Something changes sometimes always

Well, hello there. It’s been a while.

Quite a long while, in fact. Much longer than I expected it to be, or wanted it to be.

I’ve been missing my little corner of the sewing internet, and wanting to come back. But it’s been hard – surprisingly so. I’ve been making things, getting photos of things, and even started a blog post or two. But publishing them just didn’t feel right. (Although I am looking forward to showing some of the things I’ve been making. There’s a floral halter-neck dress. And another dress, with foxes on. Foxes!!!)

It slowly dawned on me why it wasn’t feeling right to publish posts about pretty dresses and fun outings for photo shoots. Because it only tells part of the story – a carefully curated, positive part of the story. There’s been research done on the impacts of curation of online lives. The result it has of only ever seeing the positive, the fun, the ‘perfect’, and comparing those images and stories to the reality of your own life, in all of it’s messy, chaotic glory. And the result isn’t positive. While we all love looking at pretty things, and reading about fun things, seeing only those can make you feel that you’re not doing as well. Not having as much fun. Not succeeding in living the life everyone else is managing to live. And those are pretty dangerous feelings to have.

So, this post isn’t about pretty dresses. It’s about The Other Stuff.

(And I won’t mind if you don’t want to read it. After all, pretty dresses are much more fun! I’ll be back to regular pretty-dress-posting in a day or so, I promise. So feel free to go away and skip over this single post. 🙂 )

It’s been a rough couple of years, for a variety of reasons. And I’ve decided not to sweep that under the carpet and pretend all has been well, even though that is my natural impulse. Instead, I’m going to talk a little bit about it. To show the not-so-pretty side of things behind the vintage patterns and floral fabrics and bright colours. And I’m doing this in case it helps someone else out there. (And as a small apology to those I’ve lost contact with, or been neglecting. I’m sorry. Truly.)

A good friend of mine did something similar for me. When I was at one of my lowest points, she opened up about her struggles with depression and how she faced up to them. And her openness finally pushed me to go and see someone about mine. You know who you are, lovely lady. And I can honestly say – if you hadn’t talked as you did, when you did, my life would currently be very different.

(I’ll admit – I’ve debated for quite a while about whether to write about this or not. Personally, I may regret it. But I’m putting it out there, in case it helps anyone else. Because if it does, it’s worth writing.)

So, the d-word came up. Depression. In my case – post-natal depression. Pretty bad post-natal depression.

It came on not too long after my second child arrived. He was terrible at sleeping – only one short daytime nap, and waking up 6-12 times a night. That first year after he was born, I was stumbling through life on about 4-5 broken hours of sleep each night. And let’s face it – that sort of sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture for some pretty good reasons. It does not do good things to one’s brain.

It was made worse by feelings of isolation. I was working in a suburb, rather than in the centre of my town, which made it pretty much impossible to catch up with friends during the week. Two young children, no car, and a lack of support in the weekends meant I wasn’t able to see people much during the weekend as well. Add in not wanting to be a burdan to people, so hiding the effects sleep deprivation were having on me, and the sense of isolation built up very fast. My long-term relationship was disintegrating at the same time, which clearly didn’t help (increased isolation, lack of emotional support, etc, etc, etc).

Some of my friends were going through rough patches at the time, and because I love them and care for them, I desparately wanted to be there to help and support them. But I couldn’t be as present as I wanted to. And I felt guilt over that, and as though I was letting them down and being a bad friend. (Let’s be clear – these feelings were all coming from me, not from anyone else.)

I was having trouble with some family members – feeling that I was being judged for working while having small children; that I was being found lacking as a parent; that I generally couldn’t do anything right. I was having to constantly defend my partner to my family, while at the same time disagreeing with my partner, so it felt that I was constantly caught in the middle, unable to be honest and being under attack from both sides.

These factors all built up, and built up. It took some time, I’m not sure how long as time moves strangely when you’re in that head space, but post natal depression sunk it’s claws in deep.

And let me tell you – depression hurts! Emotionally, mentally, and physically.

I felt that I didn’t know who I was anymore. That I didn’t really exist, and was simply a shell of a person, carrying out roles in life but with no substance. Being a mother, a colleague, an employee, but it was all an act, put on for the benefit of others while inside I was devoid of life.

