Wednesday 19 October 2011

Slipping swiftly

I've just been crocheting, a stolen moment whilst the baby naps, but I can't concentrate. I'm mentally composing a post. It won't leave my head and my heart is racing and eye's keep filling up. So here I am blogging to just GET IT ALL OUT.

Before I launch into this post of gloom (feel free to click away as soon as you like - normal service will resume with the next post) I'll quickly tell you what the yarn is that I am crocheting my ripple snood with. It's Rowan Pure Wool DK in the following shades:
Pier 006
Frost 044
Marine 008
Cypress 007
I did have indigo in there too but it looked almost black in the dark half light and I didn't like it so I frogged it out and tucked it in my ever growing stash.

Now what comes next is going to be a bit of a brain dump. Probably quite erratic and no photo's to relieve your tired eyes. (You know, I really would click away now if I were you!)

For a little over a month now I have been very, very tired. I've been a right pain in the arse. I've been awful. I've felt awful. I had things going on that were stressing me out. Things that other important people in my life were relying on me for. I would have dealt with these things just fine if I hadn't been so tired. Mini still wakes in the night and I'm on my knees.

In the middle of this past month I had had a long day. A rudely early start and six hours driving in the car to deliver a cake that I was certain wasn't going to survive the trip. I got home and cried on Mr C's chest. I said "I don't feel well". I wasn't talking about a cold coming on. My head was feeling wrong. I kept hoping and hoping that I'd spring out of my gloomy demeanor. Hoping that I was having just a normal blip. You know, a bit hormonal, a bit tired. General busy life stuff. You see I live in fear of becoming ill with depression again, so I was hoping that I'd get back on track.

I haven't manage it. I'm not back on track. I'm in a spin and a panic and I can feel I'm slipping. Swiftly slipping. Wierdly I am comforted that I have for once caught myself early, that I have trotted off to the doctors after a tearful phone call in pretty good shape, at least, I'm not in a total black fog of despair. A mist of gloom rather. When you look at how lovely my life is, to feel this way is not fitting, this is how I know I'm falling. I have nothing to be depressed about so my logical brain (it is still working  bit) is telling me that my chemicals must have gone a bit crazy. I think of it like a diabetes of the brain. The brain just isn't producing the hormones I need to feel normal.

Now I guess it would be good to start at the beginning. I've always been a fairly cheerful person but I don't do well when stressed or tired. Really quite normal I think. After Big was born my mind went into overdrive. Sleep was in short supply and I had a baby that didn't seem quite right, not sure how to phrase it. However I was the only one at that time who felt things weren't ok with him. It caused me to quietly worry and whittle, I worried and whittled through many long sleepless nights. Things always seem worse in the middle of the night and those hours spent cradling my small boy who seemed to have no idea what sleep was all about meant that I walked through the days with a persistent feeling of concern which, over time, escalated into full blown Post Natal Anxiety which led to slight depression. I went to the doctors about my baby on several occasions to say how concerned I was but by this time my mind was playing horrid tricks on me and I was blowing everything out of proportion.

So the doctor treated me rather than looking at my son. I guess the fact that I was seeing horrific accidents in my head was more pressing. I'd be driving along and I'd visualise a lorry ploughing into us. I would physically jolt at the thought. In my head I saw myself fall down the stairs breaking my baby's neck every time I got him out of his cot after a nap. I would slip and stab myself when emptying the dishwasher. I would faint whilst bathing him and he would drown. I would trip and his pushchair would wheel in front of a car. Of course none of these things ever happened but I would 'see' these images like watching a film and it was terrifying. I would feel shaken as though I had tripped. I was prescribed a very good medication and began to feel quite alright. But it still took almost four years to get Big's diagnosis as every doctor and health visitor and to some degree family and friends still tried to comfort me as an anxiety patient rather than a mother whose instinct was saying that there was something going on with her child. Thank goodness I am a stubborn and tenacious bugger (to my detriment at times) as Big's condition, if not kept under supervision, could cause some difficult health issues for him in the future.

So that was my first run in with a brain backfiring. Second time was nasty. Oh it was just dire. There was a lot going on at the time. Little Cuckoo had been born at Christmas and he'd been suffering with reflux and colic. He was never a small boy and so he has never had small lungs nor a small cry. My health visitor was retiring after 40 years and she said she had never heard a young baby with such a loud cry. The sound distorted in ones ears, left them ringing. And it didn't stop for long either. It was four months of constant screaming. Big was still waking twice in the night for 2 hours at a time and whilst he was asleep Little was awake. We had a huge renovation/building project going on. We ended up sleeping in the playroom with both the boys. The only rooms we had were the kitchen, utility, playroom and ensuite. Plenty of room but no where to take a shrieking baby in the night. I was up with Little the second he murmured for fear he would disturb Big Cuckoo and Mr C. Mr C had just taken over a business that had been doing badly and so he really needed his wits about him and therefore needed to sleep.

