This week in the “Mums and Mental Health” series, we have an anonymous poster. The previous weeks have been fantastic thanks to, Nancy and Katy, however, after chatting with this blogger personally, she has decided that it would be best to publish this anonymously. I completely respect that decision, she is incredibly brave for letting me post this, so thank you, Mrs X!
“So my life has changed since becoming a mother, like you, I’ve suffered with my mental health. I had problems before my boy was born, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was younger and it has really affected me as a mother. When he was born I was the most unmedicated I had been in years, because I had to come off my meds to prevent any withdrawal for my baby. I didn’t cope with it well at all. The following months were really difficult, I surfed on the cusp of managing and not managing; most of the time I didn’t. There is no way I could explain to anyone how I felt and I wasn’t able to look after my son.
I hated being a mother, and very often still do, even 15 months on. I know that’s hard to read, who dares to admit they wish they were living the life they had before children? I find it hard to take care of my own mental health when my mind is completely preoccupied with stopping this little tyrant from eating a pair of scissors or pulling the dog’s fur out in clumps. I don’t ever want my mental health to define me; it is not who I am, but a part of who I am. However, I’m finding it increasingly hard to draw a line under my condition and move on with it in the background. Sometimes it envelops me and I’m left paralysed by my mood, not knowing how I am going to manage to get through the day, let alone look after a child as well. I have to call on family, as I just can’t manage on my own.
My mental health is my worst enemy, it is that bully that is always sat on my shoulder, berating my ability as a mum. The thing is; when I am horrible to myself and tear a piece out of everything I do, I listen. I just can’t help it. I believe all of the nasty things I think about myself. That my son doesn’t love me or I’m a s**t mother, along with all the other horrible things you could possibly think of. I’ve thought them all. Do you know how it feels to truly believe your son doesn’t love you? That they would lead a happier life without you because you’re no good? This is what my life is filled with, I never give myself a break and it’s exhausting. I’ve had therapy and I’m taking pills, but it still doesn’t make me better. It just makes life bearable.
The guilt I feel as a bipolar mummy is huge. My poor long-suffering husband bears the brunt of it; trying to keep me on the straight and narrow and reassure me that I am a good mother constantly. It must be hell for him to have to deal with my moods and my frequent relapses into depression. But what about my son? What must it be like for him to have such inconsistency with his own mother, one day I’m coping great, and the next I can barely manage. The guilt for what I’m putting and will put my son through is terrible. I just want to be a normal mum.
When Clare was asking for posts for her blog, I really wanted to take part. I wanted to show a glimpse into life with long term mental health issues that are diagnosed before pregnancy and even more present once your child is born. It’s incredibly hard, and probably a very depressing read, for that I am sorry. But unfortunately sometimes life takes you down a path you hadn’t imagined for yourself. You just have to deal with it and move forward the only way you know how… each day at a time.”
If you wish to leave a comment for Mrs X below, I will pass them all on to her. If she has any responses I will post them on her behalf.
If you are feeling any of the feelings that Mrs X has talked about, please see your GP, there is a lot of help and support available. If you are needing someone to talk to, Samaritans is always available 24/7, you can call anonymously and email them as well. Click here to visit their website. Please don’t suffer in silence.
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!