Coping with Postnatal depression Part 2

Disclaimer. I am not a doctor nor am I a therapist. This is all from personal experience and you can take this advice if you wish.

This is a follow on post forĀ Coping with Postnatal DepressionĀ part 1.

Rereading the first post I made about suffering from PND opened my eyes to a whole new me. I could almost picture myself back in my bedroom after Alice’s dad left and remembered the pain deep within my stomach and the soreness of my eyes, grief had taken over and I can say now without a doubt, grieving someone who is still alive is the worse pain imaginable. I am now seven months into my single motherhood journey and it has taken me on a long road to recovery.

I wanted to write an update on how I’ve coped, what I have overcome and what I am still dealing with. However, I don’t want this post to be as doom and gloom as my last few ones I think have come across. So lets all take a deep breath, put on some “banging” tunes, dance around your room for a one song dance party and then lets do this!

I remember the first month of being on me own and feeling how difficult and scared I was to even go to the shop by myself. I would cry every single day and I was extremely argumentative towards my closest friends and family. I knew deep down there was something wrong and I am deeply grateful for my mother who held my hand and took me to the doctors and they gave me the help I needed.

If you remember in my first post, my postnatual wasn’t directed at Alice and even today it still isn’t. It was more a less directed at myself for allowing my world to change so suddenly.

I gave myself six months to grieve. To say goodbye to the life I thought I was going to have and by February I was feeling 100 times better.

Fast forward to me typing this now. I have finally started to look at myself and feel as if I know that person looking back. I know that who I was and what happened to me has made me the person I am today.

I still have bad days and I still get those moments where I want to lock myself away and forget everything but because of Alice I still get up every morning to start the day with a fresh mind.

Recently, I announced a photography portrait project I am doing about mental health and self esteem issues within woman. And hearing other woman’s struggles has made me realise just how strong we ladies are even when the world has tried knocking us down.

I will talk about this project in another blog post when I am ready to release the gallery. The aim is to get it up in an exhibit and to remove the stigma of mental health with women.

I am amazed every day when I speak to another mother about postnatal depression and how they have been made to feel as if its a battle they can only fight on their own. Which is wrong. I am so grateful for the support I have had throughout this entire journey and although you may feel that we are strangers, I am here to listen to you should you wish to talk about PND as I know what its like to feel alone.

I hope this post has been less depressing as my last few and thank you for taking the time to read my posts and send me your comments.

Hope you have a great week!
xoxo

Images shot by Violettes Photography

My Five Struggles of Single Parenthood

Please note, this is from my personal experience. This is no way to disregard or question the abilities of single mothers or fathers.

As Alice reaches her 10th month, I am stuck wondering and questioning if we will ever get out of my parent’s house or if we’re really going to be stuck here until I get a full-time job and she is in full-time school. I’ve already said this before but if you had told me what my life would be like right now, I would laugh it off and told you to stop being so silly. Had I foreseen what was going to happen, would I have done things differently? Would I have saved every last penny I had to buy a house? Would I have stayed at the home me and Will shared and claimed the benefits I can get today? Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it. You run through everything through your mind that you could have done differently, but would it had mattered? I’m a big believer in fate so either way, my path was set no matter how many turns I took to avoid the ending.

There are many things I am currently struggling with being a single parent and I was going through my facebook feed the other night and believe it or not, it’s very common for you to be a single parent. More so, a single mum and dad normally get’s the best of both worlds. Freedom whenever and to parent maybe two or three times a week. I am lucky in my situation that Alice’s father and his family love having her and they don’t miss out much in terms of her milestones and growing.

However, here are my top five things I feel are my struggles.