I was busy beyond anything I had anticipated, I knew two young children would be no picnic but Big wasn't like a two and a half year old. He was like a one year old. It was tough going but not impossible and I just got on with it. Thousands deal with much tougher situations. But the lack of sleep led to my brain malfunctioning but I didn't see it coming. I was too busy and tired to notice that I was getting ill. I was exhausted. I kept having an odd sensation in my chest, a bit like when you dream you are tripping up the pavement. A bit like someone had jolted me. I can't quite describe it. It happened regularly, every five minutes or so and my heart would leap in my then very thin chest. I couldn't sleep as I was jolted every few minutes and every snort or murmur disturbed me

One day, I as I was making a cup of coffee, I had a brief lucid moment when I recognised that I felt desperate. I was about to pour a kettle of boiling water over my arm so that I could go to hospital and just STOP, just give up, be cared for, escape my life, escape myself...and I thought "Oh My God, I'm ill. I didn't know!"

Ruby Wax summed it up so well for me. When your brain is sick you haven't got one in reserve to compensate, to say "Hey no.1 brain, you're exhausted and poorly, I'll take over for a bit" You're just lost in the bleak confusion. When your liver packs in you go a bit yellow and feel quite shabby, your brain recognises this and off you go to the doctor. When it is your brain that is ill it's not so straight forward. I have spent so long worrying that I'll miss the signs and that I would do something dramatic. That I would lose my mind and do something so devastating it would destroy me and it would destroy all I care about. I've witnessed first hand how someone can wreck their life when they were out of their mind and how that ripples out to everyone who loves them. I've seen the devastation and I never ever want to get to the point where I have missed the signs that my brain is sick...I'm not saying this very well at all. I'm trying to say something without saying it, so I'll just say it. My fun loving, sociable Aunt became deeply depressed. She started out just a bit sad, then a bit worried, then unable to cope. Before long this capable woman was unable to speak, wash or feed herself. Eventually they gave her medication that seemed to work. She started reading again and talking to people. She was improving. One day, after months of looking after my Aunt, my grandmother thought she was well enough to leave for half an hour. My Aunt encouraged her to go and get some fresh air. Said she'd be fine. But when my Grandmother returned my Aunt had hanged herself with her dressing gown belt. She'd obviously had a desperate moment when she felt she could no longer go on. Had she have remained in the vegetative state she'd have probably stayed sat in the same place my Grandmother left her, but because she was responding well to the treatment but still had a long way to go, she had the motivation to exit stage left. I'm not saying I have had suicidal thoughts, not now, not ever, but I have had things go through my mind that I would never have expected and I've seen that it is all too easy to fall deeper and deeper into mental illness till you are no longer yourself anymore. My Aunt was the very last person you'd expect to hang herself. She liked to complain too much!!!

I guess some of you newbies to my blog are surprised to be reading this.  You won't have read the posts were I have stated that I have had Post Natal Depression. You'll have flicked through the last few posts and seen what a wonderfully privileged life I lead. How fabulous my friends and my family are, but then you only see what I choose to reveal here. This blog is my therapy as well as my diary and my place to mingle with like minded crafting gals. It is the place I document all the good stuff that I want to remember, the place I come to to focus on the small details that bring me joy. Funnily enough it has been my rescue this time round too. I noticed as all the comments were pouring in from my last post that I wasn't feeling the joy of the day the way I would have if I was feeling myself. It's like I was there in body but not really there in the moment. I feel too much like I am going through the motions. I am short tempered too much, I'm tearful, worried, tired, flat, joyless, restless, my heart is thudding. I'm not enjoying the things I love. I'm on auto pilot. I'm like a walking, talking doll. To the world out there I appear to be the smiley happy go lucky thing like always. I wonder how long I could have gone on like this, in this denial. I kept thinking "I'll be ok in a minute". You see I have periods through the day when I do feel fine, when the smile on my face is genuine. But that's the trouble. I'm so up and down but I focus on the ups and try to ignore the downs because I don't want to be that person cashing in a prescription. I don't want it to be me again. Not this time. It's not fair! Why me? But then again, why not me? Why not me? 

