Hope all is well with you. It’s great to be back, writing again. I just had at a look at the last post I had written, in August 2016, which was on self care, and, thought I would bring you up to speed about what has been happening since that last post. I remember I had sat at my computer many times over the past three years, but, I just couldn’t bring myself to write. So, I closed my laptop and put it to the side while I worked on myself.
I have to say, my mental health over those last three years was not great. I was functioning in the world and being a good mum to Leo, but, there were times when I felt pangs of pain and sadness. I had been in therapy after being diagnosed with post natal depression, for about a year, but I couldn’t go anywhere near talking about Tony in those sessions. After much deliberation, I decided to stop therapy as I knew we were nearing uncovering that pain and I was not prepared to talk.
In hindsight, that was an error of judgement on my behalf. As time went on, the pain and sadness grew bigger than me and after chatting to Hugh, I decided it was time to go back to therapy. This time I knew I needed to talk. As luck would have it, I found an incredible psychologist and quite quickly, I’d say after about 2 or 3 sessions, Tony came up in discussion and I just howled. I cried all the tears I didn’t shed at his funeral, I cried for my mum who was missing her son, I cried for my sisters missing their brother, and, I cried for myself for coming to the realisation that Tony was never coming back.
During this time, it also became evident that I longed for another baby. So, throughout the therapy sessions we spoke about what that would like, the fears that I had of experiencing PND again and the challenges of being a mum to two children whilst living with anxiety. It took another 12 months before I felt robust enough to begin the process of trying for another baby.
My next post will be all about Lily (another baby after PND). Yes, Lily deserves a whole post about herself and you will see why in a little while.
Love and hugs to you all.
Josie Smyth xx
If you or someone you know is struggling from perinatal anxiety or depression please contact PANDA’s national helpline on 1300 726 306 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Josie Smyth is a Melbourne mum of two. Three months after giving birth in 2014, Josie suffered severe anxiety and depression and was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Post Natal Depression. Then in 2018, four months after the birth of her second child, Lily, PND reared its ugly head again. Since those experiences, a healthier, happier and a better person emerged. Through recovery, Josie wanted to give back. Josie is currently volunteering with Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) as a community educator. Josie is a mental health advocate and, is inspired to give hope to parents facing the same challenges that, even in the darkest days, recovery from PND can be possible.