologist), but what was better, I got a "parenting plan". My son got help (he ended up at Early Intervention"), and my husband and I got lessons on how to manage him. Those lessons got me a long way.

I know what it's like to be a banshee! The frustration builds up to such a degree that it just needs an outlet. Afterwards I would feel embarrassed although everyone would toe the line for a while (Sadly I did it at work a couple of times as well and ended up being "performance managed"). Years later I found other outlets that allowed me to be a banshee less often, although it is only now I am seeing someone about my issues. I congratulate you for seeing someone now.

As for the ex-boyfriend's parents, I'm sure your psych will tell you that you build it up to such an extent in your mind, that it far surpasses the reality. It is a shame that it has spoilt things for you with the new block. Good on you for having the courage to talk to your husband about it - I'm not sure how mine would handle me telling him half of what I tell my psychologist, let alone what I have revealed on BB. You will learn to move pass it, make new memories, and enjoy all the promise your new home has to offer.

I love Mary's idea about getting someone from BB into the work place. Sadly bullies appear everywhere in life. We can't control what they say, only our reaction to them. Hopefully with a bit of confidence under your belt, you can let things go a bit easier.

Anyway, I just wanted to reassure you how "normal" were!

Take care

TA

The_Abyss
Community Member
Quercus - you mention elsewhere about "escaping your past"? Is this part of the ex-boyfriend thing? Is it something you feel ready to share?

Hi The Abyss,

Thanks for your replies. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who struggled with adjusting to life with kids but sorry you had to go through it too. Wow 4 kids in 5 years my hat goes off to you that would have been so difficult.

I know you're right about the block I'm sure we'll get there and my fears about seeing him in town will be unwarranted.

Talking to hubby felt like the right thing to do. I don't like the idea of putting thoughts on the internet which I'm not willing for my family to know. Someone wrote on your thread about fear about fearing being exposed that someone will recognise them and I completely get that.

Thank you but I don't think I want to talk about the ex. It gets me really down and I don't like that. I'd rather focus on the present and all the good things in my life now. But I appreciate you caring. I am going to work through it with the psychiatrist though don't worry.

I hope you're having a good day and am glad to hear you are getting some help (better late than not at all!). Take care 😊

Hello Quercus and TA

Hope life is a bit better today. Mine started badly. Had to go for a blood test and thought I had plenty of time before my next job. But no, my body decided to resist the attack and it was the third nurse who finally squeezed some of the red stuff out of me. So cotton swabs on my arm and finger.

Late for my job and as the other person could not start without me I was in trouble but we were friends by the time we finished. Didn't make up time though so was late visiting one of my pastoral care ladies. What a day and it's only lunchtime. Now waiting for my ladies group to arrive. I will be happy to get to bed tonight.

Quercus, please don't be afraid of the past when talking with your psychiatrist. I finally managed to talk about my childhood and marriage and it was painful. But it was also enlightening to hear what the psych had to say about it all. It's given me a much better idea of why I am the person you see (or read).

I love the word banshee. Not sure if I actually got there but on Friday and Saturday last week I think I came very close. It's a good job I have a wonderful support circle.

TA, just so you don't think you have the cornered the market in children, my eldest was five when I had my fourth. 😊 Not that I'm boasting. Oh yes, my third child had measles at the same time as baby four arrived. So there I was in labour dithering about whether to go to hospital while my poor son was abandoned to the next door neighbour. It's a good job we have children while we are young. Nowadays I can hand the littlies back to mom and dad instead of falling into hysterics.

Quercus I am overjoyed for you to know you have eventually been able to tell your husband some of the 'stuff' you have tried to bury. It's OK not to talk on BB but please tell the psych. Better still, write it down. I think you will find it's not so bad when you see it in writing. Go slowly, though if your psych is good he/she will not push you too hard. I think it took about a year before I got to the bad stuff. In that time I was busy telling her why I didn't need to talk to a psych. Hmmm.

Take good care of yourselves ladies. I hope to write in again soon. Going to have lunch tomorrow with my second daughter to give her daughter, my granddaughter, her birthday present. She was 14 on Saturday but chose to go out with her friends instead of the usual family party.

Mary

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Quercus~

I wanted to say thank you to you for sharing the memory of your special place in

Forums/ Staying well/ Store Your Happy Memories Here:

It was a change of pace - vibrant, alive. Those few lines painted a real complete world. I enjoyed it greatly.

I'm also glad the whole thread strikes a chord with you, I hope you can reach for it and gain a moment's respite when you need a lift

Croix

Hi Mary,

Hope you are having a wonderful time with your daughter and granddaughter today!

I did consider your advice about writing it down (I waffle when I speak so writing helps get to the guts of what I need to say) and it is sound advice. When I spoke to my husband I told him I try to bury it because when I think of it my self esteem shatters all over again and I feel ashamed and worthless. I'm going to try put it on paper before I see the psychiatrist even if it's hard because I'm tired of 'him' having power over me even now. So thank you.

Thinking of you and hoping you are having a much better day today although any day that doesn't begin with needles is a good day for me haha.

Take care 😊

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Croix,

I'm so glad you enjoyed my post. I think your thread is quite possibly the best thing I have read on the forums.

I love reading the stories on it (my favourite is Gruffudd's one about his grandma and the sledgehammer!).

Thank you for the thread and for the private reply you take the time to write to make people feel heard. I sat there this morning writing that memory and laughing... my kids were looking at me like I'd lost the plot.

Hope you're having a good day too 😊

Hello Quercus

You are sounding more positive and hopeful with each post. That's fantastic. Doesn't matter how small the steps are, you are taking them.

How is the writing going? Don't go back and read it. Stop when you get to the end of a story or when you get tired. It can be exhausting but so worthwhile. Then just hand it over. If you want the psych to keep a copy, ask him to photocopy it. I think you will want to keep the original. You can read it later, but make sure it is later, at least six months. Let the dust and trauma settle first. It will be a bit hard, but oh the relief at doing it and working on ways to manage this awfulness. Definitely on the right road.

Mary

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Quercus~

No, that thread is not the best place - though I'll admit it is pretty good:) (Gruffudd is amazing)

It's places where people improve - which from a quick re-read seems by and large to apply here.

BTW you said:

Music is my saviour too!

I find a great deal of enjoyment in other peoples' musical tastes - would not have discovered Tom Waits otherwise for one thing. If you don't mind my asking what do you enjoy?

If you are curious about some of my own listening you could look at

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/bb-social-zone/croix-parler

Where I natter on with others about such.

Croix (who firmly believes in distractions for bad times)

Hi Mary,

Hope you have had a lovely Easter! We went and visited my family so I put the writing on the backburner for now but I will try soon.

I like your idea of just writing and not reading it until I feel done. Sometimes I try something similar with paint or pencils and I always seem to end up with holes in the paper and a mass of scribbles that remind me of frustration and rage. Maybe trying to have to focus and get the words out will be more productive.

Sorry, I am not in a good place tonight. I'm always out of sorts having to come back to the city.

Hope you are spending time with your family and enjoying yourself.

As always, thank you for listening and for your help. It means a lot to me.