It's like this: I'm standing on a cliff edge, my back is to the sea and I'm facing sunny fields of wild flowers. There's my family and friends frolicking about, a bag of crochet, a yummy picnic, the sun is shining and the breeze is gentle. But behind me there's a storm rolling in, it's on the horizon. Dark, black thunder clouds, streaks of lightening. The sea is the colour of sewage and swirling around the jagged rocks. One step the wrong way and I'll fall into it. Most of the time I have two feet on the grassy ledge, some times one of them dangles down, stones falling down the cliff face as I struggle to get my footing again. Right now both feet have slipped. I am hanging on with my fists tightly grasping the long grass. Both feet are well and truly flapping about trying to find a resting place to steady myself while I climb back up. I can still see all the good stuff up on the top of the cliff in the sunny fields. I'm still looking at it. I still want to be there, I don't want to fall. I know how horrid it is to be free falling down and down towards those rocks. I'm so thankful that after the last time I got back to my old self and I am ever hopeful that because I have seen my doctor before I was too far into the blackness that I have been saved. My fear has always been that I wouldn't seek help in time, that I'd not notice how confused and muddled I was becoming, that I would lose myself. That who I am will be torn so badly apart that I'll never get put back together properly and I'll be an empty shadow of the glorious, vital person I can be. It's funny how you can only appreciate all the positives of oneself when you imagine it all being destroyed and stripped away. I'm not being big headed, I know that when I am well I am a nice person, I know I have attractive qualities in my nature. I'm not perfect but I do a good enough job most days of keeping those I love happy and that's the main thing I guess. I am finding everything so much harder at the moment, it's terribly difficult to be everything I am when I'm not feeling like I'm connected. (I've cut this from an email I sent a long time ago, I knew one day I would be blogging about PND and that I would want to include this analogy, though I have edited it a bit as I wrote it when I felt very well)

The thing I find hard when I feel flat, when I lose my emotions and they get replaced by episodes of simmering rage or worse, nothingness, I find the hardest thing is not being able to tell people what's going on. I don't want to worry anyone. I don't want to drag others down. I don't want my children to be taken from me (big fear and unlikely) I can't rant and sob, I've gotta hold it all together with out having had a chance to offload. I don't want to ruin my marriage, my friendships. I don't want all those people I love to fear that I'll go the way my Aunt did. I don't want them to worry. I don't want to burden my best friends, they have their own problems to deal with, such busy lives to lead, they don't need to be talking to me from Dorset, Reading, London, Dorking,...knowing they are too far away to be of any practical help. Knowing they can't get to me and back in time to pick up their children from school. They don't need the added stress of worrying about my fragile state of mind.  Have I explained that very well? I'm not sure.  I suppose I'm just saying to you my dear Girls, my dear Mum, I didn't want to worry you as I love you so very much.

I understand a bit about depression as I used to work in the medical industry and because of my family history I have had a lot of conversations with people who know the facts and I know that I feel like I do because my serotonin levels are buggered up. If my insulin levels where buggered I'd take diabetic medication and so when my serotonin goes wrong I'll take the appropriate meds to get better. It's not forever, I'm resigned to the fact that sometimes I'll be ill and sometimes I'll be well. I'm also resigned to the fact that there's a lot of misunderstanding of depression and people are incredibly judgemental which makes it a dirty secret style sickness. I hate that. So that is why I'm putting all this out there I suppose. It's my story and I'm telling it in my own way and dealing with my wonky brain in my own way too. Some people might think that going to the doctor and walking out of the surgery with a prescription is the wrong way to do things. But I know me and I know my body. It seems this is just what happens to my hormones after I have had a baby. No amount of counselling will help my brain produce more of the seretonin I need right now.  If I had cancer I'd have chemo, it would save my life. If they'd treated my Aunt sooner it would probably have saved her life. It would have prevented all the horror my family has been through.

This post has done me the world of good, I feel like I have got everything out of my mind now, the endless chatter can stop for a bit and I can take great comfort in the fact that although I feel like  (forgive me, I am about to swear on my blog) ... shit. Although I have blubbed my way through this, I am going to feel just fine in the future, already I feel lighter, knowing it has happened again and I'm not in as bad a place as I was last time.

In the past when I have mentioned my PND I have had a few people either leave me a comment or email me (my address is over there in my side bar) saying that they struggle too and that many people in their real lives have no idea. Why oh why are we so happy to discuss our sex lives and pelvic floors but not comfortable to talk about depression or mental illness? How many times have you heard someone say "I've been signed off with stress"? I bet you 70% of those people are beyond stressed, they are depressed but they feel like they will be persecuted for it. I'm happy to talk to anyone and everyone about my journey. Sometimes I get a reaction of pure disbelief. After all what have I got to be depressed about? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So I know it's because my chemicals are out of balance. I say I'll talk to anyone about depression but actually I only ever talk about it in past tense to strangers and acquaintances. 

Now I must go as I need a wee and the baby is due to wake up and I need to do some star jumps in the sunshine. I need to do some exercise for I am on "Project Feel The Joy, Get The Cuckoo Flying Again". I shall be nurturing myself for a bit. I want to feel better, I never want to be calling my doctor in a desperate panic and in floods of tears ever again...though I bet you I will do one day....

