Here at Netmums we really believe that blogging can be a form of therapy to get you through the tough times and make sense of confusion and heartbreak. And it turns out we’re not alone in thinking this way. All this week we will be posting touching and inspiring guest posts from our bloggers who have blogged through all sorts of emotional journeys. Today the wonderful Clara from Boo and Me takes us through her battle with Postnatal Depression.
When my daughter was born eight months ago postnatal depression quickly took hold of me. After almost five months of battling while at the same time trying to learn how to be a mummy I started a blog.
I have been trying to find the reason why I chose to blog, but looking back I barely remember starting it. I have a huge love of writing and it is something that I have always dipped in and out of. I do remember feeling at the time that I had so many thoughts whirling in my mind and I needed a way to release some of them; blogging gave me the space and the platform to do that.
Opening up about postnatal depression was hard at first. I agonised about publishing posts for hours, sometimes for days, scared of being judged or viewed as a terrible mum. But since gritting my teeth and putting that first post out there everything has changed. I persuaded myself to write thinking that no one would read my words. That was what I told myself in the beginning ‘no one will read it to care’. But people did read. People DO read.
It is the very fact that people read that is helping me through. Words that are hard to type, to see in black and white, have become cathartic and a medium in which I have found great strength and support, be it from the encouragement or advice of others or just seeing my thoughts through someone else’s eyes.
Not only has blogging opened up a new and hugely supportive and compassionate community to me that I otherwise did not know existed, it has also made big changes in my day to day life. Although I have vaguely spoken to my husband and family about my feelings since the beginning, the very fact that they are in a very public arena and received with nothing but support has helped me to be even more open. As a result, I have found it so much easier to speak to my husband about everything that I am going through and so his understanding has improved beyond measure.
He did not know about my blog until very recently. It was space I needed just for me. Being a mummy, whether you have other struggles or not, is no small task and having something that was just mine felt like quite an indulgence. I liked my little pocket of space that was just for me and the fact that no one in my real life knew about it enabled me to be as open and as honest as I wanted to be without the worry that anyone who really knew me was reading. Now my husband knows, but being the fantastically supportive man that he is, he said without prompt that he understands that it is my space and that I need it. He won’t intrude. He shows no interest in reading, happy in the knowledge that my writing has made me more open with him, and that is all he needs.
I have a lot to thank blogging for. It has shown me that I am by no means alone in the suffering of postnatal depression, that there are some lovely people who are overflowing with care and support and even that my writing can help someone else that is suffering too. Not only that, it has reminded me of the little things in life, to focus on the moments of happiness that can be found even in the darkest day.