I progressed from feeling isolated, to isolating myself. I felt that how I was feeling would be a burden to others, and so I didn’t speak about it, and I pretended all was well. It was hard to pretend, so very hard, and so I stopped seeing people. I felt that I was bringing down my friends, that they were happier when I wasn’t there, and so I stopped seeing them.

The feelings built, the downward spiral continued.

I would say things to my now-former-partner such as “I don’t exist anymore”. They were ignored, and I didn’t try to talk to anyone else because I never saw anyone else. I’d sit in my sewing room at night once the kids were asleep, staring at nothing, slumped on the floor, with an empty mind. Even though I was absolutely exhausted through lack of sleep, I put off going to bed at night. Because bed meant darkness and quiet, which meant the thoughts and feelings would come out of hiding. I kept busy when I could, throwing myself into things, then feeling like an utter failure when I couldn’t keep up the unrealistic pace I set myself. But business while it lasted was a distraction from the emptiness and the pain. I kept putting on a mask when I was around people I knew, and let it fall away the moment they were gone. One clear memory I have is walking through the railway station and seeing a colleague – they noticed me before I noticed them, and I didn’t get the mask on in time. I still worry a bit about what they saw in that moment of unguardedness.

It kept getting worse.

I was in pain every moment of every day – the emotional pain and emptiness so strong they caused physical pain. I felt so hollow and numb that I understood why people cut themselves – to feel something, to know you are still alive, you still exist. And to try and get some of the pain out of your body, as you feel it’s filling you to the brim and is threatening to overwhelm you and destroy you at any moment.

When I had the mask on around others, I’d laugh sometimes. And when I did, on the inside I wanted to curl up in the corner and cry. Laughing on the outside, dying on the inside – it was all an act.

If I ever bought up even a little bit about how I was feeling, I saw rolled eyes, significant looks passed, subjects changed. I was told to ‘snap out of it’. (Even one time when the pain got so much I found myself sitting on the stairs in my house, with the emotional pain being torn from me in a scream that left my throat sore for days afterwards, I was told to ‘snap out of it’ and ‘get it together’.)

I began to genuinely believe that people would be better off without me around. That I was a liability – no good at work, no good as a friend, no good as a partner. I genuinely believed that my then-partner would be better off without me – that he’d be angry with me for leaving him with all the childcare, but that would pass quickly and he’d be happier than if I was there. I even thought that my children, my amazing wonderful children who I would give up anything for, would be better off without me around.

I worried about what I would do, as I fought the desire to hurt myself in order to feel something, anything. As I was tempted by thoughts of ending it, so that I wouldn’t be a burdan to others anymore. I got nervous walking near balconys, over bridges, for fear of giving in to the temptation to just jump off. When cooking food, I worried about being near knives, as I would find myself staring intently at them and visualising picking them up.

It got so bad, that the only thing that stopped me from acting on any of those impulses was the fear that if I killed myself, my children may get teased about it at school, because children can be extremely cruel to one another. I truly believed they would be better off without me, but I didn’t want to be the source of childhood teasing from their peers. And that was the only reason I didn’t do anything.

And then a friend of mine opened up about how she had been battling depression. And I finally went to get help.

It was hard to get help. I felt like a failure, like it was shameful, that I was weak and pathetic for not coping by myself. I still feel like that – I’m ashamed to be on medication, even though it’s been nearly a year since I started taking it. It’s interesting, isn’t it? I don’t feel like depression is something people should be ashamed of, but I feel shame myself. I felt too weak to go for help, and yet getting help was also a sign of weakness. yay for conflicted emotions.

Anyway, I got help. And things got better.

I got put on medication. (Immediately, in fact – my doctor gave me a script nearly as soon as I started talking to her.) I slept a lot, letting my mind heal. I went on a trip with my youngest, and slept and rested and struggled with the feelings of guilt for not seeing people while I was travelling and letting them down and letting myself down, even though I didn’t have the energy to get off the floor of the Airbnb I was staying in sometimes. But the trip helped – I didn’t have to do anything, I just hung out with my then-nearly-two-year-old, slept, wandered, and healed.

A friend and I went to an art show, and a painting jumped out at me. Four words, bold on canvas: something changes sometimes always. One of my friends at university had a tattoo on his arm – ‘this too shall pass’. It was a reminder when things got bad, that he would get through it. This painting, those four words, they spoke to me. Things change. They always change. Change is constant, and it is positive. And this is good. I found myself looking at that painting in the morning when I woke up, and at night before I went to bed, as a reminder that this would pass and things could, would, get better. I repeated the words to myself regularly, keeping that reminder, that hope, alive.

