By the end of the twelfth month I often feel like I'm trapped in a ramshackle room piled ceiling high with dusty disused furniture and mouse chewed cardboard boxes full of discarded rusting toys and sorry looking one eyed teddy bears. Then midnight strikes on the eve of New Year and I'm finally allowed to savour the Shiny and New Potion that is resting on a three legged table situated between the hypnotic ticking of an old oak grandfather clock and a skeletal coat stand. A door appears and I enter into a new cavernous room that is stripped bare of history. The sun's peachy rays warm and bathe the naked space through large sash windows. The air is refreshingly clear and innocently scented with a newborn's delicate fragrance that invigorates my weary body. I come back to life standing in the present and wondering what tomorrow may bring.
I had already identified that I was suffering from post natal traumatic stress and have healed much of this thanks to trauma focused EMDR therapy. However it wasn't until the end of last year that I finally admitted I've additionally been floundering in the turbulent waves of depression. I know I'm getting better because I'm acknowledging that I haven't been well, not just to myself, but to those around me as well. I'm also prone to SAD during Winter's short days and experienced a nose dive last December in which I couldn't muster the inspiration to write about anything. I'm contemplating taking a course of anti-depressants but I still see this option as a last resort and would prefer to lift my spirits by ....
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating a diet full of fresh fruit, veg, whole grains and supplementing this with mood stabilising nutrients like vitamin B12 and evening primrose oil
- Taking steps to ensure I have better quality sleep
- Swimming, yoga, tai chi and walking
- Some mind fullness and meditation
- Having a go at some hip shaking Zhumba
- Acupuncture which I hope will balance out my hormone levels
- Writing honestly about my experience of PND, so stay tuned!
Last year I set about rebuilding my therapy practise. I am deeply passionate about my work. I have rooms to see clients, a website to promote my skills and all my administration sorted. However I am currently only seeing one client and things aren't looking rosy. Business isn't materialising and I think this is down to two salient reasons.
- I am not ready to take on the emotional demands of more clients just yet as I need to administer alot more TLC on myself first. Additionally, I am a big believer in the universal law of attraction and the add age 'where attention flows energy goes', and I'm currently paying more attention to writing. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something?
- We are potentially moving home this year and my intuition keeps signalling that it might be best, in the short term, to put things on hold until I have established some solid roots. Add to this that my childminder is moving away from London this Summer it's starting to feel like fate is telling me the timing isn't right.
So I have some decisions to make. I'm going to try and find a new childminder, continue to network and market myself but if nothing happens I'm just going to have to wait. This feels like a lesson in trust, patience and self belief that it will eventually happen when I'm ready. It may be that I have to volunteer for a charity again or find work in the NHS.
My relationship with Younger Dad needs a serious romantic rebooting. Although we knew it was going to be hard work our relationship still buckled under the strain unleashed from Little A's relentless demands and my trauma/depression. So some couples therapy might be a creative move to get us back on track. I can't help thinking it's still a bit of a conversational taboo talking to other couples in a similar position about the parental relationship after the arrival of a baby. Everyone appears to put on a brave face. We did. No one really tells you. And the NCT classes certainly didn't. Unsurprisingly statistics are high for divorce after the first child.
Last year I set up Older Mum as an informative resource but then found myself writing about everything other than stuff to do with older mums. So the beginning of this year I made the decision to keep my personal blogging separate from the original site. I'm going to refurbish Older Mum and continue to publish related articles. This blog however is all about me ME me ME and I want to aim to post at least once a week. But, and this is a big skyscraper sized BUT, I don't want blogging to overtake my life like it almost threatened to last year. This would be a very unhealthy situation and make Younger Dad feel rather annoyed and put out. Twitter will be at the bottom of my priority pile. I have committed to attending the BritMums blogging conference which I am both nervous and excited about. I know I'm going to feel like a tiny nipper in a mightily huge pond.
Reclaiming My Body
This is the year that 'baby milk' and booby comforting has to finish. I have let Little A suckle now for two years and I have reached my limit. Quite how I am going to do this is anybodies guess but if you have any clever ideas I am all ears!