So in the mean time, you may or may not hear from me for a bit. I may or may not be cheerful when you do. Funny thing the internet, for I may be having a really crappy moment yet I'll be writing something on your blogs that would never alert you to the way I am really feeling. It's a good thing though, to be writing jolly messages to people when you feel bad, a bit like standing up straight and smiling when you don't feel very confident. 

Ok I really am going now, I must stop waffling, do excuse any hastily typed errors! 


ps. If you need a little lightness now, ay I refer you back to this post?!


  1. Wishing you and yours the best and brighter days. You are not alone, I have battled depression off and on over the course of my life (it also runs in my family). After the birth of my children I would get horrible panic attacks while driving (I had very similar experiences to what you describe imagining an accident or even worrying the baby had stopped breathing and I wouldn't know it because I couldn't see him while driving). I'm glad that you shared this, I think it's wonderful to focus on the positive things, but so often blogs are happy shiny places where no shadows ever appear (and while that is lovely, it's not really quite life, is it?). In the mean time, a hot cup of coffee, a visit with a friend, and some crochet is the cheapest form of therapy;) Take care.

  2. I read the whole post. I'll be honest, I don't know what you're going through, I've never been in a similar situation, so I don't really know what to say. I just felt like I wanted to comment, even if it's just to say that I'm thinking of you and hoping you feel better soon. You do whatever works best for you - medication, starjumps in the sunshine, crochet - just do what you need to do to feel better.

    The thing you said about 'seeing' accidents - well, I do that sometimes (although mine tend to involve my cats, probably because I don't have kids). Sometimes I get quite disgusted with myself that I can even think those things, but my rational brain tells me that it's kind of a good thing, because if I think of something awful happening, I'm more likely to make sure it doesn't. Like, if I imagine a heavy object falling on them, I'll go and move it straight away so that it can't. I don't know if that's how it was for you, but perhaps subconsciously those thoughts were making you take even more care, especially because this was your first child?

    You seem to have an excellent understanding of what you're going through, and what you need to do to come out the other side of it. I hope you get all the help you need, in whatever form it takes, and I hope you feel better very soon.

    Please, please, try to talk to someone about your feelings, or even just blog about it like you have done here. I know it's easier said than done, but never feel like a burden to family and friends. They would much rather know about your problems and help you through them, than find out too late that you were suffering in silence. I can speak from experience there.

    Take care of yourself xx

  3. Hi,
    I'm so sorry to hear that you're feeling low at the moment. I hope that sharing your problem with all your blogging friends out here has helped somewhat.
    Sending you a virtual hug.....

  4. Just wrote this big comment now bloggers playing up! grrrr.

    It basically said I have had my own experiences with PND and depression in general. Or going down the black rabbit hole as I tend to think of it.

    Doing what you are is the right thing. Do those starjumps, your meds talking on here or too friends. It helps. It heals. Sending Mahoooosive hugs and thoughts to you. Keep well.

    MBB x

  5. wish i lived to email you
    fee x

  6. Tried calling you earlier doll. Will keep trying. But seeing accidents? I do that constantly too, always see the girls flying off their scooters and landing in the road in front of a bus. Awful what your mind can create.
    You have def got a good handle on all the science behind PND... (if only Fishface Perrin and Todd could see you now) and that's surely a good start. You've rationalised it brilliantly, and I know you'll swim through to the other side. We're all here in little boats with oars for you to hang onto.
    If you want me to come and do the school runs or bathtime, cook some weird carb-free food or fold some laundry, just say the word.

  7. Cuckoo, I don't know what to say that won't sound trite, but needless to say I'm glad you've recognised you need to do something to get yourself better, and I hope you're getting lots of love and support from those around you IRL (which I'm sure you are). Lots of love coming your way! x

  8. Huge pat on the back for both recognizing what is happening to you and for your honesty and openness on the blog. I haven't been around your wee world for long but have really enjoyed the blog - you sound like a lot of fun and your blog has amused me a lot. I will continue to read it (including these long posts) and look forward to when you are completely back to yourself - it will happen. Look after yourself and use every support you can get - friends no matter how far away will still want to be there for you - let them. Best wishes

  9. I hope you are feeling better again very soon, love and hugs to you and your beautiful family xxx

  10. Hi, I really love kmmms analogy of the boat and the oars!!!
    I've emailed you. I love that you have talked about this here, and I agree, it's so important to talk about mental health issues, not hide them away or let them be stigmatised.

  11. Thank you for taking the time to write such a moving and honest post. I have people around me who suffer from depression and often struggle to understand it because they are not blessed with quite your eloquence.
    Wishing you a swift return to good health.

  12. Your post really struck a chord with me. I could have written parts of it myself. I've suffered with PND & depression for years, I also have a child with special needs. Its so hard to be strong for others when you hit rock bottom. I understand (as much as I can) how you feel right now, as Ive been feeling like this for a while now. Im so glad that you have recognised the signs, as I think thats one of the hardest things to do. Sending you massive hugs hun,I hope you get a good foothold soon & boost yourself back onto the cliff, to that lovely place where you belong.

