Here I am looking at my beautiful, contented daughter playing on her playmat. All is calm. I have a cup of tea. Lunch is half prepared, just waiting for the bread to finish baking.
This scene is as far away as it is possible to imagine from where I was a couple of months ago. I was either constantly phoning friends crying, or absorbed in my head with dark thoughts of how to end both my and my daughter’s life.
I call them my dark days, and it’s painful to think of them as I have no desire to go back there.
In truth, I don’t remember much of the detail. It’s been suggested to me that it’s one of the mind’s ways of protecting me. Whatever it is, I’m not questioning it but instead enjoying this much more positive space I am in.
I wanted to write this small piece to offer others in a similar situation hope – that you too can emerge to enjoy your child’s early days and start to feel the love and fun that can be involved in those early months.
I had been trying to conceive for two years plus, so Katie was very much a wanted child. I was totally unprepared for what happened once she was born. I started to feel so distant from her and like I had ruined both my and my husband’s life.
It was only through the intervention of the perinatal mental health services and the support of the crisis team that I managed to start to turn the situation around. I started taking some medication and slowly, within a fortnight, things began to feel better. Now, obviously things are not rosy – I still have the broken sleep and a young baby to entertain – but the difference is I am enjoying it. On balance – life is good.