This past week on social media was mainly made up of looking through friends photos of their little ones ready for their next steps into the world whether that be pre-school, reception, new year groups or even high school and sharing posts about PND to mark the fantastic first PND Awareness week!
It also marked the first day of Tigger starting in Reception. This is huge for any parent. Our teeny babies starting full time school, having hot dinners on a tray, wearing a full uniform or needing a pump bag. It also brought that defining mum moment of ironing labels into clothes (I feel old whenever I do this!). This was a milestone for Tigger, for me as a mummy and us as a family. It also felt like a milestone in my PND. I don’t know about you but most birthdays and memorable days such as these can shake me in both good and bad ways.
Last week I was shaken. I felt out of sorts. My brain wasn’t functioning as it has been the last 3 or so months (when I’ve been relatively well), my head was foggy but my thoughts were racing, I wanted to sleep so bad some days and I ate lots of crap! I couldn’t work out what it was but after a bit of thinking and crying I realised that I felt that sadness all over again that these past 4 years of Tiggers life although amazing have also incredibly hard. I have fought to stay present in this parenting malarkey, fought to love my girlies as they deserve, fought for good medical help and fought sometimes to just keep going each day. A struggle I wouldn’t wish on anyone and something which has been present in my life for 4 years.
As I thought on this I begun to wonder if I would always think like this. Would I always spend birthdays or other special times thinking about how long this has been? Wondering what life would have been looked like without this horrid illness? How PND has affected my life and those around me? I guess this partly comes down to a choice of what I focus on. Yes, this is a reminder that it has been hard and at times continues to be but it can also serve as a reminder that it is getting better and as I improve hopefully this will be my focus. It can be a reminder of the amazing people around me who have supported me, a reminder of the love and bond me and my girls have even with PND in our lives, a reminder that I have my lovely girls with me each day to love and a reminder that I am definitely not where I was and that it’s worth keeping fighting.
From this point on that’s what I’m going to try to choose on these dates and I hope if you are reading this and wondering how things will work out, if you will feel normal or if you will ever get better, I want to say YOU WILL. Things can and will get better. Spring will come, even if the winter is long and dark.
Talk to someone. Just say ‘it’s hard isn’t it’ to another mum, you might be surprised by the response. Call the PANDAS helpline on 0843 28 98 401 to talk to someone anonymously to begin with. Just sharing your concerns or symptoms with someone can be the first incredibly courageous step towards being well.