  13. There is a lot of misunderstanding about depression. That is what makes such honest, open and moving accounts like this actually quite important. I think people really lack emotional intelligence sometimes and can be insensitive. People often just don't understand if they haven't been there.
    I think a big part of depression can be hiding away and isolating oneself, so this post is such a positive thing. It will connect you to all the love people have you and I think that will help.
    My friend has a son with Asperger's. She is constantly having to fight for his needs to be met and it can be difficult. Well done you for your persistence in looking after the needs of your boy.
    You do what is right for you. You are obviously insightful and know what is right for you. Stuff anyone who judges you for it.
    Try to look afer you. Sometimes people can expect you to be the strong one looking after everybody else. As I have got older, I put myself out for the ones who appreciate it only. I hope people appreciate what you do for them.
    You travelled for 6 hours with the amazing cake. How lovely you are.
    Sending hugs. The darkest bit is sometimes before the dawn. I heard that yesterday and I think it is sort of true. Sometimes it all goes to pot, then things start to get

  14. Bless your heart. Im so glad you were able to write and share your thoughts and feelings. That old saying a problem shared is a problem halved. I hope that you begin to feel better again real soon. Depression is so hard as it can't be seen. My mum has suffered for years and had to have electric shock treatment many years ago. She still struggles every day and will always take tablets and there is no shame in that at all. My best friend also struggles and has dark thoughts also which is so very hard for her and others that care about her but the best thing i always say is always tell me when your feeling low and that way we talk and it seems to help. I think you have so much to deal with bringing up children is hard and we have to remember that us Women dont have super powers, and its ok to ask for help or say look im struggling a little here. Whats great is that you regonised you were feeling lost to me that is a huge positive. sending you postive thoughts and a big virtual hug, be gentle on yourself. dee xx

  15. You are doing really amazing. I have three childeren too. The are 22, 20 and 18. My husband had a very busy job and I had very little help and I just know it's the HARDEST job there is.
    I just would like to say that I appriate you very much. Of course I don't really know you and we only get to see a part of you on this blog but you're always genuin.
    I think I understand what you mean that when the brain is ill it's difficult to know that it's ill and therefor difficult to know you need to go to the doctor and ask for help. But I think you can't go enough to the doctor and ask for help. Especially if you say that you don't want anyone to worry. Let the doctor worry. It's his/her job. Oh and one more thing : you are not you're aunt.
    You are amazing : the whole package : beauty, loveliness, PND, ... all of it.

    sending you lot's of love from Belgium xxx

  16. Ask for help outright whenever you need it. Do not dismiss the help your lovely friends and family have offered. Let yourself be looked after and GET WELL SOON.

    I'm a cybersister of yours and if I can do anything you must let me know.


  17. I read right through to the end too. It made me wish I lived closer so that I could come over and give you a big hug or look after your children while you had a nap. Thank goodness you are able to recognise how you are feeling and ask for help. And how right you are that depression is something people should ask for help with rather than suffering because society thinks they have nothing to be depressed about. What a load of rubbish! My uncle suffers from mental health problems so I know how important it is that help is given early enough.
    Big xxx to you, Victoria

  18. Dear Cuckoo,

    So sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Wish I could cheer you up or give you any advice......

    I hope a big virtual hug helps :-)

    Take care,

    Lots of love,

    Madelief x

  19. Dear lady, been there and got the t-shirt! You have decribed the anxiety and unwanted thoughts so well and you have great insight. Please take wonderful care of yourself and let all the people who love you help you and before long you will be right as rain. I will be keeping you in my prayers and sending lots of positive thoughts your way!

  20. As I read your words I felt so sad for you. You expressed yourself so eloquently and with such great self knowledge, No one could help but be moved. Sending you big hugs and hoping you are feeling better soon. Much love to you and your beautiful family x

  21. Cuckoo - well done for standing up and saying that you need help and for recognising that you don't feel right and getting medical attention. I wish there was something I could say that would help...I think you need to take care of yourself and to put yourself first for a change...maybe when you feel better you could put together a list of 'warning' signs or triggers that you can share with Mr Cuckoo so that he knows what to look out for and that you can refer to every so often as a sort of mental MOT? I hope you feel better soon - keep clinging to the grass, the tablets will kick in soon and you will start to feel more like yourself ((hug))

  22. Oh Cuckoo, I am crying for you after reading the whole post. Will email you. Sending lots of virtual hugs.
    R x

  23. Oh, my... I read this entire post. I'm so glad that you can connect this way and feel better. I have someone in my life right now that is going through some depression and she is very young. This illness really resonates with me. Knowing is half the battle. God bless.