And I slowly got better. The suicidal thoughts stopped. The self-harm thoughts slowly (far too slowly) left. I was able to laugh again, without feeling like the laughter was tearing me apart on the inside. I went to a music gig, the first one I’d been able to go to in years, and another part of me came back to life and I found myself crying while the music streamed over me and through me and I remembered – I love music. I started walking again – long walks, just for the sake of walking. And I remembered how much I enjoyed that – the feel of wind, the view of stars, the sound of trees. I slowly started playing music at home. And sitting in sunlight, just for the enjoyment of it. I rediscovered how to play with my children, and enjoy their company. I slowly remembered who I was, what I enjoy, the parts that make up me, both good and bad. I’d lost those for a long time, and they took a while to return, but they slowly did, piece by piece, forming out of the grey mist that had clouded everything for so long.

And now, I’m back. I’m not the same person I was before – I don’t think it’s possible to be after going through a journey like that. I now understand depression in a way I never could have before, and I can truly emphasise with people going through that, with people who self-harm, with those who see suicide as the only way to end the pain. I wish I didn’t, as that journey hurt so, so much, but at the same time I am glad to be able to understand. I still struggle with feelings of guilt over dropping out of touch with so many people over that time, and over letting people down. Because of that, I’m still quite bad at getting in touch, or keeping in touch – trying to break the habits I formed. I also feel a lot of guilt over how I was as an employee and a colleague during that time – I did my best in the circumstances, but that was only about 20% of my actual best, and for that I feel I’ve let people down. I’ve nearly come to terms with not being the mother I wanted to be for those years, and my grief over that. Some relationships are forever changed, or gone from my life, as a result of that time, and some of those I still mourn for.

But I am still alive. And the world is here, and it is an amazing place, and I am enjoying it again. There are many people I love and care for, and I enjoy their company. I’m excited about the future, and about showing my children the world in all of it’s beauty. I listen to music, I read books, I play with my kids, I walk in the starlight, and I sew pretty dresses.

I’m glad I’m here. And I’m so very, very grateful to that one friend who reached out a hand when I most needed it and shared her story.

That’s why I am sharing mine. Because if you’re feeling like that – you don’t have to. Things change. Things will get better. And you don’t have to do it all yourself. People do genuinely care for you, and they want you around, even if you don’t believe it, even if you don’t like yourself.

And if you know someone who is feeling like that – just be there. Think of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh. His friends kept inviting him to things, and showing him they enjoyed his company. But they didn’t force things, and they didn’t shower him with well-meaning advice. (Because well-meaning advice hurts. You already know you should be doing things like exercising, eating well, etc. But you don’t have the energy for it, and you’re already beating yourself up over not doing it, so the reminders hurt.) Even if they keep declining invites, keep on inviting them – being invited to things shows you are wanted, and that you haven’t been forgotten, and those are pretty big things. (Speaking of which – thank you so much to those of you who reached out to say hi, or to check if I was ok. It made a real difference for me.)

Life is a journey. Things are constantly changing around us. And that’s a good thing.

49 responses to “Something changes sometimes always

  1. Sending warm love Kat. Depression is awful and you’ve had it really tough. Congrats for being brave enough to write about it here, you may never know the impact that could have on someone. Kia kaha, arohanui xx

    • Thanks Naomi. I must admit that it took me a good 6 months to work up the courage to post about it! If it helps anyone, it’s worth doing though – we really need to talk about these things more as a society.

  2. What a brave post! I’ve been there too, in fact you eloquently\ described everything i still find too painful to talk about. I had a loving husband but he didn’t know what to do with me. I tried to reach out sometimes and people would say “you’re just tired”. I was more than that. Like your friend did for you , you are doing for someone else. We need to talk about it so it becomes okay to ask for help sooner and things don’t need to get that painful! Love and best wishes!

    • Hi Melissa.
      Thanks for your comment. It’s so very painful, isn’t it?!? I’m glad you’ve come through it too.

  3. Sending so much love to you, Kat. I’m glad you’re out of the darkness and standing in the light. It’s a much better place to dwell in when you have the knowledge of how bleak your mind can be.

