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On Our Own When It Comes To MH.

Our minds are so fragile, aren't they? Even the most stoic of people who say they don't suffer from any mental health issues do, or have suffered from them in the past. Guaranteed.

I don't think I can think of a time when I haven't spoken to someone who hasn't gone through 'a dark patch'. My ex always insisted that any issues I had where in my mind and were precisely that; in my mind.

My mental health since having Phoebe has been up and down. Not solely from having post-natal depression, but mainly from external events that took place early on in my pregnancy. From being a relatively happy go lucky, level headed gal, it was quite the change! I took anti-depressants for a short while, and they helped, but I quickly realised my 'depression' was simply my situation. I was in a loveless, and unsupportive relationship, that certainly wouldn't help anyone's post baby fragile mind. My perinatal counsellor also diagnosed me with suffering from PTSD from Phoebe's birth. So, there was lots going on as you can imagine.

I honestly felt like I was crumbling on the inside whilst trying to maintain a relatively 'normal' exterior.

You know that saying when you see a duck on water. On the surface everything is serene, but underneath they are paddling like mad to stay afloat? That.

I am a lot better now though, happier, and I do believe Phoebe, and everyone around me can see that. I am more confident when dealing with 'down days', and I take pretty much everything with a pinch of salt. I usually get a hot bath, or shower, put something on TV that will make me laugh, or just feel comforted, and just do things for me. I never push myself to do things that I really don't want to do, however, unfortunately work is not optional!

Post-natal depression is something that no one really talks about whilst you are pregnant, even afterwards. I just thought it was normal to feel the way I did, I chocked it up to hormones, or lack of, since Phoebe was now with us. It felt like I'd lost my ability to cope with things, even the littlest of things. I didn't have any support from the start which didn't help. So much pressure was put on me to be a certain way, to like certain things, that I would hide what I liked and how I felt just to save the ridicule, or as it was called 'taking the piss'. I mean, there is taking the piss and then there is just constant criticism.

Let it be known this 'piss taking'.. Not funny. I was expected to behave in what was classed as 'normal', but I have learnt that honestly; you don't have to be everyone's cup of tea.

No one is alone in mental health though, or they shouldn't feel like they are.

I was recently told about someone committing suicide and my first thought was 'how selfish' for the family they had left behind. I know, hear me out! But then I got to thinking, and I felt deeply sad for that person. Knowing what I've gone through alone, and what I go through on my 'down days' made me feel so completely sorry for my initial thoughts, and regret them immediately.

They possibly weren't selfish at all. People deal with things differently. We don't all have a uniform way of thinking, and it is not possible to rationalise every. little. thing. We shouldn't expect people to either, some people find a way out, and some simply don't.

How do you cope when life gets difficult?
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