  24. Oh Cuckoo, being a mother is a tough job at the best of times, but when your mind starts to sabotage itself the best thing you can do is recognise that YOU HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING WRONG AND THERE IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!

    Fortunately I have never had PND or any other form of depression, but I have a very close friend who suffers from it, and the girls' father has also suffered from it. Both of them are now much better but I know how debilitating it is and how completely overwhelming it can be, not only for them, but for those who love them.

    A cousin of mine apparently suffered from depression but hid it from most people. It came as a hell of a shock when we heard that she killed herself.

    By recognising it and taking steps to deal with it effectively you are already on the road to recovery. And get as much of that Vitamin D as you can from the sun. That is one of the best natural ways to fight depression!

    Sending big hugs and lots of love.

    xXx Helen

  25. You BRAVE woman you! Hugs from across the pond! :-)

  26. Such a brave and insightful post. Sending hugs and lots of healing thoughts your way xxx

  27. Hello,

    Gosh felt teary reading that post. You are 100% right that it is too often not talked about or acknowledged. I imagine it will feel strange reading back over that post when feeling better again (which you will) but I think it is a brave and useful thing to do to log your thoughts.
    Aside from helping others who may feel the same (which it undoubtedly will)as you say it is a way of vocalising what is in your head and helping to get clarity on what you need to do next on project 'get cuckoo flying again' - love it.
    Sending lots of star jumps your way xxx

  28. Expecting the second in a few months (in the middle of winter!) and am already worrying about what will follow... I hope I'll be able to learn from your experiences, thank you so much for sharing! Get well soon without hasting yourself!! Looking forward to follow-up posts! Take good care of yourself :-)

  29. I think you are so brave to acknowledge your feelings with so much honesty. You are right to get the medical help you need straight away. I am hoping and praying that you will be feeling more yourself very soon. Let us know if you need any help. In the meantime, get plenty of cuddles from those gorgeous boys of yours. xxx

  30. I've never commented on your (very enjoyable) blog before, but this time I feel I have to. Depression is a terrible thing, worse than most physical illnesses because it changes you into someone who can't do what she needs to do to get better. It doesn't need to have a cause or a reason, although I think you have both. Your own insight into your state of mind is very encouraging, and I truly wish you all the best. The medication will help, and otherwise try to do things that you like and avoid those you don't like as far as possible. Warmest wishes to you. Jill x

  31. Darling Ms're very brave to put this out there and my heart goes out to you. I went through a difficult time about a year ago and can relate to some of the feelings/thoughts/emotions you have. Yes, we have to say it out loud once in a while...depression. It's part of why I started blogging and threw myself into knitting and create a "happy" space and to create balance in my life. It's different for everyone, so all I can do dearheart, is send out all my positive thoughts and wishes and prayers to you during your journey. You WILL get through this. All my very best, xjosie

  32. Lovely Cuckoo. I've had your blog post open since you posted it trying to come up with something wonderfully supportive, mature and helpful to post to you, like the comments you leave for me. But I just don't know what to say. My experience with brain health issues is small (and for that I am truly grateful, don't think for a moment that I don't appreciate that) so I don't feel like I can give you anything other than say that I think of you lots and hope that you can pull yourself back up over the cliff again. I think you've done a great thing in catching it early and WELL DONE for going to the doctors right away. You do need a big WELL DONE for that, it's a big step to take.
    I'm not really making sense I don't think. Just wanted to let you know that I'm rooting for you and sending lots of love and warm thoughts and hoping for the moon to change and pull back the dark swirly seas and let the tide go out and then well it's just the good sandy beach there not the sea.
    Love and more love, Heather xxxx
    (ps sorry if that's the worst comment ever.)

  33. My angel, well done, you posted!!

    Gonna call again now, love you x x x x

  34. Such a moving, insightful post. It is such a difficult illness to be open about and totally changes the person you are.
    Keep taking the steps that will, eventually, take you towards the sunny meadow.

  35. Every comment you have ever left for me has been lovely and kind. You and many others always make me feel so welcome in blog land. So many lovely people out here sending you love and hugs. You are a beautiful, inspiring, brave lady and i know for sure that alot of us can relate to how you are feeling right now. I promise you with all of my heart that it will and does get better. This is now but not forever.

    God bless you my lovely and big hugs.

    Melanie x

  36. Dear Cuckoo,

    I didn't leave a comment the other day as I only just managed to finish reading through your post before having to tend to a grizzly Rose and I didn't want to rush and say any old thing. I felt quite emotional and teary after reading it..

    Thank you for being so honest on here, it's refreshing to know the truth rather than some other blogs that only show the happy, lovely things in their lives. That's fine if that's what they want to do of course, but sometimes it's nice to know that other women have problems, worries and fears as well.

