It requires great courage to pen down candidly about your journey from being terribly sick to healing that too when you are a mum. Here’s the post by Catherine Bunting or Cat E More on her journey from being hospitalized for PND to healing herself. Cat is certifiably crazy; a Mother, a blogger, a Counsellor, and a Coach. She is passionate to help others. Her intense fling with postnatal depression inspired her to help other Mums ‘get through’ their own transition to Motherhood and thrive. Read her post and get inspired, ladies!
A Mum’s Journey From Hospitalisation For PND To Healing Herself
I remember being admitted to hospital for PND like it was just yesterday. I sat on my hospital bed and said ‘happy anniversary’ to my husband. In a cruel twist of fate, that was the date I officially went ‘crazy.’
It felt like my life was over. It felt like the point of no return. It was dark. I was a failure; both as a Mum and as a person. How could this be happening to me? My heart longed to be better but recovery felt impossible. I simply felt like I couldn’t go on with this life. I wasn’t sure I would.
As the next days and weeks passed me by in a complete haze, I slowly started to see it wasn’t the end of my world. That fateful day when everything changed forever. Well, it actually changed for the better.
I had therapy to see I wasn’t nuts. I learned my baby was actually challenging, even for the most experienced and patient of nurses. I learned to cope with a very difficult situation, daily. I learned stamina. I learned compassion. I learned I wasn’t a perfect Mum and that was absolutely ok. And I found I wasn’t alone in my messed up head either.
I made some of the best Mum friends I could have imagined in that hospital. As a group of women we supported each other through the good times and the bad. We empowered each other. I was no longer alone in my ‘hell.’ I was in wonderful company. We laughed together. We cried together. We started getting on with our lives outside the hospital, one day at a time, together. To some degree the power of that group helped me to move onto healing myself.
But it wasn’t enough alone. I couldn’t be with these inspiring ladies all day every day. I needed more women around me. So, I built a fantastic support network. From my own Mum who was an absolute cornerstone in my recovery, even though residing on the other side of the world. To my fabulous nanny who gave me the breaks I needed; a tremendous stand in for me at necessary times. To wonderful friends who gave me countless breaks. To the lady in the coffee shop who took the time to chat to me, like I was actually ‘normal!’
I’m still amazed by the kind female hearts the universe sent to me during this tough time. Those that gave me so much love one way or another in an instant; their words; their non-judgemental glances; their compassion; their hearts.
The greatest thing I ever heard was not ‘I’ve been there’ but actually ‘I’m here, standing with you, helping you on your way.’ These words were often left unsaid but implied strongly. They penetrated my heart, often. They gave me the strength to ‘keep on keeping on,’ as my Dad would have said.
And this wasn’t me healed. Definitely not. But this was the start of my healing. The women around me helped me to lay the foundations for me to heal myself.
And ever so slowly. Bit by bit. Meditation by meditation. Self care act by self care act. Therapy session by therapy session; I moved towards ‘better.’ I moved towards hope. I moved towards gratitude, with love in my heart. I moved back towards a life worth living. Gradually, gently and miraculously the shadow of PND disappeared completely. So gently, you wouldn’t notice for some time.
A year later I was so well (or some would argue ‘still crazy’), I gave birth to my second baby. The PND never did come back, contrary to popular belief at that time. And it just went to show I wasn’t ‘crazy’ after all. I was grounded in my intuitive journey. I’ve clocked up three years of mental wellness and counting.
There have of course been ups and downs, as you’d expect on this roller coaster called life. But never since have I fallen victim to the darkness and all-encompassing old ‘friend’, PND.
The way I see it looking back is like this…
If I’d have known what was ahead before children I can’t say I’d have willingly embarked on this crazy journey called Motherhood. I don’t think it’s quite what I agreed to sign up to. But I did. And now, I wouldn’t change my journey for the world. It’s made me the women I am today. I’ve found love for myself. I’ve found peace in my heart. And more than that; I’ve found ‘normal’ is actually just a cycle on my washing machine!
Through the darkest of nights I found the brightest of days. The two depend on each other to co-exist. And I choose the occasional dark night so that I can have the contrasting and amazing bright days that together I call my beautiful life.
You can follow me through my healing journey (which is, of course, ongoing) on Instagram @healingmumma and on Facebook @healingmumma. My blog can be found www.catemore.com, currently a bit slow but focusing on women who have survived PND and are subsequently thriving at life.