PANDAS Foundation (a charity supporting those with pre and post-natal mental health issues) helped me to set up a local support group because I am determined to help others who develop with pre and post-natal mental health problems.
Since I was interviewed for a film for last year’s awareness week I have seen counsellors, a hypnotherapist, completed a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I’m on the way to regularly practicing Mindfulness.
I also finally agreed to take the anti-depressants that the doctor has been offering me since all this started.
All of the therapies that I have tried have had an impact in some way; teaching me how to recognise unhelpful thoughts and practices, giving me techniques to manage each day and helping me to be kinder to myself.
However, I’ve come to realise over the last year that while all these things are great and help me in their own way, the only person that can really help me is well, me.
That is a really daunting thought given that I’m not exactly a ‘glass half full’ kind of person.
It takes a lot of energy to get up and get through each day and the thought of having to do more than that; to recover, is overwhelming.
I know that I am lucky; I have a supportive network of a husband, family and friends who are helping me to be strong and see the positive in life.
But the fundamental problem is that I don’t know who I am anymore.
I’ve spent so long in the dark fog of depression just trying to survive each day that I’ve lost my sense of self and forgotten what it feels like to be well.
So this is the decision; do I remain someone who is only ‘okay’ but who is a bit lost and unhappy, or do I climb out of this hole, discover who I am now and crack on with living my life?
While the answer I want to choose appears obvious, I know it’ll be hard. I can’t decide to do this for my family, friends or even for my children. I need to want to do this for me.
I’m ready to get back to joy.
Please join me on my adventure and let’s see where we get to by #PNDAW17! Follow @Pandas_uk and contribute your story.