    Your not alone when it comes to imagining awful things happening to your children, I have an over-active imagination and regularly imagine myself crashing the car.. falling down the stairs whilst holding Rose.. that kinda thing. (It doesn't help that I'm The worlds most clumsy person!) I was emptying the dishwasher the other day and had to step over her whilst holding a carving knife in my hand, I couldnt stop myself imagining what would happen if it slipped out of my hand. Horrible I know! But when we care so deeply for our children, it's always going to be a huge fear that something terrible could happen to them.

    I was lucky to not suffer with PND after having Rose and I won't pretend to know what it's like to live with depression. I grew up with my step-dad having depression and he would have good day's and bad day's... But he was always able to keep it under control a lot better when he'd been to see the Doctor as soon as he started to feel low. So well done you for recognising you were feeling that way and doing something about it..

    I really hope you begin to feel happier soon, we'll all be waiting for you when you want to pop in and say hi..!

    Ashley xxxxxx

  37. Oh my darling girl. I'm so sorry I've not popped in sooner. You articulate your depression so beautifully - I can feel your pain and empathise with you hugely. The most important thing first of all is that you've recognised it creeping up on you and have got yourself onto the happy pills. Bear with them, they'll soon kick in and your joy will return. The difficulty with hormone related depression - as opposed to circumstantial - is that it can be so unpredictable. As you know, I'm staying on medication indefinitely for that very reason. (Is there any chance I can persuade you to join me in the 'prevention is better than a cure' camp?) My first sign was my heart plummeting in my chest as I woke up. God how I dreaded that feeling. In my experience of mental illness - and I feel pretty qualified in light of recent events (!) - it is the people who deny they have a problem that fall hardest. While you are so brilliantly self aware and open and are surrounded by people who love you, you will always be fine in the end.

    I've got so much to say to you dear friend so will email you too though I dare say your inbox will be straining under the pressure of all those who will be doing the same.

    For now, hang on in there, talk about it as much as you can and snuggle your man and boys.

    Take care dear Cuckoo, lots of love to you. Hxx

  38. You wonderful, wonderful woman. This is such a brave thing to do and I'm so very proud of you. The more people can talk about this, the easier it will become for other people to seek appropriate treatment. So bloody good on you honey!!

    I will email you separately ok. Take care lovely lady.


  39. Awww I have big fat tears rolling down my cheeks. What an honest post, you wonderful brave lady. You are not alone in your feelings xxxxx

  40. Dear Cuckoo,thankyou for sharing with us how you are feeling. I too have suffered depression throughout my life and it is in my family.Its only talking about it and getting it all out in the open ,people will learn to accept Mental illness as all other illnesses ,well done on speaking out ,your post really touched me today.Sending warmest wishes and hugs and I do hope that you are feeling better soon,xoxoxojulie.

  41. Cuckoo my love, you are so not alone. There seem to be so many of us suffering from depression, I had a massive reaction when I spoke about my depression on my blog. I tend to think people wont understand but you know what, most people did. I felt guilt at being depressed as I too have a lovely life, in my eyes, that just made it worse. It comes and it goes and you have to do what you have to do to get through it. Meds for me definitely. It's great to read such a confident post about depression, you know you're suffering and you're not ashamed to tell us, good on you. Apart from being therapeutic for you to get it out, it helps the rest of us who sometimes feel like freaks for having depression.

    I'm not being nearly as eloquent as you in this comment and I suppose it's because I don't know what I want to say, other than, I understand, I'm here for you.

  42. Well done for writing that. I really admire you for doing it.

    Lizzy x

  43. This is beautifully written and completely captures that spirally feeling of losing control - but hang in there, you did stay in control and recognise the symptoms and that is only down to you so be proud of that. Bringing up kids is hard and does have its moments when its not rewarding or uplifting but just knackering and poorly appreciated. You do a fantastic job to keep up with all the things you do. Hang on to the moments that bring you happiness and revisit them if it helps (this helps me!) - and go girl with the star jumps!!! Definitely a good idea! Take care xxx

  44. Dear beautiful Cuckoo....I have been so busy keeping my own demons at bay I have neglected my lovely friends. Reading your post is like listening to myself...same symptoms, same rage, same deperate attempts to convince myself and others that all is fine, that I am coping. You have sought help and that is the first step. And you have 'come out' to everyone that you are struggling....second step. The road to recovery you already know...asking for help, accepting it, demanding time and space to rest and recuperate. You are so right to see depression like a chronic disease like diabetes - I use that analogy myself. If it were diabetes or you were suffering from cancer and having chemo, then you wouldn't need to demand - it would just be given. It is an illness that has no rhyme or doesn't matter that you are beautiful, talented, unique, have a beautiful home and is random and devastating and cruel. You will come through darling Cuckoo. And all your many, many friends here in blogland will be thinking of you and sending you love and strength. I wish I could just hold you now and tell you that everything will be all right in time because it will. Blog if it helps, don't if it doesn't. Either way I will be thinking of you xxx

  45. Thank you for your beautiful honesty! I think you know quite well that I can relate to much of what you wrote. Your analogy with the wildflowers, the family, and the black clouds rolling on over the cliff just perfectly described what depression does to me, too. You are brave to put your story out there.