    • Thanks Tanya. The mind is a strange, strange thing – I sometimes wonder if we can ever understand even a fraction of what it’s capable of!

  4. Many hugs. I’m glad you’re here! I’m glad you’re okay! And thank you for writing about it.

    It’s hard to know what to say, but…I feel you. Parenting is hard, and just *constant*. Self-care is hard. And on top of that you get the cocktail of stress, hormones, sleep deprivation, and a cultural that tells women to just suck all of that up. I’ve been lucky to not get too far down the well of depression, but I’m still feeling a bit adrift after the second baby. (And we still have to wean, which is when things got really bad last time.) It doesn’t leave a lot of space for oneself. And it feels oh-so-permanent, even though it’s all constantly shifting as kids grow and change.

    Anyway, I’m really glad you got some help, and that you’re keeping on. Hugs!

    • Thanks Alice. It’s all pretty crazy overwhelming at times, eh?!

      You take care of yourself, you amazing woman! *hugs*

  5. Thank you for this brave post. Everybody I have talked to, including me, felt like a failure having to take antidepressants, even if that was precipitated by obviously physiological factors like lack of sleep. I think that is the depression talking, because once you feel better medication seems like such a small deal.
    You have expressed this really well. I am glad you are in a better place. It is good for me to have a reminder to check on people, as well. One of the best depictions of the experience of depression and the uselessness of well meaning advice I think is the Hyperbole and a Half blog/ book – check it out.
    Don’t feel guilty about your children. You have been a good enough parent to them and they will remember you as you are now and in the future. Kia kaha!

  6. Oh Kat… I’m just so sorry to learn you’ve had to go through this too. I have severe depression alongside Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I now understand the depression isn’t going to go away no matter how much I work on healing the PTSD. It’s here to stay, something in my brain was damaged by the ‘severe repeated trauma’ of my childhood. And I need medication to compensate and will need so for the rest of my life.

    Being properly medicated has literally changed my life. But I’m really intrigued that you talk of the pain of depression. When I get a severe blow in my life, like my cat dying, or the operation to remove my gallbladder, it knocks my brain chemistry round and I need a medication adjustment. I’ve learnt to pick it up early (rather than not realising till I’m suicidal) by recognising that pain. When I start moaning ‘Everything hurts!” just as you describe, I go straight to the dr!

    I too have decided to talk about the depression – and the child abuse that triggered it – openly where appropriate. Because it’s silence, or worse, the ‘snap out of it’ that kills. These things are treatable, but only if the ill person can get help.

    And telling my story, and you telling yours and others telling theirs, like your friend did, is what helps others survive it too. And it is survive, isn’t it. It’s a dangerous illness 😦

    Anyway, I’m so very very glad you’ve gotten through the worst of it and are in a better place. And if you turn out like me, to need medication forever, then hey, you have a life you want to life. That’s worth it.

    As for not being the mother you wanted for your children in those years, maybe something my own mother said to me once might help. She didn’t understand my father was hurting her children too. She knew there was something wrong but didn’t realise even after she’d divorced my father that he was hurting us when we had ‘access’ with him.
    She said being a mother requires courage – you need to have the courage to keep going and be the best mother you can be, even if you’ve got something terribly wrong.

    I don’t think you’ve gotten something terribly wrong with your kids. I don’t think my mum did either: my father was the one who was wrong. But Mum’s damned right about courage to just keep going and to keep being the best mother you can be, no matter what has or hasn’t happened. Your kids will be ok. And you’ve taught them by example that severe adversity can be overcome. THAT is one hell of a precious gift you’ve given them…

  7. Thank you so much for your courage to speak out about depression, it is soooo important. And yes, so very courageous of you. I’m very proud to have someone like you as part of my sewing circle! I can’t wait to see what happens next 🙂 you rock!!!!

  8. Oh Kat, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been going through this. But having had periodic struggles with depression for much of my adult life, I know that in the bigger picture this is a good experience. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and it’s so true. You now have so much more wisdom and insight now than people who haven’t experienced this and your life will be richer for it.

