It’s been a while since I’ve written anything personal on here, in fact it may have been #passportgate; you remember, when I managed to not renew Hen’s passport and we had to leave him at home with the grandparents #badmum – no? Just click here to see my biggest parenting fail so far…

Anyway it’s Mental Health Awareness week and funnily enough this week lots of things have been making me look back and realise that while the journey may never be over, I’ve definitely come a long way.

Several months after the birth of my second boy Freddie, I suddenly found myself feeling very alone, with two boys under 2 (there was only 14 months between them!) and struggling to cope.  I had suffered from clinical depression twice before in my life, both at times of incredible personal stress (I can see the triggers now), but I think because I was absolutely fine after Henry, none of us really expected it.  It was quite gradual and looking back I should have recognised the signs; but I guess I was trying so hard to cope and to put a brave face on that by the time anyone realised – including me, I had hit rock bottom.

I think the big pressure was that I felt motherhood should be a lovely experience (and the majority of the time it is!) and others made it look so easy, so I felt a huge expectation to cope and didn’t realise that others had and were going through the same situation/feelings as I was –  I’ve since come to realise we are mostly all like ducks on water – above the surface it’s pretty calm and serene, but underneath we’re all paddling like mad.

Once the doctors were involved, then I suddenly felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  I didn’t necessarily feel that I was no longer alone, but at least I knew I could get help.  I would loved to have had a group or a chat group to speak to others who had gone through the same thing, to just have someone say to me, I’ve been where you are and there is help, it is normal to feel how you are feeling and it won’t last forever.

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It’s been a struggle and it wasn’t an easy thing to come back from.  My mother was a massive help and even ‘upped sticks’ and moved down to York to help me; I’m not sure I would be here if it wasn’t for her or my husband and his family.  I spent a long time having therapy (I’ve had a few therapies over the years, but this time I had CBT therapy and it was definitely the right therapy for me), if I could afford it I would still go now, I think we all should. I can’t fault the NHS, they were great in their support and ongoing help, but I suppose my concern and worry is how far it had gotten before anybody recognised.  How desperate I had gotten, how little support I felt there was out there.  If I had just realised there was someone else who felt the same, or even to know that what I was feeling was normal.

It is so hard, as generally by the time someone gets to the point of asking for help, it’s almost too late and there will be a lasting impact on everyone involved.  I do worry if my PND will have an effect on my boys.  I guess even now I’m still filled by the guilt that I failed them in some way (I know rationally I haven’t) and that they will suffer because.

What I will do is follow my heart with a passion from now on, and show my boys that there is always love, there is always hope and that as long as they are honest and true to themselves, then that is all I can ask.

I’ve come back stronger, wiser and with a fire that wasn’t there before.  I’m building a business, a brand to be proud of and for my boys to be proud of. Depression is something that needs to be respected and listened too, not hidden away in shame; take heed, work hard on yourself and come out fighting!

Which brings me to Lobella Loves ‘Notes of Hope’ a fantastic idea. These notes have been individually handwritten by a mum who’s walked that lonely road herself. The idea is to share a moment of light and love in an otherwise dark time and help that Mum know she’s not alone. Please click on the link above and go sign up now, I would have absolutely loved to have received one of these in my darkest time #itscooltobekind

Launching tomorrow (Wed 10th May) Lobella Loves is a brand new UK online marketplace, offering the most coveted baby & toddler brands.  But best of all, Lobella Loves supports #mentalhealthawareness and money from every sale will go to support mums and families dealing with perinatal illness.

I am so very proud to be a part of the Lobella Loves team, and love that between us all we really can make a difference!

Much love,

Fay x