    I do believe that God will use you and your story to help someone else. Possibly many others.

    I'll say a prayer for you that you will soon fly again! :0) Hugs!

  46. Dearest Cuckoo, to think that behind the bubbly, funny you is someone struggling to deal with depression.
    I have always admired perhaps envied your ability to put thoughts and feelings and daily happenings into words. You have made me smile, laugh and even tear up at times but today after reading your post I just want to give you a huuuuuge hug.
    I wish I lived closer so I could pop by with a home cooked meal or maybe hang or fold washing, hoover the house, wash the dishes. Just do those day to day chores so you could concentrate on you and take the time you need to get to where you want to be.
    So glad you have recognised you need help..........may the path back to the happy, bubbly stress free you be an easy one.

    Lots of ♥ and keeping you and your lovely little family in my prayers,

    Claire XX

  47. Hello my lovely, if only you lived nearer! I would come around for cake, wine and a good old chat. I’ve never suffered from depression, but I have to say I'm feeling very blue at the moment. I'm hoping it will pass within time! Just promise me you will take time out for yourself!

    I'm sending a BIG hug and lots of kisses through the computer! I hope you get them......

    take care love Lou xxxxxx

  48. I have just come across your lovely blog,lot's of things in common,including how you are feeling, so personal .I think you are so brave and courageous and because of reading your blog tonight,I am going to do something about how I feel, something I have been putting off for a long time,your words and feeling's were like my own ,I asked my husband to read it and said this is how I FEEL,so not only have you helped yourself but you have helped me.Thank you ,Thank you.Tonight was the first time I read your blog...Hope you are feeling a lot brighter cuckoo XX Manda XX

  49. OMG Cuckoo I can't believe I missed this post, I follow your blog through Blogger and I was just thinking it was odd you hadn't posted in a while and all the time I had missed such an important one from you!!

    Going to read your next post then send you an email....

    Sending huge, huge ((((hugs)))) and {{{{healing vibes}}}}

    S x

  50. You have lots of friends...sending love and happy thoughts...

  51. Hello Cuckoo, I've only just found your blog and this post really struck a chord with me, having suffered PND/Anxiety to varying degrees myself after having my 2 girls (although strangely enough not with my boy who is the middle one) and currently just coming out of the 'fog' of it with daughter no.2. I really admire your honestly and found myself nodding, agreeing and my heart aching for you at various points during your post. I'm so glad you have been able to recognise and 'catch' yourself before you fall too far, it is so easy to fall, one can do it almost unwittingly but it is a long, hard road back to the top again. I hope you will find yourself back on an even keel soon, and hopefully putting all this down in words may have helped you a little. Take care, K xxx

  52. Hi Cuckoo, I've been following you on Instagram for a while and noticed sometimes you've alluded to your PND but I haven't had the time to read your blog properly before. I'm so glad I read this post(and some others!) I've also suffered from PND and depression at other times and this is such a well written, thoughtful, vivid, almost beautiful description of how it feels to know those dark clouds are rolling in( or the black dog is walking with you or whatever your analogy). I had to stop reading and come back to it as it made me think of those times I can feel my feet slipping, not nice to be reminded but strangely fab that you grow to recognise it! Sorry for whittering on! Thanks for the post. Here's hoping we can all stay away from that cliff edge! Claire xx (cjplusfour)

  53. I've just read this blog post after you mentioned it on IG. I could have written that post - the way you describe PND is spot on. I'm getting help in the form of CBT but I still have periods of vast sadness and picture myself falling down the stairs every day. I also hide my "illness" from most people cos I don't want to burden people or them to think any less of me because I'm not really the supermum everyone thinks I am. I'm tempted to do the same and write about my journey so far. Whether I'll hav ethe courage to post it is another matter...

  54. Hi Ive also just discovered this post via Instagram. My mom died suddenly over ayear ago now and though I realise the grief following her death was normal. The anxiety I've had these past few months is not. This is such a lovely post because its described exactly how I feel. Not like myself sort of like a black and white version of my normally colourful self. You're so so right too it's not something that you go and tell your friends either for want of not wanting to worry them. Thanks for sharing its a wonderful post.
    Huge hugs Lyndsey (stripey lemon on ig) xx


I L♡VE your comments. Thank you ever so for taking the time. I do try to get back to everyone but I am rather scatty and I have these 3 big distractions....(and I'm just generally a bit rubbish lately, so please don't feel obliged to leave a note) Sorry about the word verification too, too much spam.