I was in denial about my mental health from the birth of my first daughter. I work with people with mental health problems, some of them have depression... Surely I would of recognized it? I would of spotted it? But it took my husband to tell me I wasn't 'right' for me to really notice that I had lost myself somewhere between being so excited about becoming pregnant, and having this tiny little human in my arms. It's one of the worst feelings in the world, and no-one can really understand unless they've felt it themselves. I loved my baby unconditionally, but at the same time you feel like you don't want them. I become angry at everything, felt like I didn't want to leave the house and even contemplated suicide. When she was 7 months old, I found out I was pregnant again and I was scared. Scared that I would feel even worse than I did already. Scared to admit to anybody that this might be something more serious than just the stress of having a new baby and hormones!
I was about 3 weeks away from having my second daughter, when my husband told me if I wasn't feeling any better by the time she was a month old he was taking me to the doctors. I have never felt so relieved. That someone else was taking charge of the situation. I felt like a weight had been lifted and I was finally going to feel better.
I went to the doctors, 18 months after I started feeling depressed, and broke down. I felt relief that I had finally admitted how I felt, guilt that I had left it so long and my eldest had suffered me through the first year of her life, but mostly I felt hopeful.
Taking that first step and telling someone that I needed help really was the best thing I have ever done. The doctor was lovely and understanding, gave me some medication and referred me to therapy.
5 months on I feel more like myself everyday. I still struggle but I know that one day I will be okay.
The main thing I want people to take away from this story is, listen to your emotions, don't be afraid to admit you need help or that you don't feel like yourself and listen to the people who love you. They probably don't completely understand how you feel, but that can help sometimes if you let them. Finally, don't feel guilty for having depression, anxiety or any kind of mental ill health. It is not your fault.