First time mum/referee to a wild toddler. Self confessed rum enthusiast. Aspiring writer but hell of a procrastinator. Blogging about Mental Health and this motherhood malarkey from a refreshingly honest perspective.

Escaping the Void

I can't get myself out of this damn pit. I wish I could explain. I feel this perpetual emptiness. Is this what nothingness feels like?
I don't feel overcome or overwhelmed. I'm not gasping for air or feeling choked by angry fists. But I feel smothered. I feel like I can't quite catch my breath. I'm dead but I'm breathing. I'm empty but I'm heavy.
Is this what lifelessness feels like?

Resentment. Anxiety. Guilt. I have felt encumbered by them all. I have felt infected beyond a cure at times. I've become an architect of my own dismay. I've experienced a lot of confusing and contradictory emotions since I had my son. I felt as though I was complete yet I felt like my before future has now been yanked from my grasp. A feeling of love but a feeling of resentment. Not towards my son, but myself.
I was plagued with an anxiety that surged out of my control. I spent the first few months of my babies new life oozing with immobilizing terror that my son was going to die.
I couldn't settle myself, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't think clearly.

What if he died of cot death? What if he wriggled out of his tightly bound swaddle and smothered himself while I slept soundly unaware? What if I scooped him up for a cuddle and accidentally let him slip out of my arms and crash to the floor?  What if I let someone else hold him and they infected him with their germs? What if, what if, what if...


It lasted for months. I felt cased in this envelope of dread and terror. I was drowning, sinking, screaming.
On the outside, I was still. Collected. Together.
Three or so months passed by but it finally began to ease. The terror that stalked me, lessened. Honestly, I think I was just so drained with feeling so much anxiety, feeling so alert all the time that my mind and body couldn't function anymore.
I just couldn't be bothered to feel anxious. The cure for my anxiety was exhaustion.

It began to replace itself with that familiar feeling. That hungry void. The dull feeling of nothingness. The black fog of depression that felt all too familiar.
I was depressed and alone and feeling without hope. I was ashamed to admit I might need some support. I didn't know who I could turn too, I didn't even know what to say and, for the most part, I thought I was coping. The health visitors and midwives, their sole priority was focused on making sure my baby was thriving, not me. Or so it felt.

I was terrified my baby would be taken from me and that only made the anxiety creep back up to haunt me. I was worried about the judgement I would face should I confess I wasn't enjoying every second, should I let slip that I was feeling pretty miserable most of the time despite being utterly in love with my new little life.

I felt inadequate in my role as a mother. I was falling and falling beyond reach. I felt useless. I felt not worthy.  I felt like perhaps I wasn't even good enough for the job. That all I was good for was nothing at all.
I was overcome with this kick in the gut feeling that my son would forever resent me. That he would look at me and feel no love, only disappointment because I had let him down. I had failed at the one thing I had first excelled at.
I was so depressed that I couldn't be bothered to do anything. Everything felt like a chore. Every minor task was a struggle. 
Some days I could take on the world. Others, felt unbearable. 
Life was a burden, I was a burden.

It still haunts me. Even now, almost 20 months later, I still feel that anxiety. I still feel that emptiness that coils itself around my heart and sinks its teeth in.
I'm getting there. I'm fighting it. Mental health has not yet conquered me.
I have doubted myself so much as a mother that it has probably resulted in me doing a poorer job than I was originally attempting. I wish I didn't question myself so much. I wish I could have the confidence in myself to trust I am doing the very best I can. I wish I didn't sometimes feel that nudge of longing that my life is over. That, yes, I have struggled and failed and fallen down, but I have also triumphed and overcome and got back up again.

That's what I admire so much about us, as people. That no matter what happens, no matter what we have to endure or struggle through, we always make it, eventually. Even if we're crawling to the light at the end of tunnel, we still sluggishly made it there. 

Being a parent is tough, it's trying and it's, at times, overbearing, mix in some anxiety and it's a recipe for a damn hurricane.
It's not what I expected, it didn't turn out how it 'should' but I'm making the most of it. 

2 comments

  1. I understand this way too well, my daughter was born 3 months early and has had nonstop medical issues since. The mom guilt is so overbearing at times, I'm not sure how I make it through the day. PPD care is incredibly important, not only for you, but for everyone in your life - especially your child. I urge you to get care, it will make your life easier and happier. I understand the fear, trust me, but not getting help is far worse! Please take care and keep fighting the good fight <3

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    1. That sounds like such a terrifying time, so sorry to hear you had a hard shot in the beginning but hope you're feeling happier now. Thank you for reading, it's very much appreciated 💕

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