    Your post brought back many memories for me of my horrendous post-natal depression. I remember tearing phonebooks apart, smashing things and banging my head against the wall until I was light headed to avoid shaking my daughter. You story about not getting your guard up fast enough when you saw a friend reminded me of the time my brother caught me changing my her nappy while repeating ‘I wish I was dead’ over and over. Your knives reminded me that when I was driving I considered every power pole I passed as a missed opportunity to kill myself by crashing my car, their attraction was almost magnetic as I passed each one. But I couldn’t crash my car because I always had Monica in the car too and couldn’t do any harm to her. Everything about your story rings true for me too. The constant emptiness, the guilt and shame about letting everyone down, all that stuff brings back vivid memories and makes me realise I’m still carrying a lot of that guilt with me now.

    I’ve often thought about blogging about this myself but have the same feelings as you, I don’t want to bring other people down, or burden them with my feelings, or feel judged by people who have no idea what going through this is like. And every time I try to write something it never turns out quite right, I can’t find adequate words to convey it, but you’ve said it perfectly and you’ve covered everything. So thank you so much for writing this post, you’ve said everything I felt so eloquently. There’s nothing more to be said, I can just point everyone to your post. And it’s so great that you’ve said it because now I know that there’s someone else I know who’s felt the same way I did, and that makes me feel a lot better about myself. And you’re really amazing and smart, funny and capable, and if someone as awesome as you can feel like this that makes me feel like it’s ok for me to have felt this way too.

    I’m so glad you’ve come through this.

    Hugs xx

  9. Hi Kat, what a rough, difficult time you’ve been through. Sending you lots of love xx

  10. Kat – what a story – fair play for writing this post. It will help someone out there. It’s so true we only see the happy smiley side of people’s lives on social media. You are an amazing inspirational woman. I’ve been following you since I discovered sewing blogs and was always impressed by all the work you did. You have 2 beautiful boys and a very full life that will come back to you when you’re ready for it.
    I had a rough time when I had 2 young kids – but had enough support to pull me back before things got out of hand. It’s a really hard time in our lives when we are supposed to be superwoman.
    Take care 😚..

  11. Sorry to hear how awful the past few years have been for you. I’m really glad that you’re in a better place now and I hope that having been open about this will bring even more love and support your way as you continue your recovery. Your children are really lucky to have you and I think just loving them counts for so much – they will know. Your presence has been missed in the online sewing world, so please know that there are people out here who really appreciate your voice.

  12. Thank God your friend opened up to you!
    Feeling alone even when you are with people is a terrible thing and you carried your burden for a long time.
    I wish we (as a society) spoke more openly about depression or any mental health issues. We might be less flippant!
    I try to always be open about my own struggles with PND and anxiety so others I see struggling know that they are not alone and help is a good thing and not a sign of weakness. In fact it shows strength of character and courage.
    So glad that you have found yourself again and the joys life brings.

  13. Sorry to hear about all of this, but good on you for writing it down. It was good to see you last month & I hope we can catch up when you’re here later in the year 🙂

  14. Hugs beautiful.. I am so glad we have been reconnecting more lately. I am sorry that I was also slack about keeping in touch. It was great seeing you and the kids last time you were home (down south).

    You are one I always admired your convictions and personality and am glad you have found a way through. .. As you say we tend to only put things up that either show we are doing well or having fun or suceeding. I know I am guilty of it, albeit I do tend to swear and let my frustration show at times.

    If you need an ear or anything let me know.

  15. I’m sorry you have been through so much, and I’m happy you are getting the help you need. Thanks for sharing, I feel that as a community of people sharing common interest (and maybe values as well) we are doing our best to navigate in the world. It’s a mutual effort, and sewing blogs should definitely not be only about the pretty and tidy.

  16. Hi. Reading your post just now reminds me why I feel bad and it’s effects and stops me getting really down on myself. I am not well, not a useless etc etc. It could not have been more timely. Thank you.

  17. So sorry to hear you’ve had such a difficult time x glad your path has brightened and it is wonderful to see you back xx

  18. Kat, thank you for staying you make the world a better place, just being here.
    Talking/writing things down does help, possibly because it clears your own mind having the bad things come out.
    Careful though that you do not get disheartened by the reappearance of such thoughts and feelings at some other point in your life. I am trying hard to treat depression like its a cold sore, given unintentionally to you at some point in life, and just when you think things are tough enough already there it is when you wake one morning.

