Secretary, Group Facilitator & Administrator
I had Daisy when I was 33 and I have always been in control of my life. For the first few weeks of being a Mum I thought I was coping but looking back I was obsessed by routine, obsessed by how much my daughter ate, slept, and stayed awake, it’s all I thought about. I even set my alarm for 6.30am so I could wake her for her morning feed (even if she’d only fed an hour before). By the time she was 6 weeks old I was mentally and physically exhausted. I started to feel like I couldn’t cope mixed with heightened feelings of anxiety, panic and dread. I couldn’t eat or sleep, it felt like I had been injected with pure dread.
I would have moments of extreme sadness, like all the hope had been sucked from me. A minute felt like an hour, and just when I was feeling more like me I would get bulldozered back down again. To go from being completely in control to such an extreme mix of emotions was incredibly frightening and overwhelming. And on top of that I had to look after a baby!
Luckily I’m a pretty outspoken person and not ashamed to ask for help so after a few days I went to the Doctors who gave me a form of anti-depressant however I needed reassurance that what I was feeling was normal and to understand what was happening to me. My health visitor put me in touch with The SMILE Group and I attended. It was such a relief to meet other women who had experienced what I was going through and who could relate to the thoughts and feelings I was having.
Along with medication, therapy and support from The SMILE Group over the period of a year I gradually got better. Postnatal depression for me was a real journey. I had to learn techniques to help me cope with the illness that I now use daily. The illness forced me to review my way of thinking. I am a much calmer and happier person now and can feel grateful for being able to help others through what has been the most painful experience of my life. But most of all, I am so grateful for my beautiful daughter whom I absolutely adore and could not imagine life without.