  1. Dating
    As you all know, I’ve been trying out Tinder and the first time wasn’t that bad but it did end pretty crappy and now I’m back on that horse (Excuse the pun). I’ve been on a few dates so far and out of five, one is the only one even worth mentioning. But trying to date as well as juggle being a parent is bloody hard! I am very honest with being a mum and if someone doesn’t like that, I tend to send them on their way. The worse I have found so far is, if you want to stay at your dates house you have to pre-plan it by getting overnight childcare sorted. And let’s be honest here? Who plans to spend the night at their dates house? Most of the time it just happens. Well now I am an organised person and in some aspects of my life that’s great, dating and overnight stays… Not so much.
  2. Freedom
    There’s something about moving back into your parent’s house when you thought your life was going somewhere big and exciting. And with moving back, it comes with rules. I’m in my 26th year and so far I feel as if I am the 16-year-old daughter who got herself pregnant and isn’t allowed to do anything. When you are a big sufferer from PostnatalĀ Depression, having some freedom aids with your recovery and it’s only now as Alice gets more into a bedtime routine and explaining to my parents I am losing my mind, have the “chains” been loosened. Of course! I respect the rules as after all, it’s their home and I will most likely have the same rules set for Alice, but no body really tells you after you have a baby how much of your time you lose and how many hours you spend sitting on the sofa, doing loads of washing or chasing a little person around.
  3. Finances
    When you’re in a partnership with someone, there’s another person who supports you and your child. I worked out in total a week I spend around Ā£70, that includes all of Alice’s food, nappies, new clothes, days out and anything I myself need. It’s a depressing feeling as I do enjoy working, I loved looking at the end of the month and seeing my wages just sitting there and now, with no hesitation my money goes on Alice and I save as much as I can in-case of a rainy day. When you’re a single parent you do get to claim some benefits however, no one even takes a second to explain to you what anything is or what to do first and that in itself can put a massive financial strain on your mind.
  4. Keeping Your Mouth Shut
    Now, I’m not sure how many parents do this and I for sure have had a massive wake up call these past two months but keeping your mouth shut with the other parent might do something you don’t agree with or you just want to get your two cents in. Now that is difficult. Many of my friends will tell you, I will say my piece if I have to and I won’t have a problem if it causes an argument, I like to get things out in the open and it does help with my recovery to not keep things bottled in. However, as you become a single parent, the other parent no longer has anything to do with you apart from share a child so therefore what they do in their free time is up to them and you will need to stay out of their business unless it affects your child. This can only work both ways and as frustation, as it is, keeping your mouth shut is normally the best thing. Meaning no facebook posts, no snapchats directed to them or even an Instagram quote because let’s face it, we’ve all done it.
  5. Living a different life.
    I adore being a mother, it’s the most amazing feeling the world. It empowers me to be and do better. However, before I found out I was pregnant in October 2015 I had big plans! Adventures, going on weekends away, photography days and so much more. Fast forward to that day of positive lines, it took me a while to accept that my life had changed and I wasn’t going to be able to do those things, at least until Alice was a lot bigger. You don’t really realise how much your personal life stops because a little person is on there are way. I’m excited for the years to come but they don’t really tell you how difficult the first year really is.

    xoxo

Reaching Acceptance.Ā 

Can we just talk about the above statement for a moment. A few weeks ago I gave Dancing Guy the boot as its awful when you are trying to start anything with anyone and its all one sided and when I mentioned to friends of mine, their responses were “Well he served his purpose”. And that statement got me thinking…

What is the purpose of a fling when you’ve come out of a long term relationship. Is it to prove to yourself you’re able to move on? Is it to make you feel better? Is it just for sex? Or a rebound? 

I have never been one to not enjoy my own company, I’m too awesome šŸ˜‰ Jokes. But I do know what I like and what I don’t. Granted it sucks being a single mum and knowing all your mates get to go out, have the freedom you long for sometimes and they get to have date nights. Whereas if I want a date I have to have a week notice and pray I can get childcare. 

I started back on Tinder again and I’ve already had bad experiences and only one good. So the odds aren’t really in my favour as of yet but I will say as you get older and are reaching your 26th year and have a child, you can afford to be picky and know what you want. 

I might feel alone some nights and want a cuddle or to fall asleep in someone’s arms but I think every human being gets like that sometimes. I still have those moments though when I’m alone, baby free and dancing around in my underwear just as I did when I was 16. 

Getting ready for myself or to go out is bliss when you are enjoying yourself, loving who you are becoming and accepting the way your life is now. 

I didn’t know how important self confidence was and how attractive it can be on a bloke until recently. I guess that comes with age and experiences as well. 

I guess I just wanted to post this up to let you know that everything is 100% fine. Finally. I feel better in myself and I have reached that final step of grief and that is Acceptance. And it is wonderful. You should try it sometime šŸ˜‰ 

Oh and I joined a gym… More on that another time. 

xoxo 

Day At Barry Island

Although Alice has been in the pram when we visited the beach while on holiday, this was the first time she actually got to sit and play in the sand. It was a bit windy on the day but in typical Welsh fashion there was a bit of sun but you still needed a coat. A friend was home for a few days off work and I didn’t want to sit indoors on the only day all week it wasn’t raining.

Enjoy these photographs and just think of the warm sun on your skin and the Welsh wind blowing the cobwebs away.