    Like Tropical Threads I will also be on medication for my entire existence, not for the same but similar reasons. I gain another zero this year, and no it does not get easier, but I take life one flower or sunny day at a time now. I so wish I were there to give you a hug, and sit with you to let you pour it all out, once is never enough.

    Kat you are a fantastic Mum, all who know you have always known this. Please do not try and overcompensate for your view of your mothering. After all if you look at it seriously you will notice that it is just the ‘cold sore’ talking. Recognise it for what the thoughts are and enjoy your wonderful boys. I am always here and can call if you want or need a voice whether day or night. After all the advantage is that your night is my day! Drop me an email and I can call you whenever. with love and hope JoK

  19. So sorry to hear you’ve been through such a tough time, but glad to hear that you’re feeling brighter again now. It was really brave to write such an honest post, and I’m sure it will help other people who may be in a similar situation.

  20. Kat your post moved me very much. The sleep deprivation and having a child that got up multiple times in the night for over 2 years while I worked was a major factor in my own post natal depression and black thoughts. I am so glad you have the help you need xxxx
    I think your new tattoo idea is very apt especially given your bravery and experiences. Nevertheless, she persisted. You are an inspiration xxx

  21. craftysewandsewindorset

    Thank you for sharing your personal story, you are very brave. My husband suffered with terrible depression for a couple of years after our second child was born, so can really empathise with your story. I hope this speaks to someone and helps them.

  22. We love you, we ALL love you. We would be DEVASTATED if you decided to leave. Your story and mine have many similarities, which I can share later but now isn’t the time. WE SUPPORT YOU. You haven’t let anyone down! Sometimes people don’t understand the courage it takes to wake up in the morning and get out of bed. I’m so glad you are so strong. Hugs to you and your kids, my friend, thank you for getting help.

  23. I’m so glad you’ve made it through. Good on you for sharing your experiences, I hope it helps others to realise there is help out there and it’s OK to reach out for it.

  24. Kate, your are stronger than you think. You are loved and what you do is enough. You do not have to be more or justify or hide. Thanks for sharing your raw journey, I had to have a second read and still I’m crying. Hugs and love always

  25. So sorry to hear you’ve had such a horrid time over the last couple of years. I admire your bravery in speaking out – it’s a difficult thing to talk about. And no, you’re definitely no failure – that’s the depression talking. Take care and look after yourself. Hugs xx

  26. I’ve been wondering on and off what you were up to and I wish it wasn’t this. Our brains can do horrible things to us sometimes and I’m so glad you got help and things are looking brighter ❤

  27. I am so sorry you had to go through that. Despite all the talk about mental health its still so difficult to get help because of the stigma….being told, a grip, stop worrying about yourself so much! My depression came through illness, I have Lupus, but I didn’t know that then and it took almost five years with a GP I thought cared before by chance I went to another who diudnt rest until she got a diagnosis, that was almost a year. Thankfully with the right medication I can cope with the horrors LSE brings and do all I can to help myself with my wonderful GP! Recently however, my son was in a really bad place, he had immense pressures on him following a serious car accident on Christmas Eve. He could not get help and I felt foir him, telling him I was available at all times. It was only through his own persistence and knowing he had family support he got help, yet that was after going to A&E being send by a Dr who told him to come back the next day as the Hospital Emergency Dept was closing at which point he walked out closing the door leaving my son crying! That was a Friday evening, what a weekend. He persisted further, and thankfully is seeing a Mental Health Team. He has a long road to travel, but the most important problem is being dealt with first. The rest can follow. He is missed in his workplace but they’ve been very understanding that with his injury and mental health problem he will be off work for possibly another few weeks. So as a fellow sufferer and as a Mother, please never give up, there is always someone out there, usually the most unlikely person you can think, and you will have knockback days, but always look up, not down. Looking up will let you see things that will make you smile, see that someone who will help, feel the rain on your face and not on your back because life is good! Its not always easy, but never be afraid to say if your having a tough day as if you don’t say, it will be assumed your okay! So instead of laughing on the outside and crying on the inside, do not be ashamed! You have not committed a serious offence, not harmed another! If you had a broken leg sympathy would overflow, but its not sympathy you need its understanding of how this illness can cripple us, yet it can’t be seen. So if you need anything from someone you can rely on ask! Your extremely brave for putting your feelings on the line, that takes great courage and courage will help you too! Don’t do as I did, think I’m ok, I’ll stop medication! Please, don’t! I wouldn’t even attempt to do that after being foolish enough to try it not once but twice! So continue with your meds and keep well and enjoy yourself and your children as before you know it, they’ll be all groiwn up. A big hug and well done for your courage as it WILL help others. You may t know it, but it will…..

