Where do I begin. Let’s just say I didn’t get off to the best start in my motherhood journey. You see it all happened so fast…
It was a catalogue of events that spiralled and was the perfect cocktail recipe for what I now know to be post traumatic stress and post natal depression, the perfect storm.
I was a sister on an acute surgical ward. Work was my life, my career, my achievement, my purpose, my identity. Within the blink of an eye it was all gone and suddenly I had a new role to play…MUM.
I never imagined it would happen how it did. I always thought I would be married at 25, settled and living family life…it wasn’t meant to be. My partner left me the day before I started my new job as sister! I swallowed my pain and buried it deep along with the death of my relationship came other tragic events, death of loved ones, my sister moved away, my mum was ill with a chronic back condition. I just let it wash over me kept a brave face and maintained my role as nurse, professional, driven. Life seems to tick over at 100 miles an hour, a blur.
There I was nearly 30 having just dumped the last moron. Destined to be alone forever..I couldn’t even get a guy to commit to buying me a mcdonalds let alone marry me. My dreams were shattered. That was it I’m never seeing any one ever again, I will be happy on my own with my cat primrose.
It was (in my mind) just like in the movies. He turned up on the ward and that was it! A whirlwind romance, pregnant, married, new home all within the space of a year…
I got home with my new baby and after all the happiness that came following what was a very dark part of my life, it was only then I stopped to THINK…TO PROCRASTINATE and at a time of no stress and no commitments other than to be at home with my child…complete melt down and fog washed over me. What was this? The most amazing time of my life just happened, I got everything I ever wanted…why was I SAD. I did what I always did, bury it.
A few months in of thinking I had it all together, obsessive, hiding behind my smile, going to every mum club I could attend as I thought that was the ‘thing to do’ I suddenly become withdrawn, disconnected and isolated. Surprisingly I was full of anger. But I’ve just had a baby? Isn’t this the happiest if not the happiest ever I should be?…then comes the shame and the guilt. SHAME is the thing I found most uncomfortable almost unbearable.
I had a terrible experience before I left for maternity at work, I was bullied and it was horrific. I carried this with me, even on my wedding day. Now out of the work environment I was totally isolated and had no support or contact from anyone other than a couple of pals. I felt completely unworthy of society and no good for anything. I didn’t realise at this point I was depressed and put it all down to this particular experience.
Time went on and I ended up going to the GP. They whacked me on citalopram and I had private counselling. The counselling really helped. And the medication. I did not want to take it, I did not want the stigma but honestly it was and still is necessary for my recovery. It’s a process of ups and downs, I tried to come off it a couple of times and it was a disaster. I figured I need to take this, my mind isn’t well. I take tablets for Crohn’s to make me better so I should for my mental health.
If you are struggling forget what you think, what society thinks, just take it. It reduced my anxiety significantly. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t a cure all, your not suddenly loving life but it does numb that weird feeling you get from anxiety ever so Slightly enough for you to function.
Things got better. I joined a netball team! Soon after I found out I was pregnant…again..with my second son!
I managed this pregnancy so much better, the birth was so fast and I recovered in time to get straight back out there for my sisters hen party! …once the festivities were over that’s when it really hit me.
I was alone a lot..tom worked long hours and my life with him wasn’t quite so glamorous as I though it would be married to a doctor. The reality was, I was alone…with 2 children…12 hours plus a day. I missed my life…I missed working…I missed friends, who I thought I knew I was.
I tortured myself for months, why can’t I be happy staying at home! Why can’t I be content, am I a good mum? What is life? All the thoughts going round in my mind I needed to let it all out…that’s how the blog started. I instantly felt a weight was lifted.
Initially I wasn’t doing it for any reason or had any ambition, it was just like a journal. I wrote a private journal as-well and I began to wonder if other people felt the same as I did.
My blog was getting a lot of positive feedback and I was enjoying chatting to other mums. I was added to engagement groups on Instagram and discovered a whole community of mums sharing their stories and experiences. I wasn’t alone anymore! I just kept on with it and my platform grew.
A year later…another baby! And real platform! I was and guess I am a blogger, an influencer, a creator. I was working with other influencers, brands, reviewing products and essentially marketing. I was making money as-well.
It gave me confidence to become more social in real life. I did my reiki level 2 and enrolled on a counselling course. I miss my nursing life but I know my real role in life is to help others and I can do that regardless. I may go back to nursing I may not. My experience traumatised me and I will carry it with me forever but I used the pain to drive me.
Mostly importantly In everything I found the real me. I am not defined by what I do. I am simply Steph, I am a mum and to me that is the most important role in the world.
I am just a normal girl from huddersfield West Yorkshire with big dreams. I’ve stopped being the people pleaser I always was.
If you are anyone out there struggling with demons, self-worth, anxiety and depression. You need to know you are worthy and it is your given right as a human to feel happy, fulfilled and loved. You are not your thoughts and you are not what people say or believe you to be, you are you and you can achieve what you want to achieve by taking the first step and going with the flow.
The thing that I love the most is helping others and inspiring others to start blogging! It is the best tonic and is so much fun. Even if you don’t want to blog. Writing your thoughts down really helps you to get perspective and make sense of what can often be a very strange time in a persons life.
I wish you all the best on your motherhood journeys, enjoy the ride…I wonder what your story will be?….
Love Stephy xxxx