  28. Kat, I wish I lived close enough to give you a real hug. I cried when I read your post because I know. I know. Thank you for being brave and sharing about your life as how life sometimes is. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. And, I’m SO deeply happy and relieved that you were able to get help and that it’s working. Please accept this virtual hug. (PS, is that your arm and did you get that tattoo?)

  29. Wow thanks for sharing Kat, so proud of you for talking about this. Sending my love to you always xx

  30. Hey Kat, I don’t know if this would be something you’re interested in but the latest episode (9) of The Spinoff’s parenting podcast is specifically about anxiety with lots of references towards postnatal depression.

  31. Thank you for being so brace to share your story. Having gone through depression myself and struggling to get help, I really see myself in your story, even though it was due to an accident an not post-natal depression. Glad to hear you sought help and that things are getting back on-track. X sending you love

  32. What a horrible thing to go through but it sounds like you have come out the other side, keep going and get stronger. I suffered with depression after the birth of my third child but meds got me back on track until I had huge behavioural issues with my first a couple years later, took a long time to get where I am now (several years on) still on meds although low dose now but I’m stable, starting sewing a couple years ago also helped, something for me (finally!!) you have done amazing and so brave for speaking out x

  33. Congratulations! You have found your way to the light at the end of that very dark and empty tunnel. I’m sure you will find loads of people for whom your story is very real, and I am no exception. I am calling mine relationship depression, and it took me 21 years to feel like the doors to that tunnel are sealed close and I am stand in my light once again. Although I’m sure life has a lot more challenges to throw my way yet, but I am ready (I think) – and yet some say I’ve always been ready. You do you, because you are a great you and your kids love you 💕

  34. Diane Hudson-Sharpe

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough time Kat but as Sandra J says in the comment above, you’ve come through it to the other side. I wish I’d been able to meet up with you when you came travelling to London. Sending you lots of positive vibes from the other side of the world!

  35. I’m glad to be hearing your unique voice again – glad to hear that the worst is over. You have your own special place here on Earth and I hope you can feel how special you are. Depression is very real and we all need help sometimes. Sharing your struggles will definitely help others.

  36. Thank you so much for writing this. we will only learn that we don’t have to present a perfect life as we learn to show vulnerability to each other. I am thankful i have never experienced this myself (and i mean that i am actively thankful, not just that i have never thought about it since it’s never happened to me) and know that you are helping so many — weather they are experiencing it themselves or taking it as a resource to be more open and reach out to someone who needs it.

  37. What a brilliant post, and I see from your photos we live in the same part of the world so I feel akin to you. I haven’t had PND but I have had depression and any little thing can bring it on, let alone the big things like having a child. Thanks for writing so well and so movingly.

  38. I’m late reading this but I wanted to say I’m so glad you’re here and that you’ve written this.

  39. Pingback: Thank you. All of you. | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

  40. anothersewingscientist

    Thank you for writing this, and thanks for letting us know that you’re doing better now. I noticed your absence online, but because we don’t know each other “in real life”, I didn’t reach out to check on you; I just thought that you were busy with two little kids and work, like we all are. It’s a great reminder to always watch out for each other because you never know when it’s needed! I haven’t experienced PPD, but I am familiar with the lack of empathy and criticism from family just when you need support the most…I’m glad you’re starting to put together a new, better life now!

  41. Brilliant post. Good luck to you and your family. It’s not easy talking about mental illness. I struggled when I had my daughter. I never told anyone, never have, and I felt like a failure. It put a strain on every aspect of my life but things did improve.

  42. Glad you are feeling better and well enough to post. I have battled depression since I was 14 and my word it hurts. Like staring into the abyss. But other days its good, my advice as someone who has been on this journey 27 years; try to always be honest with your GP, and keep taking the medication! Ihate relying on pills to modify my mood, but I know deep down that without it I am a mess. So thrilled you were brave enough to speak out. 1 in 4 people will experience mental illness at sometime in their lives and its good for people to know its normal and they will get through it. xx

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